free time http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9273/all en-US 6 Moves Every First Year Freelancer Should Make http://www.wisebread.com/6-moves-every-first-year-freelancer-should-make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-moves-every-first-year-freelancer-should-make" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/she_makes_multi_tasking_look_easy.jpg" alt="She makes multi-tasking look easy" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I started my freelance career seven years ago, I honestly had very little idea of what I was doing. I made some seriously painful mistakes that affected everything from my bottom line to my stress level to my relationships with some of my clients. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-biggest-mistakes-freelancers-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Biggest Mistakes Freelancers Make</a>)</p> <p>But even though self-employment mistakes are common, they're not inevitable. You can make the transition to self-employment much smoother and easier to handle if you commit to doing the following things in your first year as your own boss. Not only will you lay down the good habits and policies you'll need throughout your new career in self-employment, but these moves can also help your career start off with a bang. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/day-job-or-freelance-which-is-right-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Day Job or Freelance: Which Is Right for You?</a>)</p> <h2>1. Set aside 30 to 35 percent of every paycheck for taxes</h2> <p>One of the double-edged swords of working for yourself is the fact that your paychecks will generally not have any taxes withheld. While it feels pretty good to have the full amount of money you earned coming directly to you, it can really mess up your finances if you don't plan ahead for taxes.</p> <p>Many of the newly self-employed can get themselves into trouble by assuming they'll pay their quarterly estimated tax bills with whatever funds they have received as of the quarterly estimated tax due date. But Uncle Sam doesn't care if you have a slow work spell or are waiting on some payments that are not quickly forthcoming from a client &mdash; he wants you to pay the taxes you owe on time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-irs-penalties-with-this-simple-estimated-payment-strategy?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Avoid IRS Penalties With This Simple Estimated Payment Strategy</a>)</p> <p>You can bypass the quarterly stress of finding the necessary funds to pay your tax bill by specifically setting aside 30 to 35 percent of every check you receive. This does take a depressingly large bite out of your paychecks, but it gives you the peace of mind to know that you will be able to cover your estimated tax payments. In addition, by putting this money into a savings account, you can earn a little interest &mdash; which already puts you financially ahead of folks who have their taxes withheld.</p> <p>If your diligent savings of 30 to 35 percent of each paycheck means you have more money than you need for taxes in your first year of self-employment, then you can always use the leftover money to reinvest in your business or smooth over any lean months in your second year of self-employment. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-i-learned-about-money-after-i-went-freelance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Things I Learned About Money After I Went Freelance</a>)</p> <h2>2. Hire an accountant</h2> <p>Speaking of taxes, they are going to get more complex now that you have begun working for yourself. While it is certainly possible for you to complete your taxes all by yourself as you've done in the past, the money you spend on an accountant for your self-employment taxes can both save you time and lower your stress. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-free-accounting-tools-for-freelancers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Free Accounting Tools for Freelancers</a>)</p> <p>Asking for referrals from trusted colleagues or small business owners can be the best way to find the right accountant or tax professional for your needs. Don't let this important part of self-employment go on the back burner. Having an accountant throughout your first year of self-employment can help you to accurately pay your quarterly estimated taxes on time, and take advantage of deductions and other tax benefits that you might otherwise miss.</p> <h2>3. Determine your payment floor</h2> <p>During my first year as a freelancer, an educational company contracted me to write lesson plans for English teachers. I had been working as an English teacher before my freelancing career, and I loved that this company was committed to using humor in all of its resources. I thought it was a perfect fit, and I quoted them a price per lesson plan that felt reasonable for my expertise (and comedic chops). They offered me a fifth of what I asked for. Since I was worried that I wouldn't be able to actually make a living as a freelancer, I took the job.</p> <p>It was a huge mistake.</p> <p>Here's why: The amount of work that I put into each lesson plan meant I was earning less than minimum wage for my hours of toil. It took me months to get through the initial contract of 10 lesson plans, in part because I knew how little I was making and it was difficult to prioritize this client over those who paid more for less work.</p> <p>Even though the company loved my work, we parted ways after I finished the first round of lesson plans. They were just as happy to get a quicker and less-funny turnaround from another freelancer who did not have my expertise. I was glad to no longer be working so hard for a company that did not financially value my contributions.</p> <p>After this experience, I learned to figure out my payment floor &mdash; the least amount of money my time was worth. Once I knew my payment floor, it became much easier to recognize which jobs were worth my time, and which jobs would leave me feeling overworked and resentful. Knowing your payment floor may seem premature in your first year of self-employment since you feel like you are hustling just to capture enough clients to keep the lights on. But you are better off holding out for clients who value you, rather than taking any job, no matter how low the pay.</p> <h2>4. Build free time into your schedule</h2> <p>There are a couple of common scheduling traps that can trip up the newly self-employed:</p> <ul style="margin-left: 40px;"> <li> <p>Working all the time. Since you are now completely in control of your schedule and your career, and since you presumably love what you do, it can be very easy to throw yourself into your work 24/7.</p> </li> <li> <p>The planning fallacy. Even after seven years as a freelancer, I still <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-why-your-projects-always-take-longer-than-you-expect?ref=internal" target="_blank">underestimate how long it will take</a> me to complete a project, because it never occurs to me that my kids might get sick, my internet might go out, my research might uncover more complex issues than I anticipated, or that I might be struck down by an unexpected nap after eating too many carbs for lunch.</p> </li> <li> <p>Lack of discipline. For some newly self-employed individuals, it can be difficult to stick to self-imposed (or even client-imposed) deadlines if you don't have a boss to keep you honest. It's a lot harder to succeed in self-employment if you have trouble sticking to a work schedule.</p> </li> </ul> <p>All three of these scheduling mistakes can be helped by building free time into your schedule. Forcing yourself to take time off from your otherwise nonstop work will prevent burnout and allow you to be far more productive. Having a free afternoon built into each week has helped me to improve my on-time percentage, because it leaves some slack for when life happens and I'm not able to finish things according to my pie-in-the-sky planning assumptions. And anyone who struggles with self-discipline will generally have an easier time forcing themselves to work if they know that there is free time coming. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/self-employed-tips-for-taking-time-off-without-trauma?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Self-Employed? Tips for Taking Time Off Without Trauma</a>)</p> <h2>5. Capture excess income in a savings account</h2> <p>When you are self-employed, there will be some months when several paychecks or client payments come in all at once. This can feel pretty great, especially if you can thank your own hustle for making it rain, but it's important to be disciplined about this kind of excess income and put it in a savings account. That's because you are likely to have a low-income month sooner or later, and that excess income can be the difference between you being able to pay your bills as usual and you having to go grocery shopping with couch cushion change. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-sep-ira-is-how-the-self-employed-do-retirement-like-a-boss?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The SEP-IRA Is How the Self-Employed Do Retirement Like a BOSS</a>)</p> <p>During your fat-paycheck months, you should not only set aside the 30 to 35 percent you put away for your taxes, but you should also put whatever additional excess income you can afford into a &quot;rainy day&quot; savings account. This account is where you will go to get the money you need to keep everything running smoothly during any lean months. And like your taxes savings account, if you don't end up needing to dip into this rainy day savings account, that means you will have money already set aside that you can potentially invest back into your business. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-budget-consistently-without-a-steady-paycheck?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Budget Consistently Without a Steady Paycheck</a>)</p> <h2>6. Insist on clear contracts</h2> <p>Everyone who has ventured into self-employment has at least one story about being stiffed out of payment from a client. For instance, in my first year of freelancing, I was hired to write for a startup parenting website. I wrote several articles for the site, but I was only paid for one of the half dozen pieces I provided them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-freelancers-can-make-sure-they-get-paid-on-time?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways Freelancers Can Make Sure They Get Paid on Time</a>)</p> <p>The client was in the wrong for not paying me &mdash; but I also made a mistake in accepting work from them without a contract. Our arrangement was based on nothing more than email exchanges and a phone call. We did not have a contract that spelled out our legal expectations of each other, which meant it would have been very difficult for me to pursue the client for the money they owed me.</p> <p>In addition, contracts are also helpful for defining the scope of a project and specifying the details of a termination fee. A contract that outlines the specific timeline and deliverables will protect you from having to revisit the same project over and over again for no extra money if your client insists on more edits or revisions or a larger scope than you expected. Similarly, if your client decides to end your project, having a contract that specifies the termination fee you'll receive under such circumstances will protect you from having wasted your time.</p> <h2>Welcome to self-employment!</h2> <p>You can set yourself up for se<span id="1508499285936S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span>lf-employment success in your very first year as your own boss. Planning ahead for everything from taxes to lean months to time management to contractual disputes will help you create a self-employment career that you'll love for years to come. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/freelancing-a-beginner-s-guide-to-doing-it-right?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Freelancing: A Beginner's Guide to Doing It Right</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-moves-every-first-year-freelancer-should-make&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Moves%2520Every%2520First%2520Year%2520Freelancer%2520Should%2520Make.jpg&amp;description=6%20Moves%20Every%20First%20Year%20Freelancer%20Should%20Make"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Moves%20Every%20First%20Year%20Freelancer%20Should%20Make.jpg" alt="6 Moves Every First Year Freelancer Should Make" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-moves-every-first-year-freelancer-should-make">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/the-5-biggest-mistakes-freelancers-make">The 5 Biggest Mistakes Freelancers Make</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/self-employed-heres-how-to-get-your-apartment-application-approved">Self-Employed? Here&#039;s How to Get Your Apartment Application Approved</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/how-to-budget-consistently-without-a-steady-paycheck">How to Budget Consistently Without a Steady Paycheck</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-signs-its-time-to-close-your-business">5 Signs It&#039;s Time to Close Your Business</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-strategies-for-paying-off-debt-when-living-on-a-variable-income">7 Strategies for Paying Off Debt When Living on a Variable Income</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship budgeting contracts free time freelance Mistakes payments self employment taxes variable income Mon, 30 Oct 2017 08:30:14 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2039970 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Add an Extra Hour to Your Day http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-add-an-extra-hour-to-your-day <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-add-an-extra-hour-to-your-day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-512127803.jpg" alt="how to add an extra hour to your day" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all get the same 24 hours in a day, and yet it feels like some uber-productive people are working with extra hours that you don't have access to. These time management superstars somehow work full-time, but still exercise every day, take their kids to soccer practice, and have a year-round garden that's the envy of the neighborhood. What's their secret?</p> <p>It turns out you can buy yourself more time each day if you simply treat time management the same way you treat money management. Specifically, the following healthy <em>money </em>habits can help you build some time slack so that you can finally tackle the items that always fall to the bottom of your to-do list.</p> <h2>1. Track your time spent</h2> <p>Tracking where your money goes is an integral part of budgeting, since you can't trim excess spending if you don't know about it. Tracking your time-usage can be just as important for cutting unnecessary time wasters. Knowing exactly where your hours are going can help you to reclaim some time for more important tasks than endlessly refreshing Twitter.</p> <p>There are multiple ways to track how you spend your time, from the simple paper-and-pencil logging of your time, to apps like <a href="https://toggl.com/" target="_blank">Toggl</a> and <a href="https://www.rescuetime.com/" target="_blank">RescueTime</a> that will do the tracking for you. Using any of these options to see how you spend your time can help you to figure out where to reclaim it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-a-mindfulness-journal-can-fix-your-life?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways a Mindfulness Journal Can Fix Your Life</a>)</p> <h2>2. Limit unnecessary spending</h2> <p>I have an app that limits my access to social media during the day because I know that I'm not capable of voluntarily limiting it on my own. Facebook and Twitter tend to suck up my time in the same way that bookstores used to suck up my money, so I need make sure I limit my exposure.</p> <p>Of course, the internet is not the only time suck you might be fighting. While there are plenty of apps and plugins available to keep you from frittering hours away on social media &mdash; <a href="http://www.stayfocusd.com/" target="_blank">StayFocused</a> is a good one &mdash; don't overlook the humble timer as a tool to limit unnecessary time spending. You can watch your favorite shows or read a novel over a cup of coffee, just set a timer that will force you to move on to the next task to keep your day from being consumed.</p> <p>These kinds of time leaks are often the culprit when you feel like there are simply not enough hours in the day. Once you start limiting your unnecessary time spending, you will often find you have much more time than you realized.</p> <h2>3. Invest in your future</h2> <p>You don't expect to have healthy finances without saving and investing your money, and healthy time management requires the same kinds of investments. What does such time investment look like? It's a matter of creating morning and evening rituals, and taking the time to go over your calendar and to-do list on a daily basis. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-essential-life-hacks-that-will-save-you-time-in-the-morning?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Essential Life Hacks That Will Save You Time in the Morning</a>)</p> <h3>Create daily rituals</h3> <p>Your morning and evening rituals help you to consistently transition from one task to the next. Having a morning ritual means you can give your work tasks your full attention once you have made the transition into work time. On the other end of the day, make sure you create space between work and sleep. How many times have you found yourself answering a work email at 11 p.m. when you were supposed to be in bed already? Having an evening ritual that includes shutting off screens will help you to sleep better and keep work from intruding on your time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/change-your-life-by-changing-your-bedtime-routine?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Change Your Life by Changing Your Bedtime Routine</a>)</p> <p>Similarly, taking 15-20 minutes to review your calendar and to-do lists for the following day will help keep plans, meetings, or deadlines from slipping your mind, and allow you to be more efficient when you get to work.</p> <p>The eternally time-crunched folks may often feel like they have far too much to do to invest in rituals and 20 minutes of to-do list checking each night. However, just as you can't afford not to put money in an emergency fund, you can't afford not to plan your time. These investments will save you by preventing panic and forgotten tasks when last-minute emergencies arise.</p> <h2>4. Prioritize</h2> <p>An important part of gaining control of your finances is prioritizing specific financial goals and following through on them. You know that you only have a finite amount of money, so you recognize your need to focus on one financial goal at a time. Healthy time management requires the same kind of prioritizing, even though it can be harder to recognize that your time is finite.</p> <p>This is why it's important to identify the most important tasks you need to accomplish each day. Generally, there should be no more than <em>three </em>such most important tasks on your to-do list. Tackling these priority tasks will help you to move your big projects forward and eliminate the fatigue you feel after a day of frantic business that didn't seem to accomplish anything. The feeling of making progress can help you to jump back into work the next day, which can help eliminate time-wasting and procrastinating.</p> <h2>5. Plan for fun</h2> <p>Just as being able to treat yourself to a little indulgence while you are trying to save money can keep you motivated to stay on the straight and narrow, having little breaks in your schedule can help you stay on task while you are working. Breaks give your mind a chance to refresh and refocus, and they are an important part of a productive daily routine.</p> <p>This is also true of planning bigger fun activities. If you know that you'll be doing a pub-crawl with your friends on the weekend, you'll be less tempted to contact them via text or Facebook during the week. You can focus your attention on the work at hand, knowing that you have something great to look forward to. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-shouldnt-vacation-shame-your-coworkers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Reasons You Shouldn't &quot;Vacation Shame&quot; Your Coworkers</a>)</p> <h2>Spend time mindfully</h2> <p>Mindful spending, whether the currency is money or time, is the secret to feeling like you have enough. Using the habits of good financial health can help you to become a mindful time spender &mdash; which will help to add extra hours to your day.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-add-an-extra-hour-to-your-day&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Add%2520an%2520Extra%2520Hour%2520to%2520Your%2520Day%2520%25281%2529.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Add%20an%20Extra%20Hour%20to%20Your%20Day"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Add%20an%20Extra%20Hour%20to%20Your%20Day%20%281%29.jpg" alt="How to Add an Extra Hour to Your Day" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-add-an-extra-hour-to-your-day">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-cutting-your-losses-can-save-you-more-than-money">How Cutting Your Losses Can Save You More Than 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/5-money-moves-to-make-before-taking-a-mini-retirement">5 Money Moves to Make Before Taking a Mini Retirement</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/6-ways-to-feel-better-about-your-financial-situation">6 Ways to Feel Better About Your Financial Situation</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-get-out-of-social-obligations-that-break-your-budget">How to Get Out of Social Obligations That Break Your Budget</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/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv">Massive List of Things to Do While Watching TV</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle extra time free time lifestyle tips saving money time management tips work life balance Thu, 17 Aug 2017 08:00:06 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2004469 at http://www.wisebread.com Freelance Your Way to More Income and Flexibility http://www.wisebread.com/freelance-your-way-to-more-income-and-flexibility <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/freelance-your-way-to-more-income-and-flexibility" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-626259596.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="144" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Freelancing is nothing new, but digital technology has made it easier than ever to work as an independent contractor from home &mdash; or the road. A 2016 survey by UpWork, a website matching freelancers with companies looking to hire, found that more people are freelancing than ever before, with 35% of the U.S. workforce now made up of freelancers.</p> <p>Why the growth? Employers like to hire freelancers, especially for temporary or project work, because the arrangement is more flexible, and they save on employee benefits and extra office space. Freelance workers gain by getting to choose the projects they want and working flexible hours. It's a work model that offers greater choice for both parties.</p> <h2>Challenges to Being a Freelancer</h2> <p>While freelancing offers concrete advantages, many people worry about giving up the stability and benefits of a traditional job. Losing company-sponsored health insurance, paid vacations and retirement contributions are indeed valid concerns, especially since it takes time to attract new clients and develop relationships with them.</p> <p>For this reason, some people do a combination of both types of work, retaining stability with a part- or full-time traditional job, while also following their passions and earning more money through additional freelance projects.</p> <p>For others, according to the UpWork survey, full-time freelance work actually feels <em>more </em>secure because they have several different clients, rather than relying on one employer for their income.</p> <p>Another major concern that freelancers share is receiving fair compensation for the work being done, as well as losing out on a reliable pay schedule. Freelancers often have to balance a &quot;feast or famine&quot; phenomenon, when they may either have too much work or not enough.</p> <p>Still, the UpWork survey showed 79% of freelancers viewed freelance work as better than working in a traditional setting, and half of them even said they wouldn't take back a traditional job, regardless of the compensation that was offered to them.</p> <p>That's not to say that freelancing is for everyone or for every type of job, but many of those who have decided to pursue this path have found it extremely rewarding.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/day-job-or-freelance-which-is-right-for-you?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">Day Job or Freelance: Which Is Right for You?</a></p> <h2>Greater Freedom and Flexibility</h2> <p>Freedom and flexibility are two of the biggest draws that attract people to work as freelancers, according to UpWork's survey findings. They feel they have more control over their work schedule by being their own boss. Long weekends are no longer reserved for holidays and special occasions.</p> <p>Many also enjoy the freedom to choose what type of work they want to do and, in many cases, where they do that work. Especially for people who have been commuting long distances or in heavy traffic to get to their workplace, working in a home office can be truly liberating.</p> <p>Plus, if you're just freelancing on the side, the extra cash may help alleviate stress about saving for retirement, travel or education.</p> <h2>Getting Started as a Freelancer</h2> <p>If you think the freelance lifestyle might be right for you, the first step is to identify a marketable skill you have that you can use to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-one?ref=internal" target="_blank">attract potential clients</a>. Some examples include writing, editing, computer programming, business or financial consulting, and photography, just to name a few. Picking a clearly defined skill and, even better, a niche that you want to focus on will help you to cater to your potential clients and make you an attractive candidate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-freelance-jobs-that-pay-surprisingly-well?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Freelance Jobs That Pay Surprisingly Well</a>.)</p> <h3>Make a Portfolio</h3> <p>Gather a portfolio to showcase related projects you've worked on. These may be projects from your current full-time job, or from classes you've taken, or pro bono work you've done to gain experience in the field you want to pursue. A portfolio allows potential clients to see examples of your work to decide if they want to work with you. The better portfolio you're able to put together, the easier it will be to find clients.</p> <p>Depending on what type of freelance work you are going to do, you may want to make a website to showcase your portfolio online. You can also create a portfolio on <a href="https://www.upwork.com/" target="_blank">UpWork</a>, <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/" target="_blank">LinkedIn</a>, or specialist websites like <a href="https://contently.com/" target="_blank">Contently</a> and <a href="https://www.clearvoice.com/" target="_blank">ClearVoice</a>, which focus on content marketing.</p> <h3>Create a Network</h3> <p>Like any job, networking is a very important part of finding freelance gigs. You can do this using social media, but you should also focus on real-life networking opportunities through conferences, professional organizations and Meetup groups. There is nothing that can replace the value of meeting people face-to-face.</p> <p>Even social gatherings in your everyday life could lead to valuable contacts. Bring up the work that you do in casual conversations and you'll be surprised how many doors may open for you.</p> <h3>Pitch Your Best Ideas</h3> <p>If you have a great idea for a project, now is the time to reach out to potential clients and, in a professional manner, pitch your idea to them. There's an art to writing a great pitch. Especially if you're contacting an editor or CEO you don't know personally, you will need to make as good of an impression as possible over email.</p> <p>This is the equivalent of cold calling, so you need to have your pitch polished and well thought out. For writing gigs, it's often recommended to provide a specific outline and an article title. Think about the company's needs, and then send them your best ideas, not run-of-the- mill ideas that anyone could have thought of.</p> <h2>Remember, You're Running a Business</h2> <p>Once you've made the leap to freelancing, whether it's full time or as a side gig, remember you are running a business. You'll need to track your business spending (a dedicated <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses?ref=internal" target="_blank">business credit card</a> can help with this), as well as organize your billing, taxes and retirement savings. This all takes time that you'll need to work into your schedule. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-biggest-mistakes-freelancers-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Biggest Mistakes Freelancers Make</a>.)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/freelance-your-way-to-more-income-and-flexibility">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/13-businesses-your-tween-can-start">13 Businesses Your Tween Can Start</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/what-to-do-when-youre-sick-of-your-side-gig">What to Do When You&#039;re Sick of Your Side Gig</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/6-moves-every-first-year-freelancer-should-make">6 Moves Every First Year Freelancer Should Make</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/100-ways-to-make-more-money-this-year">100+ Ways to Make More Money This Year</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-things-i-learned-about-money-after-i-went-freelance">7 Things I Learned About Money After I Went Freelance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income career free time freelance self employment side gig small business Wed, 01 Feb 2017 10:00:09 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1879593 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Things You Can Do Online Besides Watch Cat GIFs http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-can-do-online-besides-watch-cat-gifs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-things-you-can-do-online-besides-watch-cat-gifs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-484720224.jpg" alt="smart ways to kill time on the computer" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>On the rare occasion that you have some free time, there are a variety of productive, frugal ways to browse the Internet &mdash; other than watching an endless stream of cat videos on YouTube. By taking advantage of your free time and getting the most out of your browsing, you can improve your life and achieve your goals more quickly. You can even save time and earn money along the way. Here are a few ways to wisely use your web time.</p> <h2>1. Review Your Finances</h2> <p>Check your online statements to balance your bank accounts and credit cards. This will help ensure that your budget is on track for the month. While you're at it, you can also pay your bills and check in on your investments. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tricks-to-consolidating-your-debt-and-saving-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Tricks to Consolidating Your Debt and Saving Money</a>)</p> <h2>2. Organize Your Computer</h2> <p>Organize the files on your computer so that you can be more productive at work. You can also run computer cleaners to clear away junk files, free up space, and even increase computer speed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-computer-last-almost-forever-with-some-simple-tricks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Make Your Computer Last (Almost) Forever With Some Simple Tricks</a>)</p> <h2>3. Take a Class</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-cheap-ways-to-increase-your-knowledge-and-earning-potential?ref=internal" target="_blank">Online classes</a> span an endless range of subjects. They can help you learn a new skill or explore a new hobby. You can even study for a certification in your field to advance your career and help you seek new employment. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-certifications-that-add-big-to-your-salary?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Certifications That Add Big to Your Salary</a>)</p> <p>Whether you want to learn something new or would like to improve your craft, anything can be accomplished with online courses. If you don't want to sign up for a course, consider finding an e-book that highlights your new skills. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-before-taking-online-classes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Things You Must Know Before Taking an Online Class</a>)</p> <h2>4. Learn to Code</h2> <p>Not everybody can master coding, but if it's something that interests you, there are endless free resources to get you started. Spend some time on sites like <a href="https://www.codecademy.com/" target="_blank">Codecademy</a> during your free time if you'd like to build a website or learn to decipher code.</p> <h2>5. Learn a Language</h2> <p>Learn a new language with sites like <a href="https://www.duolingo.com" target="_blank">Duolingo</a>, which is free to use. Best of all, you'll feel like you're playing a game while you learn a new language. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-learn-a-new-language-just-use-one-of-these-3-apps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">You Can Learn a New Language</a>)</p> <h2>6. Learn to Speed Read</h2> <p>You can learn to speed read using free online apps like <a href="http://www.spreeder.com/" target="_blank">Spreeder</a>. This can save you time, help you read faster, and increase your productivity. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-cool-jobs-for-book-lovers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">17 Cool Jobs for Book Lovers</a>)</p> <h2>7. Network</h2> <p>Spend some time fixing up your LinkedIn page and reach out to colleagues and contacts. This can improve your working relationships and help you find a new job when you need one. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-minutes-to-a-linkedin-profile-that-gets-you-hired?ref=seealso" target="_blank">30 Minutes to a LinkedIn Profile That Gets You Hired</a>)</p> <h2>8. Write</h2> <p>Whether you are interested in writing articles, have a knack for poetry, or have considered starting your own blog, use your free time online to pursue your passion for prose. Best of all, you can even make some money in the process. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them?ref=seealso" target="_blank">22 Websites That Will Pay You to Write for Them</a>)</p> <h2>9. Play Games and Watch Videos for Cash</h2> <p>While playing games on your computer might not seem productive, you can actually make money while doing so. Sites like <a href="http://swagbucks.7eer.net/c/27771/19503/799" target="_blank">Swagbucks</a> will give you points for playing games, watching videos, answering surveys, shopping online, and searching the Internet. You can later trade in your points for cash or gift cards. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-pays-more-online-surveys-or-the-gig-economy?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What Pays More: Online Surveys or the Gig Economy?</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-can-do-online-besides-watch-cat-gifs">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/life-without-tv">Life Without Television</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/beware-the-nasty-secret-of-the-craigslist-free-section">Beware, The Nasty Secret Of The Craigslist Free Section</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/3-sneaky-ways-identity-thieves-can-access-your-data">3 Sneaky Ways Identity Thieves Can Access Your Data</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-easy-ways-to-declutter-your-digital-life">5 Easy Ways to Declutter Your Digital Life</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/going-off-the-grid-is-a-lot-harder-than-you-think">Going Off the Grid Is a Lot Harder Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Technology blogging coding computer computer games emails finances free time Internet online classes Thu, 19 Jan 2017 10:30:32 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1876779 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Reasons Time Is Worth More Than Money http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-time-is-worth-more-than-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-reasons-time-is-worth-more-than-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-518554978.jpg" alt="time is worth more than money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Time. Most of us never seem to have enough, and we're spending a good chunk of it earning money. It stands to reason that time is money, and the more time we have, the more money we can make. But are we looking at this the wrong way? Is time the real treasure here, and are we wasting it to stockpile something far less valuable?&nbsp;</p> <h2>1. You Can't Make More Time</h2> <p>You can always find a way to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-glassdoor-to-earn-more-money?ref=internal">make more money</a>. Although it's not something we want to do, we have the option to sell possessions, work an extra shift, pick up some freelance work, or maybe even win a few bucks on a scratch ticket. But there are no chances for you to create more time. You can't add an extra hour to the day. You can't give yourself 20 extra years on this planet by investing in the &quot;time market.&quot; Time is finite for us, as individuals. We may have 85 years to live and thrive, or we may only get 30. This is worth remembering when you are spending more time making money than you are with friends and family. Those times are precious, and fleeting. Money? There's always more of that.</p> <h2>2. You Can Do More With a Day Off Than With a Day's Pay</h2> <p>Everyone earns different amounts, but a day's pay to a rich person or a poor person is still the same, relative to his or her situation. Whether it can buy you a new Xbox or a new Ferrari, the point is that a day's pay is finite. You will be given a set amount of money that can buy a limited number of items.</p> <p>But with a day off work, the world is your oyster. Well, maybe not traveling to Tahiti or scaling Mount Everest, but you really can explore all sorts of adventures that you could not do while at work. Maybe you take that time to paint that picture you've always wanted to, or begin writing a new book. You can meditate, and find some of that inner peace you've been looking for. At the end of the day, a &quot;thing&quot; that costs money will never compete with an experience that broadens the mind, or simply makes you happy.</p> <h2>3. Time Creates More Memories Than Money</h2> <p>Think back to the best moments in your life so far. How many of them are based on money, and how many are based on time spent with friends and family? Very rarely do we sit back and think, <em>Oh man, the day I got that new pair of shoes was awesome!</em> Our most treasured memories come from time spent with the people we love, and in places we adore. Yes, it certainly does take a little money to travel. Luxurious vacations are definitely something we need money for, but we also treasure those times we walked hand-in-hand with a loved one in the park, or sang karaoke with friends at a local bar. Time gives us those memories we can look back on and laugh, or cry. And while money may help, it's never the main focus.</p> <h2>4. You Need Time to Spend Money</h2> <p>You may have all the money in the world, but you only have a certain amount of time in which to spend it. Billionaires around the globe have enough money to last 100 lifetimes, and yet they only have a set number of years on this planet. Even then, the last 10-20 years are not exactly the best. Money can buy you a lot, but it cannot buy you more time, which is why time is the most valuable resource we all have. Whether you're rolling in dough, or scraping together a living, time is the great equalizer. And most rich people would gladly give up a huge chunk of money for the chance to spend a few more good years with family and friends.</p> <h2>5. People Close to Death Wish for More Time, Not Money</h2> <p>How often have you heard the story of people saying, &quot;It went by so fast&quot; or &quot;If only I'd had more time&quot; as they were living out their final days? It's something said by so many people, so often, and with good reason. But very few people say, &quot;I wish I'd had more money&quot; or &quot;If only I'd been a millionaire&quot; as they consider the lives they lived. We may have regrets, but so few are based around money and possessions. Money may provide us with some luxuries, but time gives us so much more. Ask someone with a few months to live if they'd like $10 million or 10 more years on the planet, and you know the answer you'd get back.</p> <h2>6. Time Brings More Happiness Than Money</h2> <p>A study published earlier this year asked participants what brings them greater happiness &mdash;&nbsp;<a href="http://spsp.org/press_release/valuing-your-time-more-than-money-linked-to-happiness?utm_source=SAGE_social&amp;hootPostID=2cd8155f181030091e54784421fc199d" target="_blank">free time, or money</a>. Over half of the people involved in the study &mdash; some 4,600 participants &mdash; said that free time brought them more happiness, and prioritized it as such. Free time came before earning money.</p> <p>The questions were not as blatantly worked as, &quot;Do you prefer free time over money?&quot; though. Some were asked if they would prefer an expensive apartment with a long commute over a cheaper apartment with a shorter commute. Or, if they'd want a job with long hours and a high salary, or fewer hours and less salary. It seems that more people are interested in making the most of their free time, and would rather sacrifice the fringe benefits and luxuries in favor of quality time. It is worth noting, however, that the younger people surveyed were not as swayed by time as older respondents. Clearly, when you have much more time ahead of you, you value it less than money.</p> <h2>7. Time Is Priceless, Money Is Not</h2> <p>Money is money. The value of it fluctuates from day to day, and differs across currencies and investments. But time&hellip; you cannot put a price on that. For instance, what kind of price tag would you attach to spending one hour with someone you love? How about spending the day with a friend or family member you haven't seen in 15 years? What price would you put on an experience that broadens the mind, or brings you inner peace? While it is easy to say it would cost several thousand dollars to book a vacation, what is the cost of spending a few hours on a beach thinking of nothing but the sand between your toes? No worries. No stresses. Just that moment. What's more, time is free.</p> <h2>8. Time, Not Money, Is a Great Healer</h2> <p>It takes time to gain perspective. It cannot be bought. It takes time to realize your strengths and weaknesses. It takes time to figure out who you really are, and who you want to become.</p> <p>When you put time against money, it's no contest. Money helps you live your life over that time, but it's time itself that gives you the greatest benefit.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-time-is-worth-more-than-money">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/time-is-money-budget-them-both-out">Time Is Money: Budget Them Both Out</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/that-age-old-conundrum-time-vs-money">That Age-Old Conundrum: Time vs. Money</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/these-5-apps-will-help-you-finally-organize-your-money">These 5 Apps Will Help You Finally Organize Your Money</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/8-money-moves-you-can-make-when-we-turn-the-clocks-back-for-fall">8 Money Moves You Can Make When We Turn the Clocks Back for Fall</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/organize-8-key-areas-of-your-life-with-these-17-smart-apps">Organize 8 Key Areas of Your Life With These 17 Smart Apps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Organization free time money money moves time time hacks time is money time management Wed, 14 Dec 2016 10:00:10 +0000 Paul Michael 1853789 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Money Moves You Can Make While Stuck in an Endless TSA Line http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-you-can-make-while-stuck-in-an-endless-tsa-line <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-money-moves-you-can-make-while-stuck-in-an-endless-tsa-line" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_tsa_line_20741660.jpg" alt="Man making money moves in endless TSA line" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>At the airport closest to me, the TSA lines are legendary, especially during the holiday season. Last year, they were telling people to give themselves <em>an extra hour</em> before their flight, just to make sure they got through security on time. That's an extra hour on top of the usual hour or two recommended!</p> <p>I don't know about you, but I dread long lines. I spend the entire time thinking about what else I could be doing. Over the years, though, I've come up with ways to use my &quot;line time&quot; well. Here are a few things you can do to improve your financial life while waiting for TSA to get on the ball.</p> <h2>1. Start Using Mint</h2> <p><a href="http://mint.com">Mint</a> is a great way to track your finances. You sign up for an account, connect all of your bank, investment, and debt accounts, and it quietly tracks your overall financial situation. It allows you to look at spending, debt, and net worth automatically and with ease.</p> <p>This is a great thing to do if you're not really tracking your finances right now, or if you don't have a handle on your overall financial situation. Starting with the big picture is almost always a good idea, so that you know what is good and what is bad, right from the start.</p> <h2>2. Sign Up for Digit</h2> <p><a href="http://digit.co">Digit</a> is an online service that saves money for you. You connect the app to a bank account, and they track your spending. Based on what they find, they schedule automatic withdrawals to another account. They don't say much about their analysis algorithm, but people (myself included) claim that they don't notice or need the money that Digit removes from their accounts.</p> <p>If you're already saving, you probably don't need this tool. But if you forget to pay yourself first, this can be a great way to save without really thinking about it. And it's fun to watch your savings build up over time!</p> <h2>3. Check Your Credit</h2> <p>If you haven't looked at your free credit report in the last 12 months, you should. <a href="http://annualcreditreport.com">AnnualCreditReport.com</a> is the place to start. From there, you can enter identification information and view a report from each of the three credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Check for incorrect information or credit cards/lines of credit that may have been opened fraudulently.</p> <p>Do make sure that you have a secure Internet connection before you start sharing sensitive personal information. If you aren't sure, add this to your To Do list and work on something else while you're in line.</p> <h2>4. Set a Financial Goal</h2> <p>What would you like your money to do for you? Do you want to travel? Maybe you need to buy a new car. Think about your wants and needs, and choose one or two financial goals for the next few months. Having a goal will help you focus, and it will make you more likely to do things like curb spending or follow through on a savings plan.</p> <p>Don't set too many goals, though. Picking one or two things to save for &mdash; maybe one practical thing and one that's fun &mdash; will give you plenty of motivation without the stress of feeling like your money has to go in too many different directions.</p> <h2>5. Choose a Charity</h2> <p>If you're like me, giving often falls by the wayside. It's not that I don't want to do it, but that I want to be responsible with it. If you want to make sure that any charity that gets your money is actually using it for their stated purposes, do your research while you stand in line.</p> <p>Start by going to your intended charity's website. Most of them will offer some sort of fiscal documentation. If you want to give to a smaller charity, you may need to give them a call and ask for it, instead.</p> <p>If you don't even know where to start giving, start with a simple Google search. Pick an issue that is important to you, and look for charities that target it. You can even limit your search to charities in your local area, if you're interested in volunteering or getting more involved.</p> <h2>6. Check Your Bills</h2> <p>Not sure how long you'll be in line? Pull up your latest credit card bills and glance through them. Make sure that you recognize all the charges and that, to the best of your knowledge, they are for the right amount. Many people find mistakes on their credit card bills, and you can always contact the company to have them fixed. That usually means more money in your pocket.</p> <p>If you don't recognize a charge but you aren't sure, flag it for later, when you can go through your receipts and figure out if it's correct. If you find something very concerning, call your credit company from the line. The sooner you can get in touch with them, the sooner you'll have your money back where it belongs.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-money-moves-you-can-make-while-stuck-in-an-endless-tsa-line&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%20Money%20Moves%20You%20Can%20Make%20While%20Stuck%20in%20an%20Endless%20TSA%20Line.jpg&amp;description=6%20Money%20Moves%20You%20Can%20Make%20While%20Stuck%20in%20an%20Endless%20TSA%20Line" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Money%20Moves%20You%20Can%20Make%20While%20Stuck%20in%20an%20Endless%20TSA%20Line.jpg" alt="6 Money Moves You Can Make While Stuck in an Endless TSA Line" width="250" height="374" /></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/6-money-moves-you-can-make-while-stuck-in-an-endless-tsa-line">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-sign-up-for-global-entry">How to Sign Up for Global Entry</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/11-ways-to-prepare-for-your-best-black-friday">11 Ways to Prepare for Your Best Black Friday</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-why-you-shouldnt-freak-out-if-you-miss-a-payment-due-date">Here&#039;s Why You Shouldn&#039;t Freak Out If You Miss a Payment Due Date</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/13-financial-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season">13 Financial Gifts to Give Yourself This Holiday Season</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-the-savings-strategy-that-works-for-you">How to Find the Savings Strategy That Works For You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Travel airports apps bills budgeting charity credit report digit free time mint money moves security tsa waiting in line Thu, 10 Nov 2016 10:30:29 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1830272 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 54 Frugal Hobbies You Should Try Immediately http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-54-frugal-hobbies-you-should-try-immediately <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-54-frugal-hobbies-you-should-try-immediately" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_smile_knitting_18439316.jpg" alt="Woman trying new frugal hobbies immediately" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The next time you're bored on a weekend or during your free time, you might want to consider taking up a new hobby. Your first thought might be, <em>I can't afford to pay for lessons to learn a new skill</em>. I get that mindset, I do. But there are plenty of cheap or free hobbies that are also fun. Here are 54 frugal hobbies you should try immediately.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock_000034444570_XXXLarge.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-hobbies-you-can-take-up-for-free?ref=fbf">10 Fun Hobbies You Can Take Up for Free</a> &mdash; While learning how to play golf or ski like a pro sounds fun, those activities can suck the life right out of your budget. So instead, take up a new hobby for free, and you'll be even prouder once you've mastered that skill.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-best-hobbies-for-introverts?ref=fbf">8 Best Hobbies for Introverts</a> &mdash; Introverts love new hobbies, especially if they require deep focus and zero social interaction. Spending hours practicing something, learning something new, and doing it all in silence? Yes, please! So if you, too, are a fan of solo fun, give these activities a try!</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_traveling_paris_000017104925.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-hobbies-that-pump-up-your-resume?ref=fbf">3 Hobbies That Pump Up Your Resume</a> &mdash; What's better than learning something new just for your enjoyment? Doing so and then making more money because of it. Blogging, is just one hobby that can enhance your resume and overall success &mdash; and it doesn't cost much!</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-money-making-hobbies?ref=fbf">10 Awesome Money-Making Hobbies</a> &mdash; Gardening, sewing, gaming, and many others are relaxing and fun hobbies you can do in your spare time that can also earn you some extra cash. And when you make money by having fun, it never feels like work.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock_000036662410_Large.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-more-hobbies-you-can-start-for-free?ref=fbf">10 More Hobbies You Can Start for Free</a> &mdash; There are cheap hobbies, and then there are <em>free </em>hobbies. What's better than that? Well, there is one thing: the peace of mind you gain having a good time without spending any money.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pick-up-one-of-these-frugal-hobbies-this-weekend?ref=fbf">Pick Up One of These Frugal Hobbies This Weekend</a> &mdash; Looking for something to do this weekend? Look no further. Origami, thrifting, baking, etc. are surprisingly exciting hobbies and they'll keep you busy all weekend long!</p> <p><em>What are some other frugal hobbies worth trying? 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/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-54-frugal-hobbies-you-should-try-immediately">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/flashback-friday-143-fun-and-frugal-ways-to-spend-your-weekend">Flashback Friday: 143 Fun and Frugal Ways to Spend Your Weekend</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/flashback-friday-38-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-celebrities">Flashback Friday: 38 Money Lessons We Can Learn From Celebrities</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-59-skills-frugal-people-need-to-master">Flashback Friday: 59 Skills Frugal People Need to Master</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/flashback-friday-51-ways-to-organize-your-whole-life-in-2017">Flashback Friday: 51 Ways to Organize Your Whole Life in 2017</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/flashback-friday-84-frugal-ways-to-eliminate-stress">Flashback Friday: 84 Frugal Ways to Eliminate Stress</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Entertainment best hobbies fbf flashback friday free hobbies free time frugal hobbies frugal living hobbies spare time Fri, 09 Sep 2016 10:00:15 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1788936 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Hacks to Avoid Burnout at Work http://www.wisebread.com/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_work_stressed_000035696454.jpg" alt="Stressed employee trying to avoid burnout at work" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While some people in some countries work to live, in America we live to work &mdash; and we spend 40+ years putting in 40+ hours a week on the job. You can imagine then, over the course of four grueling decades answering to the The Man, we're susceptible to experiencing symptoms of burnout. To avoid this exhausting byproduct of a seemingly never-ending grind, consider these stress-relieving (and sanity-saving) hacks.</p> <h2>1. Plan Your Week in Advance</h2> <p>I understand that not everyone is as organized as I am (it's been a point of contention among coworkers in the past), but I stand by my usual suggestion to plan your work week in advance so you know what to expect over the next five days. In doing so, you'll be able to handle surprises much more gracefully without feeling an onslaught of pressure. Personally, I plan an <em>entire month</em> of projects, which has worked very well for me since I started my own business more than six years ago. With this calendar in place, I can see the full scope of work, cross items off as I finish them, and move projects around to make space for additional items or allot time that I need to relax and recoup.</p> <h2>2. Edit Your To-Do List</h2> <p>To-do lists are helpful, but you can quickly overwhelm yourself if you pack too much in. If you start to get that sinking feeling, revisit the list and decide which items are musts and which can be put on the back burner. Ask yourself, does this need to be done right now or can it wait? Prioritizing your to-dos will help lessen the stress and declutter your mind so you can concentrate fully on the issue at hand.</p> <h2>3. Simplify Your Work Life</h2> <p>All day, everyday, we're inundated with all types of communication and media &mdash; news, ads, e-mails, texts, digital documents &mdash; that can wreak havoc on our ability to concentrate. Simplify your work life a little more by taking steps to streamline or eliminate distractions, like unsubscribing from nonessential e-mails, putting mobile and social media conversations on mute for a period of time, organizing your hard and digital files, and keeping the amount of time-sucking meetings to a minimum.</p> <h2>4. Know When to Say &quot;No&quot;</h2> <p>In an effort to impress the boss with our go-get-'em, team-player attitude, we often say yes to everything that comes our way. Big mistake. Being a &quot;Yes Man&quot; (or Woman) can result in dire consequences, like biting off more than you can chew, which in turn can affect your productivity negatively. In that case, you'll look like you can't handle the workload &mdash; and that won't bode well for advancement opportunities. Thus, learn how to say no. If you're already at capacity, let your superior know. Decent bosses will understand and help you find the balance.</p> <h2>5. Keep a Self-Care Marble Jar</h2> <p>Stay with me here; this is one of the more interesting ways to avoid burnout at work that I've heard. Dr. Emma Mansour is a licensed psychologist who has seen her fair share of clients experiencing symptoms of work burnout, and as such she's had to make self-care a fundamental part of her life. One of the resources in her arsenal is a self-care marble jar. Sounds kooky, but the concept make sense.</p> <p>&quot;I take a small glass jar &mdash; similar to the ones we use to can preserves &mdash; and place marbles in it. Each marble represents a moment or action that was taken to either restore the self/engage in self-care or contribute to the feeling of burnout or being overwhelmed,&quot; Dr. Mansour says. &quot;Some examples of self-care moments at work include eating lunch (a working lunch does not count!), sitting back in an office chair and closing one's eyes and other brief meditation techniques, prioritizing and writing to-do lists, getting up and walking around the block, delegating tasks, etc. Examples of times in which you would take a marble out of the jar are working through lunch, not taking a restroom break, continuing to look at the computer screen despite the fact that your eyes are burning, etc.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;The idea is to keep as many marbles in the jar as possible,&quot; she continues. &quot;When one is taken out, it serves as a reminder that a self-care moment is overdue.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Keep Plants in the Office</h2> <p>Plants not only add a sense of life to an otherwise drab office environment, but studies have shown that the presence of plants help increase energy, happiness, and productivity. If your office is currently devoid of plants, talk to your coworkers about brightening the place up. Cite science to make your case if they tend to be sticks in the mud. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-cheap-plants-for-improving-indoor-air-quality?ref=seealso">The Best Cheap Plants for Improving Indoor Air Quality</a>)</p> <h2>7. Set a Time to Unplug Each Day</h2> <p>As creatures of habit who are more plugged in than ever (I'm waiting for the day they announce mobile implants for humans), it's hard to put down our devices and disconnect. But it's necessary &mdash; if you want to stay out of the looney bin, anyway.</p> <p>Jacel Egan, media relations coordinator for the blog TechnologyAdvice, suggests setting &quot;...a firm time to 'unplug' and unwind &mdash; whether that's 5 p.m., 6 p.m., or 8 p.m &mdash; and stick to it.&quot; By doing this, she says, &quot;you're making a commitment to yourself, your family, and your sanity to quiet the buzz in your head and recharge your batteries.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Schedule After Work Activities</h2> <p>I'm not one to go straight home after work, get in my jammies, and plop in front of the TV. Never have been. Instead, I prefer to stay active until just before bed time, engaging in all manner of activities, from meeting friends to going to the gym to preparing for the next day. I especially like nighttime activities, like a kickball league or bar trivia. These activities help me unwind &mdash; especially necessary if I need to blow off steam or aggression after a particularly rough day &mdash; so I don't succumb to burnout.</p> <p>Egan offers a few tips on how to make the most of your down time, with added motivation. &quot;Incentive yourself by putting happy hour with a friend on the calendar, or plan a date with your significant other on a weeknight,&quot; she says. &quot;Having things to look forward to can increase your productivity &mdash; especially since you're expected to be there at a certain time.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Let Things Slide More Often</h2> <p>Admittedly I need to take my own advice on this one and learn how to let more things take their course without getting worked up. When problems arise, stop and think before you react. Is this something that really merits your attention at this moment, or is it something that will be less important if everyone involved steps back and evaluates the issue responsibly? Let cooler heads prevail, as they say. Or join Team Elsa and #LetItGo entirely. (You didn't stand a chance of getting out of this one without a <em>Frozen</em> reference.)</p> <h2>10. Delegate Responsibilities When You Can</h2> <p>Feeling overwhelmed? Is there too much on your plate? If you're behind, or if you feel like you're in danger of falling behind, delegate the work (if you have that luxury) before a small fire turns into a five-alarm blaze. There's nothing wrong with farming out work if you're in the position to do so, so long as everyone is contributing to the team equally.</p> <h2>11. Change Your Relationship With Time</h2> <p>Those of you who feel like there's never enough time in the day &mdash; don't worry, I'm with you &mdash; might identify with this fresh perspective from Melissa Heisler, author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1940014417/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1940014417&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=DSPAW7HJHRA6TNLO">From Type A to Type Me: How to Stop &quot;Doing&quot; Life and Start Living It</a>.</p> <p>&quot;When I was working my nine-to-five job, I would wake up in the morning and immediately go through my to-do list and what I had planned for the day. The result was feeling behind the 8-ball before I even left bed,&quot; she explains. &quot;One of the ways to release time's hold on you, before you get out of bed, say, 'I have more than enough time today to accomplish everything that I need to do.' Just making that statement changes your outlook on the day. This reframe empowers you to deal with the day differently and avoid burnout.&quot;</p> <h2>12. Use Your Well-Earned PTO or Vacation</h2> <p>I see this all too often from workaholics who complain about how stressed they are and how burnt out they are; they have plenty of accrued time off &mdash; but they rarely take it. It's hard to have sympathy for someone who has the opportunity to enjoy a break but doesn't seize it, and it's nobody's fault but your own in that case. If you have PTO or vacation time, then use it. When you start feeling burnt out, clear your schedule to rest, relax, and remember that the only way you're going to make it through the next two decades of work is to strike a decent work-life balance &mdash; starting today.</p> <h2>13. Talk to Your Employer</h2> <p>Here's someone who can help you avoid burnout: your boss. There's no shame in letting him or her know that you might need a bit of breathing room to stay productive.</p> <p>&quot;Most people are afraid to speak up for fear they will be immediately replaced by someone whose motivation isn't in doubt,&quot; says Harold Mann, owner of an IT consulting firm in San Francisco. &quot;Here's what I recommend: Talk early with your supervisor. Mention you're not burned out, but you're concerned about the risk. Ask for suggestions or guidelines, mention the warning signs or indicators. If you're a great employee, they should work as hard as possible to keep you happy.&quot;</p> <p>Or, if you want to look at it another way: &quot;It's less work than replacing you,&quot; Mann says.</p> <p><em>Do you have other hacks for avoiding burnout at work? Let me know in the comments below.</em></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/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work">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/9-signs-your-work-life-balance-is-off">9 Signs Your Work-Life Balance Is Off</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/give-yourself-a-break-the-productivity-secret-thatll-change-the-way-you-work">Give Yourself a Break: The Productivity Secret That&#039;ll Change the Way You 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/6-ways-to-stay-motivated-on-the-job">6 Ways to Stay Motivated on the 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/11-smart-ways-to-maximize-desk-space">11 Smart Ways to Maximize Desk Space</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-smart-things-to-do-during-your-commute-even-if-you-drive">10 Smart Things to Do During Your Commute (Even If You Drive!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Productivity burnout free time organization stress working Tue, 12 May 2015 09:00:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 1415530 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Ask Your Boss for Better Work-Life Balance http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-ask-your-boss-for-better-work-life-balance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-ask-your-boss-for-better-work-life-balance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/boss-employee-meeting-140300670-small.jpg" alt="boss employee meeting" title="boss employee meeting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Work. Life. Balance. Three words that &mdash; in combination &mdash; have the power to transform your entire way of looking at the world. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-protect-your-personal-time-from-work-and-be-happier?ref=seealso">9 Ways to Protect Your Personal Time From Work</a>)</p> <p>But how exactly do you achieve this seemingly elusive goal? Well, I've been on a journey over the last decade to figure it out. Here are some tips that have helped me, and they have the power to transform your situation as well.</p> <h2>1. Step Back</h2> <p>It's incredibly easy to get tangled up in the day-to-day responsibilities and deadlines. Eventually, we lose sight of what our priorities are, whether at work or at home, and life becomes this exercise in keeping our heads above water. First, take a step back and think about what it is you want from your personal and professional sides. Be specific. Write it down. Revise. Rewrite the list again. Then make a game plan.</p> <h2>2. Check Yourself</h2> <p>Before you approach your boss with any ideas or make major changes yourself, look at your time management to see where it could be improved. Many of us let work creep into our personal time when it doesn't need to. Or we over-commit to things outside of work that chip away at whatever time we have left. To start, track your time for a few days (on an Excel spreadsheet, a <a href="https://www.toggl.com">time management app</a>, or just paper). Consider it an audit.</p> <p>Once you see where your energy is going, write out a list of all your day's activities. Give weight to musts (work, obviously &mdash; but also the things you need in your life to be happy and healthy). Eliminate the extraneous wherever possible. In the past, I even found it helpful to write down time-suckers that fell outside my job description to show my boss. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-time-management-problem-most-of-us-have-and-how-to-fix-it?ref=seealso">The Time Management Problem Most of Us Have</a>)</p> <h2>3. Request a Meeting</h2> <p>See if your boss will meet with you for even 15 minutes to discuss your work-life balance. I like sending an email request with a brief description so it's on the calendar. Now, I've had a variety of bosses in the past ranging from awesome to not-so approachable, so I understand it can feel intimidating. Just remember: This is your life we're talking about. Fortunately, your workplace has already invested a lot of time and money in you &mdash; so you need not fret that bringing up concerns will get you canned. Quite the opposite, actually. There are some tremendous advantages for keeping employees happy, including better retention rates and even <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/meghanbiro/2014/01/19/happy-employees-hefty-profits/">higher profits</a>.</p> <h2>4. Prepare Yourself</h2> <p>Be organized in your approach. Talk about what you see as perceived time-wasters in your position. Offer some opportunities you have mapped for change. Basically, don't show up at the meeting expecting your boss to wave a magic wand. You need to offer both practical and creative solutions to your problems. And the help you suggest can range from personal improvement (taking continuing ed classes) to manpower stuff to better software that might automate some of your work. Sure, these ideas may get shot down, but you'll get points for trying, especially if you do your research.</p> <p>For example, after a full-time receptionist had retired (and wasn't replaced due to a dismal budget) in the office where I served as an executive assistant, I used to get bogged down serving as a backup for phones. I had many other, more pressing tasks to complete for my boss. When he discovered how much time I spent on the lines, he moved a receptionist from another department to our office part-time to shift the workload at my suggestion. Lesson here: Your boss may not even realize what you do all day and may completely agree that your time is being spent on the wrong focus.</p> <h2>5. Flex It Up</h2> <p>Check in with your HR department to see what types of flexibility programs your employer offers. Sometimes you can move around your work hours to accommodate other parts of your day (coming in early or late, depending). Other times, you can work more hours some days and, therefore, fewer overall days of the week. A few of my friends have even organized a work-from-home schedule for certain days. Most offices offer some type of flex program, so it's just figuring out what might work for you and your boss. Obviously, all jobs have different responsibilities so not all flex arrangements work in all cases.</p> <h2>6. Take Your Time</h2> <p>I know this one can seem easier said than done, but when you get time off &mdash; take it! If you have holiday breaks, don't check email or even bring your laptop home. Make a habit of totally disconnecting on the weekends. If your job requires you to have a level of connectivity during time off, set a realistic window (and communicate your plan to your boss). Otherwise, set your automated out-of-office and rest and relax. I worked in an office once where everyone constantly checked their emails while on vacation. So, I simply asked my boss one day if that was required of me, and she said absolutely not and encouraged me to enjoy my time away. Problem solved. If your job routinely urges you to keep tabs on work on your personal dime, it might be time to polish your resume.</p> <p><em>How have you carved out better work-life balance? 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/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-ask-your-boss-for-better-work-life-balance">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/the-secret-to-time-management-and-work-life-balance">The Secret to Time Management and Work-Life Balance</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-signs-you-should-quit-your-job">8 Signs You Should Quit Your 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/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work">13 Hacks to Avoid Burnout at Work</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-things-besides-salary-to-negotiate-at-work">10 Things Besides Salary to Negotiate at Work</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-good-writing-skills-saves-and-earns-money">How good writing skills save and earn money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income flex time free time negotiation work-life balance Mon, 08 Dec 2014 10:00:08 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1264793 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Ways to Take Five Minutes for Yourself http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-take-five-minutes-for-yourself <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-ways-to-take-five-minutes-for-yourself" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4560723165_9fb12caaa8_z.jpg" alt="blowing bubbles" title="blowing bubbles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Taking time for yourself may seem impossible if you're the type of person who packs your daily schedule, or if you tend to overcommit your time. Even taking a five-minute break seems unrealistic to parents and those of us with busy lifestyles. But there may be ways to take a time out for yourself that you haven't thought of, or it may just take a little more dedication to self-care to get those extra few moments to yourself. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-frugal-ways-to-reward-yourself-right-now">21 Frugal Ways to&nbsp;Reward Yourself Right Now</a>)</p> <p>Whether you're at the office or at home, making sure you get some alone time is an important part of emotional well-being and maintaining balance in your life. Here are some suggestions for ways to ensure that you get at least five minutes focusing on yourself. While some of these are purely for fun, others are more practical ways to snag some time to yourself <em>and</em> accomplish those little tasks you've been putting off.</p> <h3>1. Take Fresh-Air Breaks at Work</h3> <p>Take a five minute break from your computer and walk around the building, or just go outside to get some fresh air. If you work at a computer all day, it is important to take regular breaks from the screen. Screen breaks not only help save your eyesight and prevent headaches, but they can also promote productivity. For more reasons to take five and go for a walk, check out Paul's article on the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/walk-walk-walk-walk-walk">benefits of walking. </a></p> <h3>2. Make Yourself a Cup of Tea</h3> <p>Whether you're an herbal tea drinker or a green tea fan, taking time to slow brew a cup of tea is a great way to get an extra five minutes of quiet solitude. Five minutes is a good average seeping time for most types of tea. In the winter, take the prevention route by brewing echinacea or ginger tea.</p> <h3>3. Five-Minute Meditation</h3> <p>Normally I'm one of those people who cannot clear my head when I meditate, but recently a friend and meditation guru introduced me to a method that really worked for me. Pick a phrase or mantra that is meaningful to you. Set a timer, close your eyes, and repeat the words silently in your head for five minutes. If you can't think of a phrase, try repeating something that you are thankful for.</p> <h3>4. Write a Thank You Note</h3> <p>Speaking of being thankful, writing a thank you note to someone is a great way to show your gratitude and sharpen your letter-writing skills at the same time, and it doesn't have to be something specific. It's a small gesture, but a simple thank you goes a long way.</p> <h3>5. Start Your Bucket List</h3> <p>Five minutes may not be enough time to write down all the things you'd like to do in your life, but you can at least get your bucket list started. Set a timer and just start writing. Don't worry about making your list extravagant. Taking five to dream about the places you'd like to travel or goals you want to set for yourself can also be a good way to look back on everything you've accomplished.</p> <h3>6. Make a Flower Arrangement</h3> <p>Even if you don't consider yourself a creative person, you'd be surprised at how relaxing it is to make a simple flower arrangement or centerpiece for your dining room or kitchen table. You don't even need flowers for a centerpiece. Pine cones, fruit, or any materials you find around the house or in your yard can also work.</p> <h3>7. Read a Short Article About Something You Are Interested In</h3> <p>Reading has lost much of its allure now that there's a wealth of television and film that can be watched instantly online. Taking five minutes to read an article or blog post about one of your interests is one way to sharpen reading skills and engage with the world around you while taking a few moments of solitude.</p> <h3>8. Five-Minute Stretches</h3> <p>There are plenty of stretches you can do to help maintain flexibility and prevent sore muscles, even if you only take five minutes to stand up and stretch at the office. Check out Meg's article, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-exercises-to-do-at-work-that-dont-make-you-look-silly">10 Exercises to Do at Work That Don't Make You Look Silly</a>, for more ideas on ways to get exercise during short breaks at work.</p> <h3>9. Call a Time Out for Yourself</h3> <p>This is a great one for parents. Instead of calling a time out for the kids, call an official time out for yourself. Take a few moments and let someone else watch the kids while you go to your room to meditate, stretch, or just sit in silence. No matter where you take your time out, try to find somewhere quiet.</p> <h3>10. Quick Foot Soak</h3> <p>Give your feet a rest with a five-minute foot soak in the tub or a water basin. Soaking in bath salts is an excellent way to take some time to yourself, relax, and ease tired feet. You don't need to buy expensive salts. A cup of Epsom salt will work fine, or for added relaxation and aromatherapy, you can sprinkle in dried herbs such as lavender or chamomile.</p> <h3>11. Walk the Dog</h3> <p>Taking the dog for a quick walk by yourself is another way to get away from the family or coworkers for five minutes. If you work in a dog-friendly office, let your coworkers take turns with walking your dog; it's a great way to give your dog some extra exercise and promote a healthy work environment.</p> <h3>12. Breathing Exercises</h3> <p>Like stretching, doing a few simple breathing exercises or taking a few long, deep breaths can help ease tension and give you some down time. For more ideas, read Sasha's breathing tip in her article, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/super-solid-yoga-tricks-to-help-you-relax">Super Solid Yoga Tricks to Help You Relax</a>.</p> <h3>13. Start a Budget</h3> <p>While this may not be the most relaxing way to spend five minutes for yourself, it is a practical way to get some alone time and initiate a more financially responsible lifestyle. If you aren't sure how to get started, look at David's post, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-improving-or-starting-a-budget">8 Tips for Improving or Starting a Budget</a>.</p> <h3>14. Plan a Vacation or Weekend Getaway</h3> <p>You may not be able to plan all the details of your next vacation or weekend getaway in five minutes, but you can definitely get started. Like the bucket list, just start writing down your ideas.</p> <h3>15. Call an Old Friend</h3> <p>With social media and all the communication technology available today, some people rarely make a phone call to catch up with an old friend. Of course, it may turn into more than five minutes, but it's a way to connect with an old friend with more than just posting something on a Facebook wall.</p> <h3>16. Do Some Online Bargain Shopping</h3> <p>If you're a regular Wise Bread reader, you are probably a frugal shopper. Take five minutes to compare prices and find great deals on an item on your shopping list.</p> <h3>17. Start a Blog</h3> <p>Ever wanted to start a blog but didn't think you had the time?&nbsp;Now's your chance. It takes about five minutes to set up a basic account for a blog. I find that WordPress is one of the more user-friendly blog sites, and you can always go back and change your design or add photos and a bio. Why not get started now?</p> <h3>18. Take a Quick Bike Ride</h3> <p>Like walking, riding a bike is a great way to get exercise and time for yourself. Cycling is also ideal for people who have knee or lower back problems.</p> <h3>19. Build a Fire</h3> <p>This one may not be for everyone, but I love building fires whenever I visit friends who own a wood-burning stove or fireplace. Getting up early to start the first fire gives you some time to yourself before everyone else wakes up, and it's also practical. If you don't own a fireplace, you can always get up early to start that first pot of coffee.</p> <h3>20. Eat a Piece of Chocolate</h3> <p>This one is purely for indulgence. I don't know if all the claims about the benefits of dark chocolate are true, but antioxidants or not, I can't think of anyone who doesn't love sitting down and enjoying a piece of chocolate.</p> <h3>21. Drink a Glass of Water</h3> <p>Hydration is important whether you are at work, home, or school. Most people don't realize that they aren't drinking enough water. The standard goal is to aim for 64 ounces of water a day. Take five minutes to make sure you get in another eight ounces today.</p> <h3>22. Make Breakfast for Yourself</h3> <p>I'm a firm believer that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Make something you've never tried before or that you normally wouldn't eat because you don't have time. You can make eggs and toast in about five minutes.</p> <h3>23. Blow Bubbles</h3> <p>On a recent vacation, I happened to notice a bubble machine in a second-story window of a busy square. Watching the bubbles float down to the ground was so peaceful that I decided to buy some the next time I see them at a store. Indulge the kid inside and get a bottle for yourself.</p> <h3>24. Paint Your Toenails</h3> <p>Normally, I don't take the time to paint my toenails, but I find that it can be as relaxing and meditative as painting a picture or room. It's also less time-consuming and a little cheaper. If you just aren't into that kind of thing, get a watercolor kit or stain a piece of furniture.</p> <h3>25. Take a Five-Minute Nap</h3> <p>There's a lot to be said for the power nap. I find that when I'm exhausted, even a five-minute nap can be refreshing and provide an excellent opportunity to get some alone time.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F25-ways-to-take-five-minutes-for-yourself&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F25%2520Ways%2520to%2520Take%2520Five%2520Minutes%2520for%2520Yourself.jpg&amp;description=25%20Ways%20to%20Take%20Five%20Minutes%20for%20Yourself"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/25%20Ways%20to%20Take%20Five%20Minutes%20for%20Yourself.jpg" alt="25 Ways to Take Five Minutes for Yourself" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-watson">Ashley Watson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-take-five-minutes-for-yourself">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/8-simple-ways-to-clear-your-mind">8 Simple Ways to Clear Your Mind</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-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</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/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</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/7-easy-ways-to-have-energy-after-work">7 Easy Ways to Have Energy After Work</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-improve-your-decision-making-skills">10 Ways to Improve Your Decision-Making Skills</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development Productivity free time healthy quiet relaxation Thu, 25 Oct 2012 10:36:34 +0000 Ashley Watson 954957 at http://www.wisebread.com What Is Your Time Worth? http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-your-time-worth <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-is-your-time-worth" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6829338151_aa8dc19862_z_0.jpg" alt="woman and clocks" title="woman and clocks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If a <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/id/46896629/Wall_Street_s_Highest_Paid_Hedge_Fund_Managers?slide=6">top hedge fund manager</a> takes out his own garbage, you could say that walk to the end of the driveway cost him more than $100,000. When you earn $3.9 <em>billion </em>in one year, your time comes to be worth a lot &mdash; even when you&rsquo;re not working. That&rsquo;s because time and money have a very tight relationship. If you earn a lot of money through a high-powered career like managing a hedge fund, you won&rsquo;t have much time for a personal life. And you certainly won&rsquo;t have to take out your own garbage. Having more personal time tends to mean having less money. That is, unless you earn so much that you can buy it. But while everyone likes to use the quip that &ldquo;time is money,&rdquo; especially when they&rsquo;re feeling impatient, this equation doesn&rsquo;t always add up in quite the way people think. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/that-age-old-conundrum-time-vs-money">That Age-Old Conundrum: Time vs. Money</a>)</p> <h3>What's &quot;Worth&quot; Your Time?</h3> <p>I think we can all agree that time has value. Like money, it&rsquo;s a finite resource (not to mention the fact that we&rsquo;re always searching around for more of it). Unfortunately, we often throw it away in the same careless way we might throw around our money, not realizing that they are the same thing.</p> <p>For example, a lot of people might say they don&rsquo;t have time to cook dinner, so they pay to have someone else cook it for them in a restaurant. Now, if you&rsquo;re Mr. Hedge Fund Manager, this is a trade with a lot of value. After all, for someone who makes about 44 million per hour &mdash; and that&rsquo;s assuming that he works 24 hours per day, 7 days per week &mdash; paying someone a few dollars an hour to cook for you is a great bargain. For someone who makes a lot less, though, this equation starts to look a little lopsided. The same goes for other things we often opt out of in the name of time, such cleaning the house or making minor repairs on the car. The problem is that if you break your time down in the same way as the hedge fund manager, your hour may not cover what you&rsquo;re paying the house cleaner or the mechanic. That doesn&rsquo;t mean paying them to do the work for you doesn&rsquo;t have value, but it does mean that it&rsquo;s an expensive transaction, and you have to be careful about how much time you buy this way.</p> <h3>The Cost of Opportunity</h3> <p>There&rsquo;s another aspect to the time/money equation, and that&rsquo;s opportunity cost. Opportunity cost refers to the financial impact that one choice you make has on another. So, if you decide to leave work early to come home and spend time with your family, that has an opportunity cost; you gave up the opportunity to earn your hourly rate for one additional hour in exchange for more time at home. You could also consider this in terms of going back to school to gain the skills to earn more money. If you&rsquo;ve thought about doing this, you probably realize that it&rsquo;ll cost you more than just tuition, but also the wages you could have been earning if you weren&rsquo;t in class. That&rsquo;s opportunity cost, and it also helps determine what our time is worth. So, when you're deciding whether to do some work around the house yourself or pay someone else to do it, opportunity cost can be a way to work out the value of doing your own labor.</p> <h3>Working Out the Value of Your Time</h3> <p>We know that a hedge fund manager's time is worth millions an hour, so be warned &mdash; for most everyday people, calculating the value of your time will be a sobering experiment. One way to do this is to look at how much money you made in the last year. Then, consider any expenses you incurred because of your job, such as childcare, transportation, clothing, etc. Subtract these expenses from your earnings.</p> <p>Now consider how many hours per day you spend to make this money. While you might only spend seven or eight hours per day at your post, you should also factor in commute time, business travel and dinners, and other time you have to spend because of your job. While you may not be paid during these hours, they aren't your time to use as you please, so you have to count them.</p> <p>Finally, take what you earned (minus expenses) and divide it by the number of hours you worked (plus additional time related to your job). This is how much your time is worth per hour, and chances are it's a whole lot less than you thought you were making. That's not a bad thing, but it does put the value of your time into perspective. After all, if you're really only making $9 per hour, the value of doing more things for yourself rather than hiring others becomes more clear. This is especially true if you don't have the kind of job where you could put in extra hours rather than <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-improve-the-life-of-your-lawn-mower">mowing your lawn</a>.</p> <h3>The Real Value of Time</h3> <p>So does this mean you have to avoid restaurants, fix your own car, darn your own socks, and make your own clothes? Not necessarily. There are two reasons for this. The first is that in the U.S., many people make a lot more than they need to just get by. That means they can afford to buy some time as well. In the Great Depression, when a lot of people were stuck without work, they spent a whole lot of time working out ways to avoid having to buy anything much at all. That&rsquo;s because they had the time, but no money. Think about this when you decide what services to buy. Generally, the smartest move is to hold tight to what&rsquo;s most dear; if you have money, you can buy time, and if you have time, you can do more of your labor.</p> <p>The second reason why we buy time is that spare time has intangible value, while money has a diminishing utility. Once your needs are met and you've maybe paid for a few luxuries, spending extra time working fails to deliver a much more comfortable life. Leisure time, on the other hand, has its own special value. I think we all understand this implicitly when we&rsquo;re lolling on the couch on a lazy Sunday or spending a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-productive-things-to-do-on-a-rainy-day">rainy afternoon</a> in bed with a book.</p> <h3>The Bottom Line on Time</h3> <p>The question of how much your time is worth is a personal one. Just like anything in personal finance, it involves striking a balance between what you want and what you can afford. Time and money are finite resources. So while we&rsquo;ll probably always be scrambling for more of both, how we eventually spend them should reflect what&rsquo;s important to us.</p> <p><em>How do you value your time, and how do you decide what to do yourself versus hiring others to do it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-your-time-worth">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/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv">Massive List of Things to Do While Watching TV</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-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</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/6-money-moves-you-can-make-while-stuck-in-an-endless-tsa-line">6 Money Moves You Can Make While Stuck in an Endless TSA Line</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/25-ways-to-take-five-minutes-for-yourself">25 Ways to Take Five Minutes for Yourself</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/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work">13 Hacks to Avoid Burnout at Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Productivity free time hourly rate time vs. money Fri, 06 Apr 2012 10:36:08 +0000 Tara Struyk 915081 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways to Earn Extra Cash When Money Is Tight http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-earn-extra-cash-when-money-is-tight <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-to-earn-extra-cash-when-money-is-tight" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/street_performer.jpg" alt="Street musician" title="Street musician" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Even though I&rsquo;m self-employed full-time, I&rsquo;m always looking for new and exciting ways to make more money.</p> <p>Earlier this year, I wrote a Wise Bread post on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/extra-income-online-5-websites-that-can-seriously-pad-your-pockets ">websites that can help you earn extra cash</a>. I thought it was time to revisit the topic and let you in on a few more ways to get paid.&nbsp;(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-why-everyone-needs-side-income">4 Reasons Why Everyone Needs Side Income</a>)</p> <h3>1. Offer Experiences to Strangers</h3> <p>I recently learned about a new site called <a href="http://www.vayable.com">Vayable</a>, which allows people with specialized knowledge and talents, local info, and time on their hands to create experiences that others can purchase. It&rsquo;s basically a touring and activity company without the company. Anyone can join the site and set up an experience. For instance, the Kan Brothers offer <a href="http://www.vayable.com/experiences/355-tour-sf-by-motorcycle">motorcycle tours of San Francisco</a> &mdash; which include helmet rental, a drink at a local hotspot, and a city map &mdash; for two to four people at $75 per person. In New York City, Kim G. is offering a <a href="http://www.vayable.com/experiences/427-paint-a-date-friend-or-mate">personalized painting lesson</a> for groups of two to six for a flat rate of $300; the experience includes acrylic paints; canvas board and supplies; studio space; wine, cheese, and crackers; and Kim&rsquo;s undivided attention. Consider this tip if you&rsquo;re interested in joining Vayable &mdash; browse the site to see what other people in your area are offering. By creating a unique experience that no one else has established, you have a better chance of getting booked.</p> <h3>2. Become a Mystery Shopper</h3> <p>Mystery shopping gigs have always been elusive &mdash; until now. I had to pass a written interview to be accepted by Goodwin &amp; Associates Hospitality Services (<a href="http://www.mysteryshopperprogram.com/new-mystery-shoppers.html">and you will, too</a>), but I&rsquo;m enjoying the experience so far. The company maintains a database of available shops from which to choose and allots a dollar amount for each shop. Last week, I accepted an evening shop at Heartland Brewery for the amount of $60. Between my guest and me, we had to purchase one beer and one other drink, an appetizer, two entrees, and a dessert. The $60 fee may not seem like much &mdash; and it isn&rsquo;t (you&rsquo;re not going to walk away with much cash) &mdash; but if you purchase the cheaper menu items and your bill (plus tip) comes in under the allotted fee, you pocket whatever&rsquo;s left over when the company pays you. After dining, however, shoppers are required to detail the experience on a questionnaire and provide a receipt in order to receive the fee. As I mentioned, you won&rsquo;t make much money unless you&rsquo;re thrifty, but at least you&rsquo;ll receive a free meal.</p> <h3>3. Seek Out Odd Jobs on the Internet</h3> <p>So long as Craigslist is around, so too will there be part-time gigs like walking dogs, house cleaning, babysitting, yard work, and more. If you have the skills to accomplish these tasks, by all means get in touch with the poster. Depending on the nature of the job, you can make anywhere from $8 to $60 an hour, usually all cash and under the table. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-lawn-mowers">The 6 Best Lawn Mowers</a>)</p> <h3>4. Have a Garage or Yard Sale</h3> <p>Every one of us has a storage unit, attic, basement, or garage piled high with things that we no longer want or need. So why are they sitting around collecting dust or rotting away? Take a day to clean out the clutter and put them up for sale, whether it&rsquo;s on your front yard or on the Internet. If you have items that you think are more valuable than what you&rsquo;ll get for them at a yard sale, take them to a pawnshop. Pawnshops are great for electronics, musical instruments, jewelry, and tools.</p> <h3>5. Turn Your Space into a Microsublet</h3> <p>I&rsquo;m always singing the praises of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-steps-to-market-your-extra-space-as-a-vacation-rental">microsubletting</a> &mdash; that is, renting out your spare space to travelers &mdash; because, in my opinion, it&rsquo;s the number one way to make a lot of cash with relatively minimal effort. We list our guest bedroom on <a href="http://airbnb.com">Airbnb</a> and <a href="http://roomorama.com">Roomorama</a>, and we&rsquo;re consistently booked. In fact, we&rsquo;re booked up every day until early January 2012. What that means is that travelers are paying us a nightly fee (ours averages $88 per night, but you can set your own) to stay in our home instead of in a pricey hotel. These cost-conscious travelers want a local experience for an affordable fee, and that&rsquo;s what we give them. We also provide an immaculately clean home, free Wi-Fi, HD cable TV, a mini fridge, linens, coffee service, and more.</p> <p>Now you&rsquo;re probably wondering &mdash; doesn&rsquo;t having guests in your home all the time bother you? No (though it does take a certain kind of person to do this), because the guests didn&rsquo;t come to see me. They&rsquo;re here to explore the city. They leave early in the morning and come home after dark. All I do is make sure the house is clean, provide them with welcoming hospitality, and watch my bank account grow.</p> <h3>6. Register for Focus Groups</h3> <p>I&rsquo;ve participated in a few focus groups over the years, and it&rsquo;s an extremely easy way to make money fast. Most groups will require you to fit a certain criteria, depending on the focus, but if you fit the bill, they&rsquo;ll hand you some crisp ones in return. I&rsquo;ve made anywhere from $50 to $125 per session, which usually last from one to two hours. That&rsquo;s a pretty good payday just for offering my opinion. To search for focus groups for which you may qualify, check out the aptly named <a href="http://findfocusgroups.com/">Find Focus Groups</a> website.</p> <h3>7. Perform on the Streets</h3> <p>In New York City, there&rsquo;s no shortage of street performers. Even the mother of Academy Award-nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe sets up shop in the subway, singing for cash. While you may not make enough money to pay the rent, someone is always willing to drop change in that hat. Besides, if you don&rsquo;t have anything else to do, you might as well entertain pedestrians.</p> <h3>8. Collect Recyclables for Cash</h3> <p>Every Sunday evening, there&rsquo;s some person or another rummaging through the recyclables outside my building. They&rsquo;re there to claim cans, bottles, and scrap metals before the city can whisk them away. And why not? Depending on where you live, you can earn up to 10 cents per item for turning in recyclable materials. This means of making money has become so popular in NYC that there&rsquo;s a self-service recycling station at the end of my block. Collecting cans isn&rsquo;t going to make you rich, but it will certainly help buy groceries.</p> <h3>9. Sell Your Body to Science</h3> <p>You don&rsquo;t have to sell the whole thing, but certain parts of you are quite <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/making-money-from-clinical-trials-worth-the-risk">valuable to the medical community</a>. Sought-after specimens include plasma, hair, eggs, and sperm. But before giving your goods away for a profit, you should consider the moral and ethical ramifications of such a decision. Donated sperm is sometimes used to fertilize donated eggs. If the prospect of having a biological child in the world that you don&rsquo;t know about is too much of a burden to bear, don&rsquo;t do it. A lifetime of wondering is not worth the quick cash you&rsquo;ll receive.</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/9-ways-to-earn-extra-cash-when-money-is-tight">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/8-truths-from-a-mystery-shopper-you-must-read-before-you-get-started">8 Truths From a Mystery Shopper You Must Read Before You Get Started</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-seasonal-side-hustles-thatll-cover-your-holiday-spending">8 Seasonal Side Hustles That&#039;ll Cover Your Holiday Spending</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/how-to-turn-your-instagram-account-into-a-paying-gig">How to Turn Your Instagram Account Into a Paying Gig</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-side-jobs-for-stay-at-home-moms-and-dads">12 Side Jobs for Stay-at-Home Moms and Dads</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 free time side jobs yard sale Mon, 26 Sep 2011 10:36:54 +0000 Mikey Rox 713547 at http://www.wisebread.com Massive List of Things to Do While Watching TV http://www.wisebread.com/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/watching_TV_0.jpg" alt="Kids watching TV" title="Kids watching TV" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Even the most riveting TV shows plague you with time-sucking commercials every few minutes, and very rarely does any TV-watching session require all your brain power or leave you feeling truly satisfied or productive. Here&rsquo;s a massive list of things you can do while watching TV (and some more concentrated activities that you can fit in during the commercials) that will keep you productive, fit, balanced, and moving forward in your life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained">8 Alternatives to Cable TV That Will Keep You Entertained</a>)</p> <ol> <li>Snuggle.</li> <li>Organize and log your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/dealing-with-tax-deductible-receipts-quickly-and-easily">tax-deductible receipts</a>.</li> <li>Open your mail.</li> <li>Organize dresser and kitchen drawers &mdash; one at a time.</li> <li>Pay bills.</li> <li>Water the plants.</li> <li>Play with pets.</li> <li>Write a letter to somebody you haven&rsquo;t been in touch with for way too long.</li> <li>Arrange flowers.</li> <li>Mend holes in your clothing.</li> <li>Make use of your <a href="http://community.careonecredit.com/b/life_balance/archive/2011/04/14/8-things-to-do-with-mismatched-socks.aspx">mismatched socks</a>.</li> <li>Sharpen knives.</li> <li>Make a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-with-used-corks-including-making-money-with-them">cork board</a>.</li> <li>Make &mdash; and enjoy &mdash; your own <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-by-rekindling-the-art-of-reusing-your-stuff">hot pack</a>.</li> <li>Clip coupons.</li> <li>Organize CD and DVD collections. (Do your DVDs and CDs end up in the wrong cases? Now is your chance to fix it).</li> <li>Stretch.</li> <li>Groom pets.</li> <li>Give yourself a manicure and/or pedicure.</li> <li>Create a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/vision-boards-dream-big-play-with-pictures-and-watch-your-life-change">vision board</a>.</li> <li>Plant a window-box herb garden.</li> <li>Soak your feet.</li> <li>Defrag your computer.</li> <li>Forward this post to somebody who watches too much TV.</li> <li>Ponder <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/feeling-stuck-100-ways-to-change-your-life">100 ways to change your life</a>.</li> <li>Make this year&rsquo;s Christmas presents.</li> <li><a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2011/06/preparing-for-the-no-baggage-challenge/">Clean out your purse</a>.</li> <li>See if you can actually prepare a meal just as quickly as they&rsquo;re cooking it on the cooking show you&rsquo;re watching.</li> <li>Rearrange your furniture.</li> <li>Breathe.</li> <li>Lift weights.</li> <li>Twitter.</li> <li>Clean your plant&rsquo;s leaves (using <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paint-a-room-and-wash-your-face-more-uses-for-powdered-milk-than-you-ever-imagined">powdered milk</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/curing-warts-removing-splinters-and-19-other-bizarre-uses-for-banana-peels">banana peels</a>, or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-money-saving-uses-for-mouthwash">mouthwash</a>).</li> <li>Brainstorm.</li> <li>Give (or get) a massage.</li> <li>Wax your legs/arms/etc.</li> <li>Vacuum.</li> <li>Scrub coffee stains off your mugs with baking soda.</li> <li>Prepare lunch for the next work day.</li> <li>Revamp your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/standout-stuff-to-put-on-your-resume">LinkedIn profile</a>.</li> <li>Make lists.</li> <li>Flip through magazines.</li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-to-drink-more-water">Drink water</a>.</li> <li>Eat a meal.</li> <li>Write out grocery lists.</li> <li>Accumulate <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-travel-hacking-cartel-fly-around-the-world-for-almost-free">frequent flyer miles</a> for your next vacation.</li> <li>Exercise.</li> <li>Play with social media.</li> <li>Have a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-a-laptop-computer">laptop</a> handy to research quirky concepts that you see on TV.</li> <li>Tweak your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/resume-quirks-to-embrace-and-avoid">resume</a>.</li> <li>Research your next vacation.</li> <li>Prepare a meal.</li> <li>Sort through photographs.</li> <li>Arts and crafts.</li> <li>Write to-do lists.</li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-silver-naturally">Polish the silverware</a>.</li> <li>Journal.</li> <li>Water the plants.</li> <li>Make a scrapbook.</li> <li>Ironing.</li> </ol> <p>Here are some more bite-sized tasks you can take on during the commercial breaks. In some cases, using the commercials to time these activities (like sit-ups) can make them more palatable and reduce the discipline required.</p> <ol start="61"> <li>Wash dishes.</li> <li>Clean the house &mdash; two minutes at a time. (See if you can get a whole room done by the end of your show).</li> <li>Meditate.</li> <li>Alternate doing sit-ups and push-ups constantly through each commercial break.</li> <li>Read.</li> </ol> <p>Finally, I asked people on Facebook and Twitter what they do while they watch TV, and here are a few of their responses:</p> <ol start="66"> <li>Eat popcorn.</li> <li>Crossword or Sudoku puzzles.</li> <li>Knit.</li> <li>Facebook.</li> <li>Play with iPhone.</li> <li>Make out.</li> <li>Answer emails.</li> <li>Surf the web.</li> <li>Throw a ball for the dog.</li> <li>Think about how the TV show could have been written better.</li> <li>Contemplate how to get back that time later.</li> <li>According to my wife, mostly snore.</li> </ol> <p>And my favorite:</p> <ol start="78"> <li>Um&hellip;watch TV????</li> </ol> <p><em>What do you do while watching TV?</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/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv">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/8-fun-and-cheap-things-to-do-during-the-weekday">8 Fun and Cheap Things to Do During the Weekday</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/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</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/25-hobbies-you-can-start-for-under-10">25 Hobbies You Can Start for Under $10</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/31-frugal-ways-to-celebrate-fall">31 Frugal Ways to Celebrate Fall</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/score-how-to-host-a-great-game-night">Score! How to Host a Great Game Night</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Lifestyle Productivity free time television things to do Wed, 06 Jul 2011 10:36:32 +0000 Nora Dunn 607410 at http://www.wisebread.com Quality of Life http://www.wisebread.com/quality-of-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/quality-of-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/quality of life.jpg" alt="free time" title="free time" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoPlainText">Travel is amazing for helping you realize even more about your own country, culture, and home life. And despite cultural differences, language barriers, and economical disparities, we all seem to be fighting the same demons and striving for the same goals. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">I’d like to share a story about a man named Joe (a western nickname derived from his longer Thai name) who I met in Thailand. It doesn’t matter that Joe grew up in a place barely imaginable to westerners, and lives a very different life on the outside as us; when he shared his life story with me, I realized that the battle for quality of life exists absolutely everywhere. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Joe grew up in remote northern Thailand. In the sleepy town where he was raised, the small number of inhabitants live off the land. They work two months of the year; one month planting, and the second month harvesting. The entire rest of the year is spent living a “quality life”. Everything is hand-crafted, and beautifully at that. A simple soup ladle has an intricate and ornate wooden handle. Why? Because they have time, and having beautiful things improves their quality of life. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Although Joe says they only work two months of the year, there is still work to be done. They tend their personal gardens for an hour each day. Since everything is handcrafted, time is spent making and repairing their wares. And of course there must always be home repair and maintenance projects on an ongoing basis. But then again, we in the western world also are laden down with many of these tasks, in addition to a 40, 60, 80, or even 100 hour workweek. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">But as Joe grew up, like so many adolescents and young adults, he wanted what was on the other side of the fence. He longed to partake in the business of city life, smell the aroma of success, and interact with movers and shakers. And off to Bangkok we went. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Once in Bangkok, Joe led a successful career as a marketing manager. But as successful as he was, and as successful as others saw him to be, he worked long hard hours, and barely made enough money to pay for rent, much less live the life he thought a “successful” person should live. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Joe would wake up at 5am, and would return home from work at 10pm. Only to wake up and repeat the same process, six days a week. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">A pair of jeans would cost one quarter of his monthly income. Rent: more than half. Food: another quarter. And after many years of this life, Joe realized that not only was no money left at the end of the month, but also no energy. No life. No love. And no happiness. In short – no quality of life. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Joe’s mind began to wander back to the life of his family, still in his home town. How on earth could he have thought that this life of “success” in the big city was better? Now the years of wisdom in the lines on his parents’ and grandparents’ faces made sense, as did their expressions of astonishment when Joe originally said he wanted to move away. They knew. But they also knew that Joe had to learn this lesson on his own. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Ten years later, Joe returned to his home town. His family and old friends accepted him with the unconditional love and acceptance that comes with the territory. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Now, Joe teaches westerners looking for their own quality of life the value of what may be right in front of them. He is a pioneer in sustainable living techniques, and adobe hut construction. He is now adopting a seed-saving program and other inspirational initiatives so that more and more people can preserve the beautiful world we live in as well as our quality of life (in the food we eat, places we live, and company we keep). </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">But first and foremost – he doesn’t work 17 hours a day any more. He enjoys the little things that most of us don’t even understand, much less know how to enjoy. And he has defined for himself what “quality of life” really means. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Does his struggle in Bangkok sound familiar to our own daily struggles? Never having enough time or money? Never being able to just “be”? </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">I wonder if there is a way for us to achieve that life – or at least that state of mind – in our part of the world. If everybody, despite background, culture, language, or family, wants the same thing, then maybe it’s easier to achieve than we may think. </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/quality-of-life">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/4-ways-an-income-gap-can-strain-your-relationship">4 Ways an Income Gap Can Strain Your Relationship</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/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv">Massive List of Things to Do While Watching TV</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/make-your-hobby-pay-its-way">Make Your Hobby Pay Its Way</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/america-is-the-no-vacation-nation">America Is the No Vacation Nation</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/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-champaign-urbana">Free and cheap things to do in Champaign-Urbana</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Art and Leisure free time quality of life schedules work Fri, 30 May 2008 07:41:53 +0000 Nora Dunn 2135 at http://www.wisebread.com