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Real Ways to Make Money Working from Home

Real Ways to Make Money Working from Home

    Most of those “work from home” opportunities that you see on TV, in the newspaper, or online are scams or pay you so little for the time you’ve invested that it’s not worth your while.  In my quest to figure out a way to ditch the 9 to 5 job so that I could work from the comfort of my own home, I have come across many different opportunities.  Whether you want to work from home so that you have more time with your kids or because you’d rather wear your jammies instead of a suit, the following are some great ideas on how to earn your living by working from home.  I can’t promise you’ll get rich overnight or quickly earn enough to replace your salary, or that it will even be easy, but if you stick with it and keep trying you’ll eventually have achieved your goal.

    Start your own website.

    There are two kinds of websites – the ones that sell products and the ones that provide information.

    If you can think of a good idea for a webstore and invest enough time and energy into marketing it, you might do well.  But keep in mind, you will have to constantly keep at it.  There will be orders to fill and plenty of accounting and inventory work to keep you busy,  provided you have a good product, there’s demand, and you’ve marketed yourself well.  The “If you build it they will come” slogan does not apply to websites.  If no one knows you’re out there, the chances of them accidentally stumbling upon it are virtually nil.  It can also be expensive if you don’t know how to create or operate your website, or how to market it.  You may very likely need to enlist the help of paid professionals.

    If the idea of running an online store does not appeal to you, perhaps you’d like to create a website that offers information, rather than products.  It could be that you make brilliant cartoons and think that would get a following, or perhaps you’d like to start up a news blog or maybe even a site for dog owners.  There’s no limit as to what topics you have to choose from, but my advice is to choose something that you love.

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    My experience:

    I started up a news website along with my husband in 2006.  We are both news junkies who love to write.  I always wanted to be a journalist,  but I knew where that career field was heading and I didn’t really want to be an intern or do time as the obituary writer.  So we took our passion for news and for writing and our love for our hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, and we started up a news site.

    I can’t say that we’ve gotten rich off of it,  but it helps pay the bills.  It’s daily traffic rivals and surpasses that of established news media outlets in our market, and we’ve brought on board some award-winning journalists in recent years.  It’s also gotten us other opportunities over the years, such as press passes to concerts and sporting events, chances to test out new products or listen to unreleased CDs, and so on.

    We’ve stuck with it for so long because it is something that we enjoy.  I can’t stress this enough – if you start a website about something that you are not passionate about, chances are you will burn out pretty quickly.  It takes a lot of work to build up a successful website, and you have to be willing to put in the time yourself until it is big enough that you need to bring in some extra help.

    We’ve saved a lot of costs because I know how to build websites and have a background in graphic design and a bit of SEO know-how. If you don’t have these skills, or a friend who might be willing to lend some of their talent, it will end up costing you more.

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    Answer questions, do surveys, and conduct searches.

    This tactic to making money online will most definitely not make you rich, but can help you earn enough to pay for the little things you’d be buying anyways, or give you some extra spending money to treat yourself every once in awhile.

    There are plenty of opportunities to take surveys for money.  This has never appealed to me, so I can’t honestly direct you to a legit one.  They’re out there, but do your research first.  Otherwise you might just find yourself added to another spam distribution list.

    If you’re good at searching for information online and have an interest in a wide variety of topics, becoming a ChaCha.com guide might be up your alley.  People ask questions, you find them the answers, and then you get paid.  The more time you spend working, the more you will make.

    If you use the internet, you probably use a search engine regularly.  Well what if all those searches you conducted could earn you money?  With SwagBucks.com, you can earn money for your searches.  It pays you to do what you’d already be doing on Google, Yahoo, Bing or whatever your favorite search engine is. You again won’t get rich by doing this, but you can build up enough points to score gift cards to Amazon.com and other places.

    My experience:

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    I did a few surveys for AOL way back in the day that they paid me for, but these kind of things haven’t interested me all that much because they don’t pay out all that well and I’m more interested in making a living online than earning some extra spending money.  But I know people who have done these and are pleased with it.

    Find a work from home job.

    They are out there, but they’re hard to find and pretty darn competitive.  These jobs can range from a medical transcriptionist to a search engine optimization specialist.  Or, perhaps, you could find a position as a social media consultant.

    My experience:

    I’ve seen these from time to time posted on Craigslist, but I’ve never actually gotten one yet.  My advice to finding them is to scour the job postings on not only your local city, but some big cities like New York as well.  Often times there will be work from home jobs posted on only the NYC Craigslist because that’s where the company is based out of, that’s their local Craigslist, and they don’t want to go to the bother of posting it on all of the cities.   You’d apply for these jobs the same way you’d do any other job, and your interview will likely be over the phone, unless you happen to be near where the company is based.

    Write about what you know.

    Do you have a degree in nutrition?  I know Livestrong.com is hiring writers for their site through Demand Media Studios.  DMS also hiring writers and editors for every other topic under the sun to be published on eHow.com and their numerous other web properties.  You can make about $15 or more per article, and a few dollars for each article that you edit.  You can work as much or as little as you want.  Once you “claim” an assignment, of which there are tens of thousands, you have 7 days to complete it.

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    Yahoo bought up Associated Content and have amassed their own army of writers to create articles on numerous topics.  They also utilize their writers to do local feature stories for Yahoo Local cities.  They work similarly to Demand Media Studios, in that you can “claim” assignments.  I signed up to see how it worked, and it seems as though most of the payment for them is “performance based”.  In other words, you get paid based on the number of hits your article gets.

    Scour the blogger job postings on ProBlogger.net.  There are lots of people hiring everyday for people to write blogs for them on numerous topics.

    My experience:

    I signed up with Demand Media Studios and was accepted, but I haven’t done much since. The number of assignments available and is somewhat overwhelming, but I could easily earn the equivalent of a 9 to 5 salary by writing articles every day.  I’ve written for many, many blogs and websites over the years about everything from lawncare to nursing school and mobile phones.  There are topics, such as new technology, that I consider myself to be well-versed in and there are others that I am not that familiar with, so I do a lot of research to write well about them.

    Turn your talent into cash.

    Most people have at least one talent.  Figure out what yours is, and come up with a plan to capitalize on it. This is what finding a work from home job is all about.  If you love to knit, why not sell your goods on Etsy?  Are you an awesome coder?  There’s more work out there than you’ll know what to do with.  Are you an expert gardener?  Start a blog and share your tips, or maybe even make some expert how-to videos for eHow.com.

    You don’t have to quit your job and start working from home overnight.  It will likely take you some time to progress to a full work from home job, so start out small and work your way up.  If what you do is something that you love you’ll be more successful.  You need to be dedicated and motivated, and not easily distracted by the freedoms that working from home offers.  Successfully earning a living by working at home CAN be done, but it will most certainly take a lot of hard work.

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    Last Updated on January 2, 2019

    How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

    How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

    Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

    Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

    Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

    This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

    Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

    What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

    Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

    When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

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    How It Leads to Financial Improvement

    It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

    Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

    Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

    It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

    Types of Personal Finance Software

    When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

    Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

    For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

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    Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

    When to Use Personal Finance Software

    So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

    Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

    1. You Have Multiple Accounts

    There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

    If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

    Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

    2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

    Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

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    There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

    With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

    3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

    Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

    Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

    Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

    4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

    Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

    You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

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    How to Get Started

    From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

    Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

    It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

    When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

    Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

    Final Thoughts

    Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

    In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

    Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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