Negatives and Risks of Telecommuting For Your Job

Lately, we have been talking a lot about telecommuting. Telecommuting can be a godsend in a person’s life, or a person might even hate it. It really just depends on your personality and how you like to work.

Anyway, I recently published both of the articles Work Benefits and Perks To Negotiate For and Positives of Telecommuting For Your Job. However, what about the negatives of telecommuting?

There has to be at least a few negatives to telecommuting as well or else everyone would be fighting to be able to do it.

Negatives and Risks of Telecommuting For Your JobYou might feel lonely if you telecommute.

Working from home by yourself can feel lonely if you do not do it correctly. Since you’ll be home for pretty much the whole entire day every single day (unless you have a family), it can be easy to feel lonely.

You might have to find different ways to socialize with people so that you do not go crazy.

Plan lunch outings with friends, call loved ones, go outside, and more. You might even try working in a public place such as a park or a coffee shop too on certain days in order to branch out.

Telecommuting may not work with secure information.

If you work in a field that deals with secure information (maybe something like financial documents), you might not be able to work from home because there is a risk that information may leak. Information leaks could be due to insecure connections, hacking, and more.

Before you bring your work home, you should make sure that all sensitive information will be kept private.

Will you have a good work-life balance if you telecommute?

Working from home can be great and really amazing, however, will you have a good work-life balance? Many think it would be very easy to have a good work-life balance, but it’s really not that easy.

When working from home, it can be very easy to continue working and let it take over your life. This is because you can’t really “escape” work anymore since it will always be right next to you.

Read Is Work Life Balance a Real Thing?

Will you be able to motivate yourself to work when telecommuting for your job?

Working from home means that you need to motivate yourself to work. Seems easy enough, but with no one looking over your shoulder or telling you to complete a task, it can easy to get preoccupied with other things.

You might start eating more, watching an insane amount of TV, playing video games, and maybe even cleaning in order to escape work.

What other negatives do you think there are for telecommuting?

 

Image via Flickr by mccun934

How Can Young People Begin And Maintain Their Financial Future?

Finances are a topic that some young people overlook. This can then lead to money problems such as credit card debt and living paycheck to paycheck. However, hopefully that does not include you.

Starting your financial future now will put you ahead and can help lead to less money-related stress and hardship in your life. There are many things you will want to think about as a young person who is interested in securing their financial future.

You will want to think about investing, what you will do about student loans (if you have them), eventually moving out and living on your own (and the expenses associated with doing that), saving money, how to create a realistic budget, and more.

Researching and being active in these areas now will save you a great deal of hassle and pain later. It doesn’t even have to be hard to get a good grasp of your finances, so what are you waiting for?

Watch the video below for more information.

A quiet night in: an exercise in frugal saving.

image1As much as any couple, family or group of friends might like going out, it’s never cheap. Whether it’s fine dining or going out to your local bar or restaurant, these are costs that add up all too easily. They may seem cheap once in a while but once you start doing it on a weekly or semi-regular basis, it becomes a larger and larger chunk of your expenses.

In contrast to this, understanding the benefits of a quiet night in can prove useful. More than offering something different and relaxing it can demonstrate a way to stay cheap and cost effective whilst still enjoying the usual perks of life.

Food

If you go out to eat, you should know how much this can cost. Cooking for yourself is usually the cheapest but there are still other options. For instance, if you have the urge for Chinese food, it may be cheaper for everyone to pool money together for chinese takeaways than visit your local restaurant. It’s much cheaper and doesn’t have the added costs of additional drinks and restaurant prices and other service charges that are often forgotten about.

Entertainment

Likewise, if you’re not going out, there is nothing to stop you from being social. Your home can prove entertaining enough with the right company. Cheap entertainment can be anything from a movie rental (if you’re only going to watch it once, don’t buy something you don’t need) to various games, which offer entertainment again and again. These are all cheap, whether you use it once or buy it to use again and again. This is another lesson to be learnt in saving, by understanding the real value of something.

If you come across some movies that you and your friends love, it makes sense to purchase the DVD so you can all watch it whenever you like. Luckily, you can save money by ordering your DVDs online, so you do not have to worry about breaking the bank. To make things more interesting, consider having each person purchase a DVD online and then choosing between your favorites every time you gather.

Additional expenses

Hopefully the two areas above should highlight how easy it is to cut down on those little costs for every social occasion but there are always other areas to look at. Take your appearance, for instance. If you don’t go out to an expensive restaurant you might not need to risk your best shirt or shoes. It can also save on other expenses, such as getting a taxi home late if you’ve been drinking or other travel costs.  So, next time you think you might go out, suggest staying in to the others and see how much can be saved.

How to Turn Adversity into Opportunity: 3 Lessons I Learned as an Entrepreneur

Editor’s Note:  Today I have the incredible opportunity of bringing to you a very inspiring article by Shashank Shekhar, the CEO of Arcus Lending, a California-based mortgage lending company. He is a national speaker, a blogger and an Amazon.com best-selling author of the book “OutFront.” He is a consultant for small business owners and coaches them in online marketing and personal branding. You can connect with him at Shashank@ArcusLending.com . I hope you enjoy reading and learning from this article as much as I did!

(Note: If you have an inspiring story to share, feel free to contact us, so we can feature you in one of our future stories).

Handing it over to Shashank now…

“What are the three most important lessons you’ve learned as an entrepreneur that you would like to share with aspiring businesses such as Aspire money?”

This is a question I’m often asked as an entrepreneur, speaker and an author.

As I contemplated writing an article for this website, those answers became core material for this article.

First, let me start to answer that question by sharing a little bit about who I am.

Hard times

I came to America in the fall of 2005, as an immigrant from India. I had a high-paying job and a loving family. Others considered me quite successful.

Success, however, was short-lived. After a little more than a year, conditions began to slide downhill for the mortgage lending company where I worked. The company closed shop and overnight, I was out of a high-paying job.

Job searching for months failed to turn up work sufficient to sustain my lifestyle and the responsibilities that come with a family.

That’s when the thought of starting my own business began to evolve. I had always wanted to be an entrepreneur. Perhaps this was an opportunity in disguise.

Most businesses need two ingredients to get off the ground – capital and contacts.  I had neither. All I had was a vision of doing something on my own. I knew I had to do something in the mortgage lending industry to capitalize on my experience.

 

Related posts: 

Building your Reputation as a Freelancer

Finding Private Health Insurance When You’re Self-Employed

Work From Home Opportunities

Freelancing Options

Advantages of Becoming a Virtual Assistant

 

Entrepreneurship

In 2008, with little more than a couple of thousand dollars, a laptop, and a desk in my two-bedroom apartment, I founded Arcus Lending. Most people thought I was insane to launch a mortgage lending company in the same year America’s financial markets plunged into the Great Recession.

Business was excruciatingly slow at first and, as a new kid on the block, real estate agents did not want to send any client referrals my way. Cold calling was not my strong point.

I had to change my strategy

I exhaustively researched my industry for mentors and stumbled upon a great guy who became my coach. (Editor’s Note: Another great resource for finding help when you start your own business is the free website Income.com)

Of all the creative ideas he suggested, the one that changed my life and turned around my business was his encouragement that I write. With no prior experience with the written word, except for writing monthly checks to pay my bills, I wondered where I would begin.

If that idea wasn’t enough to send my head spinning, his next suggestion made me doubt if I’d ever succeed – my coach wanted me to teach loan programs and mortgage financing to my potential referral partners – real estate agents – people who would send clients my way. I was adept at corporate presentations, but had never really tutored anyone.

I joined Toastmasters and started pitching my oratory skills to local industry and association meetings. My daily routine became driving long distances on cold mornings to speak free-of-charge. I slogged it out for a year and barely made a third of what I made at my job with the mortgage lending company.

Eventually, my persistence paid dividends and Arcus Lending took off.

Client referrals began pouring in.  My first book got published and speaking also began to generate income.

In just four years, I successfully created a thriving mortgage lending business and grew Arcus Lending’s sales by more than 2,000 percent since its inception.

Lessons

What did I learn along the way?

Based on my experiences, here are three valuable lessons I learned that I would like to share with you.

Become an expert – If you do not have the idea package that will attract millions in venture capital funding, if you don’t have the software code that can change the world, and if you are trying to launch a business in a traditional category, the only way to get ahead of the pack is to raise your profile and differentiate yourself from the crowd.

How do you do that?

You become the most knowledgeable person in the business. You become an expert in your industry so that you are the go-to person when it comes to doing business.

This means spending hours scouring through trade publications, learning the industry’s ropes and formulating an opinion about how macroeconomics impact your industry and the consumers it serves. You develop thought leadership and that is a gold mine.

You might also consider becoming an expert in a high demand field and going back to school to attain an advanced degree on the subject. A current topic of interest might be the cyber security industry, since so much business is now done online. Therefore, every company in the world with an online presence will need help protecting their assets and you could put yourself right in the middle of this developing industry if you have the proper education. Simply going back to school and earning your cyber security degree online will immediately turn you into an expert and drastically increase your attractiveness to employers.

Brand your business – Fortune 500 companies invest billions of dollars building strong brands because they know that named brands command top dollars. I started my own lending blog and began writing daily until I had enough good content to attract visitors.

I built a strong reputation by guest blogging for other blog sites.

Blog writing gave me the confidence to write my first book and speaking at small events led to me getting booked by national industry events. Media interviews followed and very soon I became the go-to person in California for mortgage lending.

Don’t rest on your laurels – My greatest entrepreneurial lesson learned has been to continually educate myself. Knowledge allows me to grow and evolve my business. Initially, I spent hours every day learning, reading and testing my ideas.

Now, with my hands full, running the business, I continue to dedicate a few hours every week to keep up with the latest tools that could help fuel the next phase of business growth.

As a closing thought, entrepreneurship is like riding a roller coaster. Be prepared for ups and downs and develop the fortitude to ride it out. With imagination, a solid work ethic and a great attitude you can win.

From Financial Advisor to Financial Comparison Site Owner: How To Quit Your Job and Support a Dream Lifestyle

This is the story of how I went from being a bored financial advisor to owning a financial comparison website that lets me travel the world on the profits.

I’m usually not comfortable telling people how to make money online but I wanted to share my story because if I can do it then you can do it.  I’ll also give you some tips on what NOT to do when starting a niche site like this.  If you avoid the mistakes I’ve made then you’ll save yourself a lot of wasted time and energy, and you’ll probably start making money a lot more quickly too.

My story

I am a qualified independent financial advisor, and although I had a decent job in the UK financial services industry, like many other people I found myself dreaming of making money online and living by the beach.  I tried a bunch of things and nothing seemed to work until I started Compare Logbook Loans, a financial comparison site in the obscure niche of logbook loans that I’d never even heard of before.

How to Quit Your JobIt wasn’t an easy ride, and I’ve made lots of mistakes along the way, but it now earns me and my business partner a basic living each month, and since it really took off I spent most of 2011 in Thailand and Vietnam living by the beach.  The site won’t make me rich – it now makes around $8,500 net profit per month between two of us – but because I get paid in UK pounds it allows me to live an excellent lifestyle in exotic places where I benefit from the great exchange rate.

There are many different online business models but the one I have managed to get working is a cross between affiliate marketing and lead generation. Put simply, this means that I get paid a commission by loans companies every time my website sends them a new visitor who goes on to become a customer.  Everything is tracked automatically by online software and the lenders simply transfer money into my bank account at the end of the each month – it’s great!

Obviously there is a large amount of work of be done on the website each month – it’s not one of these automated cash machines that you hear about – but in relation to the income the amount of hours worked is pretty good and I can’t complain.

What NOT to do

Rather than just give you give you a chronological account of what I did, it might be more useful for you if I break it down into mistakes I made and how you can avoid them.  I have always found negative advice more useful, simply because it is much easier to know when something does NOT work than when it does, because there are so many variables involved, including blind luck and random chance (which most of the so-called “gurus” never seem to mention.)

Here are a few of the mistakes I’ve made and what I learned from them – I hope this helps you to shave at least a year off your learning curve!

[Read more…]

From Floundering to Published: How Writing SEO Articles Paid Off My Student Loans

Editor’s Note: What do you do if you LOVE your day job, but just can’t shake the dream of becoming a writer? Simple — you continue to excel in your day job while generating a tidy little side income from freelance writing gigs. In fact, you earn enough side income in just 7 months to completely pay off your student loans (about $5000)! That’s what STRONGside, the blogger behind Live the Write Life did. How do you get these freelance writing gigs, you ask? STRONGside started out writing simple articles for a site called textbroker and worked his way up to publishing in magazines such as Greenville Business Magazine. In this article he shares his experience of working with textbroker and how you too can use it to launch your freelance writing career.

(Note: If you have an inspiring story to share, feel free to contact us, so we can feature you in one of our future stories).

Handing it over to STRONGside now…

inspiring_stories_livethewritelifeOne year ago I had a dream of being a writer. I had no plans to quit my full time job, I just knew that I needed to start writing.

When I graduated from college in 2007 I took the first job that came my way. I graduated with a Political Science degree and since I had no plans to go to law school, my degree was rendered effectively worthless. My first job was in mortgage sales, and I was miserable.

Thankfully, a manager at my office knew that I was unhappy. He ended up taking a new job six months after I started, and he recommended that I apply at the same company. I did, and within one month I had a brand new job in a college financial aid office.

I spent the next two years at this job trying to figure out how I could merge my passion for writing and a day job that I thoroughly enjoyed. That is when I stumbled across a website that would change my life forever.

Textbroker

I discovered Textbroker in January 2011. Textbroker is a text brokerage service that acts as the medium between writers and publishers. As a new writer, you will create an account then submit an initial writing sample. This writing sample will be ranked from 2-5. The higher your initial rating, the more levels of writing that are available to you. The higher the level, the more you get paid.

I was skeptical of this system at first, but I decided to give it a shot. [Read more…]

Gutsy and Smart: The Incredible Story of a Real Life Student Landlord

Editor’s Note: Some time back, I posted a guest article about becoming a student landlord. I have heard of someone in my school doing it, but it was mainly with seed money from parents. I didn’t really think there existed students who would be responsible enough to raise the funds by themselves, deal with the issues associated with becoming a landlord, and top it off by saving their earnings diligently. Until I read Ginger’s frugal students blog that is! Ginger and her husband (who is also a student) have an incredible story of owning income property with a positive cash flow, bought from their savings, while they are still in school. Ginger was kind enough to share her story here. I hope you feel as inspired as I did to read it! (Note: If you have an inspiring story to share, feel free to contact us, so we can feature you in one of our future stories).

Handing it over to Ginger now…

Student Landlord -- GingerBuying any residential property can be frustrating and difficult but when you are buying for more than one reason, it can be even more so. My DH and I bought a duplex in December of 2009. We had not planned to buy it so soon, in fact we had debt we wanted to pay off before buying a property but the first home buyers tax credit made us decide to buy.

The Decision to Buy, And Raising the Money

We had just moved from San Jose, California to Buffalo, NY during August of 2009 for my DH to go to graduate school. During my college years I had put money aside in both a Roth IRA and a traditional IRA for my first house. All together I had saved about $7000. During my last year of college I was eligible for subsidized student loans and took out the max amount of $5500 for the year. [Read more…]

From Newbie To Full-Time Blogger: 5 Things I Learned

Editor’s Note: I first heard of Michael Dolen when he pitched me for a guest post on this blog. Something about Micheal’s mail was different from the many others I receive. As we exchanged emails back and forth, I found out that Michael has a very interesting story of going from debt to a successful self-created career in blogging. I asked him if he would mind sharing his story with the readers, and he said his story was just another story of a blogger–nothing special about it. But here’s the thing – even though your life seems “regular” to you, it can be a huge source of inspiration and learning to others. Boy, am I glad I talked Michael into writing down his story – it is so jam packed with nuggets of information based on real experience! I hope you learn from it as much as I did. (Note: If you have a story to share, feel free to contact us, so we can feature you in one of our future stories).

Handing it over to Michael now…

In today’s economy it’s hard to be optimistic about anything, especially when you are just starting out in your career (or you are still in school and haven’t even started yet). With high unemployment and the outrageous cost of going to college, is there any light at the end of the tunnel? The answer may surprise you and that “light” may come from where you least expect it… blogging.

To prove to you anyone can be successful with blogging if they put their mind to it, here’s where I was coming from when I began:

  • I had no college degree. In fact, I had recently dropped out of college.
  • I was in my early 20’s with no formal education, no stable source of income, and no financial support from family. Furthermore, I actually had a negative net worth due to massive medical bills resulting from a car accident I was in at age eighteen. In a nutshell, my prospects didn’t look too bright!
  • My knowledge of web development was limited. I can’t code/program for the life of me and my Photoshop skills were virtually non-existent.

Fast forward to the present and I’m doing quite well for myself thanks to blogging. Here’s some valuable things I learned along the way that I would like to share with you:

[Read more…]

From Freelancing to eCourses: The Inspiring Story of Ali Luke

Editor’s Note: I have seen the name Ali Hale/Luke mentioned on so many different blogs, that I decided to look her up. Ali’s got it all just right – the quality of her content, her writing style, her website and her pitch. So I contacted her for a writing project. During some of our correspondence I found out that Ali holds an MA in creative writing and pretty much supported herself through college with income from her freelancing projects. So I requested Ali to share her story with our readers. And here it is. I can’t think of something more fitting to kick off our “inspiring stories” series! (If you have a story to share, feel free to contact us, so we can feature you in one of our future stories.)

Handing it over to Ali now…

Inspiring Stories: Ali LukeWhen I was a kid, I wanted to be a writer. I imagined making my living writing novels – and I worked hard at my fiction writing for years. After I finished university, though, it became pretty clear that I needed a real job! I worked in tech support while trying to sell a bunch of short stories and my first novel.

Pretty quickly, I realized that (a) it’s tough to find the time and energy to write when you’re working full time, and (b) there’s not much money in fiction! So, I started blogging… with a rather delusional idea that I’d be able to make hundreds of thousands of dollars from my own blog.

My Very First Paid Post

[Read more…]

Windfall to Downfall: Unbelievable Rags to Riches to Rags Stories

What’s wrong with some people? How can some one be incredibly lucky to win a one-in-a-many-many-million odds sweepstakes and be equally incredibly stupid to blow it all away? These *&$@&* morons!!!

What’s got into me today, you ask? Well, it’s another season of HGTV’s 2007 Dream Home Giveaway sweepstakes and for the past couple of years, every season, the dreamer in me makes sure I enter a couple of times. Being a relatively new home owner, I really enjoy the shows on HGTV. And the dream homes that they build are oh-so-beyond-fabulous! So, when I read what a mess the 2005 dream home winners had made of their fortune, I was all but ready to scream. It was a story that got me mad at all levels. First, it got the dreamer in me all riled up. Then, it really got to the personal finance crazed realist, who wanted to shake these people and put some sense into them. Argh!

Here is the story in a nut shell. Don and Shelly Cruz were the lucky winners of the 2005 dream home sweepstakes and won an incredibly beautiful 6,000-square-foot, three-story mansion in Tylor, TX. Oh, and to ease them into the life of luxury, HGTV even gave them $250,000 in cash and a GM Denali SUV. In the 10 years that HGTV has run this sweepstakes, Don and Shelly were the only ones who chose to live in the house. With Don being a stay-at-home dad (of one son, age 11!), and Shelly going back to school, the bills started to add up. And boy, were the bills HUGE! Here’s a snippet of some of the expenses –

  • Upkeep: $2,900 a month.
  • Homeowners insurance: $7,000 annually.
  • They own seven vehicles! Gas and insurance: $1,000 a month.
  • Mortgage payment for their old house that they decided to keep: $1,000 a month.
  • Fixing family boat: $11,000.
  • A dog run for their three dogs: $6,000.
  • Entertaining family and friends: $1000 per weekend.
  • Christmas presents: $5000.
  • Scuba lessons: $2000.
  • A Go-kart: $1800.
  • And of course, charity: $40,000

Oh, did I forget to mention that all this was on top of the $1million loan they had to take to pay off the $672,000 tax bill on their winnings and cover other expenses? The monthly payment on that loan alone is $8000. I don’t even want to know what the interest rate is!!!!! Long story short, the Cruz’s are now trying to sell their dream home valued by real estate analysts at $2.5 million dollars, for an incredible asking price of $5.5 million dollars (now reduced to $4.9 million)! At this point, I am beyond surprise 🙁 After reading that article, tell me if it doesn’t make you want to go shake some sense into them!

It turns out, the Cruz’s aren’t the only ones whose windfall was their downfall.

    • In 1988, 29 year old Shefik Tallmadge won a jackpot of $6.7 million to be distributed in installments of $335,000 each year for 20 years. In 1998, he decided to cash in the rest of his payments. In 2005, he filed for bankruptcy! Full story: From Porsches to bankruptcy

 

  • Jack Whittaker won $314.9 million in Christmas 2002 to be the biggest lottery winner in U.S. history. A story that started out great with him making good on his promise of giving 10% in charity, took a downward trend of indulgence and arrogance, ending with his 17 year old grand daughter dying of suspected drug over dose. Full Story: No fairy tale life for lottery winner

 

 

  • William “Bud” Post III won $16.2 million in lottery in 1988. Within 3 months after the first of his 26 annual payments of $497,953.47, he was in debt of $500,000! This guy had a terrible life. Apparently, his brother tried to get a contract killer to murder him, his landlady swindled away one third of the jackpot, he was convicted of assault and served a prison sentence, he went thorough a bankruptcy and towards the end was reportedly living on a $450-per-month disability check! The article quotes him as saying “I was much happier when I was broke,” and “Once I’m no longer a lottery winner, people will leave me alone. That’s all I want. Just peace of mind,”. Man that’s rough! Full story: William ‘Bud’ Post III; Unhappy Lottery Winner

 

The list just goes on! I don’t understand what’s with these people. They have the unique opportunity to do whatever they want, to create a spectacular future, to leave behind a legacy. Instead, they squander it away, bringing misery to themselves and those around them. I am really quite speechless!

Sources (apart from those linked above):

    • Fatwallet Finance Thread 1

 

  • Fatwallet Finance Thread 2