How To Make Money When Traveling the World

Something that has been on my mind nearly every single day is traveling the world. My dad was big on traveling, and he gave me photo albums full of photos that he took from his travels. There are literally hundreds of photo albums that he gave me.

The thought of traveling the world sounds wonderful. I’ve never really traveled outside of the United States except for when I was little, and I don’t remember any of it. So, I would like to start again and I hope that someday these travel dreams actually begin. However, I keep making excuses for why it wouldn’t work.

I do have bills to pay, and even though I make money entirely from my laptop, I would still need to pay for my bills at home while I am traveling. I don’t want to lower my savings rate either, so when you combine all of my bills at home, along with traveling, it would be quite expensive for me to travel.

We would need to find additional ways to make money while we were traveling in order to help pay for the traveling part a little more. Also, diversifying our income is never a bad idea.

Working at a restaurant.

Many travelers work at restaurants while they are traveling. It can be a good way to make money, and there are always restaurants all over working. Maybe you can even get good food at a discount as well?

Lending a hand of a farm.

There may be farms or homes where you are visiting which may need your help. Look into this! You may be paid, or you may be paid in the form of room and board. Either way, it can be a good thing to look into. Also, this way you can really learn about the area that you are in.

Teach English.

It seems like many long-term travelers at one point in their traveling have taught English while abroad. The rules may vary from place to place, but usually they ask that you have your college degree in order to teach English.

Work online.

If we were to travel extensively, then I would want to further expand my work online. This way I could travel and bring my work with me, instead of stopping and starting work whenever I traveled from place to place.

Have you ever made money while traveling? What did you do?

 

How to Save Money With Your Business Costs

Businesses are expensive to run. I don’t know of many who can say that their business is cheap and there are no costs associated with it. If you want to run your business more “lean,” then there are certain areas in which you can look at and cut back in.

Ask for testimonials.

Testimonials are a great way to get a free advertisement. They are also great because they are something that other potential clients can read and rely on.

Ask those that you know for help.

If you are an Etsy owner, do you have any blog friends who you can advertise on for cheap? I’m sure some friends would love a free item in return for a free review. If you are looking for other ways to get your name out there, you can also guest post on other websites. Some websites may charge for this, but if you are already a known blogger in the blogging world, you can use this to your advantage.

How to Save Money With Your Business Costs

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Look for used or refurbished.

Do you need a new laptop? What about a new printer? If you do, try to see if the item you are looking for can be bought used or refurbished. You may be able to save a decent amount of money!

Figure out how to save on taxes.

Are you bad with taxes and currently don’t have an accountant? An accountant can really save you money by finding different ways to lower your taxes. Don’t worry, all of this is legal. You might not know about certain deductions or credits that you are able to get because you are not as knowledgable in the taxation world.

An accountant may also help you by determining which legal entity is best for you and your business. The wrong legal entity may mean that you are paying much more in taxes than you should be.

Ask for discounts.

If you buy products from others, see if you qualify for a discount. If you bulk order or wholesale items as well, also see if you can get lower pricing since you are buying more than one product. Being a loyal customer can really pay off!

How do you save money with your business?

 

Home Businesses that are Legitimate Part 1

Having a home business is a dream for many. However, there seem to be many scammy/spammy home businesses out there, which can negatively impact those who do have a home business. Because of all of these scams, many believe that a home business cannot actually make money and that it is not possible.

Freelancing is possible, and there are many things that you can do.

Below is a list of possible home businesses. These are legitimate possibilities, but in some cases you may need to consult a lawyer to make sure that you are providing a law-abiding service to your clients (such as an in-home daycare, in which you may need licensing).

Home Businesses That are Legitimate Part 1

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Home daycare.

A home daycare may be on your mind for your future home business. And, if you already have children, then there are more positives because you won’t have to find someone to watch your own children as well.

A home daycare can be a lot of work though. You want to make sure that your home is safe and that you are properly equipped to take on children. If you are the only one watching the children, you probably don’t want 20 of them in your home. You need to be realistic with what you can take on, as these are HUMANS of course.

Rent out rooms in your home.

In some areas of the country, there may a big demand for rentals. A bed and breakfast may fit your home perfectly, or maybe you want to try Airbnb and list a room out on their website. You never know, if you are in a high demand area, you might be able to demand $200 or even $500 a night for your spare room!

Some cities do not allow you to rent out a room in your home unless you have certain licensing, so you should definitely look further into that.

Baking and selling goods.

Do you have what it takes to be a good baker, and sell what you make? There are some successful bakers out there who are able to make a decent living selling what they make. Be creative and see what works best for you!

There are many different types of things that you can do. You can be a wedding cake baker, cupcake maker, cooker creator and so on.

Blogging.

We talk about blogging a lot on this blog. There are many positives, such as blogging being a low-cost start-up. However, not everyone makes money blogging, and it may take a little bit (or even a long time) before you make any money.

Do you have a home business? What tips do you have?

 

Great ideas for Side Jobs in the Fall or Winter

 

Side jobs are always on my mind. There are so many positives to starting a side job. These include: extra money (of course!), being able to pay off debt more quickly, being able to save for your next financial goal a little more quickly, and more. Side jobs allow you to hopefully not live paycheck to paycheck. You can diversify your income and not be as reliant on one area.

Also, if you are passionate about your side job, it can be a great way to make money doing something that you love. Because if you were going to do it anyways, why not make some extra cash as well? Sounds like a win-win in my book!

Yard cleanup.

Yard cleanup can include many things. You can rake leaves, clean gutters, remove dead plants, clean up garbage and so on. Many people actually do pay for this because it can be very tedious work, and they might not have the right tools to get things done quickly.

Also, many areas have had some bad weather, which would make yard cleanup much more easy for their lives. We had two tornadoes in our city earlier this year, and yard cleanup made everything be back to normal much more quickly.

Tools that may be needed to make the work easier include a leaf blower, lawn mower (possibly even a riding lawn mower), a truck and/or trailer to remove debris and so on.

Great ideas for Side Jobs in the Fall or Winter

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Snow removal.

One thing that I hate doing on cold winter days is shoveling snow. There have been so many times when I have wished that someone would come knocking on my door and ask to shovel snow in return for some cash.

I actually know of a couple of people who have snow plow trucks and they make a decent amount of money doing this. I believe that some make up to $1,000 a day removing snow because at times a snow plow is desperately needed.

Tools that may be needed to make snow removal easier include a snow blower, a shovel, a snow plow truck, and salt for the roads, driveways or sidewalks.

Babysitting.

With Fall and Winter quickly approaching, a babysitter or nanny is more likely to be needed. Fall and Winter are almost always busier for most families, as there are often many activities that may require the need of a babysitter or nanny.

There are many websites that you can use where you sign up and advertise your services. You can also post an ad on a bulletin board or let families directly know that you have time to babysit.

What side jobs do you have?

 

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.

Great Ways to Get Noticed in Corporate America Part 2

Business of SoftwareCorporate America is a tough beast to conquer, but with a little patience and persistence, it can absolutely happen. In order to give yourself the best chance at consistent promotions, be sure to follow these five tips to get yourself noticed at work.

This is part 2 of the series, with hopefully more to come! Everyone wants to get ahead at work, right?

 

3)      Show Your Skills

Everyone has a certain skill set that few others have. Perhaps you’re amazing in Excel and can help others become more efficient around the office.

Don’t be afraid to hold a class that will teach others how to do a v-lookup or a pivot table. It will most likely save them a ton of time, and it will certainly increase your value around the office.

4)      Increase Your Network

Sometimes it is challenging to meet new people, but if you want to move up in the company it’s in your best interest to get to know everyone.

That means you should make friends with everyone from the janitor to the president of the company.

First of all, it’s just nice to be friendly, but you never know where that next opportunity is going to come from. If you’re friends with a large network of people, then your chances of getting that next promotion are pretty good.

5)      Come Early, Stay Late

Unless someone is staring over your shoulder watching you work, they have absolutely no idea what you’re doing on your computer.

If you come to work early and browse Craigslist for an hour, they’re assuming that you’re really putting some effort into your work.

The same story applies for staying late. Of course, while you’re at work you do actually have to get some stuff done. If you don’t, then your boss and coworkers just think that you’re extremely slow at what you do and might give you the boot.

Put some solid work in and consistently arrive early and stay late, and you might just be on the list for the next promotion.

 

How are you trying to get noticed?

Great Ways to Get Noticed in Corporate America Part 1

Business of SoftwareCorporate America is a tough beast to conquer, but with a little patience and persistence, it can absolutely happen.

In order to give yourself the best chance at consistent promotions, be sure to follow these five tips to get yourself noticed at work and in your career.

This is part 1 of the series, with hopefully more to come! Part 2 will be next week and hopefully this is an endless series 🙂

1)      Dress to Impress

If you dress the part, then you’ll most likely be in line for it.Dress for who you want to be. Of course don’t look like the crazy person if you are wearing a suit and work at a retail store. That might be overdoing it…

On the other hand, if you dress like a slob, then you’ll either remain in your current job or you might even get kicked out the door. Of course, your boss won’t kick you out because you wear a T-shirt to work instead of a dress shirt, but your wardrobe says a lot about you as a person.

If you’re sloppy, then your work is most likely sloppy as well. Confidence is key here.

If you wear crisp, clean, sharp clothes, then it’s perceived that your work will reflect that same standard. Trust me!

2)      Pick Up the Pace

I have a friend that often gives me terrible advice, but I did get one gem out of him the other day, “Put something in your hand and walk fast.” Dale Carnegie actually advises that you do the same thing.

If you walk with purpose, people will think that you’re off to do something important and are a very busy person.

Whether you are or not, having that perception is definitely a good thing.

 

How are you trying to get noticed?

10 Tips to Become the Best Mystery Shopper Ever

Money Making Ideas: Best Mystery ShopperWhile no one has ever made Fortune’s Richest list working as a mystery shopper, it is undeniably true that you can actually get paid to shop. To advance and turn this into a steady stream of income however, you need to treat it as a professional position, and not as a hobby or occasional activity. Here are some tips on how you can earn a reputation among the companies you shop for as the best mystery shopper, and sky rocket your earning potential.

Many people make money by mystery shopping, so why not you?

1.  Get Certified

While most mystery shopping companies don’t require special training, obtaining your certification demonstrates that you’re serious about excelling in the job. The MSPA offers two levels of certification: Silver, which costs $15, takes about an hour, and measures your basic skills; and Gold, a DVD-plus-exam course which will cost $99 (plus shipping and taxes). Believe it or not, there’s more to being a good mystery shopper than wielding a creditcard and filling out some forms; MSPA training will help you take your money making ideas to the next level. And while there are literally millions of potential shoppers listed in company databases, only a relative few have bothered to get certified. Your certification will help you stand out among the competition and earn some of the higher-paying assignments.

2.  Make a Good First Impression

You don’t have to dress up in a business suit or heels to interview with a mystery shopping company. You don’t even have to brush your teeth.But when you fill out those online applications, take care to do so as your best self. Don’t skip blanks, be honest, check your spelling and grammar, and be thorough. The more information you provide, the more likely it is that you’ll be chosen for assignments that fit your qualifications. Another crucial step: if you move, remember to update all of your online profiles. You don’t want to be contacted about shops in Indiana when you’re now living in North Carolina!

3.  Show Up

Sounds basic, doesn’t it? But for whatever reason, many would-be mystery shoppers don’t take their commitment seriously. They don’t show up, the shop doesn’t happen, the client is unhappy, the agency is unhappy, and the shopper wonders why she isn’t getting any more assignments. Just because you don’t punch a clock, it doesn’t mean that you can be cavalier about your job. Show up, do good work, and watch your star rise. Another helpful tip: if you can build a reputation as someone who can fill in quickly in an emergency, you’ll enhance your reputation and be the go-to person for other assignments.

4.  Follow Directions

Each shopping assignment you receive will have its own particular instructions. Each company you work for will have a unique routine, and each client will be looking for certain service points. Even if you’ve worked for this company before, or it’s the twentieth time you’ve shopped that restaurant, read the instructions carefully to avoid making mistakes that will lead to a rejected report. This conscientious attention will help you bring your money making ideas to fruition.

5.  Ask Questions

Sometimes, your assignment will not be as clear as it should be. When this happens, don’t be afraid to contact the company or your scheduler for clarification. You’ll look smart, rather than foolish. It’s better to take the extra time to make sure you know what you’re doing than to assume that you do, only to find out you were wrong.

6.  Be a Detail Person

Vague shopping reports help no one. Writing that the “brown-haired clerk took too long to wait on me,” only tells the client that you were impatient. However, a report that states “Rhonda at register 2 took twenty minutes to get to me because she was talking to the customer in front of me, who was apparently a good friend from high school,” allows the client to help Rhonda improve her performance. Remember, when you’re on a shop, you’re working. Observe, take notes (you can do this surreptitiously on your cell phone, under pretext of texting), use (again, sneakily) a stop watch, and focus on the transaction. Don’t let your mind wander or you run the risk of forgetting an important detail. By writing complete reports, you give the client what they need and increase your chances of landing more–and better–assignments.

7.  Grammar Counts!  So Does Spelling.

Like it or not, the ability to communicate clearly and properly in both speaking and writing is a hallmark of an educated person–the kind of person every company looks for. Make sure you proofread applications, reports, and every other communication you have with your agency. If English is not your first language or your strong suit, invest in a refresher course or a few good guides. This is effort that will pay off, not only in your mystery shopping, but in every personal interaction. Money making ideas often require a little investment in personal improvement!

8.  Be Prompt

When you receive your assignment, you’ll be given a time frame in which to accomplish it. This deadline is not arbitrary; it was determined by the client’s needs. First, be sure that you can meet the deadline when you accept the job. Then, do the shop and file the report on time. If you find you can’t complete your assignment during the time frame, due to an emergency, let your contact know as soon as possible so that he or she can schedule another shopper. Don’t fall into the habit of waiting until the last minute; you never know when a flat tire, sick kid, or computer disaster will leave you scrambling.  Again, the key is to treat your mystery shop just as you would a job in which you keep a time card.

9.  Be Organized

As a mystery shopper, you’re self-employed. Even though you may have a scheduler or two sending you assignments, you’re the one who has to keep track of where you need to go and when you need to be there. This can be hard if you do it using scrap paper and random post-its with cryptic notes like “CVS.” Drugstores? Curriculum vitae? Who knows? And you found it on the floor of the minivan buried under two magazines and a backpack. Was it important?

So you can see, it’s important to keep it professional from the beginning. Set up a desk or other area in your home that is only for your mystery shopping work (not school papers, bills, or other clutter). Designate file folders and drawers for receipts, check stubs, assignment information, reports, and other material.  Keep track of invoices and reports electronically and always, always back up your files. Keep records of the usernames and passwords you’ve created for all of the job sites you access and update them as needed. Write down your assignments and information in a dedicated calendar (or use your smart phone) and carry it with you so that you don’t miss a job. By treating yourself as a professional, you’ll ensure your success.

10.  Keep Secrets

Let’s face it: mystery shopping is a fun, fascinating job. You get to visit stores, restaurants, and other businesses you might not otherwise. You may have the chance to enjoy high-value assignments, such as hotel and resort stays. Perhaps you’ll test drive a luxury car. The whole undercover gig is exciting, particularly if you need to adopt a persona or wear hidden audio or video equipment. It’s like you’re James Bond–in the mall!

But as much as you’d love to regale your friends and relatives with some of the more entertaining shop stories, you can’t. Your friends have friends who have friends who have friends…and at least one of them will work on one of your job sites. The more people who know you’re a mystery shopper, the more likely it is your cover will be blown and your effectiveness compromised. You’ll lose that assignment, and maybe others. Another consideration is client confidentiality. Businesses hire mystery shopping companies because they wish to make a genuine effort to improve their customer service. If you entertain your friends with stories of a particularly bad shopping experience, you’re damaging their reputation and–by extension–that of your employer. If your mystery shopping provider is dropped because of something you say, you may lose your job. So as hard as it may be, keep your lips sealed!

These are just a few ways to build your reputation as a professional mystery shopper. Keep improving yourself by constantly checking out online sites and blogs related to mystery shopping, attend training courses, and visit mystery shopping forums. Keep learning, keep doing, keep growing, and keep trying new money making ideas—the sky’s the limit!

Life is Better with Frosting: Start a Home-Based Cake Decorating Business

Do you enjoy baking for others? When you ask what to bring to a potluck, do you get specific dessert requests? Can you wield a Wilton #3 with the flair of Picasso? Were you a pro at decorating cakes with fondant well before fondant was cool?

If so, consider starting your own cake decorating business, where you can thrill customers and indulge your artistic vision while juggling the tasks of a student or a homemaker. And while starting a home-based food business is not exactly a cake walk, it is one of the most gratifying money making ideas, and we do have some useful tips (tips–get it?) to get you started.

The Red Tape

First of all, acquaint yourself with state and local regulations for food-based businesses. Although these (and their enforcement) differ depending on your locale, common requirements include:

  • A license
  • Zoning variance
  • Local and/or state health department fees
  • Health department inspections [Read more…]

Work Less and Earn More

Some of you may be baffled by this title, but it’s definitely not a typo. It is absolutely possible to work less and earn more. Let me give you a hint though, this probably won’t work too well if you try these methods at your full time job.

If you suddenly only show up to work for a half a day on Monday and then don’t show up for the rest of the week, chances are that your boss is going to can you, no matter how much work you did in those four hours.

 

Own Your Own Business

Since you really can’t work less and earn more at your full time job, then where can you do it? You guessed it, you’re going to have to work for yourself to make this happen. But, don’t zone out on me yet. There’s more to it than just that.

Some business owners decide that they don’t want to employ people because it would be a waste of money. Instead, they spend 14 or 15 hours in their store every day to save the money of having an employee. At first glance it makes sense. After all, if you had to hire an employee to work eight hours a day for 20 days out of the month, then you’re going to have to shell out $1,600 when you could have (in theory) gotten that work done yourself.

There is one factor missing from this way of thinking though. There is an opportunity cost to working all of those hours yourself. Think about it. If you didn’t work every single hour on your business, you could brainstorm more, improve the operations of the business, and maybe even start another business with your time! This method could be repeated over and over and suddenly you’re the owner of 10 profitable businesses and not just one.

By developing a system for your business that anyone can learn, you’re able to take yourself out of the equation and earn money while you’re away! This is the ultimate goal of your business and after some time, you’ll be able to work less and actually earn more!

 

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

 

Take the Low-Risk Approach

I’m fairly risk-averse and would never recommend that someone should quit their job to pursue a business. I do like to see people start their own business though. They can get it going by working evenings and on the weekends. If the business continues to grow and has profits that are even greater than your full time job, then maybe it’s time to throw in the towel for the 8-5 job and take your business to the next level.

Of course this option is still risky since you gave up your full-time salary, but by taking the approach of working extra hours in the evenings and weekends, you now have a feel for your business and know whether or not there’s a market for what you’re selling. This is the ultimate low-risk approach, but can have a tremendous upside! And, with a well-defined system, it could lead you to work less and earn more than you ever thought possible!

 

 What about you?