Category Archives: Second Income

Four Best Ways To Make Money Online In Your Spare Time

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By John

Pretty well everyone either wants or needs to make some extra money, especially in these challenging times. Angling for a raise at work is one way, although the extra tax you will have to fork out, or the extra duties you might have to perform, may not work to your advantage. Taking on a second job is an option, but many people find this too time-consuming or enervating. Buying or making, and selling things in the real world is another option for earning some extra cash. However, for somebody with modest computer skills, looking online for opportunities to make some extra money in your spare time is a particularly promising alternative. There are plenty of creative ways to make money fast, but fast doesn’t always last. You need to develop a sustainable and reliable revenue stream.

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Everybody has skills and interests which can be leveraged to make money online. There is always somebody somewhere who wants to buy what you have to sell. Here is our list of four best ways to make money online:

A picture is worth a thousand words, and could get some extra bucks as well

Stock photography sites have a huge appetite for new material. If you have a flair for photography, and especially if photography is your hobby, it is not difficult to sell your best pictures. There are even websites that buy video clips. The returns are not likely to be high, but at least will help to pay for your hobby.

Go freelance with your best skills

This is probably the best way to make money online. Essentially, you are offering your professional knowledge or expertise for sale. There are many online agencies and how-to websites looking for qualified professionals or even enthusiastic amateurs to assist with website design or content,  or provide articles or advice on just about everything. The agency acts as a matchmaker between the people looking for the expertise and you, the freelancer. As your portfolio and track record grow, so does your ability to command higher prices. This is potentially quite a lucrative way to make money online in your spare time.

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Join groups

There are research groups, survey groups and focus groups all looking for participants in their projects. Usually there is little or no specialized knowledge required, just your time and a computer. Rewards tend to be low but the more activities you participate in, the more they add up.

Blog

You can start your own blog or website and aim to make some money through ads, commissions, and buying and selling things, or you can blog for payment. Many sites are on the lookout for quality bloggers to write reviews or provide opinion pieces or simply to generate discussion on just about every topic under the sun. You should do due diligence on any site you sign up with, however, as the web is awash with scams, and you should NEVER pay anything upfront. This is quite a time-consuming activity, and ruled by deadlines.

None of these activities is likely to become a major revenue stream on its own, but you don’t have to limit yourself to just one. You can take on several, as long as you have the time and can manage that time effectively to complete all your assignments punctually. They are all fun, interesting and productive ways of making some money online in your spare time.

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How Can I Make Some Extra Money?

By John

People are increasingly looking for ways to make extra money these days. They say that they are already saving as much as they possibly can, but it’s still not enough. We are not looking at this from a tycoon’s point of view, but from that of the average family with a typically modest income.

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So we are not talking trading stock-options here, or buying a soccer team, but rather how you can earn a little extra money through some creative thinking. And you probably have more options than you ever realized. First, here is a caveat:

Be skeptical about get-rich-quick schemes

They sound awfully attractive to someone who is hard-up. A lot involve affiliate marketing or SEO projects. Maybe there are some which, as promised, make people millionaires within a year, other than the guy who dreamt the thing up, but you have to wonder why the world and his wife haven’t already done it and become millionaires. It’s well worth researching such schemes and reading the reviews and running them through scam-searching websites before you take the plunge.

Then there are lotteries. You know the odds on winning those ….

If you want a more certain outcome, we believe it’s better to look closer to home. Here are our favorite tips on how you can make some extra money:

Be creative

If you have any sort of artistic streak, try arts and crafts, using unwanted or old materials and furniture. You can also forage for interesting flowers, leaves or bird feathers near your home or driftwood and seashells from the shore to incorporate into your creations.

You can sell your CD and DVD collections (back them up first). You can sign up with an agency and sell your digital photos.

Have you any spare space in your yard? Try renting it out for someone to park their car or use it as storage space.

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Sell your services

People always want help with all manner of things, besides the perennial dog-walking and baby-sitting and grass-cutting. You may discover you have a talent for gardening or landscaping. You can run errands for the elderly. You can become a tutor, especially if you have a specialization.

Go online

If you are internet-savvy, you can join a freelance agency and design websites and landing-pages. You can start your own website or blog and make money. You can sign up with marketing research agencies and become a product reviewer, or mystery shopper, or take part in online paid surveys. A word of warning: research these agencies properly before you sign up to ensure that you are in line to receive an actual benefit.

Other agencies will pay you to write articles for their clients. You can write articles based on a topic or theme laid down by the client, or you can write articles on topics which interest you and put them out there and hope that someone will buy them. Most people have latent talent in this area, or at least a degree of specialized knowledge and this is a great way to spend your spare time and earn a few bucks.

Become a trader

Go to garage and yard sales, auctions and thrift sales and see what you can pick up cheaply for resale online. Buy cheap and sell for profit. There is somebody in the market for pretty well everything that anyone wants to sell nowadays and it just takes some patient on- or off-line searching to find the person who wants what you have to sell.

Taken item by item, the extra money you can make from most of these ideas may be modest but it all adds up.

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Ways To Make More Money: Six Ways To Increase Your Income

By Kavita

Can money ever be enough for any person in this world? I seriously doubt if even the richest elite would say he/she has enough money and does not want any more of it. That is the attraction of money and we are after all mere mortals. No matter what the status of your current income is, you can easily earn more money and increase your income by following these six methods. Would you like to give one of them a try?

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Rent your car out as a moving billboard

I am sure you have had quite a lot of opportunities to come across cars/vehicles on the road that looked like moving billboards. The first thought that must have crossed your mind was probably that these cars belonged to the company whose product was being advertised on the vehicles.

Well let me introduce you to the first method of adding some dollars to your income. Welcome to the latest in advertising: moving billboards/vehicle wrapping. The company hires car/vehicle owners to double up as moving billboard advertising their products and the expected revenue could be hundreds of dollars. But before you jump to conclusions, let me tell you that the earnings will depend heavily upon the area and demographics of your neighborhood. You may also need to check with local regulations to ensure the practice is legal in your community.

Sign up with some popular direct selling company

Direct selling companies abound in hundreds and these are often quite easy to sign up with. Direct selling opportunities abound in various areas, from cosmetics to cell phones. Though viable, not everyone is suited to such income streams. Some morph into forms that many would prefer to stay away from.

Start freelance work from home

Freelance work can be of many types like freelance writing, freelance designing, freelance photography etc. If you register with any of the credible freelance job sites online, you can select the kind of jobs that you want to freelance and earn money online. This is increasingly becoming a popular method nowadays, especially after the recent economic debacles.

Mystery shopping

This is another one of the newest trends in shopping and gaining customer feedback by the companies. Companies that sell their products in the shopping malls or stores want to know firsthand customer experience after using their products. They are ready to hire people and pay them either in cash or as free products to use their products and then report back with their honest opinions.

Rent out free space

If you have a big house and have a room or two to spare, then you can rent it out to interested folks.

Help companies with promotions

There are many companies that indulge in some or the other kind of promotions each day. Say for example a new burger outlet is opening in your neighborhood and they plan to have someone to dress up as their mascot. You can approach such promotions and see how you can earn some money in the process.

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How To Make More Money Without Leaving Your Job

It is funny how people react towards their jobs. On one hand they cannot live without a stable income (provided by a 9-5 job), but on the other hand they are constantly complaining about the 9-5 grind. It is no secret that the majority of people who work for others are desperate to start their own money making venture and be their own boss. But this post is not going to touch any of those topics.

Right now, what we are focused on is to discuss some easy ways to get a side income that helps you make more money without leaving your day job.

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Start a freelancing career

You can freelance any skill that you are currently using in your day job. Let us say that you work as a receptionist and your work responsibility is to attend calls and attend to the visitors to your company. The same job can be done online, as a freelance virtual assistant or virtual customer service representative. There are plenty of companies that hire freelancers for such positions. A simple Google search will lead you to tons of resources.

Similarly if you handle the accounts of your company and maintain their financial records, you could do the same online as a freelancer.

If you are a software programmer or involved in some kind of technology/IT related position, you could find heaps of opportunities to do the same for clients as a freelancer.

Sell something online

Starting an e-commerce store is another way to make more money. If you are good at making handicrafts or are skilled at creating beautiful show pieces or jewelry or paintings or stuff like that, you can easily sell them online. Starting an online store saves you from the hassle and expenses of establishing a brick and mortar shop.

The biggest benefit of selling an online store versus a brick and mortar shop is that you can attend to your day job and everything can be managed without your physical presence in the shop. Moreover, an online store attracts international customers and stays open 24x7x365. This definitely means more customers and more flexibility in running your online ecommerce store.

In case you do not want to start an online store of your own, you can try out a few other options. There are so many popular e-commerce sites that allow users to sell their stuff online and you may have to pay a monthly fee for that.

In case you do not have any creative stuff to sell because you lack in creative / handicraft skills, you could still make more money by selling unwanted things, things that you no more use etc, online.

Start coaching classes

If you have some kind of professional knowledge or ability, then you could make money by coaching others who are interested in learning those skills from you. You could manage these coaching classes after your work hours or on weekends when you do not have to attend work.

We hope you found our article “How To Make More Money Without Leaving Your Job” useful. If so, do let us know in the comments.

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Credit Cards Could Make You Money

With some common sense precautions, you could earn a few extra bucks from your credit cards. Yes, the stack of plastic cards that you thought were money drainers could actually give you some extra cash every month, PROVIDED [caps intended] you approach the practice in a disciplined manner and exercise extreme due diligence all along. Done right, you could have some extra money every month but if you make mistakes you could end up losing a lot more money. Here are some ways your credit cards could make you extra money:

Interest rate differentials could earn you extra cash

If you have received an offer for a 0% APR credit card, that would be the perfect starting point. Generally, the way this process works is very simple. Let’s say you have a $5,000 credit line with 0% APR for six months. Some individuals deposit this money in an interest bearing account for the duration of six months and gain some additional cash due to the interest differential. Now, it is not as easy as it sounds.

First, you have to read your credit card provider’s terms and conditions and your state and local laws to see if the practice is prohibited. Second, getting the $5,000 into your account may cost you some money in the form of transaction costs so you will have to do the math if the overall transaction is beneficial or otherwise. Finally, the 0% APR may not be availed of for certain transactions.

You may want to read our article Credit Card Arbitrage Could Be Tricky for more details.

Cashback percentage, rewards, bonus points, miles, travel rewards, and others

Not much complexity here. In fact, this is very easy. Depending on the type of credit card you have signed up for, you could win various cashback incentives, rewards, and other bonuses. There is one catch, though, if you don’t repay your purchases in full (on time), you will incur the regular APR and that would nullify your earnings so the key is to repay in full whenever possible.

The 0% APR on purchases offer could be a money maker

If you have an introductory 0% APR on purchases credit card, it could be a source of additional income as well. Some individuals pay for their purchases using the credit card for the duration of the 0% APR offer and deposit a similar amount in their interest bearing account while repaying a minimum balance during the duration of the offer. Just before the expiration of the offer, they repay the entire amount in full to avoid incurring any interest rate charges.

Again, the same precautions apply. You need to calculate all transaction costs meticulously in order to avoid incurring unreasonable fees.

Note: If you do not adapt to the various parameters, you could end up losing much more money than you expect to make so be very careful. As always, you should seek the advice of an investment professional and an attorney.

Top Money Mistakes Made By Unemployed Individuals

Unannounced pink slips could jolt even the most talented professionals. The emotional roller coaster could cause even financially-savvy individuals to make money mistakes they would not have otherwise considered.

Here are some money mistakes you must absolutely avoid:

Ineffective budgeting (and worse, no budgeting)

Internet surveys indicate that nearly 35% to 55% of individuals do not budget at all and a significantly larger proportion either do not adhere to their budget or adapt it to changing circumstances. Almost immediately after a layoff, take stock of all your liquid assets and create a budget that will launch you in “survival mode” for six months to a year. Trim all unnecessary expenses.

If possible, create a temporary source of income. Blogging, temp jobs, freelancing — there are plenty of ways you can earn some extra cash without jeopardizing your job search goals.

Not applying for unemployment insurance

In an ad hoc survey, I found that nearly 55% of the individuals had not applied for unemployment insurance because they thought they “would not qualify for it.” Surprisingly, almost 90% of these individuals had not checked qualifications criteria with their state unemployment office.

Unemployment insurance can be a great backup source for several months. Considering that the average job search time (US market) edges between six months to one year, a little extra help could go a long way.

Not consulting a tax professional

The Tax Code has several provisions that could benefit unemployed individuals. Certain expenses toward your job search may qualify for a tax break. Speak to a qualified tax expert or attorney to adjust your financial goals and tax strategies.

Cashing out on savings before exhausting other resources

Don’t cash out on your savings and retirement assets as soon as you hit the panic button. Your savings must be your absolute last, last [redundancy intended] resort during this time of financial crisis. Unless you are really starving, don’t touch your savings.

Not planning effectively

Create a roadmap for yourself describing all contingency steps you are going to take during the next three months, six months, and one year.

Examples: If I don’t get a job within three months, I am going to share the apartment with a roommate; after six months of unemployment, I will start selling some of my furniture … get the point.

Not mitigating risk (an unemployment account)

If you are reading this article while you have a job, open a separate “unemployment account” where you can deposit a small percentage of your monthly earnings. The goal is to create a “cushion” that will last you several months.

Relying on debt

When paychecks are not certain, piling up debt is the last thing you would want to do. Avoid the temptation of using your credit card even for small expenses. If you use it, try to repay most of the principal at the end of the month. One small error here could cause a ripple effect and create headaches that will only spiral down the road.

Not seeking professional help

If your company has offered you outplacement assistance, take advantage of the free help. Otherwise, seek out your local Career One Stop and get help with all aspects of your job search. An average individual looks for work every four to five years. A lot changes during this timeframe. A little professional help could cut your job search time significantly.

Most importantly, create a support group of like-minded professionals you can network with during your period of unemployment. These connections could really benefit you in many ways.

Credit Card Arbitrage Could Be Tricky

In its simplest form, credit card arbitrage is a process where individuals take advantage of interest rate differentials.

Let me explain the concept with the help of an illustration:

John borrows $10,000 from XYZ Credit Card at 0% APR for twelve months. He transfers this money to his bank account and earns 3% on a twelve-month CD. For a period of twelve months, John will be earning 3% ($300) for literally doing nothing. His earnings could increase to double digit numbers if he were to invest these funds in opportunities generating rewards at that level. Of course, this over-simplified example ignores certain fees, costs, and risks associated with initiating an arbitrage.

There are many self-proclaimed credit card arbitrage experts who brag about their supernatural ability to make thousands of dollars every year. While we doubt the authenticity of the numbers, theoretically it is possible to make some extra money, provided the practice is legal in your state and not prohibited by your lender’s terms and conditions.

You may have to overcome certain barriers to get the cash advance deposited into your checking account. Some credit card companies have imposed limits and restrictions when it comes to cash advances.

Consider the following caveats as starting points in your research about arbitrage:

Be alert to sudden changes in interest rates

Even if you signed-up for a 0% APR credit card, you must be extremely careful about trigger points that could spike your interest rates at a moment’s notice. If that were to ever happen, you could end up losing a lot of money. Remember, credit card arbitrage works only if the interest rate differential is substantial.

Earnings attrition could occur at either end of the arbitrage spectrum as well. For example, your investment portfolio may also witness a sudden drop in interest rates.

Calculate all fees associated with the transaction

You could incur fees at various points during the arbitrage process. Cash advance fees, bank fees, and interest payments are a few examples.

Pay your balance regularly

To take advantage of the 0% APR, you will have to pay your minimum balance every month. Delays could trigger late fees and also cause your 0% interest rate offer to terminate prematurely. The entire balance will have to be paid off before the duration of the promotional 0% APR expires.

Credit score will drop temporarily

You may lose some points on your credit score as your debt to total available balance fluctuates. As you start making payments toward the principal the score will increase gradually.

Please note: We haven’t checked into the legal aspect of arbitrage nor do we recommend or endorse credit card arbitrage. You must always check with a certified investment professional and a licensed attorney.