Get Started This Weekend Making a Side Income Online

Often, the first step to financial freedom is to set up a side income stream in addition to your full-time job. Imagine earning your current salary and an additional $500, $1,000 or more in income from your side job.

This is not a dream; it’s reality for many people making money on the Internet.

What Job Should You Do?

Not sure what side business you can start? First think of what you enjoy doing because you don’t want your side job to be drudgery. Here are some popular ideas that work for many:

1. Blogging. This isn’t a quick money maker, but over time, you can definitely make a good side income. Some savvy bloggers make $10,000 or more, though those success stories are few and far between. Still, making $500 or more a month is completely possible. Best of all, you can blog about anything– personal finance, parenting, cooking, crafting, photography. Any interest that you’re passionate about could serve as a blog theme.

2. Freelance writing. If you like to write and are good at it, there has never been a better time to be a freelance writer. Gone are the days of soliciting by snail mail and waiting weeks for a response. There are plenty of freelance writing jobs on the Internet. If you have no contacts, get started on Elance or oDesk, and then as you make connections, leave those sites for higher paying jobs.

3. Virtual assisting. Do you have office experience? Are you a bookkeeper or administrative assistant by day? If so, use those skills to create a nice side income from home on the nights and weekends. Again, Elance or oDesk might be a good place to start, but there are also virtual assistant job placement services that you can use.

Getting Started

Once you have decided on your side income job, you’ll need to do a few things to start getting clients:

Create a website. While you may wonder, “How do I create my own website?”, there are plenty of companies that walk you through the set up. You don’t need to know HTML or be a technological whiz. You can have your website set up in a weekend, which is your first step to advertising your business and finding clients.

Learn how to market. While job boards are a good place to start finding jobs, they are often low paying. To find more lucrative jobs, you’ll need to learn how to market yourself. Try sites like Freelance Switch and Social Triggers to learn how to get better jobs.

Get client testimonials. Once you have a satisfied client, ask that person for a testimonial. You can put that statement on your website, which can give new clients confidence in your abilities and skills. As you gain more testimonials, you will likely gain more new clients.

Starting a side business is not difficult. With a few months of hard work and effort, you can begin to earn a few hundred extra dollars a month or more to help you get ahead, whether that means paying down debt, saving for retirement, or saving for college. What are you waiting for?

4 Ways to Get Cash in a Hurry

We all know the feeling of having a money crunch. Perhaps you complete your 1040 tax form and discover instead of a refund you are going to owe $2,000. Maybe your car has an unexpected $600 repair. If you don’t have an ample emergency fund, gathering that extra money quickly can be difficult. If you need fast cash, here are some options:

  1. Sell your stuff. We all have extra “stuff” around our house that we don’t use. Gather it all up and sell it. For more expensive items, consider Craigslist or eBay. For other items such as clothes or smaller household goods, have a garage sale.
  2. Take out a short term loan. There are plenty of places you can get short term loans from pay day loan companies to credit card advances. These loans are available quickly, and are the fastest way to get the money.
  3. Borrow from your peers. A relatively new place to borrow money is through peer-to-peer lending sites. You submit some documents related to your credit, the peer-to-peer site assigns you a letter grade based on your credit worthiness, and other members can choose to fund your loan, essentially investing in your loan.
  4. Borrow from friends or family. If you want to preserve the relationship, care must be taken here. Take the time to fill out a “contract” detailing how much was borrowed, what the interest rate will be if applicable, what day you will pay each month, and how much you will repay monthly. Then, make sure you make the monthly payments on time.

If you are in the position where you need money quickly, consider using one or more of the strategies above. If you are taking out one of these loans, make sure you completely understand the terms of the agreement and, most importantly, that you have a plan for paying the debt off so you can rid yourself of this debt as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, if you don’t have one, consider starting a small emergency fund to help protect you in the future from unexpected expenses. Even contributions as nominal as $5 or $10 a week can slowly grow your emergency fund. In addition, every time you have an extra windfall such as a work bonus, overtime pay, or a tax refund, consider funneling that money into your emergency fund too. Then, just be sure not to use the emergency fund for any purpose other than a true emergency. With diligence, the next time you have an emergency, you will be able to draw some or all of the money from your own savings.

Accounting and CRM

No matter how large or small a company might be, it needs to make sure it is always on top of its accounting processes. This matters for several reasons. For instance, businesses need to know basic things such as how much money they’ve spent, how much they’ve bought in and whether this is balanced. They also need accurate records for auditing purposes – and good accounting records can highlight areas of the business that have been successful and areas where more work might be needed.

This is why accounting and CRM systems are so closely linked. As you probably know, CRM stands for customer relationship management and, like accounting, it is an important part of any business. A good piece of CRM software can help a business
to keep track of customer data, including all of its clients and the progress of sales as they proceed.

As well as being very useful for any members of staff who are involved with sales and customer service, this is also useful from an accounting point of view. This is because a good CRM system helps to keep everything in order. After all, accounting isn’t
necessarily all financial and so the rest of the company’s records also need to be clear and accounted for. This helps to make the company more accountable to stakeholders – and also makes it more efficient as it will always know what is going on and where relevant information is.

For instance, as well as financial information, the accounting department might also be interested to see how much your contact list has grown in recent months. This is something they would be able to glean from your CRM software, as this would act as a central database with all of the relevant information stored on it. They might also want to check particular sales to make sure the figures they have got match up; the information stored in the CRM system could again be useful here, especially if an accurate and comprehensive record has been kept.

Other members of staff are also likely to need to account for their actions in the course of their work. A good example here is communications: if someone has the responsibility to send out a regular email newsletter to your company’s contacts, they might need to keep a regular check on this to evidence their actions. CRM solutions can be used to schedule and administrate communications such as this, meaning that they can act as a valuable accounting tool for more than just money.

Overall, CRM software does not replace your ordinary accounting software as its primary focus is on customers rather than financial issues. However, it is easy to see how these two areas overlap, as well as how a good CRM system can aid your
accounting processes and make sure your business keeps accurate records for all aspects of the company. This way, if your business is ever subject to an audit you should be able to prove that you have followed procedure as necessary and that you
have a high quality system in place to account for all of the actions you undertake.

Cash for Clunkers Ends

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The Cash for Clunkers program is now dead. There is no more money left for the program. Dealers will have until tonight to file any claims for deals made and many dealers have already stopped doing Clunker deals since last Thursday and Friday.

The controversial program offered rebates of up to $4,500 to those people who were trading in cars that had 18 MPG or less to purchase brand new cars. The original money for the program ran out quickly and additional funds were approved by Congress to extend the program.

5 Ways to Save Money and the Earth!

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Did you know that today is Earth Day? In honor of today, I’m going to outline some ways to go green and save some green, too! I believe that going green is biblical. Yes, you heard that right.

The Bible talks about being good stewards on this earth. That means making sure that we’re not wasteful and being good stewards of this planet that God has given to us to take care of.

1. Save Energy

I have CFL’s (compact fluorescent light bulbs) throughout my entire house. If you haven’t made the switch yet (shame on you), buy CFL’s and replace when your regular bulbs burn out. They may be a little more expensive but they last longer and use less electricity than regular light bulbs. So you’ll save money in the long run and help the environment!

Turn off lights when not in use and consider unplugging unused electronics when not in use. These will suck electricity even when they’re turned off. Or you could just plug things into a power strip and turn that off when not in use.

How about setting your thermostat a few degrees higher in the summer and a few degrees lower in the winter? That will save on your energy bill and you probably won’t even notice the difference! Almost in the same vein, adjust your water heater lower. It will save you money and you probably won’t notice as well.

2. Save Water

Install low-flow toilets, shower heads, and even faucets to save on that water bill. Consider getting energy-efficient appliances that use less water (like washing machines). It’ll save you money in the long-run and you could qualify for some state-specific tax breaks.

You could set your sprinkler system to water your lawn earlier in the morning so the water doesn’t evaporate quickly. Here’s an easy one. Take shorter showers! That’ll save you some money!

You could also skip out on bottled water and use a water filtration system in your refrigerator or something like a Brita pitcher. Bottled water costs $8 per gallon if you pay $1.25 for a 20 oz bottle! And we’re complaining about the “high” cost of gas! Bottled water is also not necessarily healthier than from the tap.

3. Save on Gas

Consider walking/biking/carpooling/public transporting (is that even a word?) to work or school. This will save you money on gas and possible parking costs as well. An added benefit could be getting some much needed exercise, too! You could ask (convince) your boss if you could telecommute a day or two a week if you can do your job at home, too.

Here’s a good one: learn how to drive! Quick acceleration and hard braking will reduce your gas mileage, not to mention add wear and tear to your brakes and tires. Slowing down will also increase your gas mileage.

4. Be a Smart Shopper

Stop and think before you buy! Do you really need this or can you live without it? Sleep on it. That’s what I do. Consider buying used instead of new. Browse craigslist or freecycle to see if you can find someone who’s giving away stuff that you want or need. Borrow if you can (go to the library to check out books and movies).

Share with your neighbors! If you rent a movie, why not let your neighbor borrow it before you return it? I know this one’s hard since nobody knows their neighbors anymore.

Comparison shop. Don’t just take their word for it. Just because they say it’s on sale, doesn’t mean it’s the best price or value. Just because they’re going out of business (think Circuit City) doesn’t mean the stuff’s a good deal! Do your homework!

5. Recycle!

I’ve always lived a lifestyle of recycling. My dad taught me to recycle aluminum cans, plastic, glass, paper, etc. at an early age. Not only are you going to help the planet, you’ll make a little cash, too!

Don’t create so much trash! There are some countries in the world where there’s not enough space for landfills and it’s a crime to throw too much stuff away. Don’t use plastic or paper goods (plates, cups, etc.) if you don’t have to. Use those real dishes. That’s what the dishwasher is for!

 

Well, hopefully you’ve got some great ideas on how to save the planet and some cash, too! God bless!