Thursday, June 28, 2018

Freelancing Isn't Just For Writing





When someone says they “freelance” what is the first thing you think of? I used to figure they meant they are freelance writers. But, there are so many other options out there. Especially since so many of us have access to the Internet. Maybe you need some extra income or maybe you prefer to work from home FT and you don’t know where to start. You’re starting in the right place!

What Are My Options?


There are thousands and thousands of options out there. What are your interests? Hobbies? Skills? Maybe you had the best Myspace layout and helped all of your friends create the coolest most colorful pages. If that is something you’re into, maybe you could help others with web development and design. You could start by creating a portfolio or media kit and advertising yourself on a variety of websites.

Teaching and tutoring is another great way to earn some extra cash. You could offer tutoring lessons on Skype and Google Hangouts or you could offer lectures. Websites like Udemy, offer thousands and thousands of courses and topics. You can even sign up to be a teacher on Udemy.

If you are an artist or a musician, you can start accounts online to promote and sell your work. This can also boost your portfolio! Kickstarter is a great way to get your work noticed, grab some funding for a project and find new fans. Maybe you’re not a singer or a painter but you have some photography skills. Why not offer deals for people in your area for sessions? There are so many people out there looking for stock images for websites (I do the same!) and there are websites for you to upload your images, start an account and start selling stock photos. Not only does this bring in extra income for a very minimal amount of work but it also helps to get your name out there and brings repeat customers.

If art isn’t your thing but you are super duper organized, maybe you would do well as a virtual assistant. You might be surprised at the number of people who are out there looking for someone to keep their datebooks nice and neat and orderly and to make sure they don’t miss a meeting, a birthday, a deadline, or maybe they just need an assistant for a specific project.

Technology is one of the fastest and most promising and most rewarding careers out there. Adrian Rubin is a great example of this! Whether you’re interested in game development, app development, or computer programming, there are so many options out there and so many customers. If you don’t have a whole lot of experience but have always had a knack for technology, you could always pick up some courses or attend school while freelancing on the side.  

One of the most interesting freelance jobs I’ve come across is; research. There are businesses and people who will pay you to research practically anything and everything. You could be in charge of polls, surveys, or simply searching Google for bits and pieces of information. The only experience you really need is to be organized, have time, and know how to surf the web.

Social media management, Search engine optimization, writing, sales, and marketing, are all in demand. If you have experience and time to be online (lots and lots of time!) the next step is to promote yourself and get the word out!

I Made My Choice So, Now What?


Build your brand and get out there!
You can do this in your pajamas if you want!
Start a portfolio, offer some freebies to prospective clients, ask for testimonials in return, advertise, advertise, advertise!
Start a website to showcase your work and build a social media network for your new business. Tweeting a few times a day about your business and other things related to your business is free so take advantage of this!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Always Read Your Credit Card Contracts




Credit cards can be very useful in times of emergencies and when building credit. But, what happens when the interest starts to pile up and reality kicks in and you start to realize that it will take close to a decade to pay off a $500 purchase?

Of course, there are times when we can’t simply pay the full balance on credit cards each month. Maybe not even more than the minimum. We’ve all been there. You might start searching for options when you get stuck and sometimes it seems that opening new accounts might really benefit you and your credit.

Balance transfers are an ideal way to consolidate debt and try to lower your monthly payments. Sometimes you’ll find a higher interest rate for balance transfers. Other times you may see the special introductory rates of 0% interest and that might be enough for you to jump at that offer! Be warned, if you don’t read every word on that annoying little pamphlet that comes with your offer or with your card, you may be in for a rude awakening if something happens down the road. That jaw-dropping 0% introductory rate may only be good for 12 months and it may also only be good for that specific balance transfer. (Don’t start making purchases with that card thinking you don’t have to worry about interest!) Some credit cards will stop the 0% rate if you miss a payment or you are late with a payment. One of the tricks I’ve found when I was lured in for a 0% interest rate was most of the time, these cards will add their regular interest rate at the end of the 12 months if you haven’t paid the balance off yet. (Sometimes you’ll find that they will also add the interest that would have been there from day 1.)

The most important thing to do is to read every tiny line. There are a lot of hidden rules inside those tiny print contracts. You don’t want to have to be even more surprised later down the road. Especially if you were in a bad spot and used this to save yourself only to find that it will end up making things worse.

A credit card interest calculator is a very handy tool to have! Whether you just want to check on random amounts and how much you would pay if you buy a new stereo, use your card for vacation, or just use it for regular everyday purchases, this can be very eye opening.

If you are in a position where you can afford double the minimum payment or even just an additional $20 on the minimum payment due, take advantage of that! It may seem small but you’re saving yourself months and even years of payments and quite a bit of money.
If you look at your statements each month to see what you were charged for interest and deduct that from your minimum amount due, you might be in for a shocker! Buying that game console may have seemed like a fun idea but when you realize that you will end up paying (in some cases) 3 times that amount, you might try to find another way to earn enough money to make that same purchase with cash.

Just a few more things to keep an eye on when jumping into credit cards and finding yourself swimming in debt:

Rewards cards are only really worth it if you can commit to paying your full balance off each month. (This is a great way to entice people to apply for credit cards but you could end up paying much more in the long run.)

Be sure to check the fees that are included with your credit card. There may be annual fees, late fees, and even administrative fees.

Check and recheck the interest rate and be sure you understand the rates and how they could fluctuate depending on your payments and usage of that card.

Check your credit report periodically and take note of the effects of these cards on your credit.

If you find yourself stuck and you feel overwhelmed or you need some help, it’s always best to check with professionals to evaluate your options and how you can take control of your future. Nationwide Debt Reduction Services could help you catch up and breathe much easier!