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One of the most common questions I hear is how can I make a little extra money on the side without putting in too much time?
While we would all like to make more money while we sleep, starting a side hustle does take some effort. But there are a few options that require a little less work than others--- and can be done from the comfort of your bed or kitchen table.
The best part about these side hustle ideas is that you don’t need a huge investment to get started or need to develop a specific skill. Whether you’re saving up for a fancy trip or just want some extra spending money, it’s always a good idea to learn how to earn money in your spare time.
This is a small list of ideas to help you get started and spark your creative juices. And you can do them all from your bed!
Transcribing podcasts and trainings. I used this service when a company hired me to create a 15-hour training for their accounting team. As a transcriber you earn a percentage of the overall fee. Check out Scribie for more information.
Customer Interviews. A lot of companies use customer interviews to get feedback on new products. Ping Pong is a sweet service that facilitates those interviews remotely.
Renting Out Your Car. In select markets, you can rent out your car on a daily or hourly basis to earn extra cash through companies like Turo. Nick and I used this service during our long weekend trip to Portland and loved it! According to Turo, the average car sits idle 22 hours a day, so their service is a unique opportunity to capitalize on those idle hours!
Virtual Assistant Service. Virtual assistants provide administrative support, remotely. If that sounds like a fun side hustle you can create your own business or join an established VA company such as Freedom Makers (they hire military spouses) or Fancy Hands.
Rewards Points from Credit Cards or Interest on Banking Account. The points from our credit cards have resulted in hundreds of dollars of gift cards and free travels. Also, the interest rates on your bank account balances can start to add up. Check out Radius Bank’s hybrid checking account for an easy way to earn cash on your checking account balance. Most checking accounts offer 0% interest, but Radius Bank actually pays you to store your money with them.
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Author: Lucy Reed
When I got one of my first "big girl" jobs as an accountant, I was so excited! Finally I could afford a nice apartment and start saving. Unfortunately, less than a year later, the company went through a downturn and my salary was chopped by 20%. OUCH.
Thankfully, I was teaching Zumba on the side and the money I was earning made up that 20% difference.
I am a firm believer that the biggest money skill you can learn is how to create wealth. Everyone should have a side hustle. And thanks to the gig economy, picking up a side hustle is easier than ever.
Here are some amazing insights from Lucy Reed of GigMine to help you figure out how to make the gig economy work for you!
Whether you want to overhaul your career or just start a side hustle, getting into the gig economy takes some work, but the rewards are totally worth it. If you’re thinking of starting a side job or just want to work for yourself for a while, make sure you keep the following points in mind.
Self Employment Takes Self-Discipline
One of the benefits of taking on a gig job is being your own boss. There’s no one to tell you how or when to do your job, and you can pretty much decide your own schedule. Just be careful of letting that freedom go too far because you are also solely responsible for earning your paycheck. Set up a schedule that’s productive and comfortable and hold yourself accountable for sticking to it. If your gig has you working from home, it’s also helpful to set up a dedicated workspace. Working from your couch may seem like a good idea, but it can be distracting with the TV or pets and children right in front of you. Find a corner of your house and make it a cozy little area for completing work tasks.
Finding Work Takes Some Work
With a regular job, you typically know you’ll come in to tasks every morning and get a steady paycheck every week or so. With freelance or gig work, that isn’t always the case. You’ll need to network and market yourself like crazy if you want this to be your main source of income, but even securing side gigs takes work on your part. Build solid relationships with your clients so you can turn to them for references and reviews. When you’re out in public and meeting new people, don’t be afraid to mention your work! You never know who could be your next client or who has connections that may be useful.
You May Have More Skills Than You Think
When you think of freelance or gig jobs, you may think you need to learn a specialty craft or skill. One of the best parts of getting a gig position is that you can make money doing a variety of things you love and already know how to do! Fluent in another language? You may be able to get paid for something as simple as having a conversation with someone looking to become more fluent. Like dogs but can’t get one of your own? There are tons of pet parents looking for dog walkers and pet sitters to care for their furry family members while they’re away. If you love to do something or have a skill, you can typically turn it into a profit. So think about what makes you happy and what you can offer to the public, and get to work making it your new gig.
Financial Planning Is a Must
Freelance and gig work may come with constant benefits but rarely brings in a constant paycheck. This may not make a difference if your gig is a just a side job, but if you’re looking to work for yourself full-time, you’ll need to be prepared for the financial ups and downs. One simple step you can take is to open up a checking account that pays you interest on your balance. While most checking accounts pay zero interest, Radius Bank’s hybrid checking account not only offers interest payments but it is also free to use.
Once you have your bank account in order, it’s time to get your financial house in order. Set aside thirty minutes to prepare your budget for any scenario and try to tuck away a few months’ worth of savings before you really strike out on your own. Don’t forget about taxes either and save at least 25 percent of what you make in case you owe a payment to the IRS at the end of the year.
Snagging a freelance or gig job can be a wonderful way to add some padding to your finances or a way to add some freedom to your life and schedule. Succeeding still takes work and patience, but the opportunities are endless. You could be getting paid to do what you love, and what could be better than that? So get to work, and good luck landing a gig of your own!
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Author: Amy Collett
Do you find your current job to be boring or unfulfilling? If you find yourself craving a career that blends creativity with freedom, one that allows you the flexibility to work from home if you want to, then starting your own business might be a good option for you. If creativity is something that comes naturally to you, you might start out doing freelance graphic design work for your friends and family. If you enjoy mathematics, you might launch a business as an accountant. Whatever your interests are, entrepreneurship offers a little something for everyone.
You don’t need a lot of money or even a college degree to start your own business. Anyone can become an entrepreneur, although it takes a lot of patience, passion, and drive. From market research to business plans, there’s a lot to consider when starting a home-based business.
Here are a few tips:
Boost your savings
Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. You should expect to devote a lot of time and finances to growing your business. As you are thinking about launching a home-based business, start adding money to your savings account. This will help you cover unexpected expenses (expect for everything to cost twice as much as you budget!) and create a cushion for the periods when income from clients may be a little slow. Check out Radius Bank’s high-yield savings account. Not only is it super easy to set up an account (it’s all online), but they have one of the highest APY rates on the market.
Using Technology to Stay Productive
There’s a lot that goes into running a home-based business, as you might imagine. One of the most difficult lessons to learn as a new business owner is how to track your time. Time management can be tricky for anyone, even those who don’t own a business. When you work from home, however, there are more distractions. It’s harder to get on a productive schedule when you have full flexibility and control over your daily schedule - and when you’re at home, on the couch, in your pajamas, within close proximity to a television, or surrounded by your children.
Luckily, all entrepreneurs can take advantage of modern technology to help stay productive when you’re growing a business from home. Some home-based business tools are simply indispensable for entrepreneurs. For instance, to save time on invoicing, you might use Square’s top-rated free invoice app, which will let you send unlimited invoices for free. By invoicing clients easily and using programs like Square, Toggle, or Paypal, which have apps that let you invoice (and perform other crucial business duties) directly from your smartphone, you’ll save yourself time and set yourself up for success.
Getting Your First Customers or Clients
One of the main things people start to worry about when starting a business is where and how they will get their first clients. The truth is that there are many ways you can get your first customers. Some of the most straightforward and sober advice comes from business coach Rebecca Tracey, who recommends telling “as many people as possible” about your business just to get your name out there. The people who you tell could be friends, family members, former colleagues, your social media followers, or anyone else you can think of who might be interested in your products or services. Even if the people themselves aren’t in need of your services, they might be willing to pass your name on to someone they know who could use your help.
Having trouble getting that first client? If you’ve tried everything you can think of and still haven’t had any success in obtaining those crucial first projects, you might try offering pro bono or volunteer work. Although it seems counterintuitive to do work for free, especially when you’re first starting your business, pro bono or volunteer projects can help you learn more about your industry and get more experience through working on real projects. These projects look great in a portfolio and, best of all, if your pro bono clients are happy with the work you provide, they may pay you for future projects or recommend you to connections who will.
You Can Do This
The tips in this article will help you find success as a business owner. Sure, starting a business isn’t easy, but it’s certainly something that many people can accomplish. Have faith that you can do it, even if you don't have a college degree; even if you aren't tech-savvy or have never owned a business before. Be willing to take risks, try new things, and take advantage of business technology, and you’ll be on your way to creating a rewarding career while working for yourself.
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About the author: Amy Collett is creator of Bizwell.org, a website that helps professionals and entrepreneurs build and strengthen their personal brand. She is author of the upcoming book, You, Exemplified: The Role of Personal Branding in Your Professional Life. When she isn’t helping clients boost their careers or businesses, she enjoys coaching her daughter’s soccer team and training to become a yoga instructor.
Bernard Maybeck. The famed late architect best known for designing the Palace of Fine Arts in the Marina District of San Francisco. The son of a German immigrant, he studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris before moving to Berkeley, California. His style was an eclectic blend of Mission style, Gothic revivial and Beaux-Arts classicism.
I had the distinct pleasure of being invited to a private lunch to one of the residential homes Maybeck designed in the Oakland Hills, known as the Guy Hyde Chick House. The owner, an art collector affectionately described as a raconteur by the Mercury News, graciously invited me over after we met a party hosted by our mutual tech publicist friend. The design of the home is known as “First Bay Tradition” style, where the structure is designed to merge with the natural surroundings. Perhaps laying the foundation for today’s green movement.
Everything about the home was breathtaking, but what stood out to me the most was the incredible art collection. It was almost as if the rooms decorated the art, not the other way around.
As someone who is new to the art collector’s world, I was in for a treat and some major education about fine art pieces embodying 5,000 years of cultural expression- Chinese. I also learned a little bit about the business of fine art and the opportunities it presents for investors.
Inspired, immediately after lunch, I did some research on luxury items as investments. How is that art can be a place to store and build wealth? Are there other luxury items that can do the same?
Apparently, yes! So, the next time someone judges you for shopping for the finer things in life. First, tell them that you are making a practical investment and expect to see a decent ROI on your purchase. Then say, bye. Because you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.
Fine Art. According to the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index, the fine art category is making a comeback as a passion investment. After a depressed 2016 market, the value of art at auctions has grown by 21 percent with the headliner, Salvator Mundi by Leonardo di Vinci selling for $450 million.
Jewelry. Prices for jewelry grew four percent last year and 138 percent over the last decade. The record price was set by ‘Apollo & Artemis’ diamond earrings, which were sold for $57.4 million. And the record for a diamond? $71 million was the selling price for a rare diamond known as the “Pink Star”.
Fine wines. After being the leader in the passion investment class in 2016, fine wines are going through a slight contraction in pricing. After a 24% price growth in 2016, last year it slipped to 11%. However, with a double digit growth increase, the category remains a strong contender.
Vintage Cars. Who would have thought that cars could be an investment vehicle. Maybe it’s not a surprise to you, but the amount that these cars sell for is mindblowing to me. Last week, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sold for $48.4 million at RM Sotheby’s annual Monterey collector car sale. The value of the car is expected to increase to $100 million within the next two to three years.
Furniture. Yes, you love for fabulous for home decor is 100% justified. A rare set of four Chinese huanghuali folding chairs sold for over $5 million. Sounds like your interior decorating haul is a retirement plan.
See, your love for shopping is totally a legit investment strategy. With that said, be sure to do it responsibly and have an ample amount of savings to support any unexpected (welcomed or otherwise) needs. I recommend a high-yield savings account because the return is much higher than traditional accounts. Click the link to check out the Radius High-Yield Savings account* - they have one of the highest interest rates.
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This post is in partnership with Radius Bank.
Taking one final glance in the mirror, Rose* hesitantly gave a tiny smile of success.
“Wow,” she whispered quietly to herself. “What a difference a year makes.” Drinking in her reflection, she couldn’t help but to admire what she saw. A woman who stood tall and fully grounded in her skin. Her once long, luscious strawberry blonde locks had been traded in for a chocolate pixie cut. Having shedded twenty-five pounds, thanks to her Cross Fit weight training and diet overhaul, her slender frame was strong yet feminine in her New York and Company creme colored jumpsuit.
Just last year, she thought her world was over. At the ripe old age of 29 (as society would have her think), she was single and depressed. Her fiancee had dumped her. Claiming that he had had a change of heart, only to find out that his fling in Dubai may have had something to do with it. The breakup sent her into an immediate spin of questioning everything in her life. Her job, her friendships, her purpose in life, her relationship with food and not least of all, her relationship with money.
Working full-time as a makeup artist for a department store in Scottsdale, Rose was ready for a change. She was ready to move to the big city of Los Angeles and embark on a career as a freelance makeup artist. But, before she made the move, she wanted to make some big-girl decisions about her money and start investing.
She had about $5,000 that she could play with, but was too scared to invest it. Rose knew the importance of making money work for you (how else was she supposed to be able retire and live in the South France), but was a tad embarrassed that she didn’t know the first step to take. Nor felt comfortable asking anyone for help.
I had met Rose at a gala on one of my speaking gig trips to Arizona. Rose and I immediately hit it off, easy to do when you’re the only two obnoxiously crowding the bartender to get a refill as soon as your drink is empty.
As luck would have it for a money blogger, Rose and I started chatting about money. Rose confided the hesitation around investing to me along with her recent breakup, the haircut and her plans to move to Los Angeles. The whole mirror scene is a figment of my imagination. Hopefully you don’t mind that I took literary liberty with that, Rose.
After doing some research, here are five ideas that I came up with for Rose (and maybe, you!) to invest $5,000.
Before you get started, ask yourself if you need access to these funds within the next five years. If so, I recommend using an investment vehicle that is liquid. This means that you can easily access the funds with no, or little, penalty fees.
High-yield savings account: If you’re new to investing, it’s a good idea to begin with a conservative approach. With a high-yield savings account, the $5,000 you put in will be returned you. And then some. I’m a big fan of Radius Bank . It has one of the highest APY rates on the market.
Robo-advisor: Usually working with a personal financial advisor is costly because of the fees we need to pay to compensate a human being for their time and expertise. An alternative is to use a tech platform, until you are ready to hire someone. A couple of options to look into are Ellevest and Moola.
Real estate: if real-estate is your jam, unfortunately $5,000 won’t get you very far. But, you can check out platforms such as Fundrise, RealtyShares, RealCrowd for non-traditional real estate opportunities.
Personal loans platform: these platforms give you the opportunity to help another individual pay down a loan, cover their IVF costs or grow their small business. Two platforms you can check out are Prosper and Lending Club.
Invest in your small business or your personal development: as Warren Buffet says, the best investment is the one you make in yourself. Consider working 1:1 with a business or life coach, enrolling in a class, or checking out Marie Forleo’s B-School program to boost your marketing skills.
This post is in partnership with Radius Bank.
For more tips on how to lead a financially independent life, sign up for my weekly Money & Mimosas Insider list.
*Name changed to protect identity.
A few years ago, I was introduced to a woman who was building a branding consulting business. We’ll call her Katherine. She was going through a tough time in her personal life. In the middle of a divorce with her husband of fifteen years, which left her in a financial strain. A strain that caused her, and her two kids, to move from a 30,000 square foot home in Beverly Hills to a 800 square foot apartment in the Bay Area.
After years of relying financially on her husband, Katherine was now in a position where she could not support herself.
For the last several years, she had worked at non-profits. While the causes were dear to her heart, the non-profits were not in a position to pay her a decent salary. but had not been generating an income for herself. Prior to marrying her husband, she had been an attorney in New York and had a brief career working for a branding agency. After applying to several agencies in the Bay with no luck, she decided that the best next step for her was to hang out her shingle as a consultant and tap her network of contacts for clients. She was getting traction for potential consulting opportunities, but for some reason had a hard time closing the deal. Or she would close the deal, but wind up doing it for free.
I remember being in that position of giving away my services for free and know, first-hand, that it is a fast-track to burnout.
A mutual friend of ours suggested that Katherine reach out to me. We met up for mimosas at the Rooftop restaurant in Walnut Creek, California.
After a few minutes of getting to know each other, we jumped into chatting about Katherine’s branding business.
“So, how are things going as a consultant,” I asked.
“It’s ok,” she said. “I’m really good at getting in the door. I’ve great connections at large companies because of my non-profit work. But, I have a hard time getting paid.”
After asking her a few more questions, it was clear to me that Katherine lacked confidence (the biggest skill you need to be a business owner) and a structure for pricing her services.
The advice I shared with her about confidence will be another blog post. For this article, we’ll focus on answering the big question that many service based business owners have, which is “What should I charge for my services?”
As a service- based business owner, one of the most challenging tasks is accurately pricing your services.
Unlike product based business who have a fixed cost and then add a % above that to determine their price, you have to account for your time and expertise.
First things first, when a potential client asks this question, take a deep breath. You don’t have to share your prices in the conversation if you do not feel comfortable doing so. When you state your price, you want to come across as confident. The worst thing you can do is stumble over the first random fee that pops into your head. Because person on the other side of the phone will feel your hesitation and will begin to doubt if you are the right person for the gig.
Secondly, you want to ask them two clarifying questions to better understand their perspective.
“What is the budget you’ve allocated to this project?” If they haven’t given it any thought, ask them to give you a ballpark range.
“What is the timeline that you want this to be delivered?” If it’s a quick turnaround, then you will need to charge a higher fee.
If the project is under $2,000, you should feel comfortable stating that on the phone. If it is over $2,000, let them know that you will be putting together a proposal that you will send to them within the next five business days.
One of the most common misconceptions I hear from service-based business owners is that they don’t have an overhead. They think that it doesn’t cost them any money to run their business. But your time is valuable and it needs to be compensated.
In addition to your time, there are five key factors that need to be considered. These factors should not be delineated in your proposal. They are merely to help you calculate your total fee.
Your savings and investment. When you worked for a company, your retirement savings was usually matched. Now you have to cover that yourself. If you are saving for a home or to start a family, this should also be included. Be sure to include this in your calculation.
Expertise. The amount of time you’ve invested in honing your craft is saving someone else the time from learning it. And time is money. Plus, your execution will be far greater than theirs because you are solely focused on developing this craft.
Tax payments. Depending on your home country, you should plan on paying 15- 40% of your earnings in taxes.
Healthcare. You are now responsible for covering your insurance costs and this needs to be included in your fee.
Your salary. Don’t forget that you deserve to get paid, too! All the money should not go back into the business, some of it should go to you. Otherwise, you’ll be on the fast track to burnout.
Once you have calculated the above factors, summarize it in a proposal to the client! And don’t forget that you will want to have a business account ready to accept your payment.
Check out Radius Bank’s Business Tailored Checking! It’s made for the small, independent business owner (like you, Katherine and me!). And you will earn 0.75% on balances over $10,000.
For more tips on how to lead a financially independent life, sign up for my weekly Money & Mimosas Insider list.
Imagine waking up every morning, excited to jump out of bed and greet the day ahead. A day full of everything you want to do. Reading your favorite blogs, writing, catching up on the latest Hollywood news, grabbing a mid-morning tea with a girlfriend before heading to yoga.
Then getting your BOSS on with meetings and socialite events. Maybe there’s even a photoshoot thrown in the mix before you head home to wrap up emails and plan for the following day.
Whatever your passion is, there is a way to make it a part of your life. In fact, it is a necessity. Whether you’re doing it just for fun, or want to get paid, giving yourself permission to follow your passion is an important step in feeling fulfilled.
We, of course, are big fans of you getting paid to pursue your passion. Because money is a tool for you to be able to further express your creative talents and experience all that life has to offer. If you haven’t already, be sure to read our 14 reasons why you need to launch your side hustle, NOW. Once you’re done reading it, let’s get to work and make your passion your paycheck.
Here are the ten steps to take to make your dream life, a reality:
Visualize. Spend fifteen minutes daydreaming about the life you wish to create. What are the activities you’re doing, who are you hanging out with, what feelings are you experiencing, foods you are eating...the more detailed you are, the better!
Choose a focus. If you are like most creatives, you have a lot of ideas that you wish to pursue. In the beginning, it is ok to try different tasks but always have one task as your guiding light. And make sure that all of the other tasks support that guiding light.
Set financial goals. One year from now, how much money do you wish to add to your savings account? How many trips do you want to take and how much will they cost? Think through all of the experiences you wish to have and how much it will cost.
Write down your goals. Gaining clarity on what you want accomplish is a HUGE step in achieving it. Spend a few minutes writing down your financial and life goals. Then, set a deadline to achieve it.
Write a one-page business plan. Include all of your marketing activities that you will do to achieve your goals. If you are a blogger or vlogger, how many pieces of content will you create each week? How often will you post on social media? How many prospective clients or sponsors will you reach out to each week? Write it down.
Create a financial foundation. Open up a bank account that is dedicated to supporting your goal of making your passion your paycheck. This account will be used to deposit any earnings you have, and cover any expenses. Not sure which account to use? We love the hybrid-checking account from Radius Bank. It’s perfect for tech-savvy, creatives like yourself.
Find a money buddy. We all get discouraged or distracted, and having an accountability partner will help you stay on task. Check out our tips on how to choose the right money buddy for you!
Create a daily checklist. Write down one thing you will do everyday to make your dreams a reality.
Write down your gifts. Many of us work towards goals, reach them, and then quickly work towards the next one without stopping to congratulate ourselves. Next to your goals, write down the gifts you will treat yourself to once you achieve them. It can be a walk around the park on a Tuesday afternoon or a spa day treatment.
Schedule a money date. Set aside 15 minutes every week to do your #MoneyandMimosas date. This is where you review your finances and note your progress. Once you’re done, be sure treat yourself to a mimosa.
For more tips on how to turn your passion into a paycheck, join our weekly insider list full of money tips to help you live your best.