Month : March 2016

Extra Income

Top 5 Ways to Write For Online Income

In these tough economic times, any additional income is welcome. There are several ways to make money on the internet, but one easy way is through writing. You don’t need to be an English expert or a post-graduate in English literature from Harvard.

These are simple and fun, if you love to write, and you don’t need to involve yourself with any marketing (most ways to make money online seem so full of marketing that this is a welcome break!) Here are 5 practical ways you can make some decent amount of money online with your passion for writing.

Writing Reviews

All kinds of businesses need good reviews, and this is especially so for online businesses that need to rely on word of mouth for their promotion. There are many websites to consider. softwarejudge.com that pays up to $50 for a good honest review, whether good or bad.

Better still, visit a site like cnet or any other site that lists a host of products, like software (software review is easy as compared to say cameras because the software can easily be reviewed online) and contact the developers who need a good review. Such products are not usually hard to find as a lot of new developers need reviews for their products. Offer them your services and they should easily realize the importance of a good review from a writer.

Creative Web Domains

All businesses need a perfect domain name that is easy to remember and recollect and talks to the customers. Unfortunately, there are billions of websites and this restricts the availability of their top choice.

Therefore you can use your creativity and name websites for businesses, getting paid in the process. Try out pickydomains.com that pays $25 each time a domain name is picked by the business.

Simple Copywriting for eBay

Here is an idea that is used by a lot of professional writers. Go to eBay and find products that are costly but have pathetic product description. This can range from art and antiques to yachts and boats. Contact the owner directly and assure him that you can attract customers by writing good descriptions. You can charge your client a fee depending on the selling price, say 1% of the price for which the item finally gets sold

Blog with Google Adsense

If you can come up with topics that attract readers, there is nothing like writing a good blog to make money. Google Adsense is a great program but there are others you might consider, like AdBrite. The point is, if you can write on controversial or hot topics, chances are you’ll attract a lot of readers, which translates into good revenue streams. Once a blog is well established, it can bring in a good amount of money with minimal efforts.

Guest Blogging

You can go to a site like payperpost.com that allows you to write promotional guest posts for different blogs, according to their requirement. If you have a blog, it is easy to contact some blog owners directly and offer them a guest blog. Every blog owner needs good attractive content, and if you can provide it, you can make a good amount of money in the process.

These are some of the ideas for people who can use their skill and love for writing to make a decent amount of money working online.

Are there any other ways that you earn income from writing?

photo credit: Markus Rödder

Home Ownership

4 Ways to Help the Mortgage Process Run Smoothly

Anyone who has ever applied for a mortgage is well aware that the process can be tedious and often frustrating. As mortgage guidelines have become stricter, more information is required from borrowers, more paperwork is needed and more time is required to examine the entire loan file in order to reach a loan decision. From the very start of the mortgage application, either for a home purchase loan or mortgage refinance, borrowers and lenders can work together to gather all that is necessary to bring the loan to a successful closing. However, there are some things that can happen along the way. While some can be prevented, other issues will just show up. In an effort to prevent issues from delaying the closing, below are 4 ways to help the mortgage process run smoothly.

1. Completing the entire mortgage application as instructed by the lender will provide all of the preliminary information that the lender needs. Think of the mortgage application as a time line of events that basically produces a story for the lender. If a borrower leaves out any information that is required, chapters are missing and the story is incomplete. The most common areas that are neglected appear right on the first page of the mortgage application; the requirements for two full years of residency addresses and two full years of employment. Regardless of where a borrower lived or worked (or did not work), this information is mandatory.

2. Submitting the appropriate documentation is mandatory so that the lender can examine and verify the information. A full two years of employment documents will be required, even if there were multiple jobs. Different types of employment may require additional documentation which the lender will request. Providing this information as soon as possible allows the lender to get the verifications completed faster. In some cases, where a borrower was in school for a period of time in lieu of being employed, school transcripts must be submitted to fill the gap in employment.

3. Assets play an important role in the mortgage process. When purchasing a home, assets are necessary for the down payment, closing costs and reserves. When refinancing, assets are normally necessary for required reserves, however, they also provide the lender with a picture of a borrower’s financial stability which can have an affect on the mortgage rate that is offered. When submitting asset documentation, it is important that all pages of statements are sent to the lender. Many financial statements have blank pages; these must also be submitted. Bank statements are looked over carefully and any large deposits will also require submitting the paper trail as proof of where the funds came from, especially cash deposits. Similar to other areas of banking, loan applications are subjected to Suspicious Activity Report laws. When it comes to assets, lenders look for consistency in balances.

4. The credit report in itself is a story of a borrower’s debt and gives the lender an idea of how the applicant handles their finances. There is very little that slips by a credit report. If a borrower owns other property, it will most likely show up even if the property does not have a mortgage. If a borrower has used multiple names, these also will show up. Do you own rights to land for mining? Yes, most likely that will show up too. Some of the most unusual and unexpected things will show up on a credit report. Sometimes a judgment or lien will appear on the credit report and the borrower was not even aware that it existed. Being prepared to answer questions from the lender and possibly submitting documentation to clarify any issues will allow the mortgage process to continue.

Since every lender is different and each borrower is unique, it is impossible to know every possible situation that may occur when applying for a mortgage. The best possible way that a borrower can help the mortgage process run smoothly is by first understanding that the lender is only doing what they must do, and second by providing as quickly as possible the information that is needed so that the processing of the loan is not held up.

Rosemary has been writing since 2010 for FreeRateUpdate.com, a company that matches consumers with banks and lenders offering low mortgage rates. Previous to her writing career, Rosemary spent 13 years working hands-on in the mortgage industry as a mortgage loan analyst, mortgage processor, property manager, and a mortgage underwriter.

Money Management

7 Tips For The Financially Young

RiskWhen just starting out financially there are a few things that you need to make sure that you do. These are all optional but life will be so much less stressful if you follow them. So listen to this  Financial Help For College Students.

  • Save & Invest: Save all you can when you’re young and don’t have as many commitments as you will when you’re older. Invest in riskier stocks because the payoff is greater and if all doesn’t go so well then you have plenty of time to make up any loss if it occurs.
  • Forget Life Insurance: My job currently provides life insurance to me for free, but if it didn’t I wouldn’t pay for it. Unless you have anyone that depends on your income it’s not necessary.
  • Get Direct Deposit: Don’t waste your time going to the bank every week to cash your check. It’s so much less time consuming to just have your checked deposited into a checking account and you can also have a portion of it deposited into a savings account so you don’t even notice it.
  • Get Benefits: Try and land a job with some benefits. The main ones you’ll want to have are 401k, health, and dental. Health is going to be the most likely one you’ll have with the new healthcare laws going into effect, but the other ones will definitely help you out. If you get a 401k through work make sure you at least contribute up to the employer match so you can get that free money.
  • Get a Degree: Any degree will do, 2 year, 4 year, even some kind of certification will help you land a higher paying job. If you don’t get a degree then see my last tip.
  • Don’t take life so seriously: Things are going to happen that are out of your control, don’t stress over it. Follow this tip and you’ll live longer.
  • Take Risks: Start your own business, Ask the girl you like out, Apply for that job you don’t think you qualify for. If you don’t do it, you’ll never know. Don’t live regretting that you should have done something. Do It!! I promise you will recover from any rejection in the long life you have ahead of you.

Do you have any  Financial Help For College Students?

Business

Women Are an Emerging Economic Force, but Still Have a Long Way to Go

Women make up approximately half of the world population, and even though on many areas of the globe they have “come a long way” (as the 1970s-era cigarette commercial boasted), they still have a long way to go. The United Nations’ 2015-2016 report on women’s economic empowerment stresses that while women have made progress the world over, there is still a lot of work to be done on many fronts before women achieve what the UN report authors describe as “substantive equality.” (See the UNWomen.org site for more details.) And renowned philanthropist Melinda Gates has recently homed in on a big gender inequality issue: unpaid labor, of which women the world over perform the lion’s – or perhaps more accurately the lioness’s – share.

While the type of unpaid labor that is widely considered “woman’s work” varies from country to country, and is more physically arduous in Third World than First World countries, the result is the same the world over: it ends up robbing women of their potential, noted Gates in an interview. And it has an impact not only on individual women and their families but also on the larger economy. Gates wrote in her recent report that if women participated in their respective economies at the same levels as men, global GDP could increase by 12 percent. Anyone who wonders why that percentage seems low, considering that women make up half the population, should realize that there are numerous non-labor-related factors such as materials, utilities, and transportation costs that make up the GDP.

In under-developed countries where the gender gap is most pronounced, merely providing readily-accessible sources of clean water would have a significant impact, since women in those regions spend an inordinate amount of time walking to the closest source and carrying the heavy burden back to the home. The same applies to energy sources, since it is typically the women in Third-World countries who are responsible for gathering firewood or dung to be burned to heat the space or prepare meals.

“First-World” problems are still problems

Apart from the gender disparity in unpaid labor, women in developed countries arguably have it easier in many ways than those in undeveloped countries. Yet they have their own stresses and challenges. While they may not be fighting for survival basics such as clean drinking water (notwithstanding certain notorious areas such as Flint, Michigan), many are struggling financially. Their problems may be “First-World” but they are still problems to be dealt with.

In these developed nations, the solution lies more in a shift in attitudes, both in the home and the workplace. Beyond equal pay for equal work, a more balanced distribution of household responsibilities such as routine chores, meal preparation, and care giving would leave women saddled with a workload that is more equitable to that of their male partners.

Over the past several years, various studies have pointed to an increase in women using payday loans. Research in 2012 indicated that in the US, women were more likely to take out “desperation” payday loans than men, and a study released in early 2016 showed that the number of women in Australia getting short-term payday loans has increased by 110 percent over the past decade. This increase, which is likely mirrored in other countries, is an indication that women are feeling increased financial pressures, be they from lower pay, having to hold down multiple jobs and still being unable to make ends meet, and particularly in the case of women who are heads of single-parent households, being solely responsible for handling potentially expensive emergencies. Obviously, women in such situations are more readily exploited by predatory lenders.

This is by no means intended as a screed against payday loans, which despite some bad press aren’t always a bad choice. Especially in countries where regulators have halted some of the worst practices, a payday loan can, if handled responsibly, be a reasonable option for customers with poor or no credit and a need for quick cash.

But the fact that many women are relying on these short-term loans to make ends meet is problematic, and is symptomatic of larger problems. While not all of women’s financial challenges can be completely separated from factors that cause headaches for men too – most notably, the economic meltdown, the generally weak recovery, and the ongoing erosion of the middle class – gender disparity, in opportunities as well as income, remains a significant factor.
The good news is that opportunities for women to achieve financial independence do exist, and there are numerous resources and support networks to help women achieve their goals.

Taking charge

After millennia in which women were regarded as second-class citizens at best and chattel at worst, a long-overdue effort to raise their status to equal that of their male counterparts is occurring. While some countries are doing a better job than others, that progress will continue, and spread even to the most backward thinking cultures. And a great deal of that progress, as well as responsibility for continuing the march toward equality, has been – and remains – in the hands of the women themselves.

There do remain obstacles in the way, but those obstacles won’t remove themselves, and it women should not expect males to take full responsibility for “giving” women the autonomy they seek and deserve. In some cases, women are enjoying increased fairness, aided by a number of laws that clearly call for equal treatment.

While some of the remaining problems pertain primarily to women in the developed world, individual autonomy remains an important goal for women the world over. Certainly women in the developed world can (and should) help women in the developing world achieve autonomy. They may not have Melinda Gates’ billions, but every women can do her part. But she can only do so from a position of strength; if she is still struggling for her own financial survival, she may not have a great deal of time and energy – much less money – left to devote to help “those less fortunate.” For this and many other reasons, every woman, from Third-World village to modern metropolis, should make it a point to empower herself, so that she can help not only her own family, but can also bring to the fore the importance of attitudes that will ultimately help the women themselves, as well as the men who share the culture in which the women live.

Money Management

The Tortoise and the Hare: Which Way To Financial Freedom?

Tortoise and the Hare

I am sure we all became familiar with “The Tortoise and the Hare” story growing up.

The tortoise was a slow fellow, while the hare was always running around doing things in a hurry. The hare challenged the tortoise to a race to prove his way of doing things is more time efficient. Needless to say the tortoise won the race and the hare couldn’t believe that he lost to such a slow opponent.

Here is how I would talk about their life in a personal finance way.

Reduce Taxed Income

Mr. H is an overachiever that works 60 hours a week and has an annual realized income of $200.000, thus earning the hare title of our story. Mr. T (no not that Mr. T, This one doesn’t pity da foo) is a person who values his time in his own way and therefore works 40 hours per week having an annual realized income of $10.000.

Based on the income produced by each of the two characters, the state would take 33% in taxes from Mr. H and 10% from Mr. T.

Control spending

Mr. H has a lot of money left in his pocket after taxes and being overconfident of his high paycheck he gives into consumerism through the course of his life; he saves close to zip and although having the option to invest in the company he works for he chooses to live a luxurious life by purchasing a home in a great residential area, followed by two cars, which he proceeds to change along the years. He has his children attend the best private schools and takes vacations around the world while indulging in house parties and other leisure activities to prove to his neighbors that he is well above them, all activities that cost a lot of money.

Save for today & Invest in your tomorrow

Mr. T having a smaller income has learned to live on less. He is frugal. He budgets and plans every cent on the dollar. He invests a minimum of 15% of his paycheck on a monthly basis and also has a savings account set up because he wants to be financially independent by the age of 65. He begins to allocate money for his children’s college fund well before they are born so the fund is in place and maxed out by the time either one of his children attend college.

Which one of the two will be able to retire at the age of 65? You guessed it:  Mr. T.

How has Mr. T. with a small income managed to achieve such a victory in front of Mr. H? He planned ahead and was extremely patient in following the course of his plan. He took into account that it doesn’t matter how much money you make but how much money you keep from what you make.

By taking small steps and investing small amounts through time those small amounts become a large amount. His dollars began receiving more and more interest and thanks to compound interest, the sum grew even more reaching over 1 million $ by the time he reached 65.

Instead of spending make investing your favorite activity. Make the Stock Market your Piggy Bank. Through investing you will also diminish your direct income and increase your passive income, thus reducing the percentage you pay in taxes. By careful observation if you take the path of the tortoise, and invest a small amount but do it slow and steady, you will soon financially outgrow your neighbor, the hare, regardless of his six figure salary. You will be financially independent and a steady accumulator of wealth.

How have you been the tortoise…or Hare?

photo credit: BAD RABBIT INC.