You may have a full-time job, or perhaps a part-time gig, but most of us could use some extra money. Unless you have a super-high-paying career (or a trust fund), the struggle to pay the bills and afford the extras is real.
Have you considered further padding your wallet and bulking up your bank account by taking on an additional job from the comfort of your own home? We're not talking scams and schemes, but real deal jobs that bring in much-needed cash.
Here are six that may just fit the bill when you're anxious about paying your next bill.
Your Opinion Matters
Get paid to take surveys. Yes, it's as simple as filling out questionnaires and clicking thoughtfully about your preferences. As per The Penny Hoarder, "Surveys are a great way to cash in on your down time. Fill them out while you're watching TV, riding the bus or waiting in line. One survey site we love is called InboxDollars. It offers several short, daily surveys. If you take all of them each day, you could earn an extra $730 a year."
Another legit survey site to check out is MySurvey. You'll get paid up to $5 per survey, get free stuff to test out, and be an influencer on what consumers buy in the future. MySurvey rewarded more than $30 million to their members, so it's worth a shot.
Keep the Books
Are you good with numbers, management, and organization? If you like helping others keep their matters in order and you have some extra time on your hands in the evenings and on weekends, consider becoming a virtual bookkeeper.
According to Accounting Tools, "(A bookkeeper) creates financial transactions and creates financial reports from that information. The creation of financial transactions includes posting information to accounting journals or accounting software from such source documents as invoices to customers, cash receipts, and supplier invoices. The bookkeeper also reconciles accounts to ensure their accuracy."
As per The Penny Hoarder, "You can earn up to $60 per hour as a part-time bookkeeper. You don't have to have a CPA to be successful in this business. All you really need are decent computer skills and a passion for helping business owners tackle real-world problems."
These days, there's not much need to be there in person when nearly everything is at your fingertips online. Keep the books and keep that cash flow coming in.
Help Others Earn an A+
Are you skilled and well-versed in a particular field or area of education? Tutoring from home is a great way to help others make the grade and you can set your own hours when you've got the time to teach. Virtual tutoring is the way to go these days, something that is efficient for both parties.
As per Work at Home Adventures, "The best part about online tutoring jobs is that you can find a job that perfectly matches your skills."
Try virtual tutoring via Skype or video-conferencing and you'll feel like your right there with the student.
Work at Home Adventures lists 27 of the best online tutoring jobs for making extra money from home. Some require more experience and education than others, but there is something for everyone who has the patience and talent to teach.
The "Write" Stuff
Do you have a knack for writing? If you are eloquent, efficient, and expressive, freelance writing can be a great way to make extra money doing something you enjoy.
As per The Balance, "Freelance writing is the practice of writing for money, in its simplest state. Freelance writers produce whatever written text is needed by their clientele, generally at home in their own office, for money. They write for many different clients, often at one time."
This is the sort of job that can be done as little or as often as you have the time for. To get started, peruse Elna Cain's 20 ways to find freelance writing jobs (as a beginner). From cold pitching to guest posting to networking to joining social media groups, these tips will get you going and making money by being creative.
If you already watch YouTube videos and movie previews on your smartphone, why not make a few bucks in the process?
According to Scott Alan Turner, "You can get paid for watching videos including movie previews, news, celebrity videos, and all kinds of other videos. Sites like Swagbucks ask you to watch certain videos and like them. You have to watch for a certain number of minutes which you'll be told ahead of time. You could earn over $200 a month."
Swagbucks states that they give out 7,000 free gift cards every day. You ought to reap the rewards for some at-home entertainment too!
Set Your Sights on Websites
Scott Alan Turner notes another way to make some extra cash is by testing websites. You can earn up to $30 per hour. "Just open a website, click around, and get paid. New or updated website owners compensate you to test their sites."
Sign up with UserTesting and get paid to test. "UserTesting pays you to visit websites or apps, complete a set of tasks, and speak your thoughts aloud." Companies like Microsoft, eBay, Yahoo!, Orbitz, and Facebook use this service, so your opinion matters.
If you're willing to put in some time at home, making extra money is something you can bank on!
As anyone who has ever sold a house will tell you, you must prioritize curb appeal. Before a potential buyer even considers looking inside your house, they notice the outside first. Does it attract the right kind of attention? Does it take away from the feel you're going for? If you plan to sell sometime soon, you must think about these things. Here are some landscaping options to increase your home's curb appeal, so you can get the best price on your home.
Extensive Plants and Greenery
A barren front yard won't get you the price you want on your home. So, invest in at least a little bit of greenery to keep the surrounding area from looking too dead. Shrubs and bushes tie the house to the lawn that precedes it, and flower beds bring a pop of color to an otherwise drab structure. You can also strategically plant some trees to improve the overall feel of your home's exterior.
As we mentioned, your lawn is one of the most prominent features of your home's exterior. A patchy, dried-up lawn will quickly drive your home's price way down. Some of the best landscaping options for your home's curb appeal involve improving your lawn for the next inhabitant. Overall fertilization, ground aeration, underbrush removal, proper mowing—all of these lawn care tasks contribute to a greener and more lively area that invites people to see your house, rather than stay away from it.
There's nothing like a broken and disheveled pathway to make someone think twice about buying a property. Just as you want the entryway in your house to be welcoming, so too should the pathway leading up to the house be inviting. The pathway from the street to your front door provides plenty of real estate to get creative with. You don't have to settle for a boring concrete pathway. Consider something more eye catching, like a cobblestone path or intermittent brick patterns, as a way to better welcome potential buyers.
Usable Outdoor Furniture
Landscaping doesn't just involve the ground you walk on; also included are the items you use as extras to the overall look. Outdoor furniture is one such extra that you don't necessarily need but can look quite attractive if done correctly. Staging is important with outdoor furniture. Old, broken-down pieces will only look like more work to the potential buyer. A few comfortable chairs, a bench, or a table with an umbrella really go a long way to improving your outdoor aesthetics.
A good tip for deciding on curb appeal items is to decide what you personally would want to see as a part of a welcoming home's exterior. You don't need to go overboard, but a little bit of forethought could net you quite a lot of extra cash in the sale.
Many people strive to support their community by donating their time or their money. When you find a meaningful cause, you might be quick to cut a donation check. Though it's admirable to be quick to act charitably, you should be wary of several common mistakes made when giving to charity. Being mindful of these mistakes and learning tips for making informed charitable choices can help you make the most out of your generous check.
Acting Quickly Out of Emotion
Mission statements are meant to be compelling. If you're an emotionally driven individual, it's natural to pull out your wallet at the sight of a sad puppy on TV or when informed about food insecurity over the phone. Unfortunately, not all charities are as effective or official as they may seem.
Take your passion for helping others one step further by making sure your chosen charity is legit. Speaking with a representative, reviewing their website and social media accounts, and looking at testaments online can give you a better idea of whether the organization is worth your donation.
Forgetting to Keep Record of the Donation
Don't forget that you can reap some financial perks from giving back! With the proper documentation of your donation, you can acquire a better tax deductible.
If you donate more than $12,400 as a single filer or $24,800 as one of two joint filers, you're eligible to deduct that amount from your taxes. So, when a charity asks if you'd like a receipt of donation, always answer yes.
Donating Unusable Materials
Most charities can utilize a monetary donation—it's the physical donations that usually cause some issues. Providing a local nonprofit with irrelevant materials or gifting them with unusable products are surprisingly common mistakes made when giving to charity.
Always check your intended charity's website for a list of things they do and do not accept. The majority of places will provide a guideline to donating or offer contact information to clarify any questions.
Strictly Giving at Year's End
As more and more people get into the holiday spirit at the end of the year, nonprofit organizations see an influx of donations. While it's great to spread holiday cheer via a monetary donation, it's important to keep that spirit going year-round.
With regular donations, charities can more effectively allocate their annual budget. Setting up an automatic monthly donation with the charity of your choosing can maximize your impact. You can account for a monthly donation by foregoing a costly coffee every once in a while.
Knowing how much you should spend on home maintenance each year is hard to figure out and may be preventing you from buying your first home. The types of costs you'll incur depend on the house you buy and its location. The one certainty is that you should start saving now. Read on to figure out how much to start setting aside based on the home you own.
The Age of Your House
Consider several factors when budgeting for home repairs. If you've purchased a new home, your house likely won't require as much maintenance for a few years. Homes built 20 or more years ago are likely to require more maintenance, including replacing and keeping your windows clean. Further, depending on your home's location, weather can cause additional strain over time, so you may need to budget for more repairs.
The One-Percent Rule
An easy way to budget for home repairs is to follow the one-percent rule. Set aside one percent of your home's purchase price each year to cover maintenance costs. For instance, if you paid $200,000 for your home, you would set aside $2,000 each year. This plan is not foolproof. If you bought your home for a good deal during a buyer's market, your home could require more repairs than you've budgeted for.
The Square-Foot Rule
Easy to calculate, you can also budget for home maintenance by saving one dollar for every square foot of your home. This pricing method is more consistent than pricing it by how much you paid because the rate relies on the objective size of your home. Unfortunately, it does not consider inflation for the area where you live, so make sure you also budget for increased taxes and labor costs if you live in or near a city.
The Mix and Match Method
Since there is no infallible rule for how much you should spend on home maintenance, you can combine both methods to get an idea for a budget. Average your results from the square-foot rule and the one-percent rule to arrive at a budget that works for you. You should also increase your savings by 10 percent for each risk factor that affects your home, such as weather and age.
Holding on to savings is easier in theory than practice. Once you know how much you should spend on home maintenance, you'll know what to aim for and be more prepared for an emergency. If you are having trouble securing funds for home repairs, consider taking out a home equity loan, borrowing money from friends or family, or applying for funds through a home repair program through your local government for low-income individuals.