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!
When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.
A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.
One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.
The Federal Reserve
The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.
This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.
The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.
Whether you're leaving a job involuntarily, departing for something new, or just want to prepare for the unknown, it is smart to understand all your options regarding your 401k.
Frugal gifting often gets a bad reputation. However, this shopping method does not make you cheap — it makes you practical. Frugal gifts often avoid waste and overspending and can be just as meaningful (if not more so) as any other present.
With the National Retail Federation predicting each consumer this holiday season to spend upwards of $1,000 on holiday gifts amidst an economic recession —this year might be the perfect time to reconsider your spending budget. We've formulated the ultimate list of frugal gift-giving ideas to get you started.