How to Earn Extra Money Even in This Recession, Part 1

If you have been affected by the poor economy and are struggling to make ends meet, it may seem almost impossible to come up with any ways to make more money. After all, unemployment is high and there are no jobs, right?

Not necessarily. While there may not be a lot of full-time jobs with high salaries and a good benefits package, the truth is that just because millions of people have been laid off does not mean their work was not important and no longer needs to be done. It is true that some companies have outsourced the work overseas in order to cut down on costs, the truth is that there is a lot of part-time work available if you are willing to take it. And there are jobs out there if you are willing to take a pay cut.

Before you make these decisions, you need to run your numbers. Look at your household budget and trim any luxuries. Then look at the bottom line for the minimum you need each month to keep your household afloat without using credit cards or biting into savings. If you are unemployed, how does your level of payment match up? If it doesn’t you will want to go back to work sooner rather than later, even if you do have to take a pay cut. If you are considering a part-time job, see how it would affect your benefit. You may find that it pays more, though perhaps not much more.

If you are still working but have decided you don’t earn enough and/or want to save for a rainy day in an emergency fund, or for a particular life goal, then you will also want to look at ways to bring in additional income. Here are a few suggestions.

1. Get a part-time job.
This is the first idea that may pop into your mind when you think of sources of temporary income. If you have a certain set of special skills, then you can command a reasonable wage per hour. If you do not have a lot of skills, more menial jobs like shift work and waitressing can help you plug any gaps in your budget. Jobs that pay tips have the possibility of paying very well, though in this economy, don’t bank on it.

2. Freelance.
If you have skills that people need, such as designing websites or creating great graphics or PowerPoint presentations, your skills are in high demand right in your own city and indeed all over the world. Join one of the popular freelancing sites like elance, elancer, odesk or rentacoder and create a great profile for yourself and portfolio of your work There are a lot of people on there now due to so many others being in the same position as yourself, but quality and speed at the right price can help you stand out. You may be able to get enough contract work at one of these sites to keep you pretty busy and you might make more money than you would think. Just remember to stay in close communication with your clients and that good reviews will be the key to getting hired by others.

(Continued in Part 2)


Credit Card Question, Part 2

Continued from Part 1
*Insurance Coverage
Also remember that charging certain items on a major credit card can confer some extra benefits. For example, car rental liability insurance is offered by some major credit card companies. If your card has this coverage, you don’t need to pay the incredibly high fees for the “loss and damage waiver” car rental companies try to charge you when you rent a car.

Insurance coverage for baggage lost when you fly is also available, depending on the credit card you choose. In fact, some credit card companies offering this insurance actually cover in addition to what the airline will pay you for lost bags. This baggage coverage is no cost on some credit cards and is well worth having. Travel insurance is also included, so that you would not lose the whole cost of the flight, and would just need to pay a ticket change fee of about $50 to $100 if an emergency cropped up. If the flight is a long-haul one, this insurance coverage is worth having.

*Consumer Protection
Price protection for items you purchase that drop in price after you buy them is offered by some companies. Stores must allow a 30 day ‘cooling off’ period with an unconditional money-back guarantee. They should honor any price differences and refund the money within 30 days. Some major credit card companies allow up to 60 days and will refund you such price differences.

*Fraud Protection
A debit card will not usually confer all of these perks. And indeed, the major difference is the most crucial one: You liability with credit cards in the event of identity theft or fraud will be zero or much lower with a credit card than with a debit card. With a credit card, if you suspect anything fraudulent, you have up to 90 days to report it. With a debit card, you need to report it within 2 business days. Otherwise, you will be liable.

If you do not look at your online banking account that often, or you are overseas, for example, this can be a major financial disaster. Therefore, use your debit card only sparingly for online purchases, and use a credit card instead because of all the extras it offers. Then pay off the bill at the end of each month.

*Determine Your Benefits and Weigh Risks Versus Rewards

One final suggestion is to take time to read all the fine print on a credit card application to determine what special privileges and perks you get with your card, or call customer service and ask. Then choose to use the card that gives you the most benefits in terms of cash back, benefits, insurance, and other perks.

Credit cards do not have to be a disaster and can indeed improve your credit score and even help you save money if you care cautious and learn how to use them to your advantage financially.

For more information on how to improve your family finances, see

Emergency Fund 101: How to Save Money for Unexpected Expenses


Your Recession Survival Guide


Credit Card Question, Part 1

Q. I’ve finally learned my lesson when it comes to credit cards. After charging up four credit card accounts and spending four years paying them off, I don’t ever want to see my name on another credit card again. In fact, I want to cut all of them up and close all my accounts. However, my friend says that I should keep the accounts open and keep one card just in case of emergencies. Which one of us is right? And won’t a debit card work just as well?

A. Congratulations on paying off your credit card debt and being so determined never to get in that kind of position again. We are glad that you have found strategies that work well for you to help you manage your money.

However, your friend does have a good point about your credit cards, for a number of reasons.

*Your credit score and credit to debt ratio.
You credit score is in part determined by how much credit you are permitted by financial institutions. If you close all your accounts, you could be lowering your credit score. Therefore, now that your cards are paid off, keep the accounts open, but put the cards in a safe place where you will not be tempted to use them, except in the most dire emergency.

Keep one available with a low interest rate and possibly cash back points and only use if for essentials and items you could not readily pay for in cash, such as online shopping. The key for using a credit card is never to charge more in a month than you can pay off at the end of the month.

*Rewards cards
Some rewards are worth having, such as free airline miles for purchases, but only if you are a great traveller. Otherwise, go for the cash back. Just be aware that studies have recently shown that people who use rewards based cards tend to spend 4% more each time they use it than cards that do not carry such perks. So make your shopping list and stick to it.

Continued in part 2


How to Start Your Own Business With Little or No Money, Part 2

(Continued from Part 1)

4-Become an affiliate.
An affiliate sells products and services for a commission. You are probably familiar with Avon and Tupperware, in which people sell products to friends and family, host parties and so on. This is commonly referred to as direct selling, and is done in person.

You can also sell products online for a commission, in which case it is referred to as being an affiliate. There are many affiliate marketplaces in which top companies and designer brands recruit people to sell for them.

The largest marketplaces for affiliate selling are Commission Junction (, LinkShare and ShareASale. Amazon and eBay also have affiliate programs. You don’t even need a website to sell these products. Simply create your links and put them in the signature files of your emails, put at the end of any posting you create on notice board or forum, use in the comments section of a blog you read and use in your social networking area.

If you do have a website, so much the better. You can post [honest] reviews of the products you are selling, the latest hot items in your niche, and more.

Choose a niche, that is, an area of expertise, and stick to it. Study it carefully and know what people like and are genuinely interested in. For example, if you are a real movie buff, then selling DVDS is a great option. Do not do it, however, if you barely ever see a film.

Being an affiliate can be a fun and interesting way to make your own money and even start your own side business. You promote the products, and the company you are an affiliate for does the rest, taking care of all the order fulfillment, packing and shipping. The commissions may not be that high, but they are better than nothing.

You can also consider being an affiliate as an ‘instant discount’ on any products and services that you buy. For example, you shop online at Amazon anyway (and tens of millions of people do), become an Amazon Associate, then set up a second account so you can buy through your own link and get instant savings.

Being between jobs doesn’t mean you have to do without income. You might also want to supplement your income from your day job, or start moving towards the financial and personal freedom you long for by starting your own business.

There are many ways to start your own business even with little or no spare cash, if you are willing to put in the time and effort. The ideas above are just a starting point to get you thinking about all of your available options.

As an added bonus, by earning any sort of temporary income, you can start creating the kind of wealth you need to start the business of your dreams. You will also be coming into contact with people who may be able to help you find a permanent position.

If you still have a job but you are underpaid, underemployed, or both, these are just a few of the ways that you can make extra money to pay off debts, start an emergency fund, or start saving for your financial goals for the future.

Further Reading
YOUR RECESSION SURVIVAL GUIDE: How to Save Money and Even Boost Your Income in This Recession

How to Start a Successful Small Business Even If You Don’t Have Much Cash

How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing Even Without a Website

Information Marketing Success: How to Make the Most of Your Online Content for Increased Traffic and Profits


How to Start Your Own Business With Little or No Money, Part 1

Many people long to own their own business, but don’t know how to get started. Thanks to the Internet, many people are now able to start their own business and work from home, using the assets that they already have.

If you are eager to start your own business, but think you can’t because you haven’t got a lot of spare cash, here are some ideas that can help you get started today.

1-Clean out your house, and buy garage sale or eBay items to re-sell them for a profit.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Clean out your house of any old items you no longer use or might already have replaced with a newer model. Why have it cluttering up the house when you can sell it and put that money in the bank or pay off your debts?

Spending Fridays and Saturdays snapping up bargains from garage sales and selling them at flea markets or on eBay can be very lucrative. So can buying items in bulk at wholesale prices from websites or eBay and selling them on your own site or in the Amazon Marketplace. In the past decade or so since Internet shopping has taken off, this has become a profession that provides a full-time living with part-time hours for many people.

You need to know your niche and the prices for things, and what is hot at the moment, to do really well financially. You will also need to know about packaging and shipping rules and have a good customer service mind set in order to get good reviews. The good reviews will help keep repeat customers coming back for more. If you have a particular skill set or in-depth knowledge of a certain topic, known as a niche, you can do well by providing exactly what the people in that niche are eager to buy.

2-Try landscaping.
Landscaping has become a profitable hobby or full-time living for many. If you have a way with plants and an eye for design, you can charge some good professional fees for doing some landscaping. Start with your own garden and those of as many neighbors as possible to get your portfolio going, and then you should be able to start charging competitive rates to new clients.

3-Make money from your hobby.
You can build furniture or decorative items, arts and crafts, create personalized scrapbooks, home-made gifts of all kinds, and so on. If you don’t have a hobby like this, the skills for many of them are easily learned and enjoyable as well. Sell your items at flea markets, on or eBay, or spread the word through friends.

(Continued in Part 2)


November Finance Calendar

November1-30 Real Jewelry Month.

With silver and gold prices steadily increasing, this month is the perfect time to start investing in silver and gold with some wise jewelry purchases. Don’t get taken in by diamonds-the man-made ones are everywhere. Precious metals have shown long-term value for centuries. Look for a high K rating; the higher the number for example 18K gold, the more pure it is. (24K is completely pure, but too soft to wear safely.)

1st Request a free annual copy of your credit reports.

Get your free copy of your credit report from one of the credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian or Trans Union. Alternate which report you request every four months to ensure you have a balanced look at your credit throughout the year, rather than getting all three at once and then not knowing what is happening until next year, unless you want to pay to find out more.

1st Seniors age 70.5+ need to start to draw down on their IRAs.

This is the deadline to take out your required minimum distribution from your tax-deferred retirement accounts like IRAs and 401(K). An accountant can help you calculate the required amount you need to withdraw by the end of the year. Remember that the IRS will penalize you if you don’t take out the required minimum. If you don’t want to spend it, put it in another form of investment, or start shopping for the holidays.

3rd Sandwich Day.

This day is a tribute to the now global phenomenon of the sandwich, named after the Earl of Sandwich, a notorious gambler who didn’t want to leave the gaming tables. He had his servants put his meat between two slices of bread, and the rest, as they say, is history.

You will not want to gamble with your family’s fortunes, however, so use this say as a reminder to save money by brown-bagging your lunch at least 3 days each week to add to your savings. If you can manage to do it for all 5 days, you will be the king or queen of frugal lunches. Start today with a tasty sandwich made with your favorite ingredients and celebrate your road to more savings.

4th Use Your Common Sense Day.

Turn Common Sense Day into Common Cents Day with smart saving techniques like clipping coupons and shopping supermarket sales. Your savings can really add up when you use strategies like these every week. Set financial goals and online bank accounts for each of the goals, for example, college savings, a Christmas fund and a vacation fund. Apply what you save on lunches out and unskillful shopping to these accounts and watch yourself get nearer and nearer to your goals.

11th Veterans Day.

Remember how veterans are the reason you can celebrate the freedoms you have today. Volunteer your time or money to help a veteran. Think about hiring a veteran if you are a business owner. Think about helping the families of those who are still serving overseas. To help completely free every day, go online to and click on the purple button to donate free food to animal shelters around the country. Then click on the tab for Veterans, and click on the button to help support veterans in need and their families.

The Great American Smokeout.

The American Cancer Society sponsors this movement on the third Thursday of every November. Today is the day to give up smoking for 24 hours to see if you can quit forever. Think of the savings that can add up if you get rid of your $10 or so per day habit.


This is an important holiday in America in which people get together with family and friends to give thanks. It falls on the last Thursday of November every year. Even though you may be preparing a huge holiday meal for family or friends, you can still do Thanksgiving on the cheap by shopping the sales beforehand for all the canned and packaged goods and getting a frozen turkey at the start of the month. Plan your meals and menu carefully to stretch all the food as far as it will go. Don’t make yourself and everyone else miserable (and fat!) by forcing them to eat leftovers for days after.

Instead, package up a little of everything into your own ‘TV dinners’ that can be heated quickly in a microwave for lunch or dinner. You will save on eating out this way and have healthy meals on hand any time. Just be sure to go light on the butter and cream in all your recipes. There is really no need to drench delicious potatoes or sweet potatoes in butter, milk or marshmallows. Some careful shopping and common sense can ensure that you don’t break your budget or bloat your belly.

Black Friday.

Traditionally the Friday after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year, with bargain hunters out in droves. Get some early Christmas shopping done and you may save some money on popular items such as electronics and toys. But know what things cost before you buy and keep all receipts in case you need to return anything. Also pay attention to price match guarantees-if you find a lower price, take advantage of it.

Cyber Monday.

The Internet age brought in the addition of Cyber Monday, similar to Black Friday but for online businesses to run their own super sales. Try to plan ahead so you can buy what you need and save money on some early Christmas shopping. Be sure to comparison shop and buy from trusted retailers. Also be prepare for errors on websites or even crashes as some sites struggle to cope with desperate bargain hunters.

Be careful with those credit cards.

Remember that if you are shopping online, you will most likely be using a credit card. Keep track of your purchase to avoid credit card fraud and overspending. It isn’t a great bargain if you will be paying for the item months or even years after you buy it (or even after it has broken and been replaced!).

Keep in mind that credit card companies make their main profits from people who get into trouble with debt. Make sure you will be able to pay off the bill in full when it arrives at the end of the month, and you should have happy holidays indeed, especially if you manage to snap up some bargains in the month of November.

Further Reading

How to Use the Internet to Save Money

YOUR RECESSION SURVIVAL GUIDE: How to Save Money and Even Boost Your Income in This Recession

Smart Spending Strategies


Financial Calendar October


October 1-31 National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
Perhaps you or someone you love is disabled and working. Take some time this month to talk to your children about this special “branch” of the workforce. Stress that people from all walks of life can earn and support themselves.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
This is pink ribbon month, so look out for the pink packages in stores which show that the companies that have joined in have pledged certain monies to help sponsor charity events. Also keep an eye out for walks and other special charity events you can participate in. Or just make a donation through free clicks at The purple button donates food to animal shelters and the pink donates money toward free mammograms for women who can’t otherwise afford them.

October is also the start of the next fiscal quarter. Keep an eye on all your business finances, and if you are not ready for the holiday selling season yet, well, what are you waiting for?

5th World Teachers’ Day.
Today is set aside to honor teachers and their contribution to the education of children all over the world. Reflect on how you might honor your children’s teachers today and take some time to talk with your children about what they want to be when they grow up. Mention the importance of financial responsibility in order to plan for your financial future and meet all of your goals. Also stop off at and click on the purple button to donate food to animal shelters. Then click on the Literacy site button to donate free books to children all over the world.

8th National Children’s Day.
This day is to celebrate children. If you have children, you know just how important they are to your life. Why not take your children to the bank today and help them open their own savings accounts? Go to and click to donate food to animal shelters, then click on the free link for Children’s Health to donate money from the sponsors to support child health care initiatives all over the globe. Also remember that you and the kids can play free sponsored games from the site. The more minutes you log in, the more money the sponsors donate to the worthy causes listed at the site.

Columbus Day.
Columbus Day celebrates Christopher Columbus’s first voyage to the Americas in 1492. Use this day off to review your budget for the past few months and check where you are in terms of savings for the upcoming holidays. You can also head over the to click on the purple button to donate food for free to shelter pets, and the green button for the rainforest site to help preserve the last of the world’s great rainforests from further incursions and the loss of habitat that can bring animals living there to the brink of extinction.

15 Sweetest Day.
Sweetest Day was established to do something special for others, particularly for those who are less fortunate than yourself. On this Sweetest Day, make a donation to your local foster care organization or a world hunger cause. Go to and click on the purple button to contribute free food to animal shelters. Then click on the yellow hunger button to donate food to end hunger worldwide.

16 National Bosses’ Day.
Celebrate your boss today. After all, it’s most likely because of him or her (directly or indirectly) that you’ve got a job. Even if they can be a pain, think of all the ways your steady paycheck makes your life easier.

16-22 Record all the money you spend for a week.
Beginning today, record every purchase and every bill you pay for the next week. Doing so will help highlight any unnecessary spending and help you curb these habits in the future.

24th United Nations Day.
It was on this day in 1945 that the UN’s document was signed and accepted by Security Council members. This date reminds us of UN’s mission, goals and achievements. Speaking of mission, goals and achievements, what are your missions, goals and achievements related to your finances so far this year? This is a good time to check to see if you are on target with your financial goals.

31 Halloween. “Treat” each of your children by making a $50 deposit into their individual savings accounts this Halloween instead of spending a small fortune on candy, costumes and decorations.

These are just a few ideas on how to make October a profitable and productive money when it comes to money matters.

For more how tos on a variety of money-related topics, see the Money Matters Series from Evelyn Trimborn, published by Eternal Spiral Books.

August 1-31
Family Fun Month.
Celebrate your family all month by planning a fun activity for your family each week: a barbecue one week, a walk through the park the next, and more. Take advantage of the family time together to teach your kids about managing money – a skill that will benefit them the rest of their life.

August 1st-Take time today to find out if your state has a sales tax holiday for back-to-school shopping. Mark your calendar with the dates and plan to do your shopping then. Set a goal to save big money on back to school-shopping this year.

7th-National Sisters’ Day. If you’re lucky enough to have a sister on this day, plan to spend some time with her. You can swap savvy saving and shopping tips to help save even more money.

12th-International Youth Day. This United Nations observance day pays homage to the world’s youth – their achievements and incredible impact on the world. Talk with your kids today and listen to their dreams for the future. Emphasize the importance of education and employment in creating their best lives possible. Discuss how your family saving for their goals needs to start now and might mean sacrifices today for a better tomorrow.

13th-National Garage Sale Day.
Believe it or not, there’s a day to celebrate the garage sale. Definitely plan to have yours this month. Use the money that you earn to make a difference to your family budget. For example, apply your takings to back-to-school shopping, save it, or invest it.

19th World Humanitarian Day.
This day observes the incredible perseverance by all the world’s humanitarian workers and to promote humanitarian causes. In particular, those who have lost their lives in the fight for humanitarian reasons are honored on this day. Consider a donation to the humanitarian effort of your choice. Think how you can make a difference in the world through your time and efforts. Also remember that wealth is relative. You may not think you have a lot, but you are far better off than many people around the world and there are some things that money can’t buy. Freedom is one of them.

24-Start shopping for a new car.
At this time of year, dealers are selling their remaining inventory of this year’s models at great savings to make room for next year’s new cars. To save some real money on your next new car, shop now for the best deals. Do your research carefully and see if now is the right time to buy.

26th-Women’s Equality Day. Celebrate the date that women were first given the right to vote in 1920 by purchasing a $50 savings bond for each of the favorite women in your life, such as your wife, sisters, and daughters. Women can treat themselves to their own $50 savings bond to celebrate this landmark day. Or, put the money into an interest bearing account and add to it, setting your own goals, hopes and dreams to improve your future.

31th. Make a call to reduce the interest rate on your credit card. It’s so important to try to save dollars however you can. Put some effort into reducing your credit card interest rates. Any reduction in the rate, no matter how small, is extra money in your pocket. The America’s Debt Diet and other websites have sample scripts you can use to help you get started saving money.

Don’t forget to check your budget and emergency fund to be sure you are on track. See the guide Emergency Fund 101 for more information. Also learn How to Use the Internet to Save Money.

Further Reading:

How to Slash Costs and Save Money on Everyday Expenses (More for Less Guides)

Smart Spending Strategies (More for Less Guides)