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


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)


Saving Money All Year Round-September Hints and Tips

Here are some great ways to save this month.

1-31 “Fruit and Veggies – More Matters” Month.
The month of September is designated as Fruit and Veggies – More Matters Month by the Centers for Disease Control to encourage everyone to eat more fruits and vegetables. Focus on eating seasonal fruits and vegetables to save money this month and for the rest of the autumn as the harvest comes in. Visit your local farmers’ markets to get the best prices on local produce or find a vegetable wholesaler for rock-bottom prices.

If you have health insurance coverage through your employment, review your coverage today. Do you need to make any changes to your plan? Speak to HR to ensure you have the coverage that works the best for your family. You will need to sign up for coverage by the end of the year for next year, so start doing your research today instead of just rolling over last year’s coverage without reviewing it.

Labor Day.
Enjoy your well-earned day off. Rather than spend your dollars on eating out, put the money you would spend towards a barbecue, or have a picnic with your family.

8th International Literacy Day.
Consider going through your book collection and deciding which books you can either sell or trade in for credit at your local second-hand book store. Read a current financial expert’s book with wealth-building tips today. Make a donation to the Literacy Site, click to donate free books, or shop in their charity store to get an early start on your holiday shopping.

11th Grandparents’ Day.
Visit your grandparents or your kids’ grandparents today. Ask them to share some tips about how they stretch their dollars. You might be surprised with how much they know about getting more miles out of your money.

15 Third Quarter Estimated Taxes are Due.
If you’re self-employed or run your own business, remember to mail your estimated tax payment in plenty of time for the IRS to receive it before this date.

19-24th Take your lunch to work this week.
One way to preserve your cash this month is to carry your lunch each day. At $5 to $10 per weekday, you’ll save a fair amount of money to put into your emergency fund or save for one of your family’s other financial goals. You can also put this money into your end of the year holiday fund.

21st International Day of Peace.
This date reminds us all to do what we can to bring about world peace. Make a donation to a cause that promotes world peace and nonviolence. Don’t forget to keep all your charity donation receipts in order to deduct your donation on your taxes when you file them in April of the following year.

23rd First Day of Autumn.
Review your budget and begin planning and preparations for end-of- the-year spending for the upcoming holiday season. If you have not already been shopping and saving now, is the time to get started so that you are not stuck with a lot of bills all in one month this year.

30th Review your debts.
Make a list of all your debts and vow to pay them off. Start with the card with the highest interest and pay off that bill first. Then go to the next highest interest rate and pay that one off. Do not plan on using your cards for any holiday expenses. Pay down each card, keeping only one card with the lowest interest rate for emergencies.

For more information on frugal living all year round, see:
Smart Spending Strategies and How to Use the Internet to Save Money


Beware of Reverse Mortgage Scams

With the current recession in full swing and unemployment rising, the quest by unscrupulous predatory lenders to take advantage of seniors is on the rise. One of the areas in which they are particularly insidious is in selling reverse mortgages.

There are a host of reverse mortgage scams that are plaguing our senior citizens, and steps are being taken to stop it. In this article, we will try to highlight the main things you need to watch out for when it comes to reverse mortgages.

According to HUD, deceptive practices and allegations of high-pressure sales tactics are being more frequently encountered as senior citizens are being taken advantage of under the guise of a helpful and legitimate reverse mortgage.

Borrowers also run the risk of being steered into inappropriate loans and annuities by sales agents and insurance brokers who could be working together without disclosing that relationship to the borrower. They are all in it for their percentage, and since greed is what got America into the current credit crisis, it will certainly not get us out. Common sense will.

A reverse mortgage can be of real benefit to people who truly need it, since it frees up equity in your home. Unfortunately, reverse mortgage scams were on the rise even before the current economic crisis hit. A case in point is California:
According to the Oakland Tribune dated Sept. 6, 2006, “Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill into law that adds protections against scam artists offering reverse mortgages.”

The new law requires that before getting a reverse mortgage, people must receive independent advice about the pluses and minuses from a certified counseling agency that does not have any profit motive. This shows you how profitable reverse mortgages can be, so buyer beware.

The law also requires that mortgage documents be translated into the language in which the loan was negotiated, ensuring that a borrower who doesn’t speak English has full access to the complex financial information. This reverse mortgage law also blocks the questionable practice of requiring people to buy annuities they may not need.

For more information on reverse mortgages, visit HUD at:

Our seniors are particularly vulnerable these days to the scams that pervade our society. They have seen their retirement funds asvested in 401ks virtually vanish, and greed run rampant. They have seen higher taxes, and their children lose their homes to foreclosure. They have lost jobs, or are now reluctant or unable to retire.

Given the fact that so many seniors may be in financial trouble now, and are feeling more and more desperate, they become victims of relentless individuals and companies that seek to prey on their immediate financial concerns by offering seeming good advice and a quick fix to their problems.

But remember, buyer beware, and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If your parents or grandparents are considering a reverse mortgage, make sure you get involved as a back up person. By all means accompany them when they seek advice from a counseling agency so that you can assist them with any and all questions relating to reverse mortgages. Take notes, read the fine print, and get independent advice from a non-profit source.

Look up reverse mortgage scams online. Stay informed, and stay safe. Again, a reverse mortgage might be a great idea for some seniors depending on their situation, but beware of reverse mortgage scams now, to avoid disaster later.