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Earn Extra Income

Top Ways College Students Can Earn Extra Money

Good students spend the extra time to get better grades. Sometimes that means late nights, missing out on fun, and stressful days. But getting good grades can also mean more cash in your pocket. You can often get approved for more financial aid if you have good grades in college, and you may even get scholarships. However, scholarships are not the only way to get paid for good grades. Here are a few more ways to benefit from good grades.

 

Save Hundreds by Skipping College Classes

You can begin earning extra money as early as middle school. If you are a relatively good student and you choose the more difficult classes, you might get an advanced placement in high school. This will allow you to skip some lower level college courses which could save you hundreds. If you skip enough classes, you might even be eligible to graduate early, saving thousands and starting your career early.

 

Get Cash Back on Your Student Loan

If you decide to borrow student loans, consider this: good grades can mean cash. Some student loan servicers offer incentive programs that will give you cash back based on regular payments or auto draft payments. But others will offer cash back simply based on the grades that you earn. Consider the Good Grades program from Discover Student Loans that offers 1% cash back on each new student loan if your GPA is a 3.0 (or equivalent) or higher.

Get Rewarded with Cheaper Insurance

As you begin paying your own bills, you might be surprised to find out that your good grades can earn you cheaper car insurance and even cash back on your credit card. Insurers like Allstate, Nationwide Geico and State Farm, offer discounts up to 25% off your monthly bill. If you pay $100 a month for car insurance, that could mean a savings of up to $300 dollars a year! Add that to the cash back your good grades could earn you via your credit card, and you will have extra cash to grow an emergency fund or save for a short getaway.

 

Get Rewarded with Credit Card Cash Back

The Discover card gives cash back for good grades. Discover card recently launched its Good Grades Reward Program, which exclusively rewards new student cardmembers who apply after July 23, 2015 with $20 in Cashback Bonus® if their grade point average is 3.0 (or equivalent) or higher each year they are enrolled in school, for the first five years from the account opening.

 

The Good Grades $20 Cashback Bonus is in addition to the current rewards structures for the two student credit cards Discover has available:

 

Discover it® chrome for Students offers an automatic 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases quarterly.

 discover it chrome

Discover it® for Students offers 5% cash back in categories that change each quarter, up to the quarterly maximum in combined purchases, when you sign up.

discover it

Both cards earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

 

Now you have no reason to complain that college only drains your bank account. With these programs you can easily earn extra money as a college student. Making the choice to study on the weekends instead of party? Well, that’s a totally different story.

Originally posted 2015-09-16 10:00:00.

Categories
Earn Extra Income

Your Network Equals Your Networth

College students often dread the word network. I remember when I first heard the term, I thought it was ridiculous. Why should I become friends with someone just for what they could offer me? I don't like to be taken advantage of, and I wouldn't want to do that to someone else.

Once I graduated from college the first time with an spanish degree, I realized that I should have networked more. I would ask friends and fellow graduates, how did you get that job. I always heard the same thing. "A friend of mine told me about it." How did they have friends that I didn't have? Where could I find these friends with all of the connections? It took me a while but I finally realized that these so-called friends that knew about all of the jobs were really just acquaintences to my friends. I made it my mission to learn to network and meet the right friends.

You don't have to be a leech to build a great network. The first thing I think of when I meet someone new is how can I help them? By thinking of a way to help them first, I am shifting the focus from myself. This allows me to be more approachable and friendly. Most people can sniff out a 'user' from a mile away. When I notice that someone only wants to talk with me because of what I can offer them, I generally shy away. However, in order for you to build your networth, it's important to have a few key people in your network. Here are the 9 Key People to Have in Your Professional Network.

1) Recruiter

It's important, no make that essential, to have an updated resume. Not only will it keep you on top of your professional brand, but it will make your on-the-job review that much easier. When you ask for a raise and point out all of the ways you've added value to your company, you will have that much more leverage. Having a recruiter in your network will keep your options open. If you ever feel like your talents and skills are going unnoticed at your current position, you will have an immediate link to new positions and opportunities.

2) Accountant

Having an accountant in your network will be an asset to you in one of two ways. It will position you as the go-to person for accounting needs; since people will know that you know who to turn to, and it will keep you in the know about tidbit accounting laws and changes. But probably the most important reason to have an accountant in your network is because of the IRS. Who really wants to be audited?

3) The Sports Guy/Gal

If you are the one who is the authority on sports then you might be able to skip this one. Business and sports go hand in hand, period. You can avoid it all you want, but if you can't talk about the epic fadeaway from last night's basketball game, or the 2 point conversion that had everyone in shock, you will miss out on deals. If you don't want to make it a point of watching games or checking ESPN everyday then network with a sports guy/gal. You'll know them by the fact that they are always at the 'watercooler' talking about last night's game. Steal some sound bites from them and network away!

4) Media

Everyone needs to know that someone that is always the first to know everything. They may write an entertainment blog, you may always see them out hob-nobbing (that's the word for networking with famous people), and you will see their pictures EVERYWHERE. You may have a hard time meeting this one person because everyone wants to know them, but if you can do it, you will be one step closer to the pulse. Who knows, they might want to take the time to talk about you to fellow hob-nobbers.

5) Banker

This one is an obvious one. You should have someone that keeps up with the market and world news. They will constantly know what is going on and how it will affect their portfolio. And if you listen well, you might get some tips for your own portfolio even if it's finding a good passive investment.

6) Entrepreneur

An entrepreneur is the person you met who is always trying to network. They either want to sell you something or figure out how you can build their business. But don't get offended, that's what they do. Good entrepreneurs will figure out a way to help you as well and that's why it is good to meet one and stay in touch regularly.

7) Teacher/Professor

When was the last time you talked about the state of our educational system? I've met many teachers and, I always leave the conversation with a new look at politics. Because the educational system is so flawed and the government runs it all, they will usually be up to date with new laws and provisions that may affect you or your kids or your lifestyle.

8) College Student

I bet you didn't think you would need to network with a college student, huh? You're probably thinking, what do they have to offer me? But didn't we just talk about networking with those that you can help? Have you been listening? But you can benefit as well. You will get more fresh perspective from a college student than you will get from your other sources.

9) Author

Finally, you should know at least one person who writes for a living. Or at least someone who enjoys organizing their thoughts onto paper. When you decide to begin writing that interesting life story of yours, you'll know who to talk to.

Did I miss one? Who would you include in your network?

Originally posted 2015-06-01 10:00:19.

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Career Earn Extra Income

#QUIZ: Should I Start a Business or Get a Job After College?

This is a question that many college students ask themselves. Most people like to set their own schedule. We want to be able to be in control of our time and be rewarded for our efforts. Starting a business will give you that freedom but it also comes with a price. Often you will have to put in hours and hours before you reap the benefits. Getting a job will allow you to get your reward immediately and every two weeks in the form of a paycheck, but you will be much more constrained. I’ve created a simple quiz that will help you begin to decide if you should start a business or get a job.

FYI, if you are reading this through your feed reader, hop on over to the site. The quiz is a jump page quiz. Small business facts sourced from the National Federation of Small Businesses small business polls.

Start the Quiz Here

But Don't Scroll Down, Click Your Answer Choice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have any debt?

Yes, I have some debt.

No I am debt free.

Since the beginning of early September, 30 percent of small employers applied for credit or commercial loans in one form or another, at least half of which applied more than one time. Seventy (70) percent did not apply of which 12 percent, or 8 percent of the population, did not apply because they thought they could not get credit they wanted.

 

Do you have a business idea already?

Photo via Flickr

Yes, I have a business idea.

No, I don't know what business I want to start.

Forty-two (42) percent of all small businesses introduced at least one new or significantly improved product, service, process or design into their sales inventory in the prior year. Most often the introduction was a product (55%), followed by a service (29%), a process (8%) and a design (7%). Thirty-four (34) percent have never introduced a new or significantly improved product, service, process or design. It has been three years or more since another 11 percent have.

 

Do you have any savings?

Photo via Flickr

Yes, I have some savings.

Savings, what's that?

Small-business owners believe that the primary reason they experience cash flow problems is the difficulty they encounter collecting money due them (30%). The second most frequently cited reason is seasonality (23%). The third is unexpected variations in sales (15%) and the fourth, weak sales (13%).

 

How much business knowledge do you have?

Photo via Flickr

I have a business degree.

I've learned from experience.

I have no business experience.

The most frequent course of study completed by small employers was business administration and related subjects. Fifty-five (55) percent did so. The second most frequently completed course of study was one of the hard sciences including engineering. Except for the few who took advanced degrees in law and health/medicine, those who took business were most likely to find their studies directly relevant to their current enterprise.

 

Have you ever worked in a management position?

Photo via Flickr

Yes, retail or some other management position.

No, I have no management experience.

Seventy (70) percent of small employers supervised people prior to entering their current business. Most now manage fewer people than they once did. This is particularly characteristic of those owning ventures now employing fewer than 10 people.

 

Do you have a hard time getting along with others?

Photo via Flickr

Yes, I often find that others are wrong.

No, I'm pretty easy going.

 

Do you consider yourself an active person?

Photo via Flickr

Yes, I work out, get outdoors, etc.

No, I don't have time for extra activity.

 

How many hours a week are you willing to work?

Photo via Flickr

40 hours

Less than 40

More than 40

 

Do you work best with a coach or motivator?

Photo via Flickr

Yes, I find it helps me.

No, I motivate myself.

 

Do you consider yourself to be persistent?

Photo via Wikipedia

Yes

No

 

Why do you want to go into business?

Photo via Flickr

If you've made it to this question then you might have what it takes to start a business.

About one in 10 adult (18-64 years) Americans are currently taking active steps to create a business. Virtually all are doing so because they want to (or see an opportunity to do so) rather than because they have no alternative economic opportunity. This puts the United States at the top of the industrialized world (second to Australia in 2006), a position Americans traditionally occupy. The reason that this number is important is the direct relationship between the number of people trying to start a business and national economic growth (Source: Neils Bosma and Rebecca Harding, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 2006, Babson College, 2006.)
 
 

Are you willing to take advice?

Photo via Flickr

Yes

No

This is probably not the best time for you to go into business. Either you have too much debt or no savings, both will make starting a business very hard. If you expect to work only 40 hours a week and you give up easily then entrepreneurship may not be for you. However, may entrepreneurs are successful based on their networks and desire for more. If you can find the passion then there's still a chance for success.

Originally posted 2015-05-30 10:00:11.

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Earn Extra Income

How to Jumpstart Your Finances: Start a Blog

Hi, I’m Kathleen. I blog over at FrugalPortland.com and ForProfitBlogging.com. LaTisha and I started the Save 50% group on Facebook — join us over there! LaTisha kindly allowed me to write a guest post to help get the word out about the ebook I wrote about starting a blog and following all the right steps.

If you’re trying to jumpstart your finances (and you are, if you’re reading this), one of the absolute best ways to do so is by starting a blog.

Think about it.

You have a story — maybe it’s about how your college choices landed you under a huge mountain of student loan debt and you’re just waking up to your new reality.
Or maybe you woke up on your 30th birthday and realized that this was the year you were supposed to have everything figured out. The year your young self said you’d be married and have a kid, but you woke up after that magical “figured it out by now” milepost not only single, but broke, and still in credit card debt?

That was me. I couldn’t believe how stupid i’d been. And I was motivated to change. Not only that, but I knew that my situation wasn’t unique. I'm no snowflake, so even though I felt like a complete idiot, I knew I wasn’t alone.

And I knew that I could help others change if I could change.

So I started mapping my way out of credit card debt, then student loan debt, then auto loan debt. And I did it publicly to increase my chances of success.

How to Jumpstart Your Finances: Start a Blog

Why Start a Blog?

In my friend group, I was the odd one out. I didn’t have it figured out, and everyone else did. They had good jobs with good benefits, and even though they loved me, they couldn’t empathize. So I needed to find a new circle.

I needed accountability. I needed people who understood what a weight off my shoulders it was when my debt went from $10,000 to 9,999.

I had no idea where it would take me, and I have no idea what my life would look like now if I hadn’t started writing when I did.

If You Have a Story, You Have Enough Material

I believe everyone can make money telling their story online. How much money? It depends on how much work you want to put into it. In my mind, there are different tiers. There’s the Thai food tier, which means that the blog takes you out to dinner once a month, there’s the cable bill tier, which means your blog is paying one of your bills, there’s the rent tier, which is when you know you’re starting to make serious money, then there’s the quit-your-job tier, which everyone thinks they can get to, but few do.

Making money should be secondary to telling your story. But some of the technical stuff gets in the way of blogging. You shouldn’t have to be a webmaster whiz in order to start telling your story online.

I’m a professional blogger now, meaning I work as a blog manager for a company that teaches other companies how to set up inbound marketing programs to generate leads. That means I’m a super dork when it comes to this internet stuff. When i’m not blogging for work, i’m blogging for my own business, and when i’m not doing that, i’m eating, exercising, or sleeping.

I'm also a serial entrepreneur. When I have an idea, I buy a domain, set up WordPress, then wonder if my idea has any legs.

My good friend Anne is the same way. Together, we’ve started over 20 blogs, and the steps are not intuitive. It's frustrating to remember what your’e supposed to do first, second, third, and so on.

So we wrote a checklist to guide us the next time we started a blog.

The checklist turned into an ebook, and we realized that if we’re finding value on this, others will too, so On Your Mark, Get Set, Blog! was born.

It’s a step-by-step guide to getting you started with your new blog without missing any steps. You'll look professional from the very beginning, and if you follow the steps, you’ll feel like “a real blogger” sooner than you think.

Originally posted 2015-02-27 10:00:42.

Categories
Earn Extra Income

5 Businesses to Start in Your Dorm Room

When you're in college, money can be extremely tight. Between paying for tuition, room & board, and your food, your cash flow can be in need of some tender love and care. While it may be a little difficult to find a job on or around campus, you can always start a business right there in your dorm room.

You don't have to become the next Zuckerberg to get a few extra dollars in your pocket.

Resume Writing Service

I used to help my friends spruce up their resumes all the time, and I wish I would've charged for it! While the career center is there on campus, sometimes it's easier to send it over to a friend.

Offer to organize someone's resume for them, but make sure you maintain your integrity and encourage them to only put the truth on the document. Employers will always find out if the job candidate is lying. Your service can include resume creation, editing, or even submitting based on the type of jobs your clients are looking for.

Charge a reasonable price, as your clients are probably in the same boat as you cash wise.

Dinner Delivery

If you have a car on campus, you suddenly become the popular friend for those who don't have one. You can be your campus' Eat24 by offering a service to pick up and deliver food for people at your school.

It's probably not going to make you rich, and you will have to take into account gas prices, but you can definitely make some extra money during midterms or finals when people are in desperate need of food and caffeine, but don't want to leave that special spot in the library.

Website Designer

Hand in hand with the resume writing service, your school mates should be securing their online real estate by buying TheirName.com. Some people don't know what to put on these sites, though, and that's where you come in.

Even if you have just a bit of experience in content management systems like WordPress, you can set up a quick landing page with a copy of their resume and a brief bio. You can also expand your clientele by reaching out to local businesses around your school, and offering your services to them (especially if their website is in desperate need of improving).

Personal Trainer

You'll have to step out the dorm room for this one, but if you have a passion for fitness and health, you can make some good money being the go-to personal trainer on campus.

The campus gym facilities may be free to students, but not everyone knows how to use the equipment, or has the motivation to go on a regular basis. You can charge per session, offer boot camp classes, meal planning sheets, and more.

It's a good way to stay in shape yourself, and an excellent option for those who are studying kinesiology or another related major.

Tutoring

This is probably a no-brainer, but if you're excelling in a subject that your classmates are struggling in, offer to tutor them. You can charge by the hour, and help them understand the material before the big test comes.

Students are always looking for some extra help, even outside of their professors' office hours, and you can be the one to help them save their grade.

What are some other small businesses you can start on campus?

Originally posted 2014-10-17 06:00:07.

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Earn Extra Income

9 Essential Qualities of a Successful Entrepreneur

“Entrepreneurs are born, not made.”

I've heard this quote many times before. Do you agree with the statement? I’m not sure if I do. I’d have to say that, like anything a human being decides to do, becoming an entrepreneur is a conditioned response created by our culture or upbringing. However, entrepreneurs share some of the same traits, and whether they were genetically predisposed to these traits or whether they cultivated these traits does not matter. What does matter is the fact that successful entrepreneurs all share these same qualities.

1) They’re Adaptable

They can adapt to the team because they’re teachable. I once watched an interview with Russell Simmons. He mentioned that, even though when he started his business he didn't write the business plans, he knew how to hire someone talented enough to write one for him. And eventually he learned enough from them to guide the business plans that were created for his future ventures.

You have to be emotionally secure enough to adapt. If you are offended because a team member disagrees with an idea that you thought was the best idea ever then creativity and innovation will be stifled. Entrepreneurs are service minded. They present ideas as a way to serve their target market, when an idea does not serve the target market appropriately, they have to adapt in order to come up with the best idea to serve the market.

2) They’re Committed

There are no half-hearted champions. Michael Jordan admits that he had many more failures than successes, but what set him apart from those who were not seen as successful was his ability to try again, even after he failed.
Sometimes a string of events will come from one decision. When you make that decision to try again and persevere through your adversity that just may be the time that you set off a sequence of positive events for your life and your business. Follow through with the right attitude and be professional.

3) They’re Dependable

Every team has a go-to player. This person is always the one who has the answers, and if they don’t they know how to use their resources to find that answer. The go-to player is proactive in finding solutions. They are not just going to let the team fail because of one single problem, they have pure motives and they put the team first.

When I was in 4th grade my teacher, Mrs. West, had a word spelled out onto the wall. It was printed on banner paper and large black letters. Every time I got into trouble, and I often did because I was the class clown, she would make me repeat and spell this word.

What was the word?

Responsibility. I still remember spelling it, RES-PON-SIBI-LITY. She reminded me to take responsibility for my actions and even to this day I remember the lesson she taught me. Being dependable means being responsible for yourself and your team.

4) They’re Disciplined

Where there’s a will, there’s a win. Stay focused. Sometimes you have to do what you really don’t want to do so that you can do what you really want to do. You might not want to make copies as an intern, but when your boss sees your discipline to complete that task, you will find yourself presented with more opportunities to show off your discipline and work ethic.
Successful entrepreneurs should be disciplined in three major areas.
Disciplined Thinking


Have an active mind. If you find your thoughts running away with you bring them back to the task at hand so you can accomplish what you've set out to do.
Disciplined Emotions


Master your emotions. You can ruin a friendship or a business relationship by expressing wild emotions.
Disciplined Actions


This is the one characteristic that separates winners from losers. A person lacking discipline is in a prison without bars.

5) They’re Prepared

Successful entrepreneurs mentally walk through any process ahead of time. They are able to anticipate any possible obstacles and take advantage of opportunities. They are ready to become an expert in their chosen field by constantly learning what it takes to succeed.

6) They’re Relational

There are certain characteristics that every business owner looks for in a candidate when they are building a team. They want to team with people who not only will contribute greatly to the team, but who will also create that relationship. A strong relationship between the team is cultivated with respect, shared experience and trust. Respect for one another and respect for the team will build a strong relationship. The relationship also grows with every shared experience, when you and your team has been pushed to the limit, there is a bond that is created from that shared experience. Trust is the last thing that will build a team but it is also one of the most important characteristics to have in a strong relationship.

7) They’re Self-Improving

To improve the team, you must improve yourself. As a leader, your team is looking to you for the next step. Your team will model your actions or your lack of action. To improve yourself and become a more successful leader, improve your preparation and contemplation. Your success is hidden in your daily routine. Did you monitor your time and eliminate unnecessary tasks?

Have you taken advantage of each opportunity that has been presented to you?

When you prepare yourself for great opportunities, those opportunities will see you out because you are ready to take advantage of them. Contemplation is also important to becoming a successful leader. Time alone is essential to self-improvement. We all need time free from distractions in order to recharge our internal battery and maintain our creativity.

8 ) They’re Tenacious

Successful leaders work with determination. They begin with the end in mind. Don’t be afraid to try making that sale again, even though you might have been turned down 9 times before. One of my favorite books is The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino.

It’s a recommendation of mine if you are in need of motivation to pick yourself up and try again. In the book, the main character aspires to be a great salesman and he is charged with the task of selling a single item. He tries over and over and over again to sell this one item. After being turned down each time he finally receives his reward for his persistence. You’ll have to read the book for the conclusion of the story, you will find the motivation you need to be a successful leader.

9) They’re Action-Oriented

None of these characteristics by themselves can create a successful entrepreneur. They must be utilized to make a difference. The time is now to take advantage of the numerous opportunities that await us. Complacency is unacceptable for successful leaders. An idea without action behind it is just a wish.
In summary, take action! Don’t be afraid to step out there and take your ideas to market. Evaluate yourself and the abilities that you were born with. And if you don’t possess these qualities yet, then surround yourself with people who do, and learn from them. Just as undesirable behaviors and characteristics can be unlearned, desirable behaviors can be learned.

Looking for more successful entrepreneurs? Click here for audio and video interviews with young entrepreneurs.

Originally posted 2014-04-24 07:24:54.