Dangerous Ways to Make Money Online

Whether you  are looking for a way to stay home with your children or trying to find a  way to make some extra cash, making money online can be a wonderful  thing. It can also be dangerous to your finances. Any time you are about  to embark on some type of online money making plan, make sure you know  what you are getting into before you start.

Gambling

Everyone knows, or should know, how gambling works. The house always wins. If you are playing games against other players, you may be able to  get ahead at times, but unless you are very good or very lucky, you  will not be able to make a living at it. Online bingo may seem harmless  enough, but it is also very addicting. You do not realize how much you  are spending when you just keep buying cards to play. It is only a few  dollars, how can it hurt? It all adds up. If you like to play poker or  the slots or online bingo, do it as a form of entertainment, do not try  to turn it into your livelihood.

Demos and Free Trials

You see the offers all the time, you sign up for a free trial for  something and only pay the shipping. Then, you get a bunch of other  people to take the free offer, and you get a cash prize or some big gift  you can then sell. The danger here is getting too many trials and gifts  to keep track of when you need to cancel. All these trials will  continue to ship you product, and charge your credit card, until you  cancel. Many times it takes a few months and a lot of money before you  actually get cancelled. You may have gotten six people to sign up under  you and gotten $250 for it, but you spent more than that by the time you  were able to stop the shipments.

Get Rich Quick Schemes

It is amazing how many people have a website that tells you how you can  make a lot of money every month and never have to do anything but send a  fee to them and then start up your own website. In many cases, you will  end up sending in the money to get started and then have to pay more  each month to be a part of the group, pay more money to get leads, and  then pay more money to have your own website. Once you have paid all  this money, you may get a few people who buy into it from you but in  most cases, they are going to cancel before the guarantee time is up and  you will have to send them back their money.

Surveys

There are some very good survey sites out there that will pay you for  every survey you complete. Most survey sites are not that good though.  You will spend a lot of time clicking buttons and answering questions to  receive points. These points can be spent on gifts from the site. While  they might be very nice gifts, they are not worth all the time you  spent to get them. Another trick some sites have is to not allow you to  take out your money until you reach a pretty high amount and have a  number of people you recommended reaching a specific amount too. You can  spend a lot of time and get nowhere with this type of survey payment  plan.

Receiving and Sending Money

While this is most often done through the mail, there are some people  trying to get you to do it with your PayPal account or bank account  online. Never accept money from someone looking for you to transfer it  elsewhere and keep a percentage as your pay. You will end up facing  criminal charges when the money sent to you is found to be obtained  illegally.

In general, if you want to make money online, go for it but plan on  spending a lot of time and hard work at it. It can be great to be at  home for your children when they need you, but you need to teach them  that just because you are home does not mean you can spend all your time  doing for them. If an opportunity sounds too good to be true, it almost  always is, check it out with work from home forums or the BBB before  you get involved.

5 Financial Traps That Can Get You Into Trouble

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Financial difficulties span all across the board from small difficulties to major  ones that can ruin your life. There is a correlation between certain  actions that someone takes and the amount of debt they are in. It is all  too often a common thing to see older people living on social security  with extra money to spare but successful people who make a good amount  of money with nothing to spare. Once financial difficulties start, it  can be easy to keep them progressing and much harder to slow them down.  It feels like everything is piling on you and you cannot get out of the  situation you are in. There are 5 different traps that can suck you in  financially.

Leasing 

Leasing a vehicle is a major trap that people find themselves stuck in.  The problem with leasing a vehicle is that you never own any portion of  the car. You place a down payment down on the vehicle and make monthly  payments to it, however, when the lease runs up you must turn the  vehicle in and then you can lease another one. You are basically  throwing money away in this situation. It is better to purchase your  vehicle and even make payments if you have to. At least this way you are  paying towards something you will own eventually.

 

Credit and Loans

Another major financial trap that catches people is credit cards and  loans. Credit cards are a dangerous habit to form if you do not actually  have the money. A credit card allows you to make a purchase for  something without having to pay for it at that moment with the intention  that you will then pay off your balance or at least towards it. Some people become stuck and then never pay off their credit cards or become attached to them and have to continue using them. High interest rates and monthly payments will surely get you stuck.

Payday loans are good for the once or twice use but if you continue to use them you will become financially strapped. People rely on these to help them pay for something that they do not have the upfront money for. Payday loans are very easy to obtain but they carry a hefty  interest rate with them. Normally you only have a week or two to pay  them back.

 

Emergencies

Not saving any money for emergencies will get you into some trouble. It  always seems like when you do not have any money set aside, something  that can go wrong, will. You are left to then find a source of funding.

 

Retirement

Many times people do not think about saving money for retirement. It is  important to do so to be able to maintain your lifestyle later in life.  If you start saving at a young age, the money will add up.

 

Lifestyle

People run into trouble when they live a lifestyle and do not have the  proper funds to live that lifestyle. It is common to see people spending  more money than what they make. This type of lifestyle will get you  into a financial trap.

Financial traps are easy to get into and harder to get out of. It is  common to see people stuck in stressful, financial situations. Learning  and recognizing the habits that put you in a financial dilemma is the  start to freeing yourself from the debt that holds you down.

Financial Decisions to Stay Far From

If you’re not  careful with your financial decisions, you could quickly find yourself in debt and struggling to stay afloat. Managing the bills, paying the mortgage, and staying on top of your finances are always going to be  tedious and frustrating chores. However, if you make the right financial  decisions then you will always have enough money on hand to handle these expenses. Below, you will find financial decisions that you want stay far away from, so that you can keep your financial stability intact.

 

Payday loans

While short-term loans have become particularly popular in recent  years, they are a financial decision that you want to stay far away  from. Payday loans come with severely high interest rates and they have  very short-term repayment periods. This means that you will be expected  to pay off the payday loan within 2 to 4 weeks upon receiving the cash.  This is a very short-term timespan and it’s often difficult for  borrowers to manage.

 

Car leases

While a car lease can be much more affordable than actually  purchasing a car through financing, they are generally not recommended.  Car leases are short-term solutions to getting a reliable car, but you  will often have to purchase a car or renew your lease after your current  lease has expired. You do not own the vehicle and when you barely have  enough money to afford the car lease payments, it’s a negligent  financial decision.

 

Unmonitored credit card usage

Using credit cards responsibly is a great way to build your credit  score and improve your financial standing with the banks. However,  unmonitored credit card usage or over-usage of your credit cards could  build a considerable amount of debt and leave your finances in turmoil.  You need to be very careful with how you use your credit cards and how  much money you apply toward them at the end of the month. Paying the  minimum payment is a negligent decision as credit cards should always be  paid off in full if possible.

 

Committing to a substantial mortgage

When you go to the bank and you are given a preapproval on a  mortgage, you should never purchase a home that maxes out that mortgage  amount. Banks are often far too generous with the amount of money that  they approve. If you want to live in easy-going life, you should spend  far less than what the bank will approve you for on a mortgage. This  will make your monthly payments more affordable and you will have more  money left over in your budget to afford other expenses.

 

Risky investments

There are lots of ways that you can invest your money, but some of  them are more risky than others. For instance, Forex or currency trading  can be wildly profitable, but it has a very steep learning curve. Some  people tend to dive head into new things that they are excited about and  this often leads to debt and risky financial decisions. Try to control  your spending and do not jump into risky investments without weighing  the options that are available to you.

5 Tips to Manage Your Frugal Expenses

Your monthly  expenses such as bills, the mortgage, and other financial obligations  are always going to be present in your life. However, if you manage your  expenses frugally, it will be much easier for you to make the payments  and you will live a happier and more relaxed lifestyle. Frugally  managing your finances can be a difficult thing to maintain, especially  with the spending habits of today’s consumers. However, the five tips  that you will find below can make you much more effective at the task.

1 – Use a finance management tool

Finance management tools are designed to help you live on a budget  and organize your income and expenses. There are free tools like  Mint.com that can make it easy to see how much money you have coming  into your bank account every month and how much money you have going  out. They also categorize your expenses for you so that you can see  exactly what your spending habits are like. If you want to manage your  expenses frugally, you have to organize and understand your finances.

2 – Make spending cuts

It’s very important to actually make real spending cuts with your  budget. You cannot manage your finances frugally if you are afraid to  get rid of some of your expenses. This means eating out less,  unsubscribing from high definition television channels, or even getting  rid of your home phone if you can make do with your cell phones. Don’t  be afraid to try new things in order to make spending cuts and  reorganize your budget.

3 – Create a budget

Once you have used a finance management tool to organize and  understand your finances as well as make spending cuts, you then need to  create a budget for your monthly spending. You should now be in a  position to where you can analyze how much money you have been spending  in the past and how much money you want to spend in the future. Creating  a budget and sticking to that amount is very important to managing your  expenses frugally.

4 – Do not spend irrationally

Part of the problem with today’s consumers is that they spend  irrationally. Even though they do not make much money, they feel  obligated to lease a car, buy a house and have all of the amenities that  their friends and family members have. What they don’t realize, is that  this type of spending is reckless and that is why a lot of their  friends and family members will one day find themselves in debt.  Controlling your spending habits and saving money rather than spending  it is a very important step to the process. Try to avoid reckless  spending and stay away from poor financial choices such as payday loans.

5 – Seek cheap thrills

Everyone needs to get entertainment somehow but if you spend a lot of  money in order to entertain yourself, you are quickly going to find  yourself struggling with debt. Try to seek cheap thrills instead of  going for the more luxurious, outgoing types of options. Making yourself  happier with some of the cheaper options in life is going to protect  your budget and stabilize your finances.

Earning Extra Money With Your Old Jewelry

There are many opportunities for you to make extra money, some of which may be hiding right under your nose. As an example, many people are now selling jewelry to make some extra money, although it is not going to be something that is available for the long-term (Source: Sell Diamonds to Diamond Buyers). If you sell diamonds, for example, you can expect to make a considerable amount of money if you sell them in the right location. You also need to consider the possibility of whether you are going to make more if you sell diamond ring components separately or if you are going to sell them as a single unit. In most cases, it is going to take some footwork on your part to determine which is going to be the best financial decision for you.

You can also use this information to learn about selling jewelry to learn how to buy an engagement ring. You are likely to learn that there are four C’s that need to be considered when making your purchase. They are cut, clarity, carat, and color. It is likely that you are not going to be able to afford a diamond that is flawless, so you may need to cut some corners somewhere to make it possible. The most important thing for you to consider is the cut and the clarity comes in as a close second. If the color is off to a certain extent, you will be able to save some money without sacrificing quality in most cases. The same is also true if the caret is very close to being a whole number but is slightly under, as that makes a difference in the price that you pay.

Need Cash Fast? Try Lenddo

We live in uncertain times.  Whether there’s a fire-breathing dragon or a huge hospital bill waiting for you round the bend, you’ll never know.  If you’ve got large sums of money sitting in the bank, then maybe that won’t be much of a problem.  But for us who rely heavily on our paychecks, saving enough money for emergencies or a nice house in the woods continues to be a struggle.  That’s when long or short term loans come to save the day.

Getting a loan isn’t all that easy, though.  Anyone who’s ever had to apply for a loan before can attest to the painstaking hassle one must go through just to sort out those loan requirements.  But now, quick loans are made possible, thanks to Lenddo.

Lenddo is not some fly-by-night company.  It’s an online platform which seeks to help the middle class gain access to local financial services by tapping into their online social connections to vouch for their character and credibility.  So, they’ll grant you that debt consolidation loan as long as your Facebook friends don’t slander your name.

How does it work?  The process is quite simple.

  1. Go to www.lenddo.com.ph and create and account with them.
  2. Link your Lenddo account to your online social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yahoo, Gmail, etc.)
  3. Without the need for bribery, invite your family and friends to join your trusted network.
Here’s a screenshot of my account:

All you really need to do to get Lenddo to give you that loan is to build trusted connections with at least 3 people, and earn a minimum “400” Lenddo score.    You get the required score by simply linking to your other social networks.  It’s that easy.

As for the trusted connections, they must also have at least a Lenddo score of 400 before you can apply for a loan.

You’re allowed to borrow from P5,000 up to P43,000.  The interest rate will depend on your Lenddo score and terms range.  The higher your Lenddo score is, the easier it is to get your loan approved.  If you manage to meet their easy peasy requirement, you can get your loan approved in as fast as one business day!

What I like about Lenddo is that their website shows a loan calculator which helps give you an idea of how much your monthly payments will be.   Of course, I love their easy loan application process.  Imagine, there’s no need for physical collateral!  All you need are your online connections to back you up.

To make things even sweeter, Lenddo uses an electronic payments system.  They deposit the funds straight to your bank account.  Without breaking up a sweat, you’ll have that loan sitting in the palm of your hand.

A friend in need, is a friend indeed, they say.  If it’s a housing loan or one of those student loans you need, now’s the perfect time to put those Facebook and Twitter friends to use.

Here’s are some testimonials from happy Lenddo patrons:

 

 

 

When Mom Does A Retail Conference

Whenever I see or hear anything that closely resembles a dollar sign- or any currency, for that matter- my eyes twinkle and glow as they would if I saw Ryan Gosling in the flesh.  Nothing gets my heart pumping like a good business opportunity.  I can probably blame that on the entrepreneurship blood which flows through my veins, as I come from a family of businessmen- and women.

I got somewhat of an adrenaline rush when I heard about this upcoming event: the 21st NRCE or 21st National Retail Conference (NRCE) and Stores Asia Expo.  This happens to be the largest retail industry event in the Philippines, and is set for on August 9 to 10, 2012 at the world-class SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

This event merges with the government’s “It’s more fun in the Philippines” campaign, as it invites Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez to talk about how the campaign is in synch with the retail industry growth, and how it provides for a more fun shopping experience.

The keynote speaker on the opening day will be none other than Coca-Cola’s top honcho, aka. President and CEO, William Schultz. Coke is undeniably one of the better-loved brands in the Philippines, so its participation hopes to further enhance the “fun” part of the conference.

You’ll find the full program here.

What I’m most looking forward to is the topic “Harnessing the Power of Digital Marketing and Online Commerce for Retail Growth”.   Buying and selling products online is the emerging trend today, as almost everyone is on the internet nowadays.  You reach a wider market if you go for digital marketing.

I’m also keenly interested in Living the Brand: Employees as Brand Ambassadors.  Who can better sell a product than its employees, right?

As for improvements in the retail sector, I’d like to see more consumer protection.  More than attracting new customers, retailers should know how to keep them.  Happy retailers make for happy consumers, and vice versa.

If you want to take part in this, register here.

The 21st NRCE is proudly presented by PLDT Alpha Enterprise, SM Department Store, Hewlett Packard, Robinsons Malls, Araneta Center, Ayala Malls, Meralco, IBM Philippines, DHL Supply Chain Phils., Inc., Festival Supermall, Wilcon Depot, Celine, The Philippine Star, BusinessWorld, ABS CBN, Schutzen, Mobext, Inc., Crossover 105.1., Entrepreneur, Focalcast, Q Creatives, Cylix Technologies, Mediamagnet, Catalyst Media, Infinite Grafix, Travel Club, APL Logistics, Avolution, Live Media, Starmall and Bayantel.

For more information about the 21st NRCE visit http://www.nrceph.com/

3 Awesome Tools for Starting a Business

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Beginning a business is not easy. A new business requires a lot of micro-managing and needs a lot of involvement. Businessmen tend to be disheartened when they find the task too exhausting. This is why online tools are quite useful in helping budding entrepreneurs sustain their initiatives. As up-and-coming businessmen, it’s hard to spend too much money. There is the need to shell out some capital, but the goal is to earn more and spend less to promote and keep the business in good working order. The good thing is that there are awesome tools that are free or low-cost and readily available online to help you with this undertaking. Here are three of them:

1.  Bitrix24.com

Bitrix24.com is an online tool that serves as an operational foundation for a business. It helps the people involved get used to handling things such as file sharing, operations monitoring, workforce management, live streaming, CRM and more, all in a unified work panel. This is perfect for starting businesses because it’s entirely free for enterprises with 12 employees or less. Yes, you read that right. It’s 100% free for those types of businesses. The support is immensely solid, and it won’t require too much computer space since everything is cloud-based – no installation required – and is accessible anywhere, anytime, making your virtual workstation right where you need it to be. There is room for expansion later in time for only $99 per month. This subscription plan already can accommodate an unlimited number of users.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

2. PickyDomains.com

Part of starting a good business is getting the right business name, slogan or campaign title for your marketing efforts, whether that’s for the service or the goods you offer. If you can do this without outside help, good for you. If not, this is where PickyDomains.com comes in. Started in 2007 and with 50,000+ total contributors registered with the site to date, imagine receiving hundreds, if not thousands, of suggestions on any given day for just a fraction of the cost branding agencies charge. For $50 for a name or website domain (or $75 for a slogan), you become a client. And all you need to do next is furnish a short description of the name, domain or slogan you require. Your requirements will be taken by contributors into consideration when giving out suggestions. PickyDomains employs a satisfaction guarantee and will return your money in case you don’t achieve your desired results, that is, none of the suggestions are to your liking.

3. JetRadar.com

Limited budget is a common complaint among starting businesses. JetRadar.com, a meta search engine that functions like a fine-tooth comb, can access data from more than 700 airlines and hundreds of flight websites in its search for the best and cheapest airfare deals available, and makes this data publicly ready and accessible in a single site. Aside from saving you time and effort that you would otherwise have to utilize in the searching-and-comparing process, JetRadar also ensures that your limited budget can be stretched to the fullest.

Mommy Money Matters: Investing for the Future

When I opened my email this morning, I nearly fell off the edge of my seat when I got an email from Human Resources.  No, it’s not because they caught me smooching with a deliciously handsome Middle School teacher inside the elevator.  It’s because they’re honoring me at the school’s year-end program for my five years of service.  I can hardly believe it!  Have I been working in this institution for that long now?

And then it hit me.  Two realizations, actually.  First, although I believe that I’m still hot and foxy at this age, the fact is, I’m not getting any younger.  Second, I do have some amount of money saved up in the bank, but it’s just sitting there idly.  I got to thinking that I should start putting my funds management skills to good use and invest my hard-earned money in something worthwhile.

But, where and how do I begin?  Initially, I guess it helps to identify my specific goals.  Are they short term, or for the long haul?  Mine would have to be medium term, as my priority right now is to save up for my daughter’s education.

Alongside that, I’d also want to bring to the forefront my goals at philanthropy.  I have to admit that I may be a bit of a tightwad, but I do have a soft spot for those in need.  I want to give back and pay it forward.

With the plethora of investment options out there, I am nothing short of overwhelmed.  There are mutual funds, treasury bills, etc.  It’s good to note that there are resources online which can help those of us who know nothing about these things.  I stumbled upon www.perpetual.com.au and found their site to be informative and helpful.  They offer sound advice when it comes to making investments.

There’s always an element of risk involved with any financial venture,  but with careful planning and studying, I should be fine.  I’m willing to take that risk, anyway, so here I go…

How about you?  What investment options are you considering?

Easy Money for Your Emergency Needs

Medical emergencies often strike suddenly and without warning. In a perfect world, we would have an overflowing savings account to combat life’s emergencies. Of course, in a perfect world, emergencies would never happen in the first place.

Emergencies aren’t just insanely stressful: they’re also incredibly costly. Worse still, you often don’t have time to wait around for another paycheck or a bank loan. You need money, and you need it now. Luckily for those suffering through medical emergencies, there are emergency sources of cash that can arrive in as little as 24 hours.

Image from Flickr

 

Online Personal Loans

Online personal loans have two benefits in an emergency: they’re simple to process, and they’re incredibly fast. For example, here’s how the process works for online personal loans from greatplainslending.com:

  1. Apply online for a loan from $200 to $1000. 
     Fill out the online application. You must prove that you’re over 18, have access to a working email account, got a secure form of income (employment, etc.), and have a working checking account with limited penalties (no bounced checks, no overdraft charges, a positive balance, etc.).
  2. Find out if you’ve been approved. An employee should be able to let you know whether you’ve been approved for online personal loans in a matter of minutes.
  3. See the money in your account on the next business day. If you fill out your application by6:00 p.m. EST, you should see money in your account on the following business day.

What You Should and Shouldn’t Use an Online Personal Loan For

Online personal loans should not be used for non-necessities. Don’t get a personal loan to finance that latest gadget you’ve been eyeing or to buy a cute pair of shoes. Personal loans are for emergency situations: when you need money immediately to take care of a current crisis.

Examples include: medical emergencies, car repairs or breakdowns, severe housing problems (flooding, etc.), and family emergencies. Personal loans are also a good option for applicants with low or zero credit. In fact, if you’ve got a less-than-stellar credit rating, online personal loans may be the only loan you qualify for. 

Have You Ever Suffered from a Medical Emergency?

How did you cope with your medical emergency? Ever received an online personal loan? Got any advice for fellow readers who might be in your shoes? Share your experiences in the comments.