Want to be Wealthy?

Stop Swapping Your Time for Money

Many of us were taught to do well in school, get a great job, work hard, and you’ll eventually make a lot of money. This may be true, but there is a great limitation to working for someone else. Time. There are only so many hours in a week. No one can buy or create more.

Even doctors suffer from this limitation. The average physician makes a large salary, but there aren’t many that make a million dollars a year. Even a physician is swapping his time for money. He only gets paid while he’s seeing patients. He can’t see more than one at a time and he can’t see them while he’s asleep. The clock ultimately limits his income.

This is also true for consultants, dentists, lawyers, and CEOs.

If you want the opportunity to make a tremendous amount of money, it’s important to find ways to earn without your presence being necessary. Free yourself from the clock and your ability to earn is unlimited.

There Are Better Ways Than Swapping Time For Money:

  1. Get paid more than once for the same work. Think about artists, authors, and musicians. In their respective businesses, they’re able to get paid repeatedly for the same work.
    • An author can write a book and then sell a million copies over the next 10 years. During that time, she may have written 20 more books. What could be better than getting paid multiple times for the same work?
    • What are some other businesses that can utilize this same strategy?
  2. Do something that allows you to receive recurring payments. Leasing office space or other real estate to others keeps money coming in while you do other things. Building a website and leasing it is a similar strategy.
  3. Be an investor. The great thing about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and similar investments is the ability to make money with little work on your part. You’re essentially making money while you sleep. You could also loan money to others.
  4. Outsource / arbitrage. Many people set up businesses and then outsource all the work. This is especially true online. For example, there are people that sell website building services. These same people then hire someone else at a reduced rate to do all the work.
    • Ghostwriters write many of the e-books sold on sites like Amazon.com. The listed author paid someone else to write the book. If you can successfully buy something for $X and sell it for $X+Y, you can potentially make money with little work.
    • Can you think of ways to make money from the work of others?
  5. Create passive income. A website that sells an affiliate product can make money while you sleep and is a form of passive income. It’s not difficult to build a website that makes a mere $5/day, but keep in mind that’s over $1,800/yr.
    • Make a list of other ways you can make money passively.

Time is limitation for all of us. So far, no one has lived forever. But time doesn’t have to limit your income. Doctors, lawyers, and CEOs are paid well, but you have even great financial potential if you can break free from swapping your time for money.

Uncertainty stops many people. If you write a book or create a website, you’re not guaranteed to make any money at all. If you go to your job, you can expect to get paid on a regular basis. Courage and persistence are required.

Get started today and build an income stream that isn’t dependent on your time or presence. You’ll enjoy getting paid while you’re not at work!

The Ultimate Student Loan: How Much Can You Afford to Borrow?

It can be pretty exciting when that financial aid award letter arrives from the financial aid office of your chosen university. Even more exciting is when you realize that you can get enough financial aid that you won’t need a part-time job while attending school.

BEFORE GETTING TOO EXCITED, IT’S IMPORTANT TO CONSIDER WHAT LIMITS TO SET ON YOUR STUDENT LOAN BURDEN.

Determine how much money you’ll need to borrow to attend each college you’re considering. Include in your calculations the living expenses while you’re at school. This probably will be a different number for each university, as financial aid packages, tuition, and living expenses will vary greatly per educational institution.

Construct Simple Post-Graduate Budget: How Much Can You Afford To Borrow Now?

1. Contact your college and get salary figures for graduates with your intended major. What you’re interested in are the starting salary figures and the salaries for those with 5 years of experience.

• It’s important to have a good idea of what you can expect to earn, since your student loan payments will come from this income.

• Verify these figures to the best of your ability. Schools have been known to exaggerate to increase the number of applications.

• Consider where you want to live. It’s not critical to know the exact location, but you can probably figure out if you want to live in a large city, the suburbs, a small town, or out in the country.

2. Get living expense information for the type of area in which you’re likely to find yourself after graduation. That means finding figures for housing, utilities, groceries, entertainment, clothing, medical, insurance and anything else you’re likely to spend money on.

• Also consider other items that aren’t likely to vary from location to location. This would be items like your car payment and cell phone.

• Living expenses can vary dramatically from location to location. Do your research and get accurate numbers.

3. Create a budget from these figures. Take your expected salary into account and look at your expected expenses. How much money is left over? Remember to set aside money for savings each month.

4. Figure out how much you’ll need to borrow. Some simple math will quickly show you just how much you’ll need to borrow in student loans in order to attend a particular school.

5. Determine your monthly student loan payment. There are numerous student loan calculators online that will show you the loan payment for a given loan amount. Remember that there are many different payment options. You can play around with the numbers and consider all the possibilities.

6. Face the truth of the situation. Armed with this information, it’s time to be realistic. If you’re going to live in a large city and can expect to make $40,000 a year, then you simply can’t afford $100,000 worth of student loans.

• Look at the numbers and make a responsible decision. Hopefully, the numbers will work in your favor.

You might not be able to attend your dream university and still afford your student loan payments. You may need to get a part-time job during school or after graduation. Is your first choice school worth the extra time and work? Only you can decide.

On the other hand, a more affordable university is another option. Take the time to determine how much you can afford to borrow. You can save yourself a lot of challenges later on.

A little planning can make life after graduation easier and more enjoyable. Debt can be one of the most challenging burdens in life. Follow these tips to avoid taking on more debt than you can handle.

Reflections on the US National Debt. Will we do what it takes to shrink it?

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

So, President Obama’s bipartisan deficit commission headed by former Wyoming Senator Alan K. Simpson (R) and former Clinton Chief of Staff Erskine B. Bowles (D) has issued its preliminary report.

It is a stark, sobering document.  It says, in glaringly specific ways, that we as a nation have blithely spent too much too long, unconcerned like Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Newman: “What me worry/”

Well, we have partied and now wake up to a colossal headache of global  proportions.  Now what?

President Obama, understanding that Congress needs help with this hot potato,early on in his term issued an Executive Order on the matter. Per this order, a panel of 18 members was created; 12 are members of Congress. Six are private citizens of impeccable pedigree.  Fourteen of these commissioners must agree before the panel can send any recommendations to Congress, which they must do shortly.

What the commissioners recommend… so far

The commissioners were given a breath taking charge by the president: either recommend $4 trillion dollars in budget cuts and savings and/or raise that sum in tax revenues. Everything was on the table; nothing was sacrosanct and inviolable. In short, “deal with it, boys and girls, for the good of the nation!”

The commissioners, selected for a gravely serious purpose, took the matter seriously, and have produced a serious document… the more so since others both within the Congress and out continue to play “gotcha politics” on the matter. Not so the commissioners. They set about their vital work with a will that promises to be sadly lacking in a Congress which will ultimately decide on what to do. Here is the  heart of what they reported.

Item: deep cuts in domestic and military spending

Item: gradual 15-cents-per-gallon increase in the federal gasoline tax

Item: limiting or eliminating popular tax breaks (including the home mortgage deduction) in return for lower rates.

Item: benefit cuts and an increased retirement age for Social Security.

It is all sensible, logical, necessary and desirable. It is also DOA because only the commissioners have the will to make changes… and they don’t have the power to save a penny or increase tax revenues Thus, under the heading “Fools rush in where angels fear to trend”,  here are my thoughts and recommendations. Mr. and Mrs. America and all the ships at sea, take note.

1) We live in supremely selfish times where no one is willing to give up anything.

  • “Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what your country can do for you.”
  • I start from the proposition that making the necessary changes to the budget will arouse the wrath of Americans nationwide, whatever Tea Party budget- balancing tenets they espouse. Everyone entering into this necessary budget shrinking debate should expect two certain things: up front high-blown patriotic rhetoric about sacrifices willingly made ; behind the scenes bare knuckle fighting of the crudest variety to protect the haves… no matter how grossly illogical and piggish their benefits.

2) Tackle Social Security first. It is the easiest to rehabilitate.

  • It is time someone told the American people, who treat tampering with Social Security as the third rail in politics (touch it and die), the truth. The entitled, immovable age of 65 is the cynical legacy of Europe’s most successful politician, Prince Otto von Bismarck.  He’s the man who engineered the unification of Germany. Looking for a way to undermine the burgeoning late 19th century Socialist movement (very strong in Germany) he asked actuaries to find a number where most men would be dead and only voteless women left. Pensions would begin then. Otto and his conservatives get the credit… but have to pay little! Actuaries said age 65 would do the trick… and so it has remained.
  • Since Bismarck’s day, however, there have been huge improvements in health and longevity, thereby making the number 65 less an “entitlement” than a fantastic gift from the government for many years, to the detriment of succeeding (and rightly concerned) generations who foot the bill.
  • Note: Congress should bite this bullet early and deep. Whereas the president’s commissioners want to raise the age by gradual stages to year 69, instead make the magic number go to 71 for those in reasonable health who can work. It’s the right thing.

3) Make each member of the Congress take a pledge to eschew “gotcha politics” on this matter.

  • In our brutally tit for blood-letting tat Congress to say A (like “you voted to slash military spending”) immediately fuels the opposition to return (B) a  blow of equal or greater intensity (like “you voted to gut all domestic spending programs”). This gets us no where and fuels national rage about “do nothing” congresses.
  • Members of Congress raise money to clobber each other. That’s what they do. They’ve been doing it since Minute 1 of the new republic. Now some aspiring statesman should, in the name of getting to yes with this budget imbroglio, say “basta!” and ask all members, on both sides of the aisle, to join him and appreciably move towards the solution we must have. Make working together politically attractive and a “must”; do this and the politically pusillanimous who constitute the core of the Congress will rush to embrace it.

4) Urge the president to spend his (admittedly diminished) political capital to solve this problem — even at the risk of losing a second term.

  • Americans love big men who focus on big things which benefit the nation in big ways. Let our now wounded president do this and secure a truly significant and majestic legacy.
  • President Obama could rise to the occasion and say, “The issue of securing a balanced, lean, fair budget and with it the sound future of the nation is so important, I intend to make it my Number 1 priority. It is crucial that America get this benefit, and if it costs me my second term, so be it. It is the right thing to do.” (P.S. Not only would this be statesmanship in the grand manner, but this wounded man would sail to a second term and a legacy of substance and real worth.)

5)  Explain to America what is at stake. Then sell it to the nation.

  • John F. Kennedy’s father, Joseph Kennedy, was a marketing man. He stayed behind the scenes, raised money and gave sharp, sensible advice. Before the crucial Wisconsin primary in 1960, he told his son Jack that they would sell him “like soap flakes.” They did… he romped in the primary…. and got a crucial boost on the road to the presidency.
  • President Obama et al need to do the same thing now. Hire the best marketing brains on earth… brainstorm every benefit. Then go out and sell it to the nation. This matter of  the budget is not the most difficult problem this country has ever faced; it’s entirely solvable. What is necessary is to enlighten Americans, enlist their support and show them what to do. Then lock the Congress in a room and tell them to cut deals until the deed is done. And because cutting deals is what they do best, in due course the thing will be done. Then spread the credit, take the White House photographs… and start the next spending spree. For that is the American way.

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Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online. _________________________________________

Tax Advantages of Owning A Small Business: Can You Deduct Your Child’s Allowance?

Simply making an honest effort to earn income from what is normally just your hobby can open up a lot of tax advantages, even if you keep a regular full-time job. If you don’t have a small business, you might consider the many financial benefits of starting one. There are many deductions available, if you are self-employed, that the average person without a business cannot take.

Consider These Tax Deductions and Tax Advantages of Owning A Small Business

1. Home office. Whatever percentage of your home is used for business can be used in deductions from your income. For example, if your rent is $1,000 / month, and you use 30% of your square footage for business, you can deduct $3,600 from your income (12 x $300).

  • The catch is that the space must be used exclusively for business. So, if your parents sleep in your office on Christmas Eve, you lose out on the entire deduction. The IRS is a real stickler on the home office deduction.
  • Your computer can be deducted as well, also based on percentage. If you use your computer 50% of the time for business, you can deduct 50% of the cost.
  • You can also deduct the same percentage of your utilities. That includes, heat, electricity, Internet, and more.
  • Even a portion of repairs to your house can be taken as a deduction in the same percent. It must be a repair that affects the whole house, like a new roof, air conditioning system, or flooring.
  •  Of course, any money you spend on renovating your home office is also deductible from your income.
  • You can even deduct your child’s allowance by paying them to do age-appropriate tasks around the office like sweeping, dusting, and filing.

2. Travel expenses. You can deduct your business-related travel expenses, like hotel and air-fare. You can also deduct 50% of the cost of your meals on your business trips or even business meals in your home town.

  • It’s vital to keep a journal so you can prove that your travel was business related.
  • You could even have a working vacation and take the family along. You won’t be able to deduct their travel or food costs, but you can still deduct the cost of your hotel room. Of course, if your family members work for you, it’s a moot point!
  • If you are also vacationing, be sure that you’re spending at least part of the time meeting with clients, going to training, or on other business-related tasks. If you only spend 2 hours out of a week on business, you’re asking for trouble. Be reasonable.

3. Automobile. If your vehicle is used exclusively for business purposes, you can typically deduct all your vehicle expenses. In most cases, your vehicle will be used for both business and personal use, so keep a log of your mileage, designating each trip as personal or business.

  • In general, all travel between business locations is deductible. So, travel from your home office to the office supply store would be deductible. Travel from one client location to another would be tax deductible.
  • However, the miles you drive to your office from your home are not tax deductible, if your office is located away from your home.
  • These deductions can be used by mileage or business use percentage. If you use your car for business purposes 30% of the time, by mileage, you can deduct 30% of your vehicle expenses. Or, you can multiply your business miles by that year’s designated amount from the IRS.
  • Use whichever method provides the greatest deduction. Typically, less expensive cars would use the mileage method. For more expensive cars, the percentage method provides a larger deduction. Try it both ways.

A small business on the side can bring many useful deductions. We have mentioned only a few  in this article. With just a little planning, a significant portion of your rent or mortgage, utilities, automobile, and travel expenses can be deducted. These tax advantages can easily save you thousands of dollars every year.

Turning your hobby into a small business not only gives you some tax advantages, it can also allow you to make some money from your hobby.

Can You Make Money Working From Home?

Is Working From Home a Good Choice for You?

Have you fantasized about waking up in the morning, walking sleepily down the hall to your home office with a steaming Cup of Joe, and plopping down in your chair to start working? Imagine the amount of money you’ll save on gas, clothing, and childcare by working from your own home. With the advancements in today’s technology, it is more possible, than ever before, to make your fantasy of working at home a reality.

As you decide whether you’re a good candidate for working from home, please consider the following:

  1. Do you work for a national or international company? Quite often, the larger the company, the more flexibility you will have to work from home.
  1. Do you work for a progressive company? If the owners and management think out of the box and embrace change, you’re in a great position to inquire about working at home.
  1. Do you have a computer-oriented job? If most of your work is on the computer, present a good argument as to how you can remain productive working from home. As long as you have a computer at home, you can get the proper software to perform your job at home.
    • You’ll have less co-worker interruptions when you work at home. If your house is quieter than working in a buzzing, lively office setting, you might be able to get more work done each day.
  2. Are there special supplies your job requires? For example, a design architect will need a drafting table and various drawing tools, plus a computer to work from home. The nature of your work is a huge determinant as to whether you can work from home.
  3. Can you set up a designated workspace?  Nothing fancy, a desk and chair devoted to work , along with a computer and internet connection, will suffice.
  4. How flexible is your boss? Supervisors and managers who demonstrate more flexibility in the work setting are more likely to agree to a trial period where you work at home. If your supervisor knows you well and understands your work, then they might be more willing allow a trial work at home situation.
    • During the trial period, you have an opportunity to demonstrate how well you can perform in your own home setting. 
    • When speaking with your supervisor, remember to mention that companies that promote more flexible work schedules benefit from less absenteeism and have reduced turnover. 
  5. Can you motivate yourself to get your work done?If you want to work from home, it’s important for you to possess certain personal and professional characteristics. Are you a self-starter? Can you diligently follow a work schedule?
    • Are you self-motivated and super-responsible? If you are, it’s likely you’ll be able to work from home with great success.
  6. Are you easily distracted? Can you prevent distractions at home? Think about everything that could interrupt or disturb your work efforts at home. 
  • It will be necessary for you to take steps to ensure your work won’t be disrupted.However, if you live alone or with a partner that works away from home full-time during the same time you’ll be doing your job, you’re already ahead of the game in terms of creating a productive work environment.

 

Working from home might be a perfect solution depending on your company, the type of work you do, and your motivation.  Think through these considerations to help you determine whether working in a home office setting is right for you. In the end, it may be a win-win solution for you and your employer in terms of productivity and employee satisfaction.