work at home
Years ago, a “normal job” consisted of working in a cubicle 5 days a week from 9-to-5. Times have definitely changed. Many companies are embracing the power of a remote workforce with all the technology we have these days, making telecommuting more and more common.

But how exactly do you find these work-from-home jobs? It’s not that simple and the number of remote positions are still small compared to traditional jobs. And, as you can imagine, the added flexibility of being able to work from anywhere have made the competition for these limited positions pretty intense. While it may be difficult to find a company that will allow you to work from the comfort of your own home, don’t give up. They exist and you can create many of them yourself. Take a look at these 5 work from home jobs anyone can do, starting right now:
[ continue reading… ]

online shopping
Just this month, retail chain Target announced that it is joining Amazon, Costco, Whole Foods, Petco, and a host of other private companies in what is becoming an increasingly popular and profitable market: grocery delivery service. They’re not the only ones. Wal-Mart also indicated its plans to explore grocery delivery in a a few markets, and jack-of-all-trades Google is launching its own version of rival Amazon’s “Fresh” called “Google Express” in test markets later this year.

Target plans to partner with start-up success InstaCart, an online service that currently works with 18 chain stores. Along with similar companies like Peapod and Shipt, InstaCart partners with grocery stores to delivery goods right to your door. Although this type of service has been available for years in wealthier demographics, it’s now becoming increasingly demanded by the middle class, and retailers are responding.

Here’s how it works. Customers such as yourself get on either the delivery service or affiliated grocery store’s website, select the items you want, place your order, and receive home delivery in 1-2 hours based on our selection. It’s as simple as that.
[ continue reading… ]

federal reserve
The Federal Reserve Board announced last week that they would not be raising interest rates. All eyes seem to be on them when they meet to discuss the economy and what to do about interest rates, so it must be important. After all, the announcement sent stock soaring (though only briefly). But what interest rate is it that we’re really talking about here, and how would a rate hike affect the average consumer like you and I?
[ continue reading… ]

My friend started a conversation on her high monthly grocery bill and told me to guess how much she spends. I quickly said, “$1,200” – mind you she is raising three growing preteen boys, and lives with her husband, mother, and stepfather, so basically seven adults. She seemed a little surprised that I was so close. As we continued talking about it, I told her there is no reason to even feel guilty about spending around $1,000 a month on food. Here’s why.

My friend basically spends less than $5 a day to feed each person if you work out the math. Isn’t that incredibly good? I don’t know the exact dimension of her budget, but I do know that even if they eat out 2-3 times a week, they are still eating most of their meals at home or from home. While many of us are not spending $1,000 a month, I know there are many of us who feel guilty about how much money we spend at the grocery store. If you cook 85% or more of your meals from home, have very little food waste, and are giving yourself and your family the nutrients needed, then there really should be no guilt.
[ continue reading… ]

I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about what I want my life to look like going forward, and what I can do to restructure. I’m in the process of reconfiguring my finances, as well as putting together a good life for my son and myself.

One of the things that occurred to me is that I’d like to have a little more time. This is a common feeling, of course. Most of us wish we had more time for the things that really matter to us. As I sat down and thought about this concept, I realized that there are some things I can do to get a little more time in my life. Most of those things cost money, but I think it’s probably worth the cost.

You Can’t Accumulate More Time

Time is valuable because there is no getting it back once it’s gone. I can’t just create more time the way I can earn more money. I can almost always do something different with my finances. I can invest more, raise the rates I charge for freelancing or take on a little extra work. There is usually some money available for me to earn. If all else fails, I can always sell some my stuff or donate blood plasma.

Once time is gone though, it’s gone. Time is far more valuable, so I want more of it even if I have to pay for it. The return on my investment is high — as long as I use my time in ways that benefit me for the long run.
[ continue reading… ]

Renting a new apartment can be quite expensive. Aside from rent itself, there are lots of miscellaneous expenses you might not have thought about. One of the biggest is the security deposit, as almost all landlords ask for that lump sum upfront. Basically, if you damage something, it gets deducted from your deposit. The good news is that you can get it back when you move out…if you’re careful about it.

A security deposit can sometimes be up to two times your monthly rent. It’s not a small number but many tenants don’t take it seriously enough, since most just assume they’ll get it back at the end of their lease if nothing catastrophic happens. Some landlords, though, will nitpick at everything and try to keep as much of the security deposit as they can. Follow these tips to make sure you get all of your security deposit back:
[ continue reading… ]