Six Tips for a Low-Cost Self-Employed Business or Side Hustle

The following is a guest post.

How many times have you thought, “I should be making money from this?” Well, even if that idea has only crossed your mind once, there may still be something in it.

All you need is some sort of marketable skill or to be able to provide products that others want to buy, and you could be making some handy additional income through a well organised ‘side hustle’. In fact, for many people, their side hustle turned out to be so successful, they quit their 9-to-5 job and started earning serious money from something they loved doing.

Success comes from planning though, and running a successful side business takes more than simply getting a friend to design a website and hoping people will find you. So, what does it take to set yourself up for a successful hustle? Here are our top six tips.

  1. Know your market

It’s one thing to have a skill or product, but trade is two-way: it involves supply and demand. So, do some research and find out:

– who your market is likely to be

– how they find the things they’re looking for (e.g. online, via friends, through social media, at community markets etc)

– what motivates them to buy, and

– who the competition is (and where).

Once you know your potential market, it’s easier to plan how and where you’ll set up your business

  1. Know why you’re doing it

Are you simply starting up your business to make money, or is it to share something you love with others? Will the money-making side of things detract from your initial enjoyment, if it starts to become a chore? (For example, a lot of keen travellers dabbled in travel-writing before soon discovering that the demands of interviews and writing and deadlines actually detracted from the pleasure they used to get from travelling).

Some people start a small business to fund a bigger project, others use it to help pay for college fees, travel or just to help make ends meet.

Many people around the world use it to help fund their retirement. This is a great way to plan for a more comfortable future. In the US, you can contribute to your employer’s retirement savings plan if they offer one, or invest it in a dedicated retirement fund. In Australia, even self-employed people can open an account with a fund such as TWUSUPER, and make contributions. The UK and Canada also have similar systems. And while you might not enjoy all of the profits of your side venture straight away, it’s reassuring to know there’s a bit more there when it comes time to finally retire.

  1. Get expert advice

All jurisdictions have their own specific rules and regulations about starting up and running a business – from the type of structure, and procedures for registering your business name, to the particular permits or licences you may need, details that need to be provided, and any once-off or ongoing fees that need to be paid, not to mention any tax liabilities.

Fortunately, governments at all levels are keen to see small businesses succeed, which is why, in the US, there is a range of support services available. At a national level, the Federal US Small Business Administration offers lots of general advice on setting up and managing a small business. It also funds the nation-wide network of Small Business Development Centres. These are an excellent resource that offer free, one-on-one advice combined with local knowledge about state and city or country small business rules and requirements.

States and many cities and counties also provide no-cost business advice services as well as networking opportunities and guidance on navigating local regulations. Again, local, state/county and national governments in the UK, Australia and Canada all have small enterprise support offices that can provide support from experts at no or minimal cost.

  1. Write a business plan

Even if your venture is small, a business plan will help ensure you’re on track to make more money than you spend. The experts you meet in small business support centres can help, and there are also online guides and templates you can use to make sure everything is covered off.

Your business plan should include:

  • pricing of your product or service
  • how and where you’ll sell
  • milestones you want to achieve and when
  • strategies for marketing and promotion
  • initial funding and ongoing investment
  • benchmarks you’ll use to determine whether your business is viable
  • an exit and expansion strategy that recognises when it’s time to close the business or change up to a different business structure as the venture grows.
  1. Get out there and enjoy it

It might be Tip #5, but it is just as important as all the formal demands of a business. In fact, it’s often even more important in a side hustle, because it’s your passion and you should always keep loving what you do. Sure, there will be days when things don’t quite go to plan, and you question whether to throw it in and just concentrate on your old 9-to-5, but as long as, on the whole, you’re enjoying it and making money, then you’re on the right path. And who knows? One day it might just become your main hustle, and that would be awesome. Afterall, as the old saying goes… “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

  1. Good side-hustles that can easily become your main job
  • Photographer or videographer
  • Event planner
  • Caterer
  • Dog walking and pet-sitting
  • Tutoring
  • Flea market and online retailer
  • Homemade soaps and candles
  • Virtual PA
  • Social media manager and/or content creator
  • Translator
  • Animator or designer

What Is Currency Trading? A Beginner’s Introduction

You may never have heard of currency trading, but the reality is that many people use currency trading as a source of income. There are a lot of options for beginners who want to get started with currency trading. Currency trading is also known as forex trading.The word forex is an abbreviation of the words foreign exchange. That is because currency trading is actually trading foreign currencies on a central exchange platform.

There are many forex brokers who will allow you to set up a small account to get started with currency trading. Unlike stock trading,where you are trading money for stocks, with currency trading, you are actually trading money for money. The idea is that the value of each currency fluctuates over time. By investing in the right currencies at the right times, such as right before a currency goes up in value, you can make money. Since you are trading currencies,you are always buying one currency and selling another. You are hoping that one currency pair will go up while the other currency pair will go down.

When talking about currency pairs, we are talking about currencies such as the United States dollar, the Canadian dollar, the European euro, the British pound, the Swiss franc, the Japanese yen, and the Korean won. These are all currencies that can be traded against each other.

There are several huge differences between trading stocks and trading currencies. The first is that you do not need a big amount of money to get started with trading currencies. Many brokers let you set up an account with as little as fifty dollars. We will explain how you can use small amounts of money to make bigger amounts of money soon.

Also, forex is available on a retail scale. You do not have to go work on Wall Street or something to trade forex. You can trade from your own home on a platform offered to you by your broker, available online. Many brokers use MetaTrader 4, which is a software that makes it very easy to trade forex.

Also, trading forex involves the ability to trade with leverage.Different brokers offer different amounts of leverage, but some offer as much as five hundred times your money. This means that even if you only have a small amount of money in your account, you can trade as if you had a much larger amount of money. It is important to note that although you can make more money by using leverage, you can also lose more money if you use leverage. That is why it is important to use leverage carefully.You should always have a risk management strategy in place to make sure that nothing goes wrong.

Forex trading is also one of the most popular ways to make money from home. Of course, it is not something that you can learn overnight. It is recommended that you set up a demo account before you start investing any money in forex. Not all forex traders succeed. The ones that do succeed are the ones that have put in the time and effort to study the markets, both from books and from personal experience.

The great thing about forex is that you can get personal experience without investing any money. All you have to do is open a demo account with any broker with paper money of up to one hundred thousand dollars. This gives you the ability to take your time and figure out a trading strategy that actually works for you.

There are many free resources on the internet to help you learn how to trade currency pairs such as the US dollar and the Korean won.However, nothing will beat personal experience, which is why a demo account is so useful. Once you have played around with a demo account, you can move on to opening a small real account and gradually increase the size of your deposits.

In conclusion, trading forex is a great way to make money from home and become self-employed. However, it requires dedication and is not something that will make you rich overnight. Just be patient and acquire trading skills slowly and gradually.

Maximum Tax Refund Strategies

You work hard for your money, so why would you give it all to Uncle Sam? If you dread tax season every year because you end up owing taxes, there might be something wrong with how you figure your deductions and credits. If you love tax season because you get money back annually, you might be able to increase that refund amount. Here are some strategies to ensure you get the most out of this annual and often disputed responsibility.

Itemize Where You Can

The biggest mistake people make each year is they get lazy. Rather than itemize their tax deductions, they simply take the standard deduction because they think it’s enough. Here’s the thing, though. A deduction is just that, a deduction from the money you owe the government, and the more you can subtract, the lower your tax bill. As U.S. News and World Report says, the standard deduction is set by the IRS, and it isn’t going to give you as much leeway as you might think. Take the time to figure out all of your deductions to see if that is greater than the blanket one. You can claim casualty losses, charitable donations, job search expenses, local and state sales taxes, and more.

Claim All Dependents

You know you can claim your under-aged children as dependents on your income tax return, but did you know that you might be able to claim other relatives and even friends, as well? If you have anyone living under your roof that relies on you for his or her living, you might be able to add him or her as a dependent on your tax return. There are conditions to qualify for the dependent exemption. For example, if your college buddy has been living with you for over a year and cannot support himself, provided he doesn’t earn taxable income exceeding the IRS’ specified limit he’s a dependent. Relatives do not have to live with you to qualify as long as you are their sole provider.

Look Above the Line

You can also take above-the-line deductions, which reduce your taxable income. This is somewhat akin to itemizing. Save your receipts and claim any applicable deduction. If you’ve watched the news lately, you’ve seen teachers striking throughout the nation because they don’t have enough money to provide their students with necessary school supplies among other reasons. If you’ve bought school supplies for your child, you can claim them as a tax deduction. You can also claim your continuing education expenses for job advancement. Alimony, self-employment tax, student loan, and even your Dallas car insurance policy for any medical or business driving that you do might be deductible.

One of the two things Benjamin Franklin said was certain was taxes. Forget about the other thing. When it comes to your taxes, Uncle Sam isn’t going to offer you a helping hand. It is your responsibility to get the most out of your returns to maximize your refunds. Pay your taxes strategically throughout the year, and make certain that you claim each and every deduction and credit to which you are entitled. If you find taxes confusing, hire a CPA to prepare them. His or her fees are deductible, too.

Three Ways to Live Cheap and Achieve Your Dreams

Have you ever dreamt of retiring before 40? Or maybe your dream is to take a year off and travel the world. Whatever your dream life involves, living frugally can help you get there that much sooner.

Cut housing costs

Housing is one of the biggest expenses people have. Instead of living in a two-bedroom apartment, consider getting a one-bedroom or a studio. How much time do you really spend at home anyways? Spending 30% or 40% of your income on a place to go fo a few hours a day and to sleep is not wise. Reducing your housing costs can go a long way towards meeting your financial goals.

Take the bus

If you can, move into an apartment on a bus or subway line and give up your car. Not only will you be saving hundreds of dollars a month by not having a car payment, you’ll save on insurance, registration costs and gas. Plus, using transit means you won’t be stuck behind the wheel of a car, giving you an opportunity to walk to and from transit (hello gym membership savings!) and to listen to music or podcasts while being transported.

Get out of debt

Debt repayment is another large expense that takes up a lot of most people’s disposable income. Rather than wage war against your credit cards with sky-high interest rates, look into consolidation loans. Using the money from these loans, you can pay off your high-interest debt and have manageable monthly payments. Paying off these monthly payments reduces the debt, saves you on interest costs and, more likely than not, raises your credit score which allows you to get even cheaper debt in the future.

Life is pretty hard. If you’ve got big financial dreams you might look around and wonder how some people can seem to afford everything while you can’t afford anything. Their secret is living frugally. By maintaining a frugal lifestyle with regards to your housing, transportation and debt repayment expenses, you’ll find yourself with lots of disposable income to put towards your financial goals. With so much disposable income, you might even decide to treat yourself to a luxury or two along the way to your financial dreams.

Tips And Tricks For Passing The Financial Portion Of The CPA Exam

If you’re preparing to take the CPA test, you may think that the whole process can be overwhelming. Not only is the test difficult to pass, but you have to study and prepare for four different sections that have equal importance. The entire exam is quite comprehensive, so you have to learn a lot, and learn it well, to pass with flying colors.

Fortunately, you don’t have to kill yourself with all-night study sessions, as we have compiled a list of tips and tricks for you to use. In this article, we’ll focus on the Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) section, which goes over maintenance of your client’s finances so you can report them to the government properly. These tips come from CPA tutors, so make sure that you make this part of your CPA study material.

Take FAR First

If you talk to most people who have passed the CPA test, they all recommend that you start with this section because it is the longest and it’s good to get out of the way. Because this part takes the longest to study for, and you have a limited amount of time to take all four sections, you want to utilize your time wisely. This way, you can study as much as you want before you start the clock on your CPA exam.

Don’t Rush Studying

Because FAR is the biggest section of the exam, you have to spend the most time studying it. The concepts are not very difficult, but there is a lot to learn. Don’t try to speed things along or skip over things and hope that you won’t see them on the test. It’s far better to go slow and steady for this section.

Learn the Layout

Before you take the test, it is a great idea to learn what parts will be on it so that you can prepare yourself better. The sections of FAR are conceptual framework, financial statement accountants, specific transactions events and disclosures, and accounting for government and private entities.

Overall, when it comes to CPA tutoring you can check out CPA Exam Guy. They offer several different resource for studying for the CPA exam. You may want to take your time and move forward once you’ve mastered each section. This will ensure that you will be well prepared to pass the entire exam.