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09/18/17 Work # ,

How Much is Your Time Worth?

How Much is Your Time Worth?

My time is worth more than $1.25 an hour. Everyone’s time is worth more than that.

Yet that’s how much I was paid to go through a jury selection process at my local courthouse a few weeks ago. I didn’t get on the jury — for a murder trial that’s still taking place — or the pay rate of $7.50 a day for six hours of jury duty each day would have turned out to be less at an hourly rate.

I was only at the courthouse for two days, earning $15 for jury service and $2.38 for mileage. Others had been there for a week before a jury was selected. Some received full pay from their employers for their time in court. Others, like me, are freelancers who don’t earn money if they aren’t working.

I don’t mean for this to be a rant on how to improve the jury selection process or the importance to society of volunteers for jury service. It’s a key part of a working democracy.

Value your time

What it got me thinking about was how we value our time. I’ve written here about how to set rates as a freelancer. It’s not rocket science. If you want quality, you pay for quality.

The same goes for jury service, I believe. Again, without going too far on a tangent about jury selection, do you really want jurors who are in a jury box against their will because they can’t get out of jury duty? Who have employers who can pay them for a month or more to miss work? Continue reading

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08/21/17 Children , Work # ,

7 Easy Ways for Teens to Make Money

7 Easy Ways for Teens to Make Money

Editor’s note: This post on how to make money as a teen is written by the daughter of the owner of CashSmarter.com.

By Emma Crowe

Growing up, children depend on their parents to feed their bellies, clothe their bodies and give them a roof to sleep under. Although teens require that as well, parents are less likely to provide them with candy, Starbucks drinks, money for the mall, CDs, electronic devices and other unnecessary items.

Parents push their kids to earn their own money to spend on those kind of things. For young teens finding out how you can make money without getting a real job (like working at at fast food restaurants) is difficult. Some want to earn their own money, yet are too young to get real jobs. I’m 13, and am trying to earn my own money.

Here are my top ways for teens to earn their own money:

Make Money by Babysitting

For some teenagers, babysitting is a walk in the park. Playing with kids all day, what could be better? For others, however, it’s annoying and irritating to deal with children’s every demand.

Some requirements for a good babysitter are:

  • CPR certified
  • Likes kids
  • Can cook meals for them
  • Energetic
  • Can handle temper tantrums

Most teen babysitters earn about $7 to $12 per hour, depending on the number of kids.

Advertise your babysitting services using flyers around your neighborhood.

About me: When I babysit, I usually do it when their mother is around, because I am not old enough to babysit them by myself yet.

Mother’s helper

If your child is not quite the age to be babysitting on their own, a mother’s helper is a great alternative. It teaches her or him how to care for a child while also having mom or dad around if anything goes wrong.

Same criteria as a babysitter.

Teens will earn about $3 to $6 an hour.

About me: When I do this, I don’t get paid because I like to do it for free. Continue reading

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03/01/17 Work #

3 Big Ways to Continually Improve Your Skills at Work

3 Big Ways to Continually Improve Your Skills at Work

Going to work for five straight days each week can become monotonous. You can feel like you’re running on a treadmill and it can take all of your energy to just get through the workday — only to do it again the next day.

If you’ve reached that point, it’s a good sign that you need a vacation. But vacation time can be hard to come by, and there’s never enough of it.

A better solution, I think, is to keep yourself refreshed by continually improving your work skills. Doing this has two big benefits: job satisfaction as you enjoy improving the work you do each day, and a better chance at a pay raise.

Just like exercising and regularly and eating well, improving your work skills is a process that needs to be done regularly. Here are three of the biggest ways I’ve found to improve your skills at work continually:

Sharpen the saw

This skill is from the Stephen Covey book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” It’s a great book and one worth reading for your personal and professional life.

Sharpening the saw means renewing yourself in four areas:

  • Physical: Eating, exercising and resting well.
  • Social/Emotional: Making connections with others.
  • Mental: Learning, reading, writing and teaching.
  • Spiritual: Being in nature, meditation, music, art, prayer or service.

These are all big steps, but can be done continually at work and away from work to put balance in your life.

Take for example, self-development expert Trevor McClintock, who writes on his blog about how taking care of yourself will lead to being more productive. Making time for social interaction in your workday is important, McClintock writes, as is having time to daydream to spark creativity. Continue reading

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11/04/16 Travel , Work # ,

How I Side Hustled Across the Country on Fulfilled by Amazon

Amazon

This guest post about making money on Amazon is by Tyler Philbrook, a personal finance blogger at I Am the Future Me who I met at FinCon16 in San Diego in late September. I also wrote a post on his site, so after you read his story here about how he made money to attend FinCon, go over to his site to read my post about what got me to get going on starting an emergency fund.

A little over a year ago I got the opportunity I had been waiting for. I was GIVEN a ticket to FinCon16, a financial blogger conference that I wouldn’t be able to go to.

When given the ticket I became sick to my stomach. I should have been excited, but I knew I was going to have to turn it down.

I have a lot of credit card debt, and didn’t want to go further into debt to travel across the country.

Instead, I committed myself to getting there no matter the cost, no matter the sacrifices I would have to make I would come up with the money.

One of the MANY side hustles I did was sell on Amazon with FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon). Continue reading

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06/03/16 Minimalism , Work # ,

Why My Websites Are Taking Summer Off

Why My Websites Are Taking Summer Off

Summer is a great time to take a vacation. The weather is great and it’s difficult to get motivated to work when there are nice, sunny days outside to enjoy. Taking summer off — meaning the entire summer — isn’t an option for many people.

But taking summer off is something I’m doing with my websites this year. The reason is simple: Fewer readers and fewer advertisers.

I’ve owned this site and two other personal finance sites — Add-Vodka.com and BeforeYouInvest.com — for about a year and a half, and I’ve seen monthly drops during June and July in readership and advertisers.

For those reasons I’m not going to add any content to the sites during those months. I may add a post from time to time if something timely comes up, but for the most part I’m taking summer off as a writer/editor of my sites.

I expect readership will drop during the next two months, but hopefully it will get back up to normal and beyond in August when I return to regular posting.

Taking summer off, mostly

Personally, I’ll still be working this summer as a freelance writer and editor, working for clients that I’m grateful to have. But I’m still planning on taking some time off this summer by getting ahead on my workload each month. Continue reading

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Welcome
Hi, I'm Aaron Crowe. Welcome to CashSmarter. I'm a personal finance freelance writer who enjoys spending my money wisely and using minimalism to make my money last longer while increasing income.