Always Have Your Resume Ready – How It Paid Off Huge For Us

Your career is what will earn you the majority of your income in most households.

Yes, some people make money in other ways or on the side, but the majority of most people’s income comes from their chosen career path.

Given this fact, it is extremely important to realize that your career is very important to your financial security.

Since your career is your major source of income, you must always be prepared to move to the next stepping stone in your career should something happen to your current job.

We had a bit of a scare with Tori’s job a few years ago when she was ready to go back to work after her foot healed from being on disability.

Luckily, her place of employment did offer her a job, but we weren’t so sure that was going to happen at the time.

We Were Prepared Just In Case

Once we saw that Tori’s employer wasn’t moving very quickly to get her a position at her workplace we started to get worried. We gave them the benefit of the doubt and waited many weeks to hear back about where she would go back to work.

However, once her return to work date was just a couple weeks away and she didn’t have a job lined up we knew we couldn’t leave all of our eggs in one basket.

Even though she didn’t want to, Tori began applying to other jobs within our community just in case her current job didn’t pull through and offer her a position.

We didn’t anticipate this was going to happen, but just in case, Tori had her resume updated and ready to submit with new job applications. It turns out that having her resume updated was a great decision that helped our out more than she thought it would.

An Opportunity Came Knocking

Tori’s old employer eventually lined up a position for her at the last minute. Once she started that position, she decided not to follow up on any of the applications she had put in prior to going back to work.

She felt it wouldn’t be right to continue to pursue other jobs after she just started working again and I don’t blame her. At least that’s how we both felt until she was asked to interview for one of her dream jobs. She couldn’t turn that opportunity down.

Tori went in to interview for her dream job and they pretty much offered her a job the same day. This presented a dilemma, but in the end we decided to do what was best for us.

The new job would advance Tori in her career significantly and it would get us a nice bump in pay which helped us to pay her student loans off faster. The new job seemed to be at a quality workplace, so she decided to take the job.

Why Keeping Your Resume Updated Is Important

If Tori hadn’t been updating her resume throughout her time at her current employer she may have forgotten some of the key accomplishments that enabled her to get her dream job.

There were a couple specific events that opened the door for her to get her dream job. If she had forgotten to add them to her resume when she was distracted by her job situation, she may have never received the call to interview for her dream job.

When you’re going through a rough time due to a lay off or job loss, it can be easy to overlook some of the things you have accomplished since the last time you have updated your resume.

It is even easier to forget some of these accomplishments when you’ve been at your most recent job for a long time.

Take some time at least once a year to add these accomplishments to your resume. It is really easy to remember if you update your resume once a year when you receive your annual review.

You never know when you’ll need your resume and how much it could pay off! Be prepared.

Do you keep an updated resume? Has there been a time where it has helped you get a new job in a bind?

Extra Income Challenge Update – December 2014 Results

Will You Accept The Extra Income ChallengeBack in October 2014 I issued the Extra Income Challenge to anyone who would accept it, including myself! In case you weren’t around back then, here is my acceptance of the challenge using my December 2014 goal as an example:

I, Lance Cothern, accept the extra income challenge. I challenge myself to make an extra $750 of income this month. I plan to make this income through freelance writing. I will report my progress next month on the next Extra Income Challenge update.

If you’d like to accept the Extra Income Challenge this month, simply replace my name with yours and change your income goal and how you’ll make the money in the statement above. Then, you can post it in the comments below or email your acceptance directly to me here.

Ideas To Earn Extra Income in 2015

If you’re looking for some ways to earn extra income in the new year, there are an unlimited number of things you could do to earn more money. Here are a few ideas I think would be great for this time of year.

  • Shovel or snowblow snow from driveways, sidewalks, etc.
  • Declutter your house and sell bigger items on craigslist or smaller items on eBay.
  • Offer tutoring for topics you’re knowledgeable in.
  • Sell unwanted gift cards for cash.

Of course, you can always go with the traditional ways to make more money like earning a raise, working overtime, finding a new, higher paying job or taking a second job.

Did I Meet My December 2014 Goal?

December had the potential to be a really slow month with the holiday hangover from Thanksgiving and the slow down around Christmas. Luckily, I did not fall victim to that slow down. In fact, I beat my goal for the second month in a row.

In December 2014, I was able to earn $1,017.30 from my freelance writing efforts. I actually didn’t face the slow down that I was expecting as my clients kept on the normal schedule despite the holidays. I didn’t mind, either, because it helped me blow my extra income goal out of the water this month.

My Goal For January 2015

This month is the beginning of a new year and I’m ready to kick my goal up another notch to the $1,000 mark for the first time. This shouldn’t be a stretch, but we’ll have to see what ends up happening with my freelance writing efforts to see if I hit my goal in January.

I’ll be focusing on maintaining my current efforts as I recover from the holidays and begin working on my plans for 2015. Hopefully those plans include even more extra income in the months to come!

How Have You Done With Your Extra Income Goals?

I like to try to help keep others accountable through these posts, too. Below are the people who publicly or anonymously challenged themselves to make more income in December 2014. I’ll update these as people share information with me or you can check the comments below as people self report their results.

  • Emily @ Evolving PF challenged herself to earn $1,000.
  • Anonymous 1 challenged themselves to earn $600. (They earned $719.11. YAY!)

As always, feel free to email me your acceptance of the extra income challenge this month or post a comment publicly declaring your goal in the comments below. Stepping up and challenging yourself is a great way to start to improve your finances in 2015.

Photo by: Tom_Bullock Text added by: Lance Cothern

Extra Income Challenge November Results – Did I Hit My Goal?

Will You Accept The Extra Income ChallengeLast month I issued the extra income challenge to myself as well as every single person who read the post. Here’s a refresher of what I accepted:

I, Lance Cothern, accept the extra income challenge. I challenge myself to make an extra $500 of income this month. I plan to make this income through freelance writing. I will report my progress next month on the next Extra Income Challenge update.

Did I Accomplish My Goal?

I’m happy to announce that I’ve beat my goal! In fact, I more than doubled it.

I earned $1,089 from freelance writing in November based on the work I submitted and invoiced for the month.

Note, I didn’t received $1,089 in payments, but I will in December. So how did I end up doubling my goal?

In November, I worked hard to keep my current clients happy which would have kept me on track for about 50% of my initial goal.

However, my challenge wouldn’t have been much of a challenge if I just set my target at what I was currently earning. Instead, I aimed to double my current earnings. Basically, I had to hustle to get more clients. I actually ended up adding a couple of new clients in November and have another couple of potential clients I’m currently waiting to hear back from.

This is super exciting because it means I’m expanding my freelance writing business to earn more for my family every single month! That’s exactly what I wanted to get out of this challenge.

My Goal For Next Month

December will be a strange and busy month for me. The holidays should be keeping me busy and things slow down in the online world during big holidays like Christmas. Due to these circumstances, I’m not aiming to grow my income in December.

That said, I’m aiming to earn $750 in December from freelance writing. That’s still above my goal from last month and I believe I should be able to hit it. I’ll be thinking hard about my plans for 2015 throughout December and will have another update about my future extra income plans in early January.

How Much Will You Challenge Yourself To Earn?

How much do you challenge yourself to earn for the extra income challenge in December? I’m looking forward to hearing your goals and how you plan on achieving them. Leave your thoughts in the comments or if you want to keep things anonymous, feel free to email me!

How Did Everyone Else Do Last Month?

In November, a few others had accepted the extra income challenge as well. Below are the people who accepted the challenge that commented on the post or emailed me. As they let me know how they did, I’ll update this with their results:

  • Kate Horrell said she was aiming for $500 (via comments)
  • Liz said she was hoping to earn $50  (via comments)
  • Old School wanted to earn $100  (via comments)
  • The Roamer was shooting for $100  (via comments)
  • Doug wanted to hustle for $150  (via comments)
  • Anonymous 1 wanted to earn $600. They ended up earning $724.40! Way to go! (via email)

Want to see your name here next month? Make sure to announce your extra income challenge goal for December in the comments below or send me an email!

Photo by: Tom_Bullock Text added by: Lance Cothern

Will You Accept The Extra Income Challenge? I Did!

Will You Accept The Extra Income ChallengeToday I’m officially issuing the extra income challenge to every single person reading this. Why?

Earning more money is awesome. It has unlimited potential. You could make an extra $5 a day or you could grow your extra money to $10,000 a month or more.

It doesn’t matter how much extra cash you want to make or how you want to make your extra money.

All that matters is you have an extra income goal and you’re working towards that goal.

So, today I’m issuing this challenge to get you moving.

The Extra Income Challenge

I challenge every single person reading this to make extra money this month. Simply fill in the blanks in the below statement for your first month’s challenge.

You earn bonus points if you leave your challenge in the comments at the end of this post.

I, YOUR NAME HERE, accept the extra income challenge. I challenge myself to make an extra $(INSERT AMOUNT HERE) of income this month. I plan to make this income through INSERT HOW YOU PLAN ON MAKING THE MONEY. I will report my progress next month on the next Extra Income Challenge update.

This challenge is meant to be 100% fun and no one will make fun of you if you don’t hit your targets. I won’t allow it. In fact, everyone will be cheering you on to hit your targets.

Look at this challenge as an inspiration to begin growing a small income to have some fun with, to pay off debt or the push you need to start your side business. No one will hit 100% of their targets all the time, but we should all be working toward our targets every month.

Define What Extra Income Is To You

First, you must define what “extra” is to you. In my mind, it is any money my wife and I make outside of our day jobs.

To a freelancer, it might be any money they make outside of their normal freelancing business or outside of their normal client base. To an hourly worker, it may be any income earned above their normal 35 hour week.

Whatever you decide “extra” is to you, the next step is figuring out how to earn it.

Ideas On How To Earn Extra Income

Now that you know what you personally consider “extra”, here are a few ideas to get you kick started on how to earn it.

  • Sell stuff you no longer use
  • Start up a service business in your neighborhood (dog walking, lawn mowing, etc)
  • Sell something or a service on Fiverr
  • Drive for Lyft or Uber (only if you follow all laws and insurance requirements)
  • Work extra hours or overtime at work
  • Get a second job or temp work in your free time

This is just a small list of ways you can make more money. If you have a favorite way to make more money, please share it with us all in the comments. Others will be grateful thanks to your helpful suggestions.

Ideas On Extra Income Targets

If you’ve never earned any money beyond your normal sources before, it might be a good idea to start small with your first target. You could aim to earn an extra $50 this month to pay for a dinner and a movie date. You could even simply aim to cover your weekly coffee trip at $20 a month.

Others like to go big with their targets. You could aim to cover your car payment this month or even aim to cover the mortgage! If you’ve already been earning extra money, you might be aiming to make $5,000 this month to cover all of your household expenses.

No matter how much you decide your extra cash target is going to be, make sure you have a target to aim for. Bonus points if you have a reason behind your target to keep you motivated.

Note: Points don’t count for anything, but they’re fun to accumulate in your head.

My Personal Acceptance Of The Extra Income Challenge

I, Lance Cothern, accept the extra income challenge. I challenge myself to make an extra $500 of income this month. I plan to make this income through freelance writing. I will report my progress next month on the next Extra Income Challenge update.

Well, what are you waiting for? Accept the extra income challenge today. You can accept in the comments below or in any other way you wish. If you don’t want to be public about it, you can personally email me your acceptance. Or, if you have a larger platform such as your own blog or your Facebook page, feel free to accept it there as well. Bonus points if you mention you found it here or share it with your friends.

P.S. Be sure to check back the same time next month when I’ll update how I’m doing on my personal extra income challenge. I’ll also share more detailed information about ways to earn more money. If you have a story about how you make extra money, please send me an email if you’re willing to share about how you make extra money.

Photo by: Tom_Bullock Text added by: Lance Cothern

The Horror! You Might Have To Spend Money To Make More Money

Want to earn extra money? Ideas of businesses to make extra money range from needing no up front investment to needing a boatload of cash. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money. This applies whether you want to make money at home, make money online or even if you want to make money on the side. I explain what I mean and how it works in the article.It’s easy to get lost in the never ending struggle to save money. Most people cut back their spending until they can cut back no more. At that point, they feel like they’ve lost the battle.

They can no longer reduce their expenses, but they still want to be able to save more or balance their budget.

Don’t worry! There is still a way to save more. You just have to increase your income. Despite what some may think, that may actually involve spending money in order to make more money.

I’m here to tell you that’s okay!

Spend Money On Yourself To Make More Money

It may sound horrific and a bit backwards, but at certain times, you must actually spend money on yourself to increase your potential.

So how can you do this and actually make more money? There are a few ways you can spend money on or invest in yourself!

The first way is to get a certification, license or degree that will allow you to increase your income. These items may allow you to get a promotion you’ve been waiting for or get a new job that is the next step up the ladder.

Regardless of what you choose, just make sure that the license, certification or degree that you go after will actually increase your income and chances of better employment.

There is no worse feeling than spending money obtaining a certification to find out it is essentially worthless.

Another way to invest in yourself is to spend money learning a new skill. You don’t have to get a certification to learn a new skill. One example is learning to speak Spanish. Try to find a skill that you want to obtain that will increase your income.

Take a look at those who make more than you in your profession and see what skill those successful people have mastered that you haven’t. Aim to learn how to master that skill and you could be well on your way to making more money.

The third way to invest in yourself to make more money is to invest in your image. Whether we like it or not, many people judge based on looks. This is more predominate in certain professions, but it does happen.

You may need to invest in nicer clothing or a new look. Just don’t confuse investing in your image with getting things you want. Take a look at what is actually needed to improve your image and look for cost effective solutions rather than the pricier looks that you may just happen to want.

Spend Money On Equipment To Make More Money

You don’t always have to invest in yourself to make more money. You can spend money on other things, such as equipment, to help your income grow. This is especially true if you run a business that requires equipment.

So what are some ways to thoughtfully spend money on equipment? If you’re a photographer, you might make more money by buying a more updated digital camera. The better pictures the camera takes, the less time you’ll have to spend editing them!

Another thing to consider updating is your computer. If you spend precious minutes waiting for your computer to load programs or perform tasks, it might be time to upgrade. If you just shave a few minutes off each day and you value your time at a decent rate, chances are you’ll save time with a new computer. Then, spend that wasted time making more money!

Finally, consider updating anything that could be holding you back in your business. Same thing goes for those missing pieces of equipment that could vastly increase your capacity or potential income.

Just make sure to do an analysis to ensure that your new fancy piece of equipment will pay for itself. Don’t stop there though. Make sure it gives you your necessary return on your money, too.

Spend Money On Your Business To Make More Money

Spending more money in your business doesn’t have to just be done by spending money on yourself or equipment. You can spend money on many other factors of your business to help you make more money!

If you’re selling a product or a service, getting more customers is a great way to make more money. You might have to spend some money to advertise your business to obtain those customers.

Spending money to make more money in your business isn’t a problem, as long as you get a decent return on that money. Remember, you need to earn more profit than the money you spent on your advertising, not just revenue.

Software is another great way to make more money in your business, assuming it will increase productivity or sales. Some software will give you more time which you can then use to go make more sales. Other software can help you improve your relationship with your customers for increased sales.

Whatever software you buy, make sure you’re not just buying it for fun. Make sure it has a real business purpose.

If you don’t want to spend money on software or advertising, you might want to spend your money by outsourcing or hiring a new employee. By hiring someone that can get the same job done at a lower price than the person currently doing the job, you’re increasing your margins.

Money Isn’t Just For Saving

Your time is valuable. If you can outsource your easier tasks to someone that you can pay less than the amount you value your time at, it’s a win win for you and your new contractor or employee.

Spending money directly clashes with the thought process of cutting back on your expenses, but sometimes increasing your expenses is actually a good thing. Don’t shriek in horror the next time someone suggest you spend money on yourself, equipment or your business to increase your income.

It’s a viable solution and it can pay off tremendously, often making back several times the amount of money you spent!

What’s your favorite way to spend money to make more money? Do you like to invest in yourself, equipment, your business, or something else altogether? Let me know in the comments below!

Photo by: 401(k)calculator Text added by: Lance Cothern