Salary vs Commission: Which Do You Prefer?

Salary vs Commission: Which Do You Prefer?Everyone’s job situation is different. Some people are paid hourly, others a flat rate for the year, and others on commission. There are advantages and disadvantages to each payment system, and it definitely takes some getting used to when changing from one system to another.

Here are the pros and cons for the 3 most popular compensation structures:

Hourly

Pros: It’s very easy to see that the more you work, the more you earn. If you are a hard worker, you have the potential to earn even more money for working overtime, which is often at a rate of 1.5 times the normal rate.

Cons: There is very little stability. Also, if you are sick or need a vacation day, you may feel guilty and go to work when you shouldn’t.

Salary

Pros: There is more stability here and it’s easy to know exactly how much you’ll make every pay period. You are likely entitled to benefits, which can help you take off work without having to worry about making less money.

Cons: There is not much ability to increase earnings since performance reviews are often once a year. Also, you may have to work more than 40 hours a week without being compensated for it.

Commission

Pros: The better you are at your job, the more you will get paid. There is no limit to how much you can earn.

Cons: You can never be sure how much money you will make in a given month, which makes planning difficult. Sometimes, factors outside of your control will determine if you have a good or bad month.

Throughout high school, I worked summer jobs, all of which paid me hourly. The more I worked, the more I got paid. So when I wanted to leave my job picking fruits and vegetables on a local farm at noon, it meant that I wouldn’t be making money during the afternoon.

After college, my first job was a set salary for the year. There was definitely a sense of security which I appreciated.

Now, my compensation consists of a base salary in addition to commission based on a percentage of sales. There’s no limit to how much I can make, which I like. I am able to motivate myself because I know that the harder I work, the better I will do, and the more I will earn.

What payment structure do you have? Do you like it? Which is your favorite?

Updated August 23, 2015 and originally published March 26, 2012.

Before You Buy Your Dream Vacation Home…

Property ownership has been a tried and true investment strategy for many years now – open any investment guru’s book and the advice to buy an investment property will certainly appear there. Combining your investment property and a vacation home seems to be a match made in heaven – after all, you get to save money on accommodation while on vacation and get to derive an income from the property the rest of the time. You also stand to make a packet of money when you sell the home later.

But before you rush off to Lend Lease home builders in Melbourne to get started on building your dream vacation home, there are some things that you need to consider.

How Much Time Will You Spend There?

Are you going to spend every annual vacation there for a long time to come? How many times are you going to actually be able to get away to stay there? Who looks after the house for the rest of the year? Then, we have the next dilemma, what if it makes more sense to you to rent the place out rather than staying there on holiday? You might end up needing to take your vacation in the off-season and this may not be a pleasant situation for you.

The Cost of Running Two Homes

This is something that one usually forgets about, especially when it comes to an investment property but when there are two properties, there are two lots of expenses in terms of property taxes, maintenance, mortgages, etc.

Now ideally speaking, the rental income that you derive from the property should cover the costs for that property but what if it doesn’t? What if you end up with a dead beat tenant, or you cannot rent the house out?

Getting Tenants

If this is a vacation home that you plan to use yourself, even if it is only for two weeks out of the year, you are committing to short-term leases rather than long-term ones. After all, what long-term tenant will obligingly let you crash on the couch when it is time for your vacation? And if you get a series of short-term tenants, you could be looking at additional charges in terms of cleaning and fixing the place up between tenants.

Maintenance

Maintenance is something that most of us tend to forget about and it is something that we might allow to slide a little in our own homes. After all, we can put up with that window that sticks in our own homes. Again, you will need to consider the tenants – they won’t put up with you neglecting to maintain the home for long.

And whereas at your home it is easy to oversee the repairs or possibly do them yourself, if your vacation home is in a different town, you are going to need to hire someone to do the necessary repairs. This could end up proving costly for you.

What About the Off-Season?

Think of the area that you are considering buying your home in. There will be a busy season and an off-season. Whilst you can reduce rental costs during the off-season to encourage tenants, is anyone going to want to come off-season?

Let’s say that you buy a beach house – will people want to go there in the middle of winter?

Managing the Property

Because you will not be onsite, you will need to hire an agent to oversee the property and collect rentals, etc. This all adds to the cost.

At the end of the day, owning your own vacation property could really round out your investment portfolio nicely but you really do need to do your homework before jumping in.

How to Save $50+ Per Week on Groceries

How to Save $50+ Per Week on GroceriesI try and check Mint regularly, and am constantly surprised but how much we’re spending on groceries. I don’t think we eat such extravagant meals at home, but each month, I’m shocked by our grocery bill. Sure, some of that is a result of not eating out frequently, but we can probably do a better job of controlling our costs.

Most people don’t realize just how much they spend at the grocery store. When their shelves are bare, they simply drive to the nearest grocery store and stock up on whatever looks appetizing. But as you’ve probably already guessed, this is bad for your wallet. By taking a more methodical approach to the matter, you can save a minimum of $50 per week on groceries. Here are some great tips that will help get you on the savings track:

Create a List

It might not be fun, but it’s definitely worth a try if you’re the “spontaneous spending” type. Basically, just plan out your meals from Sunday to Saturday. Create daily meals plans that are healthy and that won’t break the bank. Next time you’re feeling hungry, you’ll cook what’s on your list rather than order a pizza. Plus, you won’t need to waste time or money going back to the grocery store since you would have already purchased everything you needed on one trip.

Do You Like Fruits and Vegetables? Try Purchasing Them In-Season

Most of us want to eat healthy, but fresh produce can be expensive, which discourages us from ever trying. Fortunately, there’s a solution: try purchasing fruits and vegetables that are in-season. For example, during the months of November and December, pears will be much less expensive (since they’re in-season) compared to other produce. Take advantage of what’s cheapest year-round!

Shop at Budget-Friendly Stores

Places like The Fresh Market or Whole Foods can easily consume an entire week’s paycheck in one shopping session. To avoid this, try shopping at stores that are more budget-friendly. Places like Trader Joe’s and tradition supermarkets are well known for their everyday low prices.

You can even find attractive prices on certain food items at your local dollar store (spices in particular can be found quite cheaply at dollar stores). At most supermarkets, spices can easily cost several dollars each. At a dollar store, well, you know the drill. Take a trip to the dollar store one day. You’ll be amazed at how much stuff they sell for just a buck.

Avoid Pre-Cut or Prepared Items

Foods that already come prepared or prepackaged can be major time savers, but they also tend to be quite expensive. For example, you can purchase the ingredients for a pizza individually for less than the cost of buying a pre-made pizza. And you will probably have enough to cook multiple pizzas! Whenever possible, purchase basic ingredients for the meals of your choice rather than purchasing the frozen or prepackaged alternative. Your food will be healthier, and those ingredients will come in handy later, too.

Final Piece of Advice

Always watch your items as they’re getting scanned. Sometimes products get rung up more than once accidentally, and sometimes they don’t ring up properly. By watching everything as it gets scanned, you’ll be able to immediately notify the cashier if you get charged too much for an item. Arriving home only to make this realization means that you’ll need to get back in your car and correct the mistake (which requires gas and time), and sometimes may not even be worth it. It’s just one more tool in your belt to help you save $50+ per week on your grocery bill.

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