Category Archives: Money

5 Signs You Are Cut Out for Entrepreneurship

I’m a huge fan of people starting their own businesses. After reading The $100 Startup (if you haven’t read it, go pick up a copy right now), I truly believe that anyone can start a side business and grow it into something substantial. I started a blog carnival submission service which became profitable within a few months and I’m always exploring other opportunities. I’ve reached a $10,000 side business goal several years in a row.

Have you been feeling the urge to kick your day job to the curb and start your own venture? Does you lay awake at night thinking about the possibility of starting your own business and being your own boss? I definitely have the entrepreneur itch, and if you exhibit any of the following symptoms, you should start thinking about launching your own business.

You’re Self Motivated

Self-motivation is the most important characteristic of a successful entrepreneur. We’ve all experienced the feeling on just not wanting to work for a certain period of time. But as an entrepreneur, you don’t have a choice. You are the boss and there will be no one standing over your shoulder barking out orders. But if you don’t work, you won’t make any money.

The fate of your business is left in your hands and your hands only. You have to be able to work alone and motivate yourself to do the not-so-fun stuff.

You Go Above and Beyond

If you spend extra time on projects without being asked or paid – you’re going above and beyond. Not having to rely on the direction of a superior is a good sign you’re ready to be your own boss. You want things to be done right because that’s how they should be done. If you start a business, nobody will care more about it than you will. You have to be willing to do the work when nobody else wants to so that it comes out perfectly, just like you imagined.

Entrepreneurs generally enjoy doing their work and doing it well. This sometimes means putting in extra unpaid hours to make sure the job is done exceptionally well. This is a superb trait to have as a small business owner.

You Like to Improve Things

Entrepreneurs like to improve things. They see the weak spots in products or services and formulate a plan to improve. If you’re constantly pitching ideas to your employer about how he could improve his business product, you may have the necessary skills to start your own thriving business. If you like tinkering and making things more efficient, you may have what it takes.

You Are Impatient

While patience is often a virtue, when it comes to business, being patient and lettings things happen to you instead of attacking them can be a curse. With my blog carnival business, I went out and found business. I guest posted, I emailed people I thought could use my service, and it worked perfectly. Had I been patient after an initial slow day, I would have shut the business down and considered it a failure after months of nobody signing up.

Every business faces their own set of unique problems. It’s how you deal with those problems that sets you apart. Entrepreneurial spirits don’t let small hiccups gets bigger. They fix them immediately so that they don’t grow. 

You’ve Found Your Calling(s)

If you’ve found work that you are absolutely in love with (and that is somewhat profitable), your ambition alone could fuel the fire for success.

Something magical happens when you do work that you enjoy – you begin to excel and gain momentum. You put in those extra hours to perfect your craft and therefore establish an incredible reputation for yourself.

If you’ve found something that you love doing then you’ll probably be committed to putting in the initial time investment that often goes unpaid. When I started this blog, I put in 30-40 hours a week without even realizing that I could make money. It wasn’t until 8 months later that I made my first $50 and it’s sort of blown up since then.

One Word of Caution

If these five signs fit you to the letter, then yes, you probably are cut out for entrepreneurship. However, this doesn’t mean you should just up and quit your day job without the means to support yourself financially. Ease into entrepreneurship and try building a business in your spare time, in evenings and on the weekends. Save up some money and start your own business with firm feet on the ground. Small steps in the right direction can lead to something big over time.

Put in the work to fuel your entrepreneurial life and with time you’ll get to where you want to be. There’s no better place to get started than here and now.

Are you cut out to be an entrepreneur?

When You Should Pay Bills Manually

These days, nearly everything is automated. A rent check goes out monthly from our bank account, our student loans are auto-debited (and we get a discount for that!) and at the end of the month, our credit cards pay themselves by connecting to our checking accounts and withdrawing money.

However, there are a few times that I still pay bills manually: Our gas bill, our electric bill, and our cable bills.

Why We Don’t Automate Those Bills

I just logged into our gas company’s payment portal to look at their automatic payment options. They don’t allow credit card payments (whether you’re paying upfront or if it’s automatic), so it really makes sense to let this one pay itself by scheduling it to withdraw money from our checking account. So I did. Now it will pay the amount due 3 days before the due date. I will still have 20+ days to review the bill before it gets paid, so if something ever looks way off, I will know about it long before they take money out of my account.

Our electric company lets us make payments via credit card, but only on a one-time basis. They are actually in the middle of transitioning to a new system where hopefully this will be possible, in which case I would add my credit card and get. I’d prefer to automate it, but if it’s a difference between getting credit card rewards each month on it or not, I’d rather take the 2 minutes a month and pay it via credit card.

Finally, our Internet and cable bill can be paid automatically, but I choose not to. With Time Warner Cable, I have some promotions and can never remember when they are set to expire. With automatic payments, I’ll be charged significantly more when they do expire, and there won’t be a warning. By having to pay this one manually, I’m making sure that I will notice the increase before paying a bill. I’ll be able to call up and renegotiate to make sure our bill for cable and Internet stays as low as possible.

Do You Automatically Pay Your Bills?

In my mind, automatically paying bills is the way to go whenever possible. Only in a few circumstances is it better to pay bills manually. I mean, who wants to sit there writing checks, remembering to get stamps, licking envelopes, and going to post offices? It’s much easier to do things from the comfort of your home, and slightly cheaper too. And anything that can be put on a credit card should be, because even 1% cashback in rewards can add up (and if nothing else, you can use purchases to hit spending limits to get hefty sign up bonuses).

What bills do you still pay manually?

How Much it Really Costs to Own a Pet

How Much it Really Costs to Own a PetGetting a pet is a step that many people feel inclined to take at some point in their life. Of course, being a pet owner can also come with a lot of responsibility. Some of that responsibility is financial. Here are some of the financial considerations to keep in mind when you’re thinking about getting a pet.

According to the ASPCA, the first year of owning a cat or dog costs upwards of $1,000. After the first year the expenses can drop and level off at a lower rate, or they can increase based on the health and needs of the individual pet.

The reason why the first year of pet ownership costs so much is that there are a variety of one time expenses. Those include things like beds, collars, leashes, etc. Additionally, anytime you adopt an animal you have to make sure that they get all of their shots and that they are good health. If they are not in good health, it’s your responsibility to get them there.

The average yearly costs for having a cat or dog are less than the first year. But still average in at around $500. There are many yearly expenses such as renewing a license, health insurance, and medical checkups. Then there are also the daily expenses such as food, litter, tick protection etc. Like a child, there is never a time that a pet does not need something. Even the costs of cleaning the home can increase when a pet is living there. Especially if they have a tendency to damage any of your belongings.

These costs will go even higher if you travel for work or pleasure. When traveling there are a few different options for pet care. One option is to take the pet with. This either requires being able to drive to a destination with the pet in the car or flying. While flying, some pets can be brought onto the plane with you while others will need to be kenneled down below. This mostly has to do with the size of the pet but each airline has different policies. The cost of flying with a pet is often upwards of $100.

The other option, of course, is to leave a pet behind while you travel. This might require boarding the pet in a kennel. Or it might require hiring a pet sitter to stay in your home or stop by periodically to take care of the pet. Both of those services are worth paying quality for, and the costs can add up. It’s easy to see how much more expensive it can get to own a pet when you are traveling a lot.

The costs of owning a pet can be significant. But they can also be a great lesson in financial responsibility. Anyone who has ever loved a pet would certainly say that the opportunity is a  great one to take, but it is crucial to make sure that you’re in the financial state to do so.