Category Archives: Your Financial Portfolio

How to Earn Income as a College Student

Nine times out of ten, most young people decide to attend college after finishing high school. While this decision can be beneficial regarding success in various occupations, earning at least one source of income during one’s time in college is always an advantageous decision.

Earning income not only grants students the ability to have their own money but moreover breeds personal responsibility. However, there are certain jobs and opportunities which are best suited for students who must prioritize university and their studies. The ultimate key to succeeding as a college student entails recognizing the best opportunities and then knowing how to make the most of them.

Take Advantage of the Gig Economy

At this point in the world of work, the gig economy is the best friend of college students seeking to earn income without losing focus on their academic studies. There are countless opportunities for financial gain within the gig economy; many options are listed on The Penny Hoarder and include (but are definitely not limited to): selling schoolbooks, driving for Lyft or Uber (assuming that the student owns a car), selling class notes, tutoring other students, setting up accounts on freelancing platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer, etc.

The flexibility and variety which inherently come along with the gig economy will also be quite helpful for young people in college. Jobs can be done during free time and will not interfere with students’ academic work assuming that they properly manage their time.

Of course, different opportunities in the gig economy will be better for different people. Students may have to experience mild degrees of trial-and-error until they discover the jobs which work for them.

Pursue Job Opportunities on Campus

One of the most obvious ways for college students to earn income is by seeking out job opportunities which are already available on their campuses. The majority of colleges and universities understand the importance of young people working and engaging in productive activities during times when they are not in class; moreover, working on campus may allow college students to dedicate a percentage of their earnings towards paying off student loans.

The ability to pay off student loans before graduating from university truly comes in handy; student loans have a way of insidiously piling up. Interest added on top of the aforementioned loans can make matters worst and be financially devastating. Virtually everyone is familiar with the horror stories which chronicle the years (or sometimes decades) which pass before people finally pay back what they owe to the government.

Look Into a Paid Internship

One of the upsides of attending college comes in the form of exposure to internships. Even though these opportunities generally last for relatively short time periods, paid internships are great for earning income and learning information in various fields. Furthermore, taking up an internship can (and often does) lead to additional business openings and even a successful career in the future.

Many college students wind up making invaluable connections and coming across inspirational mentors during their internships.

 

Authored by Gabrielle Renee Seunagal

How to Financially Prepare for Maternity Leave

Pregnancy is often a very exciting time in the lives of soon-to-be-mothers. However, like all things, a degree of preparation is always in order and appropriate. While some employers and places of business do grant their workers paid maternity leave at the appropriate time, this is not the case with all institutions. Therefore, if a woman’s company does not pay for her maternity leave, she will inevitably have to do some financial planning of her own. Thankfully, there are a series of well thought out steps that expecting mothers can take to ensure that all goes well during their leave from work.

Start A New, Separate, Savings Account

Although having a new baby can be very exciting, it can also be very expensive. The added costs of childcare combined with the reduction in income can serve as a major blow without the proper funds. According to U.S. News, one of the best ways to financially prepare for maternity leave is by putting aside extra money into a savings account. Ideally, this should occur prior to the time in which the woman takes off for maternity leave. Starting months in advance or even as soon as the pregnancy has been discovered can be very helpful in the long run. Baby-related expenses add up extremely quickly. Preparation is absolutely imperative.

Try to Build A Strong, Support System

Having and caring for a baby within the first few days and weeks can be an amazing experience, but also very overwhelming at times. Having the support of a spouse, in-laws, or other relatives can make all the difference in the world. It can also cut back on childcare expenses which would likely follow after the new mother returns to work.

Financial reasons aside, a strong, reliable support system always makes a difference in the lives of new parents. Raising children is a journey and as the old saying goes, it takes a village.

Put Together A Budget

Prior to maternity leave, putting together a strategic and reasonable budget is going to be very important for soon-to-be-mothers. Not only does this allow the review of income, expenses, and other matters, but it also allows women to track patterns and specifically understand how their baby will impact them financially. Of course, there is no set number and many variables which will impact the budget which needs to be set.

Some women decide to meet with financial advisors as they work to put together the right budget for themselves and their families. However, this is optional; with or without a budget, moms-to-be can still take the right steps, thus ensuring a smooth and stress-free maternity leave.

A Final Word

Regardless of how much planning takes place, maternity leave is likely to present its own unique and likely unforeseen occurrences. However, with the right financial planning and a strong support system of loved ones, any potential challenges which may arise can be easily handled and dealt with. Finally, talking to other women who have experienced pregnancy and maternity leave can also make a tremendous difference.

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal

An Overview of Freelancing and the Gig Economy

As the world changes, so do work options and the workforce in general. The inevitable emergence of artificial intelligence and automation has also played a role in the shift and perception of work. Traditionally, when most people thought of work, they were reminded of a specific place where they went to offer a particular service or product. However, this, too, is changing. More and more people are rejecting notions of traditional work and pursuing other options and avenues such as freelancing and the gig economy. Findings from the Harvard Business Report moreover affirm that over 150 million individuals across North America and West Europe are pursuing the aforementioned work avenues.

Thriving in the Gig Economy/Freelance Market

Many people dream of a carefree lifestyle where they can work when they want, how they want, and where they want. Despite the possibility and attainability of the foregoing lifestyle, it does not come without hard work. The first year as a freelancer can be most challenging. It takes time to network, get work from various customers, and build up a network of clientele. However, with persistence and gumption, it can be done.

One of the most important, yet frequently overlooked requirements for freelancers is the ability to work well with others. While many freelancers can work from their laptop in any location with internet access, they still have to interact with the clients who are contracting their services. The clientele is absolutely paramount to success in the gig economy. Without clients, freelancers have no business or autonomy.

Freelancers and others who work in the gig economy must also meet deadlines, complete assignments, and communicate with their customers. All of this goes back to the ability to work well with the clientele that breathes life into the freelancer’s ability to do what they do. The preceding requirements are applicable regardless of whether or not one is a freelance writer, editor, graphic designer, etc. While each field varies, the general must-haves remain the same across the board.

Getting Started in the Gig Economy/Freelance Market

When breaking into the gig economy, one of the most important factors entails knowing where to begin and how to reach clients. Thankfully, there are many job platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer which are excellent for freelancers at all levels. Not only do the aforesaid platforms connect freelancers with clients, but they also allow freelancers to market their skills and abilities on their profiles. Clients who have worked with freelancers can then leave feedback on their profiles. If the feedback is positive, it may result in additional work. Feedback from past clients can also impact whether or not future prospective clients choose to do business with a freelancer or move onto others. As previously stated, clients are the ones who make it possible for freelancers to succeed in the gig economy.

A Final Word

There is no step-by-step success manual on how to succeed in the gig economy. Each freelancer will inevitably encounter their own difficulties and struggles that they must overcome in order to enjoy the perks. While each journey varies, the right tools, a strong work ethic, and the determination to succeed will make all the difference in the world.

Authored by: Gabrielle Renee Seunagal

How to Convince Your Boss to Give You a Payraise

Virtually everyone would love to receive a pay raise from their employer. Whether or not said raise is deserved or feasible depends upon many factors and circumstances. However, there are still certain steps that employees should take when they are pondering asking for a salary increase.

Consider the Value You Bring to the Company

Like virtually everything else in life, a pay raise has to be earned. The odds of employees successfully receiving higher pay from their boss is almost zero to none if the employee is unable to effectively show how their value or work for the company has increased since being hired. Fast Company furthermore affirms that when asking for a pay raise, the numbers make all the difference in the world. Contributions to the company’s financial growth, salary rates of other colleagues, and profit numbers engendered by one’s work can greatly impact whether or not an employer feels inclined to honor the request of an employee who desires higher pay.

Pick the Right Time and Place

Similarly to an employee’s company value, the time and place which in they decide to ask their boss for a salary increase is a considerable, determining factor. Although seemingly apparent, workers should abstain from asking their employer for pay raises in front of other colleagues or at a time where the employer appears busy, frustrated, or otherwise preoccupied. Requesting a salary increase at the wrong time can result in a resounding no, even if the answer might have been yes under different circumstances. The right time and place are equally as important as the ability to present the numbers.

Ultimately, each employee will have to make the judgment call regarding the best time to request a pay raise from their boss. However, setting up a meeting is arguably one of the most appropriate occasions to ask for a salary increase. Not only does this circumvent the employer being busy or preoccupied with other matters, but it also conveys professionalism. During the meeting, employers should preferably come with a portfolio showcasing the aforementioned numbers and anything else which may help their cause in terms of securing their desired pay raise.

Always Maintain Respect and Professionalism

No hardworking person enjoys being turned down for a pay raise, but unfortunately, it still occurs sometimes. An employer may decline a worker’s request for a salary increase for multiple reasons. Sometimes the pay raise may simply supersede the company’s budget. In other situations, the boss may simply feel as though the worker requesting a raise has not earned it or they just may feel like saying no. Regardless of the outcome, the employee still has a duty to remain respectful and professional at all times. Whether he or she is told yes or no, the meeting should always end with a handshake and a ‘thank you for your time.’

In the event that an employee is turned down for a raise, they will have to decide whether or not they wish to continue working for the current company. If so, they should continue performing their duties to the best of their ability. If not, the employee then has the responsibility to respectfully turn in their two week’s notice to the boss.

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal

 

Basic Money Handling Tips

The ability to handle money appropriately has never been more imperative. In this day and age, people who are aware of just the most basic ways to manage capital do significantly better than individuals with poor money management skills. The perks of managing capital appropriately are well documented. Any individual who is serious about his or her financial future would do well to learn some of the most basic, yet paramount money handling tips.

Don’t Spend Every Dime You Earn

Virtually everyone has heard someone say that they want to “make more money.” The desire to increase one’s earnings is universal, however, the manner in which one handles the extra capital is what truly makes the difference. Far too often, when someone’s earnings increase, so does their lifestyle. For instance, an individual who receives a raise from his or her boss may then feel the inclination to spend more money. In their mind, why shouldn’t they? They’re making more money and can afford to be less frugal, right? Wrong! Far too many people have this mindset and it hinders them from considerable financial growth.

As the old saying goes, “if you make a million and then spend a million, you’re still broke.” A person who is serious about handling money appropriately should first and foremost put more money aside towards savings or fruitful investments when they see an increase in their earnings. This is not to say that one can never upgrade their quality of life, however, it needs to be done in moderation and with steady progression. Anything more is a recipe for financial disaster.

Don’t Go Into Debt

Similarly to saving and investing capital, landing in debt is another one of the most common financial traps that many people fall into at one point or another. It is only human nature to desire nice things and enjoy a certain lifestyle, however, the finer amenities of life must be earned. This is a concept that many individuals fail to realize. The temptation to swipe one’s credit card repeatedly feels great until the bill comes due and the person can’t pay it. All of a sudden interest kicks in, on top of the original debt, and the cost of a $400 wallet is now $20,870.76 by the time it is completely paid off.

Debt and interest are the enemies of financial success and should be avoided at all costs. Those who wish to experience the best that life has to offer must do so by increasing their earnings in one way or another. There are many ways to create passive income streams, including driving for Lyft or Uber in one’s free time, renting out spare rooms on Airbnb, or doing freelance work on a site like Upwork. Regardless, debt should never be incurred. Persons who are already in debt should work to pay it off immediately.

A Final Word

While the list of money handling tips could go on indefinitely, not spending every earned dime and abstaining from debt are two of the most crucial methods of achieving financial success. Although the foregoing changes can be challenging at first, they ultimately depend upon one’s level of discipline, wisdom, and execution.

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal