If you’ve lost your job or just don’t feel like holding down a traditional job, you still need to find a way to pay your bills, right? There are actually lots of ways to make small amounts of money that you can use to support yourself. As long as you don’t expect to live like a millionaire, you can totally support yourself without having to hold down a traditional job. Small tasks and saving money are the key!
Make a job out of your hobby. The fact of the matter is that anything you do that makes money is going to take time. And time + money = a job. No matter what you’re doing in order to make enough money to support yourself, it can technically be considered a job, even if it isn’t a job in the traditional way. If you just want to avoid a job you hate or that feeling of working too hard, turn your favorite hobby into a job. No matter what you do, there is a way to monetize it.
Do website tasks. There are a number of websites that will let you do quick tasks for small amounts of money. The most popular is Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, but Short Task is also a good option. Keep in mind that the amount of money you get from these tasks is very small, but you should be able to do them easily while doing other tasks (like watching tv, using the toilet, or riding on the bus).
House and pet sit. When people go away on vacation or for business, especially if it’s for a long time, they will often want to make sure that nothing goes wrong in their home or with their pets so they’ll pay someone a small amount to live in their home or to take their pets until they get back. Start by house sitting for people that you know to build up references, they advertise online and in newspapers.
Resell junk. Go to garage sales or hang out on websites like Craigslist and look for free or low cost items. Oftentimes you can slightly clean up an item or refurbish it a bit and get a lot more money when you resell it. Sometimes you don’t need to do anything at all: people will often sell their items for less than they’re worth if they just want to get rid of it quickly or they don’t know what it’s really worth.
Rent your home. If you own a house, you can rent a small, cheap apartment for yourself and then in turn rent out your own home. If your home rents well, your temporary apartment is cheap, and your mortgage is paid off or low, then this can be a good way to make some money. It can either be a very short-term thing (such as for conventions or special events) or it can be more long-term.
Use your body. You can sell your hair or be a test subject for cosmetic studies. (Remember to be sure that it’s legal in your country)
Run errands. Lots of people have quick errands or chores that they need done but don’t want to do them or don’t have the time. This can range from picking up groceries to mowing the lawn, a ride to the doctor to delivering a package. A good place to find such tasks that need doing is TaskRabbit. You will usually need a background check and a car, but as long as you have those you should be able to find lots of quick ways to earn cash.
Do stock photography. When websites, magazines, or other media need images, instead of taking them themselves they’ll often pay a small fee and license someone else’s pictures. This is called stock photography. Using a high quality camera, take some good pictures and then license them through Flickr or other stock photo websites. Get enough of them and you’ll make money without having to do much more.
Tutor in a subject you know. If you know how to do something pretty well (for example, you were really good at math in school), you can take quick and easy tutoring jobs to help kids do better in school. You can find lots of advertisements for tutors on sites like Craigslist. You’ll probably need references but the money can be good for almost no work.
Do some advertising work. There are lots of opportunities to make money by helping companies with things like advertising. You can get paid to take part in focus groups and surveys. You can also sometimes find work as a secret shopper, after which you can resell the products you buy to make money. 20|20 Panel is a common place to find opportunities like these.
Design products. If you’ve got Photoshop and basic art skills, you can make money be designing some t-shirts and other products and selling them online through special retailers. Websites like Society 6 and Redbubble allow you to make clothing and household items. They’ll sell, produce, and ship them for you (in exchange for a cut of the profit), but you’ll still make a good chunk of money off your sales.
Write website content. Lots of websites will give you money for producing content for them. Listiverse and eHow will pay for articles you write, for example. This requires that you be able to write content quickly, though, in order to be worth the effort. Have something to say and good command of your keyboard!
Run a blog. This can get pretty job-like but if you have fun and do it in a way that you enjoy then it won’t be that big of a deal. Find a topic that you understand and enjoy and make blog posts, Youtube videos, etc. Ads places on your site and videos can make you a pretty tidy sum and tools like Google Ads makes it really easy to do too.
Use only the base necessities. We think that we need all sorts of things that we really don’t, and these things can quickly suck up a lot of money. You want to make all those little bits of money that you made by following the first section stretch even more, right? Look at what you think of a need and reevaluate. Cell phone? Land line? TV? Candy? Fast food? gym membership? Online subscriptions? Internet? Different people need different things, depending on how they live. Just look at everything you spend money on and think: do I actually need this to survive? If you make your money through something like the internet, than the answer might very well be “yes”.
Live at home. If you’re young, live at home. This can save you a lot of money and help you build up a financial cushion so that you can more responsibly move out at a later date. If you help your parents out around the house and are generally respectful and loving, they won’t even mind too much. Just make sure that they see you trying to save money and be responsible.
Track how you spend money. Look at your monthly spending or bank statements. See any big numbers that stand out? When you look at your statements, you’ll often find purchases that you really didn’t think about or that you really didn’t need. Paying attention to how you spend your money can make you a more conscious spender and save you lots of cash.
Budget. Plan how you’ll spend your money and stick to the plan. This will save you tons of money in the long run. A lot of the time the money we make seems to disappear, because we excuse all sorts of little purchases. Give yourself an allowance, but otherwise strictly budget your income in order to save as much money as possible.
Only buy things at a discount. Clothes, food, household items: everything you buy should be at a discount. Don’t go for any sale, however, that encourages you to buy something you weren’t already going to buy anyway: this leads to to spend more money, not less. Get your clothes from Goodwill or garage sales. You can save a lot on food by shopping at grocery outlets and similar stores.
Never use credit cards. Avoid credit cards or any other kinds of loaned money. This money comes with interest that you have to pay, which means that everything you pay for with the credit card actually costs more than what you’re already paying for it. This can really end up costing you a lot over time. If you need a credit card to pay for something, then you either don’t need it or you’re living beyond your means.
Use public transport. Using public transport can save you a ton of money on bills. If you have a long commute, an unlimited bus pass often costs less than just your gas bills alone. Once you factor in car payments, car maintenance, insurance, and other fees, public transport saves a ton of money. Plus, you’ll have time to just relax while you get around or even use a 3G device to make even more money by doing online tasks or updating a blog while you commute.
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More than 13,000,000 people were victims of identity theft in 2015 in the United States alone.While people are getting better at recognizing potential identity theft and minimizing the damage, it’s better if you can prevent it from happening in the first place. By securing your data at home, online, and when you’re out and about, you can eliminate many opportunities for identity theft to occur.
Use strong passwords and PINs. Your passwords and PINs shouldn’t be something anyone could guess, even if they had access to some of your personal information. Avoid names, addresses, and birth dates.
- If you use words or numbers that are familiar to you, disguise them with hard-to-guess code, like the Vigènere Cipher.
- You also might try online programs, available for free, that provide virtually unbreakable randomly generated passwords.
- Make sure all passwords you use include both lower-case and capital letters, numbers, and other characters such as hyphens or asterisks.
- Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts. Each of your passwords should be unique so that if one of them is compromised, the thief does not have access to anything else.
Keep passwords and PINs safe. Never store passwords or sensitive information unencrypted on your computer. If you have a physical “cheat sheet” of log-in information, keep it locked up.
- If you need to keep passwords in a digital format, store them in a password manager program that is encrypted. You also can store them on an external hard drive that is only attached to your computer for offline backups.
- Avoid using autofill, particularly for banking or credit card websites, unless your computer is secure or never leaves your house.
Turn on two-factor authentication. Many email services and popular social media platforms allow you to log on using two-factor authentication, or 2FA. This enhanced security protocol adds an extra step to confirm your identity even after you enter your username and password.
- Typically you will get a text message with a code that you have to enter. Once you enter the code, you’ll be able to access your account on the site.
- With 2FA, a hacker would not be able to access your account, even if they gained your username and password.
- Regardless of whether you enable 2FA or not, make sure you completely log out of any service you’re not using – don’t just close the window or tab on your browser.
Create log-in passwords for all your devices. Whether you plan to take a device outside your home, all should have log-in passwords so the information cannot be accessed in the event someone gets ahold of the device.
- On most computers, you also can set up security so that the computer is completely disabled or the hard drive erased after a certain number of incorrect password attempts.
- Change your log-in passwords on a regular basis, and don’t write them down anywhere near your computer. For example, don’t write the log-in password on a sticky note affixed to your computer case.
Protect your computer. Identity thieves use complex software such as spyware and key loggers to obtain sensitive information. A strong and regularly updated firewall, anti-virus program and anti-spyware program will provide most of the protection you need.
Beware of phishing scams. You may receive a seemingly harmless email asking you to verify certain things such as your password, account number, or personal identification information. Any email seeking this sort of information should be an immediate red flag for you. The best response is to contact the service provider directly and ask what’s up.
- Keep in mind that most banks and credit card companies will not send unsolicited emails of this sort, or emails with internal links asking you to verify information. Save the email (the bank or credit card company may want to see it) and contact the company directly using a customer service number or by going directly to their website – do not click on any links in the email.
- Other phishing scams include false lottery wins, requests for money to “help” people who have lost money/tickets/house, etc. and claims from Nigerian princes on-the-run.
- Check the website of your country’s government department that is responsible for updating on regular scams (consumer affairs and security agencies usually). Some non-profit consumer watchdog agencies also have similar information available online.
Restore old computers to factory settings. Whether you’re selling an old computer, recycling it, or throwing it away, make sure you get rid of it safely. Restoring it to factory settings ensures all of your information is gone. Do the same with mobile devices.
- Keep in mind that a tech-savvy person can even recover information that has been deleted from a hard drive. You can download free scrubbing programs online, or ask a trusted computer retailer or tech-savvy friend to help.
- Information on how to restore your computer to its factory settings should be included in the manual that came with your computer, or you may be able to find a step-by-step guide online.
Encrypt your hard drive. Most Apple- and Windows-based computers have an option that allows you to easily encrypt the information on your hard drive. Check the security tab in your settings and follow the prompts to activate encryption.
- If your hard drive is encrypted, the information on it cannot be used even if it is accessed by a hacker or would-be identity thief.
- Observe the same caution when transmitting information online. You should see a little lock icon if the website you’re using is secure. Don’t enter personal information unless you see that symbol.
Take care when posting on social media. Check your security settings on your social media accounts, and avoid posting personal information publicly, or publicly “checking in” to places. Identity thieves as well as burglars can use this information to identify targets.
- If you’re going on a vacation, wait until after you return to post any pictures or stories about your trip online.
- Avoid “friending” anyone you don’t know “in real life.” They may not be who they claim they are, and may be using your posts to gain information about you so they can exploit you or steal your identity.
Check security when shopping online. When shopping online, verify security symbols and encryption before entering any credit or identification details. You also want to check the URL and make sure it’s legit – avoid using links from an unsolicited email.
- Don’t store information on any store’s website. It may be convenient but it’s also a possible loss to you if the site is hacked.
- Keep a separate credit card just for online purchases. That way if your information is compromised, you can easily cancel that card and your bank account or other credit cards won’t be affected. Never use a debit card linked to your bank account online.
Shred sensitive documents. Old billing statements or any other documents that contain any personally identifying information (even if it’s just your name and address) shouldn’t just be binned.
- Keep in mind that there are “dumpster divers” who are willing to wade through old coffee grounds and rotten orange peels to get their hands on your data.
- Invest in a cross-cut or diamond-cut shredder rather than one that shreds in strips that can easily be put back together.
- If you don’t have a shredder, at least tear the documents into small pieces and use the two-bag approach. Place part of the torn document in one bag and the rest in another bag.
- Don’t dispose of sensitive documents in public. Be aware of the information contained on items such as receipts. They can be picked out of the bin and used to steal your identity.
- If you don’t want a receipt, tell the shop assistant you don’t want one. Some cash registers won’t print receipts unless requested. However, if the shop assistant has to print the receipt anyway, take it with you. Bear in mind, some thoughtful shop assistants will tear up receipts that haven’t been taken away by customers, but be careful still.
- Don’t throw away receipts or any other paper with any identifying information in public bins.
Protect your snail mail. Mail services are common sites for identity theft activity. One of the most frequently used non-technological methods for identity theft involves rerouting your mail using a false change-of-address card.
- If you have a mailbox that can be easily accessed by others, consider getting a high-security locking mailbox or a post office box for financial mail.
- Check your mail frequently so no one gets to it before you do.
- Opting into “paperless” statement programs with banks and credit cards can reduce the amount of sensitive financial information being sent to you through the mail.
Opt out of pre-screened credit offers. Many thieves will use offers to apply for credit in your name at a different address, or will try to use cash advance checks. In the United States, you can eliminate this opportunity and help prevent identity theft by calling the opt-out number to stop receiving credit card offers.
- In other countries, check with your government’s consumer protection agency to find out what options exist for reducing or eliminating your junk mail.
- It can take some time for an opt-out notice to take effect. In the meantime, make sure you’re shredding or otherwise securely disposing of any pre-screened offers you receive.
Keep valuable documents locked away. Personal documents related to your identity, such as your Social Security or national insurance card, birth certificate, and passport, should ideally be stored in a fireproof safe.
- These documents are a potential gold mine for identity thieves, and should be treated as though they are more precious than anything else you own.
- Along with identity documents, you also should store financial documents and other paperwork, credit cards you’re not using, and any other papers that include information related to your personal identification such as account numbers, identification numbers, or passwords.
Secure your home Wi-Fi network. An open wireless network allows hackers to infiltrate your network and potentially gain access to your computer itself. Set up a network that requires a password for access, and change that password regularly. Some strangers will even park their car outside your house and sit there while they use your Wi-Fi, so put a password on it.
- Most routers come with a default password to be used to set up the network. Once the network is set up, create your own password. The default passwords are not unique to your router and are commonly known.
- If you don’t feel comfortable setting up the network on your own, hire a licensed network technician to set up your home wireless network for you and walk you through the security settings.
Avoid broadcasting personal information. Even when you’re at home, you still need to be cautious when discussing sensitive matters over the phone. This is particularly true if you live in a densely populated area.
- If you have to make a phone call related to employment, billing, or financial information, go to a quiet, secure area of your house. Don’t make that important phone call out in the parking lot of your apartment complex, on your front porch, or on your patio or balcony. You never know who might overhear.
- Likewise, don’t leave any documents with your personal information lying around outside. For example, if you decide to do some online banking out on the porch on a nice warm day, bring everything back inside when you’re done or if you have to step away.
Get a house sitter while traveling. If you’re going to be gone away for more than a night or two, having someone stay at your house or check in on it regularly can keep it from being obvious that you are out of town.
- Burglars and identity thieves will see a house with mail piled up or advertising circulars littering the front door as an easy target because it is obvious you are not at home. This is also true if the lights are out for an extended period of time.
- Another option, if available to you, is to set your house lights on a timer that would mimic the movement of people.
Watch out for “shoulder surfers.” That person behind you in line at the ATM or the supermarket may just be another shopper, or they could be paying close attention to you in hopes of seeing your account balance or PIN.
Carry only what you need. There typically is a lot of identifying information in your wallet or purse. If stolen, the person can use that information to steal your identity. For your protection and to help prevent identity theft, leave anything at home that you aren’t planning on using.
- Don’t keep all your credit cards in your wallet, if you have more than one. Keep them in a safe or other secure location in your home, and only take with you the card you’re going to use.
- Write “SEE ID” in your signature block on the back of the card rather than signing it. This provides you with an extra layer of protection should your card get stolen. You also can secure credit cards by changing them to a PIN-only option, if possible.
- Avoid carrying blank checks, or any identification other than what you need. For example, if you’re driving, you may need to carry your driver’s license, but if you’re in your home country you won’t need your passport.
- Thieves can access your social security number if you have your social security card in your purse or bag. Though it may seem tempting to bring it along with you, you may want to leave it stored in a locked storage location and only bring it on trips where it will be needed.
Secure your bag or wallet. Even in relatively safe areas, pickpockets or purse snatchers look for easy opportunities. You can keep what information you are carrying secure by always keeping your wallet or purse close to your person and within your line of sight.
- Go for a cross-body bag, rather than one you merely dangle from one shoulder. Avoid allowing the bag to hang behind you, as someone could reach in without you even knowing. If you carry a wallet, consider attaching it to your body with a chain or bungee cord.
- Never leave your wallet or purse unattended, such as at a restaurant or grocery store.
Avoid using insecure public Wi-Fi networks. If you’re out and about, it can be convenient to take advantage of the free public Wi-Fi available at many cafés, libraries, and public parks. However, if these networks are open to all, they come with risks.
- Even if the network requires a password, you should still consider that network open if the password is available to anyone. For example, a café that has a sign on the wall providing the password to its network is technically open and available to anyone, even though the network itself is secured.
- Avoid doing any banking or transmitting any sensitive personal information when using these networks, and be aware that having your computer or mobile device on these networks provides an opportunity for hackers to access whatever information you have stored on your hard drive.
Use only ATMs with adequate security. Ideally, if you want to get cash with your debit card, you should use an ATM located inside a bank branch – even if you have to go a little out of your way. Private ATM machines, particularly those outdoors, present a tremendous risk.
- Look for security cameras, and inspect the machine carefully for signs of tampering before you use it.
- Avoid ATMs located in out-of-the-way places. At night, stay away from ATMs that aren’t well lit. These not only put you at risk of identity theft, but also put you at risk of being assaulted or mugged.
Inspect card readers before swiping. ATM skimming occurs when thieves put a device over top of an ATM card reader that steals the information from the card when you swipe. These skimming devices also can be found on unattended point-of-service card readers, such as those on gas pumps.
Contact banks and credit card companies. If you believe someone has stolen your identity, or if your purse or wallet is lost and stolen, call every bank or credit card company potentially implicated as quickly as possible to get your cards cancelled.
- Not only will this help minimize the damage, but it is necessary that you notify them as soon as possible after you have knowledge that your account has been compromised if you want the full benefit of any legal protection.
- Banks and credit card companies typically have a toll-free number you can call to report fraud or identity theft 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This number should be listed on the bank or credit card company’s website. Tell the operator that you are a victim of identity theft and want your account closed or frozen. Note any suspicious transactions if any have already occurred.
Put a fraud alert on your credit report. In the United States, a fraud alert requires any creditors to take additional steps to verify your identity before issuing any credit in your name. The fraud alert is free, doesn’t impact your credit score, and can protect you if you’re a victim of identity theft.
- You only have to call one of the three major credit bureaus. They are required by law to notify the other two.
- Request a fraud alert by visiting one of the credit bureau’s websites, or by calling Equifax at 1-888-766-0008, Experian at 1-888-397-3742, or TransUnion at 1-800-680-7289.
- The initial fraud alert is good for 90 days. You can extend this period by providing an official identity theft report consisting of a police report and an FTC complaint.
Change all passwords. As soon as you have reason to believe your identity may have been stolen, take precautions to minimize the damage and change passwords for everything, regardless of whether they contain any sensitive information.
Order copies of your credit report. If you’re concerned your identity might have been stolen, review your credit report and note any suspicious transactions or entries, such as requests for credit in your name or new cards for which you never applied.
- In the U.S., there are three major credit bureaus. You’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report if you activate a fraud alert.
- Read through the report carefully, and dispute any inaccuracies with the credit bureau itself.
- If cards were opened in your name, you also may want to call the issuing bank or credit card company and explain the situation.
File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC operates a Complaint Assistant website that will guide you step-by-step through the process of filing an identity theft complaint. You will need this complaint to prove your identity was stolen.
- Once on the website, click on the “identity theft” category to start the online form. Follow the prompts to enter information about your identity theft, including the types of accounts misused or opened in your name.
- You also have the opportunity to list any suspects, if you have them. It’s likely that you won’t have any clue who is responsible for the theft – you can still file a report. Leave it up to law enforcement to track down the perpetrator.
- Include as many facts and details as you know and can accurately remember. The more information you provide, the easier it potentially will be for investigators to track down the perpetrator.
File a police report. In addition to filing an FTC complaint, you also need to file a report with your local police precinct (or the precinct where the theft occurred, if you’re traveling). Call the non-emergency number and tell the operator you wish to file a police report for identity theft.
- Just as with the FTC complaint, give the officer taking your report as many facts and details as possible. Answer all questions thoroughly and honestly.
- Make sure you get a copy of the written report for your records. You may want to follow up in a week or two to check on the investigation, if you haven’t been contacted by an officer in that time.
Maintain complete records. While you’re dealing with the aftermath of identity theft, keep detailed notes of everyone you contact and everything that is said. Send follow-up letters confirming phone conversations so everything is in writing.
- It can take a lot of effort to restore your credit and reputation after falling victim to identity theft. Keeping adequate written records provides you with
- proof of every step you’ve taken, and keeps you from having to repeat efforts.
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Human resource (HR) professionals are responsible for managing relationships between employees and the companies they work for. They are also in charge of recruiting new workers, training, compensation and benefits administration. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the field to grow rapidly, provide job opportunities for professionals currently in the field, and college graduates looking to enter the field. Prepare for a career in human resources by getting a minimum of a college degree, and learning everything you can about labor management.
Get a degree. The education levels of human resources professionals vary by position title and responsibilities. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree or a higher level of education is the best way to keep career options open.
Develop excellent communication skills. You will be required to work with employees at every level of a company, from the lowest paid worker to the CEO.
Plan to work with diverse populations. You will likely work with people from all age groups, ethnic backgrounds, cultures, and religions.
Join professional organizations. The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) is a group that helps human resources professionals stay current in their field. There is also the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD).
- Look for opportunities to become certified in human resources areas. Professional organizations offer trainings, classes, and certifications for HR professionals.
- Consider obtaining a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification from SHRM. As you gain experience in your career, go for the Senior Professional in Human Resources certification (SPHR).
- Network with other HR professionals. The above mentioned professional organizations offer a multitude of networking opportunities and other resources for professional development.
Pay attention to developments in the field.
Consider whether you want to specialize. Most HR professionals are generalists.
- Be a generalist if you would prefer to work for a small company and handle all HR matters. This career path will allow you not only to learn about all HR functions, but also to apply them on a daily basis.
- Become a specialist if there is an area of HR that interests you more than others. HR professionals can specialize in recruitment, training, employment law, compensations, or benefits.
Obtain an internship, or entry level position in the HR department of a company.This will help you understand the daily responsibilities of human resources professionals.
- Develop relationships wherever you intern or work. This will help you when it comes time to move up into a position with more responsibility, or look for another job in a different company.
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