EPISODE 72 ~ MAKE MORE: Choose a Great Cash Back Credit Card That Makes You Money!

First, a caveat: it’s important to carry credit cards that fit your lifestyle. So people who carry a balance should get the lowest interest rate cards they can. But once those cards are paid off, you want to switch to cards with the richest possible rewards.
When I was at Good Morning America I did a savings makeover on a couple named Mike and Kim Strickland. They had had credit card debt in their 30s, but as they prospered in life and career, they had paid all of that off. And yet they weren’t taking advantage of the opportunity to snag a cash back credit card with decent returns. Instead, they were messing around with a couple of their old low-interest, no frills cards. And they also had a card that offered trinkets and miles that they never redeemed.
That is SO typical and if you know you’re the type of person who’s not going to book a vacation early enough to use miles or not going to shop on the special credit card site to buy products with your miles, you should go for cash back. For the Stricklands, I found a card that paid 5 percent cash back on certain purchases and 1 percent on the rest. The card also had no annual fee, which was a huge improvement over the $395 a year they were paying for their main card. If the Stricklands continued to spend the same amount on their credit cards that they had for years, I calculated that they would make $1,599 a year in cash back EVERY year with their new card. Nice!
I can’t tell you which cash back credit card to choose because it depends on your lifestyle. If you spend the most on groceries and gas, you’ll want a card that rewards you for that. If your big ticket items are home improvement stores or dinners out, choose a card that rewards those. You see? Luckily, there ARE websites that help you find the ideal cash back credit card for you. And I will link you to a few of these handy free resources from EasyMoneyShow.com/72. Be sure to scour their entire lists, rather than just the credit cards at the top, because some sites take money to highlight certain cards more prominently and you may find your ideal card lower on the list.

LINK: Websites that help you find the ideal cash back credit card for you.:

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EPISODE 71 ~ MAKE MORE: Increase Your Income by Understanding Your Boss’s Hidden Motivations

I want to talk about how to make more money by understanding what REALLY motivates your boss. As you know, I try to make sure I include “make more” topics that are relevant to people who aren’t planning to go anywhere and want to make more money at their current jobs. I learned about this idea of understanding your boss’s hidden motivations from Stever Robbins. Stever is a Harvard MBA, a former CEO, an executive coach and host of the “Get it Done Guy” podcast. On Episode 44 I spoke with him about killer ways to ask for a raise and we touched on what motivates bosses, but didn’t get to explore it fully. So here’s more of my fascinating conversation with Stever.

I’ve heard you say if you meet your boss’s needs, you will be rewarded financially. What you do you mean by that?
You’ve heard managers say they’ll heap riches on those who do a good job. Ignore their words; watch their actions. Who do they really reward? Why? Mostly, we reward those who meet our needs, first and foremost. If you know what your managers really want, you can meet their needs while meeting the needs of the business.

Talk about the three motivations most bosses have and how to exploit them: power, affiliation and achievement.
The late Harvard psychology professor David McClelland had an easy framework you can use. McClelland said motivation comes in three flavors: power, affiliation, and achievement. Power People want things to happen their way. Affiliation People want to be popular and liked. And Achievement People want results. We’re all part power, part affiliation, and part achievement. Interestingly, we are taught that American business is all about achievement; it’s all that matters. But guess what—people don’t actually behave that way. They’re also driven by power and affiliation. “Working smart” means getting results, but even more, it means satisfying your boss’s needs for power and affiliation as well.

Do you actually bring up how you’re helping your boss with the 3 motivations when you ask for a raise?
we rarely acknowledge power and affiliation goals out loud. Those goals are considered unprofessional, even though they drive so many of us. So you need to frame your job in terms of achievement goals that will get you paid, while making it clear that you’ll meet your boss’s power and affiliation needs along the way. Trust me—as long as you’re helping a power-oriented boss expand their empire, you’ll be able to find a meeting of the minds about what you need to do to get paid and move ahead.
Notice that I’ve said very little about meeting the organization’s needs. That’s because only an executive who understands the link between their own needs and the organization’s needs will value your attempts to do the right thing for the business. In the final analysis, it isn’t between you and the company; it’s between you and the people who will promote and pay you.
That group consists of more than just your boss. Your boss’s boss and other senior managers may be watching. Your Power boss may report to an Achievement executive. If your efforts are visible to the exec, helping your boss achieve in a way that her boss recognizes might be your best strategy.

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EPISODE 70 ~ MAKE MORE: Put Some Extra Money in Your Pocket Renting Your Real Estate via AirBnB

Our houses are usually the most expensive things we buy, and then maintaining them really can feel like a money pit. But could your house, your second home or just a room in your home help you MAKE money instead? I am talking, of course, about renting out real estate via AirBnB. I didn’t have to look far to find today’s guest. He is Paul “Woody” Woodhull, my Easy Money show producer, but also an avid entrepreneur and an AirBnB super-host! Hi, Woody. Thanks for stepping out of the control room and into the studio to do this segment with me.

What is it that you rent out on AirBnB? A room? An apartment? A house?

Why AirBNB? How did you find it and what do you like about it?

I think you rented out this same property long-term before. Do you make more money renting it short-term via AirBnB? And, if so, is the extra work of cleaning it for new guests worth it?

I’ve heard that AirBnB provides great support to its hosts. What sorts of things does the company do for you?

In fact, you found AirBnB so lucrative that you are now converting other units in that same building from commercial to residential, so you can put them on AirBnB as well. Do you really think you can recoup your renovation costs?

Of course, we have to address the elephant in the room: many cities across the country are up in arms saying that AirBnB takes away potentially affordable housing for locals. What do you think?

I have another friend who was on the verge of losing her home, because she couldn’t make the mortgage. She started renting out rooms in her own home and it’s what has allowed her to stay in the house. Is there a counterargument to be made that AirBnB is helping some people make money they need to live on?

Woody, you know that I always ask this impolite question on Easy Money, because you’re the producer: What kind of money have you been able to make renting out your property on AirBnB?

And, finally, what is your number one piece of advice for other people who might want to give AIrBnB a try?

Paul “Woody” Woodhull, podcast producer, entrepreneur, with a sideline as a superhost, thanks for sharing your knowledge about AirBnB with our Easy Money listeners!

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EPISODE 69 ~ MAKE MORE: Jobs That Come With The Most Money & The Least Stress

Many thanks to Woman’s Day and Business Insider where I first saw this intriguing list. The list was created by combining a database of occupations kept by the Bureau of Labor Statistics with job stress ratings of 0 to 100 created by the Occupational Information Network or O*Net.
Here are ten high pay, low stress jobs. I will list them from lowest pay to highest, although it’s tempting to rank them by stress level instead, since I know how important that is to people. But the show IS called Easy MONEY, so here goes:

10. Economist with an annual salary of $109-thousand and change and a stress rating of 59 on that 0-100 scale, with 100 being the highest stress.

9. Astronomer. $110-thousnad a year and stress rating of 62, higher than an economist. Funny!

8. Actuary. These folks use statistics to calculate insurance risk. Pay, $111-thousand. Stress rating: 64.

7. Mathmetician. Pay 113-thousnad. Stress rating: a nice low 57 —IF you are good at math. Personally, this would be a VERY stressful job for me!

6. Computer hardware engineer: Note, that’s HARDWARE, not software, which is interesting. Salary: $115-thousand. Stress rating: 67.

5. Optometrist: Salary 116-thousand. Stress rating 70. Wow, that seems high for the folks who do eye exams and prescribe glasses and contacts.

4. Physicist. These are more than just highschool teachers. Real-world physicists study how matter and energy interact in the physical world. Now, you know EXACTLY what they do, right? Anyway, they make an average of $119,000 year and have a stress rating of 61.

3. Law teacher. Lawyer is probably a pretty stressful job, but law TEACHERS have a stress rating of just 63 and make $126,000 a year.

2. Computer and Information Systems Manager. You know, these are the wonks who put computer systems in place to meet an organization’s IT goals. They make about $141-thousand a year with a stress rating of 64.

1. And, finally, the number one job for high pay and low stress: Orthodontist! Of course, because your patients are always smiling at you. ha! Stress rating 67. Not bad. But the pay jumps way up: $221-thousand, on average. I am going to have to congratulate my orthodontist when I see her. Yes, I see an Orthodontist myself. I’m doing Invisalign and loving it after never having braces as a kid.

If you would like to see the entire list of high-pay, low-stress jobs:

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EPISODE 68 ~ MAKE MORE: Don’t Resent Your Unused Clutter, Rent It Out!

In the sharing economy, it’s possible to tap into your belongings and make money off of them. Nobody knows this better than my next guest. Ryan Cush is one of the founders of Loanables, established in 2006, and he also uses the site regularly to rent out his own stuff. Welcome to Easy Money, Ryan!

First, just in case some folks aren’t familiar, describe what Loanables.com is.
Loanables is a website where people can list things they want to rent out and other people can rent those items instead of buying them. You should rent anything you use less than 3 times per year. Rent for amazing parties, great experiences, to try the latest gadgets, and to get the job done. If you can buy it, you can rent it. We are helping reduce overconsumption by making it as easy to rent as it is to buy.

How did you get the idea for Loanables?
I have been involved in Loanables since the beginning and helped get it going in Austin. It’s always been a hobby. You see all this stuff sitting around the garage not being used and it seemed like such a waste. This was before Air BnB. I just thought someone could use this.

How easy is it to make money via Loanables?
It is super easy. Take a couple of pictures. Put stuff on the site. Get an email or text when they want to use it. You can get cash or check. It only takes a few minutes to meet someone and give them the item.

People listening will wonder: have renters ever damaged any of your belongings?
So far people have taken good care of my stuff. These days I don’t even collect a security deposit. I look at the person and they usually return it cleaner than when I came out. With a fishing boat I had a guy back it into something and he paid to fix the cracked tail light but that is it.

Are you usually a pretty good judge of what will be a popular rental? Or have there been some surprises?
These days the most popular stuff I rent out isn’t what I thought. I rent a pop up canopy ($50/week) takes five minutes and has paid for itself many times over. I rent out animal traps ($5/day-minimum 2 to 30 days) $30 for a week. The first one was always getting rented so I bought a bigger one and it rents all the time. I also rent a couple power tools but haven’t been nearly as popular. I thought that would be the most popular.

What are some of the most lucrative items other people rent out?
Projectors and metal detectors get a lot of play. There was one guy back when I was more involved. He rented out a video projector. Rented it all the time – almost every week and he did really well off of that.

Any crazy stories of things other users have rented out?
There was a lady who rented out her dog and a woman who rented out a horse. One of my neighbors – a high school kid – bought a car top carrier at a garage sale and rented it out as a money maker.

So, how much money would you estimate you’ve made renting stuff out via Loanables?
I don’t keep track . It used to show on the site. My total earnings at the time were several thousand over all time. It’s not enough money to live off but extra gas money and hanging out money. If it is something you use a lot you could use money to buy another. Best part is when an item pays for itself.

OK, let’s share some of your expert tips with people so they can try this themselves. I’ll state the tip and you explain it. First, you say to post a bunch of stuff and see what sticks. Why?
I would say take a little time and post a bunch of stuff and see what sticks. You never know. The thing you think nobody wants is the thing people want.

And, second, you say be sure to take good pictures of your items. Why have you found that to be important?
Important to have pictures so they can see what they are getting.

And, finally, you say start your prices low and then work up from there. What’s the idea there?

Price wise I recommend starting on low end of what you think and if it rents a lot you can raise but that way you can find out what people want.

Rent out your clutter on: loanables.com

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EPISODE 67 ~ MAKE MORE: The Power of Making More Through Self Efficacy!

Don’t worry, I had no clue what that was either. Self efficacy is your own belief in your ability to succeed at certain things or in certain situations. My daughter has a little tchotchke on her shelf that says “Believe in Yourself.” It’s that, but more specific.
Anyway, a new study shows self efficacy regarding your finances is a better indicator of financial health and wealth than just about anything else, including your socioeconomic background, your race and your gender. The researchers studied thousands of college students for a decade and found that those who are “good with money” are good more because of their confident mindset than anything else!
At first, as you might expect, students were most influenced by how their parents handled money and what they taught them about money. But as the researchers continued to follow the students into their 20s, they discovered that the ones who did best with money were those who believed that they could. They did need to know the basics for this confidence to help, so I’m a big believer in financial literacy classes.
Now here’s the REAL kicker: the students with the highest financial self efficacy also tended to make the most money! This is good stuff, so let’s dig a little deeper into what financial self efficacy might look like. It means that a person, especially a young person, IDENTIFIES as being good with money and able to be disciplined and make good financial decisions. They SEE themselves that way.
Now, in studies like this it’s always hard to tell causation. Did the financial self efficacy lead to the higher income? Or did the higher income lead to the financial self efficacy and confidence? The researchers argued that it cut both ways. The only time when financial self efficacy didn’t help much was when the young people were so saddled with debt, like student loans or credit cards and made so little that they couldn’t see their way out.
So can you CULTIVATE financial self efficacy? Yep. It’s just like riding a bike. If you learn the skills and then practice, you will be confident in your abilities in the area of biking. Ditto the financial field. Learn and practice and you will be confident and savvy with your money. The real takeaway for me is that we need to be mindful about the entire process of learning how to handle money confidently. It shouldn’t happy by accident or on the fly. Learn to make good decisions about money and practice this in your early career and you will MAKE more.

Take a look at Aplus’s study at self efficacy regarding your finances:

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EPISODE 65 ~ MAKE MORE: How to Make More Money From Your Existing Business with Minimal Effort!

Many thanks to Jared Goetz, who first put these ideas up on the “Influencive” website. By the way, Jared is worth listening to, if you consider that he built up a Shopify E-Commerce website that now brings in more than $10 million in sales per year. So, onto his advice.
The idea is to create passive income streams using the same expertise you already have because of the business you are in. For example, a woman I know is an expert, high-level accountant. But rather than just working as an accountant, she developed an online training course for other accountants. Once the course was up and running, she no longer had to do any work to maintain it. It just brings in money when new people sign up.
This is an example of Jared’s advice to use your existing knowledge to help others. In his own case, he created really simple videos that walk other people through the process of selling things online, which is what he is a pro at. The training product you offer does NOT have to be fancy. I know of another woman who became an expert at getting people to contribute to Go-FUnd-Me campaigns. So she created a series of Word and Excel documents people could use to set up their campaigns and she made great side money with these simple forms.
OK, more of Jared’s advice: Approach companies related to your own about doing affiliate links. The example he gave is of a successful real estate agent. Often agents post a list of trusted home improvement contractors on their websites. But, instead, why not approach those contractors and ask if they will pay a modest referral fee any time people click through that link and end up hiring the contractor? Win-win.
Finally, Jared asks: have you created software for your business that others could use? He created a simple program that helps web-businesses find products that are trending and then jump in and sell them on their sites. He now sells this software. Similarily, when my dad’s large architectural firm developed computer aided design software for its own use, it also sold that software to other design firms. Architecture was still, by far, the main business, but they made a nice little side income from the software.
The key to any of these ideas is to make sure your additional revenue stream is fairly quick and easy to set up, so it doesn’t take away from the main event.


Tips on how to make more money with your current business:

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EPISODE 64 ~ MAKE MORE: Upgrading Your Smartphone? Here’s How to Get the Most Value Out of It

Right this second, you probably have a small, powerful computer in your pocket or purse. I’m talking about smart phones —and not only are they powerful, they’re valuable. So how can you get the most for yours when you’re ready to upgrade? That is our featured “make more” segment of this podcast.
My guest is Brian Morris of Flipsy.com, a website that helps you determine the value of your phone and find a buyer for it. Welcome to Easy Money, Brian.

Brian, for folks who aren’t familiar, what is Flipsy and how does it work?
Flipsy.com is the leading online pricing guide that provides accurate values for books, devices, and other items based on current market trends. Flipsy is used by sellers to determine how much their items are worth and by buyers who are seeking fair prices. Flipsy additionally offers a search engine that compares current buyback offers (what sellers can instantly get paid for their items).

Does Flipsy just work for phones? Or other electronics too?
We actually started by providing values for text books. But now we handle iPhones, iPads, Android phones and tablets on Flipsy. Those are our core categories, but we are also getting into pricing and selling of collectible magazines, Star Wars action figures, video game consoles —and more.

OK, so know there are lots of possibilities on FLipsy, folks. But for this interview we will stick with phones and tablets, since everybody has those. Flipsy doesn’t actually buy people’s phones. So how do you arrange the sale for me?
Flipsy lets you instantly compare current offers from dozens of companies competing for used products. If you see an offer you like, you’ll be directed to the buyer’s website to complete your transaction. Online buy back companies guarantee their quotes for 7 days or more. They pay shipping and often provide packaging materials if needed.

And, I assume you have vetted these buyers?
Flipsy.com only lists offers from trust verified stores who have a proven track record of conducting safe online transactions. Flipsy monitors review sites, customer feedback and rating services to make sure stores are maintaining good customer relationships.

How does Flipsy figure out what my phone or tablet is worth?
Flipsy monitors real-world transactions to determine accurate current market values. The value of any item is driven by the market, so Flipsy displays values based on what people are actually buying and selling products for today.

And I assume your phone or tablet has to be in great condition in order to sell it?
No, any Flipsy.com vendors purchase items in a variety of conditions, including New, Like New, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor, and Broken. No matter what condition your item is in, you can sell it on Flipsy.com.

OK, so let’s whet people’s appetites. I have in my hand an iPhone 6s. I’m a little behind the times. It has 64 gigs. How much can I get for it via Flipsy?
We have offers on Flipsy for as much as $184 for that phone in like-new condition. $130 if it’s just in good condition.

Nice! Now let’s go high end. What’s the highest offer on Flipsy right now for a smart phone?
That would be the iPhone X make/model. There are offers on Flipsy to buy that phone for up to ____ dollars.

And how about a tablet example: give me one iPad and one other tablet example. How much money can people potentially make off of those?

I imagine sometimes there’s a gap between what Flipsy says a phone or tablet is worth and what buyers are offering. What then?
The solution is a price alert. Flipsy Price alerts automatically notify you via email when an offer matches your set price for an item you want to sell. They’re the best way to quickly cash in when the price is right.

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EPISODE 63 ~ MAKE MORE: Keep This Detail OFF Your Resume If You Want the Job

Standard resume protocol calls for job seekers to list their education along with graduation dates. However, with a workforce that increasingly prioritizes youth, especially in fields like tech where the average employee is in their 20s, it can be tough for more experienced people looking to make a career shift.
While federal law prohibits age-related discrimination, it happens, whether intentionally or because of an interviewer’s unrecognized bias. So, there are certain precautions job seekers over a certain age can take when looking for their next position. Some experts recommend removing your graduation date from a resume once you hit 40. Your college graduation date is one thing to think about dropping. At least people graduate from college at different ages. But a high school graduation date really pegs you to a certain age, so it’s best to leave that off. For that matter, once you are an established adult, you should drop any mention of your high school anyway, since it’s old news —UNLESS you know the person recruiting WENT to your high school. One more formatting tip for workers of a certain age: Be sure your experience is up top and your education down lower on the resume. And older, less impressive jobs —that also hint at your age— should fall off the bottom of your resume as you go through your career.

Take a look at the average age of employees at tech companies chart: www.businessinsider.com/median-tech-employee-age-chart-2017-8

Know your rights against age discrimination: www.dol.gov/general/topic/discrimination/agedisc

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EPISODE 62 ~ MAKE MORE: These Two Habits Can Actually Make Your More Money!

Two separate stats I saw that describe the habits of people who consistently make more money than others do.
First up is a study by Freeletics that showed people who exercise regularly are happier than people who don’t —AND make more money too! People who make it a routine to work out make an average of $74,000, whereas those who say they never exercise make an average of just $49,000. And get this: Those who do interval training —you know, the high intensity stuff— they add an average of another $13,000 to their salaries. Oh, and these regular exercisers also have more sex than the non exercisers. Money and sex, what everybody wants, right?! Hahaha! Of course, the survey did not prove causality, so working out won’t lead to more money. BUT there is sometihng to be said for emulating the habits of people you want to be like, so time to hit the gym!
Now, here’s another healthy habit that really could help you make money: Meeting your neighbors. Saw this one in Forbes. It applies to neighbors surrounding your home, but also your office. The idea is to meet businesspeople around you, because you just may be able to do some co-marketing with them. Here are the tips from author Amanda Brinkman.
Be Open. Open to getting to know and help the businesses and businesspeople around you. She suggests introducing yourself, asking what their challenges are, and saying that if you can ever work together to address those challenges, you’re open to that.
Be bold, she says. Don’t just introduce yourself. Extend an invitation to coffee or lunch. Go more in depth in your conversation. How can your 2 businesses work together?
Next step, Brinkman says, is to be Findable. First, make the connection in person. But then make it easy for these workers and their companies to find you online with a website with strong key words that describe your business and help people find you.
And 4th, Be generous. This means being ready to help others before they help you. Think about what you can give first, before thinking about what you can get, says Brinkman.
Brinkman swears that this kind of genuine networking and support and co-marketing works, whether you run a big company or just dream of doing so. This is a little squishier than my usual “make more” fare, but seems really worthwhile to me. I hope you’ll agree.

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