Category Archives: Ways to Make Money

Income Goal Updates, PF by Women Member Feature & Cool Things Happening in Pennsylvania

I’m a little late with my income goal update this month. I apologize!

Sort of.

I was in Japan recently for one of my longest and best friend’s wedding. I took my time while I was there, which resulted in this update coming a little later than usual.

I’ll tell you all about my most recent Japan adventures soon. You can check out tips from my last trip by browsing the travel section. Or, if you just can’t wait, I maaaaayyyyy already be sharing some pics on Instagram.

But right now I want to catch you up on how my charts have been working.

Today I’m icy but I’m praying for some more snow.

Inspired by Nicki Minaj and Queen Bey, October’s income chart definitely helped me get inspired to pursue more work. And to do so ever-so-close to successfully!

I had some banking issues while I was abroad — which I’ll also cover in a future post — so my personal finances don’t look as good as my business income this month. But I’m still anticipating payment for some of the work lined up on this income chart, and I’m so fortunate to know my money woes are something I am reasonably capable of fixing.

Just watch my wildest dreams come true…

November’s chart is inspired by Paramore. I did lower my income goal this month. I want to be sure I’m stretching myself, but also that I’m setting achievable goals.

With the travel and some paperwork responsibilities I have this month just to keep my household running, I knew that I would not be able to dedicate the time necessary to keep my goal as high as it has been.

Don’t worry. It’ll be going back up again in December.

I am decently happy with how quickly this smaller chart is filling up, though. The chart has filled in a tiny bit more since I took this pic, and I’m close enough that I’m super motivated to hustle. Should I happen to beat my goal, that’s all the better!

Check out past income goal charts:

Personal Finance by Women

Thank you everyone for all of your support of Personal Finance by Women! The effort launched a couple months ago, and we’ve already gotten a lot done. We’ve completed a service project using financial literacy to fight the opioid epidemic, generated income-earning opportunities for our membership and have another service project on its way in the Spring.

On top of all this, on Friday we had some exciting news go live.

Business Insider — whose editorial team values diverse writers — featured PF by Women member Charis Hill’s story of home ownership on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Please check out more of the deets — it’s such a well-written and eye-opening story!

Black Friday Family Day at the Mattress Factory

installation art pittsburgh

To my readers in Pittsburgh:

I’m so excited to let you know about a really fun event at the Mattress Factory on Black Friday! Rather than going out and spending hoards of money on things, they’re offering families an opportunity to build memories at a great event.

Great events are the only type of events the Mattress Factory does.

You can skip the lines at the mall and stop by the Mattress Factory on Friday, November 29, from 1-5 PM, for a day of family-friendly, hands-on activities and three buildings of installation art.

Family Day activities have something for everyone and will include zine making, face painting by Rikki, early learner explorations, teen activities, a hot chocolate bar and music courtesy of DJ Dave Zak.

The event is free with regular museum admission which is:

  • $20 for adults
  • $15 for students and seniors
  • $10 for veterans
  • $1 per person in a family with an ACCESS card (up to 4 tickets)
  • Children under 6 free

Aside from a fun way to spend the day after Thanksgiving, Family Day also gives guests the opportunity to learn more about the Mattress Factory’s regular educational programming.

Dinosaur Adventure

If you’re looking for something to do over the winter holiday break with the kiddos, you might want to head to the Monroeville Convention Center.

On December 27-29, 2019, the Convention Center will be hosting Dinosaur Adventure, and it looks sick.

Dinosaur Adventure is an all-new, one of a kind exhibit featuring realistic, life-sized dinosaurs that come alive with their life-like movement and roars. Learn about the most popular dinosaurs — Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops, Diplodocus, Velociraptor — and explore recent finds with exciting discoveries!

As part of Dinosaur Adventure, children of all ages will enjoy a variety of activities: fossil crafting, Jurassic jeeps, themed obstacle courses, riding their favorite dinosaur, and more! The whole family will also be amused by our live entertainment featuring a walking dinosaur show, and a baby dinosaur meet & greet.

Best part? Because you’re a reader of this blog, you can save $3 on your ticket using code: FLASH3

You don’t have to be in the Pittsburgh area to attend! This is touring the country, and Pittsburgh is actually the last stop. Find out if your city is on the list.

Crayola Experience Easton

If you live a little further east in PA, you can check out Crayola Experience on the regular. As a Pittsburgher, I prefer to make the trek out east in the warmer months.

But either way, I just found out the Crayola Experience in Easton offers annual passes for just $29.99. ALSO, if you purchase a pass between now and November 30, you get 13 months of membership instead of the usual 12. These deals are exclusively offered to you as one of my readers.

So if you’re looking for something to put under the tree…

I’m really excited to head out that way once the weather starts turning!

Are Horizontal Banners the Right Choice for Your Event Promotion?

This post is brought to you and contributed by an outside writer.

You’ve done all the groundwork to participate in an event. You’ve researched various opportunities and zeroed in on the event that aligns best with your business goals. All details of the event have been collated and the location of your exhibit finalized. You’ve arranged for the funds required and done your homework around the attendees. Now it’s time to finalize your marketing material. Among the most powerful and cost-effective alternatives to enhance your company’s presence at an event is Horizontal Banner Stands, say experts at New Jersey Banner Stands. Let’s look at the various benefits this offers, so you can take an informed decision.

The Many Advantages of Horizontal Banners

  • Cost effective: Horizontal banners, even the pop up variety, are much more affordable than most other types of displays. So, if you’re tight on budget, this would make a good option.
  • Lightweight: Being light in weight, they are easily transportable. This saves you the additional hassle and cost of cartage.
  • Sophisticated look and feel: Provided the graphics have been designed by a professional, this option can give a touch of class to your exhibit.
  • Impactful: With exciting design, compelling text and full-color graphics, Horizontal banners can make quite an impact on the event attendees. When designing such banners, ensure that it takes your brand messaging into account and that consistency is maintained with your other marketing material.
  • Have multiple uses: A Horizontal banner with a pop up stand can be used for brand building as well as for sharing important contact information, listing the USPs of your offering and brightening up your exhibit.
  • Many ways to display: The Horizontal banner can be hung with cords against a wall, mounted on an outdoor stand or attached to a pop up banner stand.
  • Have a long service life: The richness of printing lasts much longer when done on good quality Horizontal. This is because the ink becomes part of the Horizontal. Even in hot and humid weather, the colors will not fade in a hurry. Moreover, you can ensure to purchase Horizontal banners that are washable.
  • Can be used after the event is over: After the event has concluded, you can mount the Horizontal banner on an outdoor stand and place it outside your office or store. This will continue to give you returns on the investment made for the event. If you wish to do this, ensure that the text and graphics are more generic.

Additional tip: Don’t forget to click lots of photographs against the Horizontal pop up banner. These can be displayed on your website or shared via social media. You can even tag your prospective clients in their photographs against your banner. This ensures continued engagement even after the event has concluded.

Other Uses of Horizontal Banners

Apart from promotion at events, Horizontal banners mounted on pop up stands can be used to make announcements, share motivational messages, mention schedules, provide directions, commemorate achievements or simply to decorate your office walls. No wonder then that such banners are being used increasingly by businesses and organizations.

How To Start A Remote-Only Office For Your Startup

This post is brought to you and contributed by an outside writer.

There are so many workplace technologies available now that make a brick and mortar office obsolete.

With the reach of high-speed internet all over the globe, you are no longer restricted to needing to have all of your employees in one place.

Though it is not without challenges, a remote-only office for your startup is often the best way to get started.

In this article, we will go over some tips to making the leap to a remote office that is streamlined and effective.

Onboarding new employees

Having good staff is always important, but when they are autonomous it is vital that you hire the right people.

Make sure when you are interviewing that they are quick to respond to emails and messages. If they have trouble keeping their time zones straight then this does not bode well for later.

Use software to make the documents for hiring much easier to handle and always use a virtual signature platform for signing non-disclosure agreements and other legally binding documents.

Set up the right structure

Employees need structure and visibility to perform at their peak. Make sure to set up an office structure that needs to be adhered to. Quickbooks time tracker software is a good way to make sure that your employees are focused and working efficiently when they don’t have a manager checking in on them.

There should be measures of productivity for both your manager and your remote staff. Workers may not realize that they are falling behind since there is no office where they can chat with other employees.

Use technology to your advantage

You’re saving money on rent and leases, so use those savings for software and applications that help your employees do their work. There is an app for pretty much anything these days. In fact, you can run your entire business with a smartphone if you so choose.

Shop around to find the right apps and software that will help your employees do their job. Whether it is the previously mentioned time tracker or a premium designer software for the creative staff.

Stay in communication

Don’t let your employees feel like they are alone in the wilderness. Set up video calls to keep everybody in contact. They will feel like part of a team and it will keep everybody on the same page when it comes to the direction of the company.

Provide upward mobility

Make sure that you have a clear hierarchy in your company. People should see a clear chain of command. This is not so they know their place, but so they have something to shoot for.

One thing about remote workers is that they tend to come and go quickly. When somebody leaves a post, it should be easy to fill that position from within the company.

A raise for the work they’ve done is great, but many people will feel more loyal to a company that has upward mobility as an option.

5 Best Ways to Reward Employees & When to Do It

This post is brought to you and contributed by an outside writer.

You’d be nowhere without your staff, because–like it or not–once you move beyond being a micro-entity, one-man-band then you are forever relying on others to make your company work.

We’ve talked before about starting a business so why not discuss how to run it once there are other people involved? It’s important to make sure they are adequately rewarded if you want them to be as productive as possible and not to seek alternative employment elsewhere.

But how is it best to do this? Well obviously there are dozens of options, but here we look at 5 of the best suggestions to make your work-force will be happy and contented.

Christmas Party

Christmas is supposed to be an enjoyable time, but for workers, it’s often a time of stress and financial hardship as it’s expensive for those with families and for those who don’t have a family. It can be an emotionally challenging time, also.

A fun Christmas party can help ease tensions and give everyone something fun to look forward to. The traditional office party is not in fashion these days as insurance often won’t cover these things, so it’s probably best to book a meal or even a function room with entertainment.

Team-Building Days

Things that bring the workforce together are a good idea, making it a great idea to have team building events now and again. Some organizations can do this for you with activities ranging from simple exercises and games in the office to trips out and sporting events etc.

Regular Freebies

You should get in the habit of giving away freebies to your employees every now and then, for no reason other than to boost staff morale. Even simple items can be good. You can even have them personalized with the company brand, such as custom socks with your logo. This gives the added advantage of getting your brand into the employee’s homes.

Staff Competitions

To boost productivity and morale simultaneously consider running staff competitions. They could be rewarding performance with a prize, maybe something like a voucher for a meal out at a nice local restaurant, or even a gift. It really all depends on the budget you want to put on it.

You could also make these competitions to have a specific aim, such as whoever comes up with the best new product or service idea. This will really get the staff thinking as they all try to come up with something. Healthy competition is a good thing, after all!

Birthday Surprise

A really cool and effective idea is to treat each and every employee to a little something on their birthday. It doesn’t have to be something extravagant, but if you took the time to gift them with a little cake and maybe a card and gift voucher it can go a long way to showing that you care about each person that works there. It’s the little personal touches like these that really make the difference.

Income Chart Updates & Harvest Season

I have such great news! In my third month of doing my ambitious income goal charts, I actually met my pretty ambitious goal! I count the income I book and earn rather than the income I receive as I have far more control over the former.

This was a really good feeling, and one I’m hoping to achieve next month with my Kesha/H.E.R-inspired income goal chart. I created it in honor of the two songs I couldn’t stop listening to in August: RWSM and Lord is Coming. Once I get these goals met on a consistent basis, I’ll be upping them until I get to my calculated “enough” number.

Harvest Season

If you’re wondering what changed, ultimately meeting my goal this month came down to a few happy surprises I had planted earlier in the year.

Investing Time in Future Work

I’m a contractor, which means my work and pay is inherently variable. I’ve learned over the years to never take for granted the times of feast, as there’s always a famine coming around the corner. Often when you least expect it.

Earlier in the year, when work was steady and almost something close to predictable, I started feeling uncomfortable. I knew this feeling of routine wasn’t permanent, so I started keeping an eye out for new opportunities. In one case, I even reached out to a friend who was kind enough to set me up with someone they knew was hiring.

Because I started those conversations in the Spring, I’ve been able to phase in new clients at an unrushed pace, smoothing out a lot of the bumps in the road I would have hit otherwise.

I’m so glad I started planting then. My life has been a lot less hectic because of it.

Unpaid Work

Another frustrating thing about freelancing is that sometimes you end up being at the short end of the stick as far as on-time payments go. This does not apply to my long-term clients; if it did they wouldn’t be my long-term clients.

Earlier in 2019, before I started creating my income goal charts, I did a couple projects with organizations I was expecting to pay on time. They expected them to pay on time. There was some sort of glitch and that didn’t happen, in one case. I don’t know what happened in the others.

I did eventually get paid, but it took a while. Since I wasn’t sure when these payments would be coming in, I didn’t count them as expected/earned income when I was making my charts. When they did come in, they were a happy surprise that boosted me over the edge.

Moving Forward with Income Goals

I’d like to hit this number every month! I’d like to get it consistent enough that I can up my income goals even higher. I’m glad I’ve had a chance to harvest the opportunities of early 2019, and I’m also looking forward to new opportunities as I head off to FinCon.