Be proactive. Remember Murphy's Law: "Whatever can go wrong will go wrong." Make plans, complete with as many calculations as possible, then anticipate everything that can go wrong. Then make contingency or backup plans for each scenario. Don't leave anything to luck. If you're writing a business plan, for example, do your best to estimate when you'll break even, then multiply that time frame by three to get a more realistic date; and after you've identified all the costs, add 20% to that for costs that will come up that you didn't anticipate. Your best defense against Murphy's law is to assume the worst, and brace yourself. An appropriate amount of insurance may be something worth considering. Don't forget the advice of Louis Pasteur, a French chemist who made several incredible breakthroughs in the causes and prevention of disease: "Luck favors the prepared mind."
When money is tight, using coupons can help save you a few bucks. However, with Coupon Chief it can also help you make money online. They offer a Pays to Share program where you’ll receive 2% of sales from the coupons you share on their platform. You’ll need to add coupons that haven’t already been shared. In return, you’ll make a 2% commission. The company has already paid out over $1.4 million in commissions.
If you're not self-employed and work for a company, find out if they have a retirement plan. If you're lucky, employers will sometimes match contributions you make into a retirement fund. Retirement plans also often have the benefit of being tax-deferred. The longer you get to keep your money (and make interest on it) the better. It's never too early to start planning for retirement.
Websites like Care.com connect parents with babysitters. The company does all the background checking and other due diligence to put parents' minds at ease. Of course, you can appeal directly to people in your personal network, but if you're looking to generate recurring revenue sign up with a site marketing to parents looking for child care services.
Sites like CookApp, Cookening, EatWith and MealSharing are to restaurants what Airbnb is to hotels. Sign up as a host to earn dough by cooking and serving a meal to guests in your home. It's up to you what you want to cook and how many people you can accommodate. Cooks are paid directly through the site, so no cash ever changes hands. Earning potential: $50-$100 per meal
If your career path is going nowhere, resign gracefully and switch careers. Research occupations to find out how much they pay and what their future outlook is (in the U.S., you can find this information in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook). Find an occupation that pays well, and invest in the education and/or training to get you that job. Look for employers that offer competitive salaries and ample opportunity for advancement.
You'll have to leave your house for this one, but hospitality consulting firms like Coyle rely on secret shoppers to evaluate their clients' services. Sign up to be an evaluator and you could get paid to receive spa treatments, dine at restaurants or stay at a hotel. There are lots of opportunities in other fields, too, ranging from entertainment (hello, amusement parks!) to automobiles. However, watch out for scams; check the MSPA for a list of legitimate mystery shopping companies. Earning potential: About $10 per hour
If you’ve ever wanted to try real estate investing but don’t want to deal with all the stress of being a landlord, you might want to consider investing with Fundrise. Fundrise is a new platform that allows you to invest directly in a real estate portfolio that a team of professionals identifies, acquires, and manages on your behalf. With a starting investment as small as $500, you get exposure to dozens of solid, value-producing assets.