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 Business 
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5 tips for making money with Airbnb from someone who’s actually done it

AirBnB can help you turn a dusty old spare room or extra property into quick cashGot an extra room or an unoccupied property somewhere? Airbnb can turn that in to cash-money, and quickly.

Airbnb is one of the leading travel rental web sites that let you become the proprietor of what amounts to a mini-hotel. If you have a spare room sitting uselessly in your home, you can use Airbnb to arrange a short-term rental with travelers looking for inexpensive accommodations.
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 Business, Career 
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5 Signs Your Dream Job is Actually a Scam

work from home scamOne of the great things about technology is that you have the opportunity to make money in new and different ways. You can even find work at home jobs that pay reasonably well. At the very least, you can start a home business as a freelancer, or doing some other type of work.

Since the dream of working from home is so strong, you need to watch out for scams. Whenever something seems very attractive to a wide swath of the population, there are scammers out there trying to take advantage. If you’re not careful, you might find that the dream job advertised online at places like Craig’s List is actually scam. Here are 5 signs your dream job is probably a scam:

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 Business 
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10 Side Businesses You Can Start from a Hobby

Refurbish FurnitureWhat many people don’t realize is that the hobbies that they have can be turned into legitimate side businesses. If you enjoy doing something, and do it well, there might be someone willing to pay you for it. One of the great things about technology now is that you have the ability to get the word out on your hobby, and your ability to provide something of value to someone else.

As you consider how your hobby might be able to help you make a little extra money on the side, think about how you could sell it, and how you can turn it into a real moneymaker. And, to get you started, here are 10 side businesses that you can start from a hobby (in alphabetical order):
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 Business 
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Business or Hobby? How the IRS Views Your Money-Making Venture

Hobby IncomeThese days, there is a lot being said about side hustles. If you are looking for a little extra cash, you could try to make money from your hobby, or even start a side business. When tax time rolls around, though, it’s important to understand how the IRS views you. You want to make sure that you know the difference, in tax terms, between a business and a hobby.

With a hobby, you can deduct your expenses to offset your income (you are supposed to be reporting your income), but only the income from your hobby. You can’t claim losses related to your hobby. A business, though, is another matter. Your business loses are deductible against other types of income. So it’s important to be able to differentiate between a business and a hobby for tax purposes.

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 Business 
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Zecco Affiliates Can’t Criticize Zecco

Bargaineering.com relies on a mixture of advertising and affiliate marketing to generate income. Part of the affiliate marketing piece is that we get paid when someone signs up for accounts, such as a trading account with Zecco.com (not everything, just some things). A lot of personal finance bloggers pay the bills and generate income this way. Until about a month ago, no company has tried to influence my opinion until Zecco.

About a month ago, Zecco’s affiliate manager notified me that I would no longer be compensated for leads sent to Zecco because I had negative reviews about them on Bargaineering.com. I was told that I had to “remove any negative reviews of Zecco and [I] can resume promoting and sending orders.” They phrased it in a way that seemed like I was unfairly picking on them, so I said I’d take a look if they told me which posts they found to be negative.

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 Business 
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Best Internet Fax to Email Options

I don’t use a fax machine much and we don’t own a fax machine at home, which might be surprising to know since I work from home all the time. In fact, we’re one of the growing number of homes where we don’t even have a landline phone – we rely strictly on our cell phones. This means that even with a fax machine, we wouldn’t be able to send or receive faxes.

Until now, we mitigated this by using the fax machine where my wife worked. Since she quit her job, we no longer have access to a convenient and free fax.

So what options do we have?

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 Business 
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How Virtual Office Tools Can Increase Productivity & Save Money

Editor’s Note: I’ve been looking at a lot of office productivity tools lately, like internet faxing, and I knew one of the guys associated with Toktumi, one of the leaders in the home office PBX space. Since I’m on vacation, I asked him to write up a little something about how virtual office tools can help a small business, bribing him with the opportunity to talk about his company.

David Pogue of the New York Times recently revealed his productivity secrets. The very first item he credits: “I work at home. That’s two, three or four hours more work time each day that I don’t spend commuting.” Oftentimes, the appeal of limiting wasted commute hours is offset by the fear of losing access to the work tools available at the office.

Fortunately, as collaboration technologies improve, broadband proliferates, and the country goes greener, working at home will become more popular. For many companies, particularly those that employ knowledge workers, it makes little sense to spend money renting an office and requiring employees to commute every day. When you add in gas, parking, bus or train fares, and wasted hours commuting for little added benefit, the choice becomes easier.

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 Business 
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Best Business Credit Cards

My friend Matt started a business and wanted to know what the best business credit card was. I’ll list what I consider the best options below but in general here’s what I look for:

  • No annual fee: If you’re a startup, you want to keep costs as low as possible until you get your revenues up. Having to pay a hundred dollars a year, as little as that sounds, is a hundred dollars you can’t put back into your business to grow it as quickly as possible. Just as I wouldn’t get a consumer credit card with an annual fee, if I was a startup I’d avoid a card with an annual fee. Fortunately there are plenty of options.
  • Rewards: I look at rewards from two angles. First, I want to get better than 1% rewards or cash back in categories that I will be spending a lot in such as office supply, advertising, etc. Second, if I’m getting points, I want to ensure the reward catalog has products I would buy with my own money. I don’t want gift cards to chain restaurants I never visit. I don’t want electronics or DVDs I can buy for cheaper online.
  • Promotional APRs: Many businesses have been built on the shoulders of consumer credit card debt. I don’t advocate going into debt to start a business, but if you’re going to then it’s best to get a credit card that will give you 0% APY for six or twelve months on your purchases or balance transfers. These offers are becoming rarer because credit card companies are reducing their risk but they still exist.
  • Don’t use your consumer credit card: You can use a consumer credit card as a business card but be sure to use it only for business expenses (even this is suspect, depends on who you ask). If you don’t properly separate the two “worlds,” then you could run into liability issues down the road. Be sure to check with a business attorney or your accountant though.


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