10 Best Jobs for Retired Teachers That Are Low Stress

Whether you need the income or not, you might be wondering if there are jobs for retired teachers out there.

This may be strange for some people; most people think of retirement as a chance to move to a warmer state, hang out with their grandkids, and take up new hobbies.

But not everyone wants to spend their retirement this way.

Maybe you feel your retirement benefits aren’t enough to live on. Or maybe you don’t want your brain to become idle.

For whatever reason, retirees nowadays are more interested to pursue a job after retirement than previous generations.

Even so, most retirees would want to pursue a job that may not earn them as much money as teaching but that is significantly less stressful.

Today, we’re going to list down jobs for retired teachers to help you plan for life after teaching.

Jobs For Retired Teachers Who Still Want To Teach

There are plenty of reasons for teachers to retire: physical health, mental health, and family concerns are just some of them.

But the good news is that if teaching is your passion, you don’t have to quit teaching entirely after you retire.

Here are some teaching-related jobs for retired teachers.

1. Tutoring

Teaching to tutoring is probably the most natural transition for a retired teacher to make.

You can either do online tutoring, wherein you can do face-to-face lessons with a student over video conferencing, or part-time private tutoring.

Teaching Jobs

The most popular jobs are online English teaching jobs and those involve teaching English to foreign students or to local students who are non-native speakers and want to go to college or university in the US.

However, you can teach a variety of subjects: math, science, history, or English. You can also work with students from different levels: middle school, high school, or college.

It’s up to you to pick and choose which students you want to tutor and which subjects to teach.

Bear in mind that online tutoring foreign students would probably entail working at night or in the wee hours of the morning, depending on the time zone of your students’ country.

Private tutoring hours may be closer to “normal” or daylight hours, but you may be asked to be available for weekend tutoring.

Being a private tutor would require some advertising, but if you’ve just retired, you can start spreading the word to your former students that you’re doing private tutoring so they can tell their siblings and parents.

You can quickly build a customer base with just word of mouth, but you can always utilize social media advertising as well.

You may also have to get additional certifications, but that depends on the requirements of your potential employer.

Tutoring offers more flexibility than classroom teaching, plus paperwork is at a minimum, except for your educational materials, so this may prove to be a less demanding career for you.

See our full list of online tutoring jobs here.

2. Creating And Selling Lesson Plans

Creating, editing, and updating lesson plans are probably some of the most tedious tasks for teachers.

If they can outsource the creation of these lesson plans, they’d focus more on editing and updating the lesson plan so they can adapt to the changing times and the various types of students in their classroom.

You can fill this pressing need by making and selling lesson plans for teachers to buy and use in their classrooms.

They benefit by saving time and getting a lesson plan made by a teacher who has experience and expertise; if the lesson plan is effective for one teacher, then it’s very likely that it is effective for another teacher.

It benefits you because you not only earn income but recurring income, as you can sell a single lesson plan to multiple teachers over time.

Also, you get to share your knowledge with the new crop of teachers and contribute something meaningful back.

You can sell your lesson plans on Etsy, or your own site if you can manage it, but it’s more advisable to find teacher marketplaces where your audience and potential buyers are all teachers.

Resources:

3. Test Scoring

Test Scoring

Another supposedly tedious task is checking and grading homework and essays, but some teachers genuinely enjoy reading and evaluating their students’ work.

If you’re one of these teachers, you’re in luck! A number of testing services and schools are outsourcing their scoring tasks to third parties, especially to teachers and retired teachers.

To qualify for these jobs, you usually need a bachelor’s degree, and some need a bachelor’s degree in a specific subject.

Online grading is seasonal for most testing companies because standardized testing is typically done in the spring and the fall.

Resources:

4. Academic Consulting

Consultancy, particularly academic consultancy, is another field where contributing your experience is worth at least some money

Here are a few consulting jobs for retired teachers:

Homeschool Consulting

There are many reasons why parents might want their children to be homeschooled: bullying, being an asynchronous learner, or simply because traditional school is not a good fit.

Parents who are only starting to homeschool their children almost always need help starting, especially with matters such as curriculum and daily lesson plans.

Although you’re probably a product of the traditional school system, your insights on drawing up a lesson plan that will benefit the child in terms of getting the education they need while thriving in a home environment.

Also, you can enlighten clients in terms of legal requirements, resources, information, and networking with other homeschooling parents.

The first step is to research all of this information so you’re ready to provide quality service to your clients.

Laws surrounding homeschooling differ between states, so be careful and strictly follow the laws that apply to the state where you intend to do your consultancy.

Resource:
How to Be a Home School Consultant

Educational Consulting

Another consultancy job that you can do is consulting for school districts in various aspects.

You can offer your help in improving the curriculum, incorporating the latest technologies, managing classrooms, fine-tuning teachers’ performance, or increasing students’ test scores.

Resource:
How to Become an Educational Consultant

5. Substitute Teaching

If the lure of the classroom is too strong and you’d like to continue making a difference in students’ lives, becoming a substitute teacher is a good transition job for retired teachers.

It allows you to teach and impart your wisdom on students without the pressure and stress of standardized tests. At the same time, your students can teach you so much about culture and technology so you don’t feel to isolated or disconnected.

However, your schedule would have to be flexible enough to be available to take on a teaching job when the school needs it and to teach any subject they ask you to.

Also, if your teaching career was with the state, and you want to be a substitute teacher for the state as well, you have to take care that you limit your work hours and earnings so you don’t violate your pension agreement.

A workaround is to teach in a private school or work with an organization to not violate your pension agreements.

Jobs For Retired Teachers Who Want A Career Change

The word “retirement” might signify an end of something, but it can also signify the beginning of something new.

It just might be time for a career change.

Here are some second careers for retired teachers.

6. Mentoring

Being a mentor probably comes naturally to teachers because that’s what teachers do every day for their students.

You might have retired from teaching, but you can still be a mentor; not to your students but to other teachers who are currently teaching so they can realize their full potential.

A mentor needs to be able to reassure, inspire, provide feedback, and give advice to new teachers.

If you think you’re up to the challenge, you can look for mentoring programs in your local school district or directly to the schools.

Resource:
Resources for Mentoring Programs

7. Writing

Writing jobs for teachers

As a teacher, you’ve probably done nothing but write: lesson plans, emails, exams, letters, emails, and all the educational materials expected from you as a teacher.

At this point, you’d have gathered much experience writing for different audiences, making you more than qualified for a variety of writing jobs.

You can find freelance jobs as an article writer for various blogs and websites, or you can apply as a regular writer for a single website.

The flexibility you get in terms of hours and topics to write about should be a good incentive to be a freelance writer, but if you want recurring income, maybe writing a book is more your speed.

Writing an eBook allows you flexibility as well in terms of time and subject, but freelance writing gets you paid per article (or per hour) while an eBook gets you paid for every copy you sell.

Self-publishing can be daunting if you don’t have the experience, but there are plenty of resources to help guide you from writing the eBook to become published in Amazon Kindle Store.

Working with a publisher to sell a physical book is another option, and it’s actually a better option if you’re planning to write a textbook specifically.

Reach out to known publishers and present your résumé and your book proposal or pitch.

Resources:

8. Editing

If writing still sounds like more work than you’d like to take on, perhaps editing is a better fit for you.

As a teacher, you likely had an excellent grasp of how to organize and rephrase content such that it’s ready for publication or presentation.

Needless to say, your spelling, grammar, and punctuation need to be superb as well.

The great thing about working as an editor is that you can do it full-time, part-time, or on a freelance basis.

You can work as an editor for a publishing company and edit all kinds of published materials. Your expertise may be in textbooks and other educational materials, but there’s no stopping you from editing young adult, suspense, romance, biographies, and even cookbooks, if those interest you more.

You can also edit blog posts and articles for a blogger or multiple bloggers if you’re comfortable with website publications.

9. Research

There’s no lack of online research jobs for retired teachers; after all, research is another area that you should have plenty of experience in.

You should be all too familiar with research methodology: how to vet your sources, determine which information is relevant, organize the information, and present it in an engaging way.

You’re even free to select what broad area of research you want to go into, depending on your expertise and/or preferences. To name a few, there’s academic, education, medical, legal, technical, social, and marketing research.

Going into research also means you can take either online or in-office jobs, whichever is available and whichever you prefer.

10. Caring For Children

This one is probably not for you if being around children stresses you out.

But if you’re a regular Mary Poppins around children, being a babysitter or a nanny can be a lucrative job for a retired teacher.

Babysitting requires you to supervise and care for children for a few hours at a time while their parents are away on a date or doing other responsibilities out of the house.

Being a nanny is a greater responsibility; nannies are heavily involved in housework and chores aside from taking care of the children. You can expect to be asked to do some grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, helping with homework, doing dishes, feeding pets, and other work around the house.

Regarding the pay, you would expect nannies to be paid more than babysitters as it’s more hands-on and more consistent. Being a nanny is more work, though, so that’s something to consider.

Offering tutorial services to your clients provides the potential to make more money. This is taking on even more work, but if you love teaching children even during your retirement, this is another option you can consider.

The Bottom Line

There are plenty of different jobs for retired teachers; that is if you know where to look.

Here are some pointers when making that transition to a second career:

1. Assess your professional skills and traits.
Start by visualizing your role as a teacher and list down everything that you were responsible for.

Tasks like preparing lesson plans, creating educational materials, and of course, instructing students with varying aptitudes and dispositions.

2. Keep your mind open.
This list has a lot, but it doesn’t cover everything.

Aside from the job possibilities I’ve listed above, consider alternatives as they come.

This applies as well to finding and gaining new experiences that may not necessarily be in your comfort zone.

3. If needed, get additional training and certifications.
When you do decide on your second career, do your due diligence and research everything you need to have so you can be qualified to do your intended second degree.

4. Don’t give up.
If things don’t fall in place immediately, don’t get discouraged.

Keep learning, networking, and applying for jobs. Stay prepared and motivated so you don’t lose sight of your goal.

And be sure to browse our master list of ways to make money after retirement to help you find the right post-retirement job or business.

Are you a retired teacher looking for a fresh start? Did anything on my list inspire you? Share it with us in the comments!

How to Sell VHS Tapes and Actually Make Money

While decluttering your home, have you recently discovered a stash of VHS tapes collecting dust in your attic or in your garage?

Maybe you or your parents saved your favorite childhood movies, figuring they can be watched by the future generation.

Or maybe your family collects classic movies or movies starring your favorite actors.

You probably tried to look for your old VHS player, but chances are you don’t have a working one anymore.

It’s tempting to just throw them away, but wait just a moment! Your VHS tapes may be valuable to others.

Today, I explore which VHS tapes are worth something and where to sell VHS tapes.

Is There a Market for Your VHS Tapes?

Before you sell VHS tapes on your next garage sale, it’s best to take stock of what you have, learn about their potential value, and where you can find buyers interested in them.

1. Rare or Old Movies (aka If You Don’t Know the Movie Title, It’s Probably Worth Something)

Mass-produced VHS movies dating back to the 80s usually don’t cost anything more than a few dollars.

It doesn’t matter how popular the movie is since these titles are often released on a massive scale. And when there are copies everywhere, the demand is very low as well.

So if you have a VHS tape of a movie you don’t know, put it aside and research what you can about it later. If it’s a limited release or a movie that’s older, it might be valuable.

2. Watch out for Documentaries, Live Concerts, and Seasonal Releases

You may find VHS tapes of documentaries (which are kind of rare), live performances of popular musicians, or a TV show’s special Christmas edition.

These types of VHS tapes are exceptions to the first rule.

3. VHS Tapes of Banned Movies

There’s no way to know if a VHS title is banned or not, except to make a Google search or to check this list.

They were banned, which means the demand for these titles will remain high until they become un-banned (if ever that happens in this lifetime).

VHS Value Guide: How to Separate Valuable VHS Tapes from Junk

Disney special edition films are reportedly valuable VHS tapes. Here are just several examples you might see online:

  • 101 Dalmatians Black Diamond Edition VHS 1992 release can go as high as $6,000
  • If you have the Black Diamond Edition original Aladdin and its sequel Aladdin and the King of Thieves, it could fetch $1,500
  • Dumbo VHS tapes are sold for $700 a pop
  • The Fox and the Hound Black Diamond Edition VHS is valued at $600
  • Bambi can go for $550, even if it’s not a special-edition release

However, Dan Kinem, a hardcore VHS collector who also made the documentary Adjust Your Tracking, insists that all these values are false and that the most that special-edition VHS tapes go for would be about $100. It’s still something.

Although if you do have Black Diamond Disney VHS tapes (you would know by the black diamond on the spine of the clamshell case and on the cassette label that says “The Classics”), you can get up to $250 for it, depending on the movie and the condition of the tape and the case.

Like Kinem, many collectors will tell you that the rarest VHS tape in the world is the clamshell release of “Tales from the QuadeaD Zone,” a 1987 direct-to-video American horror cult classic. The movie isn’t particularly good, but there are so few copies made that this remains the holy grail for VHS collectors.

Kinem explains that the dollar amounts reported on sites like this only cites the price a seller listed those VHS tapes and NOT the actual price it was sold for. It’s the same for eBay listings that try to sell VHS tapes for thousands of dollars, only to end the listing without bids or buyers.

So what VHS tapes are actually worth money?

Every time you have something vintage that you want to possibly sell, assess it against five factors: rarity, aesthetics, desirability, authenticity, and condition.

How many copies were actually made of the VHS tape? You can find this out with some Google skills and possibly contacting the film production and manufacturing company.

And of the copies produced, how many are being sold? Some VHS tapes were mass-produced but are now rare finds.

The specific appearance of the clamshell case and the cassette tape itself can also be a factor in its value. A unique movie poster or a differently colored VHS tape can add to its asking price.

How coveted is this VHS tape? Often, it’s a function of how popular the movie itself, but sometimes it’s coveted because it’s rare.

Part of the thrill of hunting down VHS tapes is researching and finding out whether a particular tape is authentic. Was it really produced and released when the seller says it is? Or is it a cleverly done copy?

Lastly, the condition of the VHS tape is yet another factor that can add to how much you can sell a VHS tape for. Tapes that are still shrink-wrapped will certainly be more expensive than those that have seen years of movie nights.

Old Horror Movies

Interestingly, B-movies that were released straight to VHS are now more in-demand than ever.

Collectors of cult-classic films and low-budget releases take pride in collecting copies of such films because in most cases, their copies are just one in a handful available in the entire world.

Examples of titles include the 1978 release of Halloween (about $250), 555 ($275), and California Axe Massacre ($150).

If you see horror VHS movies with labels from Sun, Thriller Video, Wizard Video, or Slaughterhouse Entertainment (among others), there’s a huge chance that there is a demand for these rare horror movies.

Wrestling VHS Tapes

If you’re a wrestling fan, you’re probably aware of the pay-per-view event called Bash at the Beach 2000, produced by the World Championship Wrestling (WCW).

This VHS tape was released, but soon recalled when Hulk Hogan sued WCW for breach of contract. If you own a copy of this tape, you can sell it for $100, or more if you’re transacting with a wrestling fan.

Wrestlemania VHS tapes sell for $50 to $75 a pop.

Live Concerts and other Special Recordings of Musicians, Bands, Singers, and other Artists

In the 80s, many concerts and music TV specials are recorded on VHS tape.

If you have these kinds of VHS tapes, whether they’re from icons like The Beatles and Michael Jackson, or lesser-known artists like Fine Young Cannibals, The Boomtown Rats, or A-ha, you should still try your luck at selling these VHS tapes for cash.

Newer acts like P!nk and Backstreet Boys, who broke into the 90s, can still be valuable, depending on the type of VHS tape you have.

Home-recorded concerts and TV specials may also fetch modest prices as these aren’t mass-produced and readily available.

Rare Children’s Shows and Movies

Disney’s Song of the South was released on VHS but never released on DVD.

Some people believe the film contained racist content, which is why Disney self-banned the film’s release. The last copy of this movie was sold for $50 on eBay.

Tapes from the first release of Alice in Wonderland on VHS have been sold for about $300. Every now and then, a copy of this title gets listed online, but the value rarely goes higher than this amount.

4 Places to Sell VHS Tapes

If there’s a market for VHS tapes, who buys them? And where?

These 4 places aren’t exclusively made for VHS tape collectors, but they’ve been most effective in passing on these collectibles from one owner to the next.

1. eBay – Many collectors prefer this platform because eBay allows sellers to choose from “Buy it Now,” “Auction-style,” or “Send Offer” buttons. When they bid on a listing, they won’t be committed to the sale until they win the auction. Buyers love eBay because it’s connected to PayPal (and this payment gateway usually sides with the buyer when it comes to disputes).

2. Craigslist – Collectors who want to check the condition of the VHS tapes for sale look for items on Craigslist. Since this site is designed to cater to individual towns, major cities, or states, transactions are often local and in-person.

3. Facebook Marketplace and Groups – Facebook groups are awesome resources because these communities already “group” people by interest, so if a buyer is looking for VHS tapes for sale, they can simply join a “VHS Tape Collectors” group and start their search there.

Facebook’s Marketplace is a bit different since the target market isn’t really filtered. However, any post placed into the Facebook Marketplace becomes public and 100 times easier to find thanks to Facebook’s search algorithm. So if you sell VHS tapes on the marketplace, anyone who searches for those particular titles can see your listing.

4. Traditional garage sales – Collectors will always visit yard sales in hopes of finding their “dream hauls.” If you’re preparing for a yard sale anyway, sell VHS tapes with your other stuff too. The difference now is that you’re armed with knowledge about every VHS tape on your collection, so when someone tries to buy a one-of-a-kind VHS tape, you know there’s a potential to negotiate the price.

Start Selling Your VHS Tapes

Know that if you sell VHS tapes with a price tag set in stone, you’d probably be disappointed.

As you’ll quickly discover, the world of collecting is a bit tricky when it comes to placing value or price on things.

The demand for a particular title is usually the most important factor when determining if VHS tapes are valuable or not. A horror movie fan would definitely price a B-movie thriller film higher than someone who collects music VHS tapes.

Hopefully, with this guide above, you’ll decide whether it’s best to junk, sell or collect the VHS tapes you have in hand.

And if you’re looking to sell other things to make money, such as your old phone, your wedding dress, or your collection of Pokémon cards, there’s always a market for absolutely anything you want to sell.

Have you got VHS tapes you’re planning to sell? Someone reading might just be interested. Share it with us in the comments!

How To Start A Catering Business From Home

If your home-cooked meals are a hit with your family and friends, you may have wondered if you can start a home-based catering business.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you can turn your love for good food and cooking into a nice little income or even into a catering business?

Today’s article is a guide on how to start a catering business from home: how to decide if it’s right for you, everything you need to start, and how to establish your business.

Should You Start A Catering Business?

A catering business involves preparing and providing food at events, parties, and other large gatherings.

It’s very different from preparing food for your family for the holidays and simple get-togethers with friends.

Here are some of the most important factors to consider before you start your catering business.

Laws

First, find out if your state allows a home-based cooking business. Aside from state laws, individual cities and counties may have stipulations on such businesses, and zoning laws may not allow you to operate from home.

Thus, before you even decide to do it, be sure to check all of the food regulations applicable in your area.

Facilities

Kitchen Catering

If your state is able to give an in-home catering business license, it comes with very strict requirements, as everything food-related should be.

In general, the kitchen where the food for catering is prepared should be separate from all living areas by a door.

Plus, all storage areas (i.e., freezer and refrigerator), utilities, and ingredients used to prepare food for catering must be completely separate from those used to prepare food for those who are living in the home.

Investment

In terms of food businesses, a catering business costs less than a restaurant in terms of initial investment, but you’ll still need at least some initial equipment to get started.

Take inventory of the equipment and cookware you may already have and canvass the best deals for the equipment you’ll need to get started.

If you don’t have enough cash, maybe it’s not yet the right time to start your catering business. If you want, you might like to try online jobs that don’t require an investment first so you can save up for capital.

Keep in mind, though, that a catering business can net you between $30,000 and $80,000 a year, depending on costs and how large the catering jobs are.

Business goals

The good thing about a catering business from home is that you can choose to grow your business to cater to bigger events or you can keep your business small and manageable and earn a constant income.

Figure out what opening this business will help you achieve so you can keep your eyes on the goal.

Ideal customer

You’ll want to have an idea of the type of customer that you want to serve food to.

When you have a profile of your ideal customer, you can then weigh your culinary skills to meet your target customers’ needs.

It is particularly important in the food business to please your customers because a single meal can make or break your reputation as a caterer.

Steps to Take to Start A Home Catering Business

Are you now absolutely, 100% sure that you want to do this?

If yes, then here’s what you need to put together before you start your catering business from home.

A Niche

All businesses have to have their own niches to capture.

But finding your niche is especially important in a home-based catering business because keeping your marketing focused and costs low is a priority for start-ups.

Narrow your focus on a particular cuisine and/or certain kinds of events.

For example, if you’re an expert in grilling, you can specialize in barbecue catering. That way, you have a clear marketing focus on a target market, plus you can focus on buying equipment centered around grilling and not much else.

Grilling food

Other niche ideas are cocktail party catering, kosher catering, and brunch catering.

You can also specialize in special diets: vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free cuisines are increasingly in demand.

Market Research

A catering business can certainly be profitable, and you’ll want to find out everything you can about the niche that you want to target to make sure you’re competitive and meet their needs.

Market research is the process of gathering data about a target market’s needs, triggers, and preferences, and analyzing this data so you can figure out who to offer your catering services to, what you can offer them, and how to offer your services to them.

We’ve covered the details of doing market research in a previous article.

A Business Plan

A clear plan is critical to the success of your catering business.

The basic points to consider are your target market, your financials, and your overall goals.

We go into the details of creating a business plan in another article on our site (plus, you get to learn about another business idea from home).

The Right Equipment

The niche you select will have plenty to do with the equipment you’re going to purchase for your catering business.

First, you’d need kitchen equipment, which includes cookware, chef knives, and food preparation equipment such as a peeler, a blender, and a food processor.

You’d also have to get food storage equipment, like a large refrigerator and upright freezer.

Next, you’d want to have your stoves, grill, oven, sandwich maker, microwave, and any other implements to cook your food.

Also, you’d want to have disposable materials that are crucial for food safety, such as food-safety gloves, mouth shields, aprons, and hairnets.

You’d also need dedicated cleaning supplies for your work area and surfaces where you prepare food: cleaning and disinfecting solution, mops, cleaning cloths, scrub brushes, and sponges.

Servingware, where you plate and present the food you prepared, is another important equipment to get; presentation is a big part of the appeal of food.

Catering equipment

Serving supplies such as china, glassware, utensils, linens, tables, and chairs can be rented if you want to keep costs down to a minimum, but you can certainly purchase these later.

Food containers are necessary as well for transport to and from your kitchen to the venue.

Lastly, you’d need food transportation equipment, such as a van or a small truck and food cabinets for hot food and coolers for cold food so you can keep the food temperature constant before serving.

State-Mandated Training

To be clear, you can be a caterer whether or not you have a diploma or even have gone to culinary school.

But you do have to take up mandatory food-handling courses provided by your state.

These are series of courses of four to eight mini-courses that instruct about how to store food properly, heating and cooling requirements, correct sanitation methods, and other specific requirements of the state.

Other Training

Just because you’re running a catering business doesn’t mean you’ll be dealing with food all of the time.

You’ll also be dealing with customers, suppliers, and employees, if you decide to hire people down the line.

Learning administrative, managerial, and customer service skills before you officially start your catering business would be a great help to your success.

Experience

It’s going to be more advantageous for you to work in a restaurant or any other food-business for a few weeks or months before you start your catering business.

But if your schedule or anything else doesn’t permit you to, at least cook some sample dishes for your friends and family and ask them for their honest feedback.

Network

Attend trade fairs to meet caterers and restaurant owners as well as suppliers of equipment and ingredients.

Also, you can join local or state associations of caterers and restaurant owners so you can get updated about your competitors and the latest trends in the industry.

Workspace

At this point, you should be sure you know what the state and city requirements are for your kitchen space, so before you even apply for your first license, you need to configure your workspace so that you meet all the requirements for a license.

How To Start A Catering Business From Home

So you’ve decided that you want to open this business, and you’ve prepared all you need to prepare.

Here’s how to start a catering business from home.

1. Obtain all the necessary licenses and permits.

Your catering business must be licensed as a Food Service Establishment, which your local health department provides.

Before you can acquire your license, a compliance officer needs to inspect your workspace and kitchen to determine if it meets all the necessary requirements.

Also, if you intend to serve alcohol, either with your meals or by offering bar service, you’ll need a liquor license as well, so keep that in mind when you’re preparing requirements for your license.

If you plan to hire employees in the future, you also need to make sure that you meet Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements.

2. Register your catering business.

It is recommended that you register your company as a limited liability company (LLC) to separate your business finances from your personal finances.

Tax Forms

You’ll want to protect your personal assets from liability in case your catering business gets involved in debt or litigation, so it’s also advisable to open separate bank accounts and credit cards for your business
.

3. Organize your business financials.

Once you’re registered as an LLC, you can open a separate business bank account and credit card, which not only asserts the separation of your business and personal finances but also establishes a credit line for your business that you can utilize when you’re in a tight spot or when you decide you want to expand the business.

Aside from separate bank accounts, you want your business books and personal books to be separate as well. Set up an accounting record of your business as soon as you get your LLC status.

You’ll also need to register to the IRS to be able to pay state and federal taxes, as well as to be eligible for tax breaks.

Another thing you’ll have to register for is insurance: general liability to be covered against bodily injury, property damage, and personal injury, commercial auto insurance, and workers comp if you decide to hire employees at some point.

4. Create your catering menu.

You can offer buffet-style dining or a sit-down plate service, depending on your niche as well as your clients’ preferences.

The best way to offer dishes is to create catering menus that clients can easily choose from as well as customize.

When building a catering menu, you need to take into account the cost per plate (i.e., total food cost divided by total number of guests), labor hours, materials cost, and how much profit you can reasonably tack on (around 10% to 12% of total costs, not just food costs).

Pricing can be a delicate art, and you might not get it right the first few times, and that’s why you need to compare your prices with local competitors to make sure you’re not being overly aggressive or you’re not undercutting yourself.

5. Set up your calendar.

A perk of running a catering business from home is that you get the flexibility to decide what days of the week you want to cater, as well as which hours of the day.

You can target the busiest period for your niche and work as frequently as you can and then take a rest during nonpeak, or you can continue catering for another niche.

For instance, if you’re targeting weddings or wedding-related gatherings (e.g., engagement parties, rehearsal dinners, stag or hen parties, etc.), the wedding season is considered to be May to October in a year.

6. Establish your online presence.

Yes, catering is more of personal business, but before anyone books your service, they’ll research about you, and one of the first places they’ll go to is on the internet.

Start by getting on social media. Facebook is good for targeted advertising, while Instagram is good for showing off high-quality photos of your food.

Social media marketing is important, but aim to launch your own website at the same time as your social media or at least soon.

Aim to create a website where customers can reserve a date and even pay a reservation fee through various channels.

But even if you don’t end up having this feature, merely having a website is a big marketing and promotional opportunity for your catering business.

7. Organize your contact information.

Just like you want your business finances separate from your personal finances, you’ll want your business contact information separate from that of your personal contact information as much as you can.

It’s a little bit tricky because you’re working from home, and technically you can have your home address listed as your business address if you’re registered as an LLC.

The problem with this is that business addresses, called Registered Agent addresses for LLCs, are public record, and if your home address is made public, you’ll tend to receive plenty of junk mail or maybe even have unwanted visitors.

To keep your home address private, you can either get a mailbox through UPS or look for a co-working space that offers the use of a street address as a mailing address.

Another contact information you have to take care of is a dedicated business phone line. This is easier to take care of than getting a street address.

You’d want a business phone that you can turn off during your non-work hours as well as a smartphone by which you can post and update your social media.

A separate business email is also advisable, although that should be taken care of if you set up your own website.

Starting A Catering Business From Home: Additional Tips

To be a go-to caterer, you’ll need to be reliable, punctual, trustworthiness, value for money, variety of food, professionalism, and proper decorum, especially for formal events.

Of course, there is no guarantee that any home-based catering business will be successful, but culinary skills, passion, and determination will go a long way.

Maybe all this post achieved was to convince you that starting a business isn’t for you, but that you’d like to work from home. Here is a list of jobs that you can work from home.

Are you thinking of starting your own catering business from home? Did my article inspire you to give it a go? Tell us your stories in the comments below!

How To Start An Embroidery Business: The Basics And More

Embroidered garments and accessories have been in style and in demand since the dawn of history, and they remain popular even now.

Whether you have a passing interest in embroidery, or it’s already a hobby for you, you probably want a piece of the potential profit from getting into the embroidery industry.

Here’s a guide on how to start an embroidery business: what you need to consider beforehand, what you need to prepare, and how you can establish your business.

Should You Start An Embroidery Business?

An embroidery business can definitely be profitable, but it may not be for everyone.

Here are some factors to consider before you start.

Space

Basic embroidery machines take up very little space; some are as small as an end table.

However, you have to have space for the other materials you need as well as your finished products for selling or for delivery.

Think about whether you have enough space in your home or in your garage for all these, or if you’ll eventually need to rent a space.

Costs

Will you be able to spring for the initial cost of the machinery and raw materials?

These do not cost much: a basic embroidery machine costs as low as $500 and a bobbin wound with 145 yards of white polyester thread costs as low as 18 cents.

But if you don’t have extra income to cover even that, then starting an embroidery business may not be for you.

Business objectives

Despite the many apparel decoration methods available (e.g., silkscreen printing, heat press, and direct-to-garment printing), and advances in the technology involved, embroidery will always stay in demand.

Embroidered Shirt

However, if you’re more knowledgeable or comfortable with other technologies apart from embroidery, then embroidery may not be a great place to start your apparel business.

Nevertheless, nothing can stop you from expanding your offerings to include other apparel printing types so you can target a more diverse target audience.

Ideal customer

Speaking of your target customer, it’s good to have an idea of who your ideal buyer is.

When you have a profile of your ideal buyer, you can assess yourself and decide if you have the skills and vision to meet your target customers’ needs.

What You Need Before You Start Your Embroidery Business

Once you’ve decided to go ahead with it, you’ll need to do some things first to prepare.

Here are the steps you need to take to ensure you’re prepared to open your embroidery business.

Self-Learning and Networking

You don’t have to have a college degree to start an embroidery business, but you do need to know plenty and you need to be updated.

Learn as much as you can about the apparel industry and especially the custom embroidery segment of that industry.

There are embroidery and custom apparel associations you can join to get the latest industry news and trends.

Look for trade shows to attend so you can network with suppliers and other business owners for advice on where to get the best supplies and how to run an embroidery business.

Read up on custom embroidery through online articles, journals, and books to learn the right techniques and the most current designs.

Most importantly, practice the skills necessary for this business: embroidery and design, as well as business management and marketing skills.

Market Research

Market research

“Market research” sounds intimidating, but it doesn’t need to be.

Market research is the process of gathering and analyzing data about a target market’s needs, triggers, and preferences.

The aim is for you to know who to offer your embroidery services to, what you can offer them, and how to offer your services to them.

The first thing you need to do is to draw up your buyer persona, which is a general, hypothetical representation of your ideal customer.

The point of this exercise is to be able to visualize who your target customer is so you can understand how they make their purchasing decisions and form your business and marketing strategy accordingly.

Discussing how to make a buyer persona will take up much space in this post, so here’s a guide on how to create a buyer persona.

An example of a niche you can go into is the commercial market, where you create embroidery for uniforms, corporate giveaways, or marketing materials.

Another example of a niche is the private market, where you make custom embroidery for personalized clothing, gift items, events, or parties for individuals.

There may be other niches that you can tease out during your market research that you might want to target.

Business Plan

A business plan is one of the most important documents that you’ll ever create and possess related to your embroidery business.

A written, well-organized business plan helps give your business a clear direction and how you’re going to achieve your goals.

That said, it doesn’t have to be formal unless you’re going to submit it as a requirement to get a small business loan.

It doesn’t even have to be 100 pages; who would read such a long document?

As long as it is easily understandable and all of the essential information is included, that’s an acceptable business plan.

Remember that you’re going to refer back to your business plan from time to time, and you should also be able to edit and refine this document as your business changes and grows.

Keep this document where you can easily access it anywhere, anytime, preferably in a cloud drive.

Here, in a nutshell, are the essential elements that you need to include in your business plan:

  • Executive summary
  • Company profile
  • Organization (when you do expand your business and hire employees)
  • Market research
  • Product/Services offered
  • Marketing plan
  • Financial plan

The executive summary is your business in a nutshell: who you are, what you offer, and your target market. If you can, limit this to one or two sentences.

While this is the first thing that readers will read on your business plan, it’s advisable to create this last. After all, this is a summary of everything else on your business plan.

Embroidery Business Plan

On the other hand, the company profile is a bit more detailed description of your business, the specific products and services you offer, details of your target market, and your advantage over your competitors.

Running an embroidery business can be daunting, especially if you handle all the steps from sales and marketing to design, creation, shipping, and aftersales.

You’ll probably hire some people to work with you at some point, and when you do, include an organizational chart to your business plan.

Details of your market research would certainly be needed in your business plan to establish who your target audience is, what their needs are, and how their problems are being solved by your competitors.

Your business plan should also include a complete, detailed list of the products and services you’re offering.

As your target market’s needs evolve and your business evolves, you should be able to add and remove items on this list.

Your marketing and sales plan should include how you plan on reaching your target market and selling to them, your promotion strategy, your pricing plan, as well as partnerships you plan to make, if any, to help further your business interests.

A typical financial plan should have a sales forecast with your gross projected income and your direct costs that eat into the income.

Also include your indirect costs, which are expenses that are associated with running the business, such as rent and utilities. Marketing and promotional costs are also normally included here.

Aside from these sections describing your business, bear in mind that you need to express your passion and dedication.

Don’t hesitate to state your values, challenges, strengths, and what makes you stand out from your competitors.

Even if you’re the only one who ends up reading your business plan, rereading it and reconnecting with the passion that you have for your business allows you to get your bearings back when you’re feeling lost.

Embroidery Machine

Here are some factors to consider when shopping for the best embroidery machine for your business.

  • Brand
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Automated processes
  • Embroidery area
  • Connectivity
  • Compatibility with digitizing software
  • Warranty
  • Support and training

Name brands of embroidery machines tend to have the best features and aftersales support, but just because a machine is expensive doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best.

Consider what you’re getting for the price you’re paying. You may be paying too much for too few features or features that are of no use to you.

Also consider how easy the machine is to use, and which processes are automated, such as automatic thread tension and cutting, needle threading, bobbin winding, and other minor processes.

These may seem frivolous, but the time you take to do all this manually is time that you could have put into actual embroidery.

Another largely overlooked feature is the embroidery area. A bigger area allows you to create larger designs and gives you the space to create more complicated designs.

You’ll also want an embroidery machine that has plenty of connectivity options to a computer for uploading designs.

At the very least, it should have a USB connection so you can use a thumb drive or connect it directly to a computer.

Wireless connectivity is an obvious plus, but if you’re going to be working in close quarters with a single machine, then a USB connection should be enough.

Because everything is digital now, another feature you should be looking for is how compatible your machine is with digitizing software so you can work with digital designs.

Don’t forget to check out the warranty that’s included in your purchase and what’s covered. Also, consider whether they cover shipping costs for replacements and for repair jobs that have to be done in their facilities.

Customer service is another aspect to consider; what channels are available during what hours, and whether they’re genuinely helpful and reliable.

Of course, even the best embroidery machine would be useless in the hands of an unskilled operator.

Make sure you train yourself in the use of the machine that you end up buying. Take advantage of available training, whether free or paid, online or offline.

Raw Materials

Your raw materials will largely depend on your customers’ needs, so you don’t want to stock up on too many spools and bobbins of embroidery threads and too many needles.

However, you’ll want to research all the best places to source your raw materials from.

Amazon carries pretty much everything you need to start, as well as on an as-needed basis.

Gunold is another online store, but this one specializes in discount embroidery supplies. They also offer a wealth of resources and workshops to help you hone your embroidery skills.

How To Start Your Embroidery Business

At this point, you’re probably feeling like you’ve run a couple of marathons.

But it’s worth putting everything in place so you can get off to a great start.

Here’s how to (finally) get started with your embroidery business.

1. Register your business.

You can hold off on this for later, but it’s advisable to get the proper licenses and registration as early as you can.

Registering as an LLC is recommended because then, your liability is limited to the amount of your investment in the business, and you needn’t dip into your personal savings fund if you ever get into debt or litigation as long as you’re careful to keep separate records.

Remember that embroidery is a creative job as much as it is a labor-intensive one.
Being registered as a business also gives you the advantage of being able to apply for copyrights and other intellectual property claims for your designs.

Register with the IRS as well so you can take advantage of the tax benefits as well as wholesale prices from suppliers.

The requirements for getting licenses differ for each state, so call your local government offices to know exactly what you need to file and submit.

2. Determine your pricing strategy.

Creating a pricing strategy can be a bit sticky, especially for an embroidery business, which deals in custom, personalized outputs.

Price tags

When drawing up a pricing strategy, remember these factors that you should consider: the price of the raw materials, the complexity or intricacy of the design, the actual size of the design, and how much time it will take to finish.

Of all these, it’s the time to do the job seems to be the most overlooked, so what you can do is to have a target profit per hour in mind, then factor in all the other costs to come up with a fair price.

3. Decide what to sell.

When you’re starting from scratch, you’ll want to probably start with a few small projects first to build your confidence and show off your skills.

Small projects include patches to attach to clothes, or small garments and items, such as onesies, handkerchiefs, face towels, coasters, holiday stockings, and other such items.

And then you can move on to larger projects like embroidered shirts, jeans, and dresses.

However, there are plenty of embroidered items for sale on other stores, so the ultimate goal really is to get orders of personalized items with custom designs, either for corporate clients or individuals for holiday gifts and events.

4. Choose where to sell.

First, decide if you’re going to offer your products/services online, locally, or both.

You can sell your projects on a number of online platforms, such as Etsy, eBay, and Amazon Handmade.

Here’s an interesting read if you’re debating whether to go with Etsy or eBay.

If you want to set up a physical storefront instead of or in addition to your online shop, set up your space accordingly.

Make sure that aside from your embroidery machine, your materials, and your basic office (laptop plus files), you have a suitable place to display finished work and to entertain customers who want to commission embroidery.

Also, if you’re going to have a physical location, it’s advisable to register your embroidery business on Google My Business so that potential customers in your area can easily find your business.

5. Set up your online presence.

Given the world we live in now, an online presence is an absolute necessity for any business that wants to be successful.

Whether or not you decide to conduct business online, your possible customers are expecting to be able to research you and connect with you online.

However, don’t feel you need to sign up for all conceivable social media sites. Embroidery is very visual, so show off your work on visual platforms like Instagram and Facebook.

Social media marketing is very important, but having your own website, whether or not you turn it into an e-commerce site, is going to open plenty of marketing and promotional opportunities for your embroidery business.

6. Organize your contact information.

The basic principle is to keep your personal contact information separate from that of your business as much as you can.

Technically, you can have your home address as your business address, or your so-called Registered Agent address.

The only problem with this is that Registered Agent databases are public record, and I imagine you wouldn’t want to have your home address made public.

To keep your home address private, you can either get a mailbox through UPS or use the address of a co-working space.

You can also hire a virtual business address service that provides a physical address as well as a mail scanning service that weeds out junk mail and sends you digital copies of the important ones.

An easier hurdle is getting a dedicated phone line for your business.

You’d want a business phone that you can turn off when you’re not working as well as a smartphone by which you can do social media updates.

A separate business email is also advisable, though that should be taken care of if you set up your own website.

Starting An Embroidery Business: The Bottom Line

An embroidery business is one that does not require any bachelor’s degrees or formal training; the quality of your work speaks for itself.

Hopefully, today’s article has inspired you to start your own embroidery business today.

Embroidery isn’t the only business you can run online. Here are more online businesses to consider starting.

If you’ve changed your mind about starting a business and are only looking to work from home, here are 90 work from home jobs you can try your hand at.

Did this article make you want to start your own embroidery business, or did it make you realize you want something else?

Tell us your stories below!

Here’s How to Start a Home Based Floral Business

If you’ve always had a green thumb and is thinking of branching out as a business owner, a home based floral business may just be the ticket to get to your goals.

The cool thing about starting businesses from your home is that you can start slow, gradually expand your business, which means you can begin without investing a ton of cash head on.

Pros and Cons of a Home Based Floral Business

Before you learn the step-by-step of building your flower shop, you should first be aware of the pros and cons of this line of business.

PROS:

  • Be your own boss
  • A timeless industry – Not a fad, not season-based, flowers are used as gifts all year-round
  • Expand on your own pace – You can start small, or start big. It depends on your commitment, resources, time, and other factors, but it’s always good to know you have options.
  • Opportunity to break into other industries – Aside from selling flowers, you can also branch out into wedding flower arrangement business or offer educational classes about horticulture (or in this case, floriculture).

CONS:

  • Work long hours – Being a floral business owner means you begin super-early (3-4am) and end the day late to close shop.
  • Labor intensive – Having a flower shop is physically demanding.
  • Competitive – Some big flower shops, such as those you find in the supermarket, can be hard to compete with. You need to bring a new twist or offer to the table to attract customers.
  • Short life of flowers – Like the food industry, dealing with flowers means there’s always a chance of waste if the products aren’t bought within a particular time.

Now that you have a more realistic expectation of running a home based floral business, here’s everything you need to learn, from the skills you should have, to day-to-day operations.

10 Things You Need to Start a Home Based Floral Business

You might be planning to run the business from home (and feel comfy enough), but it has to be a legitimate business, which includes most of these things:

1. Market Research

Conduct proper market research before starting your business.

You need to make a list of your competition within the city you’re planning to provide services for. Learn about their history (how long they’ve been in business, who are their target market, and so on).

Ask around for people’s ideas. Look for a niche or vacuum that hasn’t been done. Is your area full of flower shop storefronts, but no one offering floral arrangement for non-funeral events?

Gather as much information you can before diving into the floral business head on.

It would save you a ton of trouble.

2. Business Plan

A business plan gives you a to-do list, an objective, a future plan about the financing or expansion of your business.

Even if you’re just starting out, a business plan allows you to prove the feasibility of your business idea (and even get funding from the bank or a partner).

3. Legal Filing

Like any kind of business, whether you have a storefront or not, you need to fulfill certain paperwork to make your shop legit. These include:

  • Business permit from your county and city
  • License to operate (if needed)
  • Business bank account
  • Accounting software to help make bookkeeping easy
  • Official contact numbers (landline and mobile)
  • Official website

The last step of becoming legit is deciding on a name. Your flower shop’s name will represent your brand and your company. Pick one that people can relate to and easily associate your products.

Choosing a name like “Purple Power” will confuse people on what you’re offering, so stick to something simpler like “Jane’s Flower Power House” or “Jane’s Floral Shop.” You can even use a keyword with location, such as “New Jersey’s Favorite Flower Shop.”

4. Money

If you wish to be 100% in control of your business, then you have to be the only one putting money into it.

You can do this by using your savings, or seeking a bank loan.

The amount of money you need will vary significantly, but the biggest chunk would have to be for renting or renovating the store location. And since we’re talking about building this start-up from your home, you’ll can skip this amount entirely (unless you rent the place you’re residing).

If funding the business on your own is not possible, you can also consider finding a partner who would invest half or a third of the initial fund needed to launch the business.

5. Training & Knowledge

There is no formal education or training required to run a floral shop, but it would benefit you completely if you take up courses in a “flower school” and a crash course in business.

If possible, become an apprentice at one of the local flower shops in your community. Having first-hand experience gives you the tools to face issues like flowers dying early, pests, and so on.

6. Location

If you’re planning to set-up a brick-and-mortar floral store, location is pretty important. Your house should be in a busy area or near a hospital, mall, event venue, graveyard, funeral home, and other similar establishments.

However, if you’re not planning on setting up an actual “storefront,” then location shouldn’t be an issue. You can use any vacant space in your home, connect a computer and landline for orders, tend to the flowers, and run the business totally from inside your house.

Some people even start their home based floral business from within a moving vehicle, such as a van.

If this seems like something you’d be interested in, look for possible vehicles you can use.

7. Equipment

Storefronts would require display racks, tons of flower buckets, water hose, and refrigerated cases to extend the shelf life of your flowers.

If you’re not going the storefront route, you’d still need equipment to keep your flowers fresh.

You also need a way to transport your products. Many flower shops invest in either a motorcycle, car or van because relying on third-party delivery can be costly.

8. Initial Stock

The amount of initial products you stock your home-based business depends on how big you’re planning to launch, or the business model you plan to follow (made-to-order vs. storefront).

Do you want to accept flower arrangement during weekends and slowly expand your business from there?

Do you want to open up a flower shop complete with all kinds of flowers?

9. Extra Funding

If, for some reason, you need extra funding to start your business, you can explore government-backed loans, crowd-funding (such as Funded.com, Kickstarter, GoFundMe and other similar sites) or peer-to-peer lending (like Funding Circle, or Peerform)

10. Marketing

Every business has to let the world know it exists.

Because you’re just starting out, you can start with simple marketing such as building your online presence through social media.

If you have a storefront, you should also work simultaneously to win over customers with your pleasing personality and customer service skills. You’d be surprised by the power of the traditional “word of mouth. ”

This is the part where you get creative for your business to stand out.

If you’re planning to run the entire thing in the shadows, how about creating a website and promoting a flower subscription box for your city?

Going Slow vs. Launching Big

If you’re looking for other businesses you can start from home, such as a clothing line or art shop, feel free to explore other guides on the blog. Those who feel they’re not ready for a home based business, but would love to earn extra cash from the comforts of their homes, this list of work-from-home jobs would be super-useful to you.

However, if you’ve already decided that a home based flower business is a perfect match for you, your next considerations are these:

  • Are you going to begin as a side gig or as a full time business? –
  • Are you opening a brick-and-mortar store, or only an online business?
  • What specializations do you plan to offer? (Floral arrangements, bouquet, red carpet events, funeral, weddings, subscription boxes, and so on)
  • How much will you price your products or services?

These questions would help you determine the initial startup cost and overall business plan, such as the need to rent a place, hire people, buy delivery van, and so on.

Know that setting up a home based flower business follows the same principles of starting a  traditional company from scratch. It would involve a lot of work, from beginning to end, so prepare for your body and mind for this one-of-a-kind experience, and good luck to your startup!

How to Sell Baseball Cards for Top Dollar

Baseball card collectors know this too well: if you came into this hobby years ago to sell baseball cards in the future to make a profit, there’s a good chance your cards can get top dollar.

If you’re a long-time baseball card collector, you’ve likely spent a lot of time and money finding and collecting these baseball cards over the years.

Or, as luck would have it, you may have gotten a few baseball cards by chance; as a gift, an heirloom, or a garage sale find.

Either way, you’ve probably thought about how to sell these baseball cards so you can get some side cash from them.

Today, let’s look at how to sell baseball cards: what to consider, where to sell them, and how to maximize your profits.

Important Things to do Before You Sell Baseball Cards

Dealing in sports cards is exciting, but it’s no cakewalk.

Learning the ins and outs of the buy-and-sell world is important, especially if you have a lot of baseball cards or even collections lined up for sale.

Here are the top things you need to do before introducing your baseball cards into the market.

1. Identify and make a record of what baseball cards you have.

Selling baseball cards (or anything, really) is so much easier if you know exactly what you’re selling.

Having a catalog of what you have makes it easier for you to see the details of a particular card at a glance.

Here are the important details that you need to know for the baseball cards you have.

Print Year

Baseball cards are generally classified into four eras. Since the year a card was printed heavily influences its selling price, cards from certain eras are valued differently.

  • “Pre-War” baseball cards were printed before World War II. Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner or Christy Mathewson are just some of the names dominating this category.
  • “Vintage” baseball cards were printed between 1948 and 1969. Topps released many of the highest-valued cards of this era, but those printed by Bowman, Fleer and Leaf could still fetch some cash. You’d find names of Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays in-demand in this category.
  • “Semi-vintage” baseball cards were printed in the 1970s. Many dealers don’t distinguish these from “vintage” cards, but baseball cards printed in this decade tend to be common and lower priced, unless one sells an entire collection or if they’re in mint condition.
  • “Modern” baseball cards were printed from 1980 to present. Unlike the older baseball cards, modern ones are printed on a massive scale, so your chance of getting a lot of money from them is pretty slim. Your card does have to be extra-special to be sold for a high price. For instance, if it’s a certified autographed card, has a rare feature like a refractor or a colored border, or is a rookie card that’s autographed.

If you’re not sure how to tell what year a card was printed, look on the back at the statistics listed and look for the last year mentioned on a player’s stats. For example, if the last year on the back is 1955, then the card is from 1956.

Manufacturer

The current baseball card market is dominated by Topps, but various companies released sets of baseball cards over the years. Goudey, Bowman, and a few other smaller manufacturers have put them out.

Many baseball cards will have the copyright date and manufacturer printed on the back as well. If not, try a Google search for the player’s name and any other information printed on the card to find the manufacturer.

Player

Find out if you have any star cards; that is, if you have a baseball card of one of the greatest baseball athletes.

If you’re unsure, you can look up ESPN’s Hall of 100 or Clutchpoints’ top 50 MLB players and see if you have cards with those players.

2. Know the condition of your baseball cards.

Do your best to examine your baseball cards closely using a magnifying lens if you have to; any flaws, such as corner wear, creases, scuffs, paper and color loss, writing on the card (that’s not an autograph) and other visible marks will affect its price.

It makes sense to do this even if you’re opening a set of cards fresh out of the pack. Just because they’ve stayed in their packaging doesn’t mean they’re automatically in mint condition. Older cards were manufactured with imperfect printing processes and equipment, and they’re likely to have print defects or centering issues.

Assume that if you find even the smallest imperfections, others will, too.

3. Familiarize yourself with the grading system.

One of the most important things to know when selling baseball cards is the grading system.

Baseball card collectors often turn to third-party graders, such as
Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA), Sports Card Guarantee (SCG) and Beckett Grading Services all help collectors and dealers put a value on vintage cards and memorabilia.

Knowing how to judge your baseball cards’ condition by yourself is a great skill to have, and will save you a lot in fees for professionally inspecting and grading your cards. You can then focus on the ones that can potentially earn you more profit.

Read up on PSA Grading Standards and learn the basics.

4. Send out those baseball cards that have the most potential profit.

After you’ve gone over your collection and judged which ones you can sell at a relatively high price, weigh the costs of grading (around $15 to $20 per card for basic services) against the potential profit.

Send the ones that are potentially valuable off to professionals to have them officially graded. These tend to be worth more than ungraded or “raw” cards. Read this article on whether or not to get your cards graded to help you decide.

5. Organize and store your baseball cards.

As I’ve mentioned, the condition of your baseball cards is a huge factor in determining their price.

Invest in proper trading card sleeves for your baseball cards. Toploaders made of hard plastic are most commonly used for baseball cards, and some collectors even use a soft sleeve aside from the toploader itself.

If your baseball cards aren’t too expensive and you’d like to protect them but not spend too much, soft sleeves and pocket page protectors (the ones that can store 9 cards on a plastic binder page and has holes so you can fit them into a binder) are also good investments.

Find a secure, dark, dry, cool, and dust-free place to store your baseball cards to greatly slow down their deterioration.

6. Decide which baseball cards to sell and where to sell them.

While your cards are safely tucked away, go over your catalog and decide which cards have the most value. Choose which ones you’re willing to let go and decide where you’d like to sell these baseball cards.

Where to sell baseball cards

6 Places to Sell Baseball Cards

Another important aspect of selling baseball cards is knowing where to sell them.

Note that all of the options below each has its own benefits and disadvantages, so choose wisely to prevent being lowballed, getting scammed, or costing you a lot in fees.

1. Card dealers and shops (in-person)

If there’s a card dealer in your local area, and you have older baseball cards to sell, selling to them is a good option.

They may have connections to more buyers, plus they may participate in events and conventions that you may not have access to, so they’re likely to be able to sell baseball cards you may not be able to sell yourself.

This is a convenient, easy way to offload baseball cards and get quick cash. However, since they are in the buy and sell business and will aim to sell your cards at a profit, you may not get the best price for your cards.

2. Online through eBay

This online marketplace is perfect for selling sports cards because you have an option of putting up a baseball card for sale with three kinds of formats:

  • Fixed price via “Buy It Now” – You decide the amount you wish to sell your card and wait for someone to buy it full price.
  • Auction-style – You set a minimum amount, wait for buyers to put in their “bids” and let the listing go its course. The highest bidder wins the baseball card (if the amount reaches the price you set at the beginning of the auction)
  • Fixed price with “Best Offer” option – You set a fixed price when listing the baseball card for sale, but add a button that tells would-be buyers that you’re willing to consider their best offers.

3. Online through COMC.com and other similar sites

Sports card dealers nowadays can now be found online, which makes it even more convenient for you, as you can sign up to sell your baseball cards without having to leave the house.

The specific process may vary, but generally, you send your baseball cards for sale to them, the online stores list them on their sites, and when someone buys your cards, you get paid.

Fees and commissions may also vary among the online stores, as well as their promotions and return policies, so it’s good practice to read up on these terms and conditions before you agree to them.

Here are some online stores where you can sell your baseball cards.

4. Sell through an auction house

Auction houses are geared toward expensive baseball collections, one-of-a-kind cards, and other valuable pieces from your collection. A good auction site values your cards as their own, which is why they’re setting up auctions for big-pocketed buyers.

The biggest benefit of going this route is the amount of marketing auctions provide.

Auction houses take care of everything from promoting to paying for a public event, shipping and handling of the cards, insurance, and so on. It does take longer to sell cards here, so you have to be a little patient.

The largest and probably the most well-known of these auction houses is PWCC Marketplace.

5. Online through Craigslist and other selling apps

You can use Craigslist to sell your baseball cards to individual buyers. They’re convenient and good if you want quick transactions. However, do prepare to haggle and research your buyers’ past purchases if you can to avoid getting scammed.

6. Online through communities of baseball card collectors

If fetching a better than usual price for your baseball cards is not a priority, join online communities of baseball card collectors and offer up your cards.

These communities already have plenty of enthusiastic buyers looking for cards to add to their collections, plus you get to compare notes about dealers and buyers and find out who is legit and who’s not.

You can find plenty of these communities on Facebook Groups, and here are some of the popular ones:

How much can I earn by selling baseball cards?

Selling your baseball cards can be a quick way to make money in a day.

Unless you have a 1909-11 T206 White Border Honus Wagner baseball card lying around (this is the highest-sold card of all time at $2.8 Million and only 57 of them are known to exist), you really can’t go rich overnight selling baseball cards.

However, like other things you can sell to make money, your collection of baseball cards could get you through a rough patch, to earn extra cash for your Christmas fund, or other personal reasons.

Whether you’ve decided to just buy-and-sell now (or decades ago), flipping baseball cards is something you might want to try.

Are you a long-time baseball card collector looking to sell? Or maybe you just decided to start flipping baseball cards today? Tell us in the comments!

Get Paid to Deliver Cars from Point A to Point B

If you love driving and are okay to drive other people’s cars, you’ll be happy to know that you can get paid to deliver cars from one point to another.

For instance, you can deliver cars from the pier to the dealership, the dealership to a new car owner’s home, whether local or across the country.

Before you panic, though, this post isn’t about a truck driving job. You won’t be driving a massive truck and hauling 10 new cars with it across another state.

Instead, you’ll be responsible for driving a car from point A to point B.

Getting paid to deliver cars could be a quick gig within the city or a multi-day ride across different states.

Today, let’s take a look at how to get paid to deliver cars: what you need, what to expect, and where to get car delivery jobs so you can start earning quickly.

Car Delivery Job Requirements

If you have a valid driver’s license, a good driving record, and some extra time to spare, a car delivery job can be something you’d enjoy doing.

Of course, driving for hours on end can be lonely, since most of these jobs do not allow you to drive along with somebody else.

This is why you should have a genuine love for traveling to new places by yourself.

You normally have to follow a strict schedule. However, if the journey would take two or more days, you’ll probably have time to sleep or take bathroom breaks at stopovers.

You should be OK to sleep at roadside inns when necessary.

The cool thing about this job is you are free to sign up with as many car delivery jobs you want.

For example, if you’re hired to deliver a car to Chicago from Philadelphia, you can visit all the attractions you want to see in Chicago within a day or two while you’re in the city. And then from Chicago, you can accept another car delivery gig to another destination, such as Los Angeles.

Paid Car Delivery

4 Ways to Get Paid to Move Cars

Generally speaking, a “driveaway driver” is anyone who transports a car from point A to point B.

Sometimes the people who hire driveaway drivers are those who moved to another part of the country, flew ahead to their new house, and need someone else to drive their car to their new house.

Company cars are often put through these transactions, as large companies move cars they provide to employees from one office to the next.

1. Roadie

Roadie is an “on-the-way delivery service that connects people with stuff to send to drivers already heading that way.”

Cars aren’t the only ones being delivered through this app. Roadie drivers do other tasks like delivering medicine to an elderly patient’s house, picking up groceries and delivering to another person, delivering lost luggage from an airport to the owner’s house, or delivering a school project left at home.

You can download the Roadie app from the Google Play Store and through Apple App Store.

You can either check what gigs are available near you or wait for a notification that informs you whenever you match a gig.

You can then check out the details of the trip (for example, delivering dogs to its new owner), how much the pay will be, and think about whether you’d like to take the job for the amount of money you’ll be paid.

If you do decide to accept the job, fulfill what needs to be done, and then get paid.

According to the site, you can earn up to $15 per trip for local gigs and up to $650 for long haul deliveries. You can commit to multiple gigs at a time as long as they’re nearby, but don’t expect to get rich this way.

Roadie doesn’t have many car delivery jobs, and you’re lucky to receive one notification per week. But if you can perform one local gig a week for $50 each, that’s an extra $200 you wouldn’t have had if you didn’t download the Roadie app.

2. Auto Driveaway

This is probably the largest and most popular driveaway company in North America, with over 40 different offices in plenty of cities, including Canada.

To get paid to deliver cars for Auto Driveaway, you must be between 23 and 75 years of age, must have had a valid driver’s license in your state of residence for at least a year, and must have a clean driving record.

Here’s how to become a driver for Auto Driveaway:

  • Join the team of “Under 10,000 pounds” (there are also positions for truck drivers available) and fill out a comprehensive application form, which includes your social security number, home address and driver’s license history for the past three years, and employment history for the past 10 years.
  • If you pass the application, you’ll receive access to the jobs available in specific cities.
  • When you accept a job, you leave a deposit (around $300 to $500), inspect the car for any kind of dings (big and small), and go on your way.
  • Check the rules for each gig. The tricky ones involve fuel allocations (some offer only the first tank for free, the next ones are on you) and driving after dark.
  • Once you reach your destination, call the owner where to meet up so you can get his signature. Unfortunately, you can’t leave car keys in the mailbox.
  • Visit any Auto Driveaway office and get the deposit back via check.

3. Driveaway USA

Driveaway USA moves vehicles and delivers peace of mind, according to their motto. You can get paid to deliver cars once you’re accepted as an independent contractor.

Driveaway USA accepts part-time and full-time drivers. You can choose destinations you wish to take and participate in their referral bonus program as well as their safe driving bonus program.

4. Toronto Drive Away

This Canada-based company drives vehicles to and from the Sunbelt, specifically Florida, Arizona, and California.

To apply to be a driver for them, you need to be at least 30 years of age, no criminal record, clean driving record, have a Visa or Mastercard for the deposit, and able to cross the Canadian border.

Finding Other Car Delivery Jobs

You’ll be surprised at how many driveaway companies are there all over the country. Just a quick Google search with the keyword “driveaway companies” in quotes plus your zip code or city and you’ll get a list of the companies nearby.

Most of these companies work like Auto Driveaway, Driveaway USA, or Toronto Drive Away:

  • You will be asked to complete an application form and wait for the reply.
  • If hired, you will most probably work as an independent contractor, as very few companies offer this kind of job as a full-time position with benefits.
  • Some companies assign you to work on a particular dispatch, while other companies allow you to choose a dispatch from the company’s website or app.
  • Get paid to deliver cars by assignment or on a regular pay schedule, usually weekly or bimonthly. It depends on company policy.

Local Car Dealerships and Rental Companies

If you’re trying to branch out and look for clients on your own, ask your local car dealership and rental companies about it.

Since both types of companies fall under the car and transportation industry, there’s a big chance that rental companies and local car dealerships might be interested in driveaway services every now and then.

For example, car rental companies can hire you to transport vehicles back to their office from repair shops, or after a one-way rental.

Advertising Your Services As a Cross-Country Driver

Another way to get paid to deliver cars is to offer your services independently of a driveaway company.

It’s not highly recommended, as being connected to a bigger driveaway company means customers tend to trust you more.

However, if you don’t meet some of the requirements of larger companies (which are, admittedly, rather stringent), being directly hired by customers may be a viable option for you to break into the industry.

Here are some of the places you can advertise your services.

How Much Can You Make Delivering Cars?

A self-employed contractor can expect to make $300 to $400 per vehicle delivered. Of course, this will depend on the distance traveled and other factors, such as if the car includes other things like a pet, or boxes of the car owner’s stuff.

This is a legitimate job. You can get paid to deliver cars, but the income is often on the low side.

Customers pay for the gas it costs to have the cars moved from one place to the next.

Shorter deliveries, which involves transporting cars within a city, are often paid on an hourly basis.

Full-time Potential for Delivering Cars

Is delivering cars for a living feasible? Can you get paid to deliver cars and turn it into a full-time job?

The only way I can see this work is if you aggressively find clients on all fronts. Join agencies like Auto Driveaway, but also build a network of contacts locally, so you’ll be able to have dispatches every working day.

Be like many family-owned driveaway companies in the country who probably started as an independent contractor and turned it into a business. This would involve a lot of work, from networking, finding clients, marketing, and actually driving the cars.

Other considerations include:

  • Do you hire people as full-time employees, find fellow driveaway contractors, or do you deliver cars yourself?
  • Are you going to offer this service as part of another business? (Tow-trucking business, car rental business, pet transport business, and other somewhat connected niches can work, too.)
  • Are you willing to pay insurance? Yes, some people would ask if your company has insurance before signing up for driveaway services.

Other Ways To Earn From Driving

If you love driving but prefer driving your own car, you can earn money by renting out your car, delivering groceries, running errands, and doing plenty of other tasks.

If you drive a pick-up truck, there are even more ways for you to bring in some cash.

Does delivering cars sound like something you want to do? Or does getting paid to drive your own car sound more attractive? Tell us what you think in the comments!

4 Things to Know Before Starting A Baking Business From Home

Do you spend hours in the kitchen dreaming up sweet confectionery treats and mindblowing savory delicacies? Ever wondered what opening your own bakery would be like, but you lack the startup funds? Don’t even think about taking out a second mortgage – just start a baking business from home!

Before you get started on baking and selling your first batch of goodies, however, there are a few things you need to know first:

Running a bakery from home involves setting goals, complying with regulations, and thorough planning.

Even if you’re not much into the business side of running a bakery, you will have to deal with these inevitable complications before you can get to the fun part: making all those tasty pastries.

I’ve already covered starting your own catering business from home, but now let’s get to baking.

Below, I’ve compiled everything you need to know to get your new home baking business off the ground. Whether you just want to take the occasional order and bake and sell goods on the side or transition into a full-blown baker, these tips will help you realize that dream.

The Reality of Starting a Baking Business From Home

There are a few things that need to be solved before you can start a baking business from home, from both logistical and legal standpoints.

I’ll start with the most important first…

1. Get the legal concerns out of the way first

This is probably the least exciting part of starting a business, but it is still essential that you take these steps before doing anything else.

Comply With Local Business Regulations

Getting to grips with all of the legislation in your country, state and local county can seem overwhelming at first, but it’s not all that hard if you do your research and work through the process methodically.

You could also consider creating a home bakery business plan.

First off, check to make sure whether it’s legal to open your business.

Some states in the US, for instance, don’t allow home bakeries, while others may prohibit certain goods (mainly those that need to be refrigerated).

To get this bakery going, you’ll need a business license that typically needs to be renewed every year. You may also need to have a sales permit (and/or various other licenses or permits) much like a meals-to-go business would.

The type of legal documents you have to acquire will depend on your local laws as well as the type of business you’re aiming to run.

For instance, if you have an area where people can sit and eat then you’ll likely have to obtain different permits than if you were to run a solely delivery-based bakery.

Keep in mind that you might have to pay fees when applying for licenses or permits, so budget ahead for that.

Get up to standard with food safety regulations

You may not be running a restaurant but you’re still working with food and that means food safety laws do apply to you too.

Getting a health and safety certificate will require that an inspector comes to your house to look around so they can make sure your kitchen is up to code. This naturally means that you have to have a sanitary kitchen and the right equipment, but could also involve modifying your kitchen area with commercial-grade upgrades.

Regulations usually aren’t as strict for a home bakery as, say, a restaurant, but there are still a few things that you’ll likely need to take care of. Make sure you prepare your kitchen before the inspector arrives.

Don’t forget about insurance

Like any other business owner, you should apply for liability insurance.

This will cover you in a number of ways, including if any of your clients get sick from eating one of your cakes (which hopefully never happens) or if any property gets damaged during the delivery.

You might also need to take out additional insurance depending on your situation, for instance, stock insurance can come in handy if you buy and store ingredients in bulk, and employers’ liability insurance is necessary if you decide to hire anyone to help you in your bakery.

Make sure to inform any relevant parties

If you’re renting or living on an estate then you may need to inform others of your decision to start a bakery, which can include a landlord or homeowners association.

Otherwise, you might be facing some hefty fines later on, should they have any rules regarding home businesses on the property.

Oftentimes, just talking to them about your plans should be enough.

2. Market Your Business Online and Locally

Your carefully crafted tarts might be the envy of the neighborhood and local bakers alike, but those goods are staying put without proper marketing.

Marketing might seem like another big, scary hurdle in your path (especially if you hate the idea of selling), yet it’s an extremely important part of your business.

Wow the Locals at events and fairs

A bakery isn’t a bakery until someone buys the first baked good.

Starting out, you’ll want to build recognition around your local community so the word about your business can start to spread.

Think about local events that you can get involved with, like fairs, festivals, bake sales, and parties. Really, any place where you can display and sell your baked goodies will work.

Consider letting people taste some of your creations for free as well to draw them in.

If the idea of putting yourself out there leaves you feeling uncomfortable, remember that the best type of marketing is word of mouth – and letting people see and taste your goods in person is your best shot at winning them over.

It won’t be as bad as you’re probably making it out to be in your head either.

After all, who can resist a sweet treat!

Home Bakery

Raise that online reputation

These days, promoting your business online can go a long way towards reaching potential clients and building a solid community of supporters, so it shouldn’t be ignored.

Bakers have more online outlets and platforms are available to them now than ever before and it’s much easier to get started than you’d initially think.

There are multiple platforms that allow you to quickly and easily set up your own website, and creating social media profiles for your bakery is easy as pie. Plus, you can get tons of inspiration from other bakers online too!

Social platforms that work well to promote your bakery on, include:

  • Instagram (This is a great place to show off snaps and videos of your delectable treats.)
  • Pinterest (Create some appetizing pins and share a few recipes that people can save for later.)
  • Facebook (Set up a business page and start promoting!)
  • YouTube (You might not have ambitions for your own baking show, but if you’re ever up for recording a few tutorials then this is the place to put them.)

3. Plan orders ahead and organize your kitchen

Running a successful home bakery comes down to meticulous planning and proper organization.

Especially as you get busier and have to juggle multiple orders a day, which makes it just that much easier to get confused and mess up an order or miss a delivery.

4. Keep close track of the finances

If pricing your cakes wasn’t hard enough, every year the taxman rolls around and there’s no avoiding him either.

It’s crucial that you keep track of all your income and expenses for when you have to file your taxes.

If this is a potential problem area for you then try using business accounting software (there’s plenty available online) that can help you manage your finances.

Remember to keep all your receipts as well in case you need to provide proof for your tax-deductible expenses.

And make sure to file the right tax forms, depending on whether this is your full-time job or a side income.

The Future of Home Bakeries

Setting up your own baking business from home can be challenging but it’s all worth it if you get to do what you love for a living.

As your business grows and your sweet or savory baked goods get more popular, you might even start to consider selling them at local supermarkets – now isn’t that a treat!

Get Paid to Cuddle: How to Work as a Professional Cuddler

I’ve come across a few unbelievable side gig opportunities in my time, but even I was surprised that people can get paid to cuddle.

It might seem like a ridiculous thing to pay for, but professional cuddling is slowly gaining traction across the US and the world, and the reasons behind this growing line of work make a lot more sense than you might think.

But what does it take to become a professional cuddler, what precisely does this job entail, and how much can you realistically expect to earn? I explore these topics and more below.

Why Are People Paying To Be Cuddled?

The benefits of human interaction and touching, in particular, have been widely espoused by scientists and psychologists alike.

However, in today’s society, personal spaces are becoming wider, intimacy is increasingly scarce, and people are getting more isolated.

Online connections are stronger than ever before, but the human touch is left out of the equation.

With the recent pandemic forcing people to stay indoors and practice social distancing, everyone is more secluded than ever before.

This has led to many feeling the effects of touch starvation: anxiety, depression, stress-related physical disorders, and even PTSD.

Those working in the so-called “cuddle business” are all too familiar with this and see the positive effects their work can have on their clients’ lives.

Traditionally, cuddling isn’t exactly a taboo topic, but it isn’t something that one casually brings up in public or in the workplace. It’s something you only do with your partner or romantic interest when you want to show or receive affection.

Those in the cuddle business are working hard to change this perspective and advocate for cuddling as a way to connect with another human being through platonic, non-sexual touch.

Clients still feel this stigma, though, and normally want to keep their dealings private. But more and more people are recognizing the benefits of cuddling, especially those for whom casual physical contact, even a handshake, is elusive or even non-existent.

What Does a Professional Cuddler Do?

At the heart of it, there’s the cuddling: embracing, touching, and caressing another person in a chaste, nonsexual way.

Some clients will want to talk and get things off their minds, and you’ll have to be ready to listen to them and be empathetic.

Unless you’re also a psychologist, do your best not to offer any professional advice. Getting paid to cuddle doesn’t make you an expert, and it’s best to remember that.

Depending on the arrangement (either between you and the agency or you and the client) you will either meet the client at an agreed-upon place or at their home.

From there, you’re free to sit on a couch and chat, watch a movie, or just cuddle, if that’s all the client wants to do.

Safety should always be first in everyone’s minds when arranging to meet with a stranger alone. That’s why it’s better to join up with an established company that already has safety procedures in place and carefully vets the clients.

Another safety issue is related to arousal. If either you or your client gets turned on, it’s advisable to change positions to avoid stimulation.

It’s not that it’s shameful; it’s a normal physiological reaction. But you don’t want your client to feel taken advantage of, and you also don’t want your client to take advantage of you.

Overcoming the Stigma of Cuddling for Money

This new movement has its fair share of obstacles, especially when it comes to those who don’t understand what it’s all about, which included me, at first.

But as I delved deeper into this industry, I learned that cuddling can be a therapeutic experience, much like meditation, yoga, or mindfulness.

In today’s society, we often think that touching another person has to lead to something sexual, which means it can be embarrassing to think of cuddling a stranger as a viable way to earn an income.

But companies like Cuddlist are changing that perspective.

As their website states, “professional therapeutic touch through cuddling is healing and transformative when it happens in a respectful and emotionally safe way.”

So even though it might seem peculiar (at least, at first) to your friends or family, getting paid to cuddle is nothing to be ashamed of.

Think about it this way:

Those in need of a snuggle are restricted to asking those around them, which could lead to misunderstandings and a lot of awkwardness.

Instead, finding someone online, or through a business, that’s already comfortable with the idea and knows proper boundaries is a much better and safer option.

Is Professional Cuddling the Right Choice for You?

Here are some of the questions you’ll have to ask yourself when considering professional cuddling as a job.

Are you comfortable touching and being touched constantly? While human touch is essential to one’s health, different people have different thresholds for how long they can be touched.

If you can’t bear the idea of hugging and holding other people for an hour or two at a time, then being a professional cuddler probably isn’t for you.

Are you willing to be trained or certified? Professional cuddlers aren’t required to undergo training, but it’s a great advantage for you in that you’ll know how to do your job better.

If you can’t afford training or if the company you end up working for doesn’t provide training, a highly recommended book for beginners is Cuddle Sutra.

Can you express empathy while maintaining professional distance? You need to be able to understand your clients’ needs at that moment, whether it’s cuddling, talking, or simply being present.

However, you do need to maintain a professional relationship with your client. I’ve mentioned that sexual contact is taboo, but you’re also not allowed to date your clients. If you intend to start a romantic relationship with a client, you can’t see them in a professional capacity anymore.

Can you be open to different types of people and lifestyles? You’re likely to get clients from all walks of life. You’ll need to be able to accept everyone over 18 regardless of their race, gender, and religious beliefs.

How Do You Become a Professional Cuddler?

Some people, like Jane Wells, the owner of Cuddle Up to Me, strike out on their own and set up a business where they find and vet their own clients. However, this is extremely time-consuming and risky.

If you’re looking at this as more of a side gig then you’re probably much better off joining one of the major online agencies out there that run a community of “cuddlers,” “cuddlists,” or “snugglers” (there seems to be a wide range of terminology).

Here are some of the biggest cuddle companies in the business:

There are also smaller, regional online businesses like Snuggle Buddiez in Boise, Idaho, or Snuggle Salon in certain California cities.

Cuddle companies in other countries include Harmony Cuddles in London, UK, and Cuddle Therapy in Australia.

You’ll likely have to go through a vetting process when you sign on and maybe some training first – which may cost money.

Cuddlist, for instance, requires that you complete their online course, which costs $150 to become a trained “cuddler”.

Generally, (if you’re part of an agency) then you’ll have a profile where clients can find you. If a client is interested then they’ll send you a request. After that, you’re free to chat with the client and book them during a timeslot when you’re available if you feel comfortable with them.

How Much Can You Get Paid to Cuddle?

The pay depends on the company or agency you join. They may or may not restrict tips as well.

For reference, Cuddlist pays $40 an hour and allows clients to tip you as well. Most agencies will also reimburse you for travel expenses to your meetup place.

But generally, the pay is really good. Some experienced cuddlers can get paid up to $80 for a 45-minute cuddling session.

The Bottom Line

It may boggle the mind that you can get paid to cuddle, but being a professional cuddler can be an incredibly rewarding side gig or full-time job.

Not only will you meet a ton of interesting people, but you can also help others deal with the anxiety and loneliness that stems from a lack of touch.

If you’re into more unconventional ways of making money (and meeting new people at the same time) then you might also be interested in looking at how to get paid for going on dates.

Or check out our massive list of side hustle ideas.

Are you planning to find work as a professional cuddler? Do you think getting paid to cuddle is right up your alley? Tell us what you think in the comments!

6 Best Budget Apps To Download On Your Phone Today

“Where is my money going?!”

“I really need to save money.”

“I need a budget.”

How many times have we all said this to ourselves?

Luckily, we live in a time when there’s an app for everything, even budgeting our cash.

In today’s article, we compiled all the best budget apps for various budgeting needs.

The Best Budget Apps You Can Download

There are plenty of techniques and practices to save money.

But having a mobile app at your fingerprints to help you achieve your financial goals is convenient and helps you keep your eyes on your goals.

Here are the best budget apps you can use.

1. Mint

Mint.com Website

This app is one of the oldest, most popular, and most highly ranked budget apps.

Three reasons: it updates in real-time, it manages multiple accounts, and it’s free.

It remains the yardstick by which all new budget apps are measured.

Mint is a free budgeting app that allows you to manage your money and accounts all in one place.

With Mint, you can manage all your bank accounts, investment accounts, credit cards, insurance, bills, and loans in one place. They all get updated in real-time.

Your transactions get automatically categorized, and although the categorization algorithm is a bit flawed, it’s still helpful to have an idea of where your money is going.

You can even split ATM transactions into what you purchased or paid for with that cash.

Based on your spending patterns, the app also creates a budget and lets you know how much you should spend on a category. Of course, you can always edit this budget according to your actual income and needs.

When you start exceeding this budget, the app alerts you to it so you’re aware.

They also provide your credit score for free and present it such that there’s no unnecessary information that may confuse you. The information is sourced from Equifax and you can update it every three months.

Perhaps the only negative thing one can say is that there are ads, but since the app is free, they’d need somewhere to get their operating expenses from.

Cost: Free
Best for: Beginners; those who want to see everything in one dashboard.

2. You Need A Budget

Another highly popular app, YNAB is one of the best budget apps you can use.

YNAB takes an envelope-based approach to budgeting, wherein every single dollar you earn gets allocated to a specific expense. This way, every single dollar is accounted for and you know exactly where your income is going.

More importantly, it doesn’t let you create a budget for money that you don’t have; YNAB forces you to live within your actual income.

This is good for those who are (or want to become) strict budgeters, as well as those who have made the decision to keep a close eye on their finances.

If you need more help budgeting, you can sign up for classes with a live instructor and learn good financial habits that will help you achieve your goals.

A big issue that users may have is the cost, which is more than a few dollars a month. But considering all the perks, and all the good habits you can potentially pick up, this cost is more than worth it.

Another issue is that it’s mainly a website browser-based application. But Android and Apple apps are available with which you can update your spending.

Cost: $6.99 monthly, $83.99 annually; 34 days free trial
Best for: Hands-on users who want a tight hold on their finances

3. PocketGuard

PocketGuard is probably the simplest app to use among all of these.

You can link your credit cards, bank accounts, investments, and loans to the app, conveniently giving you a view of your finances.

As you spend, the app updates and categorizes the transactions that you make to help you figure out your spending patterns; what you spend on the most and if there’s any category that you can cut back on.

Based on your spending patterns, PocketGuard can draw up a budget for you based on your income, bills, and goals.

They have a feature called “In My Pocket” by which you can tell exactly how much is safe to spend without sacrificing your bills, debt repayment, and savings goals.

Cost: Free
Best for: People who want a simple, no-nonsense approach to budget

4. Albert

Albert Website

If you want an app that allows you to squeeze out pennies from your dollars, Albert may be the app for you.

Albert works in the background, using its propriety algorithm to analyze your transactions and spending patterns to figure out how much money you can afford to save.

The app then takes small amounts that it “thinks” you won’t miss and transfers it to your Albert Savings, an FDIC-insured savings account that pays you 0.25% p.a. interest.

The algorithm also figures out when not to deduct any savings when your checking account risks going too low to handle your constant expenses.

Albert Genius is an upgrade for which you can pay whatever you want. This allows you to streamline your savings and make sound investing decisions guided by their financial advisors.

Cost: Free for Basic; Pay-what-you-want for Albert Genius
Best for: Users who want to set it and forget it

5. Mvelopes

This is another budgeting app that uses the envelope-based approach.

Mvelopes takes the cash-in-envelopes approach from literal to digital, because money isn’t just cash anymore.

Set up your envelopes, mark their purpose, and assign an amount. When the cash runs out, it’s gone and can only be reset on your next pay period.

They also have a comprehensive Learning Center. Subscribing to plans higher than the Basic Plan gets you a quarterly up to a monthly coaching session.

These features ensure that you learn financial habits that will last you a lifetime.

The only downside is that there’s a monthly fee, but considering what you’re getting, it’s more than worth it.

Cost: $6 monthly for Basic Plan, $19 monthly for Plus Plan, $59 monthly for Complete Plan; 30-day free trial
Best for: Users who are already comfortable with envelope-based budgeting

6. Personal Capital

Personal Capital takes budgeting one step further and delves into wealth management.

Aside from the usual budgeting app features, Personal Capital places more emphasis on your investments: how your holdings are performing and how your portfolio is doing against major market indices.

The app keeps track of your net worth and even the fees you pay to brokers, letting you know if you’re paying too much.

Depending on how much you’ve invested, Personal Capital also offers financial and retirement planning to grow your investments further.

The downside is that its budgeting functions aren’t as good as other personal finance apps that are available to download.

Cost: Free
Best for: Investors

Things To Consider When Choosing A Budget App

You’re probably interested in a few of the apps above.

But before you download apps from Google Play Store or Apple App Store and try them out, here are some things you need to consider.

Is it simple to use?

A few instructions should be enough to get you started with an app.

If you find yourself lost in a ten-minute tutorial just to begin using it, you might have the wrong app.

How much is it?

We tend to gravitate toward the free apps.

Who doesn’t like free stuff, right?

But paid budget apps may offer additional features that are useful to you that aren’t available in free apps.

Also, having to pay for the app is a financial commitment that makes you more inclined to actually use it.

Do you like using it?

We all have our personal preferences when it comes to apps, such as the look, colors, fonts, visual elements, etc.

And it seems petty to quibble over such minor details, but don’t take it too lightly.

If you don’t like the app, you’re not going to use it, and there’s no point in downloading an app unless you’re going to use it.

Budget Apps: The Bottom Line

Fortunately, we live in a time where we don’t need to keep bulky record books, maintain complicated spreadsheets, and place cash in different envelopes.

No app is perfect, and no app is perfect for everyone. You’ll need to consider your own situation, your goals, and what approach works for you.

Remember: The best budget app is one that helps you follow the basic rule: spend less than you earn.

Want more tips on how to save? Check out these 30 saving tips

Are you having difficulty sticking to a budget? Which apps are you interested in? Share your stories below!

The Best Ways to Sell My Phone and Make the Most Money

Got an old phone or two, or maybe a drawer full of them? Ever wondered “Where can I sell my phones?”

Maybe you want to make some side cash, or maybe you want to buy a new phone and selling your old one gives you additional funds to put toward your new phone.

Well, wonder no more.

Today’s article is a guide to selling your phone to make some cash.

What Should I Do Before Selling My Phone?

Before you log on to your first online marketplace or contact your first buyer, there are some things you need to do first.

1. Pay it off.

If you’re still under contract with your wireless carrier (i.e., you’re still paying off your phone), chances are it won’t be accepted by resellers, and individual buyers won’t be able to use the phone.

The phone you’re selling should not have any problems or liabilities associated with its identifying serial numbers.

2. Unpair your phone.

Your phone might still be paired to your Bluetooth devices.

Make sure you unpair your phone from these devices before you sell them.

3. Log out of all your accounts.

All your email, social media, and cloud backup apps, among other apps, should not have your accounts connected to them any longer when you sell your phone.

4. Back up important data.

There’s a lot of information on your phone that you’re likely going to want to keep.

Make sure you download everything from your phone and transfer them someplace safe.

5. Remove all accessories not included with the phone.

It’s easy to forget your SIM card/s and external memory card/s in your phone because they aren’t readily visible.

Make sure to remove them.

6. Reset your phone to its factory settings.

Any information that you have on your phone is personal, sensitive, and possibly identifiable, so make sure all of this is wiped out before you sell your phone.

The procedure for resetting a phone will depend on the device, but you can easily look that up online.

Be aware that when you do a factory reset, there’s no way to undo it, so make sure you’ve backed up your data properly.

7. Clean up your phone—physically.

It’s not enough to trade in a digitally clean phone; it needs to be physically clean as well.

I mean, would you buy a filthy phone?

Remove lint from crevices, wipe off fingerprints from the screen, and remove any visible dust or grime on the back.

For heavier cleaning jobs, inexpensive cleaning tools and accessories for phones are readily available.

8. Set your price.

There are plenty of factors that go into the price at which you can sell your phone.

First, name-brand phones like Apple or Samsung phones retain their value longer than non-name brand phones, so if you have a name brand phone, even if your phone is one or two generations old, you can expect to fetch a price that’s nearer the price you bought it at.

iPhone accessories

Second, the original packaging and accessories will increase the value of your phone.

Packaging the box and all the other accessories that came with your phone, such as the charger, cord, and earphones, can increase buyers’ interest in your phone and make it more likely to be snapped up.

Where Can I Sell My Phone?

Once your phone is ready for selling, you can now look for places to sell your phone.

When deciding whether to sell your phone online or offline, consider your convenience, your preferences, and how much profit you want to take home.

You’ll also want to consider if there are fees and if the fees are worth the seller protection, buyer traffic, and other benefits you’re likely to get.

If you prefer to sell your phone online, do your due diligence when researching platforms or shops where you can sell your phone.

Look for genuine customer reviews on TrustPilot or ResellerRatings.

Here are some of the places where you can sell your phone.

Sell Your Phone to Individual Buyers Through Marketplaces

1. Craigslist

People have been using Craigslist to sell various stuff for over two decades, and it’s still good for people who want to sell their stuff locally.

Selling through Craigslist is as straightforward as it has always been: take good pictures, write a compelling description, and post.

After that, all you have to do is wait for potential buyers to contact you and set up a meeting.

However, meeting a stranger in person has its inherent risks. Make sure to meet up in a public, well-lighted place, and never give the phone unless you already have the cash in hand or transferred to your Venmo.

This goes for all transactions with strangers: Be safe!

2. eBay

Another classic, tried-and-tested way to sell your phone is by offering it through eBay.

You can either put your phone up for auction or name a price for it. Either way, ensure that you took eBay’s fees into consideration, as well as the packaging and shipping costs.

Also, make sure that your phone meets eBay’s seller standards.

3. Facebook

Plenty of Facebook Groups exist for buying and selling things, so this is one of the avenues you can take to find a buyer for your phone (read more about using Facebook groups to sell your stuff online).

You can also use Facebook Marketplace to find buyers in your local area.

Simply list your phone for sale so buyers in your area can see it on their Marketplace and buy it from there.

Since you’re dealing with individual buyers, and Facebook is free, you don’t have to think about transaction fees.

However, you do need to vet the Facebook groups you’re joining or the buyer you’re selling to.

You certainly don’t want to waste your time with individuals who don’t plan to buy your phone or are just planning to drive the price down once you’ve met with them.

Again, be vigilant when meeting with strangers.

4. OfferUp

Another way you can sell your phone to local buyers is to sell via a selling app like OfferUp.

OfferUp works a lot like Craigslist, in that buyers don’t purchase the items directly from the app.

Instead, they connect sellers with buyers to agree on a price, as well as a date and time to meet and exchange the goods for cash.

This means that OfferUp has no liability, and both buyer and seller take on the risks, so take all the necessary precautions so that you don’t get robbed or tricked into accepting a low-ball offer.

Here are other selling apps you can use to sell your phone to a local buyer.

5. Swappa

Swappa is a user-to-user marketplace that guarantees buyer and seller protection through PayPal, fast and immediate payment to sellers, and no seller fee (the buyers shoulder this minimal fee).

They only accept “newish” items; that is, they don’t accept broken items and claim to have an approval process that ensures only quality items are sold on their website.

Swappa Local is another service they offer, which works similar to Craigslist but claims to be safer. It is currently in beta version and it’s not available for all cities as of this writing.

6. BankMyCell

BankMyCell is a website dedicated to helping users find the best possible price and buyback program for their phones.

Thus, BankMyCell connects users with resellers and recyclers; they aren’t the ones who actually pay you for your phone.

Selling your phone to BankMyCell is pretty clear-cut: get a quote for your phone based on brand, model, and condition, accept and lock in your quote, mail your phone with the prepaid shipping label that your chosen reseller will send, and wait for your payment.

Sell Your Phone to Dealers and Resellers

7. MaxBack

MaxBack is a reseller site that buys your phone and sells it to other users, hopefully for a profit.

The process of selling your phone to MaxBack is similar to that of BankMyCell: get a quote, accept your quote, mail your phone with the prepaid shipping label, and wait to get paid.

The difference is that MaxBack actually does the buying and reselling.

The prices they’ll quote are likely to be lower than other reseller sites, but their approval process is more reliable than others and the payouts take mere days to process.

8. Buyback Boss

In terms of buying selling your phone, it couldn’t get simpler than going through Buyback Boss.

Go to their site, answer a few questions about your phone and get a quote (they say it can take less than 30 seconds!), print out your shipping label, ship your phone to them, and get paid when they get your phone.

Sellers who have sold their phones to Buyback Boss appreciate the simple process and the excellent customer service, but noted that their phones sold for less than they expected.

9. OCBuyBack

OCBuyBack works pretty much the same: get a quote, ship your phone for free, and get paid.

They accept even older smartphone models and any condition, even damaged.

Aside from smartphones, they also buy smartwatches, GoPros, and game consoles. Sellers can also send in multiple gadgets in one shipment, scoring points for convenience.

Trade In Your Phone For Cash or Store Credit

10. Amazon Trade-In

The next few items are trade-in programs and not for cash, but for store credit. As these are popular stores, chances are you’d be able to use the credit quickly.

Amazon’s Trade-In program exchanges your gadgets, such as Amazon Devices, electronics, phones, video games, and others for an Amazon.com gift card.

First, do a search for the phone you want to trade-in to see if they accept that particular brand and model. Then, answer a few questions about the phone.

When your phone gets accepted for a trade-in, a prepaid shipping label will be sent to you to print and attach to your phone when you ship it to them.

You might fetch a lower price for your phone than if you sell your phone on eBay, for example.

But there are no fees when trading in with Amazon, even for shipping, plus you get excellent customer service and the entire process is efficient.

11. Walmart Trade-In Program

Walmart’s trade-in program works similarly to that of Amazon’s.

Find your phone in their list of accepted devices, answer a few questions, get a prepaid shipping label, send it back, and get a Walmart gift card for your phone.

Despite being handled by a third party, the transactions are still pretty simple and straightforward.

Plus, the third party dealing with Walmart’s trade-in program recycles phones that can’t be resold, refurbished, or repurposed in accordance with strict environmental management standards so you’re reducing the waste your old phone would have become.

12. Best Buy Trade-In Program

If you’re a frequent shopper at Best Buy, the Best Buy Trade-In Program may be a good choice for you.

You can take your smartphone (as well as your other electronics) into a Best Buy store to do the trade in, or you can do it online. They do offer competitive prices but they only provide store credit in the form of gift cards (no cash or PayPal).

13. Apple Trade In Program

Apple Trade In works similarly to Amazon’s and Walmart’s programs.

The main difference is that Apple can only accept Apple products for trade-in.

Also, you can choose to process your trade-in either online or in-store.

Lastly, you can choose to get an Apple Store Gift Card or put in the trade price of your old phone toward a new Apple device.

Tips To Help You Sell Your Phone

Here are some more tips to help you sell your phone quickly for a good price.

Write your own description.

Copying your description verbatim from another website, especially when it’s directly from the manufacturer’s site, is not advisable here.

Of course, an exception would be the technical details of the phone, such as its hard disk space, memory, operating system, etc. This information is better obtained from the manual with the phone or the actual website of the manufacturer.

Learn how to take compelling photos.

With very few exceptions, potential buyers of your phone would want to look at photos of the phone you’re selling.

Review the image guidelines of the website or store you’re selling your phone with.

Make sure you take pictures of the phone from all angles so that any imperfections or damage is visible.

Have a broken or cracked screen fixed.

There’s not much you can do about minor cosmetic damage, like scratches or small dents.

But a broken or cracked screen decreases the value of your smartphone by a huge amount. So much so that whatever you’re spending to fix the screen will likely be less than the difference in the amount you’ll get for your smartphone.

In other words, it’s worth fixing a cracked screen before selling your phone.

Be honest.

Give other people and reseller sites a reason to trust you.

Be as truthful as you possibly can about the condition of your phone and the history of any imperfections.

The more details you can include in your product description, the better.

Selling Your Phone: The Bottom Line

Selling your phone can get you some extra cash, but it doesn’t only benefit you.

It helps other people save money on a new phone while reducing potential waste because your phone becomes reused instead of taking up space in a landfill and contaminating the environment.

Don’t have an old phone to sell, but need to declutter? Here are some things you may have lying around in your house that you can sell to make money.

Have you been successful in selling your phone for cash? Where did you end up selling it? Tell us how below!

Follow These Steps to Become a Loan Signing Agent

When this job opportunity became extremely popular a couple of years back, many people wanted to become a loan signing agent.

And why not? It’s an underrated position, but is deeply important in the real estate and home mortgage industry.

The job isn’t as popular as notary because unless you’ve obtained a loan for a house multiple times in your life, people only get to work with a loan signing agent at-most once in their lives.

But the job of a loan signing agent is actually very important. With him/her, no one would help borrowers sign contractor affidavits, reverse mortgages, refinances, purchases, equity loans or line of credits, seller packages, or quit claim deeds among other mortgage documents that regularly need to be notarized.

Notary vs. Loan Signing Agent

All agents are notaries, but not all notaries are signing agents.

Notaries and loan signing agents have similar roles:

  • They are there to witness the signing of documents
  • They cannot provide legal advice to people signing these documents
  • They cannot explain any part of the document
  • They ensure rules regarding the signing of documents are met by the people involved. (For example, some states require a borrower’s attorney present during the signing.)

Main task: Notaries witness the signing, signing agents walk the borrower throughout the loan signing process.

Length of paperwork: Notaries usually take care of only a one- or two-page document, while loan signing agents handle documents with 100 or more pages.

Fees: Notaries charge by the signature or stamp witnessed, while loan signing agents charge a flat fee (of about $50 to $300, depending on experience, demand and other factors).

How to Become a Loan Signing Agent

Mortgage companies, other lenders, as well as title and escrow companies hire loan signing agents to meet with customers and help them accurately complete paperwork with signatures, initials and notary stamps.

You don’t need a college degree to become a signing agent.

In most cases, you also don’t need experience, since once you’ve joined a network of agents, you can “win” a job based on how near you are to the loan signing.​​

Loan signing agent requirements:

Coursework:

Some states require you to undergo either an online/offline course to become a loan signing agent.

Like notaries, loan signing agents do not require special licensing, but they need an active notary commission, which is available at most states by just filling up an application form (or sometimes a quick test as well).

California, for example, has a 30-question test you’d need to answer.

Commission:

Your notary commission must be active.

Some commissions are valid for only 2 years, others can go as long as 10 years.

This depends entirely on which state you’re in. In Louisiana, notary commissions are valid for a lifetime. Some states have additional requirements for those notarizing digital documents.

Once you’re commissioned notary public in your state, you’ll have to obtain another certification on top of the notary public certification, so you’d be able to legally assist in signing mortgage paperwork.

Background check:

Because you’ll be handling sensitive information, most states and companies would likely obtain a background check before hiring you.

Unfortunately, you might have to shoulder the cost of background checks.

Again, this isn’t set in stone. It will depend on who is applying and where.

Printer and ink:

You’ll need a printer handy to be able to provide copies of loan agreements and other paperwork.

Insurance:

You are required to have errors and omissions insurance, especially if you’re starting a business or doing these assignments on your own.

Most escrow companies ask for $100,000, which boils down to only $150/year or $12/month.

Where to Find Loan Signing Agent Jobs

You can find loan signing agent jobs two ways: either you find your own, or get listed within a database and wait for a middleman to send jobs over to you.

1. Build Your Own Business

If you go this route, you’ll be skipping the middleman and getting jobs directly from mortgage companies, real estate agents, brokers, or escrow companies.

When you land a job, you’re paid around $150 (for more or less an hour-long meeting).

The cool thing about becoming your own boss is that you can expand your business whenever you see fit. Can you accommodate jobs outside your state? Do you want to bring agents into an office (that you’ll probably lease) or have them “on-call?”

Focusing all your energy in building a loan signing business from scratch is perfect if you’re eyeing for this to be your main career and source of income.

2. Wait for Referrals

You can also get your name listed on signing service providers (these are the middlemen that I was referring to).

Then every time a job becomes available near you, you will be called and asked if you wish to take on the assignment.

The payments for these jobs are lower, around $100 per appointment, since the service provider get a cut from the work you’ve done.

This route is ideal for people who are working as a signing agent as a side hustle and already have another career.

How Much Can You Make as a Signing Agent?

Once you’ve become a loan signing agent, your next problem is bringing jobs in.

If you’re doing this as a side hustle, the amount you make depends large on where you’re getting the jobs, as I explained just before this section.

Loan signing agents are paid much higher than notaries because everything they do prevent the mortgage industry from spending a lot more money if signatories make mistakes on the documents, delay funding, and other devastating results, such as borrower losing out on a home he’s trying to buy, escrow commissions being canceled, or mortgage company getting fired from a project.

Borrowers making mistakes on loan documents can be costly to all parties involved, so loan signing agents are paid extra to ensure this doesn’t happen.

  • Those starting out make $50 to $75 per document assisted
  • Signing agents who have been on the business for years can earn from $150 to $250
  • If you’re doing this part time and commit to only 1 job a day, you can earn an extra $250 every 5-day week and up to $1,000 a month.
  • If this is going to be your full time job (or you put up a loan signing business with other agents in tow) and you commit to 5 or 10 signings daily, that’s almost $2k a week and around $7500 a month.

How crazy is that?

Now let’s look at the demand… what’s the job outlook as a loan signing agent look like?

The Future of Loan Signing Agents

The demand for loan signing agents might seem like a fad, since it peaked a couple of years ago, then went back to regular shortly after.

But as of today, these agents are just as important as brokers and mortgage agents.

Notarization is a process used by lenders to deter fraud and prevent forged signatures on important documents and records such as home loan paperwork.

Signing agents will be an important part of the home loan process for as long as mortgages are signed traditionally.

It is safe to assume that when state laws catch up to technology advancements, online notary services will reduce the demand of loan signing agents, since the job will be done remotely (probably via webcam, electronic notary stamps, and electronic signatures).

But for now, signing agents still need to walk a homeowner through a set of loan paperwork in person, and if you’re late to the party, there is still time to earn money through this profession.