Pyramid Schemes, Scams, Direct Sales And More!

“Are Selling Products A Legit Income??”

I have to say this is one of the most popular questions I get emailed. But the truth is, even I wondered this same thing before getting involved in this business. A few years back, I was approached to join a company, and my instant thought was Pyramid Scheme and scam!! It’s sad that I thought that way, but many people do as unless you are in this business or well educated about it, you just know what you hear. Many of these companies we think are scams, are actually backed by the Better Business Bureau and have been around for many years!!! So today I am going to cover a few of these popular questions, along with how to know if something is legit and the truth about Pyramids.

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Is it Legit?!?!
Direct Sales Companies are VERY legit. They are large companies that chose to pay independent contractors to advertise them instead of using TV adds, Billboards, etc. They are actually helping our economy by putting the money in your pockets vs some very large CEO of a TV station. To find out if a company is legit, you can google them or see if they are registered with the Direct Selling Association. You can also read the reviews about the company online, but remember to only take so much away from those. Job’s are like food, each person has a different preference and different experience so expect to see both good and bad reviews.12004772_995077193889412_9133849978607155890_n
How these companies work, is you advertise their products for them and in return they pay you a commission. Each company has a different pay scale, but in my experience the average is between 10-40%. Finding out what they pay is very important before you begin! Direct Sales companies are very smart, they know people are going to share a product they love, and they encourage that sharing by paying you for it. What better advertisement is their than a happy customer?? I would believe my friends love of a product a lot more than I would a celebrity on TV.

 
The companies usually require a start up fee, and this is what scares most people. They see that fee and instantly think it’s a scam and they are being robbed. But the truth is, MOST jobs have a start up cost such as background check, uniform, training, etc. With direct sales companies, you want to make sure your cost comes with something!!!!! It should include samples for you, catalogs, brochures, products, a website, product discounts, training, etc. The average cost of a start up kit is around $100 and most have ways for you to make that right back by selling the products in your kit. If the cost is very high, with no products for you, think twice before joining and look more into the company!!! Start up costs are also a tax write off!!! It’s a business investment and you get it back at tax time. The IRS knows direct sales companies are a legit way to make an income.

 

Pyramid Schemes
Pyramid schemes are when one person is on top and makes a lot of money and the people on bottom don’t make hardly anything even though they are doing all the work. These are out there and you want to be careful, but most times they don’t sell any products, more work on just recruiting other people to join. Here are a few signs a company is a Pyramid Scheme and you want to run for the hills.
According to the Direct Selling Association, here is what you should watch for in Pyramid Schemes:
1) Promising lots of money for no work
2) Teaching people to recruit and not sell a product
3) Very large start up costs
4) Not having a product that they sell
5) Having a few people who make a lot of money on top, and a lot of people on the bottom making very little money
For more signs on what might be a pyramid scam, visit the Direct Selling Associations Website
http://www.dsa.org/docs/default-source/direct-selling-facts/legitimatecompanies.pdf?sfvrsn=2

 

 

Pyramid VS. Direct Sales10573_348288578631716_299887124_n
Now to some people, the direct sales business mirrors a pyramid, but the honest truth is in MOST jobs you do have some people higher up. For example, in the school system you have a Principal on top, then teachers, then par pros, then students. In most direct sales companies, you have someone who has been in the company for awhile on top, then your sponsor, then yourself. The people on the top do usually get paid off your income, but to do so they have to keep themselves active AND they have to help their team members. They get paid for having a team and teaching other people to be successful, just like managers do. Just because some people make more on your team in direct sales, does not mean it’s a Pyramid.

As you can see, direct sales are a great and very real way for people to earn an income. In fact, direct sales companies have been around since the 1920’s! They do get a bad reputation though because of the way some people teach their teams to market. If you do it the right way, you can be very successful, make a great income, and have fun all at the same time!!! My #1 tip to be successful is find a product you love and use, and share it, never sell!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Learn more about Direct Sales Companies at http://www.dsa.org/ and http://www.directselling411.com/
Make sure to also check out our Work From Home Directory for a list of legit Direct Sales Companies

Dana

Save $400 Off Your Grocery Bills

saving moneyWhen extra money is needed, my first suggestion is to always look at your budget and see where you can make cuts. My family was living paycheck to paycheck and we had a strong desire to pay off all our debt, but with no extra money that was hard to do. A detailed look into my budget showed me my family of 5 was spending over $1000 a month on food. Eating out, snacks, extras, desserts….all those goodies were adding up, and adding up very fast. So I decided to make some cuts. Ok, BIG cuts to be honest, and get our grocery bill down to $400-$500 a month.

 

Is it doable?? YES! I have been sticking to this new plan for over 8 months now and have saved tons of money, and in fact I wrote the whole plan out to help others do the same!! ((you can read more about that at the end plus how to get it for 50% off!)) The hardest part for me is I am a healthy eater, so I needed foods that were cheap, but also healthy for my family. That took some researching, trial and error, and finding bargains. But it worked and we are now able to put at least $400 a month into our savings!

save 400 on food

 

Here are a few of my top tips for eating on a budget, and scroll down to the bottom for a list of cheap, easy recipes!

 

TIPS:

*Plan out your meals for the week. This includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks! If you know what you are going to eat, you will be less likely to spend money eating out

*Make your own snacks. I make all my kids snacks except pretzels. I do homemade cheese crackers, graham crackers, yogurt, muffins, bread….pretty much everything can be made from home for cheaper and a LOT healthier

*PLAN PLAN PLAN: I promise this is the number one tip for staying on track

*Make two nights a week a “veggie night”. Meat is pricey and you can get just as much protein from veggies, but for cheaper.

*Make a grocery list and stick with it! If its not on the list, and you don’t need it, then don’t buy it!

*Go with frozen or canned fruits and veggies. Cheaper!!

*Buy from stores like Aldis, Save A Lot, Costco, or Sams. Make sure to compare prices though as items aren’t always cheaper.

*Buy discount items in bulk and freeze! When I see meat or cheese on sale, I buy a lot and stick it in the freezer.

*PLAN! Keep snacks in your bag so you aren’t tempted to go through a drive thru

*Coupon! But make sure you have your meals planned out before looking for coupons. Otherwise you end up spending more by buying things you didn’t need that were on sale.

CHEAP MEAL IDEAS:1947685_10152074914309576_1158232217_n

*Grilled Cheese

*Cheese Quesadilla

*Veggie Quesadilla

*Soups (chicken and rice, vegetable beef, broccoli and cheese, etc)

*Veggie Spaghetti Sauce

*Chili

*Rice and Beans

*Chicken or Tuna Salad Wraps

*Tacos

*Casseroles (chicken, broccoli, rice and cheese is my favorite!)

*Potato “Bar” Night

*Breakfast for dinner

*Homemade pizza

 

OR take all the guesswork out of meal planning and go snatch up my copy of Healthy Eating on A Budget. (( https://sellfy.com/p/inKs/ )) Over 100 copies sold and thousands of dollars saved!!! Make sure to enter code “ Musings ” when you checkout and get it for 50% off! This program includes:

4 Weeks Of Meal Plans (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks)cover
Recipes For the Meal
Additional Healthy, Cheap Recipes
(over 30 total recipes)
Weekly Grocery Lists
Money Saving Tips
Grocery Shopping Tips
Healthy Cheap Foods List
Meal Ideas
Specific Food Tips

And more!!!!

Go read a few of the fabulous testimonials from people who have used this program and saved big!

Dana

Get Paid To Write


One problem many people encounter when looking to work from home is the time involved. In my experience, most people want to work from home to have MORE time and to be with their families. The problem is that many set income jobs require you to work set hours each day. I don’t know about you, but working 8 hrs and having to keep my kids quite and away from me that whole time just wouldn’t work for me at all. That would basically be the same as me working outside the home! So what to do???

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Get Paid To Write

Jobs with flexible hours are the solution!!! Now the great thing about these jobs is YOU set your hours, work when you want, and work as little or as much as you want. The downside, you have to WORK to make money. You have to devote the same amount of time as you would with any job, but you pick when that is. For me, I get up before my kids, and stay up later than them. I also work during their nap time. I average less than 20 hrs a week most weeks but that’s what works for me. Im also established in what I do so for that work I make a full time income.

 

The most common flexible hours income provider is by owning your own business and sharing products you love. Another popular option is writing/transcribing/data entry jobs. Now these are hard to find and most times you do need experience or a degree in transcribing. When you find a good one, make sure to hold onto it and they are hard to get. This is pretty much the job everyone emails me looking for. A job where you enter information on the computer a few hours a day and get paid. It’s a good deal for busy Moms! Here are a few companies to check out for these types of positions:

 

Quicktate https://typists.quicktate.com/transcribers/signup

Quicktate employees transcribe voicemails, memos, legal files, medical files, letters and other audio files. Some files are 2-3 minutes long, others are hours long. Employees must use proper spelling and punctuation, must follow instructions, quickly type what you hear, have your own supplies. No convictions of a felony of misdemeanor on your record. Average pay is $1 for every 400 words typed.

 

BloggingPro Job Board http://www.bloggingpro.com/jobs/

This is a great place to find writing jobs on any topic! You can find a steady stream of employers looking to hire bloggers here and if you can write on multiple topics, you can bring in a steady income.

 

TranscribeMe https://workhub.transcribeme.com/Account/Register

Register to transcribe documents and files with one of the largest online transcribing agencies. Pay is by the hours and ranges from $10-$20 and hour depending on your typing speed. Jobs are not always available so you work when something comes in. Must have a computer, internet, and a good understanding of the English language.

 

MediaBistro http://www.mediabistro.com/joblistings

If you visit the freelance section of this site, you can find many job options such as ones for writing, articles, blogs, marketing, etc.

 

Aberdeen http://abercap.com/careers/

Get paid to transcribe documents and videos with this family based business. Many jobs require you to work at their office, but the “real time captioning” and “transcription” jobs can be done from home.

 

Capital Typing  http://www.capitaltyping.com/

Hires independent contractors to do jobs such as transcribing, secretarial services, data entry, and online customer service.

 

Tigerfish Transcribing http://tigerfish.com/employment/

If you are a quick typist, have a good ear for language and written English then you can get paid to transcribe from home. Must have a computer, phone, and internet service to do this job.

 

Speakwrite http://speakwrite.com/

Work from home in the US or Canada as an independent contractor doing transcribing and typing jobs. Must have a typing speed of 65 WPM to qualify.

 

Scribie https://scribie.com/freelance-transcription#intro

Earn $10 per hour transcribing files from home. Must have a good typing speed and good listening and comprehension skills.

 

http://beafreelanceblogger.com/betterpaidbloglist/ This is a FREE list that has options for making over $50 per hour blogging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dana

Tax Writes Offs For Small Business Owners

tax write offsFor many small business owners, tax time can be very scary!! It was for me when I first got started, until I did my research and learned how easy the IRS makes filing taxes for small business owners. Plus, many things you never would even think of, can be written off at tax time. When you own your own business, remember that any expense you put into your business, is a tax write off. Whether it is training, supplies, work meetings etc. Make sure to always save your receipts though and keep documentation of what you are spending and bringing in with your business. And never be afraid to ask someone for help in filing your taxes. Its always better to be safe rather than sorry.

Here are a few expenses you can write off at tax time:

  1. Home Office. No matter if you rent or own your home, if you have a designated space where you do your work, then you can write that off at tax time. Keep in mind it needs to be a true office space, not your kitchen table or bed. You can write off $5 per square foot of the office area for up to 300 square feet. So if your office is 150 square feet that is $750 you can write off! http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Home-Office-Deduction
  1. If your office is at home, you can also deduct the cost of utilities. You need to figure out what percentage of your day is your work time though to get the cost you can write off.
  2. Internet used for your business can also be written off at tax time. Like utilities, you need to figure out what percentage is used for work vs leisure.
  3. If you have a car payment, and use your car for doing your business, that can be deducted. This is tricky though in that you must be driving to meet a client, pick a client up, or delivering products. Going to get coffee or groceries does not count.

http://www.irs.gov/publications/p463/index.html

  1. Retirement Plans- If you have set up a plan for retirement that is tax deductible. Even if you only put in a little bit each month.
  2. Office Supplies- Items like paper, pens, ink cartridge, work computer, work printer, work fax machine, mailing supplies, business cards, thank you cards for business, etc are all tax deductible
  3. Health Insurance- If you pay for your health insurance yourself and are a small business owner, that is tax deductible
  4. Child Care- If your kids are in child care at anytime while you are working, that is a tax write off
  5. Training- If you attend training events for your business, that and the cost to get there is tax write off
  6. Start Up Costs- If your business required money up front to get started, you can write all of that off at tax time
  7. Hiring an accountant to help you with your taxes!
  8. Advertising for your business
  9. Websites, domains, and maintenance that promote your business and company

Remember, when in doubt at tax time, always ask for help!! This is not something you want to mess up on. I personally do my own taxes as a small business owner and while its time consuming and tough, it can be done. If you aren’t comfortable doing them yourself, hire someone to help you!

Great Sites to Check Out For More Information:

http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed

http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Deducting-Business-Expenses

http://www.freshbooks.com/blog/2013/10/22/10-tax-tips-for-owners-of-a-home-based-business/

Dana