How to Keep Your Side Hustle From Messing Up Your Taxes

How to Keep Your Side Hustle From Messing Up Your Taxes

Polaroid picture of cookies baked by a small business.

6 MINUTE READ

We see you, side hustler. We see you out there delivering pizzas five nights a week. We see you driving folks to and from the airport on the weekends. We see you editing photos from your cousin’s friend’s wedding at 3 a.m.

Maybe you’re taking on a side hustle (or two) to speed up your debt snowball or maybe you just love spending your free time baking cookies or designing websites. Either way, who doesn’t like the idea of bringing in some extra cash?

But listen up: If you’re not careful, all that side hustle money could cause some serious trouble once tax season rolls around. All it takes is one big job or a few new clients to jack up your tax bill in a major way. Here are three ways your side gig could mess up your taxes:

  • Depending on how hard you’ve hustled in the last year, you could see your tax bill increase by hundreds (or maybe thousands) of dollars.
  • If your side hustle is successful enough, you might have to pay estimated taxes throughout the year—and the IRS will whack you with a penalty if you don’t pay those on time.
  • And what if the IRS decides they want proof that you actually spent $1,000 in cooking supplies as a business expense? Do you have the receipts or bank statements to prove that’s what you actually spent?

This is a lot to think about, but you have to be prepared for all of it! Here are some ways you can keep your side hustle from messing up your taxes:

 

Business taxes can be confusing. Get the help you need.

1. Set aside 20–35% of your side hustle income for taxes.

Take a look at the last paycheck from your “day job.” You’ll see that your employer holds back some of your salary to pay for income taxes before the money ever hits your bank account—that’s called federal income tax withholding.

But that money you earned from pet sitting your neighbor’s dog? Your neighbor and Fluffy over there don’t withhold taxes from what they paid you. That means it’s on you to report the income you make from your side hustle and make sure you pay the taxes you owe.

No matter how much or how little you make, open up a separate savings account and stash 20–35% of all your side hustle money for taxes. That way, you’ll have enough money to pay for the income taxes and the self-employment taxes you owe on that income. Do that, and you won’t get caught off guard by a massive tax bill once tax season rolls around!

2. Find out if you need to pay estimated taxes.

Our tax system is a “pay-as-you-go” system. That means the IRS wants folks to pay their taxes throughout the year, not just in one lump sum. That’s why you might have to pay estimated taxes (or quarterly taxes), which are paid on a quarterly basis throughout the year, on the money you make from your side hustle.

If your side gig only brings in a few hundred bucks each year, you can relax. You probably don’t need to worry about estimated taxes. Just keep track of what you’re earning and file your tax return in the spring like you normally would and then pay whatever you owe in taxes on that extra money.

Generally, you’ll pay estimated taxes if you expect to owe more than $1,000 in taxes when you file your tax return.1 That’s after subtracting your federal income tax withholding from the total tax you expect to owe this year.

If you find out you need to pay estimated taxes, you have two options:

  • Option 1: Divide the total tax you expect to owe when you file your tax return into four equal payments and pay the estimated taxes when they’re due.
  • Option 2: Adjust your tax withholding at your normal job by filling out a new W-4 form to account for the taxes you’ll owe on your side hustle income. The IRS has a new tax withholding estimator that makes it easy to figure out how much you need to adjust your withholding.

Your side gig could make your tax situation pretty tricky, so it might be a good idea to get in touch with a tax advisor who can help you figure out whether or not you need to pay estimated taxes.

3. Open a separate checking account for side hustle expenses.

It’s time to start treating your side gig like a business, because it is a business! And just like any other small business, you can write off some of your side hustle expenses from your taxable income. That’s a big deal because those write-offs can help you lower your tax bill!

But trying to sort through what’s personal and what’s business on your bank statements can be more frustrating than trying to pick off all the unwanted toppings on your favorite pizza (get out of here, pineapple).

That’s why you should open a checking account dedicated solely to expenses related to your side hustle (in addition to that savings account for taxes we just talked about). It’ll make it so much easier for you to find business expenses and add up how much you spent on your side gig throughout the year. It’s a really good idea!

4. Create a simple record-keeping system.

Unless you want to spend hours each tax season sifting through a year’s worth of receipts trying to separate personal expenses from business ones, this is one step you don’t want to skip.

You can go old school and use labeled manila folders or go with a digital record-keeping system that keeps all your files in the “cloud.” Choose whatever works best for you!

What does this have to do with taxes? For one thing, having all your receipts from side hustle-related expenses in one easily accessible place will help you figure out how much you can claim in business-related deductions (instead of coming up with a number out of thin air). And second, if the Tax Man ever comes knocking and asks you to verify those expenses, you have the paper trail to prove it.

Here are a few important documents and information you might want to keep in your new record-keeping system:

  • Receipts
  • Bank statements
  • Business records
  • Tax forms
  • Car mileage and car expenses

5. Get help from a tax professional.

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, having a side hustle will make your taxes a bit more complicated than you’re probably used to. And trying to get a handle on all the tax stuff that comes with it can be a little overwhelming.

That’s why we recommend working with a reliable tax advisor you can turn to for advice and tax guidance. Our tax Endorsed Local Providers (ELPs) can sit down with you, answer all your tax questions, and help you understand how your side hustle will impact your tax situation so you can get your taxes done right. That way you can focus more on doing what you love. That’s a win-win for everyone!

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now http://lock-in-your-position.com/lp7/?sponsor=homeprofitcoach

INVESTING & RETIREMENT 2020 Investment Outlook

2020 Investment Outlook

An investor is using her smartphone to access Chris Hogan's investment calculator.

13 MINUTE READ

Presidential elections. Trade wars (or deals). Brexit. There’s a lot going on in the world right now, and some of it might send ripples through Wall Street in 2020. And if you have a 401(k), IRA or some other type of investment, this stuff affects you too.

As we kick off a new decade, remember that no one—including yours truly—can predict exactly what the economy will do this year. If you’re looking for some magic crystal ball, you won’t find one. It just doesn’t exist.

That doesn’t mean we can’t make some educated guesses, though. There are economic indicators that can give us hints about what might happen with the economy in the near future.

So, what might be in store for 2020? Let’s take a look at what’s happening with the economy and what that means for you.

You’ll Be Able to Save More for Retirement in 2020

Now, you know me. Before we start looking at 2020, there’s something I need you to know: You control your future. Not the White House. Not Wall Street. Not your employer. You. It’s your job to save and invest for retirement. No one’s going to do it for you.

Let’s start off with some good news! You might be able to save a little more for retirement in 2020:

 

Be confident about your retirement. Find an investing pro in your area today.

  • The IRS is raising the annual contribution limits for employer-sponsored retirement plans to $19,500 (up from $19,000 in 2019). This includes folks who contribute to a 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan.
  • For those who are nearing retirement and need to catch up, you can also put in an extra $6,500 into your plan if you’re age 50 and older!1

Now, the annual limit for IRAs stays the same at $6,000. If you’re age 50 or older, the catch-up contribution limit will also remain at $1,000, so you can put up to $7,000 into a traditional or Roth IRA in 2020 if you’ve fallen behind on your retirement savings.2

The SECURE Act: More Changes to Retirement Saving

OK, toward the end of 2019, Congress passed the biggest retirement bill in more than a decade. It’s called the “SECURE Act.”3 Like most of the stuff that comes out of Washington, the bill is a mixed bag and it’s important to be aware of what’s changed. Here are five main things you need to know:

1. Inherited IRAs will be taxed sooner.

If you have plans to leave your IRA to your kids or grandkids so that they can enjoy tax-deferred or tax-free growth long after you’re gone, I’ve got bad news. The SECURE Act pretty much gets rid of that popular estate-planning strategy—also known as a “stretch IRA.” Under the new law, your non-spouse beneficiaries will have to take out all the money in an inherited IRA and pay taxes on it within 10 years of your death. But if you’ve inherited an IRA before Jan. 1, 2020, the new law won’t apply—you can keep the money in the account as long as you’d like.

2. You can put money into your traditional IRA after age 70 ½.

Whether you want to bulk up or catch up on your retirement savings, there are a lot of folks nowadays who are working past the “traditional retirement age.” But previously, if you had a traditional IRA, you couldn’t put any more money into your account once you turned 70 ½ (Roth IRAs, on the other hand, don’t have an age cap on contributions).

The good news for folks with a traditional IRA is that the new law gets rid of those pesky age restrictions. Now you can put money into your traditional IRA no matter how old you are, as long as you’re making an earned income. More money equals more opportunity for growth. Now that’s what I’m talking about!

3. Required minimum distributions will start at age 72, not 70 ½.

Basically, Uncle Sam requires you to start making withdrawals—called required minimum distributions, or RMDs—from certain retirement accounts like a traditional IRA or 401(k) once you hit a certain age. That’s because you haven’t paid your taxes on that money yet, and Uncle Sam wants his cut!

The SECURE Act pushes the age you’re required to take money out of your account to 72, which gives your money a little more time to grow before it’s taxed by the IRS.

4. You may see a new annuity option in your 401(k).

Annuities are basically insurance products that turn a lump sum of money into a guaranteed income for life. And thanks to some more protections offered to employers by the SECURE Act, an annuity option might be coming to a 401(k) plan near you.

If you see an annuity option in your 401(k), I want you to lace up your shoes and run in the opposite direction!  – Chris Hogan

Here’s the deal: While the idea of having a steady stream of income for the rest of your life might sound great, annuities are very complex and bogged down by lots of fees. Almost 100% of the time, they’re just not worth it. So, if you see an annuity option in your 401(k), I want you to lace up your shoes and run in the opposite direction! You’re better off investing in good growth stock mutual funds in your 401(k) plan.

5. More access to 401(k) plans for part-time and small-business workers.

For some businesses, offering a 401(k) plan to employees is expensive—and it’s often a cost that small businesses just can’t handle. It’s no wonder that workers at companies with less than 100 employees are less likely to have access to a 401(k).4 

The SECURE Act tries to solve that by making it easier for small businesses to work together to offer retirement plans for their employees. The law also requires employers who offer a 401(k) plan to expand access to part-time workers who work at least 500 hours a year for three straight years or 1,000 hours for one year.

If you have questions about the SECURE Act and how it might impact your retirement strategy, talk to a financial advisor who can walk you through these changes.

OK, now on to the bigger economic picture.

What Are Economic Indicators?

Economic indicators are just some statistics and trends that give us insight into how the economy is doing and where it might be headed. That’s the short and sweet of it. Think of these economic indicators as thermometers that help us keep an eye on the temperature of the overall economy.

Here are five of the major economic indicators to keep an eye on in 2020:

  1. Stock Market
  2. Housing Market
  3. Interest Rates
  4. Unemployment Rate
  5. Consumer Confidence

Let’s take a look at these indicators and find out what they could mean for you and your money.

1. Stock Market

The stock market is kind of like your local supermarket—the biggest difference is instead of buying bread and milk you’re buying and selling stocks, which are basically small pieces of ownership in a company.

The S&P 500 Index measures the performance of the 500 largest, most stable companies in the New York Stock Exchange. The S&P 500 is considered the most accurate measure of the stock market as a whole. When this index increases, the economy is usually doing well. Still with me?

After a bumpy finish for the stock market in 2018, the S&P 500 bounced back in a huge way in 2019. Toward the end of 2019, the index hit record highs and was up more than 25% for the year.5 That means a lot of people were probably smiling when they checked their 401(k)’s performance at the end of the year!

Will that continue in 2020? Well, it depends on who you ask. With the chance of the economy slowing down, ongoing trade talks with China, and everything that comes with a presidential election, most strategists are predicting modest gains for the year compared to 2019—somewhere around an average of 5%. Still, a few others think we’ll see stocks take a slight dip in 2020.6,7

Stock market investing is like riding a roller coaster. Once the ride gets going, you don’t want to jump off. – Chris Hogan

Here’s an important word of caution: When your investments are doing well, you may be tempted to sell them for some quick cash. Or, if the stock market tanks, you might panic and want to cash out everything to keep from “losing money.” But stock market investing, even through mutual funds, is like riding a roller coaster. Once the ride gets going, you don’t want to jump off.

Listen to me: Don’t touch your investments until retirement! If you want to reallocate them to different types of investments, talk to your financial advisor. Otherwise, leave them alone, people!

2. Housing Market

So, now that we’ve taken a look at what’s happening with the stock market, what’s in store for the housing market? Well, home prices rose at a slower pace in 2019 (3.3%) and mortgage rates went down—so that made for a pretty good year for home sales.8 Still, there are several signs that 2020 could be a little bumpier.

First, the median price of a home went all the way up to $316,000—a record high—and with the supply of homes struggling to keep up with demand from Millennials, affordability could force would-be buyers to sit this year out.

Second, while mortgage rates are expected to stay where they are in 2020 (around 3.7% for a 30-year and 3.2% for a 15-year), tariffs and trade wars could force the Federal Reserve to raise those rates.9 Bottom line: If mortgage rates stay low, that could motivate buyers to get out there and buy a house. But if the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, that could cause even more folks who were on the fence to wait a bit longer.

So, if you’re selling a home in 2020, high demand coupled with low interest rates (for now) could land you a good deal. But be prepared for your house to be on the market a little longer since you might get fewer offers. What if you’re planning to buy a home? My advice is simple: Be patient.

Whether you’re buying or selling a home in 2020, get in touch with one of our real estate professionals. They know your housing market like the back of their hand and know better than anyone what’s happening in your backyard!

3. Interest Rates

OK, hang with me here. The Federal Reserve, which is the U.S. central bank in charge of the nation’s policies on money, has two main goals: to continue growing the economy at a sustainable rate and keep inflation (the price of everything from gas to milk) under control.

How do they do that? The Fed gets together four times a year to decide what to do with the nation’s interest rates. Lower interest rates can help give the economy a jolt, but they can also lead to higher inflation. Higher interest rates can slow inflation down, but if they’re too high they can also choke economic growth. So, they try to find a balance that’s just right.

To try to keep the economy going strong, the Fed cut interest rates three times in 2019, and today the rate is at 1.75%. That’s pretty low. The Fed has also sent signals that it’ll keep rates where they are in 2020 and take a “wait and see” approach with the world economy before making any changes.10

Debt is not your friend. It takes your time and money and it gives you headache and heartache in return. – Chris Hogan

But listen folks, I don’t care how high or how low interest rates are—borrowing money for things like a car loan or a home equity loan is always a bad idea. I want interest to work for you, not against you. Debt is not your friend. It takes your time and money and it gives you headache and heartache in return.

Are we clear?

4. Unemployment Rate

This next one is easy. Each month, the unemployment rate tells us how many people got (or lost) a job. It’s one of the clearest ways to see which way the economy is moving. Rising unemployment is scary—that means fewer jobs and an economy that’s in serious trouble. Lower unemployment means more people are finding work and the economy is getting stronger . . . which is what we all want.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national unemployment rate ticked down to 3.5% in 2019—we haven’t seen numbers that low in 50 years!11 Those numbers put a big ol’ smile on my face! That’s because these numbers tell me that more and more people are able to find work, put food on the table, and save for the future. And the good news is it’s expected to stay right around 3.5% for 2020.12 In addition, the U.S. economy is still expected to add an average of 150,000 jobs per month.13

So, what does all that mean for your investments? Well, if companies are hiring, that usually means they’re growing. As their fortunes improve, yours can too—especially if you’re investing in those companies.

5. Consumer Confidence

You can usually tell when someone feels confident. They walk with their head held high, they puff out their chest, and they have a swagger in their step. They also tend to spend more and save less! Well, that last part is what the Consumer Confidence Index says, at least.

The Consumer Confidence Index measures how everyday Americans feel about the economy. When people are confident, they typically spend more money. When their confidence is low, they do the opposite.

While the Conference Board’s Survey of Consumer Confidence from November 2019 showed that consumer confidence dropped for the fourth straight month, confidence levels are still pretty high.

While the Conference Board’s Survey of Consumer Confidence from November 2019 showed that consumer confidence dropped for the fourth straight month, confidence levels are still pretty high.14 Although many experts predict the growth of the economy to slow down somewhat this year, consumer confidence should remain pretty high as wages continue to rise and unemployment remains low.15

Here’s the Bottom Line

When my team and I talked to thousands of millionaires for my latest book, Everyday Millionaires: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth—and How You Can Too, virtually all of them said the same thing: The key to building wealth is consistency. That’s the thread that ties all of these millionaires together.

No matter what was going on in Wall Street or the White House, they kept working hard and they kept putting money away. They didn’t get distracted. They didn’t put their hard-earned money in a flashy investing trend they didn’t fully understand. They didn’t panic every time the stock market had a bad day.

And one day, they looked up and saw their nest egg hit the seven-figure mark. Now that’s what winning looks like. And there’s no reason that can’t be you someday.

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now http://lock-in-your-position.com/lp7/?sponsor=homeprofitcoach

Do Stay-at-Home Parents Need Life Insurance?

Insurance?

Do Stay-at-Home Parents Need Life Insurance?

5 MINUTE READ

Parent. Its official definition ought to be, “Caretaker of child. Synonyms: nanny, tutor, launderer, chauffer, coach, nurse, therapist, chef . . . ” And the list goes on.

This definition especially applies to a stay-at-home parent (SAHP). While SAHPs may not pull down a six-figure income from a corner office, they provide a lot of valuable services for the family.

Let’s talk about why stay-at-home parents need life insurance, how big that policy needs to be, and what families should do with the payout if the unimaginable happened.

What a Stay-at-Home Parent Covers

The whole point of life insurance is to replace your income so your family can function if something were to happen to you. That makes sense for the spouse who goes to the office every day, but what does that mean for the stay-at-home parent? Why do SAHPs even need term life insurance if they don’t technically make an income? Because of the services they provide.

Here are some of the jobs a stay-at-home parent covers:

  • Teacher
  • Childcare provider
  • Chef
  • Chauffeur
  • Housekeeper
  • Laundry services
  • Tutor
  • Coach
  • Project manager

Running a household is a lot like trying to herd a litter of kittens! If something horrible were to happen to the SAHP, who would take care of these needs? The surviving spouse can’t quit work—they still need to bring home an income. That’s where term life insurance kicks in.

 

Protect your family with term life insurance. Get a quote now!

Do Stay-at-Home Parents Need Life Insurance?

life insurance policy for a stay-at-home parent doesn’t replace their income—it provides the money necessary to cover all the jobs the SAHP did before they passed away.

We know there’s no way to ever replace a parent. Nothing will ever fill that hole. But with the money from a life insurance payout, the surviving spouse can hire someone to cover many of the responsibilities the SAHP used to cover.

It’s a matter of keeping your family going in the worst of situations. Life will never go back to normal, but by hiring people to help fill in the gaps (at least temporarily), you can make sure nobody’s needs fall through the cracks. And that’s what matters, right?

So, when should you get life insurance as a stay-at-home parent?

If you’re fresh out of college and without debt, you don’t need it quite yet. But if you’re married and kids are on the horizon, it’s good to go ahead and purchase a policy now.

Then you’ll be covered no matter how long it takes for that little one to come along. After all, they tend to arrive on their own schedule—and often earlier than you’d planned!

How Much Life Insurance Do Stay-at-Home Parents Need?

The big question is how much term life insurance you should purchase for the stay-at-home parent. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this because every family is different, but a 15- to 20-year policy between $250,000–400,000 is a general rule. After that time, the kids are grown and out of the house, so there’s no need for coverage.

You need to think through what you’ll do in three major areas: childcare, education and household duties. Those decisions might mean you get a bigger policy to cover the extra costs.

Childcare. If something were to happen to the SAHP, how much money would you need to cover childcare expenses? According to Care.com, childcare for an infant costs about $200 a week for a day care center and $600 a week for a nanny.1 

So 50 weeks of care (you do get a vacation, right?) could run between $10,000 and $30,000. And that’s just for one child. Of course, those costs differ depending on where you live, but you get the idea.

Education. A lot of families choose to homeschool their children. If that’s the case in your family, you and your spouse need to decide where the kids will go to school if something were to happen to the SAHP.

If you want to go the private school route, then you’ll need to factor in those costs. The national average for private school tuition is about $10,700.2 Again, that’s just for one child. And that doesn’t include all the extra costs like supplies, fees and extracurriculars.

Household duties. Who will be responsible for cleaning the house if something happens to the stay-at-home parent? If you paid someone to clean and do laundry, that will cost you about $26 an hour.3 That’s an average, so if you live in California or New York, you may have to offer up the occasional arm and leg to pay for these costs.

Remember, how much life insurance you get for the SAHP will depend on your family’s needs.

Let’s think about Shauna, a mom who stays home to take care of her young children. If something happened to her, it would cost between $25,000–40,000 a year to pay for the different jobs she does on a weekly basis, like childcare, laundry and meal preparation.

Shauna and her husband would need to take out a 15- to 20-year term life policy on Shauna and make the policy worth between $250,000–400,000. That’s 10 times the amount of work she does in a year.

If tragedy struck and Shauna passed away, her husband could work with a financial advisor to put the life insurance benefit in a good mutual fund.

Each year, he could use the growth from that mutual fund (which could be around 10% a year) to pay for the costs of childcare, meal preparation, house cleaning and the other jobs his wife used to handle. So that life insurance policy of $250,000–400,000 could give Shauna’s family between $25,000–40,000 a year to take care of the services she provided.

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now http://lock-in-your-position.com/lp7/?sponsor=homeprofitcoach

Make Sure to Look Up

Make Sure to Look Up

5 MINUTE READ

Have you ever lost something you loved?

I like hats. Since I am bald, they keep me from having a burnt head all summer. Hats are an important part of our culture and are a really important part of some subcultures. At some churches I visit, the ladies have spent an amazing amount time and money to seriously keep the people behind them from seeing the preacher. I like these ladies. They have style. There is The Red Hat Society for women over 50 who like to have fun, and boy do they—sassy bunch. And of course, there are the hats needed by a profession. You can’t be much of a cowboy without a cowboy hat.

Hats make a statement. In Texas, if you spend more than you make, they say, “Big Hat, No Cattle,” meaning that person is all show. If you tilt your cowboy hat back, you are friendly—most of the time. If that same hat is pushed down low over your eyes, you might be looking for trouble. If you turn your ball cap sideways, it can mean you are cool or it can just make you look dumb. If you turn it backwards, you are definitely cool, or you are a baseball catcher, or both.

 

Lead others to financial peace! It’s easier than you think. Learn how.

And we wear metaphorical hats. I wear the CEO of our company hat. I wear an author and media figure hat. I wear Papa Dave feeding my 5-month-old grandson Samuel David his bottle hat.

Hats in my world make a statement. I come from a line of the best kind of hillbillies or rednecks. The kind that loves puppies and babies and will fight you over honor. Hats are a big deal in my subculture. Hats in my world are virtually my only fashion accessory. Every morning I put on a ball cap that has something I love on it to go to work. It might have a T for Tennessee football on it during the fall. The next day my hat might have Predators on it to support our Nashville hockey team. One hat has MasterCraft on it for my ski boat, and another has Wilson Combat on it for my favorite hand gun. You can be arrested in California for that hat. Since we are building a new corporate headquarters, I have a hard hat with my name on it. Every boy in my old neighborhood wanted one of those. And every time I put it on, I feel like the guys from the old neighborhood see me.

When my family visited Belfast, Ireland, a few years ago, we got to spend some time in the Titanic Museum. The Titanic was built in Belfast and the museum is fascinating. Of course, to memorialize the occasion, I bought a Titanic 1912 hat. Since I have a sick sense of humor, I decided that is the hat I wear every summer at our lake house when driving the ski boat. Get it? Captain is wearing a Titanic hat? Most people never notice, but occasionally someone will point and laugh and we share a moment.

Make Sure to Look Up So last weekend, a bunch of our family jumped in the wakeboard boat with the big motor and big tower with all the speakers and lights to take a ride to the marina for fish tacos. Grandbabies, Ramsey kids, their spouses, and of course Mimi (my wife Sharon’s grandma name). As we get up to about 30 mph, Mimi gives Papa Dave instructions to close the front window to get the wind off of her. We have a rule at our house: When Mimi wants something, Mimi gets it. That is another story for another day. So as instructed, I stood—as well as my son Daniel—to close the offending window. Yea, you see this coming, don’t you? You got it.

The 30 mph wind took Daniel’s hat and my precious Titanic hat imported from Ireland and threw them out the back of the boat and into the lake. Well, over the years lots of stuff has left the boat and landed in the lake. Hats generally float for a minute or two—enough time to turn around and find them. So, we first see Daniel’s hat floating, of course, and retrieve it. Then we circle and circle and the fate of the Titanic hat appears to have followed its namesake to the bottom of the lake. This is looking bad. My favorite hat all the way from Ireland is gone. No luck. At this point, no one in the boat is happy, least of all the captain. Oh well, sad, but first-world problems. Darn. I liked that hat.

So, we are idling off and Mimi is apologizing for her request to close the window—well, it was her fault. Then, my granddaughter Amelia, who at three years old has the vocabulary of a college student and is really verbal like her mother Rachel Cruze, recognizes the mood in the boat has changed and says, “Daddy has a hat. Uncle Daniel has a hat. Papa Dave doesn’t have a hat and he is sad, but there is a hat.” What? We all turn and look UP at the wake board tower and apparently the Titanic hat had flown up there and was stuck on one of the lights. Yea!

We had all been looking everywhere but UP to solve our problem. The answer couldn’t possibly be UP. We all cheer and celebrate the lost sheep being returned to my head. Mimi immediately says, “That will preach.” If you aren’t southern, you might not understand that she meant there is a lesson here, folks. Be as a little child and look UP when you are searching for answers. And select your hat carefully.

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now http://lock-in-your-position.com/lp3/?sponsor=homeprofitcoach

Dave Responds: Start Book’s Success

WOW! That just about sums up how I feel about the incredible success we’ve had with the release of Jon Acuff’s latest book, StartThis thing debuted on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller lists and Amazon’s overall Top 10 list. It totally dominated Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and just about everything else on social media! This thing is on FIRE, and I can think of two reasons for that.

First of all, Start delivers a message that the world is hungry for. I talk to people on the radio every day who are frustrated and miserable with their careers, and they honestly think it’ll never get better. They’ve settled for average, but they dream of awesome. This is the book that can take them there.

Second—and this is the really important part—the reason Start came out of the gate so strong is because of YOU! You guys bought into the message, and you told a LOT of other people about it! Maybe you saw some things on Jon’s blog or Twitter feed, or maybe you heard us talking about it on the radio, and something just clicked. Something inside of you woke up, and you decided to START! By the time we dropped the book into the marketplace, tens of thousands of you had already pre-ordered or you lined up to buy it the day it released! That’s incredible! We’re already hearing stories from some of you about how you’re flipping the switch from average to awesome in your own lives by putting this material into practice. You guys rock! Thank you for making Start such a big success!

Of course, we’ve been doing our part to get this life-changing message out there too! Jon was locked in his office for months getting the message just right. Literally dozens of people on our team have spent the better part of a year getting the edits, design and marketing ready for Start to hit the street. We even took over Times Square with enormous billboards and a huge wrapped bus for our live launch event! And then we kept Jon on that bus for two weeks on a massive book tour to keep the momentum going.

This book release has been a pretty wild ride, and that means there are ups—and downs. The downside right now is that some of you haven’t been able to get your copy of Start yet because several stores sold out so fast. That was never the plan! We had pretty big expectations for the book, but the response has been mind-blowing. If you haven’t been able to get your copy yet, we’re sorry! Our team is working like crazy to make sure your local stores and Amazon have Start back in stock as soon as possible. And if you want it before they get it, we’ve got plenty of copies on hand in our online store at daveramsey.com. There’s little chance WE’LL run out!

Thanks again for everything you’re doing to help us get the message out there. I really believe that Start is one of the most significant books you could ever read, and I can’t wait to hear your own Start story soon!

—Dave

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now http://lock-in-your-position.com/lp3/?sponsor=homeprofitcoach

Starting your affiliate marketing, with Clickbank.

One of the first things you will want to get involved with is affiliate marketing. Although you need to drive traffic to your website, blog, or “mini-site”, getting set up with a Clickbank account is very important. You see, Clickbank is a huge marketplace of e-products. Someday in the future you may actually make one of those e-products and place it on Clickbank for other affiliates to sell. For now, you are going to want to take products and sell them to others, and you will make a hefty commission, usually at or over 50%, for each sale.

If you go to Clickbank.com you will find it remarkably easy to establish an account. The most difficult part will be choosing a name that may not already be taken. Keep in mind that later on you may use that name when you sell a product, so don’t make it too funky. Something marketing related like myproducts would be good. I believe it is limited to 10 characters.

Now head on over to the Clickbank “marketplace” and you will see that it is divided into various “niches”, or areas of interest. You will be able to create what is called a “hoplink” for each one of those products, that would lead to paying YOU the commission if you were to sell that product. Clickbank recently introduced a way to “cloak” your hoplink so that people will not be able to easily figure out the product name, and place their own affiliate id into this url instead of yours.

There are a huge number of ways to decide on which products to sell, but it depends of course on what you plan to focus on with the subscribers that you will eventually be getting and repeatedly “making suggestions” (selling) to. One thing to look for in product is a high “gravity” meaning that a lot of other affiliates are promoting the product, not just the product owner.

As with most of these newsletters, I’m pointing you in the right direction, but it is up to you to find out as much as you can through the Clickbank marketplace itself and through forums. In my next report, I’ll be talking about forums and how you can use them.

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now http://lock-in-your-position.com/lp3/?sponsor=homeprofitcoach

SAVING 22 Home Security Tips for the Holiday Season

SAVING

22 Home Security Tips for the Holiday Season

22 Home Security Tips for the Holiday Season

9 MINUTE READ

Content Sponsored by SimpliSafe

Christmas is just around the corner! You’re probably preparing to travel over the river and through the woods to exchange gifts and spend time with loved ones.
As you get ready to celebrate, there’s one thing that should be at the top of your check-it-twice list: Figuring out how to secure your home from bah-humbug burglars who want to steal more than your holiday cheer.

Think back to glorious 1990 and the movie Home Alone. (Yep, we think the fact it came out over 20 years ago is scary too.) We’re not saying you need to tar the steps, heat the doorknobs, put cutouts of Michael Jordan in the windows, and release the tarantula—but there are some easy steps you can take to protect your home, family and memories.

1. Get to know your neighbors (especially the nosey ones).

Okay, we know some neighbors are quirky and some might be annoying—especially when they blow leaves and grass all over your driveway. But there has to be one neighbor you can ask to look out for deliveries, newspapers and the trash can. Remember Old Man Marley in Home Alone? He scared Kevin at the start, but they were friends by the end! So muster up some courage (and cookies) and ask a neighbor for a hand.

 

Ready to start saving? Download our free budgeting tool today!

2. Find out about the neighborhood watch in your area.

Did you know Facebook hosts a national neighborhood watch page that’s a division of the National Sheriffs’ Association? Check it out to see if your area has a group (which could be really helpful while you’re away). You could also reach out to your community’s homeowners association.

3. Get packages shipped to your workplace.

Or at least track them so you can tell that friendly neighbor when to pick them up. That way they’re not piling up on your porch and announcing you’re not home to the world.

4. Shovel the snow from your driveway.

If a burglar is scoping out your neighborhood and sees your driveway hasn’t been cleared (when everyone else has done theirs), they might think you’re away. Give a neighbor’s kid the chance to earn some festive commission. And maybe give them a little extra if they build an awesome snowman. Nothing says “We’re home for the holidays!” like a fresh snowman in the front yard. Now that’s festive and effective.

5. If you live in an apartment, get to know management and maintenance staff.

Not only will you recognize them if they come knocking, but they’re also more likely to remember you (and help out!) if you need them. Why not bake some cookies to show them a little love? And if you live in a ground floor apartment, double-check that your windows and porch doors are locked and your curtains are drawn.

6. Don’t showcase expensive items.

We get it: There’s nothing like seeing that Christmas tree twinkling in the front room. But those big, boxed gifts around it? That’s like window shopping to the Wet Bandits. Move those presents out of sight from people creeping by and looking for easy pickings.

7. Make it sound like someone is home.

Timers on your indoor lights? Check. Timers on the outside lights? Check! Lights are the obvious things to remember here, but think about sound too. Try setting up a clock radio or iPad near the front door and time it to turn on during the day. If your TV can be seen from outside, link it to your smartphone to turn on while you’re away.

8. Change up your spare key hiding spots.

It’s handy to have a spare key outside in case you get locked out. But how easy is it to find? Try thinking of obvious places a burglar would look. Is it under the flower pot or on top of the door frame? Too easy. But buried under the third shrub from the right? Now that’s better. Get creative if you’re keeping a key outside.

9. Make a spare key inventory.

We’ve all gotten a little too happy with key cutter kiosks at the store every once in a while—but now everyone from Aunt Betsy to second cousin Stu has a key to your place! And Aunt Betsy might not have the best memory when it comes to where she leaves things. Take a moment to write down who has a spare key and who really needs one, and make sure they’re all accounted for.

10. Put combination locks on your shed and backyard fence.

This one’s simple: If your garden shed is home to expensive tools and equipment, you need a lock on the door. Same goes for your backyard fence.

11. Make sure your garage is locked.

Raise your hand if you don’t lock the door that leads to your garage when you leave. It’s an easy one to forget! And what about leaving the garage door opener inside your car . . . while it’s parked in the driveway for days on end? Guilty as charged. You should always make sure to bring garage door openers inside with you, otherwise you’re giving burglars an invitation to waltz right on in and shut the door behind them.

12. Trim trees and overgrown shrubs so there’s less cover for thieves.

Trees can give you private, cozy seclusion—and that’s great for you. But it’s also great for thieves who want to hide from security lights or watchful eyes of neighbors.

13. Try to rob your own home.

This sounds nuts, but hear us out! Remember when we talked about being creative with hiding your spare key? Well, spend some time trying to get into your own home. You want to find yourself saying things like, “The freakin’ fence is locked!” or “Oh, the windows are locked too,” and “I see a light and can hear a TV—someone’s home!” If you’re thinking it, then a pesky thief probably will too and give up.

14. Don’t share too much on social media.

It’s never a good idea to overshare on Facebook, but it’s a really bad idea to advertise your travel plans to everyone. If you’re just dying to post a selfie of your feet dipped in the ocean, wait until you get home! Check out more tips on prepping for travel in our Ultimate Travel Checklist.

15. Do you have a family password?

To keep your kids safe during those times they’re home alone (and older than Kevin McCallister), establish a family password. This is a word or phrase that only you and your kiddos know. It can be shared with close family and friends as needed, but it’s meant to keep strangers out.

16. Don’t hide cash under your mattress.

Or in the freezer. Or the cookie jar. Or the million other places cash-hungry crooks look when they bust into a joint. Keep it in a safe, bank or mutual fund!

17. Shred documents you don’t need.

Because it’s not just the obvious things like electronics or jewelry that a burglar will swipe. Your mail and personal details with your Social Security number, driver’s license, and date of birth are rich pickings for identity thieves.

18. Lock your safe.

If you have a safe somewhere in your house, make sure it’s locked with those important documents (like birth certificates) and family heirlooms tucked inside before you travel. Oh, and make sure you bolt that sucker down so it can’t be carried away.

19. Take pictures of all your valuables.

This is an old insurance trick. Take a quick shot of your jewelry, art, tools, electronics, furniture or anything else that might tempt a burglar. This helps you remember what was taken if someone breaks in, but it’ll also help the insurance company process your claim. To find the best home insurance coverage, check out Dave’s recommended local providers.

20. Get references for any service professionals.

Make sure the housekeeper, gardener, plumber or HVAC guy is the real deal before you call them to take care of something in your home. The only person visiting your house without a reference should be Santa! Just watch out for those creepy little elves that sit on the shelves—we hear they can get just about anywhere.

21. Be aware of what you’re throwing away.

Picture the scene: The presents have been unwrapped, the gizmos and gadgets are ready to be played with, but the living room looks like the aftermath of a Christmas war. You’re tempted to stack the boxes and packaging at the curb just to claim your living room back. Stop! You don’t want to advertise those awesome gifts to shady characters circling the block looking for their next score, do you?

Break boxes into smaller pieces and put them in recycling or trash bags. Then wait to put those bags out on pick-up day. Or you could even take a trip to the recycling center yourself!

22. Install a home security system.

You’re probably wondering why this isn’t at the start of the list. Well, all of these tips are important to consider (and you could never go wrong putting them into action). But if you had to choose just one for your best line of defense, a home security system would be it.

That’s why we recommend securing your home with SimpliSafe. With zero annoying contracts and easy customization and installation, it’s exactly what your home needs without paying for the stuff it doesn’t need. Plus, a home security system can shave some bucks off your home insurance premium—and we’re all about saving money.

About SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe, Inc. provides wireless security alarm systems, cameras and monitoring services for houses, apartment and other commercial properties.

Content sponsored by SimpliSafe

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now http://lock-in-your-position.com/lp3/?sponsor=homeprofitcoach

8 Christmas Extras You Don’t Need

SAVING

8 Christmas Extras You Don’t Need
8 Christmas Extras You Don’t Need
7 MINUTE READ

It feels like every Christmas season, businesses are competing for your hard-earned cash in new ways. The festive marketing is everywhere trying to get you to spend a little extra.

And if you’re getting out of debt or building up your savings, the phrase extra money probably isn’t even in your vocabulary. But stores will do everything they can to convince you to toss a couple of added items into your cart this season.

Steer clear of these Christmas extras they say you can’t live without!

Extra! Extra! You Don’t Need These Things
1. Extended Warranties
You’ll hear the pitch for the extended warranty as soon as you reach the register. So, we want you to practice saying this: No. It’s a complete sentence. Now wasn’t that easy?

You should decline the extended warranty simply because it’s not a good deal. Warranties at electronic stores are ridiculous because these stores have slim margins on the products they sell. And since they have to make money somehow . . . hello, upselling of extended warranties. The markup is unreal! Stores can make a major profit (and commission) just from selling one to you. That’s why you’ll hear a pitch about a $1 warranty on your $2 pack of chewing gum.

Ready to start saving? Download our free budgeting tool today!

2. Store Credit Card Discounts
Say it again: No!

You’re getting really good at this.

Everyone from big-box retail stores to Uncle Bob’s Toothpick Shack seems to have their own store credit card these days. They’ll be more than happy to offer you 10–20% off a $7 purchase of Santa Claus socks, if you’ll just open a credit card account. And watch out for those tricky “store cards”—a lot of them are credit cards in disguise!

Just think, you could still be paying off this year’s Christmas next December! Talk about Christmas memories that last—bah, humbug to that!

3. High-End Electronics
So this is Christmas.
And what have you done?
Bought everyone on your list an iPad.
When your budget said only buy one.

It might be Christmas, but that doesn’t mean you need to buy people pricey electronics. It’s still Christmas whether you gift your friends and family with a nice coffee mug for beverage-sipping or a big-screen TV for game-watching. And once you start buying the fancy Apple products, TVs, cameras and other gadgets—where do you stop?

If you’re getting mom an iPhone, dad’s going to want one too. If you’re bro is getting a drone, what do you get your sister-in-law? Your 7-year-old wants an iPad? Nice try, kid, here’s a pencil and a notepad.

Think about it: Any way you slice it, electronics add up to be way more than most people want to spend on Christmas. But we end up giving in once we get caught up in the Christmas craze. Steer clear and focus on more personalized (and cheaper) gifts that will be meaningful.

4. Exercise Equipment
You might be thinking, Who buys exercise equipment at Christmas? And the answer to that is—a lot of people, actually. Why? We all know January is lurking right around the corner. And even though we aren’t about to pass up that second round of chocolate pecan pie, we’ll splurge on an expensive elliptical . . . in the hopes that seeing it every day will make us want to use it.

So you want to make a commitment to stay healthy—and that’s a good thing. But if you wait until January, you might find some better sales headed your way. Stores are trying to clear out what didn’t sell over Christmas, and they know the rush of New Year’s resolution-ers has already passed. That’s the time to score a great deal. Better yet? Check out your local Facebook Marketplace or craigslist for good, used equipment to get your fitness on.

5. Gift-Wrapping Services
If it’s complimentary at the store, go for it. But you really don’t need to pay for someone else to wrap all your gifts. This isn’t the North Pole. You’ll save a ton of money by just buying a roll of wrapping paper and a bag of bows from the local dollar store. It’s all going to get ripped up on Christmas morning anyway.

You could also get crafty and creative! Grab some newspaper, brown bags or butcher paper and wrap your gifts with it. You can dress them up with some festive twine and ribbon, or let the kids decorate them with stamps and markers to give to the grandparents. It’s affordable and adorable!

And if you really want to try something unconventional this year, how about using wrapping paper made out of a potato chip bag? We’re serious. All you have to do is turn an (empty) bag of chips inside out, wash it, and then use the shiny, silver foil to wrap your gifts!

6. Overnight Shipping
You don’t need overnight shipping because you’re planning ahead, right? Don’t wait until December 22 to order your Christmas presents. If you order a few weeks earlier, you might even be able to get free shipping and have it arrive in plenty of time for Christmas.

Santa’s on a tight schedule, and he doesn’t have time to sit around and wait for your last-minute order! Plan ahead (like right now!) so you don’t have to worry about those extra overnight shipping rates.

7. Everything on Your Kids’ Christmas List
Oh yes, this is so “extra” as the youths would say. Just because your kid (who has been mostly good all year) put 20 super-expensive items on their list doesn’t mean you have to spring for all of it.

Set a reasonable budget, determine what’s fair for each kiddo, and stick to it. Be sure you’re following realistic gift guidelines before you go out shopping. Don’t let your kid’s list dictate how much money you spend—your budget should do that.

Look out for sneaky buys that drain your budget too. Some people can spend just as much money on stocking stuffers as they do on regular gifts under the tree. Don’t get swept up in a stocking that looks like it was stuffed by Santa himself. Set a minimum per kid and keep it simple. Don’t break the bank on stocking stuffers when your local dollar store has everything you need.

8. Christmas Cards for Everyone
We know you want to send out the annual Christmas card with a festive photo of the family and your holiday-ready pet, but do you really need to?

If you do, go the inexpensive route: Skip the professional photographer and set up your tripod and self-timer. Or ask a family friend with a good eye (or on-point photography skills) to snap some Christmas photos for you.

When it comes time to print the Christmas cards, look for companies offering coupon codes. Some will even give you a certain number of cards for free—all you have to pay is the shipping cost.

You can cut costs even more if you only send those Christmas cards to five to 10 of your closest friends and family. It’s okay to be a little selective here. You don’t really need to send a card to the pizza delivery guy, your boss’ cousin, and your ninth grade Sunday School teacher.

Make the Most of Your Money This Season
Ready or not, this is the last full week before Christmas is finally here! We’re not trying to burst your holiday shopping bubble, but remember this: Christmas is all about finding joy by spending time with others and blessing them—not spending money just because every Christmas commercial told you to.

Invest in meaningful experiences and gifts that will make a difference in their lives—not in another fruit cake, trendy gift or touch-screen gizmo. If you’re stumped for ideas, we have plenty of purposeful gifts in our online store that will leave a lasting impact long after this Christmas season is over!

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now http://lock-in-your-position.com/lp3/?sponsor=homeprofitcoach

The Ultimate Travel Checklist

SAVING

The Ultimate Travel Checklist

7 MINUTE READ

Taking a vacation is a great way to unwind and relax. But getting prepped and ready for vacation can be a real pain in the neck! It’s easy to forget something along the way or miss a step in the planning process. And the last thing you want to take with you on your trip is stress!

Check out these travel checklists so you can be prepared before you hit the road.

Ultimate Travel Checklist

Travel Checklist #1: Getting Your House Ready

Here comes the “fun” part of walking through your home and doing the check. You know how it goes: it’s when you double- and triple-check everything before you can walk out the door in peace. Cross these things off your travel checklist when preparing your home for vacation.

  • Cut the lawn. Or ask a friendly neighbor to do it while you’re gone.
  • Take out the trash. Or roll it to the curb if you’ll be gone during trash pickup.
  • Finish the laundry. Don’t leave clothes in the washer or dryer. You don’t want to come home to mildewed clothes!
  • Change your bedsheets. You can’t beat the feeling of jumping into a freshly made bed, especially when it’s your own.
  • Set your thermostat to a lower level. Or turn it off completely. This will help you save on energy costs while you’re gone.
  • Get a timer for your outdoor lights. You don’t have to go Home Alone-style to make it look like you’re still there. A couple of well-timed lights will get the job done.
  • Leave a key with a neighbor (if you’re comfortable with it). This way, they’ll be able to keep an eye on the place for you and get in if there’s an emergency.
  • Check your water main and consider turning off the water supply. This will help you avoid a leak or—even worse—a burst pipe.
  • Unplug your electronics. We’re talking your computer, toaster and anything else you don’t need to run on a consistent basis. Your electric bill will thank you.
  • Clean out the refrigerator. Because really, no one wants to come home to molded food.
  • Clean up the kitchen. To avoid coming home to stink, don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink. And make sure to run the dishwasher before you leave!
  • Stock your shelves with nonperishables. That extra cereal and coffee will come in handy if you get back home and don’t want to go to the store.
  • Check your windows and doors. Make sure everything is shut tight and locked up.

Travel Checklist #2: Setting Your Itinerary

Now that you’ve gotten the pesky tasks of preparing your home for vacation out of the way, it’s time to make your trip itinerary.

 

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  • Figure out what days you want to be gone. Decide how long you want to take off and get to planning! The earlier you decide, the better everyone can stay in the loop with your travel plans.
  • Decide where you want to stay. Are you thinking a beach trip or just a quick getaway? Start checking those prices and pick what budget-friendly vacation you want to go on.
  • Send out your itinerary to emergency contacts. Share details like what days you’ll be in certain places, and don’t forget to include your flight and hotel information too!
  • Make copies or take pictures of important documents. This could include things like your reservations, itinerary, confirmation numbers, and driver’s license (just in case you lose the hard copies).

Travel Checklist #3: Getting Packed

Knowing you’re about to go on vacation is a great feeling. That is, until the realization hits that you need to pack! Ugh. Since we don’t live in the Jetsons’ world (yet!), that bag isn’t going to pack itself. Don’t stress! Think through the things you use on a daily basis and the things that’ll be needed on the trip—like your favorite pair of shades.

  • Clothing (don’t forget to check the weather report!)
  • Phone and tablet chargers
  • Umbrella(s)
  • Raincoat(s)
  • First-aid kit
  • Toiletries
  • Prescription medication

Travel Checklist #4: When Traveling by Airplane

Did you know air travel was once considered glamorous? It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it? People used to get dressed to the nines and relax as they flew the friendly skies. But just because air travel is a bit more frazzled these days doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared.

  • Check your flight status online 24 hours prior to departure.
  • Check-in for your flight via their app.
  • Put toiletries and liquid items that are going through security in clear, zip-close bags. Remember, keep it under 3.4 ounces!
  • Are you leaving your car at the airport? Take a picture of where you parked so you can find it easily when you get back.
  • Gather email addresses or phone numbers in case you need to contact your airline.

Travel Checklist #5: When Traveling by Car

If your summer excursion has you taking a long trip in the car, here are a few things to think about before you hit the road.

  • Get an oil change.
  • Fill the car with gas.
  • Check your jumper cables and emergency kit.
  • Make sure you have up-to-date insurance. Connect with an Endorsed Local Provider in your area to get the best rates!
  • Pack snacks and drinks. Loading up on snacks before you leave home will help you avoid paying high prices at gas stations along the way.
  • Decide if you’ll need extra pillows and blankets.
  • Grab some activities for the kids, like games, coloring books, tablets, and DVDs.
  • Gather some reading material or audiobooks. You can pass the time by learning more about how to jump-start your goals with our best-selling audiobooks.
  • And of course, make sure the car is stocked with all the music you could possibly need!

Travel Checklist #6: Staying Safe

Don’t get so caught up in the excitement of your vacation that you forget to focus some attention on your security. Here are some important steps you can take to keep your home and money safe while you’re traveling.

  • Put your mail on hold or have a family member or friend gather it for you. Letting mail linger in your mailbox for days puts you at greater risk of becoming a victim of identity theft.
  • Put your newspapers on hold or have them delivered to charity. One of the biggest giveaways that you’re out of town is a pile of newspapers in your driveway. You might as well just tape a sign to your front door that says, “Hey, world! We’re not home!”
  • Pay your bills. The last thing you want is to be greeted by late notices when you get back. Don’t let late fees for missed payments sneak up on you.
  • Call your bank to let them know the dates of your vacation. They can monitor your accounts for irregular activity and unauthorized transactions.
  • Confirm that your health insurance is up-to-date.
  • Secure your life insurance and personal documents in a safe or fireproof lockbox. Don’t have life insurance? Get a free life insurance quote from Zander Insurance!
  • Make sure you have an up-to-date will. This information should always be updated, but especially when you’re about to travel.
  • Use one debit card to minimize risk. And pay with cash at gas stations to avoid card-skimming devices at the pump.
  • Update and password-protect your smartphone in case it gets lost or stolen.
  • Keep your receipts so you can match them up with your statements later to confirm your expenses.
  • Secure valuables when you’re out of your room if you’re staying in a hotel.

Now comes the final step on our travel checklist—and it’s a big one: get out there and enjoy yourself!

If a leader doesn’t convey passion and intensity then there will be no passion and intensity within the organization and they’ll start to fall down and get depressed. Get Your Free Position Now http://lock-in-your-position.com/lp3/?sponsor=homeprofitcoach

How to Rent a Car Without a Credit Card

How to Rent a Car Without a Credit Card

How to Rent a Car Without a Credit Card

7 MINUTE READ

There are a million reasons why people think they can’t part with their credit cards. Believe us, at this point we’ve pretty much heard them all. One reason that always seems to pop up is the age-old, “But I need a credit card to rent a car.” And guess what? That just isn’t true.

We’re going to let you in on a not-so-secret “secret”—you can rent a car without a credit card. You can even travel without using a credit card. It’s mind-blowing stuff. In fact, you can live your life as you normally would without ever using a credit card for anything. But that’s a different rant for a different day . . .

Buckle up, because we’re about to show you how to rent a car without a credit card.

How to Rent a Car Without a Credit Card

Renting a car without using a credit card sounds fine and dandy in theory, but how does it all shake out in reality? Look no further, we’ve got you covered with seven tips to figure out how to rent a car without a credit card.

1. Choose a company that allows you to rent a car with a debit card.

Believe it or not, they’re out there. And they’re more than myth or legend.

 

More than 5 million have beaten debt this way. You can too!

Up until now, a lot of car rental companies would make you jump through some serious hoops if you slapped down a debit card instead of a credit card. And some of them still will. If you want to rent a car without using a credit card you might be asked to bring in everything but your social security card, medical history and attendance report from third grade.

Okay, we’re kidding. But only kind of.

Car rental companies vary on what they require from you if you’re paying with a debit card. But some common things they might ask for are proof of car insurance, a pay stub, a recent bank statement, or even a utility bill with an address that matches the one on your driver’s license.

Our friends at Dollar Car Rental are one of those not-so-mythical creatures who will let you rent a car with a debit card (that is, non-prepaid debit cards backed by Visa, Mastercard or Discover). Imagine that, a car rental company who will take your debit card (and not your first born with it). Dollar will rent a car to you, process your debit card, and send you on your way. Renting a car with a debit card just got much easier. Finally!

2. Research your car options.

Some car rental companies limit the types of cars you can rent if you’re paying with a debit card. Check with your rental company to see what kinds of vehicles you can rent when paying with a debit card. If you have your sights set on renting a luxury or exotic type of vehicle, you might have to think again. But don’t worry, those minivans and economy cars are calling your name! And they’ll get you better gas mileage anyway.

3. Meet minimum age requirements.

A lot of car rental companies are going to either not allow you to rent a car until you’re 25, or they’ll make you pay a pretty penny for being under their age requirement. That’s standard stuff. But Dollar Car Rental is one of the few companies that will let anyone age 20 and up rent a car—and you can use your debit card too. How’s that for first-class treatment?

4. Have a valid driver’s license.

This goes without saying, but if you want to rent a car then you need to have a valid, up-to-date driver’s license. Why? Because those of us on the open road with you want to be sure you know how to drive. Funny how things work like that, isn’t it?

But really—don’t forget your driver’s license at home.

5. Be prepared for credit checks.

If you want to rent a car without a credit card, some companies will run a credit check on you—because seeing how well you manage debt somehow means you’re more likely to return their rental car. Yeah, we don’t get it either. And neither does Dollar. They want to save you that hassle, which is why they’ve done away with credit checks and credit limits.

6. Look out for travel plan requirements.

Car rental companies can be pretty nosy when it comes to your travel plans—especially at airports. If you land at the Nashville airport and want to rent a car with a debit card, you’ll be asked to show proof of your return flight out of Nashville.

This is another area where Dollar is flexible. As long as you book your car rental 24 hours in advance, just show your driver’s license, pay with a debit card and you’re all set. Didn’t book in advance? No sweat. Just be sure to bring in a second form of I.D. and your travel plans (along with your license and debit card).

7. Prepare for holds/deposits.

Holy inconvenience, Batman! No one wants to see a hold from the rental company sitting in their bank account. Here’s the thing: A hold can be annoying—but at Dollar, it’s actually the same hold amount you’d pay if you were paying with a credit card anyway. So pony up for that $200 hold or deposit (don’t worry—they’ll give it right back when you return the car).

But Don’t I Need a Credit Card for Rental Car Insurance?

Ah, yes—this is a common misconception. Most people assume they need to use a credit card to rent a car so they can get insurance coverage through their credit company.

But guess what? You’re actually covered through your primary car insurance carrier! Take that credit card companies! We don’t need you! Besides, not every card offers coverage, and some of them don’t even cover property damage or damage to another vehicle anyway.

Benefits of Renting a Car With a Debit Card

Here’s a crazy notion: Renting a car with a debit card means that the price they quote you is actually the price you’re going to pay. Why? Because paying with a debit card means no interest added (unlike paying with a credit card).

If you rent a car with a credit card, you’ll end up paying interest on the amount of the rental price you put on the card. And every month you don’t pay it off, you’ll add on more and more interest. So a $300 car rental that seemed like such a good deal, could end up costing you. . . well, a lot!

Let’s say you charge that $300 car rental fee to your credit card, which has an annual percentage rate of 19%. You’re in no real hurry to pay it off and drag it out over the next year. The grand total you’ll end up paying back is now $357.

And that’s assuming you weren’t already carrying a balance on the card. If you had a revolving balance of $1,500 on the credit card and then charged this $300 car rental to it, your balance is now $1,800. But with that 19% interest being charged on the entire amount, you’ll now have to pay back $2,142 total. Ouch!

You Can Rent a Car Without a Credit Card

Don’t buy into the hype that you need a credit card to make it through life. That’s just crazy talk. And you definitely don’t need a credit card to rent a car. If you’re looking for a rental company that makes it easy, reach out to our friends at Dollar Car Rental.

And the next time you need to hit the open road in a car that isn’t yours, remember what’s in your wallet—a debit card.

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