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How Technology Is Affecting The Financial World

July 30, 2012

Technology has been constantly improving and changing over the last few years, and it is slowly taking over both our personal and professional life. These aren’t the only areas that are being affected by technology, however. The financial world and retirement planning are literally evolving and changing every day due to new technology, and this technology is making life easier for people all over the world.

Financial Apps for Smartphones – Although many people depend on their smartphone to keep in touch with friends, family and professional contacts and to e-mail their friends or check their social networking pages, there are actually ways that your smartphone can make keeping track of your finances even easier.

There are plenty of financial apps out there for a variety of smartphones, from iPods to Androids and much more. These apps allow you to keep track of your finances at the quick touch of a button, and you can make updates any time during the day. You can also synchronize your smartphone to your desktop or laptop PC in order to share data across the two platforms and to keep your data backed up, just in case. Financial apps allow you to make a budget, keep track of your spending and your bills, and it can even help you with your income taxes. You can even get help with retirement planning through financial apps.

Investor Software – Whether you are highly experienced when it comes to the stock market or if you are just starting out, you can probably use a bit of advice every now and then. Investor software installed on your PC can really help you out. It can give you tips and tricks on what moves to make and more.

Virtual Wallets – Keeping up with your checking account, savings account, investments, bills and more can be a major hassle, and it can result in a lot of paperwork. Luckily, however, technology has once again stepped in to make your financial situation even easier. Instead of balancing multiple checkbooks and statements, you can use a virtual wallet to make things easier. A virtual wallet allows you to create a budget, pay bills online, keep track of paydays and days that bills are due and can even help you to make smarter decisions when it comes to saving.

If you have not tried financial software, apps or websites yet, it is time to give it a chance. Not only will you be able to save yourself a lot of paperwork and headaches, but you might be able to learn a thing or two as well.

Can’t Get a Job? How About a Micro Job!

July 25, 2012

With the economic crisis continuing to bite deep into families’ pockets, many people have suddenly found themselves out of work, or simply need a bit of extra cash to get by.

For those who have been made redundant, finding a new job can feel like a task akin to squaring the circle. And there’s no getting away from it, the jobs’ market is getting more and more competitive.

It’s a reality clearly on display when jobs fairs take place, with queues of applicants snaking round the block. At a recent two-day fair in California, which was looking for servers, bartenders, cashiers and reservations agents, more than 1,000 people showed up the first day alone to interview for 200 positions available.

If you’re in that soul-destroying position of firing off hundreds of applications and attending dozens of interviews, only to be turned down time and time again, have you thought of looking at micro jobs?

As businesses look to cut their own costs, they are increasingly looking to employ freelancers rather than full-time employees so sites such as eLance, TaskRabbit, Fiverr, 99designs and are becoming the way for firms to find staff they can take on board for a short-term period or for one job. is another site that has recognised the trend for micro jobs. “Our unique approach guarantees employers that a task paid is a task successfully done,” says the site’s blurb, “while at the same time guaranteeing workers that a job completed is a job paid.”

Just as the name suggests, the tasks assigned to workers are usually quick and simple – that’s why they’re called microjobs. Tasks include social bookmarking jobs, forum participations, creating backlinks and writing reviews or articles.

Whether you want to make these short-term gigs a career, or just help you get your finances back in shape, they can help you meet specific goals like paying off a debt, creating an emergency fund or saving up for a much-needed family holiday you may otherwise not be able to afford.

You may decide you don’t want to join the clock-punching employment market again after dipping your toe in the waters of micro jobbing. But, if you do, the skills you gain while doing freelance work can prove invaluable in getting back into the world of permanent work.

While working for yourself is challenging, there are a myriad of benefits. You can set your own hours, there’s no daily commute, no need to dress in a suit every day and no limits on the amount of vacation you take – so long as you get your work done.

It’s a system that can work particularly well for students who want a little extra income or stay-at-home moms who need to complete their tasks between school runs.

But there are disadvantages too. You may think it’s easier to get your work-life balance in order but, actually, you can find yourself sitting at your desk at midnight if you’ve had other commitments during the day. You have to make sure your bookkeeping is up to date and you file your taxes, there’s no insurance or retirement package and income is unpredictable.

And, if you’re thinking you can earn enough to live an Orange County-style lifestyle, it’s unlikely you’ll get it through short-term gigs. But if you want to get back on the employment ladder or fit work around family life, micro jobbing may just provide the career turning point you need.

Guest post by Liz Hands, a financial blogger who writes for

Making Money By Participating In Online Paid Surveys

July 10, 2012

If you are looking for legitimate ways to make money online, then you have probably heard of paid surveys. In essence, paid surveys are online polls designed to collect opinions about products and services. Upon completion of these surveys, the companies who administer them pay you for your time. Let’s get a little more granular on how these work.

How Do Paid Surveys Work?

The number one question people have about paid surveys is, how do these work? It all starts with a business. Businesses, large and small, need information from consumers about their current and future products and services to help them better run their organizations. To get this information, they hire marketing research firms to help.

These marketing research firms put together strategic surveys in which they administer to their registered base of participants. They collect their responses, analyze the data, and return the data with their findings to the business. From there, the business can then decide if they need to revise current products and services or add additional ones to their line up.

The businesses pay these marketing research firms to collect and analyze the data and then the firms pay the end user for their opinions. That is how these “paid survey” companies have the money to pay you for completing surveys.

How Do You Get Started?

After folks understand how paid surveys work, their next question is typically, how do I get started? To start off, you will have to find a great directory of paid surveys. You see, there are dozens of legitimate paid survey companies out there, but there are also lots of scammers waiting to take advantage of you. Find a directory of paid surveys will help you weed out the legitimate companies from the scammers.

Once you find a paid survey directory, you will need to sign up for all the companies. The more companies you can sign up with, the more surveys you can take. The more surveys you can take and complete, the more money you will make. It’s really that simple.

Once you sign up, you will start to get paid surveys coming to your email account. It is important that you take all of them, even those that may not sound that interesting to you. You need to remember that if you stop taking the surveys, these companies will stop sending them to you and you will have wasted valuable time, so keep taking them religiously!

How Do You Get Paid?

Now that you are taking surveys and completing them, the last question is, how do I get paid? Most survey companies award you points for taking surveys. These points can then be converted to cash. You will need to find the payout section of each site and select whether you want to be paid by check or through PayPal. I like to get paid through PayPal so I can have my money now.

As you complete you surveys, you will be able to track your points and then cash them out. Folks will generally start to redeem their points after a week or two.

As you can see, paid surveys are truly a legitimate way of making money online. It does require some effort on your part, but nothing in this world is free. If you have anything you would like to add to the post, or if you have any questions, please feel free to comment below.

Guest post by Steve Anderson, VP of, the leading provider of paid surveys online. To learn more about paid surveys, you can visit their site or check out their blog.