So you've got an entrepreneurial spirit, and you're thinking you can forgo the grind of the 9-to-5 office life (possibly along with its perks of medical benefits and a regular pay check) to work for yourself and spend more time with the kids. And perhaps you're not quite ready to invest your life savings in a home business venture. What are some careers where you can use the experience and expertise to build a career freelancing freelance from home?
These four WAH occupations can be traditional employment, but when done from home they tend to done by typically independent contractors or freelancers.
Laureen Miles Brunelli
Search the Internet for telecommuting companies, and you'll get lots of results. But few of those results really shed much light on what makes a telecommuting company. So I wanted to make a list that would.
It wasn't easy because companies don't always like to advertise their telecommuting policies. Perhaps, this is to avoid a flood of resumes, or maybe it's because telecommuting is allowed in some positions and not others or maybe companies are supportive of jobs but not hiring. (Appearing on the list does not mean that these companies are necessarily hiring at this time. The list has links to the companies' jobs databases; carefully search them to find positions that match your skills before contacting a company.)
I already have a list of more than 200 companies with work-at-home opportunities, but many of the companies on this list only have jobs in specific divisions. However, the major corporations I highlight are more than just "telecommute friendly." They have a proven track record of using a remote workforce across multiple divisions within the company.
See who is on my list of telecommuting companies.
Summer vacation lasts only three months or less, but parents can spend more than that amount of time planning for their kids' summer vacation.
Setting up summer child care is always tricky because you are likely planning around a schedule that is full of vacation dates and deadlines--all while hoping to add some summer fun into your kids' days. For work-at-home moms, you'll need a full repertoire of everyday summer activities too.
More on Planning for Summer:
- Summer Vacation Planning Guide
- 8 Summer Child Care Options
- Deciding on Summer Camp
- Everyday Summer Activities
- 100 Things to Do This Summer
- Free Summer Fun
- Working on Vacation
When trying to find work-at-home jobs, one of the most important steps when getting started is to take stock of your skills. What skill do you have that a potential employer might be seeking? And can that skill be translated to a home setting? If you are bilingual, this is a great place to start!
However, bilingual jobs require a multitude of other skills, outside of language.
- Teaching (or tutoring in) a language and translation jobs require good writing skills in both languages.
- Interpretation, which is not as likely to be a work-at-home job, takes a high level of fluency in both languages and the ability to think on your feet.
- Bilingual call center jobs don't require quite the same level of fluency in the spoken language as interpretation, but you must be able to speak absolutely clearly in both English and your other language for a bilingual call center job.
If you're considering a bilingual job and want to work at home, consider what skills you have and then check out these resources.
If you are just one of those folks who takes care of filing taxes well before the April deadline, and you're feeling all relaxed as the rest of us scramble to get our taxes done, don't forget that April 15 is also the deadline for sending in your quarterly estimated taxes. So you may still have a little tax paperwork to do yet.
However if you're employed and a not an independent contractor, you probably don't have to worry about it. Typically it's those of us with self-employment income that have to send in payments every quarter.
- How to Save for Your Estimated Taxes
- Independent Contractor's Guide to Taxes
- 2014 Deadlines for Estimated Quarterly Taxes
Let's go all you tax procrastinators! Get it done this weekend because you don't want to be doing in on the very last day--Tuesday, April, 15.
Tax Resources for WAHMs:
- Home Office Deduction FAQ
- Organizing Your Tax Returns
- Self-Employment Tax FAQ
- The Independent Contract's Tax Guide
- Estimated Tax Payment Schedule for 2012
- Home Office Deductions
- Direct vs Indirect Office Expense
- IRS Rules for Home Office Deductions
- Home Office Rules for Employees
- Home Office Deduction FAQ
- Should You Take a Home Office Deduction?
- Getting a 1099 Corrected
- How Does the IRS Define an Independent Contractor?
- Self-Employment or Employment: Which Is Better?
- Self-Employment Income
- Self-Employment Deductions
Bored kids on spring break often remind work-at-home parents of what summer can be like if you don't have a plan to keep them busy. Of course we should have started our summer planning sooner--and probably most of us have--but around now is when reality really sets in. Many summer camps maybe booked solid by now, but not all. So, if you're still thinking about summer camp as a form of summer childcare, no more procrastinating!
With Easter coming up soon, that means for many spring break is here or nearly here! (Yes, I know for many spring break is a mere memory now.) With a school vacation in the works and holiday prep, it can be tough to get stuff done!
We actually have two spring breaks coming up. My youngest is off next week, and my two older kids are off next. So we're not really planning much travel but instead a little recovery time for the kids. With the break being so late this year, they are frazzled with school work and activities.
So I do want the kids to have some fun and recharge during their time off. When they were younger the Easter egg hunt could morph into a week of scavenger or treasure hunts that could keep them busy for hours. These days probably a treasure hunt could only entertain my youngest. But I'm still game!
What's your strategy for spring break? If your still working on that, let these activity ideas help:
- Family Spring Break Activities
- Independent Activities for Kids
- Treasure Hunts for Kids
- Free Summer Fun (Good for Spring Too!)
- 100 Ideas for Activities for Kids and Parents
- How to Deal With Fighting Kids
- Easter-Themed Activities
Laureen Miles Brunelli
Yes, you read that right! Something with your taxes just got simpler...at least as the IRS sees it. I'm not entirely convinced that adding an additional way to calculate the home office deduction actually makes things easier, but I do think it has the potential to save some people money.
For tax year 2013 (which you file in 2014), the IRS has introduced an alternate method to calculate the home office deduction, using a standard deduction of $5 per square foot of office space. However, since you still have the choice of using the old method to calculate the deduction based on your actual expenses for your home office, any sensible taxpayer would run through both methods just to see which is more beneficial. Hence, this is actually more complicated for the taxpayer.
However, very few of us sit down with paper forms, a pencil and a calculator to do our taxes but opt for tax preparation software or a professional to do our taxes. And so it's probably not all that difficult to calculate both and pick the one that save you the most money.
What to Know About the Simplified Home Office Deduction
First off, one of the most important things to understand about this new tax rule is that it doesn't affect your eligibility for a home office deduction. All the same IRS rules for who can take a home office deduction apply. However, what does change--in addition to how you calculate the deduction--is how you file for it. Also it can become trickier if you change methods for calculating it from year to year.
To get the details about this new tax law, read the article Simplified Home Office Deduction and decide for yourself how simple it is.
More Tax Resources:
Email is the lifeline of a telecommuter. This article, How to Write Email (that Gets a Response), covers sending email.
But now let's dish about the email we receive, specifically the worst email that's landed in your inbox. What are your email pet peeves? Whether it's the style (no caps, no punctuation) or the substance ("You're fired!), share your story of the worst email (or emailer).