How to make extra money during rough times.

Please note: If you are collecting unemployment do some research on if you are allowed to make money and how much before it affects your benefits. This varies from state to state and if you do not report earned money it can lead to legal action against you from the state (some states it can even lead to jail time).

So, you got laid off or have free time and would like to earn some extra money. I’ve seen more posts than I can count promising to show you ways to make extra money but they are all the same – surveys, watch TV shows, etc. The problem with these is that you can put a lot of time into them but make little to no money (surveys have a habit of making you spend 30 to 45 minutes trying to “qualify” for the survey – even ask you dozens of survey questions only to tell you that you do not qualify and won’t get paid).

Other “make money” opportunities include spending money. Yeah, you can get a $100 credit on a new credit card but after you spend $500 (and pay it off) plus, not everyone is able to open and maintain a new bank or investment account.

This post is different. While almost none of these can be done from home (and actually require work) they can help you make extra money during hard times.

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Interviewing 101- A Few Quick Tips

While taking a photography trip today I stopped to have lunch at a Burger King. I noticed a rather unkempt young man (late teens, early 20’s?) sitting at one of the tables sitting by himself. Not thinking anything of it I sat a few booths over. Turns out this person was there for an interview for a job. Honestly, I would be surprised if he was hired (but he may have been for reasons I’ll mention later) and if he was his hiring didn’t have much to do with his interview. Continue reading

Tuftonboro’s Airboat Rescue – why aren’t there more on the lake?

Last month, on Feb 11th we had the deadliest day on Lake Winnipsaukee’s history. 3 people died when their snowmobiles went though the ice. Officials knew it was more dangerous than usual and with the ice fishing derby in Meredith traffic on the lake was a lot higher than usual.  Warmer temperatures earlier in the week had thawed areas of the lake (some even completely thawed), then cold weather for a few days creating areas of thin ice where it was thawed, then snow to cover and hide the thin areas.  Warnings were posted but clearly people either didn’t hear the warnings or ignored them.

 

Tuftonboro FD’s airboat rescue was one of only two stationed on the lake that day (the other was temporarily stationed in Meredith – the north side of the lake). They responded to multiple calls from Moultonborough to Alton (roughly 2/3 of the largest lake in New Hampshire).

 

First, I’d like to say that Tuftonboro’s airboat rescue team DID save lives that day.  There is no doubt.  Sadly, though, lives were lost and it rises the question – what about all the other towns on the lake?

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The American Health Care Act

First – it is nearly impossible to find unbiased information on the Republican replacement (the American Health Care Act) of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. ACA, Obamacare) so I’m going to try to take this from several different sources (biased either way or not) and see if it is the end-all savior that some think or the worst plan ever as others think.

Add in, this law, being written like many laws, spends a lot of space referring to other laws and would require an entire team to be able to fully understand then explain the law (it is like “The Handbook for the Recently Deceased” in Beetlejuice – “This book reads like stereo instructions).  The initial law, though, is much shorter than the original ACA – only about 123 pages.  Please also note, this is a first draft and likely to change.  If there are parts of this act that you do not like I highly recommend that you get in contact with your lawmakers – and do it quickly. Continue reading

So you want to help someone get a pet for a present.

The holiday season is fast approaching and many people around the world are thinking about someone who wants a pet for a Christmas present.  A lot of them are a parent who is considering a pet for the family and the point of this article is not directed towards them (but it could have some pointers).  This is for someone who is thinking of getting a pet for a parent or a child who does not live with them, another family member, or even a friend.  Please, read this article.

A pet is a very long term commitment.  By very long term I mean at least 5 years and possibly as many as 20 years.  Pets do not make good presents to other people.  Plain and simple.  It is a decision that should only be made by the person who is going to be the primary caregiver for the pet and those who live with them.  Do not, DO NOT get them a pet for Christmas.  Many pets bought, adopted, etc. this way end up in shelters within a year (puppy behavior is not good, dogs get big, cats misbehave, etc.).  Getting someone a pet as a present is a bad idea.

So, what do you do for the person who has their mind set on getting a pet this holiday season?  You can be there for them and if you are educated on an aspect of the animal that they want (teach them about different dog breeds, etc.). Continue reading

What’s with the complaints about stores being open on holidays?

Over the past few years (what, 5-10?) there has been a lot of outcry over people who have to work major holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. People even call for boycotts of these stores, hold protests, etc… Honestly, though, where is this coming from? Employees working these holidays is nothing new! Continue reading

This election has sunk to a new low.

First some disclosure, I want to be as transparent as possible.  For those of you who read this and do not know me, I am a middle aged and white man who is registered as a Republican.  I am college educated and my work is a mix of blue, white, and pink collar.  As far as religion is concerned, I consider myself a cross between Pagan and Agnostic.  I have lived in various states and areas that range from strong Republican to strong Democrat.

From the day Hillary announced that she was running for President of the United States I knew for a fact I would not vote for her.  I also felt the same way about Donald Trump (in the primary and the general election).

I voted for Gary Johnson in the Presidential election of the United States on November 8th, 2016.  I am not going to deny this fact nor will I deny that I have voted 3rd party for President since 2000.  Each election, though, there were candidates in the primaries that I would have supported for President but unfortunately none of them got the nomination (personally I don’t like the primary process anyway).  For the past 3 elections where there wasn’t an incumbent (2000 – Bush, 2008 – Obama, 2016 – Trump) I’ve been told I’ve thrown away my vote and by the winner’s opposition I got their opposition elected.

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Once again it’s election time.

Here we are in the same place we find ourselves every 2, 4, or 6 years.  It’s election time.  You can rest assured that Wed morning we’ll wake up with either Clinton or Trump the elected president and about half of us will be happy or bragging and the other half will be unhappy and possibly even complaining about how rigged the process is.  Then, a few days later we’ll all go back to our lives and forget about the process for another 2/4/6 years then it starts all over again.

I’ll admit, I don’t like the election process too much.  The delegates to elect the nominee is rigged plus the media likes to jump in and potentially influence the election (perfect example, Hillary Clinton announced she won the New Hampshire primary at 7:45PM eastern time even though the polls in New Hampshire were open until 8PM.  The news ran with this from that minute over the next 48 hours and then people oved onto the next set of states.  The truth?  Bernie Sanders won NH’s Democratic primary but not a single person or news agency went back and recanted the store about Clinton winning.  This isn’t the first time, too, remember Florida in 2000 when the news announced a winner even though polls were still open?

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So you want to help our economy…

Everywhere we look it seems that our economy, while we’re told is better than it has been, is still not as strong as it was in the past.  Granted, a lot that drives the economy is “consumer confidence” (confident consumers buy more while less confident consumers tend to spend less), very little can be done to change the public perception of the economy (as a whole).  People who are in well paid, full time employment are more likely to spend more (not just things that are needed but also luxury items) and are also able to save better for tough times that might come ahead, thus softening the blow when the economy does start to shake.

There are many little things we can do to help out our economy as well as keeping jobs in the USA.  Sadly, many people choose to go the “cheap” route which is one of the killers of our economy and job market.  Sadly, most of these do involve us spending more money but over the long run it will help our economy. Continue reading

Mixed feelings about uHaul’s uBox

I recently moved from south Florida to central New Hampshire and the move required either a medium sized truck and a trailer for my car or a container to move my stuff.  After research I decided to go with uHaul’s uBox (similar to PODs but smaller, 6’ X 7’ X 8’ (approx).  Since the move is done and my stuff is in my new location I’ve decided to write a review about how the uBox service works.

It’s safe to say that I have mixed feelings about it but a lot of this is also dealing with the people at the locations (so your mileage may vary).  I had my uBox at a uHaul storage facility and I loaded it up there (shuttling my stuff in my car, renting a cargo van one day to move large items).  This required at least 24 hour notice. Continue reading