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Online Freelance Summit Offers 36 Hours of Advice Feb. 21-22

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Good advice is hard to come by. 

But for self-employed workers or anyone looking to join their ranks, we found 32 straight hours of good advice in an online summit aimed at helping independent contractors navigate the budding freelance and gig economies.

The Independent Contractors & Freelancers Online Summit runs Feb. 21 and 22, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m each day. The two-day summit concludes National Entrepreneurship Week, a congressionally chartered initiative to spur entrepreneurial education. The event is free and does not require full attendance to participate.

Anyone who is “interested in working for themselves should attend, as well as self-employed professionals who want to expand their business,” said event host, speaker and author Angela Heath, aka the Gig Income Guru. “Understanding business practices and advanced strategies to create a profitable business is the major hurdle that the summit will address.”

To register, visit the landing page and enter your name and email address. Shortly after registration, you will receive an email confirmation with details about the summit, including access to the list of webcasts over both days.

Including Heath, 14 speakers are slated to present. Among them are a mix of entrepreneurs, career coaches, journalists and authors who will guide you through the process of finding a profitable gig, fresh clients and long-term success.

Day one focuses on client-wrangling strategies with presentations on:

  • Finding profitable side hustles
  • Navigating the gig marketplace
  • Leveraging the power of LinkedIn, and more

Day two dissects freelance-business best practices such as:

  • Understanding financial statements
  • Promoting your freelance business
  • Automating the grunt work

Notable speakers include Elaine Pofeldt, journalist and author of The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business. She will present trends from self-employed millionaires. Leading personal finance writer and founding editor of SideHusl Kathy Kristof joins Pofeldt to speak on which side gigs are worth your time – and which aren’t.

Heath will cover how to find clients using various gig marketplaces, while speakers Muhammad Faheem and William Craig exemplify the opportunity such gig marketplaces provide – when used intentionally. Both Faheem and Craig leveraged their success on Upwork and Fiverr to springboard their own freelance businesses.

There’s little disputing that the freelance economy is booming.

Citing a U.S. Census report, Heath said that solo contract workers now represent three-fourths of American businesses – yet they are often left out of conversations on entrepreneurship.

“Most programs totally ignore that one-person businesses are important for the American economy,” Heath said.

A recent study by Freelancers Union and Upwork bolsters her case. In 2019, the freelance economy raked in nearly $1 trillion. The report also found that 35% of all U.S. workers, aka 57 million people, freelanced last year. 

To join their ranks and to cash in on a skyrocketing industry, be sure to mark your calendars for Feb. 21 and 22. While the live event is free, archived recordings won’t be.

Adam Hardy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He covers the gig economy, entrepreneurship and unique ways to make money. Read his ​latest articles here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.



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CVS: Deals for the week of April 5-11, 2020

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Looking for all the best weekly CVS deals? Check out this list of the hottest deals you’ll find in-store this week!

Here are the best deals at CVS this week, with a big thanks to Passionate Penny Pincher for her help in compiling them:

Buy 2 Covergirl Mascara starting at $6.99, Get $8 ECBs (Limit 1)
Use $3/1 Covergirl CVS App coupon or $3/1 CoverGirl Eye Product, exp. 4/18/20 (SS 03/22/20)
Pay $7.98 out of pocket, Get $8 ECBs
Free after coupons and ECBs

Buy 2 Suave Hair Care at $3, Get $3 ECBs (Limit 1)
Use $3/2 coupon from the 3/29 RMN insert
Pay $3 out of pocket, Get $3 ECBs
Free after coupon and ECBs

Buy 1 Colgate Optic, Max or Total Toothpaste at $3.49, Get $1.50 ECBs (Limit 2)
Use $1/1 coupon from the 4/5 SmartSource insert
Pay $2.49 out of pocket, Get $1.50 ECBs
$0.99 after coupon and ECBs

Buy 1 Colgate Toothbrush at $3.99, Get $2 ECBs (Limit 1)
Use $1/1 coupon from the 4/5 SmartSource insert
Pay $2.99 out of pocket, Get $2 ECBs
$0.99 after coupon and ECBs

Buy 1 Colgate Mouthwash, 500 oz at $3.99, Get $2 ECBs (Limit 1)
Use $1/1 coupon from the 4/5 SmartSource insert
Pay $2.99 out of pocket, Get $2 ECBs
$0.99 after coupon and ECBs

Buy 2 Speed Stick Deodorant at $3, Get $3 ECBs (Limit 1)
Use $0.50/1 Speed Stick or Lady Speed Stick Antiperspirant/Deodorant printable
Pay $5 out of pocket, Get $3 ECBs
$1 each after coupons and ECBs

Buy 3 Schick Disposable Razors at $6.99, Get $5 ECBs (Limit 1)
Use $4/1 printable, $4/1 CVS App coupon and $4/1 coupon from the 3/15 SmartSource insert
Pay $8.97 out of pocket, Get $5 ECBs
$1.33 each after coupon and ECBs

Spend $20, Get $10 ECBs (Limit 1)

Buy 1 Eucerin Lotion at $13.49 and 1 Eucerin Lotion at $6.59, Get $10 ECBs
Use (2) $3.50/1 Eucerin Body, Baby or Face Product printable [8-oz.+]
Pay $13.08 out of pocket, Get $10 ECBs
$1.54 each after coupons and ECBs

Spend $30, Get $10 Cash Card

*Deal Idea* (If your store has paper products)

Buy 2 Garnier Fructis Whole Blends Hair Care – $3.50
Buy 2 L’Oreal Hair Care – $4
Buy 1 Scott Toilet Paper 12 Rolls – $7.99
Buy 1 Viva Paper Towels 6 Rolls – $7.99
Use $4/2 Garnier coupon from the 4/5 RMN insert
Use $4/2 L’Oreal coupon from the 4/5 RMN insert
Use $.75/1 Viva coupon from the 4/5 RMN insert
Use $.75/1 Scott coupon from the 4/5 RMN insert
Pay $22.48 out of pocket, Get $10 Cash Card
$3.12 each after coupons and ECBs

OR

Buy 4 Huggies Diapers – $11.99 (Buy 1, Get 50% OFF)
Use $1.50/1 Huggies Diapers printable
Pay $32.97 out of pocket, Get $10 Cash Card
$5.74 each after coupons and ECBs

Other Deals in Ad

Mitchum Deodorant – $2.99
Use $2/1 coupon from the 4/5 RMN insert
$0.99 after coupon

Claritin Chewable, 4 ct – $5.99
Use $4/1 CVS App coupon
$1.99 after coupon

Persil Laundry Detergent, 40 oz – $4.94
Use $2/1 coupon from the 4/5 RMN insert
$2.94 after coupon

New to shopping at CVS? Be sure to check out my CVS 101 post that gives you the full scoop on how to get the best bargains at CVS. See the full list of deals at CVS here.



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How to Spend Your Coronavirus Relief Check: 4 Smart Options

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If you make less than $99,000 (or $198,000 if you’re married), coronavirus relief money is coming your way. President Trump signed the CARES Act into law on March 27, which includes stimulus checks for millions of Americans.

The maximum amount you can receive is $1,200 per adult (or $2,400 for married couples) plus $500 per child under age 17. Individuals making over $75,000 or couples making over $150,000 will see their check phased out by 5 cents for every dollar they earn over those amounts.

It could be several weeks — possibly over a month — before you receive your stimulus money, but now’s a good time to start planning how you’ll use that cash so you make the best of it.

Here’s all of our coverage of the coronavirus outbreak, which we will be updating every day.

Of course, everyone’s financial situation is different, but here are four key things to consider when deciding how to spend your coronavirus relief check.

Cover Your Needs First

If there were ever a time to prioritize needs over wants, this is it. This is especially important if you’ve lost income due to layoffs, furloughs, reduced hours or slow business. Your stimulus money should go toward making sure you have a roof over your head and food on the table.

Create a bare-bones budget and total up the cost of your absolute essential expenses. Then look at how much money you have in your checking and savings accounts — in addition to your pending stimulus check — to get a good picture of how long your money will stretch.

However, don’t wait until you’re in dire financial straits to seek assistance with your basic needs.

“Reach out now if you can foresee problems [paying bills],” said Chris Preston, vice president of corporate relations at United Way Worldwide.

Increase Your Savings

Let’s say you’re still working and bringing in enough money to cover your essential needs. Look to using your stimulus check to bolster your emergency fund.

No one can predict how long this pandemic will last. Less than a month of shelter-at-home advisories has forced industries to change how they do business, and many have all but shut down. The job you have today may not be guaranteed if this crisis continues.

While the typical advice is to have at least three months worth of living expenses in an emergency fund, you might want to bump that to at least six months. Your emergency fund should help you feel financially secure.

Separate your emergency savings from your spending money. A high-yield savings account will earn interest while your money’s sitting in the bank.

Think About Your Future

If your needs are being covered and you have a robust emergency fund, consider spending the money you’ll get from the stimulus bill to set yourself up for a better financial future. 

Taking a certification course could position you for a promotion or new job. Alternatively, you could use the money as seed capital to pursue an entrepreneurial path.

Making a dent in your debt or paying a large bill upfront rather than over time could help you save money in the long run.

You also might want to think about using your stimulus money to cover upfront expenses that’ll help you save money over time. That could mean buying gardening supplies so you can grow your own produce and cut costs on groceries. Or maybe you want to buy reusable products like cloth diapers or a bidet attachment so you can stop buying throw-away goods. 

Help Others

If you’re in a financially stable situation with a healthy emergency fund, another good use of your stimulus money could be to help others.

Use the extra cash to help a family member or friend in need or donate to a reputable charity. Or you could spend your money at local businesses and restaurants — whether that’s through online orders or purchasing gift cards for future in-person visits.

You don’t have to have a financial surplus, however, to find ways to help others. Donating blood, going grocery shopping for an elderly neighbor or troubleshooting teleworking tech for a friend are all ways you can be of service without spending money.

Feeling overwhelmed? Create a budget that works for you with our budgeting bootcamp!

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.



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Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): Forgivable SBA Loans For 2.5x Monthly Payroll

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If you are a small business impacted by COVID-19, including self-employed and independent contractors, you have hopefully been following the developments of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance (EIDL) being rolled out by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and U.S. Treasury. Details are still being ironed out, but PPP could cover up to 2.5 months of your payroll costs. Here are some general highlights from the Treasury PPP overview PDF along with some details from the Bank of America PPP application:

Loan Amount = 2.5 times Average Monthly Payroll. “The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.” In the Bank of America PPP application, two possible options given were to use 2019 payroll or 2019 1099-MISC totals, and then multiple the average monthly payroll by 2.5. So if you averaged $6,000 per month, you can ask for a loan for $15,000. Income over $100,000 annually per employee isn’t covered. Here are some details:

For purposes of calculating “Average Monthly Payroll”, most Applicants will use the average monthly payroll for 2019, excluding costs over $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee. For seasonal businesses, the Applicant may elect to instead use average monthly payroll for the time period between February 15, 2019 and June 30, 2019, excluding costs over $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee. For new businesses, average monthly payroll may be calculated using the time period from January 1, 2020 to February 29, 2020, excluding costs over $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee.

Fully Forgiven. “Funds are provided in the form of loans that will be fully forgiven when used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.”

In my Bank of America, the details are given that it is a 2-year loan at fixed 1% interest. As noted, payments are deferred for the first 6 months. If you use the money in an eligible manner (see below), it is fully forgiven and not treated as taxable income.

Must Keep Employees on the Payroll—or Rehire Quickly. “Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease.” In other words, this is supposed to encourage companies to keep employees and is separate from unemployment insurance.

All Small Businesses Eligible. “Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees—including nonprofits, veterans organizations, tribal concerns, self-employed individuals, sole proprietorships, and independent contractors— are eligible. Businesses with more than 500 employees are eligible in certain industries.”

Businesses are limited to one PPP loan. Each loan will be registered under a Taxpayer Identification Number at the Small Business Administration (SBA) to prevent multiple loans to the same entity. Owners with more than one business may apply for a separate loan for each entity.

Application Dates and Details. “Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply. Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply. We encourage you to apply as quickly as you can because there is a funding cap. […] You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating.”

While technically you can apply at any SBA 7(a) lender, as of 4/5 many of them don’t even have any formal application process at all! Bank of America started accepting applications early, but first required both an existing BofA business checking relationship AND a BofA loan relationship as of 2/15/20. They later relaxed the rules to require at least an existing BofA business checking relationship as of 2/15/20. Most banks are limiting the applications to existing clients:

In addition, the US Treasury now has a paper application that you can submit to any eligible lender. I have no idea what will be the best. Small local bank? Mega bank? I would assume that if you have an existing relationship with a bank, they would be able to just deposit the money into your primary business account. But I’ve learned to stop making assumptions in 2020!

The funds are supposed to go out first come, first served, although they may expand the amount available. I’m sure that is not helping the chaos. No documentation was required upfront for BofA, but I would get your payroll documentation ready to submit as soon as they ask for it.



“The editorial content here is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone. This email may contain links through which we are compensated when you click on or are approved for offers.”

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): Forgivable SBA Loans For 2.5x Monthly Payroll from My Money Blog.


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