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Old 12-01-2010, 02:24 PM
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Default Advice for fellow independent contractors

For those of you who have been an independent contractor for several years, or maybe you've been an independent contractor for 1 or 2 years - what advice do you have for other independent contractors, be it work wise, tax wise, health wise, or otherwise?

My advice would be to keep up with how much you are making, and if you can afford it, get health insurance if possible.
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Old 12-01-2010, 03:41 PM
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I totally agree about the health insurance. It's also a legitimate tax deduction.

I'd also recommend putting 20% or so of what you make aside for taxes. You may not need all of it, but that way you don't get stuck around tax time.

Also speak with a qualified tax preparer or accountant.
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:16 PM
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Definitely agree with trying to get insurance. Mine would be to make sure you're at the right job. Mainly in the phone orders/ telecommunications business, there are many companies you can work for, so if you dont feel your doing as well as you can, check around a bit to see if the grass is greener anywhere else.

Check out the Wahm forums, as well as other work at home forums, and also google for complaints about these companies.

Last edited by cibermom; 12-01-2010 at 05:22 PM. Reason: remove links
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:23 PM
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Set a monthly income goal for yourself to work towards so that you can stay motivated by having your "eye on the prize". Also, reward yourself every now and then for a job well done! After all, what are you working for if you forget about some of your own wants and needs?

Don't forget to leave your office once in a while! Working from home may not always allow the "going home" or "TGIF" feeling you would have in a traditional environment. It is much easier to experience burn out if you do not take time for yourself and a break from your work. Plus, you will probably come back with fresher eyes, hands so that you don't find yourself spinning your wheels in corrections/error management which can raise frustrations and lower productivity.

Learn to snack healthy and take time to exercise when possible! While working from home may be a good way to increase your income without commute expenses, it also can increase the waistline if you are a snack-a-holic like me (I had to break away from my chocolate addiction very quickly when I started working virtually!).

Don't forget to exercise. Since most virtual positions require sitting at a computer for long hours, we often forget to get up and move around. This can make us a bit more susceptible for having illnesses and require us to use that health insurance later on, because we aren't maintaining ourselves. Exercising can also help to stimulate your reflexes and ability to think because you are getting that blood going!

Don't forget to thank your family for being supportive of your decisions! They too are affected by your schedule, stress levels and income. They will be much more cooperative when they hear how much you appreciate their support and a lot more understanding during the times of which you do have to work.
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:01 PM
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Default ACDDirect question

I took the assessment tests awhile ago , do you know when I will hear back?
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:33 PM
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You've gotten great advice so far. All I can add, is I have done both FT w/full benefits in the B & M world and now 2 PT jobs (one as an IC & one as an employee). I make the same money, maybe a little more now, no benefits. What I do have is freedom and flexibility. At this point in time in my and my family's life that is important. You have to weigh what's is more important to you at given points in your life. With respect to health, ACD is right, eat healthy and exercise. It can be very easy to work all the time to make more money. Get out, not just out of the office, but out of the house. Meet friends for lunch, walk the dog, go to a gym, volunteer at your kids school, have a date with your significant other. Interact with people face to face.
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bugsbuni View Post
I took the assessment tests awhile ago , do you know when I will hear back?
Send me a pm please as this is not a thread related to ACD Direct.
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:09 PM
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These are all great. I just wanted to ad to the lady that mentioned a good accountant for your taxes. H&R Block is NOT a good accountant! Nor yourself! lol Get a well qualified CPA that knows what they are doing. Get referrals. You will pay twice as much to have your taxes done, but the payback is huge when they are done correctly! You will walk away owing much less or a huge refund compared with H&R Block type services.

And don't do them your self!! Or have your cousin do them...unless they are a VERY GOOD CPA!!

If you haven't got the idea yet, we have learned this lesson the hard way. lol
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:18 AM
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For any WAHMs with kids who are not in school, my advice is to set aside specific time for the kids and specific time for work. When it's time with your kids, you're with your kids; when it's time to work, you're working. Though I've found that taking five minutes out of my work time to get the kids started on something can give me tens of minutes of uninterrupted work time!

Also make sure your husband understands that you really ARE working all day. Just because you're at home doesn't mean that you're playing around.

I post some of my advice and tips on a blog, PM me and I'll give you the link.
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Old 12-02-2010, 02:15 PM
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LizRickaby,

I definitely agree with making sure your loved ones understand that you ARE working. I can't count the many times that I end up having to wait for a phone call or be on the look out for someone who may stop by. Then, if no one hears me talking or anything, they assume I'm not working. My job doesn't require me to talk, lol!
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