Let’s be honest in that job hunting can be very stressful at times. If there’s not too many jobs to choose from, they simply don’t offer enough for the work that’s being asked for. So, what do you do when the current options aren’t cutting it? You look for something out of the norm. Whenever people bring up job searching, they typically bring up careers in the business, medical or retail sectors. However, there are far more jobs out there to choose from that deviate from the norm. In this article, we’ll be listing four odd jobs that have a pretty good pay.

Casino Manager

Who said that casino goers are the only ones who can score a jackpot? You can basically guarantee yours by becoming the manager of it. Casino managers can earn good money by ensuring everyone is following the rules, checking to see if they’re complying with the federal regulations, and overseeing the payouts. You might not have ever considered a job like this but it’s perfectly fine to change your career course and pivot towards an industry you never thought of previously. 

Freight Manager

You know how some people become truck drivers and others become fleet managers? What if we told you there’s a third option in this line of work? This extra option is becoming a freight manager. A freight manager isn’t like a fleet manager where they oversee the fleet as a whole. Their job is to oversee what’s in the freight of a truck or another vehicle and ensure it gets to its intended destination safely. However, that’s only scratching the surface of what they can do. Here’s a brief list of other responsibilities you can expect to do as a freight manager:

  • Assessing the client’s shipment needs and coming with the proper strategies
  • Negotiating with carriers and signing contracts
  • Thoroughly reading the shipping documentation to make sure the company is complying with regulations
  • Keeping a tight record on all inbound and outbound shipments
  • Starting and broadening the relationships with vendors

A freight manager makes a pretty good salary for all the hard work you’ll be doing. The median annual salary for freight managers is about $67,000 a year.

Freight Dispatchers

More on the subject of freights, another way to get a job in this field is to become a freight dispatcher. A freight dispatcher is an individual who represents the company they’re negotiating for. They’re also in charge with delegating tasks and creating comprehensive schedules for the freight drivers. Compared to a manager, dispatchers don’t make as much as they do on average. However, they have the potential to make over $200,000 a year. The average salary of a freight dispatchers is $39,000 to $46,000 a year.

Computer Hacking

If you thought the other options were strange, just wait until you get a load of this job. Hacking is something that’s often associated with infiltrating someone else’s devices to acquire their personal information. However, what if we told you that not every hacker is a total crook and they can make a lot of money doing what they do best? 

A computer hacker is needed by a large number of companies to test their security programs. Hackers are very creative and can find new ways to infiltrate just about anything if they put their minds to it. So, it stands to reason to defend yourself against hackers is to hire them. If you’re someone who knows the literal ins and outs of computers, their systems and security programs, becoming a white-hat hacker for a company is your best option. It’s also the highest paying career on this list as the national average salary is about $94,000 a year.

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I’m honored to be hosting the Carnival of Twenty Something’s Finances today.  For those of you who might be unfamiliar with a blog carnival, this is a great opportunity for you find some great new financial blogs written by people in their twenties.  On the other hand, if you are new to Man Vs. Debt I hope you will take the time to subscribe to daily updates through RSS or by e-mail.  I’m glad to have you here and you can get to know my family and our upcoming adventure a little better on the About Us page.

In less than 4 weeks, my wife and I will be fitting our possessions into two backpacks and setting off to Australia.  Researching and planning this has been on my mind so much that I’ve decided it would make a great theme for today’s carnival.  Be sure to check out all the great articles from your favorite categories.  When you are done feel free to let me know your favorite posts and any backpacking experiences (positive and negative) you’ve had in your life!

Here we go…

Editor’s Picks!

  • The Dough Roller posted a very thorough article entitled Is Budgeting Keeping You Poor? He does a fantastic job of outlining the 7 areas which most often derail budgeting efforts.  I really appreciated that he took the time to add a “the fix” section after each common pitfall.  This is an essential resource for anyone struggling with budgeting!
  • Wren Caulfield presents How to Commute By Bike posted at True Adventures in Money Hacking.  This article is absolutely chocked full of information.  It contains 30+ links to specific items, bikes, theories, and other resources.  This is a topic that is near and dear, as Courtney and I will be testing this out in less than a month.  If you’ve ever considered biking even for a second, I strongly suggest you read this!

Basic Rules Of The Road!

Getting Started

Before you pack up your things and hit the road, it’s best to get some basic information.  Backpacker’s need to plan where they are going to start their adventure, what tools they are going to take with them, and have a least some idea how to survive while on the road.

In personal finance, it’s also important we get our bearings straight before setting off.  We need to learn to manage credit, gain awareness on topics like real estate, and become informed on different product options we have available.

Furthermore, backpackers must equip themselves with the proper financial knowledge to prepare for the worst and the best. For instance, you can be eligible for a tax refund if you visited Australia between 2017 to 2020 as a holidaymaker, according to a working holiday tax return advice. Just imagine the amount of money you can save from this information, enough to cover your expenses for your next backpacking trip.

As backpackers, personal finance matters. While we enjoy the backpacking experience, we must also ensure that our finances are doing okay to avoid dealing with dire consequences after the exciting and fun part. We must strike a perfect balance between work and play.

Here are some helpful, information-packed posts:

Managing Credit

Real Estate

Misc. Information

Reviews

Managing Money With A Pack On Your Back!

Managing Money

Some people believe that the backpacking lifestyle would be perfect to avoid to headaches of having to manage money.  This simply isn’t true.  In fact, backpackers in general need to be much more aware of how the manage their money in order to maintain the lifestyle.  Setting a budget, practicing frugality, and finding flexible income solutions all enable you to see and do that much more.  Here are some articles that’ll help you do just that:

Budgeting!

Making Your Money Stretch!

All About The Income!

Investing!

Life Experiences

In investing, the majority have the ultimate goal to build wealth.  They trade stocks, bonds, and other investments in order to maximize their return.  They sacrifice as much as they can in the short-term in order to be able to retire comfortably in the future.

Although investing is important to backpackers, they often times use a different currency.  Most backpackers trade stories back and forth in order to build a wealth of life experiences.  They too make many sacrifices in order to achieve their goals, but most would agree that it was well worth it in the end.  Here are some articles for the investor in all of us:

Relaxing From The Hustle & Bustle Of Travel

Relaxing

Lastly, it’s important to take a step back from the hustle and bustle of a mobile lifestyle.  Backpackers often have the best experiences when they take a break and simply enjoy where they are.  What’s the point of traveling the world if you can’t enjoy the process?

Many backpackers with modern work setups, like remote and hybrid work, tend to forget the true meaning of relaxing. From time to time, they would check their emails and phones for work-related matters. If you’re one of them, separating work and relaxation is crucial. Otherwise, you’ll feel burnout and can’t appreciate the beautiful things around you.

Enjoy your backpacking experience. Travel far and experience the different places’ food, culture, and traditions. Take photos of the magnificent landmarks you pass by on your backpacking journey. Breathe and live life to the fullest, leaving your worries behind.

This is a hard thing for us to do in everyday life, as well.  We get so caught up in the minor details of our financial lives, sometimes we forget to simply enjoy the process today!  Here are some articles that will help inspire you to pause and consider the big picture:

Which were your favorite articles?  Have you ever considered the backpacking lifestyle?  Be sure to leave your opinions below!

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Calculator surrounded by US dollars

Source: Pexels

Auto insurance is a necessary evil in the process of car ownership. Most states require some level of insurance, but if you are financing your car or want the assurance of coverage in case of an accident, you need to invest in full coverage. Once you have insurance set up, you have a couple of options for paying for that coverage.

Ask any driver, and they’ll likely have different opinions on whether it’s better to pay for car insurance monthly or all at once for the year. You find almost as many differing views on how to best pay your insurance as those who disagree between paying for liability vs. full coverage.

Comparing the Pros and Cons

Each option has pros and cons, so weighing your choices before making a decision is crucial. For many, monetary expenses are only one of the critical parts in deciding how to best pay for your car insurance. Keep reading to learn more about monthly and annual car insurance payments.

Monthly Payments

With monthly payments, your insurance premium for the year or the six-month term of the policy is divided over the number of months of your policy. A small percentage is added to cover administration fees and interest. Typically, the additional amount is equal to or close to one month worth of your typical payments.

Pros

Many people pay their insurance premiums monthly, as it can be more convenient than making one lump-sum payment each year. This can be helpful if you are tight on cash flow, as it allows you to spread the cost of your premium over 12 months.

It can also make it easier to budget for other expenses. In addition, if you need to cancel your policy mid-term, you will only be responsible for the payments you have already made rather than the entire premium. For these reasons, monthly payments can be a convenient option for many people.

Cons

Making monthly payments on your car insurance can be a great way to budget for your expenses, but there are a few things you should be aware of before you commit to this type of payment plan. For one, monthly payments typically cost more in the long run because insurance companies charge interest on the outstanding balance.

This means that if you have a car insurance policy with a $100 monthly premium, you could pay $120 or more over a year. Another thing to consider is that you could cancel your policy if you miss a payment or are late. This could leave you without coverage when you need it most, so it’s essential to ensure you can always keep up with your payments.

Annual Payments

Once your insurance premium is calculated, you can pay the total all at once and not incur the interest and administration fees.

Pros

One advantage of paying your car insurance premium all at once is that you’ll save money in the long run because there’s no interest charged on an annual policy. Another advantage is that you won’t have to worry about making a payment every month.

Cons

However, coming up with the total premium can be difficult for some people. It doesn’t make sense to do this if you have to borrow money from family or friends to pay your annual premium. In addition, if you cancel your policy early, you could lose a lot of money since there’s no refund for unused time on an annual policy.

A Personal Choice

Whether to pay monthly or annually for car insurance depends on what makes the most sense. If you can afford to pay all at once, it’s generally cheaper, in the long run, to go with an annual policy.

However, if paying monthly works better with your budget, there are ways to keep your costs down (like setting up autopayments from your checking account, so you’re never late on a payment).

Ask About Discounts to Counter the Interest

There are several ways to save money on your monthly car insurance payments. Ask your insurance company about discounts for which you may be eligible.

  • Many companies offer discounts for good drivers, students, and seniors.
  • You can also save money by bundling your car insurance with other policies, like homeowners’ or renters’ insurance.
  • Another way to lower your monthly premiums is by increasing your deductible. This means you will have to pay more out-of-pocket if you need to make a claim, but it can save you a lot of money in the long run.
  • Consider shopping around for a new policy every few years. Insurance rates vary from company to company, so it’s always worth comparing rates before renewing your policy.

Whichever way you pay, ensure you’re getting the best rate by shopping around and comparing quotes from different insurers!

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Are you tired of feeling suffocated by debt? Are you ready to take control of your financial future and achieve freedom from your creditors? If so, you’re in the right place. 

In this blog post, A. Fisher & Associates through their site www.debtreliefcanada.com, will share with you 10 strategies that can help get you started on your journey to financial freedom. So read on and get inspired!

  1. Know what you owe. 

This may seem like an obvious first step, but it’s important to know exactly how much debt you have before you can start paying it off. Gather up all of your statements and make a list of every debt you have, including the interest rate, minimum monthly payment, and outstanding balance. This will help you create a debt repayment plan.

  1. Make a budget. 

Again, this may seem like common sense, but creating and sticking to a budget is one of the most important steps in getting out of debt. If you don’t know where your money is going, it’s impossible to make a plan to pay off your debt. Track your spending for a few months so you have a good idea of where your money goes, and then create a budget that allocates money for debt repayment.

  1. Stop using credit cards. 

If you’re serious about getting out of debt, you need to stop using credit cards. Cut them up if you need to, but don’t charge anything on them until your debt is paid off. Using credit cards can only make your debt problem worse, so it’s best to avoid them altogether.

  1. Create a debt repayment plan. 

Now that you know how much debt you have and how much money you have to work with each month, you can create a debt repayment plan. There are a few different ways to do this, but the basic idea is to make more than the minimum payment on your debts each month and to focus on the debt with the highest interest rate first.

  1. Automate your debt repayments. 

One of the best ways to stay on track with debt repayment is to automate the process. If you have your debt payments automatically deducted from your checking account each month, you’re less likely to miss a payment or use the money for something else.

  1. Make extra payments when you can. 

One of the best things you can do is to make extra payments when you can. Every extra payment you make will help to reduce your debt balance, making it easier to become debt-free. If you get a bonus at work or receive some other windfall, apply it towards your debt. The more you can pay off each month, the faster you’ll be debt-free.

  1. Negotiate with your creditors. 

One of the most difficult aspects of dealing with debt is making the minimum payments each month. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to remember that you have options. One option is to reach out to your creditors and see if they’re willing to negotiate. You may be able to lower your interest rate or get a temporary break on payments. This can provide you with some much-needed debt relief and give you the breathing room you need to get back on track. So, if you’re struggling to make your minimum payments, don’t be afraid to reach out to your creditors and try to negotiate a better deal.

  1. Refinance your debt. 

If you have good credit, you may be able to refinance your debt at a lower interest rate, which will save you money over time. This is a good option if you have debt with high interest rates, such as credit card debt.

  1. Consider a debt consolidation loan. 

If you have multiple debts with different interest rates, you may be able to consolidate them into one debt with a lower interest rate. This can simplify your debt repayment process and save you money on interest over time.

  1. Seek professional help. 

If you’re struggling to get out of debt, you may want to seek professional help. There are many organizations that offer debt counseling and debt management services. These services can be very helpful if you’re having trouble getting out of debt on your own.

Following these 10 strategies can help you get out of debt and on the road to financial freedom. debt free future is within your reach! You just need a plan and the discipline to stick to it.

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This is a guest post from Carmen Bolanos, who regularly writes on travel and parenting over at NuNomad.com. She is currently nomading in Oaxaca, Mexico, with her three daughters who in her own words, “constantly amaze me with their art, music and enthusiasm for life.”

We are looking ahead, as is one of the first mandates given to us as chiefs, to make sure [that] every decision we make relates to the welfare and well-being of the seventh generation to come, and that is the basis by which we make decisions in council. We consider: Will this be to the benefit of the seventh generation? This is a guideline.

– an Iroquois chief quoted by Jeremy Rifkin in Time Wars

Minimalist and frugal lifestyles are all the rage right now.  It’s such a refreshing turn-around from the 80’s up-and-coming yuppy mindset and sorely needed not only by our struggling planet, but also by our souls, which I believe have always yearned for something deeper than the latest BMW.

[Click here to see the full list…]

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Sunset Plane

This week’s topic is about saving money while traveling.  I’m super excited, to say the least.  As you may know, I love traveling, but have limited opportunity given that we have 4 little ones at home. That said, I also love saving money while traveling, so this is an ode to saving money while traveling.

Things to know about our specific situation:

Some of these may or may not be different for your own travels.  Luckily, many of the strategies we’ve been trying to utilize in our own adventure can scale to trips of any length.

  1. We are treating our trip as though it may be a permanent move. Of course, we are going to treat some thing differently than if we were leaving for a weekend getaway.  Regardless, most of the methods we are trying to utilize are scalable to any length of trip.
  2. We’ve been planning our trip for well over a year. This gives us several advantages over other “getaways” that we’ve planned days before leaving.  In general, if you can plan ahead and you can exchange your time to save some additional money.  At this point in our lives, we are very willing to spend extra time researching in order to save a few bucks here and there.
  3. We are traveling with a 1 year old. This automatically increases our need for preparation, our need for stability, and the impact on our pocketbook.  However, we’ve been inspired by stories of much larger families frugally traveling for extremely long periods of time.  If others can take 3, 4, and 5 kids along, we should be able to survive with 1 baby girl!

How we are saving money (and plan to save money) on our trip!

  • Deals On Airfare: With a lot of time to plan, we started studying the price of flights almost a year in advance.  Australia is a long way away, and we saw round-trip flights ranging from $425-$2000 depending on when, where, and what you flew on.  Every couple weeks throughout the summer we rechecked prices to see if there were any specials available.  Eventually, we got an e-mail from Qantas advertising a special they were selling for the release of a brand new type of plane, which was going to be unleashed just at the time we wanted to travel.  When all was said and done, we were able to get 2.5 round-trip fares for right at $2000 (all taxes, fees, insurance, bags, etc…), but we had to buy before the end of October.  At the time, this was around 60%-70% of the best deals we were able to find on a regular basis, so we decided to pull the trigger.  Recently, the continued global recession has brought the average prices down a bit.  Tonight, I was able to find several “specials” where we could pay $2300-$2400 for everything, which makes our deal a little less amazing.  There’s no way to predict the future though.  With airfare, I’ve always heard to either buy really early or at the very last second.
  • Public Transportation: For Australia, we plan on purchasing bikes once we arrive and familiarizing ourselves with the public transportation.  Buying and registering a car, especially in a foreign country, can be a very time intensive and expensive endeavor.  Even on our honeymoon, my wife and I forewent renting a car and instead utilized different modes of public transportation.  Actually, some of the most memorable times were spent at random bus, train, and rail stations.  Plotting our course and getting to know the best way was like a mini-adventure.  Of course, this will be location dependent, but don’t automatically head to the rental car booth.  Considering all of our options saved us money and really enriched our experiences.
  • Packing Light: Our rule of thumb when traveling before our daughter was born was to only take carry-on bags.  I can’t stress enough how big a difference this made in how we traveled.  Not only do you avoid sneaky baggage fees on airlines, but taking less helps with the first two bullets.  For example, it’s easier to take public transportation, and it saves you time/stress at the airport (they can’t lose a bag that’s in your hands)!  For Australia, we have been aggressively eliminating our possessions.  We hope to be able to fit everything into two backpacks.  Courtney’s has one with a really cool baby seat packs, and mine is an over-sized camping pack.  I’ve heard some travel “experts” tell you to pull out everything you want to take the day before and then take half of that.  Sounds like good advice to me!
  • Frugal Accommodation: Since I have a background in real estate rentals, I’ve been passionately monitoring the local real estate situation in Cairns for many months.  With the wealth of information avaiable on the internet and programs like Google Maps, I feel fairly comfortable with the city even though I’ve never been there.  For the first few days, we are connecting with some potential hosts on sites like CouchSurfing and GlobalFreeloaders.  If we are able to line up a dependable host, this will give us a couple free days to explore the rental market in person and secure a very cheap, furnished 2-bedroom apartment. If your trip is a shorter one and you love connecting with new people check out the two sites listed above. In addition, you can tap into hostels, motels, modern rentals such as these apartments for rent in Macon, and we’ve even heard of people contacting local churches, which sometimes rent out extra rooms very cheaply.
  • Skype Vs. Cell Phone: We made the decision several months ago that we would use Skype instead of trying to get new cell phones or use phone cards, at least initially.  With Skype, you can get incredibly cheap unlimited calling plans to and from most countries in the world.  We were able to secure a local U.S. number for a couple dollars a month and set-up a voicemail, as well.  This will allow people to call and leave us messages even when we are without internet.  I believe our unlimited AUS plan is currently $9.95 a month.  We’ve also researched long-range walky-talkies for communicating with each other on errands, but haven’t bought anything yet.  Another service that I’m eagerly watching is Google Voice.  It’s not officially released yet, but looks extremely promising for those looking to save money while traveling.
  • Kid’s Habits: For those people traveling with kids, establishing a few early habits is essential for maximizing the child’s comfort.  The more comfortable a child is, the less stressful traveling becomes.  The less stressful traveling is, the less it ends up costing.  Since Milligan was a few months old she’s been sleeping in a “pack-n-play.”  She sleeps there each night, at Grandma’s, at the sitters, everywhere.  While this might be weird to some, she absolutely loves it.  This will allow us to be mobile, but still let her sleep in her usual surroundings.  It may seem like a small difference, but when you are dealing with a 12 month old, you will take all the small victories you can get.
  • Exchange Rates: While I’d never advocate trying to time any market, your money can go a lot further in some countries than in others.  If you were making a choice between traveling to France or Japan in the next few months, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to look at the exchange rate of each currency. In our situation, we struck lucky. Within the last year the AUS dollar has dropped significantly in value, from nearly a 1:1 ratio to now every $1 USD gets about $1.40 AUS.  In our case, we’d be going either way, but we certainly aren’t complaining about our newfound buying power!
  • Sponsored Visa: Because of a mistake in researching visas (read below), we have switched our current strategy.  Rather than pay a sum of money up front to establish a permanent visa, we have decided to attempt to get an employer-sponsored visa.  This would mean that we would need to line up employment before achieving permanent residency.  In the event that we can’t line up employment, well…  to be honest we wouldn’t be staying in Australia past a couple months anyway.  In addition, with my wife being a teacher, it’s not completely impossible that a school district might pay for her visa process.  If you are traveling for an extended amount of time, be sure to check out all of your potential visa options.

Mistakes we’ve made that could end up costing us more!

Right now, there are only a few mistakes that are obvious to us.  I’m sure this list will explode once we actually end up arriving in Australia.  Hindsight is always 20/20!

  • Arriving In Peak Season: Unfortunately, June is the beginning of the peak tourism season for north-eastern Australia.  In the off-season, temperatures are much hotter, weather is very unpredictable (cyclones), and beaches fill up with tiny stinging jellyfish.  Let’s just say that it’s a little cheaper to travel in the off-season.  However, this is really the only time that works well for us.  Be sure to research your destination enough to know which type of economic “season” you are coming into.  Even if you can’t save money by traveling the “off” season, at least you will be informed enough to budget more for your trip!
  • Purchasing In Season: For our trip we are just now researching backpacking backpacks.  See anything wrong with this picture?  We’ve been planning the trip for over a year and even purchased our plane tickets back in October.  Late fall or even right after Christmas would have been a much better time to buy camping-type gear.  Don’t make the same mistake we did!  If you know your plans ahead of time, be sure to buy things like outdoor gear, swim suits, and even winter coats in the appropriate off-season.
  • Bad Visa Research: Initially it was our plan to get “Working-Holiday” visas.  These would allow us to work and travel for up to one-year.  If we enjoyed the area, it would be much easier to transition onto a permanent visa and/or to get an employment sponsor having worked for a year.  In our haste, though, we overlooked that you aren’t allowed to bring dependents on this visa.  While I contemplated leaving Milli behind (just kidding), we had waited too long to apply for any other types of visas.   We have tried to make the best of it (read Sponsored Visas above), however we backed ourselves into a corner that could end up costing us more money in the long-run.  Thoroughly check all visa options available to you and if you have any doubts contact a professional migrations agent.  We wish we would have!
  • Selling Potential Essentials: This is the counter-part to packing too lightly.  We know that if we choose to hunker down in one location there might be several purchases that we will have to re-buy.  However, the important part is that we aren’t sure we will be hunkering down at all.  For us, we gain a lot more benefit up front from selling most of our possessions and traveling very minimally.  In some long-term outcomes, we’ve conceded that this could cost us more over time.  It probably isn’t a huge deal if you aren’t traveling for an extended amount of time.  Sure, you might have to buy a toothbrush or shaving cream at your destination, but your overall expenses will be minimal.  If you are desiring travel for an extended time, you will have to try to find a balance between the benefits of traveling lightly and the drawbacks of potentially selling (or not bringing) some essentials.

How we feel overall?

Overall, I’m really proud of how we’ve planned the trip.  Early planning has saved us some money, but the far majority of saved money will come from lifestyle adjustments.  Not having a car, renting very cheap, packing super-light, and giving up cell phones are all lifestyle sacrifices to save money.  Although you can’t put a price on flexibility, it is obviously something that is very important to us, as well.  Some think you have to spend more money to obtain more flexibility.  For us, we’ve found just the opposite to be true.

I’m excited for this week’s show and hope you’ll come join all of us in the chat room.  With the variety of people that turn out for the show, I’m sure there will be a good amount of specific information on which individual websites are better than others.  Courtney and I love traveling and are always excited to hear about other experiences!

How do you save money while traveling?  Do you have any tips or suggestions for our journey?  Have you traveled for an extended amount of time (or thought about it)?  I’d love to hear from you!  You can enhance this topic by commenting below!

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