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15 Little Life Hacks

Thank you to this month’s IWT sponsors

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In the last few months, I’ve been restructuring a lot of my business behind the scenes to help me focus on writing and producing more stuff to help you guys — whether on this blog, my newsletter (which is dramatically improved…and still free), on TV, Earn1k, and more.

My team has been helping me handle things like technology and customer service. When I saw how well it was going, I built a team to proactively find the best companies I want to partner with — so I can stay focused on writing for you.

So today, I wanted to thank a couple of great sponsors that have been helping me out.

FreshBooks is an online invoicing service that virtually my entire team uses (I use it myself). It saves us time on paperwork and gets us paid faster. It’s also free — so if you’re offering services and need to get paid, sign up for an account.

DebtGoal is the best tool I’ve found to pay off debt. Debtgoal helps you aggregate all of your debts and make a plan to pay it off, focusing on the exact date you’ll be debt-free. They understand that debt is not all mathematical — it’s psychological.

* * *

Advertisers: We selectively work with outside partners. If you want to reach 300,000+ highly engaged users who actively want to know about the best tools and services to lead a richer life, contact

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  1. The freshbooks is something that every freelancer or self-employed worker should consider especially the fact that it excepts credit card payments. I have Martial Arts specific software that is invaluable.

    We have a Chinese place in town that only accepts cash or checks because they don’t want to pay the 3 or 4 cent on the dollar for the debit/ credit card transaction. We love Chinese food but often go to the pizza place next door just because we don’t have cash on us and don’t feel like writing a check.

    Contractors and freelancers often do this too. I have often got a quote for work from a contractor and have the money for the work, but if they want a check, I think about and are much more resistant to buy then credit/ debit card.

    If you want less resistance to buy, every freelancer and contractor out there should look into solutions like this. Not to mention all the non-value time wasted on collections.

  2. Awesome advertisement Ramit! So glad I tuned in. (Sarcasm, just in case you were wondering)

  3. @tim: what about paypal? i do lots of contracting work and while checks are preferred, paypal is an easy way to let people pay with cards.
    yes there is a fee, but i give either option- pay base amount with checks, pay with a credit card for a 3% fee. no objections so far.
    then again, i’m a designer, not a pizzaria 🙂

    curious what the advantage is of fresh books over just managing it yourself. i make invoices with indesign, and store the bill dates/invoice/other data in filemaker’s Bento software. its a little homebrewed, but it works.

    • Freshbooks let the invoice-ee pay directly from the invoice. Plus there are a bunch of other benefits you can read on their website.

    • cc – I think that paypal is a great start! I had a handyman doing work for me and was trying to convince him that it would be good for his business instead of writing and sending a check. Later on, you may want to go to a fully integrated solution.

      When my business was smaller, I used Quickbooks and their merchant services. The best part about using Quickbooks was that everything was ready for my accountant at the end of the year and at a glance, I could financially manage my business.

      It looks like this freshbooks is similar to the Quickbooks but it’s free. You can’t beat that!

  4. It’s good to see people genuinely just publicly thanking someone for their hard work. It is definitely not done enough.

  5. Great tip on the DebtGoal site. Thanks Ramit.

  6. Since I have seen PayPal mentioned several times I thought I would add this comment. Perhaps it should be entitled “What I didn’t know about PayPal.

    After a lengthy period of not accessing my PayPal account I log in and discover that there is no function I can use except to see my balance. The website provides a convoluted verification proces where they are supposed to call your listed phone at some point in time. The only problem is that with all functions disabled you can’t change the phone number to your most recent number if different that when you originally opened the account.

    Dealing with PayPal over the telephone is a nightmare and left me wondering whether I was talking to a real person or a computer. My issue is still not resolved because didn’t have the patience to see it to the end. Thankfully significant sums
    aren’t currently at stake.

    My “heads up” to all readers is to be aware that just because you can get into your
    PayPal account doesn’t mean that you can do something useful like transfer balances to your bank account..

    I probably should have checked into my account more often but then again no one
    told me that something like this was possible. Using or checking into your account frequently will alert you to such a circumstance at an early stage allowing you to get it resolved with enough patience and effort on your part.

    • Agreed. I have heard many, many nightmare stories about companies using Paypal. I would not risk it once I hit a certain amount (say, $500/month). But it’s an easy way to get started.