Dear Dave: I’ve always wanted to work from home. How can I separate the scams online and on television from the real jobs where I can make money?
Dear Randy: The vast majority of things you see in late-night infomercials and online—except of course for legitimate job hunter sites—are scams. I’m talking about the business-in-a-box kind of stuff and everything else. And I know you’ve seen the postings online that go something like, “My sister-in-law makes $50 an hour from home, and you can, too!” These scammers are the worst of the worst. Don’t waste a second of your time on that garbage.
My biggest worry is that you’re looking at your career the wrong way. Just making money shouldn’t be the measuring stick of success in your professional life. Whether you’re going to start a home business or work in an office for someone else, your work should engage you in doing something you know about and love.
You spend too many hours of your life at work to be miserable in what you do. Shuffling day after day through a job you don’t like—even one with a big paycheck attached—is also a bad idea. Sooner or later the fact that you don’t like your work is going to catch up with you on the job and at home.
Think of something you love to do, then get creative and find a way to make money at it. It may mean turning a hobby into a part-time gig nights and weekends for starters. Who knows, with a lot of hard work and a little creativity, you could be your own boss in no time!
Dear Dave: My dad and I have been having arguments over real estate and money. My wife and I are 33, and we have a rental property. We were trying to decide whether or not to sell the rental in order to pay down on our home. My dad has been very vocal about what he thinks we should do, and it’s starting to cause problems in our relationship. The two homes are our only debt, and we make $110,000 a year. We owe $132,000 on our residence and $80,000 on the rental. We could sell the rental for around $160,000. What do you think we should do?
Dear Ricky: I wouldn’t sell the rental today, but it’s definitely a strong consideration in the future. You wouldn’t realize enough from its sale to pay off it and your home at this point, so work aggressively toward paying down the mortgage on your home. Then, when you get far enough down that the sale of the rental would pay it off, go for it if that’s what you both want. You’re doing really well financially for a couple your age in San Diego.
Now, let’s talk about something else for a moment. I would love for you to listen to your dad for advice, but I would not be arguing with him about what you are going to do with your money. You’re a man. I don’t know if you just used the incorrect word there for how the discussion went down, but if not, I wanted to correct that as a boundary issue in your family.
Keep up the good work, Ricky!
Dave’s latest project, EveryDollar, provides a free online budget tool. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.