Ask Stacy: Can I Make Money at Home?

Photo (cc) by gibsonsgolfer

Here’s a question I got this week about finding legitimate work that can be done from home…

Hi Stacy,
I stumbled across your site a few weeks ago, and just find it SO informative. Was wondering if you could advise on how I could find ways to make extra money doing something like data entry from home. I’ve researched endlessly with no available opportunities. What suggestions would you have to advertise some data entry services as side work? I wouldn’t even know what to charge for doing something as simple as entering data for business professionals for a few hours? Any suggestions?
– Shevon

The short answer, Shevon, is that, depending on your skill set, you actually can find work that you can do at home. The problem is the vast number of rip-offs out there that make it a job to find a real job. Not to worry, however: I answered a question very similar to yours back in December and put together a whole bunch of information and links that might help. Check it out here.

Here’s another one:

Message:
I am recently divorced, and my ex managed to deceive me into a very low credit score. I have since paid off all of the credit cards and am left with only the medical bills. All of the credit accounts have been closed, because at the time we were still together and I did not want him to be able to run the charges back up. Now that I am on my own with a score in the 400’s I need some suggestions to get it back up. I have a vehicle loan current 1 year in, medical bills of about $3500 in total, a “sideloan” from our house for $12,000 and my student loans of $13,000 also current. I am going to be back in school, so the student loans will be on hold and I was going to use that towards the medical bills. we were forced to do a deed in lieu so my utilities will be considerably less as well. My ex is a bit of a dead beat so I don’t plan on him helping with any of this which used to make me angry. Now I just know that I have to make myself better and move on. I don’t know that I could even get a credit card from anyone even just to put my gas on every month and pay off just as somewhere to start? What do I do?

Krushed in Kansas

Here’s your answer, Krushed!

It made me exhausted just to read your email – that’s a lot to deal with. So here’s my advice: Stop, take a deep breath, and don’t worry about doing anything today. The two most important things you can possibly do, you’re already doing: You’ve taken responsibility for your own future, and you’re staying current on your bills. These are the most powerful things you can do to eventually restore your credit history, credit score, and self-esteem.

In my latest book, Life or Debt 2010, I said that most people approach rebuilding a credit history like a video game, when in reality it’s more like building a ship in a bottle. In other words, it takes time and patience. You have some major problems on your credit history: That deed in lieu of foreclosure, for example, suggests a delinquent mortgage, and from your description, you probably have other issues that only time will heal – a gas credit card isn’t going to do much at this point.

So here’s my advice: If you’re paying your bills, that’s enough for now. If you find that you’re having trouble paying them, however, call your creditors and see if they’ll help. For example, your medical bills: Most doctors and/or hospitals will be so grateful that you’re actually willing to pay your bills at all that they may help with lower payments, or even reduced principle. And if you need professional help, here’s a story that will help you find it.

In short, Krushed, the last thing you need right now is to go out and get a credit card. Eventually? Sure. But for now, just keep doing what you’re doing. Pay your bills, then let time do its thing. A few years may seem like an eternity, but the time will pass quickly, your debts will eventually be paid off, and your credit score will head north all by itself.

In the meantime, you’re going to learn a couple of hugely valuable lessons: First, paying with a debit card or cash isn’t all that bad, and second, it’s not how many times you fall down that matters – it’s how many times you get up.

Got more money questions? Browse lots more Ask Stacy answers here.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
8 Retailers That Offer Free Prescription Drug Delivery
8 Retailers That Offer Free Prescription Drug Delivery

You won’t have to leave the safety of home to get prescriptions if you use these pharmacies.

5 States Where Drivers Pay the Most for Car Insurance
5 States Where Drivers Pay the Most for Car Insurance

Auto insurance will cost you more than three times as much in one state compared with another. Here’s how to lower your rates no matter where you live.

This Is the Top Home Insurer — for 18 Years Running
This Is the Top Home Insurer — for 18 Years Running

Homeowners are increasingly unhappy with their insurance companies, but one stands out for the better.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

10 Common Expenses That Have Skyrocketed for Seniors
10 Common Expenses That Have Skyrocketed for Seniors

Retirees must stretch their dollars further and further these days — no thanks to these costs.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020
The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020

Based on dozens of metrics tied to affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

This Is the Cheapest Place to Buy a Used Car
This Is the Cheapest Place to Buy a Used Car

Looking for a good deal on a set of wheels? This should be your first stop.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

10 Things the Pandemic Is Making Obsolete
10 Things the Pandemic Is Making Obsolete

Even if a COVID-19 vaccine is discovered tomorrow, it’s unlikely we will ever return to these ways of life.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?
Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?

You could save more than $30,000 by setting aside these costly expenses for just one year.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value
7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value

You can add value to your home without hiring a contractor to do expensive renovations.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.