How to Set Up a Teleworking Expansion Fund

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While some employers will pay for the equipment expenses of their teleworking employees, there’s only so much they can cover. Freelancers like myself have it in even tougher — they need to provide their own gear from the beginning. I guess the price of location independence is that we’re often on our own when it comes to these expenses.
Because of this, I’ve been building my own “teleworking expansion fund” over the past two years. I call it that because it allows me to expand the range of tools and skills that I have. The purpose of the fund is to cover work-related emergencies and pay for equipment and software, as well as the odd educational expense, such as books or seminars. My experience with my fund has been successful, and I recommend that you consider setting one up yourself. Here’s how to do it. Read More about How to Set Up a Teleworking Expansion Fund

Top 4 Ways to Cut Your Business Budget With VoIP

Vonage-logoWeb workers do pretty much everything else online, so why not use Internet phone service, too? Besides our natural technology addiction, there are actually compelling financial reasons for why using VoIP (voice over IP) services can be a good idea.
The cost savings can be significant over traditional landline phone services, depending on the needs of your business and whether you make a lot of long-distance or international calls. Here’s a look at the top four ways to cut your web worker budget by using a VoIP service.
Get a business phone number at a fraction of a landline’s cost. Using VoIP can save money on a business line in both service and installation costs. Service for a landline into my home office from our phone company would cost around $30 per month for local service, with long-distance calls additional. Read More about Top 4 Ways to Cut Your Business Budget With VoIP

Budget Tips: Everything Old Is New Again

emacI don’t know about you, but one of the hardest things for me about navigating these tough economic times is keeping my gadget spending in check. I have a problem, or more accurately, many problems, and they are all shiny, new and electronic. It’d be nice to say that I have enough willpower to forgo these things when the budget isn’t there, but that’s not at all true. I still have to scratch that itch, so I’ve come up with some ways to do so on the cheap.

Closet Excavation

It may not be quite as satisfying as unboxing something brand-new, or buying a big ticket item at retail, but digging around in your closet for old, nearly forgotten hardware and gadgets can actually be pretty satisfying. Especially if you haven’t looked at them in many years, since you’ll often be surprised with what recent software updates or new peripherals can help you do with older devices. Read More about Budget Tips: Everything Old Is New Again

Become a Mac Power User: System Preferences

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The great thing about using Apple (s aapl) computers (loaded with OS X of course), is that some of the tasks that can be frustrating and difficult on another operating system are simple and possibly even fun. So assuming you’ve got a handle on using that Mac of yours, it’s probably time to step it up, and work even smarter with your Macintosh. Here are five System Preferences tips that should start you well on the road to becoming a Power User.

Spaces (look for: Exposé & Spaces)

spaces_iconExpand on the workspace available to you, and organize your work all at once. Spaces gives you multiple desktops (also known as ‘virtual desktops’) with which to group your open applications. Some people like to group by activity (work, play, etc) while others may group by application (internet, documents, graphics, etc), and still others may group by project (website, movie, photography). There’s no hard and fast rule that requires you to categorize in any of these ways (I don’t), so figure out what works best for you. Spaces can be configured via the System Preferences application, and you can assign hotkeys and edges of your screen for navigation between your desktops. Oh, and there’s even a twenty-thousand foot view, where you can see all desktops at once, complete with the open windows in each. Read More about Become a Mac Power User: System Preferences