A Roadmap to Financial Freedom VII — Show Me The Money
Part I of This Series is Available Here.
In the last article, I covered the check that we knew our system was working — once we had more money at the end of our month, than we had days left till our next paycheck, we were doing fine. However, the massive problem with having a pittance in the bank after you pay your expenses is that that small change isn’t going to get you financial freedom. As Investopedia puts it, personal financial management is about meeting your financial goals. In all the people I know, I’ve never met someone whose financial goal was to be able to afford an extra box of KFC at the end of the month.
Side Hustle Calling
In the fourth article in the series (if you can part the mists of time), you’ll realize that I spoke about a side hustle. The big problem with side hustles is that when you get paid online, how do you get that money to your bank account? For the Americans in my audience, I can almost hear the lightbulbs go “ding!” as they realize that PayPal is a thing. For those of us in the rest of the world, PayPal is also something we can use, but getting it from PayPal to usable, liquid funds is easier said than done.
Paypal’s transfer mechanism only works to a VISA card (credit or debit) or a US Bank Account. Most of us who live in Trinidad and Tobago don’t have a US bank account, nor do we have the time or finances to go there to open one. Many of us don’t have a credit card either — when I started this freelancing thing, I had no credit card to withdraw money into. So how did I bypass this massive hurdle, especially if I was too poor to afford a credit card?
The Good Word of Payoneer
Payoneer is by far the best solution for those of us who want to earn money overseas and don’t have access to an American bank account. Payoneer offers a simple payment system that can even be linked with PayPal if you want (although you pay twice the fees in that case) and gives you a debit card that’s connected to an actual account. They’ll even mail the card to you. International Money Transfers also notes that Payoneer, though a bit slower in transferring money and closing transactions, is actually cheaper than PayPal from a business perspective.
Now I have to admit that I have a Payoneer affiliate link, and I’d like you to use it to sign up as a sign of support. But it’s not necessary. You can go to Payoneer on your own and sign up there, no sweat. If you’d like to use my link, however, here it is.
How to Get Paid Online
Remember, during that side hustle article, I told you that you should hold off before choosing a side hustle and getting into it. You didn’t listen to me, did you? If you did, then now’s the time you should start deciding how you’re going to approach your side hustle. Sign up for your Payoneer card and account, and you’ll have a line of money that you can get access to from any country in the world, no need to worry about currency controls or payment limits. You can only use funds on your card, though — it’s a debit card, not a credit card. It’s also a MasterCard, so you can’t use it at places that don’t take that variety of plastic. Luckily, Amazon accepts MasterCard just fine (as does most online retailers). You can even withdraw your funds from a local ATM in local currency with a minimal transfer fee.
If you didn’t listen to me, well, there’s no harm done, and now you know how you’re going to get paid. Mailing your Payoneer card to you will take about two to three weeks, all told. If you already have a debit or credit card that you can link to PayPal, then that’s a good thing, and you can use that instead. In my next article, I’m going to dig a little deeper into how we can level some of your long-term debt. Until then, make sure you update your expense tracker!
Jason K. Dookeran