Be A Freelancer? Freelancing allows you to be your own boss. This means you make your own hours. Wear what you want. Does your current job have a dress code? How does sitting in your pajamas all day sound; what about just spending the day wearing your favorite pair of worn out jeans and that T-shirt from that unforgettable 1980's rock concert. If you are an independent agent, like a freelancer, then you decide the dress code. Making your own hours does not mean loafing around all day. It means having the self discipline to set aside a certain amount of hours that you work each day. But, as the boss, you get to decide what those hours are. That way you can pick up the kids from school, have lunch with the spouse, go to the gym during the day when it's not so crowded, and never have to make that horrible rush-hour commute. Being a freelancer means that you get to set your own prices for what your time is worth. No more waiting years for a raise that may never come. As you become more proficient and widen your client base you can double and triple your earnings as you see fit. Have you ever considered living somewhere else but your job and family obligations keep you stuck in the same place. Freelancing gives you the freedom to take your family, if that applies to you, or just yourself and live wherever you want. As long as you have a phone, a computer and a way to receive mail, you can live at the South Pole or Hawaii and still have a lucrative freelancing career. Your home is your office. You can be sitting in a coffee shop and enjoying a scone with a mocha latte at the same time you are making millions of dollars. When I was a child my father always told me that "nothing in life is free," and "if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is." In the case of freelancing the price is minimal. As you will see in future chapters you will need some general items such as a computer, a printer and maybe a fax and scanner. After you have the materials needed to be a freelancer your greatest cost will be your time and effort. How much are you worth? The best part is that you get to decide what your time and effort are worth. As far as the rule "if it sounds too good to be true it probably is," here is something to consider. You should not quit your day job immediately and hope to make $10,000 next month. Instead, start slow and work your way to making the money you want. If you are making the equivalent of your full time job and you have too much freelance work to do, then decide to freelance full time and quit your day job. If you work hard this process can happen rather quickly, so don't be discouraged. The jobs are real. The money is real. The only investment is the amount of time you are willing to invest. The market for freelancers is growing in leaps and bounds. The future markets are projected to continue to grow at the same rapid rate. This means more fantastic freelance opportunities and greater potential income. Have you ever thought you received counterfeit money? Perhaps you have received it before and you weren't sure who to contact. If that has ever happened to you or you are afraid of it happening to you, you can now rest assured that you'll know what to do if it does. Counterfeiting money is such a problem that currency seems to be constantly changing to deter counterfeiters. However, it seems that counterfeiters find out a way to duplicate currency soon after new 'counterfeit proof' methods are developed. Just because a new look comes out doesn't mean it is impossible to receive a counterfeit bill. On the retail side If you work in a retail establishment and a customer hands you a counterfeit bill, don't return it to them. You want to contact a supervisor as soon as possible so that the supervisor can assess the situation and verify that the money is counterfeit. Retail establishments usually have special counterfeit money detector pens that are used to mark money to ensure that it is real. The pen leaves either a clear to light brown mark on the currency if it is real. If it is fake then the mark may show up as extremely dark brown or black. After the supervisor determines that the money is fake, the supervisor will then take the money away and will contact the police. The police will arrive and do what they are trained to do to confirm that the money isn't real. They will then take care of matters from there by filling out a report and taking the fake money as evidence. On the consumer side Consumers have also been known to receive counterfeit money from banks and retail establishments. You may even receive a counterfeit bill at a yard sale. Anywhere money changes hands holds the potential for counterfeit money. If you find that you have received a counterfeit bill, don't give it back to the person that gave it to you. Call the police immediately. If you give it back, then you are running the risk of the money ending up back into the currency pool. This could eventually get someone into trouble, but calling the police immediately will keep anyone from getting into any type of trouble. They will assess it, determine it to be fake, and they will then take it with them to bag as evidence. Identification Money has very distinguished markings. In the case of the U.S. dollar, there is a small plastic strip that is inserted into the bill. It is on your left side when looking at it. You can also look for watermarks or even invest in one of those detection pens so that you can check your money to ensure none of it is fake. You can also look at it to see some of the tiny little fibers in the paper. They are usually red and blue. The paper also has a certain texture to it. If you notice that the texture seems off, fibers are missing, the watermarks are not watermarks at all, or the plastic strip is missing, call the police. Even if the plastic strip is missing, check all of the other features. Sometimes children get a hold of money and remove the strips, but this can usually be determined by seeing a slight tear where the strip would normally be. By looking at these things, you are able to determine whether or not you have actual counterfeit money in your hand and, if you do, you now know what you have to do to get the problem taken care of.