Your job success is wired into you from BIRTH and no amount of extra money or …

The human brain has a limit to how well it can perform certain tasks, and this cant be boosted with bonuses, or increased pressure from bosses, research has found. 

Scientists from The Netherlands scanned the brains of participants as they performed computer-based tasks, measuring their ability to assess information under different situations. 

The scans revealed that while giving people bonuses or applying social pressure made people work harder, their overall performance in the tasks didnt improve. 

Met Police: Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe says money will be found for 600 extra …

The Commissioner of the Met Police Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe says the money will be found to increase armed officers by a third in London in response to the Paris attacks. The force plan to boost armed police in the nations capital by around 600 officers, a move which would cost in the region of £25m ($36m).

But Sir Hogan-Howe insists this can be done, saying youve got to do what youve got to do.

He said: It will be an expensive option, but is vital to keeping us safe. In these circumstances weve got to be able to deal with people who have automatic weapons, who may run around this city and kill people. If we dont do that, we saw what happened in Paris. 130 people died and over 200 were badly injured. No one wants to see that and weve got to take out best steps to deal with it should it happen. He added: You can never be complacent.

The budget for the Met Police is around £3.1bn ($44bn), and the government has recently announced an additional £34m ($49m) for British policing. However, some have questioned where this extra money for armed police will be coming from, with Labours shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham warning that it could affect other areas of policing.

He told Sky News, It sounds like good news but we do have to ask where the money is coming from. If its taken out of neighbourhood policing so we see police officers come off the beat, or if its money that isnt then available to other big cities around the country, then that wouldnt be right.

This increase in armed police will almost double the number of officers carry guns around London on any given day. The Met Police will remain 92% unarmed.

Falling gas prices mean less money for highway construction

AUSTIN, Texas —

Drivers may being enjoying the lower gas prices, but its a double-edged sword resulting in less funding going toward construction projects that could help reduce congestion.

Gas prices have fallen to around $1.60 a gallon at many places around Austin.

Thats great news for drivers like Tara Velasco.

Its been a long time since Ive been able to fill up for 15 bucks, Velasco said after filling up at the HEB gas station off Parmer Lane. It puts extra money in my pocket to spend on my family.

However, the smaller hit on her wallet is impacting Texas roads. Oil plummeted to below $30 a barrel Tuesday, the lowest since December 2003. Its part of a 72% plunge in crude oil prices since June 2014, when it was at nearly $108 a barrel.

That means gas companies are making less money, which also means the state is making less tax revenue from those companies. Going further down this chain of events, it means less funding towards highway construction.

Thats because recent legislation, Proposition 1, lets the state use tax revenue from gas companies for highway construction. Already, the Texas Department of Legislation says its making less money during a time gas prices are plummeting.

In the 2015 fiscal year–the first year for Proposition 1–the state received $1.7 billion in gas taxes. In the 2016 fiscal year, its estimated it will be $1.13 billion and in the 2017 fiscal year, its estimated at $594 million.

TXDOT just announced its funding four major projects using proposition 1 funding. It says the Austin District had 14 Proposition 1 projects worth around $120 million. This year, TXDOT spokesperson Kelli Reyna said theyre getting around $80 million, a $40 million drop.

That being said its not the end all be all for all construction, Reyna said.

Reyna said Proposition 1 helps get projects going that they havent been able to start because of funding.

We do have a great need of projects where the funding is not available at this time, Reyna said.

However, Reyna emphasized they didnt have this funding three years ago. So while a drop in funding isnt the best thing, any extra funding is a bonus.

But again, right now were receiving $82 million that we did not have before, Reyna said.

Still, extra money could eventually help ease congestion on the roadways.

Well when you put it that way it kind of puts things a little bit more into perspective, Velasco said.

Velasco even said shed be okay with prices going up if it meant construction projects that could ease traffic.

A little bit, not a lot, Velasco said.

To learn more about Proposition 1, click here.

3 Money Moves to Make When Stocks Are Sinking

Financial uncertainty that rang in the new year again plagued global markets on Friday. The Standard amp; Poor’s 500 index sank to 15-month lows in midday trading, falling more than 12 percent since its May 21, 2015 closing high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 400 points. For the year, US stocks have shed $2.5 trillion in value, and some analysts and investors are warning the pain will get worse as stocks get closer to a bear market, meaning a drop of 20 percent from their highs.

But where there is chaos, opportunities lurk, too. For the most part, financial advisers are recommending a wait-and-see attitude, but here are three money moves you might want to make now when the markets are on the decline.

1. Speed up your scheduled buying. For investors employing a dollar-cost averaging strategy in which they buy a fixed dollar amount of a certain investment on a regular schedule, it may be time to speed up the purchases, says Michael McKevitt, a wealth manager in Palatine, Illinois. Take advantage of a lower stock market and squeeze in an extra purchase or two. That way, you can avoid buying as much when prices go higher.

Related: The 8 Worst-Performing Dow Stocks of 2015

If you have extra money ready to invest, maybe it’s time to put some of it into the market, says Neil Waxman, managing director of Capital Advisors Ltd. in Shaker Heights, Ohio. “Put some (cash) to work now,” he says. Stocks may still fall from here, but if you’re investing for the long run, you should still benefit — and it’s safer to not try to time a market bottom.

2. Lock in your loan rate. If you’re in the midst of refinancing or getting a mortgage to buy a home, lock that rate. The rate for the 30-year mortgage–the most common home loan–has dipped below 4 percent, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey. That’s largely due to the sell-off in stocks, as investors pour money into safer assets like the 10-year Treasury, which fixed mortgage rates tend to track.

But mortgage experts don’t expect rates to stay below 4 percent for long, especially since the Federal Reserve has signaled it will hike rates further this year.

“For what its worth, I do think mortgage rates are going to hit 4.5 percent this year, probably around July, and remain that way through the end of the year,” says Scott Sheldon, a loan officer with Sonoma County Mortgages in California. “There is enough momentum that would put us in that type of interest-rate environment.”

Related: Mortgage Rates Edge Higher, Signaling What’s to Come in 2016

3. Keep your losses in perspective. When jittery clients call Brian Power, a certified financial planner with Gateway Advisory in Westfield, New Jersey, he goes over how the recent volatility has affected their personal portfolios to give them a better perspective and reinforce their long-term goals.

“Its important to keep things in perspective. The news channels … are making it sound like the world is ending,” he says. “Clients are usually very surprised the damage isnt nearly as bad as they thought it would be.”

Earn More Money in 2016 by Renting Out These 5 Things

Have you thought about renting one of your rooms on Airbnb–you know, the extra bedroom with the exterior door where youve been storing junk for the past decade–but cleaning up and letting people into your house feels like too much to handle? Cheer up! There are plenty of other things you can rent out for money without letting strangers spend the night at your house.

Rent Your Photography Equipment

Did you once open a wedding photography business that went bust, or are you a camera enthusiast with a lot of spare equipment? Sign up at CameraLends and rent your photography and videography equipment to people who need to commemorate a special occasion or make some gorgeous visual art.

In addition to listing the cameras themselves, you can list your lighting, audio and camera stabilizing equipment. CameraLends takes a commission of 10 to 30 percent on rentals. You keep the rest.

Rent Your Parking Space

Do you have a fantastic parking space downtown in a large city, next to an airport or near a major attraction? Is your house near a big event venue or fairground? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, you can rent out your unused parking space for some extra dough.

A site called will list your parking space for free and display it as an option for travelers in need. You can offer monthly or daily leasing options depending on whatever suits your schedule and your budget.

Rent Your Car While Its at the Airport

Paying for safe, covered parking in the airport garage will cost you a pretty penny. Instead of waiting in the cold or heat for a shuttle, piling your suitcases on it and tipping a driver to take you what seems like miles from the airport, pay for a close-by garage space by renting out your car while youre gone.

Services like Turo will let you list your car, set a price and rent it to a network of approved drivers. Both sites offer insurance coverage for your vehicle in case of loss or damage, giving you a safe way to bring in extra cash.

Rent Land to Hunters

If youre sitting on a piece of rural property thats teeming with elk, deer, caribou, moose, ducks, geese, turkeys or other game, leasing your land to hunters could put some spending money in your pocket. Even if you just thin out the deer population thats munching on your flowers and eating your apple trees, youll get more than money out of the transaction.

Mark Hebert, founder and CEO of LandToHunt, provides landowners a place to list available property for hunters. Landowners set their own prices, decide who gets to hunt and set out boundaries for where hunters can go. You can approve which animals they can hunt, what hours they can come on your property and how long they can stay, Hebert explains. If youre not sure how to set a fair price for your land, LandToHunt will let you view comparable properties and their listing prices before making up your mind.

Rent Yourself Out

A lot of people find themselves with an extra ticket to a sporting event because a date backs out at the last minute. For a purely platonic night on the town, they can skip going stag and rent you instead, starting at $10 per hour.

If you have extra time on your hands, a site like RentAFriend could be interesting to try. Theres nothing romantic involved–youll be someones purely platonic companion for a day or night out. You can also rent yourself out to teach cooking lessons, give tours of your town to new residents or give a psychic reading to someone in need of guidance. If you like meeting new people, or if youre looking for some quick extra money, its free to set up a profile and start earning money.

Do you love weddings? If youre perfectly happy to be a bridesmaid but never a bride, offer your talents on Bridesmaid for Hire. If someone backs out of the wedding party, or the bride needs someone to whip the rest of the wedding party into shape, youll be dressed up and ready to go.

Enjoy the Sharing Economy

Before you use one of these sites, make sure they have appropriate safeguards to protect you and your personal property. Also, make sure you report your extra income on both your state and federal income tax forms. 

Farmers look for cost-cutting technology at the 2016 Quad Cities Farm Show

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois (KWQC) The 25th annual Quad Cities Farm Show moved into the QCCA Expo Center in Rock Island on Sunday January 17, 2016. The show features equipment and products from seeds to even computer software. There are over 200 companies represented at the shows three day run, to help farmers prepare for the next planting and harvesting season.

A high yield but low crop values for the year, may have farmers avoiding purchasing big ticket items.

We’ve got good yields but low prices, said Calmer Corn Heads Shop Supervisor, Andy Dahl. Guys need to tighten up their budgets to make the bottom line work.

Instead, visitors are trying to find products and tools that can help them save money.

Farmers understand to get better yields, to get the cost of production lower per bushel, they need to get more out of each acre and they are looking for ways to do that, said CEO of O’Connell Farms, Drainage, Plows, Joel O’Connell.

Farmers might be able to use new technology to save those few extra dollars.

Anything that helps them be more efficient that can also save them money, said CEO of Propel Sliding Door Automation, Mark Gazda.

New technology like water management systems and automated barn doors are featured at this years farm show. Purchasing this equipment could be a small investment that could, in the long run, help put some extra money back in farmers wallets.

Its not like going out and buying a combine, said Gazda. It’s not a major purchase, buts its one that will help them be more efficient and more effective when they are working.

The farm show runs until Tuesday. Monday doors will open at 9 am and close at 5 pm Tuesday doors open at 9 am and close at 3 pm

How to Earn Extra Money in Retirement

It would be great if the cost of living stopped rising once you retire. You would know exactly how much money to save, and how much income will support your lifestyle. But the cost of living continues to rise even after retirement, which is why a lot of people look for ways to earn extra money, often just a couple of years after retiring.

Still others are bored over a life of complete leisure, and need new challenges to take on, in addition to a fresh income source. What are the best ways to earn extra money in retirement?


Many careers can be converted into part-time or seasonal consulting arrangements in retirement. For example, lets say that you worked in marketing and sales during your career. You may be able to work as a consultant for other businesses engaged in the same line. Or lets say that you managed a restaurant; you may be able to become a consultant for another restaurant or even a small restaurant chain.

The idea is to take the experience that you accumulated during your working years, and consolidate it into a program where you can sell your expertise for a fee. It could be a flat fee or an hourly compensation arrangement, that will be an excellent way to earn extra money in retirement.


Create a list of skills you have – they can be either those acquired through your career, or even one or more from a hobby or area of interest. Figure out how you can sell those skills to businesses or individuals, and you can make money freelancing.

Lets say that you were a teacher during your working life; you may then be able to sell your services as a tutor. Or lets say that you are an avid golfer, and a pretty good one at that; you may be able to sell your services as a golf pro at a golf club, or even to offer instruction to other golfers. Theres no more fun way than to make money from your hobbies!

Start a Part-time Business

This can involve providing a service or selling a product. Under ideal circumstances, it will be a business idea that you are enthusiastic about, kind of like a lifelong dream. If you can identify that kind of business idea, you may be able to combine passion and a need to to earn extra money – and thats a powerful combination.

Identify what kind of business you would like to go into, then do some research into the industry, including investigating some local businesses in the same field. Figure out what you can offer – either a better product or service, a more efficient delivery, or a lower price – then start to build your business around it.

An even faster way to do this, if you have the money, will be to buy out an existing business. This is generally less risky than starting a business from the ground up, since the business will already be running and have a cash flow.

Many business ideas can blend neatly into retirement, in a way that a full-time job cant.

Create Passive Income Sources

These are the types of income sources that generate revenue with minimal effort from you. That doesnt mean that they require no effort all. Typically, youll invest a considerable amount of time, effort, and often money in getting a passive income stream started. But once its up and running, its one of the best income sources you can have.

There are actually a large number of potential passive income sources. Some examples include starting a blog or website or creating videos – you can earn ongoing advertising revenues for each. You can also invest in real estate, either directly or through real estate investment trusts (REITs).

As Brandon Turner, cohost of the popular real estate podcast, The BiggerPockets Podcast, says, Buying rental properties in good areas can be a great source of extra monthly income. If you are handy, you can take care of small repairs yourself to save money, or outsource the management to a management company to make the investment even more hands-off.

If youre really enterprising, you can start a website in which you sell other peoples products through affiliate arrangements, earning a percentage of the sales as a commission.

Watch Out for Pyramid Schemes!

In your search to find ways to earn extra money in retirement, its almost inevitable that you will come across one or more pyramid schemes. If you do, run the other way, and run fast!

If you can picture a pyramid, you see that it has a large base that becomes progressively smaller until you reach the very peak of the pyramid, which comes to a point.

This is a perfect metaphor for the organizational structure of this kind of scheme. At the bottom is the largest number of people in the organization. At the top is the smallest number. But everything being generated by the large number of people at the bottom is flowing up to the top, so that only the very small number of people at the very top are actually making any money.

Pyramid schemes usually look something like this:

? Some unusually friendly people try to convince you to attend a seminar
? The seminar is a deliriously happy event, lead by one or more incredibly charismatic and persuasive individuals
? The speakers confidently promise untold riches, and you cant help but get caught up in the excitement
? Your questions about exactly what product or service that the scheme is offering are either dodged or ignored completely
? You must pay an entry fee to join, which is only a few hundred dollars
? You are encouraged to persuade family members and friends to join you as associates
? Family members and friends will likewise pay an entry fee
? You will get a small cut of the entry fees of any one that you bring into the program – the rest goes up the pyramid, to the people who brought you in, but mostly to the people at the very top
? You are not required to sell the core product or service – just the memberships, though they may also convince you to pay for upfront inventory
? The speakers are careful to declare that this is not a pyramid scheme

The lure is easy money; the reality can be an empty bank account. If you have doubts about a business scheme, check out the FTC guidelines on multi-level marketing before committing to the program.

Here are 7 ways Chicagoans can make a little extra on the side

Got big plans for the upcoming year that are just barely outside the reach of your budget? Looking for some extra spending money to fuel your vices? Dont quit your day job. These seven companies help you work around your current schedule to make some extra money on the side.

Pick up a shift on ShiftgigShiftgigVisit their siteView company profile+ Create Job Alert

If you were a server or a bartender in college and youre looking to get back out there to make some money and meet new people, Shiftgig might be just the thing youve been looking for. Through this Chicago-based companys online platform, you can pick up one-off shifts at a range of restaurants, bars, and event venues whenever your schedule permits. If messing with food and drinks isnt your thing, there are also lots of shifts for delivery drivers, security personnel and brand representatives.

SchlepSchlepVisit their siteView company profile+ Create Job Alert stuff around for your neighbors

Have access to a truck, van, SUV, or hatchback? Not afraid of getting your sweat on every once in a while? Consider schlepping big and awkwardly shaped items around for your neighbors in need. Schleps pricing is based on what kind of item needs moving, with couches going for around $60 apiece and larger items like air hockey tables going for $120. Schleppers get 80 percent of the moving fee, plus the entirety of whatever tip the customer chooses to give. So be nice.

Offer at-home beauty services with LISALISAVisit their siteView company profile+ Create Job Alert

Are you a licensed barber, massage therapist, cosmetologist, or some other kind of beauty professional? Pick up some extra business in your spare time without giving half of your proceeds to a salon. Launched just earlier this week, LISA connects beauty professionals with customers based on geolocation, so all you have to do is make yourself available and wait for customer requests to tick in. If you prefer planning your day out a little more in advance, there are options to take pre-scheduled appointments as well.

Rent out your car with GetaroundGetaroundVisit their siteView company profile+ Create Job Alert

If youve got a car you dont use every day, Getaround lets you rent it out for some extra cash to spend on whatever it is that you do when you arent driving. Drivers are pre-screened to ensure that their driving records are clean, and Getaround covers roadside assistance and insurance for up to $1 million. (If that wont cut it to cover damage to your car, you probably dont need the money anyway.)

Get cash for selfies with Pay Your SelfiePay Your SelfieVisit their siteView company profile+ Create Job Alert

Pay Your Selfie lets you capitalize on your selfie habit, paying you between 20 cents and $1 for pictures of yourself. The money comes from partner companies that assign achievements users can unlock with their selfies. For instance, PetCo might pay you a dollar for a picture with your pet, while Coca Cola could pay you for a picture of you enjoying a Coke. Some assignments are purely whimsical (I woke up like this). With payouts of only $20 at a time, Pay Your Selfie wont exactly pay your rent, but then again its not like you werent going to take those selfies anyway.

Rent out your crib withAirbnb

Many of Chicagos most vibrant neighborhoods are sorely lacking in hotel capacity. Thats bad news for people visiting Chicago, but good news for your wallet. To take Wicker Park as an example, rooms on Airbnb go for $50 to $90 a night, with some whole apartments going for as much as $200. So if youve got somewhere else to stay for a couple of nights, you could easily order takeout for your friends in return for their hospitality and still pocket a tidy sum toward next months rent.

Capitalize on your Instagram influence with Popular PaysPopular PaysVisit their siteView company profile+ Create Job Alert

Got lots of Instagram followers? Popular Pays will put you in touch with brands willing to pay you to become an Instagram ambassador. In addition to making some cash on the side, many brands let you keep the products they send you free of charge and who doesnt like free stuff?

Images via Shutterstock, Shiftgig, Schlep, LISA, Getaround, Pay Your Selfie, Airbnb.

Do you have tips for us about cool things going on in the Chicago startup community? Send us an email via

Why Rams’ return to L.A. can be viewed as a mixed blessing for Seattle NBA fans

Nor about the $280 million stadium St. Louis built Kroenke for free as a 30 percent Rams owner in 1995.

Forbes says Kroenke is worth $7.7 billion. If he felt some extra money would help the Rams, he could have dug into his own pockets.

He’ll spend some of that $7.7 billion on his $1.86 billion “private” stadium venture in Los Angeles. But that’s less of his relative net worth than an average American commits toward a new home.

Also, his biggest revenue target will be those tax-subsidized corporate tickets.

Michael Rapkoch, who owns a Texas-based sports valuation firm, says Kroenke will likely model his stadium after that built by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. ATT Stadium derives revenue primarily from tickets and sponsorships as well as hosting additional events.

6 Out of the Box Ways to Save Money this Year

Whatever you’re saving up for–a new car, a down payment, a healthier bank account–this is the year to do it. But you can only ditch your landline and switch from cable to a Netflix/Hulu combo so many times (that is, once each). What do you do once you’ve already made the normal cuts?

Here are a few unexpected ways to same more money this year.

Change the way you think about stuff

If you picked up a magazine or read a lifestyle blog in 2015, there’s a good chance you ran into someone discussing Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” Part of the KonMari Method, as her devotees call it, is owning (and thus only buying) things you really love. So all that stuff you buy because it’s on sale, or because you want a backup, or because you might someday need it? Cut it out and cut your spending.

If that works well for you, try it out on the stuff you already own. You may find some things you’re able to sell, and the more you declutter the less clutter youll want to bring into your home.

Track your gas mileage

Gas prices may be down, but that doesn’t mean a full tank is suddenly cheap. While mileage can kind of be a pain to track, its definitely worth it if yours has been slowly dropping. Cleaning your air filter, for example, can up your mileage by 7%, and it’s a simple fix. Checking your tire pressure and filling up your tires correctly is another–and it can improve your mileage by up to 5%.

Follow the speed limit

While we’re on the subject of cars, did you know that driving fast eats up your gas at a faster rate than driving normally? At highway speeds, aggressive driving can cut your mileage 33%. To save gas, accelerate more gently and slow down a bit.

Rent out some space

If you live in a popular area and have an extra bedroom (or even an in-law suite), you may find that you can make a lot of extra money renting out your space on Airbnb. This does come with some downsides (dealing with strangers, cleaning in between guests, etc.) but the extra money may just be worth it.

Make your own

This can apply to almost anything from your dinners to your household cleaners. If you take the time to do some quick research, you can probably find a recipe or instructions to do or make whatever it is you need at a much cheaper price.

Don’t forget about online deals

Brick and mortar stores send out coupons and sales flyers, but your favorite online retailers are often a little less obvious with their discounts.  Next time you shop online, try a plugin like Honey. When you check out, it will search the internet for relevant coupon codes. While youre at it, there are plenty of other online ways to save, like Groupon.