How To Manage Your Time With Your Side Hustles

Catching up on e-mail... Follow Me on Pinterest Side hustling is becoming more and more popular now that people are realizing a little extra money every month can truly go a long way in meeting financial goals. I’ve been side hustling for well over two years now and loved it so much that I turned it into my full time job.

If you want to do the same or just want to be better about managing your time, here are some of my tips:

1. Only Choose Clients You Really Love

Anyone who is a full time freelancer will tell you that they do their best work when they actually enjoy what they are doing. Sometimes, the work that is the least amount of fun produces the most money, so it can be hard to turn down those types of jobs.

I personally get so much more done when I am excited about a project and really enjoy working with the client. From time to time, this means accepting less pay, but I chose to work for myself to enjoy my life, not to do projects or write about topics that I’m not passionate about.

2. Identify Your Best Working Hours

If you are really groggy in the morning like I am, there’s really no point in trying to side hustle and get tons of work done during those early waking hours. It might take a few months, but over time you will slowly start to identify when you work best.

For me, this is between 7pm-1am. It sounds crazy, but when the world gets tired and starts winding down to go to bed, I get really amped up. I tried to resist this for the longest time, promising myself that I could run an errand or spend time working on my nursery if I got work done.

Eventually, after lots of days of feeling unproductive, I realized that I need to spend my time during the day running errands and doing chores around the house and the nighttime working. It’s not the most ideal scenario, especially when parents or friends want to invite us out to a last minute dinner out and I have to work. However, I’ve realized this is the best for me. You just need to find out what works best for you.

3. Don’t Overextend Yourself

In order to truly manage your time with your side hustles, you cannot over extend yourself. As much as you want to make more money, you don’t have to say “yes” to every single opportunity. In my early days of freelancing and side hustling, I would accept every offer and say yes to every opportunity. I was trying to pay down my credit card debt and didn’t want to miss the change to earn extra cash.

Now, two years into my side hustles and fully self-employed, I have to be very careful not to overextend myself. The more work I do and the more clients I take on, the more stretched I get. Instead of taking on extra work, I try to only work with quality people who respect my rates and give me consistent work.

Overall, side hustling is a great way to make money, and I really believe that more people should do it. All that time that people spend watching TV or playing online could be spent doing something productive that could pay down their debt or help them save for retirement. Sure, you have to rest sometimes, but that’s the beauty about managing your time well. If you can figure out how to fit in a side hustle without disrupting your routine too much, you’ve absolutely hit gold.

Do you have a side hustle? How much time does it require?

photo by: Ed Yourdon

Is It Worth The Effort To Work Two Full Time Jobs?

Two-Full-Time-Jobs Follow Me on Pinterest For about a year, I had two full time jobs. It wasn’t intentional, if I’m being completely honest. It’s just what happened as my blog and writing business grew over time.

Every day I’d get up and go to my 9-5 job. I enjoyed my job very much. I was an instructor for a pre-med writing course, and I had a really interesting and diverse group of talented students. It was stressful at times when there was lots of grading, but ultimately I could see myself doing a similar job for a very long time.

The challenge came in because I really liked freelance writing too. On a typical day, I would come home and make dinner and then spend a few more hours working online. It was not unusual for me to go to bed at midnight or 1 in the morning. Sometimes people at work would comment on how tired I looked, and sometimes I felt like I was way in over my head.

At times, I wondered if it was even worth it. Lots of my friends spend their weekends at the beach, while I spend a lot of weekends doing laundry, cleaning my house, and trying to squeeze in an extra blog post or two to get the week started off right.

I estimate that I probably worked about 80 hours a week on both jobs together with very little breaks. The blogging didn’t really feel like work at the time though because it was enjoyable, and it filled my time. With a medical school student for a husband who had 15-18 hour days himself, it was a productive thing for me to do while he sat at the kitchen table and studied.

So, if you are interested in doing something similar whether you want to try out a new career field or to try to build a side business, I would think very carefully about the time commitment and the dedication required to make it happen.

Here are some things you want to think about:

1. Your Other Half

If you don’t have a significant other, then the sky is the limit in terms of how much time you can devote to a second full time job. If you do have one, you have to consider their schedule and their feelings. Many, many people feel neglected when their spouses start to work crazy hours, and nothing is more important than your relationship so be sure to cherish it.

2. Your Kids

If you have kids, choosing to work 80 hours a week might not be the wisest choice or at least, it won’t be sustainable for long. With that type of schedule, you are bound to miss activities and important moments, which no parent wants to do.

3. Your Health

I worked like crazy for about a year, and I knew towards the end that there was no way I could keep it up forever. There just comes a time where you have to choose one or the other, and hopefully you are happy with your decision. If you have two full time jobs, there is very little time to exercise and you are constantly eating on the go, so health-wise it’s not sustainable for the long term.

Ultimately, I wouldn’t change a thing about my journey, and I’m happy that all of that hard work did eventually lead to something. I wouldn’t want to do it again anytime soon, but it was definitely a way to transition to self-employment without too much financial strife.

Have you ever worked two jobs? Do you currently have a side hustle?

Get Job Loss Insurance By Making Money With A Side Hustle

start-side-hustle-today Follow Me on Pinterest I know you’ve seen a friend or family member lose their job over the last few years. Chances are they weren’t expecting it. They were blindsided. They had no clue their position was at risk. That could be you.

How did your friend or family member do financially when they lost their job? Did they have any income other than a potential severance package or a small income from their state unemployment check? I’d bet your friend or family member didn’t have any income coming in at all unless they had a working spouse. That’s a shame.

We Live In An Uncertain World

Nothing is certain. That should be apparent to everyone after the Great Recession and the slow recovery that has followed it. Unemployment rates are still higher than when the recession started and many people are still unemployed without any income at all.

You don’t want to be one of those people. How do you prevent the total loss of income sudden unemployment can cause? The answer might be simpler than you’d think. You need to start something and you need to start it today.

You Need A Side Hustle

I didn’t say you should have a side hustle. I said you NEED a side hustle, and I’m not joking. Working for the man isn’t what it used to be. Very few people work for one company their whole lives, earn a pension and retire all on that company’s dime.

Pensions have virtually disappeared. Companies are no longer loyal to their employees. Instead, companies are now loyal to Wall Street, shareholders and maximizing profitIf that means cutting your job, most companies will do it without a second thought. This is the new reality and you need to accept it.

Your side hustle will help you be ahead of the game should something awful happen that causes your job to disappear. You’ll have at least some form of income coming in. You’ll have options when others are scrambling to take any job they can find.

Side Hustles Give You Options

You’ll have something you can grow into full time money if you decide to put the effort into growing your side hustle into a full fledged business. If that isn’t for you, the extra income will allow you more time to find the right job.

Others might have to take the first job that comes their way, even if it is a massive demotion or pay cut. The side hustle, in combination with a well stocked emergency fund, will give you options to hold out a little bit longer to wait for a better opportunity should you want another job.

How To Get Started With Your Side Hustle Now

Think about what you’re good at. Are you an Excel master? Do you know how pick out treasures from garage sales that can be flipped for more money? Do you have any skills people would be willing to pay you for? Think for what you can do in your spare time that will generate some extra income. Now that you have an idea, think about how you can earn your first dollar with your new side hustle.

Next, go out there and get your first client and make that first dollar! The key is to take action. If you never take action you’ll never have the side hustle income coming in.

Once you taste the first dollar you earn from your side hustle you’ll likely be addicted. Earning extra money can provide you peace of mind that should something horrible happen to your main gig that pays the bills, you’ll have a way to provide some income while looking for your next job.

So what are you waiting for? Start brainstorming that list of ideas then go out and get your first client and first dollar this week! If you don’t do it now, you never will.

What ideas do you have for side hustles? Where do you plan to get your first client? What about your second? 

What Do You Do With Unexpected Extra Income?

That's A Ton Of Extra Income! Follow Me on Pinterest

That’s A Ton Of Extra Income!

Coming across some unexpected income is a great problem to have. I always get excited when I find out that I’ll have some extra income headed my way and immediately think of what I should do with the money. However, I think that many people don’t treat their additional income the same way that I treat mine.

You Easily Can Lose Track of Unexpected Income

Chances are you don’t have a line item in your budget for unexpected income because, after all, it wasn’t expected. If you don’t add the extra income into your budget, you probably won’t track where you spend your extra money either. Not tracking your extra income and what you spend it on can lead to a couple of different outcomes depending on how you generally treat your money.

You Can Blow The Extra Income

The first, and most common treatment of extra income, is that you blow it before you even know what you did with it. Whether you just got a bonus, sold an extra household item, received an escrow refund or credit card bonus check, your first reaction is probably that it is time to celebrate!

How do you celebrate? Do you just do a happy dance in your living room or do you decide it is time to go out to that fancy restaurant that just opened up in town? Another common celebration is to go buy that new car that you’ve been eyeing, or maybe something cheaper like a faster laptop. If celebrating involves spending money, especially large amounts, you might actually end up spending more than the extra income you weren’t expecting!

You Can Save The Unexpected Income

If you’re a compulsive saver, however, your first instinct might be to immediately throw the money into your saving, investment or retirement account because it makes you feel better about your financial efforts. I’d definitely say automatically saving or investing the money is probably a better way to deal with unexpected income, but it still might not be the optimal thing to do with your unexpected income.

How I Treat My Unexpected Income (The Best Way)

The best way to treat your unexpected income shouldn’t be a shock to anyone. You should treat your unexpected income just like you treat your expected and regular income. No, it isn’t nearly as fun as blowing the money or as comforting as instantly saving or investing the money, but it is the right thing to do.

First, add the income into your income budget for the month. After that you need to decide what to do with the money. I always take a look at my current financial goals and decide how the money will be most effective.

At this particular time in my life, almost all extra unexpected income goes toward paying off Tori’s student loan debt. However, just a couple months ago it would have gone into short term savings in case Tori’s foot surgery resulted in a longer than expected recovery time.

Large Windfalls

My one exception to how I treat my surprise extra income is if it is a large windfall. In that case, I’ll take a small portion to celebrate and then treat the rest of it like I noted above, just like any other income.

Now it’s your turn. What do you do with your unexpected income? Does it matter if it is a small amount of money or a large amount of money? Why or why not?

Are You A Yard Sale Flipper? Maybe You Should Be!

great big old yard sale Follow Me on Pinterest Have you ever thought about being a yard sale flipper? I don’t think yard sale flipping is something that would have ever crossed my mind except for the fact that my friend’s parents ended up turning yard sale flipping into a full fledged business! Due to their awesome success, I thought I should share yard sale flipping with you!

What Is a Yard Sale Flipper?

A yard sale flipper is a person that takes advantage of price differences to make money. When most people hold yard sales their goal is to get rid of a bunch of stuff that they see as junk in order to raise a little bit of cash or to declutter their house. Due to this fact, most people who have yard sales will not know the true value of all of the items they are selling. This presents an opportunity for you to make money.

How To Be a Yard Sale Flipper

BARCS Yard Sale, September 2007 Follow Me on Pinterest Virtually anyone can become a yard sale flipper, but you have to be knowledgeable and you have to be a morning person. Most items sold at yard sales are effectively trash or overpriced. You need to be able to weed through the trash and overpriced items and find the pots of gold at each yard sale.

Find something that you know a lot about that can be easily sold at a profit. Then, go find these items at yard sales and pay less than you can sell them for. The difference between what you can resell the items for and what you bought them for will be your profit.

Remember though, you must be a morning person. The best items are normally the first to go so you have to get to the  yard sales early. If you aren’t one of the first few people there you could miss out on that perfect flipping opportunity.

A Yard Sale Flipper Success Story

My friend’s parents started out yard sale flipping on the side of their normal jobs and it turned into a full fledged business that has employed both parents for close to a decade. It all started when they decided to pick up old used video games for their kids as a cheap way to entertain them.

After a bit of yard sale hopping they figured out that parents were cleaning out their kids’ closets of old video games just to get rid of them. They then realized that there were certain video games that had quite a bit of value and that they could get most video games dirt cheap because parents just wanted them gone. On the really rare finds they could make over $100, but they normally made $10-$40 per video game.

That doesn’t sound too impressive… until you realize that on some weekends they could find up to 100 video games. They weren’t getting rich, but they were adding a nice supplement to their regular income.

Turning Yard Sale Flipping Into A Business

eBay Store Follow Me on Pinterest One day they decided to try their flipping on a larger scale. They began selling their games on eBay. Eventually, they became master eBayers and would even buy games on eBay to resell on eBay at a higher price by listing the item in a more effective manner. Once they figured out they could successfully flip video games they moved on to bigger items such as laptops and haven’t turned back since! They even have a retail location in the city now and do quite well for themselves.

Things To Watch Out For As A Yard Sale Flipper

Not everything you find is what it seems. The yard sales may contain fakes of items that could be worth significant amounts of money. If you don’t watch out you could easily get burned and lose some money in the process.

Make sure whatever you buy is relatively small and can be flipped quickly. If you start with large items or go after slow moving inventory you could end up becoming a hoarder with lots of useless stuff in your house!

If you’re a serious about making money as a yard sale flipper you need to make sure you keep track of all of your expenses. Driving to  yard sales can cost quite a bit of gas money and wear and tear on your vehicle if you aren’t careful. Add any storage fees or selling fees on top of your vehicle costs and you might find out you’re losing money instead of making money.

Yard sale flipping can get addictive! Watch out for addictive behaviors and make sure you’re still flipping for the right reasons.

Have you ever thought about being a yard sale flipper? What did you want to flip? If not, do you think you could ever be a yard sale flipper?