Tag: Side Hustle

 

How Freelancers Can Balance Business and Personal Finances

Handling and organizing money is essential to your survival and growth as a freelancer. Many people will talk to you about how to increase your freelance rates, or where to look for more work. But how to actually handle the money you’re bringing in? No one really talks about that.

How you organize the money that you earn, and how you use it to live your life outside of work is probably the most important skill that you can have. Here’s how freelancers can balance business and personal finances.

Set Up a Business Account

The first step for any freelancers, no matter the type of work they’re doing, is to set up a business bank account for themselves. It’s very easy; simply apply for an EIN for free, and then use that to open a bank account for your business income.

Keeping your business and personal finances separate will help you organized from the start. It’s only getting more common to get paid online– having a business account offers some privacy and protection for your personal funds.

Know Your Tax Burden

Taxes have to be paid no matter what. That’s why understanding how much you owe for quarterly taxes and for your annual tax burden throughout the year. It’s very painful to have to pull money out of your personal finances to pay your business tax debt.

You can estimate your quarterly taxes here, and should always make payments. Your freelance business is not a hobby- if you can’t pay for it from the profits of your work you need to reassess how you’re doing business.

Save a percentage of each paycheck for taxes. That way, you’ll keep up with your tax obligation as the year progresses and hopefully never get behind.

Create a Business Plan

When you freelance it’s all too easy to treat it like a hobby and not like a full time job. But this IS your job. Creating a business plan- that is, a plan for how you’ll make money throughout the year- will help guide you through the months.

For example you can say that in 2018 you want to start off with 6 design clients a month for January-June, and then take June and July to focus on collaborations on social media. From August-December you plan to grow your website revenue and social media followings to generate cash from sponsored content.

Write all this down and be as specific as possible. Freelancing comes with feast and famine months. Your business plan will guide you in the famine months.

Your personal finances and business finances should live in different worlds. Focus on making your business profitable and keep it organized, and you’ll see that your personal finances do well.


This article originally appeared on Due.com

 

18 Ways to Earn Money Online This Summer

If you need extra cash to pay down debt or save money, there are plenty of ways to earn money online. From automating your bank account to selling your photos through an app, it’s possible to boost your cash flow without ever leaving your couch.

To help you find the best options available to earn more money, we’ve put together a list of 18 ways to boost your savings. Take a look:

1. Open a new bank account

Switching banks can sound like a daunting task. But many banks offer bonuses to people who sign up for an account, set up direct deposit and use their debit card. Some of these perks can add up to hundreds of dollars a year.

Chime’s Automatic Savings program, for example, connects your savings account to your debit card. Every time you use the card, Chime rounds up the transaction to the nearest dollar and transfers the round up amount directly into your savings account. Cha-ching!

2. Use a cash-back website

Sites like Topcashback, Ebates and Swagbucks offer cash back when you use their shopping portals to shop at your favorite retailers. Ebates and Swagbucks even have browser extensions that notify you if you’re eligible to score cash back on a site you’re visiting. Some stores offer upwards of 10% back.

3. Get rid of your stuff

Unless you’re a staunch minimalist, you likely have unused items lying around. Why not sell your stuff on sites and apps like Craigslist, OfferUp, eBay and Facebook Marketplace. Wouldn’t you rather get paid for those books you’ve already read?

4. Sell your photos

Are you an amateur or budding photographer? You may be happy to find out that you can actually turn your photos into cash. Foap is an app that allows you to get paid for the pictures you take on your phone.

Just upload your images, and if a brand, agency or individual wants to buy your photo, you’ll get paid five dollars through the app. There’s no limit to how many times you can license the same photo.

5. Lose weight

Shedding a few pounds isn’t always easy, but earning cash to do so can be an extra motivator. HealthyWage and DietBet are two websites that reward you for betting on yourself. If you achieve your goal, you get paid.

Here’s how it works. You track your weight throughout each challenge and work toward a specific goal. How much you earn typically depends on the type of challenge you choose, the amount you contribute to the pot at the beginning, and how many other people achieve their goals.

6. Go grocery shopping

Clipping coupons can be time-consuming. Why not use an app to save money on groceries instead?

Ibotta, for example, is a cash-back app that offers rebates on various items and products at your local grocery store. All you have to do is choose which products in the app to buy, then take a picture of your receipt after you’re done shopping.

7. Find unclaimed money

It may sound unbelievable, but it’s possible that you’re owed hundreds or even thousands of dollars. You may have refunds from various merchants, old savings accounts and other sources. You may have completely forgot that you even had these accounts in the first place.

The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators is an organization which maintains a database of unclaimed money for individuals in each state. To see if you’ve left money on the table somewhere, visit Unclaimed.org. Check your current state of residence as well as other places you’ve lived to make sure you don’t miss anything. If you find missed money that belongs to you, you’ll need to answer some questions to prove your identity. You’ll then provide your current contact information and voila, a check will arrive in the mail.

8. Shop for a new car insurance policy

If you’re a good driver, a 2017 NerdWallet report shows that you could save $416.52 per year by shopping around for car insurance. Wow.

Where to start? Compare at least three or four car insurance companies to see if you can get a better deal than what you’re currently paying. Also, call your current insurer to see if it’s willing to match the lower rates you find elsewhere. Make it a habit of negotiating and seeking lower auto insurance rates once a year.

9. Get rid of unwanted gift cards

From time to time, we all get gift cards to retailers we would never shop at. Instead of letting these unwanted gift cards gather dust, sell them online through websites like Raise or Gift Card Granny. Depending on the brand, you can get up to 80% or 90% of the card’s face value in cash.

10. Get crafty

Do you like to make beaded jewelry, handcrafted ceramic pots or anything else that’s artsy? Etsy is a popular website for people with a talent for crafts. If you have been thinking about selling your wares online, why not just do it?

Your earnings can vary depending on the quality and demand for your products, but it’s possible to earn some serious extra dough from your hobby.

11. Rent out a room

Got a spare bedroom in your house? Why not turn it into cash? Airbnb and VRBO allow just about anyone to rent out a room, a couch or their entire home to travelers looking to save on accommodations.

This option is best if you live in a popular tourist destination or major city, and you’ll have to be comfortable with having strangers stay in your place. But it’s possible to earn hundreds if not thousands of dollars a month. As an example of how much you can earn, a quick search on Airbnb for a private room in Chicago yielded an average rental rate of $109 per night.

12. Lend your money to others

Investing in the stock market can be risky, especially if you’re a newbie investor. Instead, consider investing in people by lending some of your cash and earning interest.

LendingClub and Prosper are top peer-to-peer lending marketplaces that allow you to lend money to people looking to borrow in the form of personal loans. LendingClub claims historical returns of three to eight percent a year and Prosper says you can earn an estimated return of 7.3% on average.

13. Invest your spare change

If you like Chime’s Automatic Savings program mentioned above, you may want to consider Acorns, a micro-investing app. All you have to do is connect your bank account or credit card. Every time you use your card or checking account, Acorns will round up the transaction to the nearest dollar and invest the round up amount in exchange-traded mutual funds.

14. Run errands or do handyman work

If you have spare time and the right skills, you can earn some money on the side through TaskRabbit.

The TaskRabbit website matches people in need of home services with “Taskers” who are eager to help and earn extra cash. You can sign up to offer various services, including grocery shopping, furniture assembly, moving and packing, and general handyman work.

15. Online focus groups

Both large and small companies spend a lot of money doing market and consumer research to get feedback on their products. You can participate in such focus groups online through websites like FocusGroup, Fieldwork and Inspired Opinions.

Keep in mind, however, that some focus groups may require that you attend in person.

16. Test out apps and websites

One of the many ways app and website developers make improvements is by asking consumers for their feedback.

UserTesting pays you to use apps and visit websites, and then offer up your opinions. You’ll complete a few tasks while recording your thoughts as you speak them aloud. You can earn $10 for every 20-minute video you complete, for an hourly rate of $30.

17. Use coupon codes

Online retailers often create coupon codes and promotions to entice shoppers to buy something. But unless you receive every retailer’s e-newsletter, you likely won’t ever hear about these deals.

Luckily, websites like Honey and RetailMeNot offer browser extensions that let you know when a website you’re on has available coupon codes. While you’re technically not earning money through these tools, you’ll keep more of your cash in your wallet.

18. Play with apps on your phone

If you enjoy exploring new apps on your phone, you might as well get paid doing it, right?

AppKarma allows you to earn cash and gift cards just for downloading and playing with different apps on your phone. While you won’t get rich doing this, it may be worth it if you have the time and enjoy trying new apps.

Are you ready to save more cash?

There are countless ways to earn money online and boost your savings. The 18 options listed here are just the tip of the iceberg. As you do your own research, you’re bound to find something that suits your skills, passions and wallet.

 

Best Summer Side Hustles for Teachers

School’s out for summer. Families are enjoying warm weather, fresh watermelon, and fun activities with the kids. But summer also leaves many hard-working teachers worrying about their bank account until they return to school in the fall.

Are you a teacher looking for ways to keep cash flowing in the summer? We’ve rounded up our favorite summer side hustles that don’t include babysitting your neighbor’s kids. Read on to learn more.

1. Tutor

If you love your job, continuing to teach in the summer may be the best option for you. There are numerous ways for teachers to continue educating children in the summer. Some options include teaching at a summer school in your district and one-on-one tutoring with struggling students.

Companies like Varsity Tutors, focused on teaching online with a flexible schedule, pay $20 an hour on average. Alternatively, companies like Catapult Learning work with at-risk students to improve educational outcomes. According to Glassdoor, the company pays teachers $24 an hour or more.

2. Sell lesson plans online

Do you spend hours coming up with perfect lesson plans and activities for your students? Why not save your fellow teachers time and make money by selling those plans to other teachers?

Marketplaces exist for teachers to sell educational resources across grade levels, including Teachers Pay Teachers and Teacher’s Notebook. You can also reach out to local homeschool groups, where parents are often looking for high-quality lesson plans. Tools like Canva can help you make your ideas even more professional, without a need for design skills.

3. Freelance writing and editing

Every business needs a website and social media presence. This means that there will always be a demand for high-quality written content. If you have solid writing or editing skills, consider putting them to use. Freelance writing, proofreading, or editing can be a lucrative side hustle.

To get started, try joining sites like UpWork and PitchWhiz to find writing jobs. Or, reach out to publications you read anyway and pitch your article ideas. For editors and proofreaders, Gramlee and Kibin are free platforms to list your services and get matched with clients.

4. Work as a camp counselor

If you love being outside and spending time with kids, working as a camp counselor can be the best of both worlds. While you’ll still be working with kids, the environment is more fun and laid back than school.

For teachers who want to travel the world, consider counselor positions for outdoor adventure programs like Outward Bound, NOLS, and Wilderness Adventures. While the pay isn’t great (assistant leaders at Outward Bound start at just $64 a day), these companies cover travel, accommodations, meals and activity expenses for trip leaders. Besides: you’ll get to experience something new.

5. Teach English online

Have you ever thought about leaning on your teaching expertise by helping kids in foreign countries learn English? Many programs have popped up in recent years that pay educated, native English speakers to tutor online.

While teaching via webcam may seem awkward, there are benefits to these programs. The pay is reasonable, ranging from $15 to more than $25 an hour depending on experience and the company. You set your schedule, taking time off as needed for vacation or family. And, your daytime hours remain free so that you enjoy the summer. Why? Tutors often teach in the early morning or late at night – which is daytime in China.

Popular platforms include VIPKID, Qkids, and Cambly, all of which have higher starting pay rates for certified teachers.

6. Offer house sitting services

If you are craving those summer months to recover from the busy school year, you can prioritize relaxation while still bringing in some cash. One idea is to offer house sitting services in your local area for families heading out on vacation. Among the typical house sitting tasks: bringing in the mail, watering the plants, and feeding the cat. It’s a cushy gig that gives homeowners peace of mind.

If you live in a destination area, also consider providing rental management services. Owners of vacation rentals pay a decent fee, on average 28% of the rental price, according to Rented.com. Rental managers meet new renters to hand off the keys and instructions, coordinate with a cleaning service and remain on call for any issues with the property.

Take time to re-energize

As a teacher, you’re doing important work all year. But you also deserve to get ahead on your savings. Luckily for you, these side hustle opportunities will help you earn and save money in the summer months. Before you dive in, however, don’t forget to take the time you need to read a good book, relax, and take care of yourself. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

 

How to Make Money With Your Car This Summer

If you have a car, you likely use it to get from one place to the next. And, while you may feel lucky to have your own wheels, that car may cost you a pretty penny to maintain and insure.

But, what if you used your car to actually help you make more money on the side and pay for your gas and maintenance bills? This would turn your car into more of an investment and a solid income stream, right? Well, you’re in luck. You can now make money with your car. Here are a few ways you can do so – starting this summer.

Drive for Uber or Lyft

Becoming an Uber or Lyft driver is a popular side hustle opportunity. The demand for rideshare drivers is high and will remain so as long as people keep using rideshare apps to get around. I should know – my husband is an Uber and Lyft driver.

I love that you can choose your own hours and earn a flexible income. In my husband’s case, he works long and varying hours at his full-time job so he could not commit to a second job with fixed hours. Initially, he stayed up late a few nights a week driving for Uber. After a while, he started driving for Lyft too and the extra income has helped him pay off his car loan early. It has also helped us save for vacations and pay off other debts.

How much you earn driving for Uber or Lyft will depend on which city you’re driving in, the time of day you operate (drivers tend to make a little more during rush hour times), and how often you drive. Uber and Lyft pay via direct deposit weekly so it’s ideal to have a bank account that makes it easy and painless to set up direct deposit payments.

Uber Eats

If driving people around makes you a little nervous, you can try driving for Uber Eats. Uber Eats partners with local restaurants so customers can order food on the app and drivers like you can use your car to deliver the food order.

While the average Uber driver can expect to make $20+ per hour, Uber Eats drivers make around eight to $12 per hour after factoring in vehicle expenses. They earn less than Uber drivers because Uber Eats trips are generally shorter. Also, Uber is more popular than Uber Eats currently, so Uber drivers have a greater opportunity to increase earnings. Regardless, both are great ways to make money simply by driving around in your car.

Make Deliveries with Amazon and Other Sites

With Amazon being the biggest online retailer to date, it’s no surprise that the company ships a ton of packages each day.

You can cash in on this by delivering Amazon packages in your local area. The program is called Amazon Flex and delivery drivers can make $18 to $24 per hour. Like Uber, you can set your own schedule by working as little or as much as you want. Amazon Flex is available in over 50 cities so far and they are adding more all the time.

Another delivery option you may want to consider is delivering food orders with Postmates (very similar to Uber Eats) or becoming a tasker for TaskRabbit.

TaskRabbit allows you to find small odds jobs you enjoy at the pay rate you choose. Taskers are paid to deliver items, run errands, help move furniture, perform handyman work, and more. What I love about this option is that you can decide how much you get paid per task. You just need to register online, attend an orientation in your city and start making money.

Advertise

If you drive your car a lot, you can make money by placing ads on it. Some companies will pay you hundreds per month to drive around with their ads on your car.

Carvertise is one of the best sites to use to place ads on your car for extra money. Another good site is Wrapify. How much you earn depends on whether you wrap your entire car or showcase a partial ad. According to Wrapify, you can earn around $84 to $140 per month just by wrapping a panel around your car, and $264 to $452 by wrapping your full car with an ad.

Some brands will require you to drive a certain number of miles during the ad campaign. This makes it a great opportunity for someone who already drives a lot or commutes to work daily. What I love about this opportunity is that the ads are easy to remove when the campaign is over. This way you can keep making money with other ads.

Rent Out Your Car

Say you don’t drive your car a lot but still want to make money with it. Consider renting your car out to others for some quick and extra cash. This is a good idea if you work from home and don’t use your car much or have a two-car household.

Turo is a car sharing company that lets you rent out your car while you’re not using it. Turo makes it easy and even offers liability insurance. Better yet, you can choose which days you want to make your car available and set your own daily price.

Owning a Car Has Its Perks

While some may say it’s cheaper to go without a car, there are tons of extra income opportunities when you do have a vehicle. By using the options above, you can use your car to make extra money to help you pay off debt, boost your savings, start investing or fund a large purchase in cash.

Wondering if any of these extra income ideas are worth it? Try one out for a week or so and see for yourself. You may find a low-effort way to make extra money for the long-term.

 

Why Freelancers Need Income Diversity More Than Ever

It’s been a rough start to the year — at least it would have been without income diversity. Since January, I’ve had three different agency clients let me go in favor of hiring in-house. On top of that, two different clients cut their standing monthly orders by half.

That’s a lot of income to see fall by the wayside. In fact, it amounts to about 2/3 of my income.

Fortunately, I’ve managed to stay afloat because I live in a low-cost area and because I have a level of income diversity that doesn’t just rely on a client or two.

Work for Hire and Sudden Income Loss

I spent a lot of time building up regular gigs. These are nice because you have some degree of stability (until you don’t). A set number of articles each month can ensure something approaching a “real” job when it comes to your income.

However, the downside is that work for hire also comes with the risk of sudden income loss. Whether someone decides to hire an in-house writer full time to replace you, or whether a client dramatically cuts your workload, it can mean instant income loss.

Most of my agency clients were kind enough to give me notice, but my other clients simply announced that they weren’t going to order the same amount of work. It can be devastating to go from a client paying $2,000 a month to that client paying $1,000 a month overnight.

You can protect yourself, to some degree, with a work for hire agreement or contract that requires notice, but the reality is that sudden income loss can be a real problem if you haven’t planned to protect yourself with income diversity.

How to Promote Income Diversity

Promoting income diversity as a freelancer is vital. Here are some of the ways you can diversify your income:

  • Different clients: Don’t rely on just one client. In the past, I’ve had “cornerstone” clients, but I try to keep them limited to no more than providing about half my income.
  • A mix of one-off gigs and long-term gigs: Even though most of my freelance gigs are long-term gigs, I still like to keep up with one-off gigs. Having a couple of these projects around can provide some quick cash when needed.
  • Other side gig income: Sometimes I drive for Lyft. I don’t do it a lot, but if I have a day where I’ve got a wide swath of time, I’ll turn on the Lyft while working on other projects and get a little extra cash. There are other side gigs like that you can do with a little extra time and effort.
  • Your own products and websites: I have a book that still makes a little money for me. You can also develop and sell courses, do consulting, and build your websites. I’m in the process of building up my websites into the income-producing level they should be at.
  • Other investments and income sources: I also have some money in taxable investment accounts. I regularly add to these accounts, which include dividend-paying funds. Many of my freelancer friends also have rental income. Figure out how you can earn a little income from different sources, and you could see improvement.

No matter your situation, income diversity is vital to your financial future. As a freelancer, though, it’s especially important to cultivate different revenue streams.


This article originally appeared on Due.com

 

4 Side Hustles You Can Do with Your Family

When you’re faced with budget difficulties, other well-meaning people suggest cutting expenses. But sometimes that simply isn’t enough of a solution.

The next common piece of advice you’ll likely get is to start a side hustle and earn more money. Unfortunately making that choice can really cut into family time. It may also be tough to do when you already feel like there isn’t enough of it.

So what’s the best solution? A side hustle you can do with your family, of course.

Taking on a side hustle you can do with your family has advantages. You can earn more money and still spend time with them. It also gives you the opportunity to teach them the value of money and hard work. Here are a couple of side hustles you could choose to do with your family.

1. Grow a Lawn Care Service

Not all side hustles are family friendly, so finding one a spouse or kids can help with may be tricky. One side hustle you can do with your family is to grow a lawn care service.

There are positives to choosing this type of business. For one, you get to spend time outdoors. Another is advertising through happy customers with great looking lawns who will refer you to others.

By building up a client base you’ll have repeat customers every week or so. You can use your calendar to keep a schedule so all family members can follow along. Use it to schedule as many jobs as you’d like according to everyone’s availability.

Obviously you’ll need an invoicing system as well as a little equipment. But family members can help pull weeds, sweep, use a leaf blower, and perform other small tasks. Older kids may be able to mow and use a trimmer too. Having help allows you to complete lawn care quickly and make more money.

2. Pet Sitting and Dog Walking

Having a side hustle you can do with your family may be easy if you like pets. Try pet sitting, dog walking, or both to get your family involved and making money along with you.

Not a lot of skills are required most of the time. Still, liking and being good with animals makes it much easier and more fun.

Young children will love helping with this job. It will give them an idea of what it’s like to start their own business while they’re still young.

3. Baking and Catering

An additional side hustle you can do with your family is baking and catering for others. To get started, try some recipes out on family and friends. Ask for referrals and advertise on social media to build repeat business.

To include your family, have them help do the tasks they can for their age. For instance, small children can carry non-food items that are not overly heavy or help with clean-up. Older children can probably do more of the actual cooking and baking.

4. Rent Rooms in Your Home

Need another idea for a side hustle you can do with your family? Try renting rooms in your home to travelers through Airbnb. Signing up is easy and your family can help out.

Have youngsters assist by stocking small toiletry items and towels. Older kids can clean and do other needed tasks.

Taking on a side hustle doesn’t have to mean sacrificing all of your family time. Choose a side hustle you can do with your family and you can have both while boosting your budget.


This article originally appeared on Due.com

 

How Pet Sitting Can Help You Go on Vacation and Put More Money In Your Pocket

Have you ever thought about pet sitting to help you go on a summer vacation?

Well, I’ve done it and it works. Over the past few summers, I went to Chicago to dogsit for some friends. I scored free room and board, and pet sitting allowed me to afford a sweet summer getaway that I couldn’t have swung otherwise. Intrigued? Can you hear the spare change jingling in your pocket from the excitement?

Here’s how you can go about pet or house sitting to save big bucks on travel this summer:

Plan Far in Advance

You’ll want to book a pet sitting gig as far in advance as possible. In fact, year-round professional house and pet sitters like Kelly Hayes-Raitt, author of How to Become a Housesitter: Insider Tips from the HouseSit Diva, book up to a year in advance. Securing a gig  ahead of time gives you some breathing room to learn about your clients and iron out all the details before you jump in and show up on the doorstep.

To get going, try visiting sites like Nomador, Workaway, and TrustedHousesitters. You can also check out HouseSitSearch, an aggregator of house sitting search sites.

Pro tip: while you’re figuring out where you’re going, consider renting your place while you’re away. Of course, you’ll want to proceed with caution. If you’re a renter and your lease explicitly states that you cannot sublease your place, don’t do it. You may be subject to eviction. On the other hand, if you own your home, you can check into a short-term vacation rental site like Airbnb and perhaps earn some additional cash.

Lay Out Expectations

Will room and board be covered completely, or will you be expected to pay for utilities and other costs while you’re there?

In my situation – in exchange for caring for a sweet pooch – my pal Dave Fried, a filmmaker, gave me a place to stay and covered my flight from Los Angeles to Chicago (as part of the deal, I paid for my way home). Not only did I have access to a nice kitchen where I could cook and store foodstuff, but I could also work remotely out of Fried’s place (free wifi for the win). While Fried and his partner Greg Slade were kind enough not to charge me for using their water and power, your clients may have a different arrangement in mind. So make sure you ask about all the specifics.

Another thing to consider when you accept a pet sitting or house-sitting gig: will there be roommates or other people in the house when you’re there? If so and you’re ok with this, find out what their schedules are like. Also find out if you’re expected to do additional tasks to help out the roomies. In my situation, Fried was away but Slade, who owns a barbershop, was around while I was there. It was still my sole duty to take care of the dog.

Remember: every situation is different. For example, your clients may also require that you water the houseplants, move the car during street cleaning, and go through their mail and alert them of any scary notices.

Make New Friends and Keep the Old

Make an effort to forge a friendship with the homeowner before you house sit, recommends Hayes-Raitt.

To do this, you can connect through Skype, email correspondence, social media, or phone calls. And, make sure you inquire about local haunts and ask where you can find the best deals on groceries. In other words, get the inside scoop.

Another idea: ask the homeowner to introduce you to one of his friends. This way you’ll have a local you can meet up with and someone nearby to let you know about neighborhood activities and restaurants, says Hayes-Raitt.

I was fortunate to have some friends from L.A. who had moved to Chicago. Plus, former Chicagoans who now live in Los Angeles were kind enough to connect me to some of their Chi-town pals. Their recommendations, combined with poking around the Internet, gave me plenty of ideas for summer fun during my stay. In fact, my friends tipped me off to cheap eats and the best ethnic markets with killer deals on produce. In addition, they told me about free summer concerts, street festivals, and movies in the park. And, in order to save more money while still having fun. I also cooked as much as I could and biked instead of taking public transit.

Hunt for the Best Travel Deals

If you want to continue traveling after your gig, you may want to check into deals that will help you extend your trip. Why not take advantage of your location and see some additional sites or cities?

To do this, try checking for bargains on flights to nearby cities, or discounted bus fare on Megabus or Wanderu. After one of my trips to Chicago, I then visited Ann Arbor, Michigan. For future Chicago dog sitting stints, I’m planning to trek over to Madison and Milwaukee, as well as Minneapolis.

It’ll Still Cost You, So Budget Accordingly

Even though my lovely Chi-town pals hooked me up with a bike, I was still a “tourist” and spent a fair share of moola. After checking my bank account statements, I indeed spent more on weekend bike rides, dining out, and touring local haunts than I would have spent at home. So, make sure you budget for your trip and save up some extra cash.

Pro tip: if you’re a Chime member, it’s a good idea to enroll in Automatic Savings. When you do this, Chime will round up every transaction you make on your Chime debit card and deposit the round up amount into your Savings account. This way you can start socking cash away now – without even thinking about it.

Try a No-Spend Weekend

After realizing I spent more than usual while dog sitting, I committed to spending zero “new” cash for an entire weekend once I got home.

This meant taking advantage of free entertainment, such as movies in the park and art openings. I also dug into my wallet and found an unused gift card. Score! All told, my no-spend weekend helped me reset and stick to my budget.

Ready to Pack Your Bags?

Scoring a summer house or pet sitting gig can indeed help you save loads on your travels, while giving you the opportunity to take a low-cost vacation. Just keep in mind that creating a budget and saving your pennies in advance will give you some extra spending money while you’re away. Are you ready to book your first house sitting gig?

 

6 Simple Side Hustles to Do With a Partner

Keeping your expenses down and sticking to a tight budget month after month isn’t easy. Sometimes it leaves you feeling like you’ve squeezed every extra cent out of your budget that’s possible.

When that happens you might consider starting a side hustle to alleviate some of the financial pressure. The only problem with that is that it takes away from time spent with family.

Thankfully, there are 6 side hustles to do with a partner that let you get a little togetherness back.

1. Childcare Services

One of the side hustles to do with a partner is to offer care to the children of others. It allows you to earn good money and care for your own children at the same time.

In addition, having an extra set of hands lets you take on more children and earn a higher income.

Some communities have a shortage of providers. Also, many parents have a hard time finding childcare for evenings and weekends.  These two factors should help you fill any open slots quickly.

Becoming licensed in childcare is not difficult. Nevertheless, the rules may be different from one state to another. To ensure you are following requirements and regulations in your state contact the Department of Health and Environment.

2. Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Service

A second side hustle to do with a partner is a pet sitting and dog walking service. Of course, it helps if you both like animals.

However, it doesn’t require much in the way of sills. Just be prepared to clean up a mess or two occasionally.

3. Baking and Catering Business

If you like to cook one of the side hustles to do with a partner is a baking and catering business. You can practice on family and friends to help you get started. Just ask them to refer you to others in need of your services.

You can also advertise your services through social media or other channels.

4. Lawn Care Service

Another of the side hustles to do with a partner is to start a lawn care service. Obviously, you may need a few pieces of equipment to get started.

Still, once you get enough customers signed up you should be able to pay off equipment fairly fast.

5. Virtual Store

Need another side hustle to do with a partner? Try opening a virtual store. Depending on what you choose to sell there are many available on the internet to choose from.

Startup costs are low and many sites will help you get whatever you need. Some will even assist you with what type of items to sell.

6. Painting Service

You could start a side hustle painting houses for other people. There is nearly always someone willing to hire this service.

Choose interior, exterior, or both type of painting if you prefer. Just make sure you know how to properly prep as well as clean up before starting.

Living on a tight budget each month is hard. Fortunately, there are 6 side hustles to do with a partner that can reduce financial pressure.

 

5 Key Benefits of Incorporating Your Business

Becoming an entrepreneur is no easy feat. Deciding on the right legal structure for your business is a common challenge you might face.

So if you’re going to legitimize your business, which option should you choose? Sole proprietor, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), or corporation? Here are 5 key benefits of incorporating your business and using it to boost your bottom line.

1. Personal Asset Protection

Unlike a sole proprietorship or partnership, a corporation is completely separate from its owners from a legal standpoint. This means that your personal liabilities and debts are separate from that of your business. This separation is key when protecting your own personal assets like your home, car, retirement account etc.

If in an extreme case, you’re unable to pay a business debt or someone sues your business, they won’t be able to seize your personal assets.

2. Tax Benefits

Certain tax benefits make corporations very appealing to entrepreneurs because self-employment taxes can be pretty brutal if you are operating as a sole proprietorship or even an LLC.

Generally, a corporation pays the standard corporate tax rate on its taxable income and the owners pay income tax on their personal earnings from the business. Yes, this is double taxation but it can be beneficial given the fact that only the owner(s)’ salary is subject to self-employment taxes instead of all your earnings.

If you can run a successful business and legally save on taxes, why wouldn’t you want to keep more of your hard earned money in your pocket?

3. Automatic Protection For Your Business Name

When you incorporate your business, the business name automatically becomes protected in the state you registered the company in. This means that no other company or LLC in the state that sells similar products or services can use the same name as your business.

If you want to protect your business name throughout the U.S. you must file a trademark, but incorporating your business is a good first start especially if you do a lot of local, in-state work.

4. Opportunity to Get Shareholders

One of the cool perks of having a corporation is that you can sell stock ownership of your company to raise money. This could be a nice alternative to taking out a loan to grow your business. With a C-corporation, you can have an unlimited number of shareholders

5. Instant Credibility

Finally, I’m going to be blunt and say that incorporating your business will most likely provide instant credibility which is what you want as you expand your operation.

When you take the time out to formally register your business, it can make finding prospective clients, customers, and vendors easier. Even if you’re great at what you do, it’s difficult to trust people these days and there are tons of scams out there that others want to avoid (rightfully so). You want to give the best first impression when you meet people and network.

Having a formal and organized business tells people that you care about your company and are serious about working with them in some capacity.

Summary

Incorporating your business is a big decision so it will require some thought, planning, and a discussion with your attorney and accountant if you think it’s necessary. If you do choose to move forward, you’ll need to make sure your business meets all the legal and financial requirements. Then, you can start filling out the registration paperwork.

 

How to Keep a Side Hustle and a Day Job Simultaneously

While it seems as if everyone is turning a side hustle into a full-time gig, the reality is not everyone wants to do that. Heck, not everyone even should do that!

Contrary to how you may be feeling, it doesn’t make you any less of a business owner to keep your day job. That being said, you do need to find ways to stay sane during all of this. After all, you’ll be working quite a bit.

Tip #1: Prioritize self-care.

If you want to keep a side hustle and a day job, you will need to prioritize self-care. If you don’t, you will likely lose your mind with all the work you have to do.

Back in the day, I had a regular job, a side hustle and I was taking classes for a certification simultaneously. I had almost zero time for anything outside of that and the time that I did have was spent exercising.

Whether it was yoga or kickboxing, I was at the gym twice a week no matter what. This gave me the energy I needed to keep hustling and helped me deal with the stress related to the pressure I was under.

Tip #2: Know how much money you want to make on the side (and why)

I recently interviewed someone who has three businesses on the side of his day job. His success has a lot to do with the fact that he knew exactly what he wanted – to be financially independent by the age of 35.

Because he was so clear on what he wanted, he knew how much he wanted to earn and how. This allowed him to maximize the time he had outside of his job so that he could create three profitable businesses.

Tip #3: Take your side hustle seriously anyway.

Just because your side hustle isn’t your full-time gig doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it seriously. In fact, you should see it as a business like any other.

The problem many people run into is they don’t see their side hustles seriously. They just think it’s a hobby or a way of making some extra money – not necessarily a business.

This leads to problems in a few ways. First, you lose motivation to work on it. Second, because you don’t take it seriously then you allow other things to easily get in the way of growing your business.

Before you know it, you no longer have a side hustle that is providing you with extra income and you’ve reverted back to just having a day job.

Tip #4: Build a team.

While all business owners need to think about building a team, I would argue that it’s especially important with a side hustle. The reason is that you have limited time to create an extra source of income.

While I was recently interviewing people who successfully kept a side hustle on the side of their day jobs, I noticed they all focused on having team members. They wanted to remove themselves from certain tasks so they could focus their limited time on making more money.

Final Thoughts

It’s more than acceptable to choose to keep your side hustle as a side hustle. After all, not everyone needs to be self-employed full-time. Just make sure that you still take it seriously so you can create another source of income.

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