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.

 

How to Work in the Gig Economy and Still Reach Your Money Goals

Working in the gig economy offers some great perks. For starters, you get the flexibility of setting your own hours. Plus, you can often find gigs instantly using an app rather than prospecting new work yourself.

Nearly one in four Americans have earned money in the gig or “platform economy” over the last year, according to Pew Research Center. Some pick up side jobs for extra cash to pad their savings accounts. Others earn a full-time income working multiple gigs. Yet, while the flexibility of working when you want is certainly appealing, a side hustle doesn’t result in a steady paycheck arriving in your bank account every two weeks. And, this inconsistent income stream can make it harder to reach your money goals.

Here are 4 tips to help you take advantage of the gig economy while still achieving your financial goals.

Track Your Cash Flow with a Budget

Having a budget is one of the fundamentals of personal finance. And, when you work in the gig economy with an irregular income, it’s even more important to create a budget to better track your cash flow.

First off, figure out how much money you have coming in each month. From there, compile all of your monthly expenses. This will help you understand how much money you need to cover your monthly nut. By tracking your money and spending habits, you’ll be able to get a snapshot look at where your cash is going and find areas where you may be able to cut back. For instance, maybe you spend a little too much on fast food or entertainment. Yet, once you see this clearly, you can opt to cut down on the number of times you eat out on Taco Tuesday.

Set Savings Goals

Saving money for multiple goals can feel like an insurmountable task, Yet, with a little know-how and planning, you can do it!

The first savings goal you should have is to build an emergency fund. An emergency fund is a savings fund that should be used only to pay for unexpected expenses and well, emergencies. Experts recommend saving three to six months worth of expenses in a rainy day fund and it’s never too late to start one. If you work in the gig economy, an emergency fund may come in particularly handy. For example, if you go through a dry spell and jobs are scarce, you may need to tap into your emergency fund to help cover your monthly expenses during this time of low employment.

In addition to an emergency fund, this is a good time to start boosting your regular savings account by automating. If you’re a Chime member, for example, you can enroll in the Automatic Savings Program to save money with every single debit card transaction. Every time you make a purchase using your card, Chime rounds up that amount to the nearest dollar and then deposits that round-up amount into your Savings account.

Grow Your Money Through Investing

Many companies offer their employees a company-sponsored 401(k) plan to save for retirement. If your employer offers a 401(k), you should definitely take advantage of this benefit. But, if you are your own boss working in the gig economy, you may not have the option of a 401(k). No worries; there are other ways to save for retirement.

Self-employed and independent contractors can save for retirement by opening up various types of individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Do your homework to figure out the best IRA option for you.

Keep in mind that you probably won’t want to work forever. Saving for your retirement starting right now will help you grow your wealth – allowing you to relax in your golden years.

Be Prepared for Taxes

Although it’s exciting when you start getting paid for your gig work, it’s important to remember that you still have to set some money aside to pay taxes on your earnings.

Yup. When you’re the boss, no one automatically deducts taxes from your paycheck. How much will you need to pay? There is no one answer to this question. So for this reason, you’ll need to do your research to figure out the right amount. To help you get into the practice of setting money aside, try automating your savings. If you sign up for a Chime account, you can automatically direct 10% of every paycheck into your savings account as soon as you get paid.

Indeed, putting money away with every paycheck will save you a lot of stress come tax time.

Final Thoughts

As we move into a new year, there’s no time like the present to investigate new ways to earn money or grow your wealth. With a little planning and foresight, you can be on your way to successfully work in the gig economy and reaching your financial goals.

 

5 Ways to Make Money Online in 2018

It’s a new year which means it’s time to set new goals for ourselves. If you’re like most people your new years goals are either to get healthy or make more money. If you said make more money, then you’ve come to the right article. Want somewhere to start? I suggest trying to make money online. If you can run a business from your couch what’s the excuse right?

Here are five ways to make money online in 2018.

Launch an Online Store

If you’re willing to really put in the time and effort launching an online store can be immensely profitable. Now before you say no because you don’t know how to code listen to this. Thanks to ecommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce you can easily build beautiful online stores with little to no technical experience.

You can create and run an entire online business using one of these platforms. They offer plenty of integrations like marketing, payment processing, search engine optimization, and more!

Ghostwriting or Guest Posting

Every single blog on the internet could use more content. If you’re a good writer you can make serious money ghostwriting or guest posting for various companies. If you’re an expert in a specific field like FinTech or cryptocurrencies you can make well over six figures a year writing full-time.

You can research companies in your field and try to find the person in charge of content. Reach out to them either with a finished post or a few sample titles. Once you get approved by a few companies start typing away and watch the cash roll in!

Start Your Own Blog

If you want to take your writing to the next level you may want to consider starting your own blog. Again this works best if you’re an expert in a specific area or industry. For example if you’re a fitness expert you can start a health and fitness blog. Make sure your content is creative and try to offer as much guidance as possible.

Health and fitness blogs work best if your readers use your advice to achieve their fitness goals. If you get big enough you can turn your reader’s success stories into case studies and attract an even larger audience. Once your blog is popular enough you can offer sponsored postings or product placement by health and fitness related products. This example for health and fitness can be used for virtually any industry.

Trade Cryptocurrencies

This is a controversial yet highly lucrative one. Cryptocurrencies seem to be hot right now and it’s for a good reason. So called “unsophisticated” investors are making millions trading digital currencies. The most popular coins now are Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin however there are new coins coming out every day.

If you want to make money trading cryptocurrency you need to get educated and use the proper tools. I suggest starting off with a Coinbase account and do your best to understand cryptocurrency and blockchain technology as a whole.

Offer Services on Fiverr or Upwork

If you consider yourself a professional you can offer your services on Fiverr or Upwork. These platforms connect freelancers with contractors for virtually any type of job. Services range from software development all the way to accounting.

The only issue with these platforms is that contractors typically only work with freelancers who have a developed work history. That said, it can be difficult to get your first few jobs. However if you’re good at what you do then you’ll be a 5-star freelancer in no time.

Final Thoughts

If you want to make money online there are plenty of options for you to choose from. For starters, I suggest considering the five above as they can all become highly lucrative side (or full) time gigs.

 

What’s the Best Car to Drive for Uber?

When it comes to side hustles, driving for Uber is easily one of the most flexible options available. You can turn on your app and work anytime you want, and you never have to commit to a fixed schedule. And really, there are few requirements to get started. If you’re over 21 and have a driver’s license, a clear driving record, rideshare insurance, and a decent car, then you’re basically “hired.”

But, that doesn’t mean that any car will do if you want to drive for Uber. The rideshare company has their own set of standards you have to meet for your car to qualify, although they are fairly broad and can depend on where you live. In Indiana, for example, your car has to meet the following requirements to become eligible for Uber rides:

  • Model year 2002 or newer
  • 4-door car or minivan
  • Good condition and no cosmetic damage
  • No commercial brandingIn New York City, on the other hand, your car needs to be a model year 2006 or later. Before you take the plunge to sign up for Uber, make sure to check local requirements to make sure your car is a good fit.

Which cars work best for Uber drivers?

Beyond Uber’s requirements, there are still some cars that work better for ridesharing than others. And if you’re looking for a new car with the intention of driving for Uber, you’ll want to pay attention to the details.

As you search for cars that might work for an Uber side hustle, consider cars that meet the following criteria:

1: Good gas mileage

Especially in the city. If you’re driving for Uber in an effort to rake in some cash, then your car’s fuel economy should be one of your biggest priorities. A car with good mileage will cost you less to fill up, which will leave you with bigger profits as you drive.

According to Consumer Reports, 2017 models with the best city driving fuel economy include:

  • BMW i3Giga
  • Ford Focus Electric
  • Chevrolet Volt LT
  • Mitsubishi i-MiEV SE
  • Tesla Model X 90DThis is just a sampling, as there are obviously tons of cars with good fuel economy from nearly all model years that qualify to driver for Uber. You don’t need to drive a new car to get good fuel economy, but you do need a car that is efficient, especially in the city since you’ll spend a lot of your time driving for Uber off the highways.

2: Affordability

While fuel economy is a big deal for Uber drivers, it’s not the only criteria to consider. The Tesla mentioned above may get 90 miles per gallon in the city, but it will set you back at least $82,000. Obviously, you’ll struggle to make money as an Uber driver if you’re paying a lot for an auto loan.

This is why price point is a big consideration, too. You want a car that gets good gas mileage, but you don’t want to overspend. The Ford Focus mentioned for fuel economy has an MSRP of $16,775 – $36,120, making it a much better deal. But there are literally dozens of cars out there that offer a good combination of affordability and fuel economy, and that includes older model cars.

2012 Toyota Prius may get as much as 40 mpg driving in the city, but could cost less than $11,000. Make sure to consider car price and fuel economy as you find the best Uber car for your needs.

3: Safety features

Whether you’re driving for Uber or hauling around your own family, it’s important to keep safety in mind. The safety features your car does or doesn’t have could make a big difference in your driving experience and whether someone becomes injured during a crash. Solid safety features can also help you save money on auto insurance, which could help make your Uber business more profitable as a result.

Some of the most important safety features include:

  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Forward-collision warning
  • Blind-spot warning
  • Rear cross-traffic warning
  • Rear automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keeping-assist
  • Lane-centering assist
  • Adaptive cruise controlWhile it might be difficult to find a car that has all these safety features, you should definitely consider one that has at least a few. Ideally, you’ll find an affordable car that gets good gas mileage that also comes with safety features you can count on.

4: Spacious interior

Last but not least, you’ll need a car with plenty of room. Uber rides are good for up to four guests, so you’ll need space for three butts in the back of your car as well as a rider in the front.

Since even the smallest cars like a Toyota Prius can easily hold five adults, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding a car that fits the bill. Still, it’s worth considering whether your guests will have room to relax – and whether your trunk might be able to hold their luggage and gear.

Which car should you drive for Uber?

So, which car should you drive for Uber? At the end of the day, there are dozens of automobiles and model years that offer good fuel economy, an affordable price, and features that will keep your riders safe and help you save money on auto insurance.

So keep your eyes open and look for a ride that’s affordable, stylish, safe, and as far from a gas guzzler as you can get. After all, the whole point of driving for Uber is making extra money – not spending it.


This article originally appeared on PolicyGenius.
Image: Drazen_

 

How to Rock Your Finances While Self-Employed

Keeping an eagle eye on your business and personal finances while self-employed is highly important. When your business is having a cash flow problem your wallet is also having a cash flow problem.

Here are ways to rock your business and personal finances while running your own show:

Overplan for Emergencies

Your household’s emergency savings account is going to be your savior in situations when checks don’t come in. Clients can pay late or you may lose a client altogether. You need to be prepared for all circumstances.

The typical amount that everyone should have socked away for a rainy day is about three to six months of household bills. Self-employed workers may want to have a few more months of bills in savings. Your income is variable, so an extra bit of cushion can be a lifesaver.

Choose a Savings Vehicle 

Traditional employees can take advantage of company-sponsored 401(k) plans with company matches.  There’s also a 401(k) solo plan for self-employed workers that comes with tax benefits and allows you to make employer contributions from your own business.

For 2018, you’re able to contribute up to $18,000 into the 401(k) solo account as an employee. Your business (employer) can make contributions of up to 25% as well. 

Aside from the 401(k) solo account, Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, or SEP IRA accounts are other options. Social security is not something you can rely on to live comfortably in retirement. Make sure you have your own savings plan in place. 

Keep Your Money Separate

At first I kept my personal finances and business finances combined. It’s a nightmare. It makes record keeping difficult and filing taxes tragic.

Set up a different checking and credit card account for your business. Save for taxes and pay your business expenses before giving yourself a paycheck. Choose an accounting system for business bookkeeping that will make sending invoices and collecting payments a breeze.

Set Up Two Budgets

Don’t feel bad if you’re a little bit disorganized right now with your money as long as you commit to making a change. Create a budget for your business. This will help you monitor how much money you’re spending to operate. It’ll also keep you aware of whether or not your business is profitable.

There may be some months (or even years) when you’re business is not profitable or breaking even because you’re investing in resources, tools, equipment, or coaching. This isn’t a bad thing if you’re aware of it and investing with a purpose.

Final Word

Even the most organized people can find managing business and personal finances difficult when working for themselves. There was definitely a learning curve for me. I kept a meticulous budget that helped me save and pay off debt aggressively when I worked a full-time job with a steady paycheck.

Having a variable income threw me for a loop for a while, but it was something I got better and better at managing over time. Experiment and find a system that works for you.

 

Matching Income to Expenses When You Don’t Have a Steady Paycheck

When you have a regular day job, you get paid on a predictable schedule. Getting paid twice every month means your paychecks are typically around the same amount when they arrive, and they show up magically in your bank account via direct deposit on a regular cadence. This means planning to pay your bills is easy.

When I still had day job income, I paid my credit cards every other week on payday and paid my mortgage on the last payday of the month. This made managing my personal cash flow easy and predictable. Any side hustle income was just gravy on top! But now that my side hustle has become my day job, my cash flow works a little differently. Here is what I’ve learned along the way.

Save and build revenue until you can pay yourself a paycheck

My first step in getting more normalized revenue was to avoid paying myself. I took the minimum cash from the business I could to pay for my family’s basic living expenses in the first few months I had the business until it had grown enough to start paying myself a regular, weekly paycheck.

When I moved from Portland to Southern California last year, I converted the business from an LLC to an S-Corp. There are some big tax benefits of S-Corps for businesses that make over around $40,000 per year, and it was clear from my prior year side hustle income of $40,000 that I would be doing more than that the first year I took the business full-time.

As an LLC, you have to pay self-employment tax on every dollar you earn. As an S-Corp, you only have to pay self-employment tax on your paycheck, which has to be a “reasonable salary” for your position according to IRS rules. I pay myself $35,000 per year, a reasonable salary for someone working as a full-time writer, divided over 52 weekly paychecks.

Knowing that I will get a check for $587 every Friday (after tax, I use Gusto as a payroll service) makes it easier to manage my monthly bills. It is hard to get predictability in self-employment, but this step helps smooth out my personal income.

Give yourself a small paycheck with monthly “dividends”

If you read my blog, you know I make a heck of a lot more than $35,000 per year in online revenue. After taking out my paycheck, taxes, and other business expenses, the business earns a nice profit every month. Even after my paycheck, the business often has at least a few thousand dollars in cash sitting in the bank.

The business pays me this cash in the form of dividends, which are just online banking transfers from my business checking account at Chase to my personal checking account at Charles Schwab.

These dividends are actually worth more than my paychecks! It’s nice being a business owner where the “employee” (that’s me) does the hard work for $35,000 per year while the owner (also me) gets to keep the profits!

Dividend payments are not on the same regular schedule as paychecks, which have to follow certain Federal and state regulations. My dividends are typically more of an “as needed” payment. My paychecks cover my rent but not much more, I live in Southern California after all, so the dividends make up the difference in my monthly living expenses to ensure we have enough cash in the bank to pay off the credit cards and other bills in full every month.

Build up a sizable business and personal savings

I only pay myself what I need to live, which means if the business earns more than my expenses, which it does every month, the business should end the month with more in cash in the bank than the start of the month. If your business doesn’t earn enough each month to cover you necessities, it is probably better as a side hustle than a full-time gig, or you need to do something to fix your business and earn more, or cut your expenses.

Because of the way LLCs and S-Corps are taxed, it doesn’t matter if the income sits in the business bankor the personal account, so last year when taxes were due it was nice to have that extra cushion in my business account. Last month, I took two weeks for work and vacation trips. It was nice knowing that even if I earned zero dollars in May, I have enough cash in the bank to cover my paycheck and other expenses for a month without blinking an eye.

Everyone should have an emergency fund that covers three to six months of expenses if they have a day job and steady income. Self-employed entrepreneurs should double that. Save three to six months of expenses in a personal emergency fund plus another three to six months of expenses in your business account as an absolute minimum. My long-term plan is for the business to have an entire year of expenses saved up plus at least that much in personal savings.

Make an annual plan and review your finances monthly

Solo entrepreneurs, small business owners, and startup founders typically don’t have a team of full-time finance and accounting professionals monitoring their money every day. That falls on your shoulders. So make sure to review your finances annually and monthly.

Every year at the start of the year, create a basic budget that outlines your expected revenue and expenses each month for the year. You know it won’t be exactly right, but it can act as a good guideline to follow. Make small adjustments and check in monthly to ensure you are on track and make changes as necessary if your revenue is too low or expenses too high to meet your business and personal needs.

You’re the boss, enjoy it!

One of the biggest benefits of self-employment is the freedom to adjust your schedule and be flexible as you want, or need. If money isn’t coming in, cut back on expenses and go on a ramen diet for a few weeks. If money is flush, save up during the good times to weather the bad.

Self-employment is an amazing lifestyle. As long as you have the finances and operations under control, you can relax and focus on the parts of your business you enjoy most. You’re the boss, enjoy it!

 

How Much Money Can You Really Make as a Freelancer?

If I tell you I work from home as a freelance writer, you may assume it’s a nice little side hustle to make me feel more productive as a stay-at-home parent. In reality, however, freelancing is my full-time job, and I earn a full-time salary. I’ve been at it for two and a half years and I consistently earn more than $5,000 a month.

What does my workload look like? I work about 15-20 highly focused hours per week (i.e. no checking Facebook while writing) and churn out about 30-40 articles per month on topics ranging from parenting to finance to emotional labor. I write exceptionally fast, which gives me the bandwidth to take on more work. When I’m not writing, I’m still working. I still have to account for the time spent brainstorming and pitching new story ideas, finding new outlets to write for, bookkeeping, and collecting payments for overdue invoices.

Of course, no two freelance writers do exactly the same thing. They also don’t necessarily earn the same hourly or project rates. Some freelancers hustle at it full-time, whereas others prefer to take on freelance projects on the side. To learn more, I decided to talk to a few writers to get their take on how they make money. Take a look.

Katherine Clover: Freelance rookie

Freelancing for two years with earnings of $12,000 to $18,000 per year

Schedule: I set aside three days per week, or about 25 hours, for freelance work. I want to push myself to earn more than my average of $1,000-$1,500 a month, but I want to do so without burning out.

Since I am my own boss, I think about how I’d want a boss to treat me. “That means allowing myself to take breaks, setting a reasonable schedule, and trying to work with my strengths. It also means creating systems to streamline things, and keeping track of the money without getting addicted to the money.”

Best part of the job: The work itself is something I love. I also like going after projects that excite me, like writing about dinosaurs for Salon. I was delighted to learn “the big secret” of freelancing is to simply ask to write about the things you love.

Worst part of the job: People do not realize how much of a hassle it can be to get paid for the work you’ve already done, how much bookkeeping is involved, and how much it really is like running a business. All of that time doing invoicing and paperwork is essentially unpaid labor. I think people imagine when I’m working, I’m writing. This is not always the case.

Advice: Just keep pitching. You won’t get work if you don’t ask for it.

Emily Monaco: Freelance go-getter

Freelancing for four years with earnings of about $48,000 per year

Schedule: I work weekdays between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm, with very little time off for breaks. I’ll usually take off one afternoon per week, but I occasionally do a bit of work in the evenings or on the weekends to make up for it. The work is a mix of interviews and transcribing, pitching, story writing, and working on my novel.

Best part of the job: The freedom. I love being able to decide on a sunny Tuesday morning to go for a hike or to go back to New York to visit my family for several weeks with little or no disruption of my schedule. I also like that my work life is constantly changing and evolving, and I can work on projects that interest me.

Worst part of the job: Self-motivation is definitely a challenge and it’s important to come up with a system that works for you. I actually think the most difficult part of freelancing is getting other people to respect your work hours. Just because freelancers don’t go into an office doesn’t mean we don’t have to work.

Advice: Break down your income goals into manageable pieces. Look at your life and the money you need to make to maintain it. For example, if you want to earn $2,100 in a month, you can break this down into 21 working days, so $100 a day. “When you get up in the morning, work until you meet that goal. Then you can either take the rest of the day off, work ahead, or pitch for new projects.”

Chaunie Brusie: Freelance veteran

Freelancing for six years with earnings $100,000 to $120,000 per year

Schedule: I start work at 5:30 am and work 40 hours per week around the schedules of my four children. I work on and off all day, spending pretty much every free moment writing, and I try to dedicate at least one full day to work while I have a babysitter. I very rarely have “set” hours.

Best part of the job: I can make a significant income and still set my own schedule. I never miss field trips or school events, I go to the gym every day, and I have the freedom to go out to lunch with a friend or do whatever I want. I enjoy being my own boss and the backend of running my own business. I also genuinely love writing and find enormous satisfaction in being a storyteller. I also love how it encourages exploration. “I can write about going on a wine tour, for example, or take my kids to a new museum exhibit. It’s awesome when life overlaps with what works for me.”

Worst part of the job: How incredibly hard it can be to set boundaries for yourself. I only recently have started to cut back on work a bit after it started affecting me physically. I’ve literally been glued to my computer and phone for years and it’s not healthy! The isolation is also hard: I feel a lot like I am writing about life instead of actually living it.

Advice: Know what you’re willing to give up because freelancing comes with a price. Are you willing to give up leisure time and TV shows? You’ll have to carve the time out from somewhere. On the flipside, set some rules for yourself so you don’t wind up working 24/7.

Do you want to try freelancing?

Whether you’re interested in freelancing as a side hustle or a full-blown career, it helps to set reasonable, actionable goals for yourself. Figure out what you want – whether it’s a cool byline at a big publication or a set dollar amount each month. From there, come up with a plan to achieve your goal.

 

Should You Side Hustle to Get Out of Debt?

Unfortunately, it’s all too common for people to carry debt. It could be from having a home mortgage, a car loan, student debt, or any number of other reasons.

However, if you have debt, no matter the reason, there are only so many things you can do to get out of it. You could consolidate your debts in order to try to pay it off more easily. Or, you could try to cut your expenses to the bare minimum in order to throw more money at your bills.

But what about working another job? Should you side hustle to get out of debt?

Here are a few things to think about before you decide to take on a side hustle to pay off debt.

1. Set Your Own Schedule

Depending on the type of side hustle you decide to do, you might be able to set your own schedule in your side hustle. For example, if you do the bookkeeping for a business you may be able to do it from home and work when you want to.

Of course, there are any number of other side hustles you could do that would allow you this kind of freedom. But the advantage is that you have a flexible schedule which is one thing that makes a side hustle an appealing choice to help you get out of debt.

2. Use Your Skills

The side hustle allows you to use the skills you already have to help you get out of debt. Let’s say you are great at math. You may be able to side hustle tutoring students in math which is a win for you and a win for the students you help.

Or, you could clean houses if you are good at cleaning well and fast. The point is to turn your strengths into a marketable skill you can earn money from to help you get out of debt.

3. Do What You Like

When you like what you do it is easier to stick with it. That is why it’s important that you enjoy whatever you choose to do as a side hustle to get out of debt.

Liking your side hustle can also help you to stay motivated and work harder. You may find that you are more tired and sleep less with a side hustle. But when you like what you do and you see your debts decreasing, it can be worth the sacrifices.

4. Know Where to Draw the Line

When you choose to side hustle to get out of debt you must also know what your limits are. It can be hard on your family when you side hustle because they may see less of you.

In addition, if you are sacrificing some sleep to do your side hustle, it can wear you down and even be hard on your health. You must know where to draw the line. After all, you must sleep and rest sometime.

Obviously having a side hustle that allows your schedule to be flexible can help with this situation. But you must pay attention to the needs of your family and spouse as well as your own when considering a side hustle.

Nobody likes to have outstanding debt. As to whether or not you should side hustle to get out of debt, only you can decide.