Hope for your financial life and beyond

How to Manage Your Side Hustle and Family Life So You Don’t Go Insane

There may come a time in your life where you want to or need to create a side hustle to earn extra income. It can be many things depending on your skills and the depth of your need. Regardless of what you choose, it will be something you do on the side (apart from your day job) to bring in additional money to the family budget.

Side hustles can be a financial blessing. They can help you build up your savings account or pay off debt or meet any a number of financial goals you might have.

side hustle IIIHowever, while the additional income of a side hustle is welcome, there is a dark side that many are unprepared for. Side hustles, done improperly, can be a curse on family life.

It’s one thing to have a side hustle if you are single. I remember talking with a blogging friend who told me how he’d work his 9 to 5, take a 30-minute dinner (maybe) and then work till past midnight writing and networking. I’m not saying that’s necessarily an easy schedule but it’s not like you have anyone else to account for. It’s just you.

When a spouse and/or kids are in the picture side hustles take on a whole different dimension.

There is a tension that immediately surfaces the minute one member of the family begins a side hustle. What was a normal life is no longer normal.

You know the side hustle must be done to improve your financial life. But you also know family life matters. How can you manage it all and not go insane?

Here are a few strategies I’ve used over the years as I’ve managed a career in education, side hustles (my blogs) and family life.

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4 Big Mistakes of My 20s That Affected My Net Worth

What if? We all ask that at some point, maybe even about your net worth. It’s a reflective question, focused on things that have happened in the past. What could have resulted if the events or actions in our rear view mirror had proceeded in a different fashion?

net worth

In the absence of a Back to the Future time machine, we can’t change what has happened or that we did things the wrong way. So it does little good to dwell on it. That really only leads to regret.

However, the past does serve a big purpose. The past is the best teacher for our future. The victories we achieved and the mistakes we endured should help us make thoughtful and wise decisions going forward.

We make mistakes all the time but more so in our youth. This happens for many reasons but mostly because we lack experience. In our youth, we also have a difficult time envisioning the future and have a limited sense of our own vulnerability. Arrogance, self-promotion and a live-for-the-moment mentality are all more characteristic of the young than they are of the old.

As I reflect on the decade of my 20s I see many mistakes in all facets of life. These are the four that set me back financially and contributed negatively to the growth of my net worth.

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This Alternative to Christmas Gifts Was Our Best Decision Ever

Are you looking for an alternative to Christmas gift giving? I get it. Christmas is one of the highlights of our family’s year. In my mind nothing beats it for family togetherness and sharing expressions of love through giving gifts. Even with that though, there have been times where my wife and I were frustrated with the presents we put under the tree.

alternative to christmasWhy was that? Because we found ourselves hit with a January hangover effect. We watched as the majority of the presents our kids received lie dormant in the corner of the room, not being touched.  I would say that over 80% of the toys my wife and I purchased for our kids each Christmas were played with a couple of times and then left to collect dust. That was frustrating considering the money we shelled out for them.

So one year, we were simply tired of the whole thing. We didn’t want to waste money on things we thought were great but that they weren’t going to use. So we decided to do something different. I’d even call it radical.

We decided not to buy any Christmas presents! Sorry Santa. 

To our surprise, when we told the kids what we were doing, they were 100% enthusiastically behind it. How could that be? Because we had an alternative to Christmas gifts that, as it turns out, they would never forget.

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God Places Us For A Purpose – Find Yours

god purposeAre you sick and tired of your job? Wish you could win the Mega-Millions Jackpot and escape to paradise, never to work again? If so, maybe some reflection and a new perspective is in order about your purpose from God.

What you may not realize is that God gave mankind purpose. He endowed humans with the nature to work from the very beginning. They could not escape it, not even in paradise.

In Genesis chapters 1-2, God spectacularly created the universe and all that it contains. He spoke the heavens, planets, stars, plants, animals and finally human beings into existence. At the end of it all, after six days of creation God was very pleased with his creation and rested on the seventh day.

God issued an important command at the end of His creating. He told Adam and Eve, “…have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:28). In essence, God granted mankind authority to rule what He had just created.

Then God did something awesome. He created a garden of paradise – in a place called Eden. And God gave the first humans a purpose.

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The 10 Best Summer Jobs for Teens and College Students

Memorial Day marks the official beginning of summer. For teens and college students that means one of three things. Either you are:

a) continuing school by choice (to get ahead) or out of necessity (because you failed)… summer jobs for teens

b) looking for a summer job to earn money or…

c) in for a really boring summer sleeping in and playing video games.

We all know that teens and college students love money. But we also know that some of them NEED money in a bad way. They have lots of expenses, from gas for the car, to eating out with friends, to paying for college tuition and expenses. Many times, parents are unable to fully fund (or refuse to fund) these expense categories. So teens and college students are left to support themselves. And the time to rack up the big money in a paycheck is over the summer when they are out of school.

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7 Ways You Can Monetize Your Instagram Business

Please enjoy this guest post today from Mary Kyle on growing your Instagram business. 

Are you spending more hours on Instagram every day? Have you ever thought about making it more than just a hobby? Perhaps now is the time then to make your time count and turn your effort into dollars.  If you are interested in starting a business on the platform, then this article is for you. 

Instagram is one of the most famous social media networks around. Users can post video content and photos to their followers and friends. With over 500 million monthly active users, Instagram also has become a favorite market spot to sell and promote products. It’s a great platform to make money in multiple ways. 

But how do you get started? More importantly, how do you go about growing your account? Here are some ideas to think about and concepts to follow when starting your business on Instagram. 

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Sam’s Club Does It Again with Scan-and-Go App for Gas

A while ago, I wrote about how Sam’s Club had introduced a Scan-and-Go app that allows you to scan the barcodes of your items as you shop. It records each scan in a digital shopping cart. When you are finished shopping, you simply check out in the app and leave the store.

sam's club scan and go gasThe huge advantage of this is of course saving time. There is no need to unload and then re-load your shopping cart at the checkout line. You can skip that entirely! And that is a huge advantage when you are shopping at Sam’s, especially during peak hours. Sometimes those checkout line waits can take forever.

Too this day, I am amazed at how many people still do not use this feature on their phone at my local Sam’s.

As you know, Sam’s Club also sells gas to its members. And recently I was greeted with a pleasant surprise when I rolled up to the pump one day to get gas. The interface screen had been changed and a QR code was now staring me in the face.

That’s right…I could now use my Sam’s Club Scan-and-Go app to purchase gas. Let me tell you how it works and then discuss a few reasons why it’s a big deal.

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Consider the Ant in Your Definition of Work Ethic (Proverbs 6:6)

“Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise.” That verse from Proverbs 6:6 contains an odd word we rarely use today – sluggard. The first thing I think of when hearing that word are creeping, slimy slugs. So sticky and definitely no fun to hold.

consider the antYou may not identify with that word. But you could easily understand what a sluggard is if I gave you some synonyms. How do these words grab you – lazy, sluggish, loafer, slacker and couch potato. Get the picture now?

God has a lot to say about the lazy in the pages of the Bible. This particular passage in Proverbs may be the best known of them all. I think mostly because it tells us to “consider the ant” – an animal we hardly ever pay attention to.

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Buyer Beware: Renting a Car With a Debit Card

For a significant portion of our adult life, my wife and I chose to live without the use of a credit card. 99% of the time we had no issues when it came to making purchases. We would simply use our debit card or pay with cash when making a transaction. The one major instance where we had difficulty was when renting a car with a debit card.

renting a car with a debit cardWe ran into trouble twice with this type of transaction and in both cases it nearly had us stuck. The worst of those moments was on our vacation to Yellowstone. It nearly cost us our trip.

My wife is an incredible trip planner. She can research and organize a trip with such precision I hardly have to pay attention. The most I end up doing in the trip-planning phase is giving minor advice and approval to her vacation to-do requests.

So when researching for our trip, she had the chance to save $700 on our rental car for the week. That was a no-brainer. “Heck, yeah” I said. “Book that!”

My wife is member of the AICPA (the American Institute of CPAs). As a member she is entitled to discounts with companies with whom the AICPA has an affiliation. One such company is Hertz.

She did all the fine-print reading ahead of time and found out Hertz does accept debit cards for rental car purchases. The one caveat is they require a credit check before releasing the car. That should have raised a red flag for us. However, it just didn’t click in our brains. We just missed it.

So we booked a minivan with Hertz two months prior to leaving and didn’t give it another thought. Until we got to the Cody, Wyoming airport.

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Living is Worth the Risk – So Choose to Live!

Ugh…Wow! That’s the basic starting point for describing 2020 to most people. A year that FDR might say will live in infamy. If you would have told me in December of 2019 that for most of the next year we’d debate whether leaving our homes or not was worth the risk, I would not have believed you.

worth the riskYet here we are at the close of 2020 and there are some who have not left their homes since February to protect themselves from contracting COVID19.

There are so many angles people have pursued and will continue to pursue to try and make sense of what happened this year. There will be facts, there will be opinions, there will be misdirection and there will be suspicion. And all of it fueled with emotions we know so well – fear, anger, frustration, anxiety, confusion, sadness and helplessness. Who hasn’t felt at least one of those at some level in 2020?

And yet, despite all the downside this year has brought, I had a thought several months ago while driving with my family that I have not been able to escape. It gave me perspective on how to handle my life in a world consumed with risk. It showed me there is a better path than the one governed by fear.

The thought was a basic one. Put simply, my mind told me this – “Living is worth the risk.” Here is what that means to me.

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Online Business Ideas That Make You Money

In 1991, the Internet as we know it went live to the general public. At the time, there was little fanfare. And it would take most of the rest of the decade before it became mainstream.

Now the Internet is everywhere. And have people sure learned how to use it…especially to start an online business and make money.

As the Internet has evolved, people continue to spend more and more time on it. More eyeballs looking at content means more opportunity for people to monetize that content. So, for many, starting an online business sounds like a good idea.

There are a multitude of ways to make money on the Internet. And if you have never worked on the Internet before, that should not be something to stop you. Those who are willing to learn can be a success and make enough money to either earn a living or provide a little extra on the side in their monthly budget.  The work itself does not have to be full-time. Plenty of people are adjusting their schedules and juggling both their regular work as well as an online side hustle. 

So, if this is something you are interested in, you will need an idea for a business plan first. 

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