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Posts tagged with: making money

Delay in Post

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I’m afraid I don’t have  a number’s post ready for tomorrow (or today by the time you are reading this.)  But I do have a great excuse.

For the first time in 6 months, well, over 6 months now, I have more than full time work for the next two weeks.  This comes from varying sources, but it is work and I am spending tons of time on it and continuing to grow my business.

On top of that, it is Princess’ birthday so I’m taking some time away to celebrate her and Friday is our homeschool prom which two of the kids are attending.  So busy, busy, busy!

I promise a numbers update as soon as I come up from air.  But things are good, I think I’m turning the corner.

Thanks for your patience. I promise to put in some time here just as soon as I can.


Goals for the Next Month – Hope

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As I am enjoying my weeks traveling and visiting with my family, I am starting to plan my next month money wise. Per my post earlier today, I have A LOT going on in my head as I try to envision the next few years of our lives both financially and life experience wise.  I am a big proponent of self-fulfilling prophecy, not that I think I’m all powerful, but that in order to accomplish something, envisioning it and planning for it and working toward it are key to success.

With that being said, I know the next month is going to be pretty tight financially as I have to:

  1. Restock my cupboard as we were close to bare when we left and brought much of the remaining with us.
  2. Prepare for additional travel next month (end of July.)
  3. Equip my oldest son with everything he needs for his Navy Sea Cadet boot camp (hopefully he will make enough money to cover this, but I will pick up the tab if he is not able too.)

With this being said, I am VERY motivated to move this debt payoff along, so in addition to my regular contract work and part time job, I am looking for ways to increase my income.  I entertained the idea of going back into the corporate world, but after just a few short weeks back in part time, I KNOW that is not what I’m supposed to do on a full time basis.

So here are things I am considering:

  1. Working more diligently on listing things on Etsy:  I have TONS of craft stuff as a scrapbooker and even before BAD, my year long goal was to use it up, get the scrapbooks updated and convert to digital rather than having all this stuff.  I could easily with some dedicated time create some sellable crafts, but haven’t really spent a lot of time on that as I’m sure really sure what kind of ROI I would get on my time.
  2. Purging through donating: I am getting to the point that I HATE clutter, with a passion. If it’s not used, it should not be here is my philosophy.  As a result I’ve made great headway in cleaning things out of our home through donating.  While this wouldn’t net much money, it could lead to substantial tax write offs and there are definitely intrinsic values to not having so much stuff.
  3. Project work: The one that comes most naturally is to attempt to find more work on an on-going or project basis.  Currently I’m contracted for 35 hours a week + 12 for my part time job so I could definitely take on 10 or so more hours with ease (much of my 35 hours is done in the wee hours of the night.

I would love to hear your ideas on this.  I know I can’t keep up my rate of work and intensity forever, especially with homeschooling the kids; however, this summer’s plan is pretty much set in place and with all I have in place for the kids, I am going to have more “free” time than I’ve ever had and I want to put it to good, productive use.

Note: Our home situation is significantly adding to my growing sense of urgency and with that my research into alternatives, but that will be discussed later this summer when I have a better idea of what my options look like.

 


How I am Blogging Away My Debt: An Overview

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I really love the concept of “blogging away debt” (which is the obvious appeal of this site) because after I got out of High School, I went to community college, but it couldn’t keep my attention. As you’d expect, that quickly amounted to me taking on student loan debt so, naturally, I went out looking for jobs. I settled into a good position for a small company doing their website stuff which lead me to begin learning about the whole blogging thing. Before long I found myself spending my free time in the afternoon constantly blogging, commenting, connecting, and finding ways to earn a few bucks. I have a long way to go before all of my debt is eliminated, but ever since I started my blogs, I have been able to scale it from nothing to a couple hundred extra bucks each month (which can do some very amazing things to knocking down debt, believe me). Here’s how I’m doing it…

Keeping a solid mindset

The thing that I needed most when I set out to use my blog to cut away at my debt was inspiration and motivation. I needed these two because I had already been busting my butt at work all day, and now I had to come back and put in another 4 – 6 hours into the blog. What I started to do was look for a mentor. There were a few different people in business that really caught my attention. One of them was Patrick Byrne; who’s the CEO of Overstock.com. It wasn’t just about having that high position, but the lifestyle that came about with the success. So what I did was make a mental image. The person who I wanted to be. By doing so, I was able to sit down and write out clear goals. Once I had those goals, I was able to break it all down into manageable tasks for the day-to-day activities.

I found that having these clear goals and activities made it far simpler to do my work, and keep my eye on the debt reduction prize. Before long those extra hours I was putting in doing blogging after work didn’t feel like a drudge. It became exhilarating because it was forming a new lifestyle.

Promoting products I love

I started my blog(s) focused around the hobbies I enjoy (like music, crafts, etc), and so the first few months was me writing as much as I could doing tutorials, reviews, and the like. Later down the line I began looking to affiliate marketing which sounds off-putting because of the whole “marketing” aspect of it, but it really made sense if I wanted to earn a bit from my blogs. The post that really got me excited was labeled “11 Lessons I Learned Earning $119,725.45 from Amazon Associates Program“. It taught me how to get into the affiliate program done by Amazon which was a no brainer because I was already talking about products on my sites…but I was never linking them as an affiliate (where you get to earn a commission).

Basically it’s this

1. Find a product you’re promoting (in this case it was an item I was using with my hobby)

2. Talk about it on your blog

3. Link to it with your affiliate URL

But that wasn’t the end. Sites like Etsy, Ebay, and other major retail websites have these affiliate programs. So when I was doing my reviews I’d plunk in a link and viola! I began earning some money from what I had already been doing.

Working off what works

Once you start to learn all the various skills that goes into blogging you will be astounded to find how many of them can be nice little money makers of their own. For example:

• You could setup websites for people or businesses
• You could create graphics or edit video for clients
• You could publish a book or develop a piece of software

Creating content isn’t the only form of income generation with blogging. If you take the time to browse around freelance marketplaces (here’s a good list to start with) you can figure out what other people are doing, and then use your skills (and blog – like a resume) to get your foot in the door. What I did was help friends, family, and aquaintences setup websites for their businesses (or just as a personal site). Since they signed up for the domain and hosting under my name I earned a commission. It’s win/win/win since they get a site, I got to help them, and I earned a bit of extra money with my skills.

That’s my story…what’s yours?


Side Hustles April 2014 Version

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Coin Faucet

A lot of people expressed that one of the ways they were able to eliminate their debt quickly is by finding ways of saving money and/or making money.  I really took it to heart (even though it appeared as if I didn’t), and started thinking of ways I could do more “side hustles.”  This month has been pretty good on this aspect.  And even though it isn’t much, every little bit helps right?

Before beginning the list on how I made some extra money, I wanted to give an update on the three possible contracts.  Out of the two contracts that looked like they could be winners, I heard back from one of them, and everything seems pretty good… Until the lady said I had to do a “HireVue.”  Anyone ever hear of this?  This isn’t uncommon for my line of work, since many of the clients are across a few states.  It basically is where I would be interviewed online.  Now usually this means a Skype call with every person in the process which I can usually nail really good,   But the company that I was doing this contract with decided a little bit ago to basically do a video recording where they ask you questions and you speak right to your webcam, with nobody on the other end.  I didn’t know what the questions they were going to ask me and had three minutes to answer them.  

Now they did give some practice questions, which I could retake as much as I wanted.  So when I went to the real questions I thought this would be the same way.  Nope!  Had three minutes and no retakes.  Well I think I tanked the HireVue, but I still have some leverage as I worked with this company many times before, so hopefully that will be enough. 

I also had the Skype Interview with the well known marketer that I really want.  I didn’t bring much to the table with this one, but as he pointed out that he was only looking for entry level.  So we will see how that goes, he told me by next week he will make a decision.

Anyway here are some of the ways we made extra money this month, not including things that I do regularly for my business.  From here on out, I am considering the Amazon venture part of my business, as it has been proven to me that this is a viable way to make money.

  • $225 Gas Money from my Buddy.  At the moment I am not sure if I broke even on the gas situation or if I made/lost money.  I will know for certain in a few days when I do my budget analysis.  I am thinking/hoping I came out ahead.  But if I didn’t, this was for my best friend, I know he would have done the same for me.
  • $25 Gas Card from Client.  A little bit ago I got a phone call from a distraught newspaper client.  For the past few years, since I have been delivering their paper I been throwing their paper in their yard.  They trained their dog to get their paper.  Well it turns out their dog died.  I really felt bad and sent them a card, stating I was sorry for their loss.  Now I didn’t do this for any type of benefit, just knew that losing a dog is like losing a child.  Well the card meant a lot to them, and I was left a $25 gift card to my local gas station.
  • $70 Tips (plus a box of chocolate) from Clients.  I get many cards and tips throughout the year from different clients, stating that I am the best carrier.  And even though this is just me delivering things to people on a very regular basis, I do it to the best of my ability.  This money will be put in my emergency fund.
  • $86.85 Total Amount of Commissions my wife made from her Younique Business.  If you read my Author Box, it states that I am trying to get her direct sales business off the ground.  It is a little hard when we have so little money to get her the stuff she needs to do a vendor show.  Another drawback is that the makeup she sells is a little expensive for our neighborhood, so she mostly is trying to gain traction in a cold market.  It is starting to see some success, and she was promoted to the next level in her business.  This money will stay on the card that we got for the business and it will be reinvested back into the business.
  • $65 Affiliate Sales from People.  At the beginning of the month I offered up a service to my wife’s teammates, where I would set up a domain and blog for them for free.  I informed them that the hosting companies they chose paid me a commission for sending them a client, so that was how I was getting paid.  There was an up sell to this that I would design the blog for cheap as well.  Now this $65 I won’t receive till I break $100 threshold, which is just one more client, plus they pay the next month.  So if I get another client in the next few days, I would get paid middle of next month, if not the amount rolls over and I get it the following month.
  • $50 Doll Selling to a Friend.  I mentioned in a previous post that my daughter really doesn’t play with anything.  Well one thing she loves is Monster High (she has had two birthday parties of this theme.)  Well she wants everything Monster High, and with that we started collecting all the dolls.  She has almost every doll opened.  And just like Barbies there is many different versions of the same doll.  We have about a dozen or two unopened.  I sold five dolls!  This money will also go into funding the emergency fund.

Well that’s about it.  Later today I will go over my debt payoff, be on the lookout!


I got a new job!

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From the beginning I’ve thought that increasing my income was my best bet to speeding up my debt free journey.  And with summer approaching and the kids being older, I thought it was the perfect time to explore that theory as a reality.  And now it’s here!  I start my new job…TODAY! Woohoo!

I’ll be working 12-15 hours a week, doing whatever needs to be done, and it’s outside my home.  This is so huge.  I haven’t worked outside of the house in almost 11 years.  I’m excited about the ‘adult’ time, yes, I’m aware most people don’t go to work to have adult time.  I’m excited to try something new where the possibilities of what I’ll get to learn are endless. And I’m excited to see what new responsibilities this may bring out in my kiddos.

My youngest has struggled the most with the idea, but when I reminded him that 1) I would be away less hours then he spends in the gym for him competitive gymnastics and 2) if I go in the mornings, I would be back before the kids get up (yes, we are all night owls.)  It will take a few weeks to really see what kind of income this will bring in, especially since I’m going to max out the tax they can take out, but then I’ll have to come up with a plan for using it wisely!  I’m thinking a 40/40/10/10 split – 40% towards debt, 40% towards savings, 10% fun money and 10% giving.

I’m just so excited about the possibilities!


Making More Money

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For 8 years now, I’ve been self employed. When I lost my corporate job after I refused to travel any more after my second child was born, I knew I had to find something that would allow me to stay home. After six months of stay at home mom unemployment, I knew I needed a job. During late night browsing sessions, I discovered virtual assistants, and knew that was the route for me. EPOH was born.

I’ve definitely had my ups and downs, taking pay cuts with economy crash, having clients fail to pay, gaining and losing clients along the way. But I’ve been able to support us, that is until last fall, I took a pretty big hit when my very first client had to let me go as their business just couldn’t support my cost anymore, and I couldn’t afford to work for a significantly lower rate.

I thought I could make it, I thought it would be fine. But then I fell behind. Then in November, after putting in a small time of marketing things started to look up again. And since then it’s been a bit of a stressful roller coaster ride of finding work. I’ve got a steady client list still, but I’m playing catch up, and trying to get ahead all at the same time. I MUST make more money, that’s all there is to it!

i love work

So this past week, with that goal in mind, I have been haunting my typical marketing methods:
1. Guru
2. Craigslist
3. Church Community Board
4. Local papers classifieds

But more importantly, I am starting to consider alternative revenue streams, which until now I’ve been very resistant to:
1. Etsy
2. Finding a local part time brick and mortar job (now that the kids are old enough and responsible enough to be left alone for short amounts of time)
3. Going back into the corporate world (really don’t want to, but more than I don’t want to, I want to be out of debt!)
4. Starting a business with my kids that has been burning a hole in my head since this time last year
5. Building my personal blog with writing and affiliate links
6. Product sales – I thought momentarily about selling some product like so many do and like Claire started doing, but I am so much of an introvert and do not do well with ‘house parties’ that have concluded that this is definitely not the route for me.

I can’t remember who said recently that in this debt pay off race you normally have more time than money which is definitely the case with me. So in my time, I am working hard to find the best way to increase my income while maintaining a healthy family life balance. I know I’ve got the skills, I just need to find the right way to go about it. Suggestions?