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Why I Choose To Be Self-Employed

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So today I want to explain why I am so adamant about not getting a J.O.B.  In order to do that I want to give a brief description on what I have done since leaving the military.   

Corporate Executive Chef – Right out of the military I scored a great job with a very well known corporate restaurant.  They were in major expansion mode.  With my Culinary degree along with my Hotel/Restaurant Degree, plus my time as a NCO in the military, I scored 1 out of 4 positions in the company.  This title was just a fancy title for saying I was in charge of opening restaurants.  I was in charge of training all of the managers along with being in charge of about 75 Corporate Trainers.  Reason for leaving:  I was gone three weeks out of four, and my then fiance didn’t care for that..

General Manager – Stepping down allowed me to take on the position of being in charge of a single restaurant.  It was a huge pay cut, as well as had me working a lot more time in the opening year.  Reason for leaving:  Decided to move back home.

Traveling Manager – When I came back home, I immediately started to work with the company, but it was much different as this was a franchised restaurant and not a corporate restaurant.  Because of my experience with this particular restaurant, I believed that the franchise used me for all I was worth.  I basically travelled between the five restaurants they owned and was just a regular manager.  Reason for leaving:  It was so different then the corporate system that I had instilled in me.

Restaurant  Employee – For the next umpteen years I was just a regular employee.  I did everything in a restaurant.  Bartender, Server, Cook, you name it I probably did it.  Reason for leaving:  not enough pay

Inventory Specialist – After moving back to my hometown, I took up a position where I could travel again.  I basically went to all the WalMarts in the northeast and did their inventory.  After about a year of doing this, I decided I had enough travelling for a time being and went to the local district level.  Reason for leaving:  At the local level, you just never knew when you were going to be finished for the day.

Back to the Restaurant Employee – When they built a well known restaurant in my town, I knew that it would be my best chance at getting back to my roots.  But it turns out it was just a franchise and not a corporate.  I want to give you a picture of what it is like.  I got hired at $10/hr.  Within the opening month, the owner of the franchise saw my skill, and I received a $.50/hr raise.  For the next year and a half I worked my butt off and it really didn’t go anywhere.  I knew I wasn’t going to get a raise since I was already making more than the managers (which they begrudgingly reminded me quite often.)

My girlfriend at that time was moving away from the area and I decided to go with her.  Transferring to another restaurant.  Where in the next year I got numerous raises and even made manager.  I was now up to $15.50/hour, which is pretty decent in my area.  During this time, my girlfriend and I broke up and I tried to make it work staying up in the area for the next year.  But I grew depressed during this time and my family and I decided it was best to move back home.  So I transferred back to the old restaurant.  All my raises were taken away and I became even more depressed.  (Note:  During this last time is around the time I started doing independent contract work… As well as started looking into how to make money online.)

My Best Friend Opens A Restaurant – So I was unemployed for about a month… Well not technically unemployed as I signed a contract with Yellowstone National Park, where I would become a Manager for one of their restaurants.  I was set to leave in about two months, when my best friend approached me to help him open up a restaurant.  As I knew this was a dream of his, I decided to negate my contract and help him start up his restaurant.  I worked with him for about two years.

Last Job as an Employee (Server) – While working with him, a new corporate restaurant was starting to be built about 15 minutes away.  I decided to go and get a job.  The General Manager was impressed with my resume and cursed me for not applying two weeks ahead of time, so he could have made me a manager.  He straight up told me that they couldn’t afford what I was asking for as a line cook.  I was ok with that, I knew once I got into a corporate restaurant I could move up.  I decided to become a server that worked four nights a week, while working with my friend.  In less than six months, I became a corporate trainer.  And in less than a year I was up for management.

I didn’t get the position, and the lady that did held a grudge with me.  It was because of this clash that I was let go.

This was the time that I decided to go take what I was doing part time and make it full time.  I also took on a paper route.  I remember the beginning of last year on Saturdays and Sundays were really tough on me.  I was helping my best friend start late nights for the bar crowd (I worked 9pm – 3am), went immediately to do my papers, and came home to sleep for about a hour and a half.  Got up and traveled to do brand ambassador and traveled home.  By the time I got home it was between 6 and 7.  I would get another hour and half of sleep, then do it all over again.

The Reason

Except for the first three jobs I listed, I made on average between $10-$15/hour.  Back when I first got out of the military, this wasn’t that bad of a wage.  But now with minimum wage going up and with all the other variable costs This amount is still considered borderline poverty.  

All of my contracted work I do, the least amount of money I will accept is $15/hr.  And that is for more on the lines of one-three days.  My long term contracts, are more toward the $20.  Even the newspapers, basically pay me over $20/hour if I average it out.

Oh I forgot to tell everybody, I heard back from the one contract.  Even though I thought I tanked it, they loved my video!  Next week I have a training meeting, and will start later in the month.  This pays $25/hour. Even though it is for a few hours each week, it meets my requirements. Nowhere around where I live would I be able to make this type of money, with my history.

Now I just want to state that for the last four months I have had no contract work besides the newspapers, this tends to happen, since a lot of budget gets used up toward the holiday seasons.  I could take on more merchandising work, but it seems as the threshold I hold out for… Well it is not being met lately.  

What I make from just my newspaper route and my online stuff is actually a few hundred dollars more  than actually working 40 hours a week at a job.  Except for the first two jobs and now, I never had health benefits.  

Who here is self employed?  I mean can I get a shout out for tax deductions?  When my business scales, I can see adding on another $50k (at the very least) and still pay the same taxes as I do now.  I can’t possibly take all the deductions that I legally can.  Plus that isn’t even counting once I start retirement.

So Let’s Recap

  1. Spend More Time With Family
  2. Make More Money
  3. Health Benefits
  4. Tax Deductions

Umm… so yeah, I will be staying self-employed.  Hope that explains enough for everyone!

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69 Comments

  • Reply debtor |

    As a tax accountant, I saw be wary of tax deductions. I cringed a little when you said you could add 50k income and pay the same taxes. The IRS loves auditing schedule C’s so just make sure you have the paperwork to back up everything and maybe befriend a tax accountant.

    For claritys sake, can you explain the following – You said you left your general manager job because you decided to move back home – home from where? Sounds like your previous job you were home but traveling a lot?

    Then you said you moved back to your hometown and took a job as an inventory specialist – did you move again? I’m having a little trouble following the timeline so maybe you could edit a little for clarity.

    Sounds to me like you have enough experience to get manager level type jobs at restaurants no? I think the problem looks like even after some significant responsibility you took on server-level jobs which someone could take out of college with way less experience.

    Mind you, I’m not one of those saying you MUST get a corp. job but I’m just noting that you might have more reasonable pay if you looked for jobs at your level. I believe that even chain restaurants pay their managers more than $12 an hour so I imagine the fancier ones pay more (of course, i could be wrong).

    And then you didn’t say why you left your friends place – did that not work out for your friendship or something? I think you mentioned in another post that you are still friends so wouldn’t that be an option if you needed it?

    I mean, as long as you have enough money coming in to sleep comfortably at night, then the source of income is irrelevant (haha, unless illegal i guess) in my opinion.

    Anyway, I’m sure everyone will appreciate you taking the time to spell all this out.

    • Reply Jim |

      Hi debtor,

      Thanks for the great comment. The reason I say that I could possibly add 50k to my income and pay the same amount of taxes, is because right now the only deduction I take right now is mileage, and to be honest I think I only take about a 1/3 of that. I do have proof for everything I take.

      I wish I could edit that post about everything. But notice how I said for the “next umpteen years” I did move around quite a bit. But I do want to explain, the General Manager position was in Michigan. My then fiancee and I decided to move back to my home area in Pennsylvania. As for also stating that I moved back to my hometown again, I was living in Virginia at that time. I hope that is enough clarity for you. Because if I stated all the times I moved within the time of Traveling Manager and Inventory Specialist, I probably would end up with another 1000 words.

      There is a good possibility that I could find manager work within a hour distance of me. Most would probably start me at around $25k if I was willing to travel that far for a job. I know the managers at “Back to being A Restaurant Employee” made $9/hr with no benefits.

      As for my friend’s restaurant, I help out here and there and usually for free. His business isn’t hurting, but it isn’t really thriving, it really is in not that good of a neighborhood. He works open to close, so I really am not needed. At the moment he actually has a paper route as well, so he doesn’t have to take money out of the restaurant to pay himself.

  • Reply Joe |

    Jim,
    Thanks for taking the time to write this out. I’m a big advocate of doing “what works for you”, so that’s great. I really am hoping it all works out well, and looking forward to reading about it, especially given how unfamiliar your approach is to me.

    A few comments/questions for some more clarification:
    1. You state that you are making more now than you could at any 40 hour per week job. At $10/hr, a 40 hr per week job translates to $20K per year. From your previous posts, you have stated that your total income is about $30K per year, with about $18K ($1500/month) coming from your wife’s disability leaving $12K from your contract work and other endeavors. While I can appreciate that you might be making more per hour, it seems that you are not bringing in enough effective hours. Of course, hopefully this will change with time, but right now I would be concerned about whether you can meet your long-term goals (not just getting out of debt, but saving for retirement, security for your family, etc.) in terms of total income.

    2. At your income level, you are paying minimum income taxes (if any), self-employed or not. Especially being married with two children. In fact, you are taking a hit from being self-employed as you have to pay twice as much payroll tax. (This will be balanced by your deductions). So I feel that taxes shouldn’t be a big factor in your decision-making about whether to work a “normal” job or not.

    3. Following the discussion from your “Side Hustles” post a few days ago, you are going to take a hit from your admission that you haven’t had any contract work the last 4 months, regardless of the reason. Just being the messenger. 🙂

    • Reply Jim |

      Hey Joe,

      Let me take the time to answer your questions.

      1. I guess when I first applied to here, I didn’t have a good grasp of what I was actually making. But I do know that I make over $1000 a month. I know that since I started full time with all my side hustles, my wife and I brought about the same amount home every month. As of right now, I make the same amount as I have as a cook. Now granted I believe I made $400-$800 per week as Server at my last job, which was double what I would have as a cook.

      Now with that said, when I do take more contracts I do make more money. You are right I am not effectively bringing in enough hours with this. I tend to look for more longer term contracts, and lately they have been 1 or 2 days or $10/$11 per hour.

      I also want to point out that I do gross much more than I bring home. Close to $1500 more.

      2. I don’t actually take taxes into factor, per say. It is more the fact that I can write off things, such as my families health. And I look into that I could potentially make more, but actually pay less in taxes.

      3. That probably is the case Joe, I have taken a hit for everything I have wrote so far, haha. But there are more lucrative contracts later in the year. Granted, yes I could take some smaller ones now.

      Thanks for the great comment!

      • Reply Joe |

        Regarding #2, I think you may have misunderstood me: A family of 4 can effectively have about $40k/year of income without paying a cent in income taxes (plain-vanilla W2, standard deduction, 4 exemptions, 2x child credit). So, I’m not sure why you think that being self-employed offers a tax advantage at this stage. (hard to pay any less than 0, EITC notwithstanding).

        Also, with respect to the “health benefit”, I had assumed you meant your personal health in terms of being able to work from home, on your own time, etc., but are you saying that there is an actual health insurance benefit here as well for your family? If so, can you explain?

        • Reply Jim |

          I actually gross around $1000 more each month. But after taxes, health insurance, and what I keep in the business, I only bring home about $1500. Hope that explains it.

  • Reply Kili |

    So is that list in chronological order?
    I was confused a little because of the mention of a fiance and then a girlfriend;

    • Reply Jim |

      I am sorry for the confusion, but it would take forever to list everything. The fiancee and girlfriend were two different girls. Then there is my wife as well.

      • Reply Kili |

        just an idea, if you had added a rough timeline like General Manager (2009/10 – 2009/12), Traveling Manager (2011/03 – 2011/06), Restaurant Employee (2013/spring) it would have been easier to understand.

  • Reply Susan |

    Wow … that is quite a work history. How many years does this cover? I think you said once you were out of the military, you had excessive debt. I cannot imagine, with such an erratic work history, that you were able to get things under control.

    Also, a fiance, a girlfriend and now a wife? Or were the fiance and the girlfriend the same person?

    I am in agreement with the above posters re your tax implications, and with the fact that you are essentially making $12,000 a year ($1,000 a month) with all of these side hustles and main hustles. I guess that might be okay if you were a single guy with no debts, but you are married with children and your debt is large. In spite of the fact that it seems you are always working and never sleeping, that is not much money when you have to support a family.

    I wonder how much of your wife’s anxiety comes from worrying about all of the juggling and plate spinning that you need to do to keep money coming in?

    And, back to the tax implications, I am very concerned. You have already stated that you did not know or understand the terms of the loan you took out for your vehicle purchase. The US Tax Code is extremely complicated … much more so than a Vehicle Loan. Trying to run a business, keeping the funds separated from personal funds, being sure that money spent is not co-mingled, filing all forms and schedules …. I have to say I don’t have confidence that you truly know what you are doing here. Do you have a CPA advising you? I am thinking not … particularly from some of the statements you have made.

    You made a list about the benefits of working for yourself and one of those was Health Benefits. What Health Benefits? It seems that the Health Benefits are not provided by your working for yourself, but from your wife’s disability benefits, which I believe covers her and her children. What about health insurance for you?

    I don’t mean to always sound so negative, but your situation worries me quite a lot.

    Susan

    • Reply Jim |

      Hi Susan,

      That covered about 12 years. And you are right that it was hard to get things under control. In fact I am ashamed to admit that I never did, if you go back to one of my first posts titled “To Be Old And Wise, You Must First Be Young And Stupid” that was about this time.

      The fiancee, girlfriend, and wife were three completely different people.

      I am not sure how everyone is thinking I am making only $1000. I do bring in a little more than that, haha. I am not always working either, in fact time is something that I do have a lot of.

      And to be honest, there isn’t much spinning, my income is pretty steady every single month, my wife worries about money, but not because of this reason. I have had a CPA advise me the first year I went solo, haven’t since. But I do read up on all of my deductions that I take, and I keep records for all. I also fill out every form and schedule needed.

      My business covers both my kids and I with benefits. It also acts as a secondary for my wife.

      See I worry about my family as well. But the one thing I don’t worry about is my employment status.

    • Reply Kiki |

      My question also. I still don’t know what it is you actually do on this contract work. You mentioned something about videos. Please explain! Thanks.

      • Reply Jim |

        Not sure where I mentioned about videos, I am not sure what this is about. But as of right now the only contract I have is with the newspaper company. But I do take on Brand Ambassador, Merchandising, and Mystery Shopping contracts.

        • Reply Kiki |

          Jim, I see that the video was for a job interview. Sorry about that.

          • Jim |

            Ahh ok now I got you. Yes I had two video interviews. One was for a contract, that I had to talk to the screen. The other, was an actual skype interview. By the by, I did score the contract and am still waiting to hear on the other.

  • Reply Theresa |

    I have had a bit of experience in the hospitality industry and servers/battenders generally make more money then floor managers. The people I have seen move management either needed health insurance (this was a few years ago), needed day hours or were striving to be general managers. So I see why you don’t want to go back to restaurant management.

    • Reply Jim |

      This is very correct Theresa. When I came back from Corporate Trainer to General Manager I took a 200% pay cut. Cooking never got me anywhere really, but I am really good at it, and when they found that out, it was hard to get out of that situation. You are right, that I made the most as a bartender or a server.

  • Reply Mary |

    The bottom line is that you don’t have to defend your actions to anyone. You appear to be happy with your newspaper route and piecing together jobs. Essentially, the common denominator in most of the above jobs was that you left because it wasn’t enough money, which is precisely why getting a full time job with benefits, where you can earn a decent living to support a family and that has the added benefit of being able to move up and advance in a career to make more money, seems to be a better option, especially with a family and a lot of debt. You’ve made it clear you have no interest in that; however I doubt the above explanation will change the consensus that a full time job is the better option. For the short term, a full time job would help provide medical benefits and financial security and faster debt repayment. For the long term, it would do the same. I am unaware that a newspaper route would pay more than the $10-$15/hour that you stated was inadequate in the above jobs so I am perplexed as to how that is a more lucrative option especially with the decline in newspaper sales today.

    Being self employed requires careful bookkeeping, no co-mingling of funds, etc. The IRS also has very specific rules regarding home office deductions, etc. and even if a person is financially savvy, I find meeting with a CPA once a year is always a good idea even if you do your own taxes. Like a previous poster said, if you have difficulty understanding the loan terms, then you want to make sure you have some financial counsel regarding self employment taxes.

    Regarding your wife’s disability income…if I recall it was around $2900…I assume around $1500 is for the wife and another $900 for the child…what I am not clear on is why your wife gets disability if she remarried? I have a client that gets Social Security Disability for her and her daughter and those are the approximate numbers. I also thought disability benefits were for people that could not work any job of any kind (SS definitions, not mine)…if your wife can run an online business, then that seems like that is a job. I don’t know the rules for Social Security for people who “became disabled” however I do know the rules for a person that is “born disabled” and Social Security requires that they are notified of certain events, and marriage is one of them. (FYI-Social Security benefits for a person that was born with disabilities and never able to work maxes out around $725 or so; if a person was able bodied and becomes disabled they get more benefits…not sure what the maximum is however from what I’ve seen with different clients, it seems to average around $1500 with another $1000 for the child.)

    • Reply Joe |

      Mary, I know where your $2900 confusion is coming from: in the original post, there was one month with 2900, one month with 0, and one month with 1450. So I’m assuming that there was one month where the payment came in a little bit early and was lumped in with the previous month. But it is actually about $1450/month.

      • Reply Jim |

        That is exactly what happened. Some one asked about it and I answered in the comments.

  • Reply Jim |

    You have to understand Mary, there isn’t that much money in the restaurant business, unless you own the restaurant or are very high up there. You are right it might not change the opinions of others what is the better option, but those are my reasons. As for the the paper route, it essential is paying much more than that amount. I work one hour every single day of the week and if I calculated what I made from the route every month and make it per hour, it much higher.

    I do not take any home office deductions, because like you said the IRS is very strict, my house is too small to claim this deduction. I have to co-mingle my office space with other things. I do want to consult a CPA, but I haven’t found one that specializes in home based businesses in my area.

    I wish my wife’s disability income was that high. It is more toward around $1500 per month. $1000 for her and $230 for each child. My wife was never married before me. We have both looked into this of what you speak of, and we have a certain threshold my wife can make before it affects her disability income. The SSI office knows that we are married, I am not sure what you are saying here.

    I really don’t know how they come up with these numbers, because we don’t come close to the amount you speak of.

    • Reply MW |

      Jim if people are getting confused about the numbers and the order you did things and who the various players are, etc., don’t you think you bear a little of the responsibility? Since we’re all just trying to go based on what you have written, which sometimes isn’t very clear.

      Even after reading your post and all the comments and your answers, I’m still confused:

      One place you say you bring in “a little more” than $1,000, another place you say “I only bring home about $1500.”

      One place you say you’ve had a CPA advise you, another place you say “I do want to consult a CPA, but I haven’t found one that specializes in home based businesses in my area.”

      And so on and so forth.

      You keep pointing out you gross almost $1,500 more than you bring home each month. Why is that so important to you? I think what people here are trying to get across is, you’re not bringing in enough income (after taxes) to pay down your debt quickly, and that if you increased your income– whether by getting a job somewhere else or by getting more contract work– you will be able to get out of this mess more quickly.

      • Reply Alexis |

        Yes, exactly. Thank you MW.

        I also still cannot shake that we, as readers, do not know who you are and what from what you’re saying is the truth. Again, some inconsistencies:

        -In your summary, you let us know that, “All of my contracted work I do, the least amount of money I will accept is $15/hr,” but then later in a response to Joe you say, “I tend to look for more longer term contracts, and lately they have been 1 or 2 days or $10/$11 per hour.” You don’t have to lie about what you’re willing to accept or what you get, but when you do, you lose the trust of the community.

        -Also, and this one is just more of a personal feeling that apparently Susan thought as well, the way that I’ve read you has been one where it seems you are constantly putting forth time and effort towards different endeavors for money, whether it be contracts, secret shopping, brand ambassador or what have you. When Susan states that this may be a source of stress on your wife (this plate spinning as she very cleverly referred to it), you informed her that you are, “not always working either, in fact time is something that I do have a lot of.” So now you’re presenting an image to us where you barely work? Is that not supposed to frustrate us, as readers of a debt blog where people are trying their hardest to cut back, work harder, and sacrifice? The thought of you sitting around?

        As a reader of BAD and as a woman working every day towards getting out of debt by working a second job, I honestly take offense to that. Why are we reading you when you a) aren’t telling the truth consistently and b) self admittedly do not want a steady job and have lots of time to sit around. Seriously?

        • Reply Jim |

          Alexis,

          I think you are reading that wrong. I do only accept $15/hr and/or long term. I haven’t taken any contract work because they didn’t fit these terms as lately they have been either 1 or 2 days or $10/$11. There is no lying here…

          I didn’t say I was just sitting around, I am working all the time to build my online endeavors up. I have time to pick up contracts when they come along. But until they do I can continue my entrepreneur aspirations.

          I have not lied one ounce on this blog. As much as you take offense to me “sitting around” I take offense of you calling me a liar. I am working hard every single day, but just like any business starting off the ground it takes time to build up an income.

          • Alexis |

            You’re right- I did read that wrong. I apologize for accusing you of lying when it was my mistake in reading.

            This aside, the rest of my post remains accurate. I still feel that you’re writing and presentation of yourself changes depending on who you’re responding to and what point you’re trying to get across.

          • Jim |

            Hi Alexis,

            I am sorry that you think that is the case, I feel as if I answer to the best of my abilities of the given question or comment. When I read another I try to answer it. It really isn’t about presenting myself differently, just answering things on how I understand the question to be.

  • Reply Jim |

    It’s not that I am not taking responsibility. It is the way the comments are worded and how I am responding.

    Let’s bring these to light.

    One place I say I bring a little more than $1000. I think you are reading that out of context. The commenter said I was bringing in $1000. I replied jokingly, “I am not sure how everyone is thinking I am making only $1000. I do bring in a little more than that, haha”… Meaning I was making more than $1000.

    What I take as pay is around $1500, some months it is a little more, some months a little less. But it is around $1500.

    About the CPA, I mention that I have met with a CPA when I first went full time. The reason I don’t do this regulary, is that I haven’t found one that specialized in home based businesses.

    First I think you are mixing things up. I bring in about $1000 extra a month. The $1500 is what I actually pay myself. This $1000 more is important for numerous reasons. The biggest reason is that this amount allows me to provide health insurance for my family, save for future business expenditures, and pay for the taxes.

    This take home pay is after taxes. I am not sure if you have been following along with my jumbled mess of posts, but I have posted that I have been looking for ways to “find” money. I think that was my post earlier this week. I also put my name in for a few contracts and an W2 work at home position. So far I got accepted for one of the contracts.

    Hope that explains a few things.

    Cheers!

    • Reply debtor |

      hey question to this – you pay yourself $1500 from what? The newspaper business? or the things you contract out? Then what do you do with the extra – reinvest into your business(es)? if so which?

      I don’t want this to be an attack thread. I think that you are doing a great job to answer people’s questions and explain further. I just think it would all be avoided if you reread your posts before you hit publish and imagine someone who had never heard of you was reading it.

      i’m not sure what state/town you live in (or if you have ever specified) but it must be pretty small – schedule C items should not be that unfamiliar to the avg. CPA so I would definitely recommend taking another look around to at least discuss.

      At this point, I’d say probably let this thread lie, take notes from the readers and keep on trucking. Definitely try and work on the clarity of future posts and for now I’d say be careful of throwaway comments since it looks like readers are definitely scrutinizing and parsing your words a little more than normal.

      Good luck!

      • Reply Theresa |

        I agree with everything debtor is saying. I think you should seriously consider taking some courses to develop your writing skills. I don’t think you are conveying information in your posts in a clear and concise manner. Your income streams are confusing and your communication skills are not helping the situation. I am not sure if a community college or an online college class would be best but I think you should look into some sort of fundamentals of writing course. I know you have said that you have never had complaints about your writing. However, I don’t think you have had an audience that is as well educated and savvy as the BAD community is. If you are striving to make your income online with your words then you need to work on your craft. Look at it as professional investment.

        Immediately, perhaps you could pick a reader who you trust and you could e-mail him or her your posts in advance and they could respond with every question they have after they read it and you could edit the post that way. That might clear up a lot of the confusion that the readers are experiencing and it would reduce the number of clarifying comments that you have to respond to.

        I don’t want to sound like a broken record but you need to increase your income quickly. If you have the time, and you have stated that you do have time, then you should call your best friend who owns the restaurant up and ask for one lucrative serving or bartending shift (at least) a week. If it is a dinner shift then it will not irrecoverably harm your relationship with your children who should be in bed by 8:00 p.m. Working more also has the benefit of making it more inconvenient to spend money. I am also a firm believer that for growth to occur there has to be some discomfort.

        I also think you should track how much time it takes weekly to look for and apply to these contract jobs. That time alone could be eating into your earned per hour averages.

        Like Debotor said I hope you keep on trucking.

        • Reply Kili |

          I think that’s a great suggestion made by Theresa to have a post proofred by one of the readers (or maybe Jeffrey) prior to posting.
          I too am having a hard time with the inconsistencies and the facts that don’t add up (with the different info we’re given).
          I do wish all the best for you and your family.

        • Reply Jim |

          Hi Theresa,

          Actually I personally think it is more on the lines that I am having problems conveying my writing is because I never had to write this personal before. There is a structured manner that most blog posts are formulated on, until you get to the more personal websites. I have wrote for many top known sites on all topics, but usually I don’t have the word “I” in them at all. I do believe you are right, that I could invest in more writing courses. In high school I personally didn’t do so well in composition. But I did amazingly well in college… who knows for what reasons.

          I have been looking into generating more income. But unfortunately I can not ask my best friend. I stated in a comment somewhere (I believe it might have been in this post) he really doesn’t have any positions open for me. He works 7 days a week from open to close, and doesn’t take money out of the business for himself. As for serving, if I did find somewhere where they allowed me a day or two and it was dinner shift, the most profitable time would be around 5-8. My daughter goes up to bed at 730, and does get home from school till 4. I would not see her that day.

          But there is something I gotta admit, this is only half the time. I could do it on days that we don’t have her. There is another reason, which I can not discuss here that I choose to stay away from the restaurant business. It is a very personal reason and I really don’t feel comfortable saying on here.

          As for looking into jobs, I have an independent contractor agreement with over 100 different companies. These companies email me when a position comes available to my perimeters. In some companies I have it set at different mile radius, some are 100 mile radius because I know they pay time and mileage. Some are only set at 25 miles because they don’t pay either. Some are set that if there is no traveling at all, that I would be willing to make a dollar less.

          Within this structure, I get emails when they match up. Because I have been doing this since 2007 and build good relations with some of the schedulers, I get called on the more lucrative contracts before they do their mass email to the people in the areas they are targeting.

          You are right about it taking time and eating the averages. But as the many MANY hours I put in at the beginning of the business, the system works almost flawlessly that I only have to search for about 2-3 hours a week.

      • Reply Jim |

        Hi debtor,

        Great questions. Here is basically how I do my payment. Since Christmas my pay has come from two things. My online business and my newspaper route. I take out $1000 right from the top, this goes to my taxes, my health/life insurance, and my business savings.

        Everything I reinvest into is into the online business, whether it is for supplies, training courses, inventory, or conventions.

        The thing is you are right, but if I write everything out there would come some complications. 1. I would run out of things I would talk about very quickly, some of these would have probably been explained in another post. Which you got to remember, everyone is demanding all this information (And yes I understand it is to get a grasp of everything), but all of us bloggers have only had technically maybe 10 days to do so far. I personally believe this stuff would have came to light eventually, but because I am so active in the comments, things are coming to light that I basically am only devoting a paragraph or two in the comments section.
        2. I have to assume that people have been reading my story since I began or if I wrote like someone didn’t read my past posts, then you really wouldn’t get to know anything really about me.

        It isn’t about the schedule C items that I was looking for. I was looking for people that knew more about home based business and their deductions. My SCORE advisor and countless others that I trust, told me to find someone than is familiar with this, and they would know about the other stuff.

        Thanks for the great comment!

    • Reply MW |

      I’m sorry, but I’m still incredibly confused.

      Are you saying you make, after taxes, $2500/month, but put $1,000 to insurance/taxes/future business expenses and that leaves you with $1,500 to live on (including debt service)?

      If so, I’m glad I finally understand, but it also makes me feel that much more strongly that you need to be more clear and concise in your posts. That one sentence (if it’s the case) says more than your long post and all your replies to the comments, and would help your readers tremendously.

      • Reply Jim |

        Kinda sorta MW. Everything is correct but I make, BEFORE TAXES, around $2500/month. But I put $1000 to insurance/taxes/future business expenses and leaves me around $1500 to live on.

        • Reply debtor |

          thanks!

          Hopefully, most readers see this comment. i think it’s the simplest way to describe your income situation and what most people have had the hardest time trying to understand.

          You are right, a lot of stuff IS coming out in the comments that might have been eventually revealed a couple months down. So we can also be patient.

          I also think, things like something you said earlier about not wanted to go into the restaurant business due to personal reasons are the sort of things I’d just say upfront. Most readers will respect that and then it won’t seem like you are just being unnecessarily stubborn.

          Anyways, thanks for responding – you’ve definitely made things a bit clearer in my mind.

          • Jim |

            I am trying my hardest, I really am. But at least I got someone understanding a little haha

  • Reply Susan |

    I wish there was a “like” button for posts and replies. I agree with Alexis and with MW above. In fact the following from Alexis’ last post is exactly what I am perceiving:

    “This aside, the rest of my post remains accurate. I still feel that your writing and presentation of yourself changes depending on who you’re responding to and what point you’re trying to get across.”

    I get the feeling from reading (and re-reading) your posts that you are very persuasive and that you can spin things to whatever the listener/questioner wants to hear.

    I actually did go back and re-read your post about being Young and Foolish and I re-read your budget and monthly expenditures and your first posts where you tried to give us your backstory. I did this before I wrote my post above.

    Things still seem not right, with missing pieces. Your explanations only further muddy the waters, as far as I can tell.

    Of the four Bloggers, you are the one who is not ringing true to me. I am not saying you are lying … far from it. I believe that you do believe you are telling the truth about everything and that you believe you have things under control. I think you are so sure of yourself that you have convinced yourself that everything is just fine.

    My background in the legal profession and also in the accounting profession, as well as my ability to pick up on details are what makes me feel uneasy about your situation. From other readers’ responses and posts, I am not alone in this feeling.

    • Reply Jim |

      What exactly are you feeling as if it isn’t ringing true in your eyes, and perhaps I can write a post about it. It is really hard to try to explain my whole life with three posts a week for just over a month.

  • Reply Jamie |

    I agree with other people that either your writing is unclear or your numbers don’t always add up. For example, in your April 29th “Side Hustles April 2014 Version,” you say that you have “around 300 newspaper clients.”

    In today’s entry you say: “Even the newspapers, basically pay me over $20/hour if I average it out.” In answer to Mary’s question, you say, “As for the paper route, it essential [sic] is paying much more than that amount. I work one hour every single day of the week and if I calculated what I made from the route every month and make it per hour, it [sic] much higher.”

    This makes it sound like you only work one hour a day, seven days a week, on the newspaper route. For 300 clients?!

    I also find it frustrating to see you making the same kinds of errors again and again. You didn’t read the furniture contract carefully enough and ended up paying extra in fees and interests. When you bought your son’s birthday toy, you wrote: “I had a 20% off coupon when I first was getting the toy, but since I was putting it on layaway, I couldn’t use it till the last payment, which by then expired. On top of that, I did have $10 reward bucks and another 20% off coupon that I forgot to bring on my last visit.”

    Even assuming you knew when you bought the toy that you’d be unable to pay it off in time to use the first 20% coupon, I don’t understand how, on the day you were paying it off, you’d forget the coupon. And did you forget the reward bucks as well? It’s hard to tell, by the way it’s written, if that was forgotten, too.

    You also don’t help your image any by showing so much hostility towards readers, when they challenge what you say. Telling people, “… well so be it, think what you like” (you have said this kind of thing several times) and “There is one easy way to get around this, don’t read my writing!” does not endear you to readers. You knew going into this you’d be subject to scrutiny and would have to have a thick skin.

    • Reply Jim |

      I am not sure how that is confusing you. It takes me one hour to deliver the paper, I do it every single day of the week. From what I make every month and I divide it by 31 (how many days), I make more than $20/hr.

      As for making the same mistakes, well that does happen. We are all human. I want to expand on the gift, I thought when we put the gift on layaway that the coupon would be used at that time. They informed me that it couldn’t be used till the end. On the day of pickup, I did have reward bucks and a coupon that I forgot to bring. Simply because I wasn’t planning on picking up that day, but figured that since I was in the area (which is about 30 minutes away from where I live) I might as well pick up his gift.

      I show the same amount of hostility as the reader shows me. If they scrutinize me in a manner that is not in hostility, I reply the same way. If it is, then so am I.

      • Reply Sarah |

        Jim, I’m skeptical of your delivering that many papers in an hour. It would take nearly a quarter of that time to bag the papers. And Sunday inserts? Those can take forever. I used to work for a major newspaper and none of our carriers – no matter the size of their route – could complete pickup, prep and delivery in that amount of time. The only way I see you being able to pull it off is if your route consists solely of drop boxes. Maybe that’s the case, though that would be unusual.

        • Reply Jim |

          I have a driving route Sarah, where I only have to bag about 35 papers a day that go on porches. The rest go in newspaper tubes/mailboxes. Are you thinking I put the Sunday inserts in myself? My newspapers on a Sunday are put into two sections, The daily news & sports, then all my circulars. I don’t have to put anything together, they just go right on top of each other in the tube.

  • Reply Jessica |

    I just find it so difficult to connect with your story, Jim… I lost my job a few years where I was making $28/hr and had to start over in a company making only $13/hr. I’ve worked my way up to $18, but still not even close to the original. I work 40+ hours a week and pick up as much overtime as I’m offered.. It’s hard to hear that you want to ‘hold out’ for a certain pay rate when you’re trying to dig out of debt – if I was offered extra hours at only $5/hr, I would still take them because it’s extra income. I understand wanting to be home with your children, but your wife is filling that role right now. And I am also finding it difficult to trust your business ventures when you keep referring to them as ‘side hustles’

    • Reply Jim |

      Hi Jessica,

      I understand your pains. But you have to realize, that my plan has been working as I have paid a good amount of debt. If it wasn’t for buying the van I would have been out of debt by the end of the year very easily.

      It’s not just about wanting to be home with my children, it is the fact that it is the only time in my life that I have been able to pursue my entrepreneur dreams. The main reason I am able to do this, is knowing full well that what I have been making the years before was around this same amount.

      I don’t technically call my business ventures as my side hustles. In my post titled side hustles, the only business venture I reported in there was my wife’s direct sales business. The rest was one time things, which I am referring to as side hustles.

  • Reply ND Chic |

    Why don’t you pick up a bartending job a couple nights a week? You could likely double your income.

    It’s very annoying to me when people who don’t make much use taxes as a crutch. Paying taxes can be a good thing. If you had to pay in $30,000, imagine how much money you would be making.

    • Reply Jim |

      Hi ND Chic,

      There are a couple reasons I choose not to go this route.

      1. For many years I was a night owl. I finally trained my body into waking up between 4am-5am. If I went back with this route, I am sure my body would easily adjust to becoming a night owl again. This ultimately hurts my family, because I would sleep a good amount of the day away. I have been able to accomplish more waking up at this time.

      2. If I did take on the position, I would barely see my daughter. It could be different when summer comes around, since she would be home during the day.

      3. This could hurt me in the long run, when the contracts come about again.

      As for your tax comment, it is not that I use taxes as a crutch. You are right that it can be a good thing. I personally, don’t mind paying taxes, but with that said I don’t mind paying the taxes that I legally owe. Being a business owner, there are more than 100 more legal tax deductions that I can take, than that if I was an employee.

  • Reply Judi |

    Jim, just remember we all care about you and share the same goal of helping you get out of debt. I come from a large family that is really involved and always gives me advice. When I was growing up this would drive me crazy because it seemed like their advice was both abundant and contradictory. For example, one aunt would tell me that I was studying too much, while the other would tell me I wasn’t studying enough. This spanned to every aspect of my life including my body where one would tell me I was too skinny, and the other that I was too heavy. It didn’t help that I had a perfect older brother that was barely criticized, leading me to think that I was being picked on, or I was the black sheep.
    This went on until I finally asked myself the right question: Why would someone who loves me tell me these things? There are only two answers: 1) I really needed to change or 2) they didn’t have all the information and I needed to change how I communicated my feelings and goals to them. Either answer equal me needing to changing.
    Their advice wasn’t contradictory because they had the same goal, I just wasn’t listening. I changed the way I was studying so that I didn’t study so many hours but I studied more efficiently, and I started focusing on healthy eating and exercise instead of focusing on not eating or eating what I wanted. They stopped criticizing those things because in the end they just wanted me to be successful and healthy, but now they have moved on to others things;) And it turns out they had always criticized my brother he was just further along in his life journey so he didn’t need as much help.
    We all have to goal of helping you get out of debt. We aren’t some internet trolls we’ve been in your corner from the beginning, I personally voted for you as the new BAD blogger because I saw with your income and your debt level that you would have to change the most of everyone. You finances are one emergency away from imploding (think about if you had a medical emergency and couldn’t work for 6 months). When everyone is giving you advice its because we think you don’t understand the gravity of the situation, because it doesn’t seem as if you’re willing to change anything.
    Ask yourself the right question, and either change what you’re doing or how you’re communicating it. I’ll still be cheering you on for your success because I know you can do this! You guys have already come so far, overcome so many obstacles, and you just have to keep going!

    • Reply Jim |

      Thank you Judi for this very thoughtful comment. I completely understand where you are coming from. It is like a cat/mouse game, I think I am finally communicating and everyone thinks I am holding back on stuff. I start pulling in more contracts, it seems everyone doesn’t see this and are still telling me to get a job.

      I come from a very small family, that got even smaller right around the year I was graduating from high school, when my grandmother died. Not only did I lose her, but my aunt and her children. This was due to a fight my mom and aunt had. So I never had that kind of involvement with my family. It has since gotten better, but when I was younger I remember a specific year that I didn’t talk to my family for the entire year. And that was after the military.

      Thanks for the boost of confidence!

      • Reply Judi |

        I’m very sorry for the loss of your grandmother, not matter how long the time it’s always difficult to loose family. I also lost my grandmother at the end of high school and it was difficult to start a new period in my life without her.

        Well consider this blog as kind of a hasty intro to a massive family, lots of opinions, lots of arguing, but also lots of love. It will come don’t worry just keep working at your writing, telling your story, and finding your own voice.

        • Reply Jim |

          Thanks Judi,

          To be honest, it was the only adult when I was growing that I idolized. It is kinda strange, because she definitely had her faults. Later on in life, my parents said she was a borderline alcoholic. Which as a kid, you never truly do see, especially when the person is an idol. What I do remember is waiting on the porch for her for long periods of time, her canceling our arrangements, and things to that sort. But she was my world.

          She battled cancer and ultimately the cancer won, but I remember one thing she told me while growing up that I have taken up the mantle on. She told she would see her first born grandchild (me) get his diploma. This is my ultimate goal in life… to be a part of my children (grandchildren)’s life, and to see my first born grandchild walk down and get his/her diploma.

          • Judi |

            This has the makings of a great post on goals. You could explain the drive behind your motivation (your grandmother and your relationship), and how you plan to accomplish it (sit down with excel and crank some numbers like the rate you ll finish debt repayment, the cost of raising a kid, and since you re supporting them in school they may want to go to college and need some extra support). Depending on how you write it, it could be both personal and practical.

  • Reply Jamie |

    Now I’m finding it hard to believe anything you say about the newspaper delivery business because what you write makes no sense.

    You claim you have “about 300 clients.” You also claim you spend an hour a day on your newspaper business. In your reply to Sarah you said that “about 35 papers a day go on porches,” so those are the only ones you have to bag. There is no way you could be doing a paper route of that size in 60 minutes. I suspect you are off in your calculations somewhere.

    I’ve done newspaper deliveries. From the time you leave home until you return is all time counted: time from home to the distributor, time spend loading papers in the car, bagging papers (even if only 35 of the 300 are bagged), time spent driving to the start of the route, the route itself (including “about 35” papers that are porch deliveries and therefore take longer to do), and the time spent driving back home again–all counted as part of the newspaper delivery business. This is time you are not doing anything else, working on any other venture than the newspaper one.

    Frankly, not even counting drive time to and from the route and time spent at the distributor, I find it hard to believe you’re averaging only 12 SECONDS per delivery. In this day and age of online news and declining newspaper customers, it’s hard to believe your customers would all be clustered so closely together.

    Jessica mentioned finding it difficult to trust your business ventures when you use terms like “side hustles.” I, too, find that by your choice of words you contribute to people thinking you might be less-than-honest. Terms like “deals and steals” and “robbing Peter to pay Paul,” while not unusual expressions in themselves, are ones you’ve used and they contribute to that “sleazy” feeling, especially coupled with your poor writing skills and inability to communicate ideas simply.

    And when you say things like “I show the same amount of hostility as the reader shows me. If they scrutinize me in a manner that is not in hostility, I reply the same way. If it is, then so am I.,” all that says to me is that this blog is not the spot for you–the old “if you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen” saying comes to mind.

    It also makes me doubt your ability to be a successful self-employed businessman. Is this your typical way of treating customers when they voice disagreements? If someone were to dislike a product you’re demonstrating, do you tell them to shut up and push off? I assume Jeffrey and Nate aren’t running this blog as a hobby, that in some way they are making some money (or at least breaking even). Do you think being disrespectful of readers, to the point that some might even stop reading the blog, is helpful to this blog as a business?

    • Reply Jim |

      Well if you find it hard to believe, I really don’t know what to tell you Jamie. I will say that I don’t count the five minutes to where I pick up my papers and from. I don’t take into account the less than 1 minute (all except for Sunday where it will take about five) to pick up the papers.

      Everyone has ways to calculate how they earn their money. You might count that when you were delivering papers but I do not. Do you count the time it takes you get to and from your job? No you count that you work 9 and end at 5. Same difference.

      Find it hard to believe or not, this can easily be done, and yes my customers are clustered so closely together.

      Side hustle is a very common term in the blogging community, I can kindly suggest you use google and search the term. This term is used in a good way, just not be a term you use. This post is the one of the best definitions… http://ayoungpro.com/what-is-a-side-hustle/

      You totally took those two words totally out of context. Are you implying that you can’t get “deals and steals” at yard sales? Where you can easily get a $50 shirt for a quarter? And the “robbing Peter to pay Paul” was about in an emergency where you don’t pay one person to pay another. I am sure everyone has done this.

      Also the old “you can dish it, but you can’t take it” comes to mind.

      Have a great day

      • Reply Jean |

        Just so I can be clear…are you responding to her with the “dish it” comment or just adding another one to her list describing you?

        I’m pretty sure when people are upset that you’re rudely responding to commenters, they don’t mean “be a jerk but then end the post with a sugar coated, factory send off (e.g. Have a great day).

        • Reply Jim |

          This is what I am I am talking, you only take one part of the context of the comment, and warp it.

          I wasn’t trying to rudely respond here, and I wasn’t being a jerk either. I answer questions paragraph by paragraph.

      • Reply Alexis |

        I don’t believe that most of the readers on here are trying to “dish it” with their comments, as Judi was stating. I do understand that you feel attacked at times, but even in the most extreme cases of “attacking” comments (I’m thinking name calling with no beneficial value or advice, which I have not seen here), I wouldn’t resort to “dishing” back.

        • Reply Jim |

          You are right here Alexis, I also don’t believe MOST of the readers here aren’t trying to dish it. But I can name a few that just basically attack anything I write. You are also right that these aren’t extreme cases either.

  • Reply AS |

    Let me start by saying, I thought this posted was quite an improvement from prior ones. More clear, easier to follow, and mostly a clear purpose / message. The history of jobs, clearly suggests you have experience in food service / restaurant management, so something you can build from.

    It got a little murkier when you added in the comments about the new position, that piece felt more rushed in your writing. And reading the comments, the omission about ‘for personal reasons that I’m not comfortable talking about here, I don’t want to go back into restaurants’ was a surprise, you buried the lede there. Also takes away a potential safety net for you.

    Also, though, generally speaking I was surprised at the harshness of the criticisms in the comments and how quickly it went back to a level of distrust / fighting. Both Jim and the readers need to step back a bit and tone down the level of emotion in the debate.

    I won’t comment on the paper route, taxes, the gross/net of the self-employment, the economics of it all, etc as I feel that’s been done. But I would like to understand what you mean when you talk about your business:

    a) Part of your income is independent contractor-like arrangements [paper route, maybe restaurants, brand ambassador, this new thing you just video’d for, etc.]. wouldn’t normally call this a business, I’d call it an independent contractor arrangement. You work hours, you earn compensation per hour. For legal and tax purposes it may be organized as a business, but it doesn’t feel like one to me. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s not a business per-se in my book.
    b) Your online ventures and possibly other things. These are things where your primary revenue doesn’t come from (roughly linearly) working hours. It’s from selling a product, a service, something that isn’t tied to working hours. I would tag these a business. I’m sure you’re experimenting here, trying to find something that works, is sustainable, and can scale. The Amazon thing I imagine you would fit into this bucket. Maybe your passive income too.

    Now if I step back, I would say that in your current position, you are using the (a) type independent contractor arrangements to generate your base self-employment revenue (say $2500/mo gross, $1500/mo net after taxes, health insurance, and reinvested earnings), with (b) as the experiments you are doing to set up your ‘lifestyle’ business. You are not considering a full-time position because your (a) contractor income exceeds the base pay you think you’d earn from full-time work, and (b) quality of family life.

    If this is accurate, then to succeed in getting out of debt and on to solid footing longer-ter, you’re going to need
    -> good stability of the (a)-type contractor income, including ways to line up short-term incremental assignments to diversify potential sources, build up savings, or pay down debt. Currently feels like this runs up to 20h/wk max.

    -> a solid plan to make the (b)-type businesses more sustainable within a short period of time. You must be spending the balance of a 40-50h wk in this category, trying to make it get off the ground, call it up to 20h/wk. Instead of getting into it here you could consider a future detailed post about this, but be prepared for criticism here because it seems like you could pick up maybe 10-20h/wk of additional (a)-type contract work to bolster your base revenue by $150-250/wk, which could mean roughly $500-$750/mo more net of tax towards savings or debt.

    -> a fallback plan to a ‘regular-job’ through networking, skills development, or wokring through the ‘personal reasons’ you won’t go back to restaurant management, etc.

    • Reply Jim |

      You are right here AS, I took the time, and tried to implement how I would blog somewhere else. I always have used headers, and tried to break it up. I had time to work on this. Then the rushing comes into play in the comments, because I am reading paragraph by paragraph and replying accordingly.

      The safety net is still there, it was basically stating I rather not go back into the restaurant business if I didn’t have to. I would if I had to. And you are right I probably do need to step back a bit, and calm my emotions at times, because it seems as I am being attacked. I can take criticism and I can work with that, but when it turns almost hostile it seems my emotions do get to me as well.

      Now onto some of the answers to the rest of this great thoughtful comment.

      a) I really don’t consider this the part of my business. But like you said for legal and tax purposes, it is a business. My arrangements allow me the flexibility to decline any position, which a job wouldn’t. But at the same time, in ways it is a business, just as a contractor who works on houses, he is an independent contractor who earns compensation per hour or per job done, which is exactly what I do with all my independent contractor-like arrangements.
      b) This is spot on, I don’t have anything more to add to this.
      c) I am adding this, I do not consider my true passive income fits into either of these categories and needs it’s own. I literally have not done anything for at least five years to garner this income and it comes in like clock work. I can always add to this stream, but I to be honest I lost interest in this part of my business.

      With that said and stepping back, as of right now (a) is not my main source of income. When I have more contracts it is, but at the moment (b) makes more than (a). And you are once again spot on for the reasons I do not take a full time position, plus the fact that I truly believe I can scale (b). But I do want to point out, that is because of the combination of both (a) & (b) that a full time job could not compete with.

      So hopefully you understand and we are both ion the same page.
      You are right about this plan for (a) and it doesn’t seem people really understand that I am doing just that. I got training for one this coming week.

      (b) I do spend much of my time in this. And to be honest, I have seen success, but it is dabbling in a little bit of everything. I have a plan for (b) that will hopefully really scale this. It is in the beginning phases, but I think it could possibly be a great venture. But with that said, it probably won’t see any income any time soon. I am not sure if you saw what I posted somewhere lately, that I really feel that if I did take on a job, that I know that I would stay in that line of field and my dreams would probably fade away. Before doing that I have to know that it was in fact because I gave it my all and not because I just conformed to the norm.

      The fallback would be going back into the food industry, I just rather not for the personal reason.

      Hope I made sense in this post, because I really thought your comment was well thought out and really insightful.

  • Reply first step |

    Jim, I’d like to make a suggestion to help clear up the confusion about your income. Each month when you post your updated debt numbers, also post the breakdown of your income for the month in percentages instead of actual dollars.

    Ex. Regular Income: Wife’s Disability X%, Newspaper, Y%. Additional income: Contract work, Z%, income from your or your wife’s business, a side hustle, tips or other inconsistent income, listed as separate line items

    I think that would make it clearer to see what your regular earnings are each month as a percentage of total income. Also, it will show changes in income as you take on more contract work and to illustrate how your entrepreneurial efforts performed that month.

    Just a thought that may help you see patterns or help you notice where changes are needed. Good luck!

  • Reply Jim |

    Thanks first step, I will try to implement this into Tuesday’s post but it wasn’t my intentions to post a breakdown of my income. There is a reason behind this, it is because I record my income personally on the cash method and not on the accrual method. Let me explain the difference…

    The cash method I don’t recognize money I earn until I receive the money.
    The accrual method is based off an entire invoice up front.

    There are some parts of my income that I might not see till the next month, and some even farther than that. Not only that, I really don’t know how I can explain my subscription based income that I receive. If I was charging a flat fee and it was broken up into months this would be easy. But some of my online clients pay every month to belong to a site. This is where I would have to talk to a CPA. But to try to change over my accounting probably be more heartache than help.

    Hope that explains it!

    • Reply first step |

      I understand the difference in the accounting methods. My suggestion was based on the fact that you have to pay your bills every month, and cashflow is more important than accounts payable. Since you’re sharing how much actual cash you’re paying to your debts each month, it makes sense to know how much actual income (cash) came in each month.

      • Reply Jim |

        I do post the actual income that comes in, I just haven’t broken it down into percentages, like you were suggesting. What I was thinking you were getting at is different then what you actual were.

        I believed you (and others) wanted to see to see is how is much of my income comes directly from my efforts each month. I was stating that it is hard to tell, since at times a good bit of my income could have came from my efforts months ago.

        But now that I read this comment I don’t think that is what you meant. Last month I posted up a post (https://www.bloggingawaydebt.com/2014/04/starting-jims-budget/) that showed the actual income that came in each month. I plan to do the same thing once a month in my budget report. I had to wait for the entire month to end to fully grasp how my budget did. Look for that post tomorrow.

  • Reply TENN |

    Just read all the comments. My recommendation for Jim to reply at set intervals, not as comments come in. If there is an issue that could be clarified in the main post, Jim could update the original post at the bottom of the post under a header that says update. Jim could also note the update in reply to the comments.

    It may be easier to just count your income for the month as money in hand on a particular day. If you have several invoices out that haven’t been paid, you could note that you are expecting payment.

    Someone mentioned disability payments. This post describes working with disability payments well.
    http://ipickuppennies.net/2010/04/the-bureaucracy-of-disabled-employment/

  • Reply Connie |

    As constructive criticism, you really do need a writing course. I think your writing probably reflects the way you talk – which isn’t bad when you’re hanging out 🙂 – but when writing you could get your ideas across much more clearly and concisely. The grammar and word use is poor. You used the word “perimeter” (meaning the outer edges of a specific area, like the perimeter of a yard or the perimeter of a square) when what you should have used is the word “parameter” meaning factors that defines a system or set the conditions of its operation.

    One reader commented that a class would be a legitimate business deduction. You obviously think about tax consequences a lot so spend the time learning to communicate flawlessly. It’s a proven fact that superior communication skills are sorely lacking in today’s world and that those who possess them are held in much higher esteem which equals higher pay.

    Your patchwork of employment reminds me of a year when I had been laid off my job of 7 years and decided I needed to do things that brought in enough to pay my bills but “gave me greater flexibility”. Ha! I did corporate plant watering, retail at night, festival booths on weekends for a timeshare company, mystery shopping, etc., etc., etc. So-called flexibility sounds great, but the reality in debt repayment is that you do the things that work for you as a side job and you work 40 hours elsewhere to actually accomplish your immediate goals. However, that’s your choice. BUT, you say that your passive income stream is something you’ve lost interest in. Are you kidding? Passive income is where it’s at. Think of commissioned sales people. Their solid income comes from those who have purchased from them before, know they can be trusted, and come back time and again. It is so much easier to keep a customer you have than to find a new one, make the sale, etc.

    I am an old fart compared to you, but I have no debt, own two houses free and clear and have retirement. If you want to be able to be in similar circumstances in the future, re-think your priorities. You seem like a personable young man and you obviously are a hustler, but use that to your advantage. Look at every minute you spend whether it’s the five minute drive to pick up your papers or the one minute you spend actually picking them up, and count those minutes as working minutes. You’re can’t do anything else with that time, therefore it is working time. Then re-calculate what you really make. You’ll probably be unpleasantly surprised. It’s like a contractor who doesn’t factor in the time going to pick up his supplies. Time IS money.

    Good luck on your journey. While I find your posts difficult to read and follow, I wish the best for you and I feel you’re really trying hard. Hang in there, but do what needs to be done now. Like getting into a class for your writing skills.

  • Reply Jim |

    Hi Connie,

    It isn’t that I lost interest in the pursuit of passive income, just that stream of income. I still use the product but don’t want to sell the opportunity or program.

    I also do calculate most contracts with the time driving, just not my paper route, because it literally takes a few minutes. I understand your analogy it’s just for the paper route I don’t.

So, what do you think ?