Money Matters: More Green, Closer to Black

Yesterday was a good money day for me. Correction: yesterday, was a good financial day for me.

About 4pm I confirmed a notary client that initially wanted to meet in Silver Lake, then later in Glendale. That allowed me to negotiate a higher travel fee, and upon arrival, what turned out to be two signatures, doubled to four. 13 miles from home and seven minutes of my time turned into a $95 service I was paid for.

On the way home from said notary client, I noticed Navient sent me an email regarding my next student loan repayment invoice. And I didn’t want to hear, especially since I had just got finished paying this month’s bill. But as I was reading the email notice – then later confirmed when I logged online to the website – my payment fee had dropped roughly $66.

Okay. I can get on board that. That doesn’t mean more money for me to spend, just that I gotta get wiser how I use the money I’m “saving”.

And to add the cherry on my pie, I learned through my credit card app and banking app that my credit score had jumped 28 points.

I feel as if I’m on a very good financial high. Like, if I continue to curtail my unnecessary spending, monitor my credit, pay down/off debt and save for my future, I really might get to that lovely I often see in my head and call my “future life”.

How’s your financial week looking?

Money Matters: Save, Invest, Pay

I spent most of time at the Girlboss Rally attending money workshops. I was a little concerned that I wasn’t finding workshops related my work. And even though I was attending Girlboss as part of my work, I was also attending as an opportunity to learn for myself and my near future aspirations.

And during these very insightful discussions as to when/ how to manage money successfully, the topics of when and how much to save, when and how much to invest and when and how much to pay yourself were constant and prevalent. But the takeaway was they same.

NOW!!! Or in other words, start saving, investing and paying yourself immediately. The moment you start making money, the moment you get paid from your first side hustle client, do all three.

Save money: you may have to claim taxes on your new found income. So put some money aside for that.

Invest money: put money back into the business and make sure you have the supplies and equipment to remain “operational “.

Pay yourself: I’ve heard lots of self made people talk about how long they went without giving themselves a salary. But that doesn’t logically make sense. Because if this little thing called rent. So pay yourself. Think of a percentage and stick to it no matter how much money you start to bring in.

Make your money work and grow for you from the very beginning.

Money Matters: To Charge or Not To Charge Sales Tax

That’s a very good question. And I think this is the first time I’m delving into this topic. So this should be fun. Maybe moreso for me than for you, but hopefully for both of us.

As a side hustler, maybe all your fees and services are cash based. There is no tax to charge because it’s, well — to put it frankly – you get paid under the table. We’re not reporting the income we’re earning on the side because maybe it’s not worth reporting. Now the IRS will tell you something different. They will say that ALL income needs to be reported. I say (but please do what’s in your best financial interest and to avoid jail time) that IRS needs to prove there was income before I report anything. I mean, a few years ago I found $25 in the street on the way to work and on the way home. The cash I found that totalled $25 in that one week. That wasn’t income. That was finders keepers!

But in all seriousness, there is a reason why cash based businesses still exist. They can report higher losses and keep more of their money because they have “less” receipts to produce if audited or for whatever reporting purposes. But the question is, should you charge sales to clients tax at all?

I’ve done/do both. When I was providing resume services, and clients were paying via online, I charged sales tax with the expectation that I would have to report it on my taxes. And I explained to the clients that because California will charge me a tax, I needed to charge them a tax. Poor reasoning but people legitimately went along with it.

With my part time notary business, I don’t charge a sales tax at all. And it could be because I also charge a travel fee. But a flat rate has helped me – I feel – continue to get clients and have repeat clients.

So… should you charge sales tax? I say yes, if you’re going to be collecting a lot of online payments. No (but you still can), if you’re going to remain a cash based hustle. The decision is yours.

Money Matters: Your Crowd Affects Your Cashflow

Literally. My mother used to tell me as a child:

association brings about assimilation

And now that I am wiser and older, I believe her wholeheartedly. The company we’re constantly involved with and have in our lives directly affects our lives. And oftentimes, our livelihood. Sounds like a stretch? Then follow me on this train of logic.

Affluent people hang around other affluent people. People in poverty spend time with other people in poverty. Celebrities tend to marry other celebrities. Birds of a feather flock together. Does that ring a bell? Too vague? It’s been said and supposedly studied that we are all the summation of the top 5 people when spend the most time around. So, whomever we tend to share time with, break bread with are the people we’re most likely to reflect. Assimilate.

But how does that affect our dollars and cents?

Think about it: if you’re spending time with people who don’t amount to much and don’t want to amount to much, chances are you probably aren’t amounting to much either. The wealthy tend to spend time with other wealthy people. Think about all those inner circles and clubs and societies most of us could never be in. We’re not on that level. That financial level.

Elle and I had a long talk about this Sunday afternoon about keeping the right people around us and we decided we are each other’s tribe. Well, we didn’t really just decide that then. We’ve always known it, it just was reiterated in our conversation. But we understand our strong will and determination helps pump the other up so when we call each other we’re already on the same wave length. We get each other. And we give each other business. She refers me to new clients — what’s starting to feel like — all the time. And I help her craft and polish her business ideas and give her guidance in what direction to go in. Because good company cares about your success. Good people want to see you succeed. Good friends and tribe members want to revel in success with you.

Because they too know it matters having the right people have your back. It’s more than friendship. It’s your livelihood.

Money Matters: Budget Check-In

All right, ladies. Let’s open those banks apps and see how much money we’re working with for the rest of June. And more importantly, checking in to see if we’re on track for the rest of the year. I hope many of you are and if you’re aren’t, let’s talk about it.

Well….let’s plan for it, at least.

For me, I’ve always wanted to have a spare $1,000 in the bank for an emergency. Y’know, a rainy day fund. And surprisingly, I don’t have that yet. Working on it, but not completely there. I have more than that in my dream home fund. Much more than that in my IRA (I converted my 401k from the old job). More than that in my checking account. But surprisingly, just a few hundred bucks in my savings.

Why?

Chase, where I have my emergency savings account with, is only offering 0.01% for accounts with less than either $5,000 or $25,000. Something like that. In other words, Chase wants be to believe I’m earning interest on my money by offering one percent of a penny. What the hell! So… the extra funds that I’ve accumulated have been moved to my dream home fund, with Ally Bank, and they give me 2.20%. The difference is like night and day.

But that’s no excuse not to save for an emergency. So, by the end of the year I will have met more than that $1,000 emergency fund goal. And it’ll just sit there till I need to use it. In addition, I’ve been cutting back on my Uber and Postmates spending. Which got out of control in April and May. And I’m saving to lease a new car by next month with Fair.

So, I’m making some traction with my short term financial goals. How about you?

Money Matters: Side Hustles Aren’t Pretty

I was up until 11:30pm last night sorting our recyclables. And by the time I got to bag 20 (from a small bag I sorted plastics and bottles into a larger bag, reducing the amount of bags we have), I was over it. Not the sorting. The recycling. Yes, recycling is good for the environment; it reduces our footprint on our limited natural resources, it provides us with more post consumer materials to use rather than create new materials. And of course, there’s coinage in the mix. It’s why I’ve made it one of my side hustles since last year.

But, it’s not fun. Not at all. My mom works at night (while she continues to look for full time work) so she collects the bottles qnd cans and I sort them. But I’m sorting other people’s bottles… and leftovers…and DNA. Ugh. Recycling is practically gross when you think about it. But a true side hustle isn’t going to be pretty, at least not all the time. It may not be as dirty and messy (you should see my kitchen floor in the process) as recycling, but there is still the nitty gritty of it all. Rolling up your sleeves and diving right in.

I think that part needs to be shared more often. The hard work part needs to be emphasized, but if you ever want to turn your hustle a business and have it sustain your ideal lifestyle, it’s going be everything but cute. And if you’re serious about earning extra money, sometimes it means partaking in activities that aren’t the prettiest.

Money Matters: B.E.A.C.H. Wallet

It’s June! And for most of us, that means summertime splendor! ๐ŸŒž And for many people it means all things beach ๐Ÿ–. Or, beach-like activities. Getting or staying in shape, hanging out with friends, kicking it poolside ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿฝโ€โ™€๏ธ or at the beach itself. And although all those activities๐Ÿ„๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ are super fun๐Ÿคฝ๐Ÿฟโ€โ™€๏ธ, they be super expense when they add up. So, while everyone else is focused on their beach bodies, focus on your B.E.A.C.H. wallet.

What’s that?

Beginnings of Establishing Any Cash Haven.

In other words, funds. Savings. Rather than spend every other paycheck hanging out and giving the appearance you can afford to hang, save for those occasions. I’m sure we’ve talked about this already; the importance saving up for things and experiences you want to enjoy rather than just splurging and figuring out how you’re going to come up above water next month.

Save, save, save!!!

I cannot begin to stress this enough. I don’t care if you have five profitable side hustles and three full time jobs (unlikely, but these days who knows), save. For anything. For everything. Make it a point this summer that whatever your goals or plans are, you put some money aside for those occasions you want to really enjoy before you spend haphazardly.

I mean, after all, going to the beach should be fun. Not a bank-breaking event.

Money Matters: Mother’s Day Spending

Aaaahhh! I think I may have spent a little too much on my mother’s day gifts. And I think so because I didn’t plan accordingly. Now, I’m not broke or close to over drafting my account, but I definitely could’ve spent less than what I did had I been paying attention.

So here’s the breakdown:

  • Flowers – $53.20
  • Chocolates (See’s Candy) – $13.46
  • Two Tickets to the Dodger’s Game – $148.23
  • Stadium Parking – $25
  • Raffle Entry – $10
  • Food at Game – $30

And the total comes to…$279.89.

SH*T!

That’s way more than I planned to spend. Don’t get me wrong, totally love my mom and would do all in my power for her, but damn. I dropped nearly $300 on one holiday on one person. Not to justify this over spending, but had I spent all of this money in one day instead of over the course of a few weeks, I would’ve been more conservative with what was leaving my wallet.

I gotta continue to focus on saving, and hustling, and creating more exposure for my business and getting more business in general. It’s nice to know I can afford to spend nearly $300 on someone, but if I don’t have to, I shouldn’t. Pricey lesson learned.

How much did you spend on your mom yesterday?

Money Matters: Be Thankful for What’s in Your Wallet

I speak a lot about the importance of earning extra monies and saving and investing, if you can, but sometimes I forget to slow down and be thankful for the dollars and cents that I have. Elle reminded me this past Sunday to find the positive in everything. I was talking to her over the phone while I was at Ross and the Dollar Tree and I was mentally calculating what I spent that day. I said to her that I had spent over a $100 I was not planning to (this is why we have budgets, right?) and she said to me without missing a best, ‘be thankful you had the money to spend’.

Deep, trust me.

Oftentimes, I’ll beat myself up for spending too much money that I won’t spend anything for weeks afterwards, thinking it’ll balance me out. And althouh, like everyone else, I am constantly working on being better with my finances and managing my money, I forget to be thankful for the money I do have.

I’ve operated far too long from a place of lack and need and hustle and grind that I don’t stop and just be… thankful. Gracious. In a state of gratitude. Shame on me. Really.

Yes, I think it’s absolutely important to be focused and geared towards something that offers value to our lives. But it’s also important to be present in the moment. And in those moments, be thankful. For all that we have. No matter how muc it adds up to.

I am thankful for my dreams, my ambitions, my mom, Elle, my job, other loved ones in my life, Los Angeles for offering me a wealth of opportunities. And the dollars and cents in my pocketbook.

What are you thankful for?