The Money Matters: Create a Recession Hustle

A recession is coming, are you financially prepared?

If you haven’t been living under a rock lately, you’ve probably heard reports that a recession is lurking in 2021. Now Trump and his administration are saying that’s not true. They’re saying the economist experts are wrong. The economy is strong as well as the labor market. And they’re right… except for the fact a recession is coming despite the markets right now (or as a result of, depending how you look at it). And it’s probably not going to be anything like the recession we faced in 2007/ 2008, but an economic dip is on the horizon.

Let’s just use some basic high school education here to explain why a recession is headed our way. History, a subject every American was required to take in high school, shows that it often repeats itself, but more importantly, economic dips and recessions are normal. They’re patterns. It’s how the market corrects itself. Fine. Don’t like history (I didn’t either till later in life)? How about physics? One Newton’s laws states that what goes up, must come down. Okay, I’m dumbing that down a bit much, but basically what it’s stating is that a object will stay in motion until an opposing force of equal force is exerted on it. The object is the economy/ inflation and the force is the market correction. The cost of goods, services and living has steadily increased over the past 5 years because the force of the market hasn’t yet corrected itself.

I was gonna jump to math if you weren’t a physics fan, but I’m not here to battle why there will be a recession. I’m here to help you get prepared for it. And if one never comes, well then guess what? You have a stash of extra money you’ve been growing over this coming year. Otherwise, hustle. Your “recession” hustle is going to be different than your regular hustle as it’s going to be an independent service from one that you’re already offering now. I’m deciding on whether or not I want to do résumés for people or proof read and edit documents.

Editing, for me is easier, but the need for resumes is greater which means more business. More money, essentially. Hey, I could do both. But what makes the recession hustle different or possibly have a greater impact on increasing your finances? It’s gonna be more cut and dry. No package tiers or multiple offers. You’ll market it the same way and provide samples of your services, portfolio if necessary. And you’ll do far less negotiating. Prospect clients will either take your offering as is or not all. This hustle doesn’t have time for the nitty gritty back and forth. Technically, neither do you.

We have 4 months left in 2019 so it’s imperative that you squeeze in an extra hustle if can. If you can’t? Then the hustles you’re already performing need to go hard. You need to find more creative places and platforms to market your hustle. Reach out to more people. Connect offline more frequently. You need to dig out every tool and assest under your belt. Make this time matter.

Too many of us were caught off guard by the last recession.  I was working in a department store in college and was laid off because of low sales as a result of the recession.  Lost my little part time. I was living off campus and supporting myself at the time. So, I felt that lack of income deeply and immediately. I never want to feel that again. Neither should you.

Money Matters: Budgeting Takes Practice

Budgeting takes practice

I don’t know about you, but every time I hear trips and tricks about saving money, the root of it all starts with budgeting. And it sounds simple enough to believe it. Make a list of all my monthly expenses and stick to those costs alone. The idea is that if we can spend less than our take home pay, we can save for a rainy day or that dream home fund. But, what these experts fail to share is that budgeting isn’t some secret ingredient the rest of us didn’t know about. Budgeting takes practice.

And a lot of practice. If you get budgeting down on your first time out, we’re donating your brain to science. Sorry, you don’t have a choice in the matter. I need to know how your mind works.

But if you’re like me and perhaps the rest of us, creating the list of expenses is the easy part. Sticking to it is the challenge. And something as trivial as dinner with friends can throw it all off kilter. Which isn’t fair, but real.

So, then, if budgeting is harder than it sounds because of surprise expenses, how can we be successful at it? Especially if we’re generating a second or third income stream?

Practice. Practice sticking to only the expenses you have to pay. Nothing more. If you’re the social butterfly but still want to budget, one of your expenses line items should either be miscellaneous or entertainment. That way you can include dinners out with friends and going to the movies as part of your budget. Ideally, you want to reduce how often you go out and spend money. If wasn’t made clear earlier, the whole point of budgeting is to save money. And spending money is the direct antithesis of saving money.

But back to the practicing of budgeting. The part we may need real help on: takes time and commitment. Chances are, we’re going to splurge on occasion. Or have an unexpected but important cost come up. It’s called life and she’s not always nice. So start practicing with weekly budgets. See if you can go one or two weeks without calling an Uber and Postmating lunch. Pay off a credit card to reduce an expense.

Want to make it exciting? The money you don’t spend, open up an high yield interest account, put the money you would normally have spent on frivolous things and save it for the end of the year. You can either treat yourself to something posh and outlandish or invest it in yourself or your future. Either way, you’ll have the money and the options to do so.

Money Matters: Lending Money

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I don’t like borrowing money for any reason.   I’m sitting on a mountain of student loan debt which I feel like I am slowing chipping away at and as a result, I HATE borrowing money.  In the investing world, borrowing money is a common thing.  In fact, many experts will tell tell you there’s such a thing as “good debt”.  It’s an investment that can be written off for tax purposes.

I understand the concept.  I just don’t agree.  I’m more of a David Ramsey gal looking to get to the snowball avalanche on my student loans.  But still chipping away at that.

But there’s also borrowing money on smaller, personal level, like between friends and family.  I know I’ve done it once or twice and dreaded having to do it.  More often than not, I’ve had people borrow money from me.  And I’m sure I’ve said it before and probably even posted it before, but I’m going to say it again:

IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO LOSE IT, YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO LEND IT.

What do I mean by that?  If your closest friend or a relative asks to borrow money and you have it, but you would need them to pay you back right away, then you probably can’t afford to lend them the money in the first place.  The sad thing about borrowing between family and friends is that is can ruin relationships…if you let it.  Till this day, my Nana swears up and down that she doesn’t talk to my uncle, her own son, because he still owes her like $700 on a truck my uncle bought from her husband.  It’s ridiculous.  So my golden rule is, if I’m going to lend someone money — whoever it is — I forget about it.  That money is gone and is never coming back.  Oh, well.  That way I’m not upset or resentful or angry and it didn’t damage a relationship.

However, should someone pay me back – yay — that money doesn’t go back into my checking account from which it came.  It goes to my savings instead.  I already made up my mind that the money was gone forever so when it does return to me, I treat it like an unexpected windfall and throw it right into my savings.  This is way I’m adding to my savings and I’m not spending “extra” money unnecessarily.  It helps me keep the reins on my money better so I have financial more secured future.

So, ladies.  I know we want to help out our friends and our family, but if it will cost you peace of mind, your sanity or even your relationship, it’s better to just say no.  Money isn’t just money to everybody and we can’t expect everyone to treat or respond to money the same way.  If you can’t afford to lend it, you can’t afford to lose it.

Money Matters: Making Smart Money Moves

The fact of the matter is we’re going to have to spend the money we make in some fashion or form. But when we do part ways with our precious hard earned money, it’s best we’re wise about it. But what does that really mean? What does it mean to be a wose spender?

Last month, I finally got a new (new to me) car. And while I was shopping around, Fair was my best option financially. Fair is a no committment leasing option to obtain a vehicle. No, I’ll never own the vehicle I drive but I’m not trapped with a long lease either. My down payment? $535. No, seriously. I had $100 coupon from the Girlboss Rally I attended in June that I used.

And yes, I’ve been driving the new car more so than the 1998 Infinity Qx4 that gifted to me almost three years ago. And as you can see, my monthly payment is $298. But…that’s the monthly lease payment and the insurance. It was just cheaper to use their insurance than my own that I was using for the old car.

As side hustlers, we gotta continuously make smart money moves. It doesn’t matter if our money moves affect our personal lives or our business lives. All money moves need to be smart.

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?