Money Matters: Cutting Back on Your Spending

As a hustler, one of our biggest obstacles is money. I mean, isn’t that the reason we got into side hustlin’ to begin with? But not just making more money, but managing it, saving it and as we all do at some point, spending it. But sometimes we forget to shift our mindset about our money from spender to saver.

One of the best ways to get in the habit of saving more of our hard earn extra greenbacks is to start cutting back on the things we’re already spending on that we don’t need.

Side hustlin’ is not about wants, it’s about needs. Supporting the needs, fulfilling the needs, saving for future needs and of course, needing to earn more. Wants go out the window (at least for a little bit).

To help you better manage your side hustlin’ money, cut back on your Starbucks or Coffeebean drinks. Skip Kindle for your books and go to the library. They got digital copies too, now. Pack snacks for on the go and lunches for work. Bring water with you wherever you go to avoid the temptation of spending on convenience store drinks. Limit your Uber or Lyft rides to a reasonable number and on a need basis per month. Shop at the Dollar Tree for office and work supplies. Need a better outfit to impress a prestigious client? Good Will. Or ThredUp. Or Poshmark. Second hand is your friend.

As you can see, whatever you need to get your side hustle off the ground and start bringing in real dollars begins with you first changing where your money goes. If you wanna see more money coming in, start by letting less money go out. Then your side hustle money will really look good. Hello!

Money Matters: Setting Goals

saving and making money

Since it’s still early January and many people are making promises and resolutions to themselves on how they’re going to do better this year, I want to continue to talk about money.

Openly.

Honestly.

Because, let’s be honest here, it is the catalyst to anything we want to do in our lives.  From going to the grocery store to take a week long vacation in another country.  Money is how we get there.  And I don’t care how you come across money, you’re still going to need.  Whether you work for it or someone gives it to you, money, money money.

I promise you, I’m not obsessed.  I’m conscious.  I am conscious of the tool money and how it plays in our lives.  More importantly, how we allow it to play in our lives.  So, let’s start of this year right.

Let’s set some money goals.  And we’ll do this together.

Here, I’ll tell you mine for 2019:

  • I want to save $1,000 for my Chase Savings account.  Chase, like many of the other big banks, aren’t paying anything in the way of interest.  But I’m not saving this grand for the interest, but rather for immediate access.  For an emergency.
  • I want to earn a minimum of $2,000 for the notary this business this year.  I had a pretty good year last year with my notary business as a part time venture.  It definitely has pay for itself a few times over, but now.  I want to take it up a notch.
  • And, I want to add an additional $1,000 to my dream home fund.  Started this a couple of years and have successfully saved over $2,500.  It’s not much in the way of buying a home, especially here in LA, but you know what they say about taking on something.  You gotta start somewhere.

So, all in all, I am looking to save and/or earn an additional $4,000 this year.  Ambitious?  A little a bit.  It just means I’ll have to be more creative than I’ve been in the past to get to where I want to be.  Hence, that’s why I hustle.

So, what are you money goals for 2019?  I’d love to hear them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

August Money 💵Challenge 💵 #3

Okay, so we missed last’s week check-in on our money challenge, but that’s all right.  Consider that week an extra seven days to figure out your budget.  I mean, after all, I did say you would gonna need to look over some of your automated monthly subscriptions and decide what you didn’t need anymore and could live without.  And that may mean giving up some things you probably really wanted when you first got it.  But now that you have it — psssh, it’s just money down the drain.

So, we’ve written all out all our expenses and every thing we’re spending our hard earn money on.  Great.  Next, we worked on a budget to figure out which of those expenses we could live without to stop some of our money bleeding from our wallets, because money gone is no joke.   And having two weeks to figure out how badly we need our Netflix account was probably not enough time, especially for someone like me, who doesn’t have cable or satellite anymore.   I’m not glued to the television 24/7, when I want to watch a little TV, I’d like the option to be there.

Next and final step for August:  Deciding how much we want to save, for what purpose and into what accounts.  I personally have a 401K through my job I’ve been investing in for about two years now.  I have two savings accounts, one with a traditional bank – Chase — because access to my cash for immediate funds is easier to get a hold of than my internet bank account – Ally.  Why do I have both?  I think saving should be rewarding and Ally offers me 1.85% interest on my cash.  Now may not sound like a lot, but when banks like Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Chase are only offering something like 0.01%- 0.05%, my 1.85% begins to look pretty nice.  Why even bother have the Chase savings account then?  Well, it takes a few days to access my money from an internet bank without incurring an expedited fee.  Ask me how I know.  So, I have them both.   I wish I could get the best of a great return percentage on my money of an internet bank with the convenience and quickness of a national branch.  But that’s not aligned in the stars for me just yet.   And in addition, I have one of those robo-investment accounts through Acorns.  So, I have dollars saved all over the place serving different purposes for different goals.  But the point is, I have it saved.  I budgeted saving into my plan.  I don’t need DISH TV.  I do need a retirement plan.

So really begin to look at your money and see how it can better serve you.  And be honest with yourself as to how much you can save each month.  If you can save $100 or more, great!   If you can only save $25 or $50 a month, that’s still great.  Everybody’s got to start somewhere.  But you gotta start.  So, think about it.  How much can you save a month if you got rid of some of those unused monthly automate subscriptions?  Are you working to live in the present moment today or do you want to have a future someday independent and on your own terms?

August’s 💵 Money Challenge 💵: First Comes Budgeting…

…then comes planning.

Aaaah! I know I’m a few days late following up on our money challenge for August, but I wanted to check in quickly and get us started for this week even though it’s half way over. But no worries. This next part is easy. Ish.

Now last week we wrote out our expen6se, right? What’s going out? I did it too because what’s the point of calling it our money challenge if I’m not participating, right? I used an Excel sheet even though I also use Mint and Trim to help me stay mindful of upcoming due dates. And I have a little over $1,800 in life expenses. Wowzers. Now, for LA that’s actually on the low side and to be fair, here’s why:

  • I don’t have a car payment. Got a used car from a friend, paid in full.
  • I live in a studio apartment for under $1,000 a month, utilities included.
  • I don’t have cable or satellite service. I have a Roku device. I cut the cord about 2 years ago. I only subscribe to Amazon Prime and Netflix (the $7.99 Netflix). So my in-home entertainment costs is a little over $14 a month. And I love it.
  • I take the bus to work and most places — and I have a car? Well, my mom drives the car since I live about 1.2 miles from work. That monthly TAP card for the bus is about $100.
  • I’m still on our family plan cell phone bill with T-Mobile. I do pay the bill for all of us, but if I didn’t, my portion would average to about $60 a month.
  • I also save about $100 a month. That doesn’t include the 401K account I have with my job in which $280 is deducted from my check before taxes even are every month.
  • I try not to spend no more than $200 on groceries and $60 on eating out for the month.

A little rigid? Yeah, maybe. Why? I have a dream home in mind. That’s why the budgeting, that’s why the cutbacks in certain luxuries or amenities. I want something bigger and better down the line, so I’m making small sacrifices today.

So, the next part of your our August money challenge is to figure out why we’re budgeting and what we can live without for little bit. Make budgeting plans.

I can live without cable or satellite TV. I get most of my news from the internet anyways. I’m down for reruns and I get to discover a bunch of stuff I never knew I’d like. Plus, when I had satellite TV, I was paying almost $70 a month for basic channels. But I spent 9 hours at work and getting to and from there. About 7 hours of sleep and another 1.5 hours getting ready for work. So 17.5 hours I wasn’t even getting my money’s worth during the work week. Damn. All that money down the drain. Now, I get to keep that dough.

But I’m budgeting with a plan in mind. I know why I’m budgeting and what I’m doing this for.

So, you know what you’re spending now in greater detail. Maybe some of those monthy subscriptions to stuff you don’t really need. Look over all your expenses and see what you do without for your ultimate goal in mind. I’m sure it’s worth it.

PTHS Tuesday: Division, Subtraction and Addition

Part Time Hustle Struggle: Time is the answer and equation involves division, subtraction and addition.

I find that the subtraction and addition become easier to pinpoint when I become more focused, but the division gets a little tricky.

It’s easy to begin to subtract what is not important in my life as I make more and more moves to become career independent and financially free. I know what I want and I direct my energy and my TIME to it. In doing so, I subtract people who fall in one of these categories:

  • Negatively critical – offer nothing constructive, because they have nothing going for them
  • Have nothing going for them altogether – when the goal becomes crystal clear, it becomes a chore to entertain people who aren’t on the same mental wavelength
  • Hot air balloons – people who keep offering their help but never produce any kind. Almost as if they’re waiting for you to achieve it before they believe it
  • Small dreamers – they got dreams but they’re small. And not because they’re potential is small. They just believe they deserve less or “enough”; they believe in false truths
  • Toxic people- the worst. Nothing they say is positive and nothing they do is positive. The world sucks they’re doing nothing about it, it’s not their problem

Subtracting these people is easy. Adding better quality like-minded folks, easy too, but takes time. They have to find you, you have to find them. Work is involved.

But when the clutter is cleared and we’ve aligned ourselves with the right people, dividing our time is the biggest x variable I know. Yes, I believe in doing only what serves me. But that includes maintaining and building relationships. Improving my health and wellness. Increasing my business/ my bottom line. Saving more. Earning more. Making smarter investments. And all they while holding down a full time job. And God forbidden the other life occurrences that love to surprise me.

Hats off to the people who have kids and do this, because I’m still trying to make it work.

I think that the biggest part time hustle struggle is how to best divide your time to live and grow the life you want.

Food Friday: Baked Salmon in a Brown Sugar Glaze

Salmon is probably one of the most popular fish eaten today.  With all the rage about omega threes and those wonderful little salmon sushi rolls, who can resist having a bit of salmon here and there? That, and I said I would eliminate red meat out of my diet.

With the exception of an In-N-Out double double, animal style burger.  Hmmm! Some things even the good Lord wouldn’t make you give up.  Just sayin’.

Anywhoo, below is my take on a nice salmon meal.  I will say that I am really sad that I wasn’t able to better present my salmon the plate.  I didn’t want to dirty up another utensil, so rather than grabbing a spatula, which I probably should have done, I just spooned out my salmon like the single gal that I am.

Salmon, Rice, Green Beans

My brown sugar glaze is just three ingredients:  brown sugar (duh), mustard, and chopped garlic.

I seasoned my salmon lightly with black pepper, sage, pink salt and oregano.  And a little butter on top.  Normally, rosemary and lemon are salmon’s go-tos, but I was going for something different. Cooked it on 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Before I prepared that, I made green beans (from a can, $0.69), and four cheese flavored rice from Rice-a-Roni (one box, $1).  Green beans season with onion, black pepper, garlic, pink salt and butter.  The Rice-a-Roni — just follow the instructions.

And the best part is I have enough for leftovers for tomorrow.  Because this single hustlin’ female is all about saving the dollar-dollar bills!

 

Oh, speaking of money, did anyone else get their state refund?  You should have if you filed your taxes on Monday, January 29th.  If have not, get on it.  We can have that whole discussion about no return versus overpaying later.  Just file now!

Money Tip: Pick ‘N’ Save Days

Money TipsI’m all about keeping more money in my pockets.   I don’t work at great place that plays me well, so every hard earn dollar I make, I want to either save it or make it last longer.   So I have days which I’m not allowed to spend ANY money.

None.

Nada.

Zilch.

This isn’t an extreme overhaul.  This is just two nonconsecutive days of the week where I give my little coin purse a break.  That means no running to the store after work, no shopping on Amazon, nothing.

First of all, I don’t need to be spending money every day anyways.  I ain’t go it like that yet.  Secondly, taking two days out of the week where I’m not spending anything, helps me take more days out of the spending equation.  I started off with not spending money on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Now some days I go, Monday, Tuesday, Thursdays and Sundays with spending anything.

I don’t even look at the Amazon app on my phone.