Thursday, March 13, 2014

Ultimate Side Hustle

This is an guest post from the Personal Finance Blog Debt Discipline:

I haven’t seen much on personal finance blogs about this topic, but in the ultimate side hustle story a New York woman quit her job during the Super bowl in front of 100 million people. If you haven’t seen the commercial sponsored by GoDaddy, here it is:
Gwen Dean was selected out of over 100 candidates who intended to quit their job to pursue their dreams of owning their own business. Dean told her boss Ted during the super bowl ad “I quit.” After the commercial aired she officially e-mail Ted her resignation. Ted was a good sport about it. Texting Dean back "You’ve got to be kidding. Wow. Great commercial.” Dean now the owner of PuppetsByGwen has been making puppets since 2008, but for the past 18 years she has worked as an operation engineer. She decide to quit pursue puppet making full time with the help of a GoDaddy web site. Here’s more about Gwen:

Side Hustle 101

Gwen followed the basic rules of the side hustle, follow a passion, build it in your spare time, continuing to work your 9 to 5, and have an online presences. It didn’t hurt that GoDaddy selected her to be part of the biggest television event of the year and the large amount of press opportunities that followed.

Do you have a side hustle? Is you side hustle strong enough to quit you day job?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Am I an Expert?

This is an guest post from the Personal Finance Blog Debt Discipline:

I have certainly increased my personal finance knowledge over the past 42 months. I have read a number of books on the topic, read countless information on the web, read blogs, started my own personal finance blog, listen to podcast on the topics, organized my own finances, helped family members get their finances organized, and have paid off over $88k in debt. I am very excited and grateful for the new information that I have learned. So much so that I’d like to be able to help others with their finances. That’s one of the main reason I start to blog. I want to do more, and have begun to think about ways to do that beyond just blogging. I have no formal education on personal finance. I do have a college degree in an unrelated topic. Based on my brief resume, would you consider me an expert on the topic? Would you take my advice?


Phase Two

I ponder this question because as we reach our debt free goal later this year I’m beginning to think of our next phase of our personal finance journey. Having more financial freedom will give me the ability to pursuit things I’m truly passionate about. I know many feel the same way when they are enlightened about personal finance. The information is so simple and yet provides such hope that you want to share it with everyone. What I’m wondering is can I turn paying off $109k worth of debt into a side hustle for my family and help other get out of a financial mess they may be in. I have mentioned before that I often listen to Dave Ramsey. Although I have never attended I have heard great things about his “Financial Peace University” class. Seems like an easy way to jump into a teaching role in a pre-defined curriculum, I’m just not sure if the religious aspect of the teaching would be the right fit for me. When I was in college I worked as a teaching assistant in a High School video department for 3 years. I considered getting my teaching certification, but there were not a lot of opportunities for teaching in that subject area. Obviously teaching a weekly class is not going to replace my current income, but could be a start to getting me on track for something bigger.

Spend More Money

One of the things I have considered was to seek some type of formal coaching or counselor education. Most are certification type training and vary from a week-long program to several months. The costs vary as well, as little as $500 to well over $5000. Once we are debt free budgeting in this cost would not be an issue, what I’m trying to decide is if this type of certification is really needed. Would a certification as a coach or counselor be more appealing than life experience and paying off $109K worth of debt? I admit someone might question my credentials, thinking if I was so good with money why did I get myself into that amount of debt in the first place? My answer to that would be that was my former self, before I learned better ways, sticking to a budget for over 4 years, and cleaning up over $109K worth of consumer debt. That life experience must count for something. I will continue to research training options, and increasing my knowledge as we finish up our debt snowball in hopes to venture out beyond this blog as some point in the near future.

Do you consider yourself an expert in an area you’ve received no formal training? Who you take coaching/advice from someone without a certification in a particular topic?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Interview Series: Reach Financial Independence

This is an guest post from the Personal Finance Blog Debt Discipline:

This is the Seventh in a series of personal finance blogger interviews with fellow personal finance bloggers. Today’s guest is Pauline from Reach Financial Independence.

Who is Pauline?  
Pauline: I am a 33-year-old French girl born and raised in Paris. After college I decided to go see the world and have since lived in Guatemala, Spain, the UK and Morocco. I came back to Guatemala a couple of years ago, and bought a little house last year that I am turning into a guest house. I blog at Reach Financial Independence about early retirement, lifestyle choices, achieving your goals and deliberate living. I also own Make Money Your Way where I talk about ways to make money with investing, real estate, improving your career and side hustles. I love to travel, run, swim, cook, read and try new stuff.  

Why did you start your blog?  
Pauline: I had written for travel blogs for four years, was burned out and wanted to write about personal finance and my lifestyle, which is not really the norm. Reach Financial Independence was born 18 months ago, and Make Money Your Way a year later.  

What are your favorite Blogs? 
Pauline: Too many to list! One of the first I really liked was I Will Teach You To Be Rich, as it mixed psychology with the money behavior and I found it fascinating to try to reason why you do the things you do.  

When did you first become financially literate?
Pauline: I guess as a kid. My dad lost his job and had us live like it was WWII, although he had a comfortable emergency fund and we were still going on holidays or to private school. I knew I always wanted to have a little more than enough, just in case. What was the last item you regretted purchasing? My laptop. The old one was dying, in Guatemala where I live choices are limited so I got a basic replacement and it is so slooow. I plan on donating it to the local school and buying a new one next month.

If you died today, would your family be OK?  
Pauline: They’d be sad, but they know where my will is, and no one depends on my income, so that’s a yes.  

What are you teaching (or will you teach) your kids about money?  
Pauline: I don’t have kids, I hope to teach them independence. From a parent, learning to earn your own pocket-money from an early age. From a day job, learning to diversify your sources of income and always keeping a cushion. From the consumer world, learning to buy only what you need, and never on credit unless it is a house.  

What’s your dream job?
Pauline: I thought it was travel writer and after doing it for over four years I was burned out. Now I run a guest house, which was also one of my dream jobs, and am learning that it is not all rainbows and unicorns. I am lucky because I have held those two dream jobs of mine, and don’t really need the income they generate so the day I get bored I can stop and look for something else. Again we’re back on the topic of independence that is really dear to me.  

What’s next? (write in question)
Pauline: Well at the moment I just bought a third blog which is taking quite a bit of my time, I have been running the guest house for a couple of months, and I am developing 90 acres of land in Northern Guatemala. Those are my main areas of focus for 2014. It is tough to get motivation when working for yourself but those are three things I truly enjoy for now so it makes it much easier.

If interested in participating in a future interview, please contact me.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Gambling Money Away

This is an guest post from the Personal Finance Blog Debt Discipline:

As I was recovering from the fact that football season is now over, having to wait almost 6 months until the next NFL football game, and cleaning up the carnage from our little Super Bowl party I got to thinking about money I seem to just throw away. I think it had something to do with the fact that I had just tossed my losing Super Bowl pool boxes in the garbage. I made a $35 investment that could have won me as much as $1050, not bad considering all I had to do was hand over my hard-earned cash. Well like many years past the $35 investment yielded me no return. It did however leave a bad taste in my month for coughing up my dough. I don’t want to be a sore loser because there have been years when I have won, but the losses have been far greater than the wins. As I trying to move forward without football and $35 for now, I wondered about other gambling money habits that I have taken part in over the years.


Bad Habits


Super Bowl Box – As mention above, I usually get in at least one pool a year.  

Powerball – Anytime the jackpot reached over $100 million my office takes up a collects and we play. For a $2 donation you get to split the jackpot with 40 other co-workers. Odds of winning Powerball 1 in: 175,223,510. For the record my wife works with someone who hit Powerball. She took home a little over 5 million.  

Lottery Scratchers – They are sometimes call instant games, these are the tickets that range in price from $1-$20. We used to buy these often for Birthday and Christmas. Since we have been paying our debt we have basically stopped.  

Gambling – I have been in a Casino or two in my life. I haven’t been in probably 15 years. When I did go I would play blackjack. The first time I ever gambled I won, probably not a good way to start.

 I do try to limit these activities now. I really want my money to be spent wisely and be used for paying off debt currently. Once in a while I can get caught up in the day-dream of winning the millions and quitting the day job. I think that's why so many people participate in these activities, the fantasy or the dream of dropping down a dollar and winning big. My mom in her mid 70's still plays Bingo twice a week. It's part social event for her and she has the money to lose. That is key, if you don't have the money to lose you should be participating in these activities. You can't expect to participate in any of the examples expecting to win. Using the rent money to try to win big is going to put you in a bad spot 99.9% of the time. I will control my daydreaming and continue to work hard on paying off our debt. I do think I’ll continue to make the office Powerball donation. I wouldn’t want to be the only guy left in the office after everyone else won the millions.

Have you ever participated in any of these? Do you have any other bad money habits that you know are bad but continue to do anyway?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Interview Series: Narrow Bridge Finance

This is an guest post from the Personal Finance Blog Debt Discipline:

This is the Sixth in a series of personal finance blogger interviews with fellow personal finance bloggers. Today’s guest is Eric Rosenberg from Narrow Bridge Finance.  

Who is Eric Rosenberg?  
Eric: A lot of my blogger friends know me as DenverEric (my Twitter name). I grew up in Denver and recently moved to Portland to follow a dream of moving somewhere that I chose myself. When I’m not at my day job in corporate finance or blogging, you can find me on my cruiser bike, DJing, planning flash mobs, exploring my city, or traveling hacking my way around the world.  

Why did you start your blog?  
Eric: I started my blog just after leaving my job working as a bank manager. I had already been blogging about politics, so it was easy for me to start my second long-running blog. I had lots of great, fresh information on how the banking industry works, and wanted to share my knowledge on banking, investing, mortgage loans, and general personal finance with a new audience. Over time, my blog has grown to include other writers and tips about all parts of your financial life. I have shared my journey of paying off my student loans, buying my first home, and aggressively saving for retirement.  

What are your favorite Blogs?
Eric: Well, my own of course! Okay, I know what you mean. When I’m reading other blogs, I like to read a lot about personal finance and travel hacking. I’ve become friends with lots of blogger by going to the Financial Blogger Conference (FinCon), and love to read my friends blogs first. I am a regular reader of PT Money, Beating Broke, Sustainable Life Blog, Punch Debt in the Face, Financial Samurai, and a lot of other quality blogs. When I’m getting an itch for travel, I like to read The Art of Non-Conformity, Nomadic Matt, Legal Nomads, and the Blond Abroad. The Points Guy and The Frequent Miler help me find new deals to travel free, or close to it.  

When did you first become financially literate?  
Eric: My first memory learning about personal finance was when I was about ten years old. My Grandpa Joe sat me down with a general ledger book and taught me to track my income and expenses so I would know how much I was making, spending, and the change in my assets. I didn’t think much of it for a few years, but that was the starting point of my interest in personal finance, investing, and my eventual career choice.

What was the last item you regretted purchasing?  
Eric: I try to live with a no-regrets financial lifestyle. I think it is totally okay to spend money on whatever you value and enjoy as long as you take care of the “have to” spending first. I also make myself wait for a few days before I buy anything expensive. I have a personal rule against buying anything expensive on a whim.

If you died today, would your family be OK? 
Eric: Well, they would be really sad. I hope! I don’t have any kids yet, and my finance does just fine supporting herself financially. I wouldn’t worry about anyone going hungry or homeless if I weren’t here. Once I do have a bigger family, I plan to get quality life insurance to make sure everyone is covered. If I were really smart, I would do it now while the rates are lower.

What are you teaching (or will you teach) your kids about money?
Eric: I’ll try to teach them the lessons my Grandpa taught me. I will teach them to spend less than they earn, track everything you earn and spend, invest for the future, and live with financial discipline. I always like to remind people that Warren Buffet didn’t get rich by spending all of his money, and I’m sure my future kids will hear that more than once growing up.  

What’s your dream job?  
Eric: For now, I have a great job that I’m lucky to enjoy and make plenty to cover my lifestyle. In the long run, I’d love to be a Fortune 500 executive or be 100% self-sustaining running my own business. I know they seem different, but to me they are similar. At the top of the ladder, you are really self-determining quite a lot of how your lifestyle works and can make big choices to run a company.  

How Did You Make Your First Dollar of Side Income? (Write in question)
Eric: I am a huge proponent of building multiple income streams. Whether you have a full-time day job or you run your own business, you never know when something will go wrong. Having back up money sources is hugely important. I made my first money outside of my main job writing online. I was doing quite a lot of Wikipedia editing those days, and I found I could write for sites like eHow and make a few bucks for doing something similar to what I was already doing. From there, it wasn’t a big step to starting my own blogs and building up several related income streams including advertising and freelance writing.

Eric Rosenberg has been blogging since 2006 and is the owner and editor at Narrow Bridge Finance, a personal finance blog designed to save you time, money, and headache when dealing with your money. He has a B.S. and MBA in finance and experience working in banking and corporate finance.

If interested in participating in a future interview, please contact me.