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Friday Faves: I’m in NYC

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Happy first weekend in March!  As you read this I’m in New York City enjoying some much needed me time.  More about this (and lots of pictures) next week.

Have a great weekend.  Enjoy these posts from our friends.

Fabulously Broke – 10 Expenses Our Parents Didn’t Have

Vanessa’s Money – How much money have I earned in my lifetime?

Mo Money Mo Houses – Can You Live in the Moment While Preparing for the Future?

Dinks Finance – Do You Need an Assistant?

Cents, Sense & Sensibility – The Power of Nope: Save your money!

Photo from I’d Pin That

(Less) Risky Business with Your Spouse

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Please welcome my friend Anne to the blog today.   You may already know her from UniqueGifter.com. She’s here talking all about money and relationships. Please welcome her and enjoy!

There are some drawbacks to being a part of a couple, which we all know.

You probably have something, like the location of wet towels, which gets under your skin and causes issues.  You need to explain yourself to someone else when you plan activities or decide on major purchases.  When they’re sick, your plans get put on hold, etc. etc.

Yes, there are downsides, but that said, there are some major upsides to being a part of a couple.  I want to take a little bit of time and talk about some of the financial upsides of being half of a team.

Risky Business with Your Spouse

In the blogging world, there is a lot of discussion around side hustles, part-time jobs and diversifying your income. It is the exact same principle as risk diversification in your financial portfolio, except looking at the incomes instead of the portfolio diversity.

With two individuals, in most cases, that means there are two skill sets and two possibilities for income.  (There are situations where only one person is truly capable of working, but they are rather rare.)  Two income streams are fantastic.  That means there are two different sources of money, so if one of them “dries up,” you know that there is another one still coming in.  You have access to more than one set of job perks, and if you’re lucky, more than one set of benefits.

Perhaps you are paid on different cycles, which means there is money coming in the door all the time and it can be matched up to different goals and different bills.

But guess what?  A couple has the potential for a lot more than just two sources of income!

Super Diversification

As I mentioned, in the personal finance blogging world, there are a lot of pushes to diversify your income sources, just like your financial portfolio, so that you are never truly left high and dry if you lose your job or something else disastrous occurs.  Many people have two or three side hustles, in addition to their main job.

As a couple, you can easily double that number!  Your household could have four to eight streams of income coming in, which is fantastic diversity.  Plus, you can share your side hustle risk with your spouse in many cases.  You can’t send them to be a bartender in your place (most of the time), but if you find yourself sick and needing to hit a freelance writing deadline, your spouse may be able to jump in and help you out.  You can also team up for super-busy times of year.

There is a fellow in my area making an absolute killing off of a pretty crappy side hustle.  It is crappy indeed – with the strange, strange weather we’ve had here, all of the snow has melted in town and revealed the droppings of our four-legged friends.  This guy charges a flat rate and picks up all the dog poop in your yard.  I bet that he is so overwhelmed with business that he’s having to recruit more people to join him.  That’s a great example of a seasonal side hustle that diversifies income and is even more awesome when it is a couple behind the hustle.

My Income Diversification

In my household, I am the side hustler.  My spouse has taken up the odd thing or two, but lately our circumstances haven’t allowed for my spouse to put terribly much time into more activities.  For me, however, I spend way too much time on the internet.

This is mighty common, I know.

I spend my time on the internet (ahem, or at least part of it), blogging and on occasion, freelance writing.  In the past year, I have started a few more websites, in new niches, to further diversify my income.  My main site is UniqueGifter.com, which is unsurprisingly most lucrative during November and December.  I have branched out into more fields now and that has had me creating multiple websites, including MoneyPropeller.com, which discusses lifestyle, career and savings to propel us all toward our money goals.

As I was setting up these new websites, I found that I kept missing steps, or doing things in a completely inefficient manner.  Blogging is a fantastic side hustle, but a lot of the things you need to know and learn come right at the beginning and you never touch them again.  That’s what led to my frustration as I made these new sites.  I knew what I was doing, sure, but I kept forgetting things!

I wanted a step by step process that covered more than just “buy a domain and install wordpress.”  I wanted to make sure I set up a twitter account, customized all of the settings on the site back end and created good profiles on all of the commenting platforms, for example.  I couldn’t find anything that helped me do all of that, and that birthed my latest side hustle.

More Efficient Money

I wrote a book!  On Your Mark, Get Set, Blog! solves my problem – it lays out all of the steps, in order, and tells you in advance what pieces of information you’re going to need.  Plus, it has a bunch of organizational documents to make keeping track of all the details easy.  I am so relieved to have everything laid out for me, as I go forward with more and more blogging.

If you’re considering starting a blog, or already own one and think there might be some things that you’re missing, please check it out.  I can guarantee that it will help you build your brand in more places, more efficiently, and much faster.  There’s even a free chapter available for download, if you are curious about what’s inside.

Do you have multiple income streams in your relationship so that your have less risky business with your spouse than without?  Have you ever considered online side hustles before?

Author Bio: Anne dreams of financial independence and is working her way towards it, whilst still enjoying life. She has been hustling to build an online empire while overcoming challenges and seeking balance.  You can find her hanging out on twitter, or read her latest book, On Your Mark, Get Set Blog!  Her likes? Seafood, figure skating, road cycling and skater shoes.

Photo from Flickr

3 tips for smart travellers

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Are you taking on spring break this year?  I just got back from an extra long weekend trip and I have to tell you, I noticed that I act a little bit differently when I’m on vacation as oppose to how I do in my everyday life.  Is that weird?

Normally I don’t have time for people.  I know it’s sad to say but it’s true.  In my daily life I’m always running from task to task and I’m usually always 10 minutes late, unfortunately that leaves very little time for common courtesy.  When I’m on vacation I notice people’s faces.  Maybe it’s because I’m not rushed for anything when I’m on vacation or maybe it’s because my personality is just different when I’m away.  Are you the same?

I love being on vacation and when I’m travelling I always stick to a few simple rules that help me get along with people where ever I am.  Different countries and cites have different traditions.  When you’re travelling within different cultures I find there are a few standard best practices that can make your interactions more enjoyable.

3 tips for smart travellers:

Politely smile and nod.  I never know when to acknowledge other guests in a hotel.  Actually that’s not true, when I’m travelling I like to keep to myself, especially if I’m travelling alone.  The last thing I want to do as a single female traveller is attract attention.  Ladies, am I right?

It’s just common courtesy to acknowledge other humans when we’re in the same space.  So here’s my rule, I politely half smile and nod, but I don’t show any teeth.  I don’t want to do anything that could provoke further interaction.

Acknowledge both women and men.  One night during my vacation I was on my way to the pool and I crossed paths in the hallways with a man walking to his hotel room with a very large bag.  Since we walked right beside each other I smiled and gave him a little nod, which he completely ignored.  As the large luggage rolled passed me his tiny wife emerged.  I gave her the exact same manners and she politely smiled back.

Acknowledging only men can send the wrong signal (especially in more traditional countries) so giving the same treatment to both men and women is the polite thing to do.  However don’t be surprised if you get no response from men because in some cultures it’s just not custom to interact with women who aren’t their wives.

Always tip everyone.  Do you always tip when you travel?   I have a problem with this because I struggle to find a balance between being polite and spending wisely.  I hate wasting money and very often I find tipping is a waste.  If I’m paying for a service why do I need to tip on top of it?  I just don’t get it but the repercussions of not leaving a tip could be worse than wasting the money.

Tipping customs also vary between countries and cultures so if it’s not written anywhere I suggest always leaving a tip…just in case.  It’s always better safe than sorry, right?

Photo from I’d Pin That

Friday Faves: Is it spring yet?

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Good morning Loves and happy Friday.  It’s the last weekend in March and I don’t know about you but I’m ready for the warm weather to start soaking in.  This winter has been really cold but it hasn’t bothered me too much.  However that doesn’t mean I’m not ready to start wearing ballerina flats instead of winter boots and start wearing summer dresses instead of scarves and hats…because I am.

Enjoy the last weekend of February and enjoy these posts from our friends:

Budget Blonde – Alternative Ways to Pay for College

Budgets Are Sexy – My New Shopping Ban

Broke Millennial – Is Overdraft Protection Real? A look at the Big 4 Banks

Dear Debt – Student Loans’ Best Kept Secret

The Broke and Beautiful Life – Affording Indulgence

Photo from I’d Pin That