Where I Got Published Today: Lifehacker, Haven Life

Lifehacker: How to Survive a Freelance Dry Spell

If you aren’t getting as much freelance work as you used to, it’s time to start pitching again.

Trouble is, you can only send out so many pitches in a day. Same goes for reaching out to your network, checking the freelance job boards, asking a former client if they need any help (or know of anyone who might need help), etc. So what else do you do, when you’re in a freelance dry spell?

Lifehacker: Why Low-Stakes Friendships Are So Valuable

If you want to feel like you’re part of a community, it’s time to get to know the people in your neighborhood.

This is hard, for many of us—we’re busy, we’re pretty sure the person standing in front of us at the coffee shop doesn’t want us to introduce ourselves, and so on. But forming casual, low-stakes friendships with the people you interact with regularly is a good way to feel more integrated with the world around you.

Plus, some of those low-stakes friendships could eventually turn into true, close friends.

Haven Life: How to Turn Your Side Hustle Into a Full-Time Job

Twenty-four million Americans want to work for themselves by 2021, according to FreshBooks’ third annual Self-Employment in America report.

If you’re already your own boss, you probably want to stay that way; FreshBooks reports that 96 percent of self-employed Americans surveyed “have no desire to return to a ‘regular job.’” In fact, the majority of self-employed people in the FreshBooks study have a better work-life balance now that they’ve switched over to freelancing or small business ownership.

But how do you make the switch? A lot of us can figure out how to start a side hustle, but don’t know how to turn the extra $50 or $150 we earn every week into a full-time income.


Where I Got Published Today: Bankrate, Lifehacker

Bankrate: Need a Credit Card for your Side Hustle? These Business Cards Have no Annual Fee

If you have a side hustle, there are three general benefits to opening a business credit card.

First, business credit cards help you keep business and personal expenses separate. This benefits you, not only from a tax perspective, but also from a business planning perspective. Keeping business and personal finances separate helps ensure that you don’t put too many personal funds into a side hustle that isn’t earning enough to stay afloat.

Lifehacker: Why Elizabeth Warren’s Student Debt Plan Isn’t That Radical

You’ve probably heard about Elizabeth Warren’s proposed plan to cancel existing student debt, give incoming students the chance at a free college education, and fund it all with an “Ultra-Millionaire Tax” (a 2% annual tax on families with more than $50 million in wealth).

You might also have seen the viral editorial by Philip Klein at the Washington Examiner, where he claims that “Elizabeth Warren’s plan to cancel student loan debt would be a slap in the face to all those who struggled to pay off their loans.”

Lifehacker: To Save More, Think Like an Optimist

This data comes from a recent study by Frost Bank and positive psychology researcher Michelle Gielan that indicates optimists are seven times more likely than pessimists to have “greater financial health.”

Why should this be the case? Well, optimists might be more likely to believe that they can make positive choices about their future—and this includes the choice to save for that future.

Where I Got Published Today: Lifehacker, Haven Life

Lifehacker: How to Green Up Your Budget for Earth Day

When we celebrated Earth Day in elementary school, we learned about the Three Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle. 

Now that we’re adults, I’ll add one more R to the list: reconfigure your budget.

Lifehacker: How to Tell if Your ‘Passive Income’ Is Actually a Second Job

If you’re currently trying to set up a passive income stream—because you’re working towards financial independence, chasing that 4-hour workweek, or simply hoping to earn a little extra cash—you’ve probably figured out that earning passive income takes a lot of work.

Haven Life: Should You Buy a Duplex?

If you want to save on housing costs, the conventional advice is to move into a smaller house. However, some people go in the opposite direction, investing in duplexes, triplexes or quadplexes. By living in one unit and renting out the rest, these so-called “house hackers” can use the rental income to pay off their mortgage and essentially live in their home “for free.”

Haven Life: How to Ask Your Coworkers How Much They Make

What should you do if you suspect you’re being underpaid? You can always look up salary ranges on sites like Glassdoor, but that’ll only tell you what is generally appropriate for your position — not what your employer can (or can’t) afford to pay you. If you want to learn whether you’re being underpaid relative to your coworkers and whether that means you should ask for a raise or start looking for a new job, you’re going to need to collect some more information. This often means asking your coworkers what they earn, which is never an easy conversation to have.

Where I Got Published Today: Lifehacker, Haven Life

Lifehacker: Before You Do Your Taxes, Understand the Difference Between a Hobby and a Side Hustle

Gross income is great, but the new tax laws have gotten a lot stricter on whether you can deduct those expenses you’re racking up as you pursue your side hustle. This means that if your side hustle isn’t hustling up a profit, you might have to classify it as a hobby—and lose out on potential tax savings.

Lifehacker: Want to Become a ‘Super Saver?’ Consider Your Housing Costs

What’s the one thing that separates the “super savers” from those of us who are simply trying to save whatever we can?

According to a new study, it’s all about housing costs.

Haven Life: This master list of 17 financial goals can help you pick yours

In late 2018, the global financial services firm Morningstar® created a master list of financial goals. They developed this list because they understood that most people, when asked about their financial goals, will respond with whatever’s most important to them at the time. (Next year’s vacation, for example.)

However, after reviewing the master list of financial goals, people begin considering financial goals they hadn’t previously thought of — and when they start working towards those goals, they can start making improvements in their financial lives.

Where I Got Published Today: Haven Life, Lifehacker

Haven Life: How to live a work-optional life with Tanja Hester

Tanja Hester and her husband Mark Bunge achieved an incredible financial goal: saving enough money to retire early. Hester and Bunge left their jobs in 2017 (at ages 38 and 41, respectively), and Hester has been chronicling their experience on her blog Our Next Life.

Hester’s new book, Work Optional: Retire Early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way, takes her blog one step further. This action-packed guide is designed to help everybody achieve a greater level of financial independence and build a life where work becomes optional — and maybe even follow Hester’s example and retire early.

I got the chance to talk to Hester about her book, why the financial independence movement is for everybody, the two budget line items that have the biggest impact on your savings, and why you should keep your life insurance policy even if you retire early.

Lifehacker: Will Moving Between States Raise or Lower Your Tax Burden?

Most of us don’t think about how moving to a new state might affect our taxes—but a new study from moving company HireAHelper shows that these kinds of moves can affect our tax bill by up to $7,700 in either direction.

Lifehacker: Pay Gap Between Men and Women Might Be Worse Than Previously Calculated

Today is Equal Pay Day, the day on which we acknowledge that a woman would have to work a full fifteen months to earn what a man in an equivalent role makes in a year. Since the wage gap is 80 cents to the dollar—that is, a woman earns 80 cents for every dollar a male peer earns—it takes women until April 2 to earn what men make between January and December. Many women of color have to work even longer to catch up to both their white male and their white female peers.

However, a recent study suggests that we might have to push Equal Pay Day a few more months down the road.

Where I Got Published Today: Bankrate, Haven Life

Bankrate: Your guide to Orbitz Rewards® Dining

If Orbitz is your go-to when it’s time to get out of town, you might want to enroll in Orbitz Rewards Dining. You’ll earn Orbucks® when you eat in or carry out at over 10,000 participating restaurants, bars and clubs, and you can redeem those Orbucks for stays at tens of thousands of hotels.

Haven Life: How 4 Couples Saved for Their Big Money Goals

It takes teamwork to achieve a big financial goal with your partner — and that means knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses, avoiding micromanaging or criticism, and working together to get things done.

“Being a husband and wife team has many strengths and a few weaknesses,” Rebecca Davidson explained. “We were able to split roles in the business in a way that utilized each others’ strengths. I took on the front-of-house responsibilities and managed our staff, product, and day-to-day operations. Phil takes care of the back-of-house and does all of the coffee roasting. It has been amazing in our first year to have each other to help balance the workload and be understanding when the other has a lot going on in the business.”

Rebecca Davidson and her husband Phil own Dash Coffee Roasters in Cedar Rapids, btw. ❤️

Where I Got Published Today: Bankrate, Haven Life

Bankrate: The right credit card could be the right financial move in 2019

If you’re paying for everyday expenses like groceries and restaurants without earning rewards, you’re leaving money on the table. Whether you choose a flat-rate cash back card that offers the same points on every purchase or a bonus category rewards card that gives you higher rewards for certain categories of purchases — and we’ve got a list of the pros and cons of both — you’re going to want one of the best rewards credit cards in your wallet. You’ll also want to use it for the majority of your purchases.

Otherwise, you’re going to do all that day-to-day spending without getting anything in return.

Haven Life: How to prepare your finances for a recession

Remember, a recession doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll lose your job. Not all employers lay off employees during recessions, and many employers work hard to keep their best team members. However, they often look for other ways to cut costs. This might mean losing the coffee and donuts in the breakroom, or it might mean losing your 401(k) contribution match — so it’s in your best interests to claim as many employer benefits as you can while you’ve still got them.