Dear Side Hustle, I quit.

I’ve made the mistake/ had the good fortune of surrounding myself with people who side hustle.

I’m pretty sure everyone wants more income. I love income. BRING ON THE INCOME. And these side hustles are extra income. Tell me more.

Side hustling can be inspiring. There is a big world of money outside of w-2 employment. So much that can be done on the side, in the after hours or on the weekend. Side hustles can fill a passion that isn’t fulfilled at a main job. Side hustles can provide an outlet.

I have a side hustle. For many years, I did it for free. I did it because I love it. It was and always has been a labor of love. Then I learned I could make extra side money from the exact same activity, simply by offering my services to different places. Wow! Money! For years, I hustled between several companies. I was still as passionate and thrilled to be making money doing what I love. Yay side hustling.

Then things started to changed. My physical well being suffered. I routinely got hurt during my side hustle (cuts, bruises, pretty nasty frost bite). As someone who doesn’t heal very well, these wounds got more and more frustrating The pay became more difficult to get – the rates were fine, but I had to jump through every imaginable hoop to get paid. The job got more annoying. The days were more and more disorganized- never the right equipment, wildly inaccurate time estimates. Then Management changed and basically said a Big FU to all of us.

I could see the writing on the wall. It was time to walk away. Emotionally, I was okay with that. Financially, it was fine. I didn’t love it anymore. In fact, I hated it and told everyone I could that I need to stop doing it ASAP

But I still had the hustle in me. I felt I needed to be doing a little extra on the side, to make a little more. I spun my wheels for weeks, months (quarters??) thinking about what idea I could turn into a little money on the side.

Then I was punched in the face with reality. .. Why does my hustle need to be on the side?

I have this big girl corporate job that pays pretty well. With an extra certification and/or bomb.com performance reviews, I could easily out earn my side hustle income. I was drawn to all these side hustle ideas that I neglected the thought that my main hustle could be an even better paying hustle if I gave it all I had. I feel a bit stupid that I didn’t see the truth sooner.

So to my side hustle, I say, I quit. I quit for now, and maybe forever. I need to focus on my w-2.

Aint no shame in that w-2 main hustle.

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To Thy Own Splurge Be True

 

I am frugal.

You are probably frugal too. (You are reading a financial blog, after all).

But here’s the magical thing about frugality. It is personal and everyone’s version is different.

I can choose to cut my own hair, wear my clothes until they are worn through, and cook from home most days.

You could do your own car maintenance, staycation, and keep the thermostat at 55 degrees in the winter.

Our fellow frugal compatriot could bike to work, split rent with 4 randos from Craigslist and drink Folgers coffee.

There is nothing wrong with any of these versions of frugality. Each is a different manifestation, highlighting different comfort levels and skill sets.

Inherent in each variation of frugality is a different thread of splurge.

I love to vacation in not so economical places.

You many love your coffee shop coffee and have a maid service come every two weeks.

Our fellow frugal compatriot has a super sweet gaming PC.

That’s all great! I refuse to throw shade on other people’s splurges. Frugality is a conscious choice to cut back in certain areas of life. To save where we can save. That opens the door to have the ability to spend where we choose to spend.

This is your life.

To thy own splurge be true.

The Backpack Saga: A resourceful tale.

I’m not resourceful, or at least that’s what I tell myself.

I operate under the mindset to acquire the smallest number of things, by spending the least amount of money without harming the environment too much. Maybe that’s resourcefulness. I prefer to call myself a lazy environmentalist. ¬†Why buy something, when I can find a way not to?

I was faced with a prime dilemma recently, challenging my lazy environmentalist ways. My lunch leaked in my backpack. EEK! My teriyaki meal prepped rice leaked out of the container, leaking sauce all over the rest of my lunch (ew). It leaked just right that it leaked out of my lunch box, on to my library book, bullet journal and all over the bottom of my back pack. Ew. Sticky Ew.

My coworker saw me dealing with my sticky mess. Her suggestion: Throw it out and start over.

What???????????????

No.

She suggested I throw out all my lunch containers (The ones in my lunch box and at home) and start over. Throw away my backpack and buy a new one. She didn’t see my now sticky bullet journal, but she probably would have suggested I throw that away and start over as well. All because of a teriyaki spill.

Never did it cross my mind to throw it all away.

I went to the lunch room and cleaned out my lunch box and all the stickiness. I let it dry in the back of my cube. Good as new.

When I came home, I threw it in the washer and soaked it in soapy water. Simple enough. I forgot about it and let it soak overnight. When I came down in the morning, the water was disgusting. Life Pro-Tip: Maybe wash your backpack more than once every 15 years.

I didn’t want to add any other clothes to the wash, so I ran it on its own. MISTAKE. I forgot to put it in a garment bag or a pillow case. It took a beating. When the wash finished, my bag was sparkling clean, but had 2 rips – a matching one on each side.

Perhaps at this point, I should have throw it out. But that didn’t cross my mind.

So my backpack had rips in it. Its a backpack. I know how to sew. I might even have some fancy contrasting thread I can use to add a little pizzazz to my wonderful backpack. I’m thinking purple Xs on my pink and black pack. Prettttty.

While I waited to let the pack dry and then procrastinated, I still had no plans of getting a new bag. I used my laptop bag for a week and it was okay. The one sided strain was what finally got me to get to stitching. Turns out, I had pink thread that was nearly a perfect match to my pack. I stitched it up while I browsed YouTube on a slow Sunday morning.

Is this resourcefulness? It probably is. I prefer to think of it as part of avoiding this crazy consumerist culture we live in. It’s more important for me to avoid that and the cycle than anything else. What if I did throw everything away after a teriyaki spill? How soon after that would I be throwing it all away again? If I throw everything away at the first sign of trouble, I will be throwing everything away constantly.

I don’t have the emotional energy to always be shopping.

Cleaning up after the accident took a few minutes at work, 30 seconds to throw it in the wash to soak and later turn on the machine. The YouTube video I watched while stitching was 45 minutes and I had video to spare. In total, spending an hour bringing my pack back to life sounds way better than shopping for a new backpack and abandoning this one.

I’m sure the environment thanks me. Laziness for the win.