I graduated college in 2007 with a degree in finance. It feels like yesterday that I graduated, but at the same time it feels like ages ago. I’ve had multiple jobs (including a 3-year stint in waitressing) and am finally at a place where I can say I love what I do for a living. I never imagined life would take me to where I am today, but I couldn’t be more grateful. If you’re about to graduate college, I wanted to share a few tips that I wish I knew back when I was new to the workforce.
Archives for April 2015
CNN recently reported that more than three-quarters of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck (survey done by Bankrate). I’ll admit – we live paycheck to paycheck, but it’s not because we’re broke. We save every month, have a huge cushion and are working towards having a solid down payment on a house.
What’s surprising, though, is that 50 percent of those surveyed have less than three months of living expenses saved up and 27 percent don’t have any savings at all. What were to happen if one of these people were to lose a job? This is one of the huge reasons why I recommend freelancing, no matter what industry you work in (if you want to read more on that, check out my latest post on become a freelance writer!).
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that we recently moved into a rather large rental home. With a bigger house comes higher utility bills. I obviously knew this going in but when you’re actually paying the bill, it stings a little harder.
Last month, we slightly decreased our outrageous utility bills – including water, gas and electric. When we first moved in, our electric bill was $197. Last month, it was $117 which seemed like a big drop, but really we just didn’t have to pay the activation fee and the cycle was shorter.
There’s much debate over whether or not money can buy happiness. The Wall Street Journal recently posted a rather interesting article on this very topic. The study found that as incomes rise, happiness and overall satisfaction with life increase. In fact, 100% of those making over $500K a year consider themselves “very happy” and “very satisfied” with life.
A previous study by Princeton University found that happiness did not increase much once annual household income reached $75,000. So if you’re making $75,000 now and you get a raise or pick up a side job and increase your income to $125,000, don’t expect to feel that much happier.
I get that. Our household income will probably be right around $75K this year. If we both do well with our businesses and our income hits $100K, I really don’t see us being that much happier than we already are. But, I do still believe that money can buy happiness and here’s why:
Hobbies – we all have them. In fact, we all probably have multiple hobbies. A hobby is defined as an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time. A few of my hobbies include baking, going on walks, reading blogs, relaxing on my deck, going on coffee dates with my husband, exploring Charlotte and watching movies in the evenings. Hobbies are constantly changing, too. Before I had kids, my hobbies were more focused on working out and going out, haha. My main focus wasn’t on relaxing. Now that I have kids, the word “relaxation” takes on a whole new meaning. You guys with me on that?!
I’m a saver by nature and I’ve mentioned that before on the blog multiple times. I’m rarely tempted by material items and love when I can put my entire check straight into savings. But lately, I’ve been wondering where to draw the line. The rental house we live in is still pretty unfurnished, we need patio furniture and I’m due for an upgrade on my computer. But…none of these are necessities which is why I have a hard time justifying the expense.
“Next month if we make XX dollars, then we’ll buy a patio set.” “Once we have XX in savings, I’ll feel more comfortable splurging on furniture.” But the problem for me is when we DO make good money one month or we DO hit our savings goals, I still don’t feel justified spending a lot of money.
Hello! Sorry for the absence – I’ve been vacationing in beautiful Boca Raton, Florida 😉 My mom was there visiting her parents and sisters, so we decided to drive down too and hang out with everyone for a few days! It was w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l! I got to see my grandparents, my four aunts and some of my cousins. It was a great trip and I’m sad it had to come to an end.
I announced on Friday that I just launched a new blog – Become a Freelance Writer. My goal with that blog is to teach people to become successful freelance writers, whether they wish to pursue freelancing part-time or full-time. Freelancing wasn’t what I thought I would end up doing with my life, but you really just never know where life is going to take you. Now, I can’t imagine not working from home. While I want to retire early and travel as much as possible, part of me doesn’t think I’ll ever want to completely quit freelancing because I just love it that much.
The new site is…
Welcome to my monthly income report! This is where I share how much money I make freelance writing and blogging each month. I have been freelance writing now for close to three years and have also had two babies in that time, so my income has been up and down. My highest month, prior to blogging, was around $2,700. After moving to North Carolina last August I decided to start this blog and share my income. I’ve consistently been averaging around $1,200 a month, with the hopes of increasing this to about $2,500 over the next few months.
I try not to stress too much about increasing my income since my girls are currently just 2 and 1 years old. They do go to daycare part-time which gives me 10 hours each week to get work done, plus I work during their naps. We’ve had a great routine these past few weeks and I’m hopeful that my income will increase.
Anyways, on to March’s income…