Pros and Cons of Self-Employment

Pros and Cons of Self-EmploymentSelf-employment has been pretty awesome for me so far. I wouldn’t change a single thing. A question that many people ask me is whether or not I would ever go back to working for somewhere else.

The answer is NO.

Even though my answer is no, there are a few cons of self-employment. But that’s okay, because there are plenty of positives of self-employment as well.

Working for yourself is a pro in itself.

Being in control of what I do is wonderful. It’s nice to know that what I do has a direct impact on my future (I guess that can be scary as well). I can do what I want, when I want.

Being able to create your own schedule is a pro.

I love being able to make my own schedule. I don’t HAVE to start work at a certain time each day, which is nice. I used to hate the mornings, but now that I work for myself, it doesn’t bother me anymore.

No more commute is amazing!

I really hate bad drivers. My morning commute almost always made me mad because of all of the crazy drivers on the road. I don’t know how some of you who live in bigger cities do it (such as with the notoriously bad drivers in Miami or Chicago), I would go absolutely nuts.

Not having a commute also means that I can save that time that I would be driving and work instead. I also don’t have to pay for gas to drive to work. It wasn’t a ton of money to drive to work, but it was around $150 to $200 each month.

Not having a designated vacation is both a pro and a con.

Being self-employed and being able to work from my laptop means that I can work from wherever and take a vacation pretty much whenever my budget allows for one. However, it can be really hard to separate work from life/vacation. This usually means that I work a lot while on vacation.

Losing benefits is a con.

When you work for someone else, they tend to do a lot of things that you may not think about. They pick out the health insurance, handle taxes, and more.

When you no longer work for someone else, you also lose all of these benefits. You will have to pay for your own health insurance, taxes (and they will be higher now!), any retirement matches and so on.

Income may not be stable, which is a con. 

With self-employment, the thought of my income completely drying up the next day does pop into my head every now and then. It’s not something that I’m constantly thinking about, but a slow day does sometimes make my mind wander.

Do you want to be self-employed? Why or why not?

 

Financial Tips For The Self-Employed

Financial Tips For The Self-EmployedWhen I had my day job, I worked with different business owners every day.

I learned a lot about what went into a business, mistakes that business owners made, and a lot about business finances.

I’ve personally seen businesses succeed and fail, and I’ve seen businesses make plenty of finance mistakes that still make me shake my head. I think my day job really helped make the transition to self-employment much easier.

Here are my financial tips for the self-employed:

Keep your business and personal accounts separate.

The other day, I almost bought a personal item on my business PayPal. Even though it was something small, I simply don’t want the finances mixed and then be confused later. I’d rather just completely keep them separate so that I don’t have to go through each and every transaction later and wonder if they are a personal or business expense.

Also, if you go through your transactions a year later (such as when you are doing taxes), it can be pretty hard to remember what is what.

Keep your receipts.

When you are doing your taxes at the end of the year, you will have want to keep your receipts. You can of course file them physically into a folder, but these days there are many apps and software out there where you can just scan your receipt.

Set aside enough for taxes.

Everyone doesn’t pay the same amount in taxes, so it’s hard to say exactly what you will have to pay.  Many different things can affect how much you owe. Whatever you think that you may owe, make sure that it’s enough and you should be paying your taxes quarterly if you are supposed to.

If you don’t know what you’re doing with your taxes, then you should probably hire an accountant, and possibly even a lawyer. Yes, a lawyer too. Lawyers can help with many business ownership gifting or sales, and there are tax lawyers out there that can help as well. Your accountant can probably help you determine if you need a lawyer in some cases.

Save for retirement.

When you work for someone else, sometimes it’s a little easier to save for retirement. Your boss may provide a company match, and there may be some other retirement plans offered through your company. However, when you become self-employed, everything is up to you. Make sure you are still saving for retirement.

Have an emergency fund.

I’ve said this plenty of times. Make sure you have an emergency fund! As a self-employed person, you may have a bad month, and a well-funded emergency fund will help you worry a little less.

What financial advice would you give to the newly self-employed?

 

How To Promote Your Blog Through Networking

How To Promote Your Blog Through NetworkingA question that I am often asked is how a blogger should promote and network their blog. I’m definitely no expert in this area, but I do think that I know enough about it to write a blog post about it 🙂

Networking with your blog is a great thing. Without it, my blog would literally have zero readers.

Without networking through my blog, I never would have started a side job, I never would have quit my job to freelance full-time. And I never would have 1,000 other things. Networking is what has helped me and my blog grow.

Now, I will say that I do like to keep all of my blog work “natural.” I have never forced anything upon my blog that I did not enjoy, and I do think that is why I still enjoy blogging on Making Sense of Cents (and the same now goes for Diversified Finances).

This may be to my downside, but I don’t really do anything to promote my website that I don’t actually enjoy doing. For example, I actually LOVE to post on forums and comment on other websites, because I am a super geek like that. I love reading what others have to say, and I could read articles all day long if I could. I like to know everything about everyone 🙂 I can spew out random facts about pretty much anything.

Here are different things that you could do to promote your blog:

Guest post.

Guest posting is something that I hardly ever do, but I do think it’s a great idea. I find many new blogs through guest posts, so it can be a great way to add new readers.

Join a niche group.

Depending on the niche that you are in, I am sure that there are many different groups that you could join. An example would be Yakezie for personal finance bloggers.

Belonging to a quality niche group can mean that you make friends with others in your community, and you can also all motivate each other to do better.

Find forums.

There are many forums that I browse and enjoy reading, such as the Mr. Money Mustache forum and Yakezie forum. You could post quality responses (or even create your own posting), and readers may find you this way. Posting on relevant forums can be a great way to add readers since everyone reading the forum probably has a similar hobby or goal.

Another thing similar to commenting on forums would be to comment on websites as well.

Social media.

When I first find a new website, one of the first things that I usually do is see if they have a Twitter. Make sure you have one!

There are so many different ways for you to connect with your readers, and social media can be an important way for you to further your reach. Different websites that you could join include: Facebook, Twitter Instagram and Pinterest.

How do you promote your blog?