Monday, September 11, 2017

A Season of Side Hustling

Y'all, I am 1.5 weeks into side hustling, and let me tell you: I need more hours in the day. Not that I'm complaining (much). The side hustle - an online teaching gig - will allow us to purchase new tires for our car and fund a holiday trip to see family. Moreover, my students are engaged and motivated, and I get to talk about science, my favorite subject. It's a fruitful opportunity for a variety of reasons.

But seriously. More hours. I need them.

Here's what my day looks like right now and pretty much what it will look like through December:

6 AM: Wake up, stumble around the kitchen in a daze for 30 minutes while getting absolutely nothing accomplished (to put it mildly, I am not a morning person), slug coffee, finally pull it together, make child's lunch, drink more coffee, make own lunch, get dressed, panic about not being able to find keys/shoes/some other vital item that has mysteriously disappeared in the last 12 hours.


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7 AM: Pour another serving of coffee into travel mug. Say goodbye to the family, walk 2.5 miles to work, usually reach railroad tracks just as train is starting to pass through, curse train for next six minutes, speedwalk the rest of the way to office so as to avoid being late.


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7:50 AM: Arrive! Beeline for the bathroom and change into fresh, unsweaty shirt before coworkers catch a whiff of any unprofessional odors.

8-Noon: Work, work, work, work, work.


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Noon: Lunch! Cram food into face while reading personal finance blogs.


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12:30-4:30 PM: Work, work, work, work, work.


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4:30 PM: Walk home (uphill the whole way, of course). Get sweaty again.

5:20 PM: Arrive home, say hello to fellow exhausted family members, go for a run, take a shower.

6:30 PM: Make dinner per meal plan devised earlier in week. Sit down to eat with The Kiddo and Fortysomething. Sometimes converse. Sometimes share in communal catatonic silence.

7:30 PM: Log into online classroom. Participate in discussion forum. Answer questions. Post announcements. Grade.


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9 PM: Start watching a show with Fortysomething. Give it my full effort. Get halfway through the show; start falling asleep. Discover that Fortysomething has also crashed out.


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10 PM: Usually drooling onto my pillow by this point.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

I keep reminding myself that sometimes we need to sacrifice short-term comfort for long-term goals. Historically, I haven't been too adept at this: my need for an immediate panacea to momentary discomfort/boredom/inconvenience is one of the reasons we're in so much debt. I'm committed to changing my perspective. For the next few months, for this season, I'm going to do what it takes to honor the future.

But I'm sure all of you other side-hustlers can attest to the fact that it isn't easy.

Tell me about your side hustle. How do you fit it into your day? How do you manage your time?

7 comments:

  1. Hey, least Fortysomething is crashing with you when watching a movie. No guilt there for falling asleep. Ha. I used to run a full-time business on top of working full-time. I know what you mean about needing more hours in a day.

    You've made sure there are no increase in your tax bracket with working a side gig? Usually when you have children, its not the case.

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  2. Good point! We were at the low end of our tax bracket, so the side gig shouldn't push us up to the next one.

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    1. Even if you were at the top, it isn't the crisis some make it out to be. Some people (and I'm not saying The One in Debt is one of them) think that if you move from the 15% tax bracket to the 20% tax bracket because of a few dollars, you are worse off. That is not the case. I'm just making these numbers up as an example, because I'm too lazy to go find the tables etc. but if the cutoff between the 15% braket and the 20% bracket is $30,000 and you make $31,000, then you'd pay 15% on the first $30,000 (actually less than that because a certain amount is exempt) and then 20% on the other $1,000. In other words, you are better off earning that extra thousand than not. There are people (I had to explain this to an attorney once) that believe that by moving up a tax braket, ALL your income is taxed at the new rate, such that your taxes on $30,000 would be $4,500 and your taxes on $31,000 would be $6,200, such that earning an extra $1,000 would actually cost you an extra $1700 in taxes.

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  3. That's a tight schedule, so be sure to take some time for you and your family on the weekend (or whatever days off you may have). Back when I was working full time and side hustling, some of my side hustles I could do in my spare time. But when I was working the flea market and trying to build up a business, there were never enough hours in the day. Now I'm retired so my blogging side hustle fits in my schedule just fine. Perhaps your schedule will feel easier in a couple weeks when it's just part of the routine. But if you sense burnout coming on, you'll need to make some adjustments.

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    1. Oh, I'm a total slug on the weekend! Right now I'm taking on a lot of work because I'm trying to give myself a few more options in the future. If I can make this work for a few more months, then I can relax a little more.

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  4. I can think of a few ways to make that all easier. Make lunches and find keys the night before and you MIGHT get 5 minutes of quiet for yourself before the day begins. Get away from the desk at lunchtime. Screw the blogs for a few days. Make at least one enormous slow cooker meal on the weekend, portion and freeze - that's a night or two you won't have to cook after work. You could make a few batches of muffins or something also, and freeze, for lunches.

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  5. I can't fathom the dinner meal being anything other than a lot of loud noises with the occasional nerdy conversation thrown in. haha! Good for you making the effort with the side hustle. It's hard to find balance when you're raising kids.

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