This guest post was written by Crystal at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff where she writes about finding the balance between paying your bills, saving for your future, and budgeting in the fun stuff along the way. If you’d like to see more, feel free to follow BFS via RSS, Email, Twitter, and Facebook. Thanks for reading!
For those of you who haven’t met me yet, hi, my name is Crystal and I am a blogging addict. In fact, I started blogging in February 2010 and just quit my day job last week to pursue blogging full time! I am officially self-employed! I am loving every minute of this new career freedom, but there are some personal finance aspects of my new life that I have to take into account.
First and foremost, I always knew I wouldn’t let go of my day job until I could replace its income completely through my online work. I am a huge fan of stability and the comfortable lifestyle my husband and I have formed, so I knew I was going to have to work my butt off on two jobs at once to eventually work from home.
Specifically, I was making $35,500 a year from my day job. After taxes and benefits, I was taking home about $970 in every biweekly paycheck. That meant that I needed to be able to consistently bring in $2500-$3000 a month from my online endeavors to cover my income and what I would need to cover health insurance and higher taxes. That was a struggle with only one income stream from my main blog, so I started branching out.
Over the last year, I started staff writing as an income stabilizer and also looked into other options. I finally decided to put my cum laude Marketing degree to work. Crystal-For-Hire Blogging Services was born and I started taking on miscellaneous blogging jobs. I also started offering my services to run other bloggers’ advertising for a commission since many bloggers don’t have the time to capitalize on all of the little deals we are offered on a daily basis. I was surprised by the great response! That service has been extremely successful and I was able to hit my $3000 or more goal per month.
I finally had the income part taken care of, which couldn’t have come at a better time since I had been working 16-17 hours a day for most of April, and all of May, June, and the beginning of July. Whew!
My secondary concern was replacing benefits like my health insurance. Luckily, my husband has a semi-stable position as a public school librarian. I have always known I could join his plan for about $125 a paycheck and be covered for my health, dental, and eye care. What wasn’t as known was how I would save for retirement. Taking that into account, my husband and I opened a second Roth IRA and fully funded it already for this year and will be doing so from here on out. We are also going to attempt to throw even more into the stock market.
Long story short, I am now tackling my first weeks of dealing with self-employment tax. I will be sure to let everyone know if all of my planning worked out or not. One way or another, I will succeed. I won’t accept any other outcome. Let’s see if I can do it on my terms or not, lol.
Have you ever been self-employed? What advice or suggestions would you have for me?
photo by Don Hankins