Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ideas for Side Income

Hey guys --

Thanks for the warm welcome back to the blogosphere :)

One of my goals for 2010/2011 is to bring in some side income - preferably $25+ a month, part-time (non 9-5, M-F) or freelance.

A few of my friends have side gigs doing graphic design, coding, or tutoring. Other friends work part-time (weekends or nights) in retail or in the restaurant industry. My roommate, for example, has 2 jobs -- she works full-time as a buyer for a department store and 2 nights a week as a hostess at a trendy bar. I'm amazed by her stamina -- I'm usually so exhausted from my day job that I vegetate all night when I get home -- she somehow musters up enough energy to greet people and be on her feet for another 5 hours.

The idea that appeals the most to me is doing some freelance photography -- at weddings, events, engagement photos, etc. Photography has been a hobby of mine since high school, but I started getting serious about it last summer when the BF gave me his DSLR on perma-loan. It's a Canon XTi, and I've fitted it with a sweet non-kit lens. I shot my friend's bridal shower last weekend and got great reviews for my photos.

My plan is to start building a portfolio -- two of my close friends are getting married in the next 6 months, so I'll have some great opportunities to play (un)official photographer. Once I get a small portfolio built up, I'll set up a website with some of my work and advertise my photography services on Craigslist. Just today, I saw an ad on CL from a guy looking for an amateur photographer to take pictures of his upcoming proposal to his girlfriend. The gig probably wouldn't have paid much (~$100) but, hey, photography is so much fun for me that I'd probably do it for free -- I might as well try to make some money from it!

Anyway, thanks for reading. I'll keep you all posted on the progress of my side hustle ;-)


Monday, August 9, 2010

New Goal: No Spend 2010

Hi All -

So, it's been a little over 1 year since my last blog post... my bad!

I've decided to start blogging again as a way to motivate myself to achieve my personal and financial goals.


To get everyone up to speed, here's a quick synopsis of the past year:
  • Career: Got promoted about 8 months ago. Really just a new title - no material change in salary (~5% increase) or responsibilities/expectations.
  • Grad school: I plan to apply Fall 2011 for matriculation in 2012. Still need to take GMAT and all that fun stuff.
  • Debt: Made a tiny dent in student loans, but very far from being paid off (I have about $24,900 to go); bought a new car in early 2010 and added a $15,000 car loan. Total debt = $40,000.
Financial Goals

My main goal for balance of 2010/2011/2012 is to pay off all of my debt. Right now, I'm paying over $1,100 a year in interest on my student loans (and a similar amount on my car loan). Talk about money wasted! Arrrgh!

My 3 loans are as follows:
-$14,000 student loan @ 6.375% interest
-$10,900 student loan @ 2.890% interest
-$14,700 car loan @ 5.5% interest
Total: $39,600

My plan is to pay $1,000 towards my debt every month. If I can stick to this plan, I'll be able to pay off all of my student loans before grad school, with only the car loan left in 2012.

It's quite an aggressive goal - $1,000 is pretty much all I have left each month after paying for rent, food, and other essentials... I won't have anything left for the fun stuff, like entertainment, dining out, clothes, or vacations (eek!). It'll be tough as hell, but I look forward to tackling my debt.

Alright, enough for tonight. Must get ready for bed and another long day at work.