We often hear about how visualizing our goals can help us be more effective in reaching our objectives. However, many people are unsure of how they can use this method as a way to better reach their financial goals. If you are looking for some help visualizing your financial goals, here are some ideas:

Use Budgeting Apps

One of the most basic ways to track your goals, and visualize your progress, is to use budgeting apps. There are various budgeting apps that can provide you with helpful illustrations that can help you see exactly how well you’re doing. Sites like Mint and Learnvest let you set goals and see how you are doing. If you are trying to pay down debt, and visualize your progress, programs like ReadyForZero can help.

Many financial software programs offer you the chance to see your spending habits in visual format, and this can be a great way to understand your situation, and then work to make changes.

Use an Inspiring Image

One of the things that my son uses to remind him that he is working for something specific with his money is an image of whatever he is working toward. I’ve actually used this in the past as well — even though I’m an adult and not a child anymore. I sometimes post a picture of a place I want to visit to help me visualize the results of saving up for a vacation. When I look at that image, I remember that I have a goal in mind, and that helps me stick to my financial plan, rather than veer off course.

Think about what you could use to keep you motivated, and help you see a desired outcome. This image should be placed where you can see it regularly, and where it can remind you to stick with your goals.

Think about What Your Life Will Be Like

I also like to think about what my life will be like when I’ve reached my financial goals. I visualize the freedom to travel, or how my husband and I will enjoy time at our favorite restaurants. If you have a lot of debt, think about how it would feel to have freedom, rather than having that debt hanging over your head. When you think about the feelings that accompany the successful completion of your goal, it’s easier to visualize your desired outcome.

You do need to be careful, though, since it can be tempting to slip into a fantasy world and not actually do anything to make your goals a reality. Make it a point to focus your visualizations on what you want to happen, and then follow that back to what you need to do now to reach your goals.

Bottom Line

If you need motivation to stick with your current financial plans, visualization can help. Find strategies that allow you to track your progress, as well as that help you look toward the future. When you are able to use visualization to your advantage, you will be more likely to have success as you create your preferred lifestyle.

Modern lifestyles just keep getting busier and busier, and all too often, mealtime becomes more about convenience and speed than nutrition and grocery budgets. Thankfully, I’ve learned a few tips in this hectic lifestyle that have helped me keep fast or prepared foods to a minimum while saving both time and money. In a recent post, I discussed ways to save money on your lunch and daily coffee fix, two things you are more likely to fall into the convenience trap for because you’re on the go. This time I’d like to focus on the other two meals of the day: breakfast and dinner. While most people are able to take these meals at home, there are still ways you might be wasting money. Here are a few things I’ve learned about saving money on the bookend meals of a typical day.

Breakfast: Not Eating it Doesn’t Save You Money

Some of you might be skipping this section because you’re thinking I don’t eat breakfast. That’s precisely why you should be reading this! The problem with skipping breakfast (other than the obvious detriment to your metabolism, blood sugar levels, energy, and overall course of your day) is that you’re more likely to grab a convenient and unhealthy snack mid-morning to hold you over until lunch time. Even if you packed your lunch, not eating breakfast could mean you’ll still be spending money on a muffin, doughnut, or some other selection of junk from the vending machine. So, in the end, not eating a healthy, sustaining breakfast at home will not save you anything. Here are some suggestions for quick, inexpensive breakfast foods:

  • oatmeal
  • toast with peanut butter
  • smoothies or protein shakes
  • yogurt with fruit or granola
  • protein bars
  • eggs

You might be surprised I put eggs on that list, but honestly, they only take a few minutes to cook, and are full of protein. Either boil them ahead of time, or scramble for the quickest results. If you have vegetables pre-cut, you can add them in for a little extra nutrition. Another option you can prepare ahead is serving-size quiche or egg scrambles using a muffin or cupcake tin.  Personally, protein shakes are my favorite because they are quick to whip up fresh, and can be placed in a to-go cup if I’m running late.

Who Has Time to Cook Dinner?!

Dinner is perhaps one of the hardest meals because it requires coordinating the family’s schedule, meal planning, and or even (gasp) hovering over a stove for 30-60 minutes.  I admit that I often don’t have time to cook dinner, even if it’s just for two people. On top of that, I’m sometimes just tired, hungry and impatient. Thankfully my husband often steps in and cooks what I’ve prepared or planned. Here are a few ways I’ve learned to make dinner preparation a little easier, faster, and timely.

Crock pots are your friend. I’m really starting to enjoy the routine of finding a new crock-pot recipe and forcing myself to prepare it the night before, because the convenience is incredible! Who doesn’t want to come home to the smell of dinner already simmering on the stove? Crock pot-friendly recipes are extremely popular and varied, ranging from soups to casseroles to entrees, and even desserts. I use a great app. on my phone called healthy recipes from Spark.com that allows you to browse by category.

Stock up on the basics. Since I know there will always be times when I don’t have a plan for dinner, keeping certain basic items in stock helps us resist the temptation of take out. One of our simplest, easiest dinner is baked or stir-fried chicken with frozen vegetables and rice.

Be willing to think outside the box. Who says you can’t have breakfast food for dinner, or just sandwiches and salads? Mixing it up when you don’t have time to cook is perfectly fine, and helps break the monotony of always eating the same foods at the same time of day.

Don’t let your lifestyle ruin your food budget or eating habits. You do have time to practice these simple tips to keep meals inexpensive, healthy, and convenient.

Advertisers would have us think that the only way to combat wrinkles and sagging skin due to aging is with pricey products. While there is some science behind many of their advertized problem-solvers, there’s no need to pay inflated prices. When you know what ingredients actually work at maintaining and improving the look of skin, you are empowered to buy and do that which will make the greatest impact for much less money.

To really affect the appearance of skin, it’s imperative to care for your collagen, a protein produced by cells that gives skin firmness and elasticity. As skin ages, collagen production slows and existing collagen can be damaged, leading to wrinkles and sagging skin.

Age-defying skincare: simple practices and basic ingredients

Cleansing – Wash dirt from your skin every evening with a gentle cleanser.

Protection – Use a UVA/UVB sunscreen daily to protect against sun exposure that can potentially burn skin causing premature aging and lead to skin cancer.

Lifestyle – Healthy habits promote better skin condition:

  • Regular exercise – Raising your heart rate pumps oxygen and nutrients into skin that it needs for collagen production.
  • Avoid smoking – Smoking damages collagen and elastin while decreasing blood flow to your skin, starving cells of the oxygen and nutrients.
  • Manage stress – Stress produces cortisol, a hormone that causes inflammation which breaks down collagen.
    Avoid excessive alcohol – Too much alcohol over time can lead to permanently flushed skin or visible blood vessels.
  • Avoid excessive sugar – Too much sugar or refined carbohydrates leads to the production of advanced glycation end products which damage collagen and elastin.

Diet – Eat foods containing:

  • Omega 3 fatty acids, found in salmon, fish oils, walnuts, almonds and flaxseed, support healthy cell membranes, which keep skin cells hydrated and plump.
  • Antioxidant-rich foods, to fight free radicals (damaged skin cells, missing a second electron a healthy cell would have). Free radicals damage healthy cells by extracting the electron they need. This process triggers an enzyme in the skin that breaks down collagen. Fruits, vegetables and green tea contain antioxidants which neutralize free radicals so that they don’t feed off healthy skin cells.
  • Vitamin C enables amino acids to link and form the protein of which collagen is made. Dietary sources include red peppers, dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli and sprouts, tomatoes, oranges and kiwi.
  • Lutein, present in green leafy vegetables and eggs, boosts antioxidant processes.
  • Estrogen, a hormone that decreases with age, is vital to collagen production. Make up for lost estrogen by eating hummus, nuts, soy and pinto beans.

Products and practices – These ingredients are actually effective for skin improvement:

  • Retinol, a vitamin A derivative, unclogs pores, boosts collagen to reduce fine lines, and speeds cell turnover to even-out discoloration and smooth skin. Retinoids are the pricey prescription version; retinol is available over the counter in a less-potent, slower-acting, but equally effective form.
  • Exfoliation removes the top, dead layer of skin, speeding up the natural process of skin and collagen renewal. Chemical exfoliants, like glycolic acid and lactic acid, dissolve the sticky substance that bonds dead skin to the surface, whereas facial scrubs slough it away.
  • The same skin-boosting ingredients you include in your diet are beneficial in products for topical application. Look for creams and serums containing lutein, Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic acid, ascorbyl palmitate or ascorbyl phosphate) and phytoestrogens.

Avoid getting in a rut – Mix up your skincare routine once a year to “wake up” your skin cells.

Using ingredients that are effective and practicing healthy lifestyle habits will help your skin look as fresh and youthful as possible without needing damage control or paying more than necessary.

It can be difficult to reduce your consumerism during the holidays. It’s the time of year when everyone seems to be shopping. Even Thanksgiving, which should be as non-consumer of a holiday as there could be, is fraught with consumerism. This is often because people are thinking about shopping the sales on Thanksgiving, and so it gets swallowed up in the general holiday season consumerist bustle.

While you might have your own way to do reduce consumerism during the holidays, here are some of the things I’ve tried in order to save my sanity (and often a few bucks):

Talk About Experiences and Blessings During the Season

One of the things I’ve stopped doing is asking what others want for Christmas. And we don’t really have those discussions at home with our son. Rather than focusing on “what you get” for the holidays, we’ve started talking more about experiences and blessings during the holiday season. This is, of course, especially appropriate during Thanksgiving, but it doesn’t have to be limited to that.

We talk a lot about how fun it will be to spend time with family. We get to see our cousins. We get to go sledding. Won’t it be fun to just lounge around in our jammies and watch a favorite movie? I find that when we talk more about the experiences surrounding the holidays, and the positive emotions that come with spending time with friends and family during the holidays, it’s easier to focus on items that aren’t related to consumerism.

Additionally, we talk a lot about blessings and gratitude. We discuss the things we’re grateful for, and focus on what we have. This takes the focus off things we want, and keeps us, as a family, from getting too caught up in the non-essentials.

Help Others

It’s much easier to reduce consumerism during the holidays when you have ways of focusing on others. In many cases, an obsession with consumerism stems from a focus on self. want this. deserve this. Why don’t have this? Taking some of the focus off self, and looking at how to help others, can cultivate gratitude, and reduce consumerism. So, if you take the time to perform service for others, or to take some of your belongings and donate them to a worthy cause or thrift store, you can help others and feel good about it. It’s hard to think about yourself when you are engaged in helping others — especially when you can see how lucky you are compared to other people. My son had a real eye-opener when he began to realize how good he really does have it.

Do Things Together

Finally, make sure you put your ideas into practice. I make sure that we do things as a family, whether it’s baking goodies for the neighbors, going to look at holiday lights as an activity, or whether it’s rounding up things to donate to the homeless shelter. Being able to work together, and build new memories to talk about, can really reduce the thought that goes into things, and put the focus on relationships that matter.

I recently had my hair freshly cut and colored, and although it lasts for several months, the expense of the ritual always has me looking for things I can do to keep it looking good for as long as possible.  Some things I’ve learned the hard way, while some tips I’ve learned from others’ mistakes, and consequently avoided. If you’re looking for ways to save money on your hair care routine, you might fin these helpful. Of course, not all the ideas will work for all hair types or styles, but the general principles should hold true.

Tips for long-lasting vibrant hair color
Permanent hair color usually lasts around 8-9 weeks for most people. In my case, I can stretch it out because I don’t have much gray and stick to a color that fades well into my natural shades (tip #1). Changing your hair drastically can be fun, but be aware that your different-colored roots will make you want to dye it again sooner than if you’d stuck to a shade that blends well with your natural color. I’m naturally a reddish-blond, so I can go with various shades of red and fade out/grow out pretty uniformly. I don’t, however, want my hair color to wash out within a few weeks — a trait that is particularly true of reds. That’s why I follow three rules for colored-hair treatment:

  • Always wash in cold water (flip your head over the sink or tub if you can’t stand the cold in the shower)
  • Wash (and wet, for that matter) hair as infrequently as possible
  • Use shampoo and conditioners designed for color-treated hair, specifically for helping retain color

These steps aren’t expensive (well, the shampoo/conditioner may be slightly more expensive than your normal brand, but that’s where you can utilize coupons!), and are effective and easy, although hard to get into the habit of. I find it a pain to have to wash my hair separately, but saving my color is worth it. Some people also can’t go more than one day without washing their hair; this will depend on how dry or oily your hair is. Mine tends to be dry, so I can get away with going a day in between shampoos. I’ve never tried dry shampoos, but some people like to use them as a way to get the ‘clean feeling’ without losing color.

Further, it’s a good idea to avoid vibrant colors in the summer, because sun exposure will fade them out quickly. Opt for highlights, which fade less noticeably, and will be complemented by the natural highlights you get from being outdoors.

Tips for a long-lasting hairstyle

You can’t really control how quickly your hair grows, but there are ways you can work with or against it. For instance, because my hair grows quickly, and I usually don’t get in to the hairstylist when I need to, I am fine with letting the stylist cut it slightly shorter than I want.  I may think my bangs are too short for a week or so, but pretty soon they are perfect.

Taking care of your hair by  patting instead of rubbing it dry, avoiding the towel-turben (I’m guilty of this), brushing your hair with gentleness, and limiting heat-styling will all contribute to fewer split ends and keep your haircut looking good longer. Additionally, you can try certain natural or retail products to increase your hair’s moisture and shine. Getting enough healthy oils and vitamins like A and E in your diet will  also help keep your hair from looking dull.

No matter how well you take care of your hair, the point will arrive when you have too much of it. If you want to hold out for a few more weeks or months before getting a cut, consider trying a new hairstyle that will complement your hair’s current length or layering. For instance, consider side-sweeping or pulling back bangs that are too long, or utilizing chic up-dos if your hair is getting too unruly. If you’re short on ideas, I highly recommend Pinterest.

These are just a few ways I’ve found to save money while keeping your hair looking (and yourself feeling) great.

An e-reader is a convenient way to have a plethora of reading material at your fingertips. In theory, after its initial cost, the appeal of an e-reader is that it provides access to books much more affordably than buying them in their traditional paper form. E-books are available from a wide array of places and, thankfully, many come at surprisingly low prices – and sometimes for free.

Where and how to find cheap – or free – e-books

Sometimes you’re looking for something to read that’s not on the current bestseller list. That’s a good thing, especially when you’re looking to find inexpensive books. Works by lesser-known and emerging authors – as well as older, classic books – are often offered for bargain prices. Here’s how to find great reads for next-to-nothing:

Online booksellers

Most online booksellers have filters with which you can sort by price – even if that price is free. Set your budget and search – you’ll be surprised at how much there is for so little!

If you shop Amazon.com, these options will help you locate inexpensive books:

  • Kindle Unlimited ($9.99/month) – Like Netflix or Spotify for movies and television, this is a subscription that allows you as many downloads as you wish from a library of over 700,000 titles, which even includes audio books. You don’t even need a Kindle per se – just a free Kindle app you can download from the website for your device. Another potential bonus: Eligible Kindle books, once purchased, can be “loaned” one time to another person for up to 14 days, during which only the borrower will have access to the book. It’s a great way to share a book; pay one price, entertain two readers.
  • Amazon Prime ($99/year) – One of the numerous benefits of this premium service you may already have is access to Amazon’s extensive lending library. If you use a Kindle, you can download one book at a time free of charge.

Another online destination for free e-books is Project Gutenberg. This site makes over 46,000 books which are out of copyright (which have expired due to the book’s age) available for reading in whatever format you choose.

Also look into these bargain e-book providers:

  • Scribd (500,000 titles, 8.99/mo)
  • Free-eBooks.net is a free service that offers fiction, non-fiction and instructional books from independent and up-and coming authors.
  • Kobo offers a “Daily Deal” on an e-book for up to 80% off and a 99-cents section along with their large and varied full-priced selection.

Authors themselves

It’s easier now than ever to get to know authors; by following those whose books you love on social media, you’ll open a new literary world for yourself. You can discover new authors you’ll enjoy reading there as well. In this new age of book promotion, established authors as well as newcomers often offer discounted or even free downloads of their books through their social networking channels. Sometimes you can even download free books from an author’s own website.

Bonus tip: It’s a common practice for authors to give away the first book in a series to entice you to buy the rest. If you don’t like the first one, you’re out nothing.


Don’t overlook the traditional, obvious place for free reading. Libraries are steadily growing their collections of e-books. It’s worth checking with your local library to find out what they have to offer for download.

Low-priced and free e-books are readily available. Often it’s simply a matter of broadening your literary horizons to find lesser-known, independently published or older works that are more than worthwhile reads. You’ll be rewarded with rich streams of reading material as well as substantial savings.

Many of us like the idea of improving ourselves. Self-improvement is a worthy goal in any setting, and it can also be good for your finances, since it can lead to higher pay or a better job. Many consumers are willing to spend hundreds — or even thousands — of dollars on self-improvement products and services. However, not all self-improvement products and services are worth the price you pay.

Before you spend money on self-improvement, take a step back and determine whether or not what you’re getting will be worth it. Here are some things to consider:

Can You Get the Same Quality For Less (or for Free)?

The first thing to ask yourself is whether or not you can get the same level of help and inspiration for much less, or even for free. There are some motivational courses or experiences that you don’t need to spend a great deal of money on. There are a number of tutorials online that can help you with a number of aspects of your life. There are free workout videos online, educational resources like open courseware and Khan Academy, and any number of materials online that approach spirituality. You can even use free online resources to begin learning various instruments.

Depending on what you plan to do, you might be able to at least get a solid start on self-improvement with free resources. Even if you don’t go online, you might be able to engage in self-improvement by attending low-cost and free activities and seminars in your area. A community recreation center might allow for exercise. Community education classes at the library are inexpensive ways to learn new skills and knowledge. You might be surprised at what you can find if you look around for self-improvement.

When You Need to Pay Extra for Self-Improvement Resources

There are times, though, when you do need to pay extra for self-improvement resources. If you have gone as far as you can on your own, and you can’t go further, you might need guidance and help. In some cases, where your self-improvement might require some help, it makes sense to pay for it. It can make sense to get professional help if you need it. After I got so far with the guitar, I needed a little guidance to improve. If you are struggling with depression, or other issues, it makes sense to see a professional who can help you work through what you need.

Sometimes, you might also need to pay for an education if you want a degree, or you need a specific certification to get a raise, or promotion. In some cases, you have no choice but to pay for self-improvement, depending on the reason for the attempt to improve.

Carefully consider your desire for self-improvement, and consider what goes into it, and why you are trying to improve your situation. Then, determine whether or not you really need to pay for your self-improvement resources. Chances are, you can make a lot of progress on your own, without the need for high-priced programs or products.

We all know that there’s a huge savings in packing your own lunch for work, avoiding coffee shops, and eating dinner at home. But in the day to day, it’s easy to let our hectic schedules give us an excuse to waste money on eating out.  I’ve fallen into this trap myself, and it happens most often when I  fail to prepare ahead of time and am too busy to prepare anything when the time comes. The best solutions I’ve found for this recurring problem are essentially a collection of many simple but effective steps to ensure I don’t have to fall into the excuse of spending more when I don’t need to.  Here are a few things that have helped me live more frugally and stick with my grocery and eating out budget categories.


  • Pack the night before.

I’ve consistently found that if I either pack my lunch the night before, or even “mentally pack” my lunch (go through my knowledge of what’s available and what I want to take), there are no excuses, no matter how slow I move around while getting ready the next morning. If I don’t have it packed or have a plan, I am more likely to rush around distractedly trying to throw something together, or decide I don’t have time.

  • Prepare foods as fully as possible ahead of time.

If you’re not just throwing leftovers into a storage container (a great lunch idea), your meal will take some preparation — a salad, a sandwich, etc. I find that if I can pre-package or prepare foods in portions I use for lunch, it’s much easier to assemble quickly, even if I fail to pack the night before. For instance, I try to cut up vegetables ahead of time so I can simply toss them onto greens, or cook up extra pieces of chicken for  salads and wraps while preparing dinner, and store them individually. Even something as simple as putting snacks in sandwich baggies ahead of time can make a difference in whether you can tackle a morning lunch prep. or give up the attempt.

  • Shop with on-the-go meal prep. in mind.

It’s difficult to pack a lunch if you don’t have anything convenient to pack. That’s not to say you can’t get creative, but having lunch-specific foods on hand will, again, leave you fewer excuses not to pack one, and make preparation that much faster. I buy individual yogurts, fruit, cheese sticks, salad add-ons, and even packaged lunch kits specifically for my noon meals. If you’re not used to shopping for your lunches, it may seem like you’re spending more on groceries, but in the long run, you’ll much more by not eating out or buying prepared foods.


Coffee can be a touchy subject, because (as I certainly know), it borders on a necessity. The problem arises, not in enjoying coffee, but in spending $5 on one coffee from a drive-through chain or local coffee shop. If you do that every day, it quickly adds up. If you find coffee necessary to fuel your day, plan ahead and brew enough coffee at home to allow you to take a travel mug.  Programmable coffeemakers are a wonderful invention! Find a few trusty mugs that won’t leak and hold temperature well, and you’re good to go.

If you’re a gourmet snob, grind your own brand-name beans (even this function is programmable on some models), and look up recipes for add-ins that come close to imitating your favorite coffeehouse drinks.

Following these tips and making lunch-packing a habit you actually have time for will enable you to save money daily so you can  appreciate occasionally eating out or ordering your favorite coffee without guilt.

Who among us wouldn’t like to see a bigger balance in their bank account, savings account or retirement account? Who wouldn’t love to afford to live more lavishly – or at the very least, not worry about meeting expenses? It’s human nature to want to make more money without going to a lot more effort than we already do. There is no shortage of “get rich quick” schemes in the world that prey on precisely that desire. When the options are things like, “pick up some overtime,” “get a second (or third) job” or simply, “stop spending so much,” it’s easy to be lured into believing in some common ploys and misinformation that promise to help us make big bucks easily.

Here are some of the ways that others manipulate that desire to make more money into a money-maker for themselves – by taking our hard-earned dollars with the promise of a big return that probably won’t happen:

  1. They make giving them money exciting and addictive – Gambling is the perfect example of this ploy to make you think that you have a chance to gain a lot for relatively little. The lie they perpetrate is that luck has more to do with making money than do sound financial practices. In short, the odds of hitting it big by gambling is negligible – the cards are stacked against you, designed that the house wins and you…don’t. By convincing you that you have a chance to win, they get you to throw more money their way. Gamble all you want for recreational purposes but do understand that it’s not a rational substitute for a financial plan.
  2. They over-complicate by leading you to believe you can’t do it without them – A classic example here includes the “make money in your sleep” ploy. Unscrupulous marketers can easily convince those looking to make money online to buy an e-commerce website from them. In truth, you don’t need to go through (and pay) this middleman who brings the opportunity to your attention. You can find opportunities like the ones they sell on your own – like an Amazon portal – to bring in some extra bucks.
  3. They oversimplify how difficult it is to profit – Buy low, sell high – like the house-flipping rage – is an example of this tactic. While it is possible to turn a profit from rehabbing a home, making it a habit can be risky. Selling an improved property can be iffy; even when you get a fixer-upper for a bargain price, unless you have a buyer lined up, you’re stuck with an expensive investment that can easily turn into a money pit rather than a money-maker.
  4. They overstate your earning potential – There are a multitude of multi-level marketing companies that offer their distributors appealing wholesale prices to act as their salesforce. In order for direct sales to be as lucrative as their marketing hype suggests, distributors must push hard, sell a large volume of product, wear many hats and work their way up the ladder to manage underlings in order to earn a cut of their sales as well. Those who “make it rich” following this business model are few and far between.

Any of these four income strategies can potentially bring in extra cash. Be aware of what they all have in common: Claims of big financial rewards for minimal (and/or enjoyable) effort. When considering any profit-generating opportunity, remember that if it sounds too easy or sure-fire, those behind it are most likely someone making a buck off your desire to do the same.

For what “get rich schemes” have you fallen?

One of the trends on the rise right now is an increase in self-employment. I’m part of this trend, since I have my own freelancing business. I like being self-employed. I enjoy the freedom and flexibility that comes with making money from home. I do this as my “full-time” job (even though I rarely work “full-time” hours anymore).

However, not everyone wants to be self-employed. This path isn’t for everyone.

Advantages of Working for Others

Technically, even if you are self-employed you work for others. You have customers and clients that you have to please. However, it’s not really the “traditional” definition of working for “the man.” Working a “real” job has its own perks. Now that my husband is no longer an adjunct and he’s working full-time as a college professor, we’re being reminded about just how great it can be.

These types of jobs come with healthcare that is subsidized by an employer (just like that, our costs are cut in half), and there is an employer match on the retirement account contribution (that’s free money). What my husband really likes about having a “real” job, though, is the fact that work is work, and it can be left there. When you are self-employed, especially if you work from home, you find yourself working at all hours sometimes. My husband likes to be able to clock out.

Being able to take a day off (which he did recently because he was feeling burned out) and still get paid for it is also a nice perk from having a 9-5 job. My husband may not work 9-5 because of his teaching schedule (it’s more like 8:30 – 5:30 MWF, and 11 – 4 TTH), but it’s still considered a “real” job. And he likes it because it offers some stability, and a set schedule.

There’s nothing wrong with want that sort of a paycheck, and nothing wrong with deciding that quitting and becoming self-employed full-time is not for you.

Make It a Side Hustle

Of course, it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Many people enjoy working a side hustle. With a side hustle, it’s possible to enjoy the advantages of making a little extra money on the side without the need to quit the stability of your “real” job. If you are looking for a little more flexibility in terms of your finances, a side hustle can be a good way to go. You can make money in your spare time, and get a little extra for spending, or to pay down debt, or to invest. This money can shore you up, and allow you to feel peace of mind, without the need to quit your current job.

In the end, it depends on what makes sense for you. A combination of a side hustle plus a “real” job can add to your income diversity, as well as help you boost your overall finances, without the need for you to commit to one thing or another. Carefully think about your situation, the amount of risk you can handle, and then make the choice that works for you.