Friday Faves: Best Personal Finance Posts

February 6, 2015 Permalink

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHey all and welcome to the first edition of our Friday Faves!

Aaron and I thought it would be fun to put together a quick little post every other Friday to let you in on what else we’ve been up to (as far as writing goes), and let you know which articles by our personal finance blogger friends we’ve found to be helpful, enlightening, or just plain fun!

Without further delay, here are some of our fave personal finance posts from around the web.

How I plan to retire at 28 using dividend income – Canadian Budget Binder – This post was an eye-opener. It’s always amazing and inspiring to read about people who have such lofty goals and great plans to achieve them.

Update: January 2015 Budget & Goals – Blonde on a Budget – We love this post from Cait because she totally killed her January budget and goals! Who doesn’t love a post like that?!

Detoxing Your Budget – Plunged in Debt – Catherine talks about how she’s come to realize her spending triggers and tells us what she does to beat them and stay on budget. My favorite line: “If you have to justify a purchase, you probably don’t need it.”

Tax Tips for Self-Employed Workers – Diversified Finances – I pretty much love every post Michelle puts together for her site (probably because I’m working hard to have a diverse income myself). This one is packed full of tips to help you figure out what to do when filing your 2014 taxes.

What Would You Do With an Extra $470/month? – Frugal Rules – John tells us the average amount most Americans spend on a car payment is$470/month. By saving up and paying for you car in cash, or not always upgrading when you don’t need to, you can use this money for a lot of other things. What would you use it for?

Our Personal Finance Work:

Aaron and I aren’t slackers. :) Both of us are constantly working and writing for a variety of websites about personal finance. Here are just a few places you can find some of our latest works.

Being a Pack Rat is Expensive – Cash Smarter – A great post that lets you know just how much your clutter may be costing you.

Preparing your Kids for the Cost of Driving – Money Propeller – Educating your kids about how money affects everything in life is important. In this guest post, Aaron talks about the costs you should point out to your kids when they get ready to hit the road on their own.

Understanding the Health Care Reform – Budget Blonde – I try to de-mystify some of the confusion surrounding the Affordable Care Act in this post, but overall it’s still pretty hard to understand.

Another One Bites the Dust – Shoeaholicnomore – Another debt on my list is officially gone and two months ahead of schedule! I also talk about my debt payoff plan going forward.

That’s it for this week’s personal finance roundup. We hope you have a great weekend!

How Blogging is a Tough Side Hustle

February 3, 2015 Permalink

This guest post on the side hustle of blogging is written by Anne of Money Propeller. Read more about her at the end of this post. A book that she coauthored about blogging is an affiliate ad on the right side of Add Vodka, and is something we highly recommend to readers.

image via http://racetalkblog.com

image via http://racetalkblog.com

What does your to-do list look like?

Nice and long?

Mine too.

It’s got laundry and dishes and filing and getting rid of a bunch of old clothes on it.  There’s people to email and trips to plan (fun parts!), and on and on.  On top of those regular tasks, there are a myriad of side hustle to-dos.  My side hustle is blogging.

The problem I find with blogging is that the list grows at a faster rate than I can get through it.  There are side bar image buttons to create, posts to write, advertisements to tweak, people to email, new projects to start, virtual assistants to pay, pages to update, images to make, links to add, social media to schedule, and more and more.  As soon as one little project gets crossed off of the list, I have identified or thought of a dozen more!

Other Side Hustles

With many side hustles, AKA ways to bring in extra dough beyond your main job, there is a very clear “X for X dollars” relationship.

Deliver pizzas?  You will be paid an hourly rate plus tips.

Work as a brand ambassador?  There’s an hourly rate or an event rate. 

Sell Tupperware?  You get a set commission.

Mystery shop?  Your experience is reimbursed and sometimes you make more beyond that.

Write freelance articles?  The terms are established; you provide a piece of work and in return receive payment.

That’s where freelance writing differs substantially from blogging – you know what and when you’re going to get paid!  With blogging, you have no idea what any particular piece of writing will bring in.  Unless, of course, it is a review or sponsored post. 

Heartbreaking Side Hustling

It is frustratingly common to pour your heart into a piece only for it to receive minimal love, as measured in page views and comments.  There are also posts you write that provide awesome content, beautifully packaged with affiliate links to products you love, and no one bites.  Other times, the thing you threw together in half an hour takes off. 

It often feels like rolling the dice for this side hustle.  No matter your superstitions, the blowing on the dice, the prep work, it’s all a matter of luck.  That is a stretch, of course, but it certainly feels that way some days!

Where Add Vodka Goes Next as a Personal Finance Website

January 12, 2015 Permalink

Add Vodka has been on a little bit of hiatus lately, and is slowly undergoing a transformation. I thought this would be a good time to explain where Add Vodka is going as a personal finance website.

First, the basics: I recently acquired the site from Sarah, who has gone on to other endeavors. I’m grateful for her confidence in me to continue the outstanding work she has done on Add Vodka. I’m also grateful that you, the readers, enjoy Add Vodka, and I plan on providing more personal finance fun.

You can read a little more about me on the About page. I’m a freelance journalist and I write for other personal finance websites on everything from how to teach your kids about money to real estate, auto insurance, life insurance, retirement, saving money and investing. I write for AOL, WiseBread, and a host of other sites.

With Add Vodka, I want to turn my knowledge of personal finances, along with input from expert sources, into stories that will help readers improve their money habits while enjoying a fun read.

My financial situation is a lot different than Sarah’s, so I don’t expect to offer as many first-person insights into my financial life. I don’t have a ton of debt. But, like many people, I struggle to pay the bills and I’m constantly trying to learn new ways to improve my financial life.

typewriter2

 

Growing Add Vodka as a personal finance site

Where will we go? Add Vodka will continue offering a look into how we can all learn from how different people deal with money. What I hope to expand upon is telling tales that go beyond what you can find at every other personal finance blog. Some of the basics will sneak in from time to time so that even people with a rudimentary understanding of personal finance will find something worth their time.

In the coming weeks and months, Add Vodka will be adding categories such as real estate, retirement, college and other areas of personal finance. We’ll also add more stories in categories that are a little sparse, giving readers a range of personal finance topics to choose from.

And when I say “we,” I mean myself and Kayla, the blog manager of Add Vodka. You’ll see her byline often. I’d like to have guest posts, so if you’re a good writer and you want to write for the site (for free for now; I can only offer a link in return), please contact me at aaron@add-vodka.com. If you have a business and would like to have a sponsored post on Add Vodka, please use our Contact form to do this type of advertising with us.

Even more than that, I’d be thrilled to hear from readers on what types of stories they’d like to see at Add Vodka. Please reach out to me through the email above, commenting on this post, our Facebook page, Google+, or our new Twitter handle, @AddVodkadotcom.