mobile hotspot

As a work-at-home dad who has been shuttling between working part-time from home while taking care of our daughter for the past seven years, among other tasks, I'm constantly on the lookout for things to make my work life better. A mobile hotspot is at the top of my list.

I'll get into the reasons why in a bit, but the main reason is to simply get out of the house. We have great Wi-Fi at home, and I could work in the back yard if I wanted to and write all day while sitting in a comfortable and cushy lawn chair. But as anyone who works from home knows, the benefits of working at home (T-shirt, shorts and a chance to work on your own schedule) can feel a little cramped after awhile.

Mobile hotspot envy

Now, after waiting almost a year after I ordered a mobile hotspot called Karma Go, I'm awaiting delivery. After many delays by Karma, shipping is starting in mid-July to its first customers (me!) and my mobile hotspot should arrive soon. Yay!

As luck would have it, however, I'll be away on vacation during the expected shipment time, so I won't likely get the mobile hotspot until I return from vacation and will then have to track down a FedEx office to retrieve it. I'm supposed to get an email from FedEx whenever delivery is imminent, so checking my phone during vacation for a delivery I won't be home for seems like some sort of cruel punishment that I'll have to deal with. ...continue reading


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!


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.

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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! ...continue reading