Evolving Personal Finance » self-employment

Finding an New Balance Between Working and Caregiving

Finding an New Balance Between Working and Caregiving

Six weeks ago, an acquaintance approach Kyle and me about a possible childcare swap. The other couple wanted to trade full days looking after one another’s children so that the primary caregiver could work per diem occasionally. They couldn’t afford to pay for childcare (childcare in Seattle is expensive, people!) so a swap was a good fit for them.     I debated (with myself and with Kyle) whether to accept this offer for quite some time. The … Read entire article »

Filed under: family, marriage, parenthood, self-employment

Trading Money for Time: Our First Babysitting Hire

Trading Money for Time: Our First Babysitting Hire

Those of us working jobs and earning an income are “trading time for money.” This is explicitly obvious if you are an hourly worker, but it’s still largely true for salaried workers. The alternative to trading time for money is to have money come in based on your investments – monetary, property, or perhaps time. It’s a less direct exchange of time for money, and sometimes frees you to spend little to no time on … Read entire article »

Filed under: choices, parenthood, self-employment

I Learn Something New about Taxes Every Year

I Learn Something New about Taxes Every Year

My dad loves to encourage me to “learn something new every day,” and that’s certainly a great way to grow. Kyle and I submitted our tax returns last Saturday, and I realized that we learned quite a bit about taxes this year for our personal return. (I additionally learned a lot about grad student taxes, but that was more academic for me.)   This year was our most complicated tax return to prepare to date, and we did … Read entire article »

Filed under: debt, giving, investing, self-employment, taxes, transitions

The Pleasure of Finishing Something

The Pleasure of Finishing Something

I recently won a battle with my perfectionism – or perhaps limped to the finish line is a more accurate illustration! I became aware of how my perfectionist nature was holding me back during grad school, so I knew that as I finished my PhD and transitioned into entrepreneurship I would have to keep it in check. The upside to being a perfectionist is that whatever you do manage to push out the door is … Read entire article »

Filed under: grad school, self-employment

How I Work on the Road

How I Work on the Road

As a solopreneur who is also a bit of a homebody, I don’t have a typical off-site office from which I work. Most of the time, I work from my living room – at my standing desk, at our table, or on the couch. However, I also travel (fly) for work. I am a professional public speaker on the topic of personal finance for early-career PhDs, and delivering talks at universities almost always involves 2+ … Read entire article »

Filed under: self-employment, travel

Lessons Learned from My First Year Building a Public Speaking Business

Lessons Learned from My First Year Building a Public Speaking Business

A bit over a year ago, I gave my first presentation as a (future professional) public speaker. Last month, I received a speaking fee check that was – for the first time – in the full amount that I had requested from my host. While I have certainly grown as a speaker in the intervening year, the biggest lessons I’ve learned have been as a new entrepreneur in this arena.   Today I’ll tell you the top … Read entire article »

Filed under: self-employment

Running a Location-Independent Business from the Same Room Every Day

Running a Location-Independent Business from the Same Room Every Day

When I stumbled into self-employment, I accidentally created what is apparently a very coveted form of entrepreneurship: running a location-independent business.   Nearly all of my time spent working could be done anywhere (with an internet connection). On a day-to-day basis, I don’t have to be anywhere in particular, and I spend my time writing, producing videos, talking to people over the phone/Skype, rehearsing my presentations, and interacting with people through social media. On a few days … Read entire article »

Filed under: self-employment

What We Did in Graduate School to Enable Our Risky Career Decisions

What We Did in Graduate School to Enable Our Risky Career Decisions

Since our move to Seattle, Kyle and I have been meeting lots of new people as well as updating our friends and acquaintances about the changes in our life. These conversations often go as follows:   new person: So what brought you to Seattle? Kyle: I got a job at a small biotech start-up. new person: Oh, wow! That’s great. And what do you do? me: I’m self-employed. I’m starting a business teaching graduate students about personal finance. new person: A … Read entire article »

Filed under: career, choices, savings, self-employment

Avoiding an Expensive 401(k) Plan through Self-Employment

Avoiding an Expensive 401(k) Plan through Self-Employment

Kyle finally received the 401(k) plan information from his new employer about 6 weeks after starting work. When he told me the plan offered American funds, my heart sank! The stereotype I have about American funds is that they have loads and high expense ratios. When we looked at the plan documentation, we didn’t find any load disclosures (thankfully), but the expense ratios were approximately an order of magnitude higher than what we have in … Read entire article »

Filed under: retirement, self-employment

Am I a Work-at-Home Wife or a Stay-at-Home Wife?

Am I a Work-at-Home Wife or a Stay-at-Home Wife?

Last week, in a bid to be more organized with my time, I laid out a template for how I would like to spend my time each workday. It uses high-level categories to remind me to work on various aspects of my business each day. This is a switch-over for me from using only to-do lists, as I would allow myself the ‘out’ of working on the more urgent or enjoyable items and never get … Read entire article »

Filed under: self-employment