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Big changes afoot

May 17th, 2013 at 07:37 pm

I posted a bit about this on the forums. My wife has decided to leave her job for various reasons and will be done at the end of the month. She works part time, usually 3 days per week, and brings home about $385/month on average. That will put a little kink in the budget but what I'll miss even more is the $500+/month that was going into her 401k between her contribution and the employer match. In her 6 years on the job, she's built up about $40,000 in her 401k account.

I'm striving to replace a chunk of her take home pay by upping my game with the medical surveys that I do. As I've posted many times, I'm not always consistent with responding to the invitations and doing everything that comes my way. With this new motivation, I'm really committed to taking advantage of as many offers as I possibly can. So far this week, I've done 5 surveys that paid a total of $295.

Of course, the supply of surveys isn't consistent or linear at all so I can't expect to earn that much every week, but I figure if I stay on track, I should be able to up my average monthly survey income by about $200 which would cover more than half of her take home pay and some months maybe even more. Time will tell but that's the plan.

The other thing is that she has started sewing and quilting and has already sold several items. We are picking up her new (used) sewing machine tomorrow which will allow her to work much better and more efficiently so that she can really start ramping up what she makes. The goal is to start doing some craft shows, community yard sales, bazaars, etc. and have her bring in some money that way. We don't really have a prediction yet for that business. It will all depend on how involved she gets with hit. She can also start selling items online to broaden her audience.

The thought at the moment is that she'll stay out of work over the summer and probably look for something new once school is back in session - unless the craft business really takes off and is bringing in enough to make that unneccesary.

7 Responses to “Big changes afoot”

  1. snafu Says:

    Due to craft shows and lead times needed to prepare I wonder if you'd allow your wife a year or 18 months to try her crafting and entrepreneurial skills. If you use your money for business purchases it needs to be noted as a loan at current interest rate. DH loaned my business $ 5,000. 'seed money' on Day 1, and all allowable expenses were logged daily along with my hours. Allowable deductions along with the lower business tax rate has potential to make up for reduced income if you take the view that it's what you keep [net] rather than gross. In my case there were reduced expenses as I no longer drove so much reducing operation, maintenance, insurance premium and wear and tear on the car. Working from home reduced personal expenses like refreshing business attire each season, hair, manicures, make-up etc. I really noticed the difference it made not to have to chip in for gifts for colleagues, celebratory lunches for other faculty and so many purely political social obligations.

    I don't know what fits your DW's style but life is too short to not try out opportunities since her income isn't core to household needs.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    Best wishes to all of you making the transition.

  3. disneysteve Says:

    Good thoughts, snafu. Thanks.

    If and when she does go back to a "normal" job, it would still be something part time and flexible, so she'd be able to do that and still do the craft stuff.

    Working didn't really bring much in the way of expenses. She wore her normal clothes, doesn't wear make up, doesn't get manicures, cuts her own hair, etc. And her office was only about 6 miles from home (the fabric store is farther than that).

    Still, we're keeping open options at this point to see what develops.

  4. scfr Says:

    When she is ready to look for work, if she is interested in a work-from-home option, send me a private message for information about my employer. Pretty low pay, but 100% legit company, NOT a sales position (I promise), and good flexibility. Requirements are an up-to-date computer and minimum 4-year college degree.

  5. My English Castle Says:

    It will be nice to have the summer for fun. It's nice to have the freedom to find a better job without financial pressure.

  6. pretty cheap jewelry Says:

    yes, on the home craft business: it is going to be very very consuming for the first 12 months if you are serious about starting a business. My experience: products sell much much more consistently in person vs. online. But do not expect FREQUENT sales. That means she must do festivals and events. The well attended events with good sales are already claimed by vendors, there will be waiting lists. Those events have HIGH fees and commissions, ie $100 plus 20% or so. It takes doing the smaller less expensive events for a year or more to build up a customer base, a network of business contacts, get into the better events, etc.

    TIP: try vending at the farmer market/local art weekend events, school fundraisers, and church/synagogue events. The more she gets into it, the more she will find out about events.

    The tax write off for a home business is fantastically beneficial. If you advertise on the vehicle (use magnet or window clings), mileage is deductible.

    Be aware that home craft sales online need EXCELLENT photos. Do a search on Etsy for similar products to see how they are presented and priced.

    Don't hesitate to ask me for other information, I've been doing it for 7 years.

  7. disneysteve Says:

    Thank you so much pcj. Very good info.

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