Week 4 of 80 – Not Impressed With Our Debt – Side Hustles

side hustle

I once read a book called “Side Hustle” by Chris Guillebeau. It didn’t change my life but it did get me thinking about people and their side hustles. In the book, Mr. Guillebeau gives ideas for different kinds of side hustles and how you can turn those ideas into income in 27 days.

Last week I wrote about the second jobs my husband and I have added to our lives and how they are playing an important role in helping us pay off our debt.

Although “Side Hustle” had a ton of ideas to make extra cash I really didn’t find many of the suggestions that practical for me. What I did like about the book is that it talks about generating income from multiple sources which would give me more options. Options are good! When you have only one job there is only one payday. With multiple side jobs you have multiple paydays.

Here are some options that I think are great ways to earn some extra side income AND could be something you really enjoy doing.

Become a Farmers Market Vendor – Two years ago I wrote a blog post about earning extra income selling at local farmers markets. Do you love to bake? Are you an expert crocheter? Do you love to grow herbs or flowers or veggies? Do you have a passion for making your own jams and jellies or perhaps you have always wanted to raise your own angora rabbits and sell the spun yarn!

We were market vendors for 8 years with our bakery and we had a blast. We loved our customers and truly that space we rented for only $100 a season was our storefront. Hands down it was the cheapest and most economical way to start our business. If you would like to read more check out my post by clicking on the link Become a Farmers Market Vendor

Coach a High School Sports Team – If you are athletically talented (which I am not), have patience and love working with kids, consider going for a coaching job at the high school level. In talking with many of my friends who coach high school sports, they not only enjoy the mentoring and teaching but also enjoy the extra cash it gives them at the end of the season. Even at a small school, coaches, depending on the sport, can earn $4000-$5000 a season. A larger school and a more popular sport can earn you considerably more. Each school is different in how they pay but one of my friends said they he could receive the earnings in one lump sum at the end of the season or split it into two paychecks. Either way that could totally pay off a credit card in one season for something you really enjoy doing!

Teach a Class – There are tons of adult and childrens’ classes being held at local libraries, schools, churches and communities centers. Do you have a special talent you think people would be interesting in learning? Painting, drawing, singing, music lessons, a foreign language, baking, cooking, knitting, sewing. Just about anything could be a class. I have even been a guest speaker at the library before and had great fun doing it! Schools will pay you to come in and teach an adult education or continuing education class. Think about it. It might be a great way to earn extra money and hang out with some really great people!

Sell Online – Yes I have my Etsy online store where I sell vintage and antique china but I know of lots of people that sell things like handmade cards, jewelry and artwork, old comic books and vintage clothing in their own store online. Ebay and Etsy are probably the most popular but amazon marketplace is gaining speed as well as just selling through your own blog or website. Check it out and let me know if I can help you with setting anything up. I had a great teacher to help me!

Run for local office – If you are politically minded and want to add your voice to get things moving in your community? Then running for local office might be a great way to help out and earn a small amount of money. Although being a Town Board or Village Board member might not make you rich, it’s still a way to earn money and the hours will work around your full time job. Consider it a possibility!

Food Service – Grocery Stores, restaurants, caterers all need extra help during the holidays and summer months. I once saw a woman working at a local grocery store and I assumed she was the night manager because I always saw her closing up for the night when I would run in for a last minute item before closing time. Then I didn’t see her for a while until one day she came into my store and I asked her why I hadn’t seen her closing the other store at night. She told me she was a full time nurse and she had taken that evening job just to pay off her student loans. Wow right! It took her a couple of years but she successfully paid off her student loans by taking that night job. Even 10 hours a week at minimum wage could give you an extra $100 a week and that’s $5200 a year!

Working at the Voting Booths on Election Day – Did you know that people that work at the election sights earn VERY good money for the day? Some earn more than $200 that day! The hours are long, usually 6 am to 9 pm but you get to see everyone in town and earn a nice paycheck for the day! Ask your county’s election office about possible openings for work. It is worth the long day.

Music GigsI have to list this side hustle because so many of my friends are earning a lot of money playing and singing their hearts out with their own local bands at local venues. Many are collaborating with other musicians and sharing ideas with each other. Local bars, theaters, restaurants and farmers markets around our area are offering local musical entertainment and these musicians are very talented. So if you have this talent and think you might be interested in playing then go for it. It can be a great side hustle with the added benefit of doing something you love.

I have tons of other ideas for side hustles but there are just too many to list! You get the idea though right?

The one common denominator that I have observed among people that are successful with their money is that they have multiple projects and side hustles going on at once. They are not just collecting a paycheck from a 9 to 5 job. They may own a business but plow driveways and own rental property on the side. They may be farmers but have a side business where they own and rent out storage units or warehouse space.

The possibilities are endless. You just have to open your eyes and ears and your mind.

My husband got another side hustle this week. It was totally unexpected but he was asked if he would be interested in being a broadcaster for a local radio station who is putting together a team of people to stream our local Varsity football games. It’s something he loves to do because he already announces all of our local little league games, just now it will be a paid gig too! Win, Win!

This week I will not be making an extra payment to the credit card (Old Navy). The boys are flying to Boise, ID on Saturday to pick up a car and I need to make sure they have enough money. Luckily there are five paydays in August so I will still be on track.

Next week I will give my numbers for the month! Can’t wait to report in. -MM

Week 3-1/2 of 80 – Not Impressed With Our Debt – Buyer’s Remorse

So far this week, even though I made the extra payment to that Old Navy balance, and we are still on track, we failed miserably with not eating at home.

I didn’t grocery shop (even though I work at a grocery store) so when it came to making dinners and having stuff for lunches and breakfasts I failed. Then when we were hungry instead of making something or warming something up, we went through the drive thru. Yuck. It sucks going through the drive-thru. I always feel like crap after going through the drive-thru. Greasy fries and burgers do not make me feel good.

Then another food fail was tonight when we went out to celebrate that the Hubbs got yet another side gig. We ate dinner at a local restaurant and were sorely disappointed by the food and the price was ridiculous for just the two of us.

Now I have to say I am extremely hard to please when I go out to eat. I pretty much regret it every time because I know I can make better food for about a 10th of the price I pay out, but my husband always says I didn’t have to cook it so just enjoy it.

Not tonight. I don’t consider myself old but now I am sounding like an old fart because I just can’t believe what things cost! I get it. I am in retail too. I know everything is going up in price but seriously for $60 I expect something to be at least eye appealing. Six small scallops with a small bowl of white rice that was so over cooked it was mush and a piece of lettuce with an old fashioned spiced apple ring and a sliver of lemon is not worth $25. Soup and salad were also included.

Buyer’s remorse. Sixty dollars is gone out of my wallet when I could have purchased almost a full weeks of groceries for us with that money.

I have 80 weeks of blog posts to write and I was totally going to talk about food at some point in the future but after this incident I need to talk about it much sooner.

This is a problem I know we all have. And I know retailers completely take advantage of us tired, overworked, stressed out moms and dads and strip us of our hard earned cash because we just want someone else to cook for once.

We failed with food this week. We will be better next week. I promise. Carry on. -MM




Week #3 of 80 – Not Impressed With Our Debt -What’s Different This Time?


We have struggled for almost eight years with our debt, so what’s different this time? Why do I think the plan we are using now will successfully eliminate our debt?

While I can’t completely account for all of it, what I can say is that my husband and I have finally set aside the fear of getting second jobs.

Yes, we each have side hustles now. He works about 50 hours a week and so do I. Plus, I have an Etsy Shop where I sell stuff online. More time working, less time spending?

I always told myself that I couldn’t get a second job because I work in food service all day as a professional baker. I could only think of a second job for me as another food service job and I was already exhausted when I got home. I knew a second physical job just wasn’t an option. Plus, how would I juggle home life and take care of us with a full time job and a part time job? I just pushed the idea of a second job out of my mind as impossible.

My husband is a salesman at a welding supply company and his day (at the time) was less physically demanding than mine so when a local pizzeria asked if he was interested in delivering for them he thought about it and said yes. Don’t worry he used his car to deliver pizzas not that bike in the photo above. 🙂

This started the ball rolling for us. The extra money helped of course but it really opened my eyes. While at times it was hard to juggle the extra work hours, it was still workable.

I still wanted to do something on the side myself but what could I do to bring in extra cash? Instead of a traditional part time job, I decided I would try opening an Etsy Shop. Etsy is an on-line marketplace similar to Ebay but it is specifically for selling handmade and vintage items.

I love vintage dishes. I love finding them in shops and yard sales. I love researching them. I love photographing them. I love cataloging them and I love listing and shipping them. I think you get the idea that I love what I do on Etsy! My sales aren’t huge but since opening my shop in November I have sold over 30 listings and even if it gives me $50 a week that’s more than a tank of gas so not bad.

But I am not quite done with our extra jobs. In June, out of the blue, I got a call from a local attorney. Before I was a professional baker I was a legal secretary and I really enjoyed it. This attorney, whom I had never met, called me and offered me a job. I told him I had a full time job already and he said that was ok, he would take any hours I could give him. “But you don’t even know me,” I said. Plus I hadn’t worked in a law office since 2010.

After a quick interview with him the next day he hired me on the spot for whatever hours I could give him. I was totally speechless. What a shock but what a blessing! I have been working and re-learning law and I am having a blast.

So let’s recap: I now have a full time job as a baker and I work part time in a law office. My husband works full time in sales and works part time at a pizzeria. And we have an Etsy shop selling vintage and antique dishes. A little weird but it works.

Oh and I forgot to mention my 16 year old son also has worked with me at the store as a cashier since he was 15 and can pay for his own toys and gadgets and boy does that help our budget lol!

Tomorrow I will make another double payment to that Old Navy card and so far everything else seems to be fine. We even had to get new brakes and front tires for one of the cars and still did not have to charge it.

Having the extra jobs has increased our income exponentially.  So my hope is that this plan will work for us this time. The next 77 weeks will be the test.  -MM

Next post –  Part time job ideas that make sense.

Week 2 of 80 “Not Impressed With Our Debt” – The Rules


Last week I wrote about the Plan for eliminating a big chunk of our debt. This week I want to write about the Rules I have set for us along this journey.

Plowing large amounts of money into your debt each week can get pretty intense and if you don’t have rules set up for yourself you will definitely fail.

When I was coming up with this plan I gave myself these following rules:

(RULE #1) As I am paying off one of the credit cards (right now its the Old Navy) I will pay only the MINIMUM monthly bill on the other two cards. I understand this is traditionally not sound advice and the experts would say pay the card that has the highest interest rate first.

I think that advice is stupid. Why? Because for me it’s all about cash flow. If I can get the lower or no interest rate card paid off first it frees up money quickly that I can put into another debt faster.

(RULE #2) While I am paying off one card I can still use the other cards in very small amounts.

Again not a good idea say the experts.

(RULE #3) If at any time we have an emergency, like the hot water tank goes or the car needs repairs I can take the amount we would have put towards the current debt for the week and use it for that emergency. Now, If I have a REALLY big emergency like something in the thousands I can take that amount for a month and just add that on to the end of my plan. So instead of 80 weeks to pay off my debt it may take me 84 weeks.

Does that make sense?

I know this plan is not fullproof and the experts say to have an emergency fund of six months salary or some other advice but realistically could I even save that much?

Also the experts say to pay more than the minimum each month on your credit card. I have paid more than the minimum for YEARS and it has done nothing for me. I called the credit company on one of my cards one time and asked…”I have been paying $200 over the minimum for over 2 years. Why has my cash advance balance not gone down in that whole two years?” You know what they said to me? “What you pay over your minimum payment is not enough to make up for the interest charged” What?? I don’t even own the car anymore I took the cash advance out for!

So I am done paying more than the minimum for the other two cards. Lets see what happens if I pay a lot on one card and the minimum on the other two.

As far as the emergency aspect of this plan, Let’s just use an easy number like $500. If I pay $500 a week into my Credit Card and an emergency comes up like the hot water tank goes and it costs $1000 to replace it, I would just take the $1000 I would have put into the credit card for the two weeks and pay the hot water tank bill. I wouldn’t charge it on my credit card and I would put the two weeks on to the back of the plan so it would take me two extra weeks to pay my debt. Not so bad, right?

Hopefully emergencies won’t come up very often but your never know.

Lastly I want to address using the other credit cards while I am paying off the one.

I am not talking about going crazy and buying a bunch of clothes and stuff. What I am talking about is while doing this “paying off debt” thing it can get pretty frustrating at times and instead of going on a super duper spending binge and blowing the whole plan, I am talking about blowing off a little steam and maybe taking the family to the movies some afternoon for $50 on the credit card. That’s all.

You have to give yourself some sort of reward every once in a while or you will have a breakdown and then you will give up.

I guess that’s just three rules but they are important ones.

Believe it or not I made my first extra payment to Old Navy last week and after paying the rest of the bills for the week I still had money in the bank account. That’s amazing for us! Today I will make another payment. Can’t wait to see what happens this next week!

Week 3 of 80 I will write about what is different this time around for us and why I think this plan will work. See you next week! -MM


Week 1 of 80 “Not Impressed with our Debt” – The Start and the Plan


Yesterday’s post laid it all out. “I am not impressed with our debt” “This is for the birds”

I said I wanted to tackle about $35,000 in debt in the next 80 weeks. Here is the starting number, give or take.


The plan is pretty simple. We are going to take the majority of my husband’s paycheck and plow it into the debt each week and live off of my paychecks. I’ll talk about what we do for a living in another post. Now keep this in mind, we have, in the past, lived paycheck to paycheck so closely that most weeks even going out to the movies would break us. So what has changed? Again that’s for another post 🙂

Each week I will pay a large amount into just one of our debts. The first debt I am tackling is my Old Navy Card. This isn’t a store card it’s a Mastercard. With 28% interest!

Believe me I have tried for YEARS to get rid of this card and I swear it has never gone down, no matter what I tried to do. I called them to see if they would give me a better rate of interested and they flat out said NOPE. They do not give a lower interest rate, period. So I fixed them! I applied for a credit card through my local credit union and transferred the entire amount to the new card with 0% interest for 12 months. That 12 months is up in November and I want to get it paid off before the interest starts again.

The balance on that is about $6500.

Each month I will give you an update on the individual debt and the whole picture. Each week I will update you on how I am doing keeping the cost of living down for us.

I make my first payment to my “Old” Old Navy today. Wish me luck!

-Next week’s post will be about “The Rules of this Game” -MM


A Journey


I hesitate in writing this post because if I fail, everyone will know it. I feel that I must though, because there has to be more people out there like us that have this problem.


We have been plagued by it for the past 8 years. My husband and I were each going through divorces when we met and then we jumped into opening a bakery together. It was good and then it was bad. We still haven’t recovered from it.

So that’s pretty much the back story. We aren’t people that go on expensive vacations and buy tons of clothes. Most of our debt has just been living expenses. Surviving expenses more like it.

So why am I writing this post now? Because I have come up with a plan. A solid plan I think. It won’t be easy but in the next 80 weeks, that’s about 18 months, I want to pay off about $35,000 in debt which would leave us with just a home equity and a small balance on our mortgage.

A little scary right? Yeah I think so too but we can’t keep letting this rule us. We are young and have some living to do. This debt stuff is for the birds!

I plan on updating once a month on the progress we make in paying down our debt but I will post weekly about the steps we took to get there.

Take a deep breath with me.

The first post will come tomorrow. See you then. -MM

SAL Pretty Spring House #4

That was a fast three weeks! I have been working mostly on the white picket fence and flowers since my last update. I thought these four seasons projects would be quick but there is a lot more to these than I thought.

Here is where I left off three weeks ago:

Here is where I am now:

Lots of filling in left to do plus there is a surprise in the sky that I have yet to start.

It’s been a busy month for us. Just about three weeks ago our daughter and her husband moved to the UK for the US Airforce and it’s been fun watching her explore and get used to her new surroundings! To all of my English buddies, look out for Emili and Phil Schwan for me!

See you in another three weeks. -MM

Please go and visit the other members of our SAL to see what they are up to. Their blogs are linked below.