Why am I here? Why are YOU here?! (I don’t know, but I’m glad you are!) It dawned on me this morning that I just kinda hit “GO” and did not provide any backstory as to WHY I’m blogging in the first place.
So lets rewind.
I’m Angela. I am 33 years old and live in Eastern Washington State. I am married and we have 2 small humans, Madelyn and Jase. Madelyn is 10 and a competitive dancer which means….I AM BROKE! Not only do I not have extra cash, I have credit card debt….quite a bit. I can’t blame that all on dance though, I have had poor money habits for years. And a strong aversion to an 8-5. I KNOW….not wanting to work a regular schedule plus being in debt and paying for extracurricular activities does not make much sense. But I believe it can be done and I am going to try.
When Madelyn was about 3 years old I resented taking her to daycare and going to work everyday. I was going to an 8-5 full time job at a medical office to make money to pay for daycare. Leaving my daughter with others and missing time with her was something I hated. I finally did the math and realized that it was RIDICULOUS. After paying for daycare I was leaving my kid everyday in order to bring home a few hundred dollars. I couldn’t stop thinking to myself that there had to be a better way.
Shortly after, I randomly glanced at my horoscope in the newspaper. I am a Capricorn, although I don’t take those things super seriously I do find it entertaining. It was September 10th, 2010. And it said “You’re going to want to set your own schedule; letting others enjoy that privilege is a sure way to invite complications” I cut it out and I still have it. Even if it wasn’t the stars aligning (or maybe it was) to predict my astrological path to happiness it was 100% right.
And then there was Jase.
Shortly after deciding that I HATED the rat race of a full time career I found out I was pregnant with our second child. I knew immediately that I wasn’t going to continue handing my children over to a care provider in order to go to work to pay for the care provider. IT JUST DOESNT MAKE SENSE! Madelyn wasn’t dancing yet, but I already had credit card debt and knew that I needed that few hundred dollars leftover every month to keep afloat. I started googling and searched every possible path to working at home that my pregnant brain could think of. I started couponing and being more frugal about our money.
Mads was still in daycare full time and I had a few months until delivery so even though I hated the 8-5…I started working MORE. Took any extra shift, I worked front and back office and at other offices within the organization. I was stacking up those paychecks and time towards my “EIT” bank, which is what FMLA and maternity leave fell into. The more money I had coming AFTER Jase was born the longer I could go without figuring out a new plan. It worked! For a little while. I had been with my company for a good handful of years so by the time Jase was here I had about 3 months worth of income in my PTO and EIT banks and since I was now on leave and did not need to pay for daycare it was ALL ours.
This ran out fairly quickly of course and then we just did the best we could. We coupon-ed. Our only vacations were our 4 weekends a year at competition.
But I still was slowly creeping into debt. No major purchases, just your every day things that we really couldn’t afford anymore.
I had to start thinking about going back to work.
There was NO way I was going back to a full time job that made me leave my kids again. I would rather file bankruptcy and be miserable about that than be miserable doing the 8-5 thing while someone else watched my kids grow up. So I started thinking about working from home again. It had been a couple years but I was finding the same scams and microtask things that hadn’t been fruitful the first time around.
One day I was browsing craigslist and found and ad for a work at home answering service agent. I was skeptical but it was legit! I will have more posts about this later, but working for the answering service kept us afloat for 2 years and 3 months until Jase went to kindergarten. As soon as both of my kids were in school and no longer would need daycare I started looking for jobs outside the home again. I found a part time position with a local school district and I absolutely love it. It is completely within the hours my children are in school and I am off all of the same days that they are.
Here’s the rub. Its still not enough to pay for my debts and pay for Madelyn’s dance (and Jase’s future activities, if he ever wants any).
I know a lot of you more responsible people out there are saying the obvious. “Don’t let her dance if you cant afford it”. Y’ALL HAVE NEVER SEEN THIS CHILD DANCE. I’m hesitant to even call her a dancer…she performs. Her technique might not be the best and she isn’t winning any 1st place overall awards but she has showmanship and personality that belongs on Broadway. The way she graces a stage and commands the audience with her eyes…she was BORN to do this. Some people have natural gifts and my child lives to be on stage. I AM NOT TAKING THAT AWAY FROM HER. When she decides she’s done, cool we are done. But I will pay debt the rest of my life if it means she continues to pursue her passion.
SO THAT’S WHY IM HERE!!! (I know it took awhile but I got to it) There are so many different ways to make some extra cash and I’m not going to get any by sitting around doing nothing.
I need side hustles to survive. I have done them occasionally and I always run into the same problem, I don’t complete them. Half done hustles don’t bring you any money. I can take stock photos all day long but it doesn’t do me any good if I don’t submit them. I can throw glitter on a t-shirt but it doesn’t make me any money if I don’t list it. And so on and so forth. I call it the “completion factor” and for some reason I lack it.
My goal with the blog is to force me to complete things. I cant post about things if they aren’t done right? So here you will find a little bit of side hustling, a little bit about dance, a little bit about photography and a lot about everything else! I still don’t know why you’re here, but I’m glad you made it through this post with me 😉