What do you do when your situation forces you to take up a side income job? What if you don’t have the time to plan it like you wanted or have the means to dream big? This is where we found ourselves at for the last few weeks…
See, the doctors call it uncontrolled, brittle, difficult, unpredictable, confusing and they feel sorry for me because I am trying so hard. I tell my husband it is tiring, exhausting, makes me feel lost, depressed and exhausted, it seems like a full time job. You can call it Type 1 Diabetes with super high risk pregnancy. The pregnancy has gone pretty well, up until 3 weeks ago. Now, at 7 months pregnant, I have had 2 hospital visits in the last 3 weeks, daily struggles to control my diabetes and am now only able to work about 2 days a week, if that much! And it is all due to having a chronic disease that doesn’t play by the rules.
Yes, we have done side incomes and hustling as a choice, this is the first time it feels forced on us. And it has taken me over a month to come to the realization that I can’t work full time anymore. Here is what I had to do realign myself and start making my side hustle work for my health and our income needs…
This is the hardest and most important step. This is where I have been stuck for a while – I don’t want to admit that my health is struggling. My husband has listened to my tears for weeks, held me in the hospital, talked me out of over trying, tried to be supportive, has taken care of me over and over, but today, he finally said, “It’s time to stop fighting against what your reality is right now and fight for what you can do.” His response to me glaring was a kiss. But, really he is right and I needed to accept and make a plan.
I had to write down my current abilities, daily/weekly patterns and what I need to do to take care of me and our baby. It was/is HARD! But it is very important and made a huge difference once I could accept where I am.
After weeks of grieving and fighting it, I finally allowed myself to understand that I can’t work full time, my brain is struggling between the lows and the highs. For side hustles – no driving/courier work (can’t drive with low blood sugar) nothing that requires a set schedule like sub teaching/online tutoring (not sure when I will need to take time off), nothing that requires walking/lifting/movement (due to both low blood sugars AND being 7 months prego). After looking at the options, we think we have finally narrowed it down to a few doable options.
Make A PLAN.
First priority – I need to take care of my health, but I also need a plan in case I can’t work a 9-5 everyday or even a few times a week. Why is this important? Routines are important for motivation, but also because it stops the slodge of emotions, depression, and exhaustion. It prevents me from being a victim or resigning myself that my health makes me useless or that I can’t do anything.
Here is my plan:
- I do what it takes to take care of my health and my baby.
- I promised myself today that I will get up, get dressed, do my makeup, make the bed, eat breakfast and do meditation/prayer before 10am.
- I will do at least 1 chore a day to keep my house clean and me from going insane.
- I will go for a walk if possible.
- I will work my 9-5 if I am okay, or I will do freelancing work as I have the strength.
- I will be joyful.
START With The Budget.
I go back to this quite a bit, don’t I? But the budget was the reason I felt so guilty about quitting my job or working less hours. The money is the reason that I have struggled to accept where I am. And being able to plan what is expected is incredibly important for side hustlers, because you need to know how much you have to work to make the needed income. So, re-planning the budget was necessary.
Here is what I thought about as I tried to figure out how to make the budget work –
- I wrote down all minimal bills and savings amount.
- I wrote down what we ACTUALLY spend (not how much I want us to spend) weekly on groceries, gas, pet food ect.
- I categorized the income by stable income and unstable income (more on that to come).
- I worked backwards – we know what we need weekly/monthly, what is the best method to optimize our time/income to make that happen? What can I expect myself to do? And what is a good plan for my husband to be able to make up the rest of the needed income?
- I looked at ways to cut out expenses, such as less eating out or going to the movies.
Determine Your STABLE Income.
Stress is caused by the unpredictable. UNpredictable means more stress spending and less focus, which can lead to a lower income.
- I am pretty sure I can work my 9-5 2 days a week, so that is a predictable pay.
- My husband works as a CNA, same hours every week, so that is predictable pay.
- He is a Lyft/Veyo driver, has been for 4 years and this is his main side hustle. We know he can optimize his time and can get an almost predictable pay if he works certain times. We are counting this as a stable option too.
- I have also decided that part of my stable unpayed work will be to focus on the household chores, since I will have more free time AT HOME than hubby.
Unpredictable Income (AKA – side incomes!) is ‘EXTRA MONEY.’
The biggest issue is that until you build up a routine or clientele, the side incomes can be unpredictable, which is what makes it so hard to start them. I am going to blunt with you here – you can predict what you want to make at a side income job, but it doesn’t always work out that way. It starts out small and can grow as you get used to it, but you can’t predict that income until you have gotten to know the business and the results (we didn’t count hubby’s driving as stable income until we had seen the pattern for over 2 years). So, while we are getting our new side incomes up and running, it will be ‘extra money.’
Get A Goal PARTNER.
My husband has called me 3 times today to check on my my health and how my ‘to do list for working from home’ is going. Get a partner, like hubby dear, who will make sure you are prioritizing your health or situation, that you are staying on task and that you are reaching for your potential. But also make sure it is someone who won’t accept your excuses, your what-ifs, your laziness or your fears. Getting started is always the hardest, but an amazing goal-partner will make it doable. They will help you be able to just put one foot in front of the other….
Here’s the truth – sometimes being forced into a change WILL bring us to where we want to go all along, but we have to allow the circumstance to change us into what we wanted. If the forced change never makes us determined and mad, we won’t accept the changes that could be our new life. If side hustles stay as a hobby, we will never get to the full potential we dreamed of.
And, so that being said – After, I deal with another low blood sugar, I am off to set up a profile for copy-writing and to start sending out proposals to companies who need copywriters. I am also needing to take an online class to get certified in Quickbooks and to become an IRS certified tax prepper… and I need to do that BEFORE hubby calls again and asks if I blogged first or if I was brave and started my ‘work from home to-do list.’ If he asks – I was taking my certificate classes this WHOLE TIME!
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Ps – Needing more resources? Check out these other budgeting blogs I wrote –