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Suffering from Burnout? The Signs and Ways to Recover

Have you ever worried you were suffering from burnout? It's a REAL thing and knowing the signs of burnout is one of the most important steps for keeping your mental health and physical health from deteriorating. I'm pinning this to remind myself!

A person can be their own largest liability.  Ever work yourself into a tizzy?  Been too exhausted to do your best?  Think you’re ready to quit even though it’s the best job you’ve ever had? Could you simply be burned out? Burnout is a HUGE differentiating factor between success and failure in many fields, especially pet sitting.  I’m starting to understand the full ramifications from my own experiences, stories from other pet sitters, and from attending the 2016 Petsittingology Conference. Signs of Professional Burnout These are a combination of signs I’ve either noticed or found at the Mayo Clinic online: You become more cynical and pessimistic than usual. You start dreading calls and texts offering you new business instead of being excited. It’s hard to want to go to a job and/or it’s hard to start when you’re there. You start spending less time at each job or task. You start to justify a worse work ethic. You start eating and/or drinking more to cope. Your sleeping or eating habits are changing for the worse. You are developing unexplained aches and pains. Luckily, even if you are suffering from burnout, there are ways of bouncing back. Ways to Recover from … Read more…

How I Created a $30,000 Per Year Pet Sitting Business for Less Than $600

It is hard to believe that you can start such a successful business for such a small investment. This is an amazing way to make money at home and be a work at home mom. Plus, you can do this as a side hustle, in addition to a regular job! Repin this, it's an excellent business idea.

When I first started Crystal’s Cozy Care Pet Sitting at the end of February 2014, I was aiming to just earn extra spending money on the side – like a few hundred a month.  I ended up making $750 in March 2014 and it’s just gone up from there.  It’s now grown into a full $30,000+ per year business! How? Because I’m awesome.  😉  But seriously, it’s because I treated it like a “real” business and not just a hobby.  I also kept costs down to a minimum for the maximum gain. My Business Basics Here are the basics for Crystal’s Cozy Care Pet Sitting: Pet Sitting Insurance – $400 per year Website Hosting (I already had unlimited hosting through Bluehost) – $70 a year Website Domain Name (included free in a new Bluehost package) – $15 a year Business cards (use my referral links to automatically get a discounted rate) – $23 for 1000 cards Advertising on Craigslist – $0 Advertising on Nextdoor.com – $0 Advertising via Car Signs (magnetic) – $25 for two Advertising via Yelp – $0 Advertising in my neighborhood’s newsletter – $50 per newsletter (wasted) Advertising via Tshirts – $2 (received two nearly free tshirts in exchange for reviewing … Read more…

Personal Finance Tips for Young Professionals Just Joining the Workforce

Dan Raiford is a Finance and Economics double major at Baylor University. He is a freelance personal finance writer and is planning to start his own blog soon. If you are getting ready to enter the workforce, there are some personal finance tips that can help prepare you for your future. While you may think that you are young and you do not need to save money, you are wrong. It is vital to your financial health that you start to save money early on and practice money managing, so that you will succeed in the future. Below, I will go over some personal finance tips for any and all young professionals who are entering into the workforce. Budget Your Money It doesn’t sound fun, does it? I don’t think so either, but it is something that must be done. You should sit down and create a budget for yourself and learn how to manage your money better. When you sit down to create your budget, start with your necessities first. When I mention necessities, I am talking about things such as your rent or mortgage, utility expenses, and food. Once you have all of your necessities out of the … Read more…

Budgeting in Self-Employment

The ups and downs of income when you're self employed are so hard to navigate. Here's a solid approach to budgeting in self employment and striking out on your own with a plan in place. I'm glad I'm not alone!

I thought it would be fun to update this post exactly 5 years after I originally wrote it…let’s see what’s changed… Yes, even though blogging was/is officially paying me more than my day job ever did, I budget in self-employment.  Specifically, I really dislike the idea of irregular paychecks and we strive to make it less stressful. My Paycheck Plan 5 Years Ago I had been building up a blogging income account at ING (now CapitalOne 360).  My hope was to get it to $10,000 by the time I quit my day job so I’d have more than enough padding on months that I don’t bring in enough.  I made it to $9200 as of July 15, 2011 and I took it right over the $10,000 mark with the last paycheck I received after giving my 2 weeks’ notice. I was planning on paying myself a biweekly paycheck directly from this accout so we would never experience a budget crunch at all.  In order for this plan to have worked, I decided to pay myself $1500 every two weeks. How It Has Worked for the Last 5 Years I’m going to pat myself on the back.  This plan has been slightly adjusted as our income fluctuated over the … Read more…

You Don’t Have to Settle – True Financial Empowerment

The following blog post is part of The Road to Financial Wellness blog tour. The Road to Financial Wellness is a three-month, grassroots campaign promoting financial empowerment on a national level and encourages people to pursue their dream lifestyle. Find out more about local events near you. I’ve always been a personal finance geek. I created my first college budget in crayon while at a playground at age 7. It included groceries like hotdogs, canned tuna, and macaroni and cheese. It also had rent for an apartment listed at $100. Obviously, I had not done much research on rental rates… That said, financial empowerment for me wasn’t learning to manage money. Financial empowerment for me was realizing that I didn’t have to settle on a crappy job. I had to teach myself that I had the power to choose a happier path. My First “Real” Job My first “real” job started about 3 weeks after I graduated from college. I accepted an offer of $26,500 to be a small-time cubicle monkey for a car dealership software company. My husband and I lived well off of what he made as a teacher ($42,000 a year before taxes in 2006) and used … Read more…

The Key to Entrepreneurship – Complementary Businesses

I’d love to say I’m a genius that knew pet sitting would complement my online business really well, but I just got lucky. The Hot Months With blogging and online ad sales, the hot months are usually December and February-April.  The rest of the year has good and bad months but those are the best.  With pet sitting, May-August and November have been my OMG months. That means that most of my year is covered pretty well by one of my businesses even if the other one is slow.  But do you notice the missing months? The Slow Months January, September, and October are generally slow months.  Not a lot of online ad sales (though January is generally decent) and pet sitting is slow because those are not traveling months.  How do we get by during the slow months?  Those are the ones we base our budget on so that we can afford our lifestyle during any month.  We also have emergency savings and an account with income padding from good months. Complementary Businesses For the Win If pet sitting and my online world were both amazingly busy during the same months, I wouldn’t be able to keep up with … Read more…

The Other Side of the Equation – Increasing Your Income

The following is from my occasional staff writer, friend, and huge blog supporter, SherryH.  She lives near the coast of North Carolina. Her family consists of her husband, their two adult sons, and the requisite writer’s cats. In 2013, she survived a brain tumor that destroyed her eyesight, but she’s determined not to let that slow her down. She recently started blogging at http://www.blindnotinvisible.wordpress.com/. I’ve always been a frugalista. As a kid, I loved accumulating change in my piggy bank and counting it out on my bedspread. If I was saving up for something, like a new game cartridge for our Atari 2600, I wasn’t about to be distracted by candy bars or shiny baubles.  As an adult, I discovered Amy Daczcyn’s Tightwad Gazette books and spent hours combing the pages for tips and tricks. Though I spent a lot of years as an at-home wife and mom, my ability to cut costs and live on less helped our family weather some pretty rough times – and retire a considerable amount of debt.  I’m proud of my ability to pinch pennies, and (I think) rightfully so. But over the past few months I’ve come to a realization. It’s something I’ve probably known all … Read more…