FCP007 – Freelancing: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Welcome back to the Financial Conversation Podcast!

On this week’s episode, we are discussing how we got started freelancing and tips for people trying to get started.

This is a topic we wanted to cover because it’s tough for people to get their business up and running.

Most of the time, it’s hard work balancing all kinds of different tasks while still managing family responsibilities. Plus, there is an issue with self-doubt that most freelancers have to overcome.

Freelancing is one of the best ways to take control of your career and your salary, but at what cost? Here's an unfiltered look at the life of a freelancer.

Transitioning to being your own boss sounds great, but it plays out differently in practice.

We were thrilled to be joined by our amazing mentor and freelance superstar, Catherine Alford, for this chat.

Cat is a fabulous mother to adorable twins, and with her husband in medical school, she runs a tight ship. She earned six figures in 2015 and was the perfect guest to have on to give a raw, unfiltered look into what it takes to be a successful, full-time freelancer.

In this episode we discuss:

  • 3:00 – Reasons we became freelancers
  • 10:30 – How we manage freelancing and life
  • 24:00 – Our biggest challenges
  • 38:45 – Our biggest successes
  • 45:45 – What we would do different and 1 tip to newcomers
  • 53:15 – What is next for Cat?

Loved what Cat had to say? Check out her site here, her freelance coaching course here, or give her a follow on Twitter!

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4 Budgeting Tips for Date Nights

If love and date nights are on your mind due to Valentine’s Day being right around the corner when it usually isn’t, don’t feel guilty!

Life gets busy and as our schedules fill up with numerous tasks and responsibilities, it can become harder and harder to make time for regular date nights with your partner.

Aside from the time commitment, money can be an obstacle as well. Some people think you need lots of money to go out on a date.

Considering the price of food and drinks to expenses like tickets for events, parking, babysitters and more, it can make having a regular date night seem out of the question when you’re on a budget.

On the contrary, the team at Financial Conversation believes that having regular date nights is a must if you want to maintain a happy and healthy connection and relationship with your partner.

In fact, date nights don’t have to be so expensive either when you plan carefully and get creative.

Here are a few tips to help you improve how you budget for date nights and Valentine’s Day.

Has the fun in your relationship died down a little due to money being tight? These budgeting tips for date nights will help reverse the damage.

1. Split the Costs or Do Free Activities Together

“Yes, dates can be expensive, but what my fiance and I do sometimes is share the cost of the date so the financial burden doesn’t just fall on one person. Since we have separate finances for now and we split the cost of our other expenses anyway, I don’t mind picking up a few snacks if he pays for us to see a movie. It’s easier for both of us to pitch in together to enjoy a nice date.

Another thing I love to do when it comes to planning dates is try out free events and festivals in our neighborhood. If it doesn’t cost anything to attend, we will probably try it out due to our curiosity. We’ve visited museums together, went ice skating, watched fireworks at festivals, and took a kayaking class all for free thanks to simply searching for events online and acting on the ones we were interested in. Going on free outings together is a great way to bond, get outside of the house, and not have to consider money a factor when it comes to dating.”

-Chonce

2. Prepare your Finances for Dates

“You should always try and make room in your budget for fun, including date nights. Talk with your significant other, consult your spending plan, and figure out an amount you’d be okay with spending on date nights for the month. Maybe that amount is $50, or maybe it’s $100. Take that amount and figure out how you can stretch it.

You could go all out one night a month and spend $100 on something really awesome (like a show), or you could divide that $100 up into 5 date nights for $20 each. Go out for a cheap meal, see a movie (matinee or half off days are great), buy picnic materials + wine and go to the park and have lunch – there’s plenty you can do!”

-Erin

3. Factor in the Costs of a New Relationship and Consider Restaurant Coupons and Deals

“Since I’m not in a relationship I think my perspective is different. When I first start dating someone I know it’s going to cost more and date nights will be more often (probably) than for those of you who are already in long-term relationships.

That said, dating doesn’t have to be expensive. I’d love to go on cheap dates by utilizing happy hour deals, going out for late night appetizers (when they are usually 1/2 price), or even using a coupon or Groupon to save money at a restaurant.”

-Kayla

4. Optimize the Time You Have Together Instead of Worrying About Money

“I believe that having regular date nights out with your partner is an important part of having a healthy relationship. Alone time away from kids, work, and responsibilities allows you to give your undivided attention to your significant other. When you don’t get that quiet time together, things can become stressful and overwhelming. I know that we could benefit from more date nights, my husband works long, irregular hours, making it next to impossible to schedule time together with any regularity.

I love Valentine’s Day and enjoy celebrating the holiday, but I’m used to not spending it with my husband because of his irregular work hours. We have learned to enjoy our relationship in the moments that we do get to be together. So even though he may work 12-18 hours on Valentine’s Day, I’ll cherish those 30 minutes I get to spend with him before he leaves for work. It’s not exactly a romantic dinner out, but I’ll take what I can get.”

-Kristi

When it comes to planning and budgeting for dates, always keep in mind what works best for you and your partner in terms of your time limitations and your financial goals.