Balancing Work And University

I graduated and received my Finance Masters in Business Administration a little over one year ago. Before that, I was working on my Business degrees in undergraduate school. I did all of this while working full-time and building up my side business (which is now my full-time business as of this week).

Multi-tasking and doing all of this at once was at the very least, difficult. I wouldn’t change a thing, but I do remember being very tired and getting around 4 to 5 hours of sleep on most nights. And then on the weekend I would crash and would sleep for around 12 to 15 hours each weekend day.

Many people would constantly ask me how I managed to do everything, and really the only answer I can think of is that I slept a lot less than everyone else did in college. I still had a lot of fun, but after I fun night I rarely went home and went to sleep. I would either work after hanging out with friends, or go home and sleep for 4 to 5 hours and then wake up early to start working some more.

I would also use every last second of the day the best way I could. I hardly would ever waste 5 minutes, and I made sure to plan everything perfectly. I was like the master of using time efficiently.

Being able to do both allowed for me to graduate very quickly, and I was able to work on my career at the same time. I probably wouldn’t have been able to start my own business at such a young age if I wouldn’t have worked so hard while in college. So, that is something that I definitely do not regret.

Balancing Work And University

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Stay organized with your work to-do list and your school to-do list.

Staying organized was a big lifesaver for me. I kept everything written down (what can I say? I’m old school). If I didn’t write it down, then it was very easy to forget about the task altogether since my to-do list seemed to be miles long.

It was also a relief (and still is) to cross things off my to do list. It helped me stay motivated to know that I am actually completing tasks that need to be done.

Buy a planner or keep notes in your phone. It is so cheap to stay organized either way, so do it! What’s stopping you?

Buy binders if you need to as well. Keep things separated so that you don’t have to waste any time going back and forth and looking for a piece a paper that you think you need.

Take time to relax.

Yes, school and work are very important, but you need time to relax as well. Having all work and no play is not good for most people. So take a break from that juris doctor for one second and have some fun!

Make a schedule for work and school.

Something that really helped me was that I made the best schedule that I could. I have friends who would not think about their school schedule and would go up to school multiple times a day because they didn’t plan their class times.

For example, they would have one class in the morning, then one 5 hours later, and then another one 3 hours after that. I did not do that. I made sure that all of my classes were in a group. I would leave work and go straight to class for a few hours, and then no time was wasted at all.

 

How do you balance your business/work and schooling?

 

A quiet night in: an exercise in frugal saving.

image1As much as any couple, family or group of friends might like going out, it’s never cheap. Whether it’s fine dining or going out to your local bar or restaurant, these are costs that add up all too easily. They may seem cheap once in a while but once you start doing it on a weekly or semi-regular basis, it becomes a larger and larger chunk of your expenses.

In contrast to this, understanding the benefits of a quiet night in can prove useful. More than offering something different and relaxing it can demonstrate a way to stay cheap and cost effective whilst still enjoying the usual perks of life.

Food

If you go out to eat, you should know how much this can cost. Cooking for yourself is usually the cheapest but there are still other options. For instance, if you have the urge for Chinese food, it may be cheaper for everyone to pool money together for chinese takeaways than visit your local restaurant. It’s much cheaper and doesn’t have the added costs of additional drinks and restaurant prices and other service charges that are often forgotten about.

Entertainment

Likewise, if you’re not going out, there is nothing to stop you from being social. Your home can prove entertaining enough with the right company. Cheap entertainment can be anything from a movie rental (if you’re only going to watch it once, don’t buy something you don’t need) to various games, which offer entertainment again and again. These are all cheap, whether you use it once or buy it to use again and again. This is another lesson to be learnt in saving, by understanding the real value of something.

If you come across some movies that you and your friends love, it makes sense to purchase the DVD so you can all watch it whenever you like. Luckily, you can save money by ordering your DVDs online, so you do not have to worry about breaking the bank. To make things more interesting, consider having each person purchase a DVD online and then choosing between your favorites every time you gather.

Additional expenses

Hopefully the two areas above should highlight how easy it is to cut down on those little costs for every social occasion but there are always other areas to look at. Take your appearance, for instance. If you don’t go out to an expensive restaurant you might not need to risk your best shirt or shoes. It can also save on other expenses, such as getting a taxi home late if you’ve been drinking or other travel costs.  So, next time you think you might go out, suggest staying in to the others and see how much can be saved.

How Do You Prepare to Work from Home?

Working from home is a dream for most. Can you really make a live-able income all while working from the comfort of your home? Working from home might seem perfect to some, but there are many things to think about.

What is needed to start working from home.

The tools you’ll need to work from home may vary significantly depending on your chosen services that you decide to offer. For many at-home jobs, the primary prerequisites involve technology. Most importantly, you may need a computer, phone and possibly other devices to stay connected to your clients or customers.

If you need much more than that, make sure to put some thought into your idea before you jump in, as upfront costs for a new business can be steep. Make a schedule so that you know how much time is needed for your side jobs.

 

Related posts: 

Building your Reputation as a Freelancer

Finding Private Health Insurance When You’re Self-Employed

Work From Home Opportunities

Freelancing Options

Advantages of Becoming a Virtual Assistant

 

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Legal and tax implications of working at home.

Before you take the plunge, you’ll also want to address the legal and tax implications of your new venture. There are many things to think about, and you should outline a plan as soon as possible.

For example, even if you are working solo on your project and freelancing services, you may want to incorporate your business, set up a limited liability company, set up a partnership or formally organize yourself in another way. Laws vary from state to state, so consulting an attorney knowledgeable about business entities and their formation could help you figure out the best way for you to operate your business. Costs for setting up your business vary as well, as in some states it might be as low as $50, and in others it might be in the hundreds. This cost shouldn’t prevent you though, as there are many, many positives of setting up your business legally.

In addition, the owners of many small businesses find out the hard way that some cities and states require licenses to operate businesses, no matter how small that they may be. Therefore, you should check with your local officials to find out if you’ll need a business license to proceed as it’s much better to know before you start offering your services or selling your products.

In addition, talking to an accountant or other tax professional to find out how you’ll be taxed is very important. Self-employment tax rates are generally high (you could be paying as much as 40% in taxes altogether!), and you may need to make quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS and your state taxing authority in order to avoid paying penalties and having to make a rather large check to Uncle Sam at the end of the year.

No one wants to find out at the last second that they owe a lot of money and can’t afford their dream of self-employment anymore. If you don’t think about taxes until when they are due, then you will most likely be shocked at how much you are taxed.

Can you actually work at your home?

Furthermore, while many at-home businesses can easily be conducted without any resulting disturbance to others, you should carefully consider whether anything about your business could annoy your neighbors and whether operating the business from your residence could violate any local zoning ordinance, any restrictive covenants governing your neighborhood or the terms of your mortgage.

It would probably not be a good idea if you constantly had people coming in and out of your house, as it can be annoying for parking in your neighborhood and your neighbors most likely will not like to have a lot of strangers in their neighborhood every single day.

A financial plan is needed.

Finally, you need a financial plan for your business or at least a budget. Although operating your business from home could potentially save you thousands in upfront startup costs, you need to carefully examine how much money you’ll need to conduct business before you get started. You don’t want to start a new business without a budget and then find out only months or even weeks later that your self-employment dreams are not possible anymore.

A budget will help you realize where you can spend and where you might want to hold back until funds are found for it.

The amount you’re willing to shell out on the front end for your new business should be determined, at least in part, by the earning potential of your new venture. For example, if you’re going out on a limb with a risky idea and have very few potential clients lined up, consider easing into the project so you minimize your financial exposure.

How would you prepare to work at home?

 

This post was mentioned on Dreams Cash True.

Work Less and Earn More

Some of you may be baffled by this title, but it’s definitely not a typo. It is absolutely possible to work less and earn more. Let me give you a hint though, this probably won’t work too well if you try these methods at your full time job.

If you suddenly only show up to work for a half a day on Monday and then don’t show up for the rest of the week, chances are that your boss is going to can you, no matter how much work you did in those four hours.

 

Own Your Own Business

Since you really can’t work less and earn more at your full time job, then where can you do it? You guessed it, you’re going to have to work for yourself to make this happen. But, don’t zone out on me yet. There’s more to it than just that.

Some business owners decide that they don’t want to employ people because it would be a waste of money. Instead, they spend 14 or 15 hours in their store every day to save the money of having an employee. At first glance it makes sense. After all, if you had to hire an employee to work eight hours a day for 20 days out of the month, then you’re going to have to shell out $1,600 when you could have (in theory) gotten that work done yourself.

There is one factor missing from this way of thinking though. There is an opportunity cost to working all of those hours yourself. Think about it. If you didn’t work every single hour on your business, you could brainstorm more, improve the operations of the business, and maybe even start another business with your time! This method could be repeated over and over and suddenly you’re the owner of 10 profitable businesses and not just one.

By developing a system for your business that anyone can learn, you’re able to take yourself out of the equation and earn money while you’re away! This is the ultimate goal of your business and after some time, you’ll be able to work less and actually earn more!

 

Related posts: 

Building your Reputation as a Freelancer

Finding Private Health Insurance When You’re Self-Employed

Work From Home Opportunities

Freelancing Options

Advantages of Becoming a Virtual Assistant

 

Take the Low-Risk Approach

I’m fairly risk-averse and would never recommend that someone should quit their job to pursue a business. I do like to see people start their own business though. They can get it going by working evenings and on the weekends. If the business continues to grow and has profits that are even greater than your full time job, then maybe it’s time to throw in the towel for the 8-5 job and take your business to the next level.

Of course this option is still risky since you gave up your full-time salary, but by taking the approach of working extra hours in the evenings and weekends, you now have a feel for your business and know whether or not there’s a market for what you’re selling. This is the ultimate low-risk approach, but can have a tremendous upside! And, with a well-defined system, it could lead you to work less and earn more than you ever thought possible!

 

 What about you?

 

To Everything, Turn, Turn, Turn: Balancing Work and Life

If you’re a mom or a dad and you work, or run your business, you’ll know that time is of the essence just to get your mandatory duties done every day. In this day and age where everything has to be bigger, better and faster we tend to forget the importance of ‘downtime’ as we embark on our journeys of discovery and happiness.And, to throw another cliché at you, you’ll probably need to be reminded that it’s the journey and not the destination that counts in your search for happiness and prosperity.

Here are some real reasons you need to level the scales in your life and start to prioritize, aside from the fact that you only get one chance at life, well at least in this lifetime. You better make it worth it.

Stress Kills

Work Life BalanceYou’ve heard it countless times before but you’ve got so much going on in your head and home that it doesn’t actually penetrate. Sorry, no euphemisms when it comes to the serious stuff, so here are some scary facts that might just shock you into action:

Stress can elevate your blood pressure to the extent that you’ll put yourself at risk of heart disease, strokes and heightened cholesterol.

Stress Can Make You Sick

Believe it or not, your body responds to stress on a biological level. On a primal level our bodies are equipped to deal with stress, be it acute or chronic, in the ‘fight or flight’ response. That means your entire system mobilizes and gets ready to deal with stress by either running away from it or sticking around and fighting it face-to-face. Either way you’re going to need a lot of energy so your body releases a hormone called cortisol to help it cope. [Read more…]