Investing in 2014: To Be or Not To Be?

stock investingI’ve spent a lot of time thinking about 2014 and my financial goals for the year. To be completely honest, working as a self-employed individual (with two jobs) is really not easy. I do have some debt – much of it medical and part of it from a few marketing risks I’ve taken. Life when your income is inconsistent isn’t necessarily easy.

In looking at my financial goals, I did end up making a list of a few things I want to accomplish in 2014. The list is rather ambitious, but it gives me things to work towards. I’m not too ashamed to share the goals, so here they are:

  • Tackle tax obligations (I am currently on a payment plan)
  • Pay off all medical debt (might be the easiest thing I do)
  • Pay off at least 50% of other debts (there is some credit card debt, also in part due to medical debt; and partially from marketing)
  • Find finds to purchase a newer used vehicle (our used car is not as safe as it could be, and likely on its last legs)
  • Immediately begin saving funds for a new computer (mine shows serious signs of death in the hopefully distant future, but I need it to work from home)

These aren’t necessarily listed in order of importance, but I want to point something out. I did not, anywhere in my list of financial goals, prioritize saving for retirement or investing. [Read more…]

5 Critical Personal Finance Tips for Freelancers

A calculator, pen, and financial statement.As a self-employed freelancer, there are quite a few things I wish I knew about personal finance before I got started. You’d think it’s as simple as money coming in and money going out, but it’s not. You have a lot to worry about in terms of business overhead, fees, taxes, and retirement planning. Overlook one step and you could find yourself in a world of trouble – or, at least, really nervous about your future.

Talk about Taxes

Do some research or find someone you can talk to about taxes. Those who are self-employed have to pay both regular income tax and self-employment taxes. Hardly seems fair, right? If you’re selling a tangible product, you also have to worry about filing quarterly sales tax reports. Delays in any of these can end up costing you quite a bit in fees and penalties. Talk to an accountant or financial adviser to make sure you’re saving what you need. [Read more…]