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06/03/16 Minimalism , Work # ,

Why My Websites Are Taking Summer Off

Why My Websites Are Taking Summer Off

Summer is a great time to take a vacation. The weather is great and it’s difficult to get motivated to work when there are nice, sunny days outside to enjoy. Taking summer off — meaning the entire summer — isn’t an option for many people.

But taking summer off is something I’m doing with my websites this year. The reason is simple: Fewer readers and fewer advertisers.

I’ve owned this site and two other personal finance sites — Add-Vodka.com and BeforeYouInvest.com — for about a year and a half, and I’ve seen monthly drops during June and July in readership and advertisers.

For those reasons I’m not going to add any content to the sites during those months. I may add a post from time to time if something timely comes up, but for the most part I’m taking summer off as a writer/editor of my sites.

I expect readership will drop during the next two months, but hopefully it will get back up to normal and beyond in August when I return to regular posting.

Taking summer off, mostly

Personally, I’ll still be working this summer as a freelance writer and editor, working for clients that I’m grateful to have. But I’m still planning on taking some time off this summer by getting ahead on my workload each month. Continue reading

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06/01/16 Minimalism , Work # ,

Addition Through Subtraction: Dropping a Side Gig

Addition Through Subtraction: Dropping a Side Gig

Not every aspect of my media empire — as I half-jokingly like to call it — is working to perfection and making money. So, I’m taking a step and dropping a side gig by selling one of my websites.

The site — FamousParenting.com — was outside of my personal finance niche but was in an area I’m passionate about. The site wasn’t making nearly as much money as I thought it would a year ago when I bought it, though reader engagement was high and I put up posts every weekday in an effort to improve it.

I recently sold the site for about a third less than I paid for it, proving that my efforts didn’t work in the year I owned it. I look at it as a lesson learned in working for myself as a freelancer that not every financial move I make is going to work out.

Why I’m dropping a side gig

Dropping a side gig wasn’t my first thought when FamousParenting didn’t work out, but my options were to either increase the amount of work I put into the site or to sell it. I didn’t want to continue doing the same thing with it, which was to spend a few hours a week reading parenting blogs and posting the best of them daily.

As a father, I’m interested in writing about parenting and thought FamousParenting would be a good site to own because its daily goal was to highlight the best parenting blogs. Continue reading

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05/23/16 Travel , Work # ,

Doing Work on Vacation is a Horrible Idea

Doing Work on Vacation is a Horrible Idea

Doing work on vacation can sound like the best of both worlds: You’re relaxing at a beach, for example, while getting some work done on your laptop so that you can afford the vacation you’re on.

It’s also a way to let the boss — if you have one — know that you’re a serious worker who goes above and beyond the call of duty to get work done whenever needed.

If you’re doing some work on vacation you’re not alone. A survey found that 61 percent of people do some work while on vacation. Another survey found that 35 percent of millennials worked every day of their vacation.

As a freelance writer who works for myself, I’ve found other entrepreneurs who take pride in cramming in some work while on vacation. I know a freelancer who is traveling in Europe now with his family while setting aside a few hours each day to work.

There’s always some work to be done, whether you work for yourself or someone else, and time off from work is more time to get work done. Continue reading

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05/09/16 Travel # ,

Westin Gets it Wrong on Vacation Days

Westin Gets it Wrong on Vacation Days

 

I’m a sucker for vacation photos. If a hotel chain puts up a social media post about great spots with a photo of a deserted beach, I’ll likely click on it. My life goal is to be on a perpetual vacation, and this is one way to do it.

Vacation photos and websites for hotels dot my social media accounts, and a sponsored post by Westin Hotels & Resorts in my Facebook feed last week caught my attention for its stupidity:

vacation“You Don’t Need More Vacation Days. You Need More Unforgettable Days.”

Or as Westin’s social media person wrote above a photo of a lush valley somewhere (Hawaii?):

“You don’t need more vacation days, you need better ones.” Continue reading

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04/14/16 Personal Finance # , ,

Financial Lessons I Learned From My Contractor

Financial Lessons I Learned From My Contractor

We’re at the tail end of a bathroom remodel in our home, and like anyone who has had a contractor take over an important part of their home for a few weeks, I’ve learned it’s not something I want to do often.

If you’ve dealt with a contractor or construction crew in your home, then you probably have a horror story to tell. I’m not here to tell you our horror story. Delays and mistakes are common in dealing with anything as big and complex as a house.

As a personal finance freelance writer who almost always considers things from a personal finance perspective, there were some financial lessons that our contractor inadvertently taught us. Among them:

Low prices are low for a reason

I used an app called Thumbtack to find professionals to come to our house and give us a price quote after reviewing the job and our needs. Of four contractors who responded to my request through the app, one didn’t get back to me, one offered an exceeding high price for the size of our small bathroom, one offered a fair price, and one didn’t meet our deadline for submitting a bid.

Which contractor did we pick? The one with the lowest price, though with only one other contractor providing a price, the competition wasn’t fierce. But after contacting references, I was confident he was a good choice.

But then his low price, which didn’t seem alarmingly low and was a fair, started to make some sense. He wasn’t as organized as I expected someone to be who was in charge of multiple things being replaced in a bathroom. A few things weren’t measured correctly. Continue reading

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Welcome
Hi, I'm Aaron Crowe. Welcome to CashSmarter. I'm a personal finance freelance writer who enjoys spending my money wisely and using minimalism to make my money last longer while increasing income.
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