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Minimalism

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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07/16/15 Children , Minimalism # , ,

The Cost of Outgrowing Birthday Parties

The Cost of Outgrowing Birthday Parties

Every parent knows the financial hazards of planning a birthday party for their child. Planning birthday parties is an industry among many that pull parents into a major expense that they otherwise might not be part of — at least not voluntarily.

If you’ve escaped the high cost of birthday parties for your own child, chances are you’ve seen it at birthday parties you’ve taken your kid to for their friends.

You know the ones. Whether’s Chuck E Cheese and the chaos that happens when screaming children are pared with soda, lousy pizza and game tokens, or another manufactured playdate at a facility that will set up, put on and clean up after, these birthday parties can easily run a few hundred dollars. Continue reading

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01/22/15 Minimalism , Sharing Economy #

Favorite Parts of Sharing Economy Worth Trying

Favorite Parts of Sharing Economy Worth Trying

The term “sharing economy” has always kind of flummoxed me, in that many of the services within it aren’t really sharing in the traditional sense of the word. To me, sharing is something you do for free. It’s not charging someone to use your car, bike or rake, but is something normally done with friends.

What the Internet did with sharing was to actually turn it into an economy where strangers could exchange a service for a fee, without having to deal with a large company between them to do the transaction.

But there is still a company between consumers and the services they want online, though maybe not as big as brick-and-mortar companies. If you want to sleep in my extra bedroom for a night, or have me watch your dog for a few days, we can do that with a middleman taking a cut. Continue reading

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01/20/15 Minimalism , Personal Finance # ,

Being a Pack Rat is Expensive

Being a Pack Rat is Expensive

If you’ve got a few closets, chances are they’re overfilled with things you rarely, if ever, use. You may not consider yourself a pack rat, but those full closets and garage, bulging cupboards and piles of things in every room are costing you money.

Here are a few ways that being a pack rat is more expensive than you might think:

Paying for storage

Even if your home is relatively cleared of excess belongings, if you’re paying a storage company to keep it, you’re paying for stuff that you probably won’t use again so you can keep your house clean.

A non-climate controlled self storage unit costs $1.12 per square foot, according to the Self Storage Association.  A 10-foot by 10-foot unit in the U.S. costs $115 per month for non-climate controlled, and $146 per month if climate controlled. Continue reading

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01/05/15 Minimalism , Personal Finance # ,

Saving Cash With a Dinner Plan

Saving Cash With a Dinner Plan

One of the biggest pulls on my time as a stay-at-home dad is cooking dinner. It includes weekly meal planning, grocery store shopping, farmer’s market shopping, and of course, cooking. Throw in the last-minute rush to the store because I forgot an ingredient, and I’ve spent a few hours a day working on dinner and a dinner plan.

My wife and I enjoy cooking, so that isn’t usually the problem. What becomes a problem, as I’ve come to realize over the years, is that a meal can get expensive if I don’t think ahead and plan it. Without it, we either go out to dinner or I go to the grocery store and buy things I shouldn’t buy. Or at the very least, I’m buying food that I could’ve bought cheaper in bulk at Costco if I had thought ahead.

My dinner plan solution

Two years ago, I found myself running out of ideas of what to cook for dinner, despite having about 100 cookbooks in our home. I was overwhelmed by recipe choices and trying to come up with meals that everyone really enjoyed. I was cooking the same meals again and again. Continue reading

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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.