Why Everyone Should Have a Side Hustle, Even If You’re Employed Full-Time

If you pay any attention to the world of personal finance, you know that the phrase “side hustle” is thrown around like a glorified weapon against debt and low savings. The question is, are side hustles really worth the extra effort? Are they for everyone, or just those struggling with money?

Although walking dogs on the weekend or starting a small freelance gig isn’t going to pay all of your bills, working on an additional source of income is a smart idea no matter how old or financially-stable you may be. Here’s why.

A Side Hustle Makes for a Great Backup Plan

Regardless of your career field, you’ll hit bumps in the road eventually. Economic recessions, company changes, or even societal trends can all impact your stability at your current job. Because you never want to leave a position without some sort of backup plan to help cover expenses, side hustles can help you transition between jobs with minimal worry.

Whether you’re already looking for your next job or you’re secure at your current place of employment, you’ll feel much safer knowing you have some way to bring in an income if you were to suddenly find yourself unemployed. Even if your side hustle just brings in a couple hundred dollars a month, it’ll still give you some peace of mind.

You’ll End up Networking With Minimal Effort

When you’ve been at one company or position for a long period of time, networking often falls on the backburner. That’s a personal finance no-no. You should always work on fostering new relationships with valuable people. After all, it’s not what you know but who you know that will help you succeed. 

It doesn’t matter what your side job is; as long as it involves working with other people in some capacity (even online), you’ll expand your network. For all you know, one of the people you meet from your side hustle could have a lasting impact on your career in the future.

Extra Gigs Come With Flexibility

Everyone encounters an unexpected expense at some point; medical bills, car accidents, house repairs, etc. You can’t always budget for the future. For instance, I went to the dentist last year and found out I need to have a whopping $1,000 worth of work done on my teeth. Of course, that expense was coming out of pocket, and I hadn’t planned for it.

Because I had a side hustle, I was able to come up with an extra $600 almost immediately. By the time my credit card bill came in next month, I had completely made up for the expense with my side job alone, which meant I didn’t have to dip into my savings.

New Skills Are Never a Bad Investment

Even if you barely make a dime from your side gig, obtaining new skills and knowledge is never a waste of time, especially if those things can translate into your full-time career. If you speak multiple languages, become a translator on the side to boost your fluency. Are you a teacher? Take up some hours at the local tutoring center so you can expand your knowledge of teaching techniques. Not only will you learn, but you’ll bring in money while you do it.

Working on a side hustle isn’t just a move for people living paycheck to paycheck. In fact, it’s one of the most financially savvy moves you can make, especially if you work in a field that fluctuates regularly. Start working on your extra income sources today. You’ll thank yourself later.

9 Times When Hiring an Attorney Makes Sense

Sometimes hiring an attorney isn’t warranted. For example, if you get a speeding ticket, you don’t likely need a lawyer. But when there’s a situation involving a legal dispute or a deal that needs to be made — complicated divorce, unfair job loss or a charge for driving while intoxicated — hiring an attorney for your legal defense can make perfect sense.

If you are unsure if you need to hire an attorney or whether you want to hire a particular attorney, many will offer a free consultation. Being able to communicate with a legal expert without worrying about having to come up with money is a plus. During the consultation, you can find out what type of case the attorney thinks you have and what the outcome might be. Here are 10 times when hiring an attorney makes sense.

1. You’re Confused About the Law

In certain legal situations, it’s important to have an experienced attorney representing you or you could experience legal pitfalls. “Even seemingly simple charges— assault or drug possession— can involve complex questions of constitutional rights,” according to the Matthew Hand law office. The more complex the issue you are dealing with, the more important it is to consider hiring an attorney who specializes in that issue, such as criminal defense or tax law attorney.

2. Other Parties Involved Have Retained Legal Representation

If the other parties you are involved with have legal representation, not having your own attorney can put you at a definite disadvantage. It will mean that you will have to represent yourself against an experienced attorney, which can mean that you may end up with a less-than-favorable outcome.

3. The Evidence or Testimony Needs to be Challenged

When you don’t have the benefit of legal education and training, there are certain aspects of your case, including evidence and testimony that you may not know to be aware of. An attorney is well-versed in the ins-and-outs of legal cases and will pick up on things that the average person might not.

4. You Need Advice About Your Options

When a legal case is complex, you will not only need advice from a practiced attorney to help you know how to plead in some cases, but an experienced lawyer can also help make the right choices during the actual legal proceedings.

5. A Plea Bargain or Settlement May Be the Best Route

An attorney with enough experience under his belt has either worked on a case with similar circumstances to the one you’re involved in or can make an educated guess about how it might turn out if it goes to trial. The attorney can advise you about things such as whether you might want to take a plea bargain or even settle and help with the negotiations if applicable.

6. Legal Contracts are Involved

Contracts stuffed with legal jargon can confuse anyone who is not used to reading that type of language. If you don’t comprehend some of the language, you won’t be able to make sense of the contract. An attorney is used to reading and interpreting contracts and can spot details that are cause for a second look.

7. Your Finances or Freedom are at Risk

If you are involved in a legal case that could have outcomes that would compromise your finances or your freedom, hiring an attorney is a very smart move. Do you want to end up spending time in prison or losing a substantial amount of money because you decided not to hire experienced legal representation?

8. Documents Have to be Filled Out and Filed

If you aren’t used to filling out legal documents, it can be a challenge to fill them out. Plus, they will likely have to be filled out by a deadline. If the documents are not filled out correctly or they aren’t filed on time, then it could cause issues with the outcome of your case.

9. You Need Experts or Witnesses to Help Win Your Case

If your case happens to go to trial, you may need the benefit of industry experts testifying on your behalf. That would mean you would have to research to find a suitable expert. Attorneys are in the unique position of having connections to these type of experts and can contact them for their help. Attorneys are also experienced in identifying witnesses that can help strengthen your case and obtaining their testimony — whether through the witness’ cooperation or by petitioning the court to issue a subpoena.

Roth or Traditional IRAs: Which One Should You Choose?

First things first: kudos to you for looking into a long-term savings account. You’ve made the initial step toward growing your net worth and saving for retirement. The question is, which kind of IRA is best for you: Roth or Traditional? If you’re like most Americans, you hardly know the difference between the two.

The answer truly depends on your current circumstances. Both kinds of IRA accounts have their pros and cons, so you’ll need to evaluate your situation and determine which is the best fit. Here are a few ways to do that.

Think About Your Current Tax Bracket

The biggest difference between Traditional and Roth IRAs is the tax break. When you put money away into a Traditional IRA, your contributions are tax-deductible today. That means you’ll have more money in your pocket right now simply by saving for retirement. However, you will pay taxes on that money once you withdraw it upon retirement.

With Roth IRAs, the money is taxed upfront, which can be a bummer. The nice thing is that you won’t pay taxes when you withdraw the money after you’re retired. You’re basically biting the bullet while you’re young.

Although you might be tempted to go for the Traditional IRA’s tax deductions right now, consider this: are you going to be in a higher tax bracket now or when you’re 65? Chances are, your tax bracket is lower now, so you’re technically saving money in the grand scheme of things by paying your taxes ahead of time with a Roth IRA.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that a Roth IRA is the smarter choice. It truly depends on your current situation, including your tax bracket now and later.

Consider Your Income

How much money you earn yearly can influence your decision. As long as you’re younger than 70.5 years old, you can contribute to a Traditional IRA, no matter how much money you earn (with or without a partner). Roth IRAs, on the other hand, cap the income-eligibility restrictions at $137,000 per person. If you make more than that individually, you’ll need to look into other options.

Look at the Contribution Withdrawal Penalties

Sometimes, life forces you to reach into your hard-earned savings earlier than you planned. If you need to take money out of your Roth IRA (up to $10,000), you won’t be charged any additional penalties or taxes, even if you’re under the age of 59. With a Traditional IRA, you’ll be charged a 10 percent penalty fee for the first $10,000 you withdraw before 59. You can technically work around this penalty with certain situations, such as disability, buying a home, or medical expenses. Still, you’ll pay taxes upon distribution.

Do You Plan to Keep Saving After You Retire?

Let’s say you want to pass money onto your future heirs, or perhaps you have another source of income you’ll use to fund your retirement. In that case, a Roth IRA might be the smart way to go. You can contribute money to the account up until you die. With a Traditional IRA, you can only contribute money until you’re 70.5.

In Conclusion

Putting money into any kind of IRA is a smart move for your future. Deciding between Traditional and Roth is more circumstantial. Would you rather pay your taxes now or later? Are you planning on withdrawing the money before you’re 59? Will you move into a new tax bracket?

There isn’t a right or wrong answer to any of these questions. They’re all just factors to consider before opening a new account.

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