Working a Job may be a Financial Trap

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I have an ex-husband who thought the answer to his financial worries was his current job and working his own business on the side. The side businesses started and stopped ten times during the course of his working life.

He even took up one I was successful with when I fell ill. He never followed through because it was just too much for him. ( I admit that getting out of the 9-to-5 rut requires multi-tasking skills)

He read a book which convinced him that you could still end up rich while keeping your 9-to-5. This gave him just another excuse to stay stuck in the job rut, which, gee, ended up phasing him out of the company after he was injured.

I realize that there are some jobs which have added perks. What comes to mind are partners in a law firm and real estate agents. Both bring in extra cash flow based on their annual performances. Realtors also have the side benefit of knowing where the good real estate deals are.

Most jobs are just what my eldest daughter described to me years ago when she was starting her own business and just quit her legal secretary job. She said, "Mom, remember this. The only thing any job is: JUST OVER BROKE."

Most ordinary employees, those not receiving extra perks, simply feel like there will be nothing they can ever do to get out of living paycheck to paycheck. Making this change is hard work, but yes, possible.

The first step to changing this cycle is admitting that punching someone else's time clock does nothing but give you cash flow to barely cover your needs. There is the benefit of an employer's savings plan. Long range, you will get that money and a kick out the door when the time comes. The pushing out the door comes much quicker these days. One hasn't got a clue as to when a takeover or a switch in management might put them in a position of being without a job and looking at that 401k account as the only thing to pay your rent with. I am presuming here that most folks can't cover their bills with their unemployment checks.

The only way not to end up in that position is to plan to maneuver yourself out of depending on your 9-to 5 employer. The first step requires you having more cash in your hands. I know for most it sounds impossible.

I am not going to get complicated here. We are just going to go into two techniques. Oh yes, you also will need a goal for what direction you want to pursue once you free up some cash and start to see a light at the end of the tunnel. If you haven't got a clue as to what else you might want to be doing, then I suggest an old book, with great principles, "What Color is my Parachute?" There is also the chance you want to start your own shop doing the same thing you are doing now. I ended up with my own public relations business quite by accident once upon another lifetime.

First: if you are stuck at this pay-check-to-pay-check routine, you have to find a way to make things ease up. In many cases, one might be wondering how since you are leaving some bills unpaid, because there just simply isn't enough. I understand because I was there for years when I was married.

The first thing you have to do is know where your money is going. Many haven't a clue. If you don't create a budget, even including daily spending money, you are lost before you even get out of the gate. You will find ways to cut down after you see it on paper. Write down your daily expenses.

Then you need to start something on the side. This isn't necessarily going to be your last goal for running your own business, or maybe even investing. If you can't think of anything else, become the area's Avon lady. I tried it just recently and it worked for my immediate needs. This will enable you to file a profit and loss statement every year. This means that you are going to increase your tax refunds. You can also change the tax form which dictates how much the IRS can take every check. For specifics on this, be sure and check with the IRS website or a tax person. This one action alone will increase your tax return to amounts you only dreamed of. Now, this takes keeping great records, but it is necessary. It's also possible to file more than one profit and loss statement. If you are married, have your spouse find something to fit the same bill.

None of this is going to happen overnight. If you start with these simple steps, you are on your way out of the 9-to-5 trap. You will be able to put these returns together to help finance a business. There will be a part two to this.

Laura Bell is Freelance Writer and owner of www.bellbusinessreport.com. The Bell Business Report offers common sense business advice and how-to info for running your business. It takes the everyday headlines apart, dealing with business news, and shows you how to put that information to work for you.

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