57. Latasha Peterson | How To Make More Money with Side Hustles to Pay Off Your Student Loans
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Daphné Vanessa

Shamil Rodriguez

 

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About This Episode

Latasha Peterson, founder of Arts and Budgets (@artsandbudgets), joins the Student Loan podcast to share how she paid off $25k in debt in a year through side hustles and how you can too! 

Latasha Peterson is a wife, mom of three, side hustle coach, speaker, and the founder of the blog Arts and Budgets. Because of her love for helping individuals find ways to build wealth and create multiple income streams, she created Arts and Budgets to help individuals find the best and most profitable side hustles for them.

Her blog currently gets over 100,000 monthly visitors each month and has over 50,000 followers on social media. From her blog side hustle, she has created ten income streams and earns over $8,000 per month. She has been featured on Business Insider, Black Enterprise, CNBC, GROW+ Acorn, Bankrate, Tailwind, LegalZoom, QuickBooks, Mediavine, Plutus Foundation, and more.

If you ever wanted to make extra money on the side to help you pay your student loans then this episode for is you!

THIS EPISODE COVERS:

  • How to find a side hustle that matches your skills;
  • Planning for using your side hustle money to pay your student loans; 
  • Setting aside money from your side hustle for taxes;
  • Starting a side hustle with little to no money;
  • How to win a free copy of Latasha’s e-book on 100+ side hustles to help you make more money; and
  • much, much more…

CONNECT WITH LATASHA

Enjoying the show? Leave us a rating and review. Every comment helps! Drop in your IG handle so we can thank you personally!

Latasha Peterson (00:00): Stuff can open up and you can't pay off the debt. You do not have to be bound to debt your whole life for somebody with the head, like a six figure debt. You know, I'm looking at it now, like, okay, I am totally tackling this. And this is totally being gone next year. Like I that's the main goal, but to be able to pay off close to $25,000 this year seemed like a pipe dream a year ago, but now I'm actually living in it. And it is my desire to let individuals know that you can too, no matter where you're at, you could pay off all of that debt and you can gain financial freedom.

The Student Loan Podcast Intro (00:34): Welcome to the student loan

The Student Loan Podcast Intro (00:36): Podcast. Here. You'll find practical advice on tackling student loan debt, paying down your higher education expenses

Daphné Vanessa (00:44): And inspiring stories about paying off student loans, where your hosts, Daphne,

The Student Loan Podcast Intro (00:49): Vanessa Rodriguez,

Daphné Vanessa (00:53): Please rate review and subscribe to the student loan podcasts by visiting the student loan podcast on apple podcasts or wherever you find your podcasts.

Shamil Rodriguez (01:04): This is not professional advice. And we speak from our own personal views and opinion.

Daphné Vanessa (01:09): The student loan podcast is brought to you by start new, where you can serve your community and get rewarded with tuition and student loan payments to check out if start new is on your campus, visit start new.com. Welcome everyone to another edition of the student loan podcast. Today, we have none other than Latasha Peterson who is going to be walking us through a journey of how to achieve financial independence and on your way paying off your student loans too. So with that, please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Latasha Peterson (01:43): Hi everybody. I'm Latasha of Arts and Budgets and arson budgets is a side hustle blog to help individuals create multiple streams of income to create wealth and to also pay off debt.

Daphné Vanessa (01:54): Love it, love it. So exciting. Can't wait to get into that, but before we get into it, just tell us a little bit about your story. Who are you, how did you come to be? How did you become so enlightened and how are you able to share so much value with people?

Latasha Peterson (02:10): Yes, absolutely. So I created my side hustle, block arts and budgets in 2016 when I was pregnant with my first son. So me and my husband decided at that point that I would stay at home. I was currently teaching, I was substitute teaching which was also a side hustle I was keeping. And then me and my husband decided that I would actually stay at home with our first child. And with that, I told him that I wanted to start a side hustle blog. I had seen individuals who were making money with the blog, and I thought that this would be a great way for me to help and give back to individuals who are looking to make more money giving them resources and helpful tips to actually increase their income. My background is in the theater in theater and also music performing.

Latasha Peterson (02:54): And a lot of times, yes, love that. So a lot the people that I did shows with would always ask me, Latasha, how are you making extra money? What are some side hustles that you can do? And I just love telling them the different side hustles. I literally get like three of the people that I was working with, like on my music team, like a sub teaching job, I was just so into helping individuals find extra work so they can achieve what they wanted to achieve, but also follow their dreams, you know, and do that and not have to worry about their expenses. So like so much because when you're in theater and music, sometimes you don't always make enough money to get by, to cover daily expenses. So I created the blog because of my love for that. That was the huge starting factor of that.

Latasha Peterson (03:39): And I also saw it as a way for me to pay off the debt that I had because I had finished college with a six figure debt. And I ran from that debt for many years. Like I was so scared of it. I was like, I can't pay this off. I literally just graduated grad school. And I started sub teaching right after that. But I had like Tim jobs here and there, and it was just enough to cover the daily expenses. So I was like, okay, I'm running from this, you know, for right now. And I'll come back to it later. And it wasn't until I want to say in 2020. So like maybe 20, 19, 20 20 that me and my husband decided to really attack, you know, thinking let's set up a plan to attack the debt.

Daphné Vanessa (04:24): And that's really quick. So, cause you've achieved a lot so far, but I want to get back into the theater and music. Tell us about your passion for music, where, where you got started and how you were able to do something positive and do your passion while still sort of attacking or teaching people to help with their finances.

Latasha Peterson (04:45): I love that. I love that question. So my background started I started in a music group called choices when I was 16. I was in a group, a female music group and we performed at the famous Apollo theater. So yes, we did a lot of different shows out the south, the USA and things like that. And then after that, I started to record a soul album and I kind of just put it on like the, like the back, my husband is also a songwriter song, engineer going each other since we were 16. So cute, you know, and now we're in our thirties. But you know, but he's also, you know, also into, you know, in music and he's, he's actually, that's what he does now. So he's a mixing engineer, songwriter, singer, and all that stuff and helps individuals with vocal training and stuff like that. But yeah, my background was, you know, starting when I was 16 and singing. And then after that at about 2021, I want to say I started to do theater. I started to do like doing background, extra work. I did, I worked on empire. I worked on the boss. Yeah. Like Chicago fire and things like that. And it was really fun. So I did background work for them. And I did some theater plays. I don't know if you guys are familiar with like hairspray,

Daphné Vanessa (06:09): It's going to be a whole other rabbit hole.

Latasha Peterson (06:13): Yes, I did like all of those plays and I actually want to get back into it now that my blog is doing good. Great. I want to get back into my first love, which is being on stage And performing is like my first that's like my bread and butter, like my first love. And that's why I enjoy doing lives. I enjoy doing podcasts and things like that because it feels like home, literally. It does

Daphné Vanessa (06:38): Amazing, amazing. Well, not related to the student loan podcasts, I'm sure so many people that write are, can relate to wanting to pursue their passion, but being sort of blocked by this huge mountain of student loan debt, credit card debt, whatever it is. But you are just a great example of how you were able to, you have, you were working on an album, you had a band, you did Broadway shows. I mean, and you still found a way to get so far in your journey. So I, I would love to turn, turn the corner and started talking about your financial journey and how much you've been able to accomplish so far.

Latasha Peterson (07:20): Yes. So when I first started my arts and budgets blog, I didn't make any money. Like the first year at all. And my husband was working. So he was taking care of all the bills, all the debt. He didn't have any debt entering the marriage. It was all on me. So I had credit card debt and student loan debt, but he always looked at it like, this is our debt. And I just could not comprehend that. Like, no, this is my debt. I did this, you know, I got all these two loans in grad school and all that. It's like, but he was, he's always been like a team player. He's always been like, okay, let's attack this together. Let's think of a plan and let's just work together and let's just do this together because we're in this together, like a team. And then in 2020 we decided to set up a debt payoff plan.

Latasha Peterson (07:59): And at that point, I think arson budgets was only making like maybe like 2020 was a rough year. So it was like maybe like in December of 2020, I want to say, I made about an estimate about $450 from the blog or something like that. And during the month of December, I started to change. My strategy changed what I was doing. And literally the next month in January was like my first 4k month. Amazing. Nothing like that. It was a big jump. Right. And wow, the rest of this year, it's just been increasing and increasing. And in September of this year was my first 10 K month with my blog. And then from that, we've been paying down like at least two to $3,000 per month toward debt. Amazing. Thank you. We paid off two credit cards. We've pay off two student loans and we were paying off like a car loan that we had. And currently I'm down to one student loan, which is a pretty big one, but this is the last one. And once we get done paying this one off, we will be debt-free. Woo. Yes. And this might go to have this paid off by the end of next year, top of 20, 23.

Daphné Vanessa (09:05): Fantastic. That's amazing. So I want to get into how you focused on income generation versus reducing expenses. It sounds like correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you focus primarily on what are ways that we can increase income instead of really reducing expenses. Can you talk to us about why you chose that?

Latasha Peterson (09:26): Yeah, so I feel like the main block for me was that when I first started thinking about when I first started to think about debt, the main thing to the reason why I couldn't pay it off was because I just didn't make enough money. So me and my husband has set up a budget, a fun budget. So we will use like colorful pencils and things like that, but it was still just going down so slow. You know, we were, no, we were sticking with the budget. We were setting up a budget having monthly meetings, but we just was not putting a dent in the debt in 2020. Right. So I said, you know what? We have to grow this income in order for us to pay this debt off. We have a budget. We're like, we're following the budget. Everything is in line. If we could just make more money, this would make the, you know, like the budgeting. And also with the, like with the income, everything just go together to attack this thing even more massively. So, so we decided to do that and I focused in on like arson budgets and I decided to monetize the blog in different ways. So currently from the blog, there's 10 income streams and I decided to focus in

Daphné Vanessa (10:32): One blog, 10 income streams. Tell us more.

Latasha Peterson (10:37): Yeah. So currently, so, so currently I pretend an income streams and some of the income streams that I have with arts and budgets is affiliate marketing. I've worked with an ad publishing company and they put ads on my site. Also one-on-one coaching. I also sell digital products. I sell physical products. I also do speaking and online and like online seminars. I also work with brands on sponsor posts. I just picked up freelance writing, which is a part of arts and budgets too. And that's just some of the ways that I have been able to actually monetize the blog this year a little bit more, some of the amazing,

Daphné Vanessa (11:13): Thanks. So you have a blog with 10 income streams and just, let's just slide in that. You're a mom of three kids.

Latasha Peterson (11:21): I know. So how am I still living? I don't know, but my husband is a big help. My mom also lives down the street. We actually moved into a house very close to her for a season just to get the extra added support. My husband also works from home. He does vocal training. He does engineering and mixing for different artists. So he has a home studio in our house. So, you know, we both work from home. We both have it Monday through Friday where he will work from eight to two. And then I work from two to six on content. And then we team up at night to put our three boys to sleep and get them prepared for bedtime and things like that. And, you know, making sure that they have dinner bedtime and, you know, things like that at six o'clock. But setting up a schedule with my husband has been key to actually say sane and, you know, making sure everything is in order and stuff.

Latasha Peterson (12:12): Cause you want to make sure that you have time for your family, as well as giving your business and you know, and in our home we also find time for prayer and things like that. So we just want to make sure that we have enough time for everything without us going, you know, oh my God, I go crazy. Right. So, you know, and then like also like, like a week ago I went on a and ended a facial day with my mom. Right. So, so, so, so it was like a day where I got to do that. So those are important too, to get some times for sure. I love it. I think I'm hogging up this whole interview.

Shamil Rodriguez (12:48): No, no, it's all good. It's not, I'm, I'm actually really excited about that out before we go into self care. Cause I actually liked to highlight that we've been hiding that over the last couple of episodes and how important self care is, what, you know, let's go down that that way and then I'll bring it back to your student loan journey. Cause I want to make sure that we highlight that as

Latasha Peterson (13:05): Well. Yes, absolutely.

Shamil Rodriguez (13:08): So when it comes to student loans, right? Like you said, you're tackling your last one now, which is fantastic. Congratulations to you, but can you tell us a little bit about what it was like, has it always been like that since the moment you took them out and give us a little bit more, more detail about your student loans and what that has been like for you?

Latasha Peterson (13:25): It has been like, like I was saying earlier, like I ran away from the dead. I had no idea how much I owed interest was being built up on those loans throughout the years, say at least about seven, eight years, you know, and I'm looking at it like, wow, if I were to just try to tackle this right, right out of college, it wouldn't have been this month because interest is insane. So now looking at it, it seems like I can achieve this. You know, I had to shift my money mindset and now it was like, I can't before it, it didn't seem possible. I was like, there is no way I could pay this off. Like when I was like 24, 25, I'm like, oh my God, no, like I'm gonna come back to this, but now it actually seems like I'm going to be debt free next year, you know? Or like very, very soon. And you know, I'm constantly saying this, I'm constantly putting it out there. I'm constantly reminding myself, like we have this goal, this is what we're moving towards and we're going to do it. We're going to do it and try even when the days are hard pushing through that and just staying positive, even when it doesn't seem like it keep, you know, keep saying it, keep, you know, standing in that.

Shamil Rodriguez (14:30): That's wonderful. And so what, what what inspired you to change your mindset? Right? Because a lot of people can just stay stuck in their ways. You know, if you can share with the audience, what was it for you that, that really made the switch?

Latasha Peterson (14:43): My children, I said, I do not want to leave them with, with zero. I is my dream to leave them generational wealth, every last one of them. And I knew that I had to get my finances in order. Now me, you know, like me and my husband, it starts now, it starts now and we want to maximize on investing. And the only way to do that is to make sure that we don't have extra weight on us, which is debt. Can you imagine how much that would have been if I was able to send 20, $25,000, you know, over 20,000 thousand dollars to investments or, you know, something that, that teacher this year, you know, where it could be multiplied and get, you know, compound interest and stuff like that. So it just really just kind of shifted my mindset. After I had my first son to really kind of buckle down and then last year I was just like, okay, I'm just determined to make this blog thing work.

Latasha Peterson (15:38): I really feel like it's a good idea. What do I need to do to shift this? What do I need to do? Who do I need to learn from, what do I need to do to make sure that I'm moving in the right direction? So it was definitely like looking at my children. You know, we want to make sure that they learn about money management. I didn't learn about money management as a child or teenager. I just saw debt debt was seen as normal. It, it was almost like an arranged mirrors. Like, here's that, here's your first credit card go for it. You know, like, well I got a credit card. Okay, thanks for giving this book to me. And I just want my kids to know how to manage money. And this is very important for me and my husband, that they know how to manage money and that they know about, you know, personal finance and things like that. So it was definitely my children that, that, that shifted my mindset, that, that everything,

Shamil Rodriguez (16:24): No, thank you for sharing that. And I appreciate that because what I want to do is maybe after the episode, you can share some of the resources, some of the people you modeled or learned from, and we can put that in our show notes as well. Cause I think there might be somebody out there listening. Who's like, Hey, you know what? I would like to learn how to change my money mindset to

Latasha Peterson (16:41): Absolutely.

Shamil Rodriguez (16:42): So speaking about that and I really wanted to emphasize for people listening today's episode really is going to emphasize your skillset to help build side hustles. You got one blog, but you've got 10 and constraints there even have an ebook that has over a hundred you know, different side houses that people can pick up and use to tackle their student loan debt. So let's talk about that. Right? What are some of the common things that you see from your clients that you coach that our listeners are probably facing right now? When they say, man, you know what? I've got 30,000, I've got 50,000, I've got over a hundred thousand, $200,000 in student loan debt. How do I even start? You know, like let's, let's talk about that. Let's, let's pretend we're coaching somebody right now. Let's actually let's and let's talk about

Latasha Peterson (17:22): Sure. Yes. So one of the first things, if you're looking to increase your income, like if you're looking to start a side hustle or looking for side hustles that you want to bring on board to pay off that quicker, I would say sit down and think about all your skills and talents and the things that people come to you for help for, what are they do? People come to you for advice on how to cook. Do they come to you for advice on how to, you know, take care of a child or like infant or toddler? What are these things that people come to you for help for? What is it, you know, what are your skillsets? What are your talents after you have those renown? I would say pick out side hustles that align with those skills and talents. For example, if you are a great writer, maybe freelance writing or blogging might be a good fit for you, right?

Latasha Peterson (18:07): So find side hustles that align with your skills and talents. And then after that research those side hustles and find individuals in those industries who have become successful because you want to do research, you want to find out the startup costs, how much does this going to cost you to start? And also, you know, how much is this going to cost you long? What you know, what have people made by doing this? So if you want to start a drop shipping business, you know, who is somebody that, you know, you can follow in research that has done this successfully, that you can learn from. And, and those are just some quick tips. Like if somebody was interested in finding like more side hustles or, you know, trying to you know, find the best side hustles to increase income to pay off debt is really thinking about what are you already good at?

Latasha Peterson (18:53): You know, are you good at talking? Are you good at communicating? Are you good at writing? Are you good at, you know, cooking? What are the things that you're great at? And then finding side hustles that align with those skills and talents, and then researching the side hustles to see how much it costs to start up, what are the things that you need? Do you need a computer? Do you need a mic? What are the things that need for that side hustle? And then also researching individuals in that industry that have become successful. What did they do? You know, what are they doing? What are some things that you can apply to your strategy as well, that's unique and different for you because your story is unique and different and people want to know the real you, right? So it's a little bit different things that have totally helped me this year, scale my business and make it a profitable business this year.

Shamil Rodriguez (19:42): That's wonderful. And then my last question for us is over to death. I feel like now I'm hogging the mic is what, what are some interesting, or let's say more outside of the box ideas, side hustles that you've seen that I've worked for people.

Latasha Peterson (19:57): Yes, absolutely. So like I saw people that may do brand like become like a brand ambassador. So I've done that like where, like you may work for like a radio station or like a company and you know, like a company like Coca-Cola and you're like working at the different events, introducing them to different new samples that the company may have. Like if you're doing Coca-Cola, it might be a Coca-Cola sample, or it might be a bar sample if you're working for like a bar company, like a fruit bar or something like that. So like brand ambassador is a good side hustle to do. Cause you could become your own boss essentially. Cause you could tell them when you want to work the events. But, but it doesn't keep you locked down. Also virtual assistant work is really good. You can take the skills that you may have as an admin assistant or just first of assistance, such as, you know, setting up calendars and things like that for companies and businesses and applying that to, you know, finding freelance work as a virtual assistant, if you're good at, you know, helping individuals learn different subjects, you can look into tutoring, you can also look into proofreading, which is also a great side hustle.

Latasha Peterson (21:00): If you are good at catching like eras and writing, If you're good, if you're that person proofreading is for you proofreading and editing. For sure. So yeah. Virtual assistant work tutoring, you know, proofreading is also a great one. Brand like becoming a brand ambassador is good if you'd like to be around people and you love meeting new people and working at events. So those are some of the best ones that I have seen for individuals to make good extra money. Great.

Daphné Vanessa (21:29): I'd love to get into the tactical just to see how you do this. You spoke about the schedule. So I counted and I think that's four hours a day about that you're spending on the blog, correct me if I'm wrong. Okay. So in those four hours, how are you generating the income that you do today? Are you prioritizing certain activities? Are you like, what was the progression to, to get to where you are today?

Latasha Peterson (21:56): Yeah, absolutely. So some of the income is actually passive, so the ads is passive. So, and then affiliate marketing is passive. So arson budgets right now, it gets over a hundred thousand page views per a month per month. And I use like Pinterest and working on Google SEO as well to help generate more traffic and things like that. So right now, as I'm, as I'm talking, you know, I'm making money with affiliate marketing and like ads on my site and things like that when, when the people actually go to the actual site. And then so like each day I sit down and I think, okay, so what are the non passive ways? So like working with brands on sponsorship posts is a more active. So I have to make sure that the content is present for today. I have to take pictures that may include the brand's name or something like that.

Latasha Peterson (22:42): I've literally been working on a brand campaign. I want to say every single month after like may of this year and I'm working on two right now. So those are like a priority right now. Cause I have to get them done and like one is due on the fifth and then another one is due this upcoming week. So I'm working on that right now. I'm also prioritizing creating content. So blog posts for my site, I actually had to hire a writer to help me write because the tasks have become too much, right. It's, it's a lot of work. So I had to outsource by another writer to help me, you know, with a bulk of the consistent as stay consistent. And then I also prioritizing staying consistent on social media, such as Pinterest and Instagram are the two social media platforms that I stay consistent with.

Latasha Peterson (23:28): And I make sure to post content on them, at least try every day or every other day with Pinterest. Now I just set it up in a scheduler and the content is just going out every, you know, every day. So I don't have to think twice about it, right. For Instagram, I create the content in advance, but it's just a little bit more hands-on I think Instagram is more hands-on where people can get to know, you get to know your brand. You could do Instagram lives where whereas Pinterest is more attractive driver. So people are looking at these pins, you are putting on Pinterest and they're clicking on them and going to your site. So it was more of a cold, a colder lead, right? While Instagram is more warm, you know, they know you, they know your face, they know your brand, you know, they're used to you going live and doing reels.

Latasha Peterson (24:10): So it's a little bit more of a personal connection. So I utilize those two platforms to make sure I stay connected with my followers. And then I also make sure that I email my email list, which also is very important to at least once a week, you know, giving them help for resources about side hustles, the best side hustles and just turning a side hustle into a profitable business. So I make sure to send them some resources and to let them know what's happening with me. What's new every single week to make it seem like, okay, you know, you guys are a part of this team, but letting them know what's going on. So each week is it's a different thing of like what to focus on at that time. But it really just depends like this week I H I had the two sponsored brands that I'm working with. So those, so that's the priority. I just finished up a blog post. So I don't have to work on a blog post this week because my writers finished one and I finished one about four days ago. So I'm okay for this week. So this week is really just focusing on the sponsored content and then also with the black Friday stuff, you know, promoting my law for profit course

Daphné Vanessa (25:14): Academy. Nice, nice. And what is the sale for that? For, for this black Friday?

Latasha Peterson (25:19): Oh yeah. So, so our blog for profit, I am taking $200 off for the blog for profit academy, which is for bloggers new bloggers who want to know how to start, grow and monetize a blog

Daphné Vanessa (25:29): Yup. Directly on point. And how long will that sale be going on?

Latasha Peterson (25:33): So that sale will be going on throughout this whole weekend and then it will be back because of course officially launched launches January 4th, the six week live course. So I'm doing weekly lives each week, but it will be on sale again the last week of December.

Daphné Vanessa (25:50): Cool. Very cool. So this will be a great opportunity. And so people that know we're recording this in the, towards the end of November, 2021 for the longevity piece, but that's really where you'll get into details on, on setting up the blog, but just like an abbreviated version so that people can get a little taste at the beginning when you were starting out. Right. You ha did you still have the four hours a day sort of schedule, did that include weekends? And if so, were you allocating all of your time towards just like SEO getting traffic and, and

Latasha Peterson (26:27): Yeah. So when I first started the first year, I didn't know anything about SEO. I thought I did, but I did not know now. Like I thought it right. I think they pick it up, but you had no idea. I actually, I focused a lot on Pinterest. I actually like studied Pinterest so well, I made a Pinterest course at one point when I was, you know, back in the day, not back in the day, but like maybe two or three years ago in the back of the day, like it's been like 50 years, two or three years ago. And it was one of my favorite platforms to actually be on. But since I only had 'em at the beginning one baby, I have more time to focus on the blog content. And since my husband was working a nine to five job at that point, I worked in between my son's naps. So I feel like I was putting in more time with the blog at that point. Cause I was trying to learn plus trying to apply now was more so like, okay, this works. I, you know, I'm finding ways where it's stuff is working. So I'm just working smarter, I think at this point, like, okay, let me outsource. I mean, what can I do? What can I outsource? You know, how can I save on time and, you know, taking off the pressure on me so much and focusing in on that right now.

Daphné Vanessa (27:30): And how do you decide when to outsource, do you use your own personal family money or do you wait until your business has generated enough money to pay for the outsourcing?

Latasha Peterson (27:42): Yeah, so I waited until the business generated enough money to pay for outsourcing. So I actually waited and my husband's like, you need to hire some help because this is becoming very overwhelming for you. Like you're like you're doing too much. You're trying to, you know, focus in on the SEO research. You're focusing in, on creating the content. You're focusing on Pinterest marketing, email marketing, you know, doing the social media management. You need some extra help. So it wasn't until we started to generate a comfortable income that I was comfortable enough to actually start outsourcing because as you guys know, I've I was paying off debt and I'm like, I want to put most of that money towards paying off that debt, get ahead, you know, but, but I do understand that investing in help can also help you preset at a much quicker rate. So just kind of like a good, medium.

Daphné Vanessa (28:30): Nice, perfect. I think that that's so helpful, right? Cause sometimes when you're starting off your side hustle people, aren't always sure. What point does it make sense to start outsourcing to help you really maximize your impact? And you've been able to impact so many more lives now, right now that you have help, you can help more people and more people sort of get the message. So that's amazing. Do you, I know you've been featured all over. Talk to us about the first time you sort of gotten major press and what that felt like.

Latasha Peterson (29:02): Oh my gosh. I think the first two articles, I couldn't believe it. I was featured in black enterprise and CNBC. I think it was, Hey, corner grow or something like that. And I was just like, oh my God, this is crazy. Like none of last year I was probably making any money with this blog. And now the blog is being showcased for, you know, the months, you know, like the different months that at the epic, my first month was like like toward the middle was like $5,000. And I think CNBC featured that article on me taking my blog and turn it into a full-time income stream and things like that. And that was so surreal to me. I was just thankful to God. I was just like, oh my God, I'm going to able to tell the story, but also showing individuals who don't have like, you know, letting them know that no matter where you're at, you know, if you're working the nine to five, if you're not working the nine to five stuff can open up and you can't pay off the debt, you do not have to be bound to debt your whole life, you know?

Latasha Peterson (29:55): And for somebody with the, you know, the head like a six-figure debt, you know, I'm looking at it now like, okay, I am totally tackling this and this is totally being gone next year. Like I that's the main goal, but to be able to pay off close to $25,000 this year seemed like a pipe dream a year ago, but now I'm actually living in it. And it is my desire to let individuals know that you can too, no matter where you're at, you could pay off all of that debt and you can gain financial freedom. Yeah.

Daphné Vanessa (30:24): Yes, yes. What are your plans after you've paid off the debt in terms of achieving financial freedom?

Latasha Peterson (30:32): Wow. Oh my God. So me and my husband went to really invest, you know, you know, setting up, you know, like the UTMA accounts for our boys and things like that. We're going to start on that pretty soon and really, you know, learning more about investing and the, you know, what's comfortable for us. You know, we want to make sure that we set our children up and have generational wealth for them as well. And you know, just still educating individuals, like you can make more money, but if you don't have that money management in place, it could just fall right through your hands. So along with side hustle, side, hustling, budgeting, and learned about money management is just as important as well for sure. But, you know, definitely educating, you know, still educating and just living life and having fun, you know, and, and doing it in a way where you're enjoying life and, you know, just having fun with our family and things like that. But definitely we want to look into investing so we can start creating generational wealth and we're doing that now, but really stepping up, you know, really started doing that

Daphné Vanessa (31:37): For sure. For sure. And so one last tactical question. So your brain doesn't melt but taxes are such a headache for some people, but at, at minimum, just a logistical time-consuming activity for a lot of people, especially when you have a business. So share with our audience, how you maximize tax strategies and to what level you're involved. Do you use an advisor or do you make sure to really know sort of tax law updates so that you can implement the best strategies for your family?

Latasha Peterson (32:15): That is such a great question. And when I first started to suggest UTS, I will tell you a little story. I did not know anything about self employed tax. And at that point I was a I was 10 99, so I was an independent contractor and I didn't take out any taxes. I was like, oh, okay. So this is not like a W2, I guess I just keep it, I didn't know anything like, and at the end of the year, I was hit with a major tax bill and let's talk about a very expensive lesson learned like over $3,000 spent the lesson that I learned. And from that, I decided to learn everything I needed to know about self-employed texts. I went and dug up a lot of research. I studied the IRS website. I was looking at the different forms that you have to fill out the different websites that you have to send in quarterly taxes too.

Latasha Peterson (33:02): For the federal. I also found out information for my state taxes, how much to take out how much you should take out, what is their percentage and things like that. And currently me and my husband, we have an advisor, so we have a we use, you know, attacks, we have a tax guy or, you know, a tax preparer that that we go to that has been amazing these past three years and just been helping us, you know, figure everything out, map everything out. And I highly recommend if anybody is self-employed because every situation is so different. Definitely get advice, professional advice from, you know, legal you know, professional CPA, you know, a tax professional or something along those lines. Cause that's totally what we did. We actually get advice from a tax professional. Now with any questions that we may have, I just talked to him about investing.

Latasha Peterson (33:54): How does that look during tax time, you know, with the business, how does that work? And he was able to like break it down for me where I understood completely, okay, this is the route we should take, and this is what we should do. So I highly recommend like if anybody is starting a side hustle or self-employed to definitely get tax professional, help from an actual tax professional. And you can also look at the IRS website to see if the person is actually I think it's like certified. They have like the certified tax preparers on there too, which is so important just to know if somebody is legit doing, doing research is like paramount. It is when it comes to like taxes. For sure.

Shamil Rodriguez (34:36): That's actually very helpful. And I think I wanted to add know some things that some that might be some like mental blocks for people as they try to venture off into side hustling, right. Or picking up a gig or whatever you want to call it moonlighting. Right. Everybody, I don't know. I just think of old terms I've heard before. No, but I really just making extra money. Right. It's really what it comes down to. And so you, you had to learn a really hard lesson. And three grand is no joke for a lot of people. And so what are, what are some I guess tips you would give for people that are like, Hey, you know what, I'm kind of right on the edge right now. I've got the student loan payments and they're really expensive. And I don't know if I have enough money to even start a side hustle. Like what, what can you say to those people right now?

Latasha Peterson (35:26): Yeah. So if they want to I would say first if they know how much money they already owe it, definitely knowing your numbers. That was a big thing for me, knowing how much you owe knowing how long it may take you to pay this off, how much money do you need to make per month? You just need to make $200 extra, or do you want to attack it really fast? And, you know, earn like an extra $500 a month. A lot of side hustles don't require you to actually have startup costs. So like if you're doing focus groups, I've done like focus groups where I've gotten paid like $250, for my opinion on diapers, right? You can find online focus groups to make extra money per month. They have some legit survey sites such as pine cone research, which is a really good one mine's forms is a really good one too, that I highly recommend that you don't have to put money up for to actually do.

Latasha Peterson (36:15): So there are some side hustles out there that you could actually look into to actually make some extra money, just depending on how much you want to make. And you don't have to spend like thousands of dollars each month trying to do the side hustle and also pay off debt because you want to make sure that you maximize on your income for sure when you pay off debt. So I would say absolutely right. Write out how much you want to pay out per month. And then you can kind of figure out from there, okay, what do I need to do to make an extra $200 a month or a hundred dollars a month? And things like that.

Shamil Rodriguez (36:47): And my last one, I'm gonna try to think of some, like, things that are like mental blocks people might have, right. Said, well, you know what? All right. So now I've figured out how much I owe. I called my son a little company. And I figured out if I pay the minimum payments, it's going to take me X amount of time. Okay, great. But then they might say, but you know what? My job takes a lot of my time right now, but how do I actually, like, do I have time? I don't really have that much time. Is it going to be worth it? Like, tell me if I, if I were that person, how are you helping that person right now overcome that, that, that mindset.

Latasha Peterson (37:15): Yeah. So it was so I would say like, okay, so what is your main goal? What do you want to accomplish? What do you want? You know, what is your, why, why are you doing this? Why do you want to pay off the debt? You never really think about why are you doing this? And, and where do you see yourself after your debt-free? What do you want to accomplish? You know? So it's just like figuring out, okay, what's your why? Cause sometimes you could get unmotivated, but thinking about your, why for me, my, why is my children? Right. So on hard days it's thinking about, okay, they're still little. Okay. So let me keep pushing, let me keep going. You know, and, and things of that nature, you know, thinking about the why, and then also thinking about what it is you, as you want to accomplish in your life, you know, and, and, and what do you want, do you want to stay at that nine to five jobs?

Latasha Peterson (38:01): Or do you want something different in the future? You know, what do you want? You know, when somebody is thinking about like starting a side hustle, when they could get, you know, it could get her with a side hustle too, you know, in, in the middle, but it's like, do you want to go back to work there? Do you want to stay there forever? What do you want to accomplish in your life? And really try to move past those obstacles even on hard days. And if you need to talk to a friend, if you need to watch a funny movie to reset, I am all for that, you know, or, you know, never letting something overwhelm you don't let your debt overwhelm. You don't let the, you know, my God, this pressure of side hustles, overwhelming, if it gets like that, you know, rest and reset, because rest is just as important as making money too, for sure. And self-care and making sure that you're mentally okay. You know, so, so making sure that all of that is in an order, so that's just some of the things that I would cover with them.

Shamil Rodriguez (38:52): Oh, for sure. Absolutely. And so what are, what are some before these last two points now you've got me thinking about the self care and I'm glad you brought that back up. No, because it's so important. And, and last week's episode 56, actually with Brandon Rodriguez, we talked a little bit about self care and how important that is. So what, what were, what are some of the self-care tips that you would share or that you practice yourself or that you just share with other people that they should do themselves?

Latasha Peterson (39:14): Yes. So making sure that you have time for yourself. So whether that's watching your favorite movie, and this is like, you know, one-on-one time, or if you need a spa day with the girls or just a camp day with the guys, whatever that looks like for you, make sure that you are doing that at least once a month. I would say, because I think starting a business, having a side hustle, working a nine to five, having children, or just being single, sometimes it's just a lot of pressure and sometimes you just need to reset and refocus. So, you know, picking out, you know, it could be something as small as going to Starbucks and getting your favorite coffee or taking a trip to one of your favorite places. It could be like a quick trip, like I'm in Chicago. So maybe going to Wisconsin Dells or something like that, you know, with, with my mom or husband or something like that, just to get away are great things to do. So, you know, think about, you know, ways that you can, you know, make yourself happy, you know, get your hair done, get your nails done, have a girls day, go eat at your favorite restaurant, something so simple as that.

Shamil Rodriguez (40:15): Great. No, that's good. It's very good to share.

Daphné Vanessa (40:16): Thank you. This has been just amazing. I have a fun question for you before we leave. So if you had to choose between being debt-free or being financially independent and maintaining your debt, what would you choose?

Latasha Peterson (40:34): I would want to be different. I'd rather be debt free and then starting from the bottom if I had to back up. Yeah,

Daphné Vanessa (40:44): Absolutely. Absolutely awesome. No, no, no. So many people. But we love to sort of see where everybody is on, on the spectrum of F I. So with that, I think that this has been an amazing episode. I really enjoyed chatting. I feel like a lot of people got value. Where can people connect with you, tell them about some really cool things that you have going on so that in case they're interested.

Latasha Peterson (41:10): Yeah, absolutely. So you can check out my blog@artsandbudgets.com. You can connect with me on Instagram at arts and budgets. I have a ton of CYA hustle resources on my site that you can check out different posts different ways to make extra money, all different types of ways, legit ways that you could check out actually directly on my blog.

Daphné Vanessa (41:33): Nice. And there's a really cool resource that you have to, that we wanted to offer the audience for free. Did you want to share that? Yeah.

Latasha Peterson (41:42): So I have a side hustle to freedom ebook. Now this ebook actually has a hundred different side hustles in it that you could pick and choose from because a lot of times people are just not sure which side houses to do. So this side hustle ebook makes it really easy and breaks. Every single thing down for you. Like, you know, it has like the best focus groups companies, best mystery shopping you know, companies, less places to find virtual assistant jobs, tutoring jobs, and things like that all in one place. And it also has side hustle templates, like side hustle, income tracker. So you can track how much money you make per year and things of that nature. Cool.

Daphné Vanessa (42:21): Very cool. So for you to win this ebook, all you have to do is fall Latasha, follow us at the student loan podcast, and we're going to pick one person at random on that little pinwheel thing, and we'll announce it at the beginning of the following week's episode. So thank you guys so much for staying with us and staying engaged. We love chatting with you, Latasha Chanel. Do you have anything else to say?

Shamil Rodriguez (42:49): No, that's it. Thank you so much for joining for more information on today's episodes, we will include the links in the shows like we do every week. So Latasha can share that with us but for more information on today's episode, visit the solo podcast.com forward slash episode 57. That's the suit alone podcast.com for sash episode 57.

Latasha Peterson (43:08): Hmm. Thank you guys. Bye bye.

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