As an accounting professional, I consider myself a life long learner and interested in learning more about difference aspects that make our world turn. Especially in the recent budgeting series, I wanted to use this time to demonstrate a few ways of making money outside of the typical 9 to 5 job; AKA, the side hustle in a gig economy. In this next series we turn to individuals within my network who are proven to be successful in their side hustle.
First up, a former colleague of mine who graciously agreed to be interviewed: meet Velincia Ellis. Velincia has performed notaries for over ten years, and she shares a few experiences with us. But, first, what is a notary?? Google dictionary defines notary as: a person authorized to perform certain legal formalities, especially to draw up or certify contracts, deeds, and other documents for use in other jurisdictions.
Me: Would you please introduce yourself?
My name is Velincia Lee Ellis. I was born and raised in Los Angeles California. I have two military sons and a daughter with a LVN pursuing her RN bachelor's degree. I currently work at Southern California Public Radio (KPCC 89.3) as a Financial Analyst.
Me: What is it that you do for your side hustle?
I wear lots of hats now: Financial Analyst, Accounts Payable Supervisor, but the most fulfilling is being a Notary Public. I obtained my commission on April 2005 and it is rewarding to me. I love helping people with their legal documents and see the smiles on individual faces when I perform the notary.
Sometimes people get confused on what a Notary Public can do. I have come across people who’ve wanted me to travel with them to jail to have the inmate sign over his life to someone that does not have their best interest in mind. I have had people come to me with a bus pass with their picture on it to perform a notary. A man with his supposed grandmother who was in a rest home and had no identification and no Power of Attorney, and he thought that’s what I provided. He didn’t have proper identification either. And the best one yet; a lady wanted me to perform a notary for a Power of Attorney for her mom who had dementia. I explained that I could do that, but I would have to come and observe her first. She stated that her Mom would be okay if I came at that time, but she goes in and out of reality. Since I kept reiterating the observation, she never came back to me for a notary.
Me: How do you balance working your full-time job and your side hustle?
Well it is a great balance. I use my Gmail Calendar and an app called Wunderlist. I set appointments so it does not interfere with my regular job. The same goes for when I’m at home. I do not carry my Notary Journal with me everyday, so that is why I have to schedule my appointments. You have to be real cautious when you are using Public Transportation. Taking or stealing my journal is like hacking your bank account. Identities can be stolen.
Me: What is the process for a Notary to be filed?
People have to keep in mind the process for a completed Notary to be filed. I request the following documents at the time of notarization: Current California ID, or California Driver’s License.. California will let you perform a Notary with an expired ID, no more than 5 years. Additionally, one could use a current Passport.
I also let individuals know that you may be fingerprinted in my Notary Journal depending on the type of document which includes:
The Notary Journal is where I document the notary performed. It consists of the individual's identification, type of notary performed, date and time. If fingerprints are needed, those are included as well. It is always good to keep a Notary Journal just in case the courts or legal matters arise and they need the information provided in the notary journal. Remember that we are always commissioned by our said state, and no we are not lawyers.
Me: Would you please let the readers know how they can get in contact with you if they need a notary?
I am not mobile as I would like to be, but that is in the works. If you are in need of a Professional and understanding Notary Public you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. My prices align with the State of California, and I do offer senior discounts, and veterans are free.
Me: Thank you so much for your time, Ve!
The past two posts we have talked a lot about budgeting. If you have not read those, I would encourage you to go back and read them first as they provide the basis for this one. Visit them by clicking the links: Budgeting Part 1 and Budgeting Part 2. This post will be on the more practical side of things. Follow along, and you’ll be budgeting in no time!
Now that we have gotten this far in the blog, it’s time to share with you a basic budget template so that you can fill it in and carry it with you (electronically, of course). But, first, I want to walk through a bit more in depth of how to budget year-over-year.
First, once a baseline budget has been established, then it is good to go through it each month and line up what you have anticipated in your spending compared to what was actually spent. It is important and necessary to fine tune your budget by monitoring it each month because sometimes charges do not come through as we have anticipated. This can get a little tricky, especially if you have not listed all of your spending in your baseline budget. My rule of thumb here is to reevaluate your baseline budget every 3 months, until you feel you are at a point where you can trust your baseline budget against your actual spending.
Secondly, after the baseline budget has been compared against actual spending, then we can fine tune which line items where you might want to see savings. For example, you may think that your grocery line should be a total of $200 per month per person, but when it comes down to it you might be spending a little more than that. This would definitely be an area to keep an eye on. You will also want to keep your eye on frivolous spending associated with clothing, dining out, entertainment and miscellaneous amenities. These line items can quickly add up and have the ability to thwart any specific savings goals you have in mind.
Thirdly, after you have narrowed down areas of savings, then it is time to start considering future goals. Next month, will you increase your savings by 3%? Are you planning to buy a car in the future? Do you have plans to purchase a home? What will that look like as far as your budget is concerned? Did you take that into consideration already, or do you need to create a new budget line to accommodate for these goals? Once you are able to answer these questions, then it is time to download this template, and get to work! Let me know your progress as you go, I would love to hear your feedback in the comments below!
If you are stuck with any one of the questions above, or in the previous posts, because you feel like you have no money to create a functional budget, then it may be time to consider adding in a side hustle. Do you need to make more money outside of your normal 9 to 5 job? A lot of people are starting to realize the benefits of the side hustle and are flocking to jobs, like driving for Uber and Lyft. According to this podcast, if you do drive for Uber you are likely to get paid around $20 per hour. A side hustle can be a great added benefit to your life, especially if you have some spare time during the week. In the next series of blogs we will focus more on the side hustle…
So stick around!
How To Save To Your Google Drive:
Sign-in to your Gmail account.
Click this link.
Click File > Make a copy…
Rename your template however you like and save to "My Drive" folder.
Start typing in your budget template!
Photo credit by Katie Horning, follow her @gallivant.go.delight on Instagram
Interested in learning more about balancing your checkbook? Click here.
My thoughts on numbers, spreadsheets, money, spending, forecasting, budgeting, and everything in between. Read on!
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