National Hobby Month: How to Make Yours Count

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January is National Hobby Month. If you’re looking for a new creative outlet, why not let your aspirations help with credit repair as well? Consider the following tips as you look for a new hobby or modify an existing passion. Adopting a financial perspective will help you take your goals to the next level.

Are you ready for inspiration and credit repair? Follow the steps below:

Step #1: Pursue a dream. Hobbies are fun when they come with motivation. Make a list of things that inspire you. For example, are you passionate about art? Why not enroll in a painting class? Search for community colleges and art studios in your area that offer evening courses for an affordable price.

Step #2: Do something useful. Now that you’ve established your hobby of choice, what’s next? Sure, your primary goal is personal satisfaction, but are there other opportunities for growth? In the case of painting, suppose your family and friends are interested in your work. Consider using your talents to create paintings for birthdays, events and holidays. You’ll cut gift budget costs and contribute something unique.

Step #3: Form a business. Once you’ve gained some hobby confidence, consider using your talents to form a small business. While you might be hesitant, consider the financial benefits of a sole-proprietorship or LLC. Forming a business provides tax deductions that allow you to write off everything from at-home office space, electricity, supplies, phone and internet service, and even transportation.

Once you’ve created a business structure, market your talents through social media, local trade shows and online sales sites like Etsy. Consider creating a business website with a blog to keep followers updated on your latest work.

As you begin to generate income, it’s important to set up a business bank account to track professional earnings and separate them from personal expenses. Consider QuickBooks as a tool to log and update company revenue.

The bottom line: Don’t miss an opportunity to save and earn money by doing what you love. Talk to your financial planner about the possibilities.

Step #4: Cash in on technology. As we’ve learned, technology plays a vital role in today’s work environment. In addition to networking and social media, many entrepreneurs are turning to YouTube to monetize their hobbies and generate a large following. In fact, some of these “celebs” earn millions each year. Join the ranks by posting tutorial videos or other business-related material.

Step #5: Repair your credit. Congratulations, you’ve adopted a hobby, created a business and gained social confidence. What’s next? Credit repair, of course! Use your side earnings to pay off debts, establish an emergency fund, invest in retirement savings and plan for your kids’ college educations. Allow your hobby to fulfill and sustain your life.