M&J Work

With all of the other stuff that we do, it might seem like we don’t have a whole lot of time to actually do things that, you know, pay the bills. But pay the bills we do, through a combination of Jake’s day job at a medical software company, our Etsy shop, Jake’s coding with Freckled Nest Design, and the occasional side work (freelance writing for me and freelance website building for Jake). And in case you’re wondering, our sponsorship program isn’t currently for a profit: we use any money we get from sponsors to sponsor other blogs.

We work really hard to make sure that work stuff doesn’t take over our lives. Jake works 8-5 and has a 20 minute commute, so he leaves at about 7:30 AM and comes home at about 5:30-6:00 PM. For the most part he’s able to avoid staying extra hours and doesn’t bring work home with him. Jake’s day job money is what we use to pay the real bills. All the essentials like our mortgage, utilities, and groceries come from Jake’s job.

I stay home with Jonas and Eliza (you can read about how we reached that decision here) and do most of the Etsy stuff. All the side stuff is how we pay for anything non-essential. Going out to eat at restaurants, seeing movies, doing cool stuff like the Maker Fair, buying Christmas presents, saving up for a newer car (we share the car that Jake bought in high school), eventually actually taking a vacation… all that stuff comes from the side work and the Etsy shop. So if you’ve purchased something from us, you made our lives more fun. Thank you.

Work for the Etsy shop is light and fluffy throughout most of the year, until the Christmas season hits. Then Etsy takes over our lives. Last winter, we had so many record bookend sales that we ended up buying 4,000 records so we wouldn’t have to go buy more everyday. When things get crazy like that, we spend the whole night packing orders and printing shipping labels. Thankfully my grandpa came over last winter to help with Jonas (and build boxes while Jonas was napping) so that I could keep up with it during the day, too. Our family our top priority, so we try to live a lifestyle that doesn’t require us to spend most of our time working. We wouldn’t want the shop to be so successful that we’re working around the clock for more than a few months out of the year. For the normal months, I do the boring stuff like pack and ship, list and edit photographs, and write product descriptions during Jonas’s nap time. We both make stuff at night after the kids go to bed and when we have time on weekends. We don’t work on shop stuff daily and we’re not updating anywhere near as frequently as we used to (but more on that when we talk about why we decided to stop selling vintage next week).

Basically, all of that comes down to is we work when we have to. When the shop is getting low, we restock. When we make a sale, we ship it. When we make a custom sale, we make it. We find ways to speed up those processes and find ways to be more efficient. Jake goes to the office five times a week. One of us will take the kids out to do something special while the other one stays home to work if there’s a big side project on the weekend. We find time to work, but if given the option of spending time working or spending time with the kids or doing something creative, working never wins.

*In case you’re worried, we’d like to state that we do not wear matching clothes. It’s a coincidence that we’re wearing the same jacket in the photos at the top of the post. We share unisex clothes a lot.

Megan & Jake Get it Done

This week, in addition to our regularly scheduled programming, we’re bringing you a little series on getting it done. We have lives full to the brim: our days are filled with parenting, spousing, money making, blogging, cooking, reading, programming, coding, making, crafting, writing, adventuring, listening, watching, playing, laughing, living… it seems like too much to fit into 24 hours. And we’ve been asked more than a few times how we do it all. So this week, we’re going to tell you. These aren’t tips or tricks, but just us honestly spilling how we get everything that we do done (though hopefully some of this will give you all a few ideas).

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