Making the Switch to Self-Employment

The thought of self-employment can be alluring – being your own boss, flexible hours, creative freedom – but in reality, the decision is much more complex. As an employee, you may take for granted the tasks that are handled by your employer, such as setting the daily schedule, collecting taxes, and providing benefits. Even office supplies, equipment, and access to clients are likely in place before an employee starts her/his position. A self-employed individual must handle all that on their own.

This is not to say that self-employment is out of reach, but being prepared to make the switch is an absolute necessity. If you are interested in taking that leap, then the following resources will help you on your way!

Federal Resources

Perhaps the most significant difference between traditional employment and self-employment is with taxes and the IRS. The ‘when’, ‘how’, and ‘why’ of taxes are very different for individuals and businesses – far too different to cover in detail here – but these tools are a great start:

State & Local Resources

Luckily, you are not on your own when it comes to planning your small business. Iowa has several Small Business Development Centers located throughout the state. The services are free and designed to help small business owners with a number of topics:

In addition to the IRS, and Iowa’s Small Business Development Centers, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach can also assist with your self-employment plan. Our Community and Economic Development Specialists have several programs focused on small businesses, and designated Human Sciences, Family Wellbeing Specialists can help with creating a household budget – note: this is step #1 in the “Starting a Business in Iowa Checklist”!

Ryan Stuart

Ryan is a Human Sciences Specialist in Family Wellbeing and an Accredited Financial Counselor®. He focuses on educating and empowering all Iowans to independently make positive financial decisions throughout their life course.

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Ways to Take Stress out the Holiday Season

Things get crazy around the holiday season, but there are a few things you can do to make it less stressful.

  • Plan ahead: Don’t wait until the last minutes to do your shopping and decorating. This creates stress.
  • Make your to-do list: When you write things down you identify their importance. Cross them off the list once they are done. It will give you a sense of accomplishment.
  • Try “chunking” by breaking down the big task into smaller ones.
  • Prioritize: Prioritize and do what is most important on your list.
  • Ask your family members:  delegate tasks such as sending out holiday notes, decorating, cooking prep work and cleaning. While they are helping you out, you can go take care of important tasks that only you can do.
  • Allow extra time for interruptions, because life happens and we sometimes get hit with unexpected events.
  • Shopping on-line at your convenience will help you save time from running from store to store.
  • Eliminate trivial tasks – make sure your tasks count.
  • Gift cards and certificates can save you time.
  • Gift wrapping: when you purchase the gift, wrap it.

Learning simple holiday time management skills will help lessen your holiday stress and give you time to sit back and enjoy the holidays with the ones you love.


Susan Taylor

Resources are important whether you are looking to rent your first apartment, pay your bills, buy your first home or send your child to college. There are many ways to save money to reach your goals, and hopefully ISU Money Tip$ will be one of them. I enjoy traveling, needlework and am a novice gardener.

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