How Your DISC Personality Affects Your Spending Habits

How Your DISC Personality Affects Your Spending Habits

The DISC personality assessment shows us that there are four main quadrants or variants of personality, consisting of Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness. Which category do you fall under? More importantly, how does your DISC personality affect your spending habits?

The four main DISC personality types stem between two dichotomies: Active or Passive, and Task-Oriented or People-Oriented. When combined in different ways, you get a person who responds drastically differently to a particular conversation, assignment, task, environment, or anything else.

A research white paper done by Bill J. Bonnstetter, Dave Bonnstetter and Ron Bonnstetter, PhD examines 10 different countries and their DISC profile makeup. The following chart conveys how the United States DISC profiles have changed over the last 20 years.

United States DISC Profiles Over Last 20 Years

Though it may seem shallow and superficial to categorize all human beings into only 4 categories, it really is remarkable how the combination of nature and nurture effectively influences your overall behavior.

It’s also important to remember that the DISC personality is not meant to judge, but it is intended to be utilized as a useful tool to help you deal and work with others that may or may not have the same personality as oneself.

Let’s take a look at each personality style and how it affects your spending habits.

Dominance (D)

The D-personality type characterizes people who are Direct, Decisive, and Determined.

They are both Active and Task-Oriented.

D-types ask the “what” questions, “What is the bottom line?” or ” What is in it for me?”

Those with the D (Captain) personality type, also known as Type A personality, tend to be assertive, intense, and ambitious. They are usually pragmatic, results-oriented executors who work quickly and make decisions with firmness and objectivity. With a position on the top left of the DISC, Captains prefer more independence and may be drained when others expect them to be more collaborative.

The D-type of person is most concerned with deadlines. These natural born leaders are afraid of running out of time. It’s very important for them to feel like they are in control to get things done.

Core Belief: I’m valuable if I can produce.

Here are some examples of famous celebrities with the Dominance (D) personality:

  • Barbara Walters
  • Beyoncé
  • Charlize Theron
  • Donald Trump
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Gordon Ramsay
  • Helen Mirren
  • Hillary Clinton
  • Jerry Seinfeld
  • Kamala Harris
  • Mark Cuban
  • Michael Jordan
  • Robert De Niro
  • Salma Hayek
  • Tiger Woods

Money Strengths: Dominant people love to take action. When you shop, you get things done efficiently. In-and-out. That’s also a great trait to have when others are fearful, let’s say, during a market correction. You’re not afraid to pull the trigger on buying an equity on-sale.

Money Improvement Plan of Action: You can be impulsive at times. Take a step back and take notes from observing your C-type counterparts. Do more research before blindly diving into investments you don’t fully understand. Take a breather and plan out a detailed budget. Once you lay the groundwork, you are ready to continue your “Go-Go-Go” attitude!

Influence (I)

The I-personality type characterizes people who are Interactive, Imaginative, and Involved.

They are both Active and People-Oriented.

I-types ask the “who” questions, “Who is at the meeting?” or ” Who else uses this?”

People with the I (Motivator) personality type tend to be enthusiastic, cheerful, and outgoing. They typically have an easy, relaxed, casual manner when speaking or interacting with others.

The biggest fear of each group can indicate a lot about that person. For example, the I-style’s biggest fear is rejection. It’s sort of an irrational fear because in many ways, the social butterfly I’s are the life of the party that bring a positive mood to the group or party.

Core Belief: I’m valuable if I can attract people.

Here are some examples of famous celebrities with the Influence (I) personality:

  • Bill Clinton
  • Britney Spears
  • Dick Van Dyke
  • Ellen DeGeneres
  • Elton John
  • Gene Wilder
  • Jack Black
  • Jeff Bridges
  • Jim Carey
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Justin Bieber
  • Taylor Swift
  • Robin Williams
  • Will Smith
  • Whoopi Goldberg

Money Strengths: Shopping is often a social activity for you. The positive spin here is that you know you’ll be making purchases you feel good about because you’ll have the affirmations of your friends, family, or significant other.

Money Improvement Plan of Action: Although, the 30% off deal on shoes may make you feel warm and fuzzy internally, you tend to go overboard and discover as many deals as you possibly can. Keep shopping a social event but bring a friend to hold you accountable to a limited number of purchases. Then, you will have leftover money to spend on other social activities that bring you joy, like a family-style dinner or even going out for a night on the town.

Steadiness (S)

The S-personality type characterizes people who are Sympathetic, Stable, and Sweet.

They are both Passive and People-Oriented.

S-types ask the “how” questions – “How are we going to do this?” or “How does this impact us?”

People with the S (Supporter) personality type tend to be calm, patient and respectful in their interactions with others. Rarely angered or excited, they are likely to work to maintain a peaceful and harmonious environment.

S-styles greatest fears are conflict and instability. In fact, S-styles worry about inconveniencing others or being a burden. Stability is important to S-style so it’s imperative to give them what they want. Contrary to how the S-personality thinks, conflict can be productive and healthy when working through prevalent issues.

Core Belief: I’m valuable if I can help others.

Here are some examples of famous celebrities with the Steadiness (S) personality:

  • David Beckham
  • Halle Berry
  • Jimmy Carter
  • Julia Roberts
  • Lana Del Ray
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Michael J. Fox
  • Mother Teresa
  • Mr. Rogers
  • Nancy Reagan
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Nicole Kidman
  • Tom Hanks
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Susan Lucci

Money Strengths: You live and die by the motto “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. This is a great money-saving mindset when it comes to everyday consumer goods. Many highly regarded brands also reward these types of loyal customers with discounts and other types of dependable deals. The S-types are also aware that wealth building takes consistency – you invest periodically in the income producing assets, even when things get hectic and markets may be uncertain.

Money Improvement Plan of Action: Change can be hard for you. Although you like to stick to your guns, it can be advantageous to take the road less traveled sometimes. Look outside your comfort zones for other creative ways to invest and reduce your liabilities. And don’t be afraid to buy a new tube of toothpaste; no one should be putting in that much effort to squeeze out the last drop.

Conscientiousness (C)

The C-personality type characterizes people who are Calculating, Competent, and Cautious.

They are both Passive and Task-Oriented.

C-types ask the “why” questions – “Why does it work this way?” or ” Why is this step needed?”

Conscientiousness is the personality trait of being careful, or diligent. Conscientiousness implies a desire to do a task well, and to take obligations to others seriously. Conscientious people tend to be efficient and organized as opposed to easy-going and disorderly.

People with the C-personality type tend to be objective, skeptical, and logical in their behavior. They are usually fiercely pragmatic and frequently solve problems with an analytical, fact-driven approach. They are likely to be more reserved in groups and may take a long time before they build enough trust to open up.

A C-style person’s greatest fears are ambiguity and criticism. C’s are the biggest critics of their own work as they are often perfectionists. He or she always needs more time to perfect his or her craft. Make sure not to rush these C-types, as this is often their biggest pet peeve. Sometimes, it is necessary to constrain their time otherwise they may be working endless until the end of time. Prevent any distractions that may impede their ability to accomplish the desired task.

Core Belief: I’m valuable if I am competent.

Here are some examples of famous celebrities with the Conscientiousness (C) personality:

  • Al Gore
  • Alan Greenspan
  • Albert Einstein
  • Bill Gates
  • Diane Sawyer
  • Isaac Newton
  • J.K. Rowling
  • Jodie Foster
  • Kevin Costner
  • Mark Zuckerberg
  • Michelle Rodriguez
  • Richard Nixon
  • Tim Burton
  • Tom Brokaw
  • Warren Buffett

Money Strengths: You are thorough and careful, which helps to avoid falling for any get-rich-quick schemes. If there’s a stock you’re interested in, you’ve kept a watchful eye on the equity for countless days and have conducted all the research you possibly can conduct to minimize risk. You meticulously weigh the pros and cons before making any purchases.

Money Improvement Plan of Action: Your hesitance and precaution may be a downfall that leads to analysis paralysis. You may have missed a few once-in-a-lifetime shopping deals or stocks at an all-time low price because you were not 100% certain at the moment. While these regrets may haunt you, fret not as you can still adapt to be more decisive in the future. You always think you need more time to analyze the good and the bad. The truth is that there never is a truly “right time”. Don’t get caught up in the details; Carpe diem and chase your fiscal goals without delay!

 

How Do Personalities Differ at Work Infographic DISC Personality Spending Habits

From the above infographic, C-Suite employees have predominantly the same style personalities regardless of their country of origin. CEO’s and CFO’s in many different companies had D as their dominant personality style. Findings in the U.S. yielded similar results.

Albeit, D’s may be more geared to climb the corporate ladder, but every personality style has the capacity for excellent leadership. Moreover, every personality style lends itself to a different, but equally beneficial, leadership style.

COVID Effect on DISC Personality

The COVID-19 global pandemic is affecting every person differently. It can help to realize how you are handling the consequences.

For instance, an analytical C-style person may want to dive into the precise numbers and daily updated stats of the virus.

On the other hand, the I-style person may feel neglected and miserable from lack of social interaction with friends and loved ones.

Maybe the D-style person is demanding too much from his or her spouse and has too high of expectations of his or her kids to complete all of their schoolwork in a timely manner.

Finally, the S-style individual may have taken on a workload they can’t possibly handle, but will suffer in silence because they want to please everyone around them. 

Everyone has unique reactions to problems and issues they encounter day in and day out. It’s important to realize how we can help each other cope with the pandemic ramifications.

DISC Personality Interaction

As you would expect, the opposite personalities clash the most (i.e. D’s clash with S’s while I’s clash with C’s.)

Unsurprisingly, adjacent personalities get along more (D’s with I’s and C’s, I’s with S’s and D’s, S’s with I’s and C’s, C’s with S’s and D’s).

No matter how unique our parents or teachers tell us we are, each one of us can be categorized into four categories. At times, we may wander from one quadrant to the other depending on the situation or location (i.e. at work vs. at home), but our fundamental personalities are predominately anchored to one of the DISC letters.

Having the DISC personality information at your disposal allows you to effectively interact with different types of people as well as you possibly can. Once you can understand personalities, you can begin to depersonalize behaviors and realize a person is acting predictably based on the situation he or she is presented with.

As a result, one may decrease frustration, miscommunication, and error in judgement. This allows you to have more empathy and to improve relationships with friends, family, colleagues, and even strangers.

Where Does Your DISC Personality Fit In?

If you want to find out what DISC personality you have, feel free to take a free 5 minute DISC test right here (No email address or personal data required).

The test only consists of 28 groups of four statements.

For each group of four descriptions, you should have one most like you and only one least like you. Very simple and fun!

Which DISC Personality style are you? Let me know in the comments below.

December Side Income Report | 2020

December 2020 Side Income

Welcome to the 2020 December Side Income Report. Congrats, if you’re reading this, you’ve made it to the end of 2020!

Let’s start this post with the obligatory caveat:

FLA’s side hustle income reports are not for the purpose of bragging. This side income amount of money is by no means impressive. The sole purpose of this series is to inspire you to create diversified income streams in order to help you achieve your financial goals faster.

I began this tumultuous F.I.R.E. (Financial Independence – Retire Early) journey almost immediately after graduating from college and shortly realizing it is never ideal to work for someone other than yourself.

After withdrawing from the corporate world, I plan to fully indulge in my mission of helping 10 million people with their own path to financial freedom. I’ve discovered a wonderful community of people with shared mindsets. So I’m currently on a journey to see if we can turn FLA into a little business that supports the mission.

The reason I’ve decided to publish these income reports is because I want you to be a part of the journey.

After aggressively saving 70%+ of my annual income year after year, I’m approximately 25% of the way to retirement with 10 years to go. I’m aware that side hustles may never fully support one’s expenses, but I’m willing to try.

At the very minimum of making $1/month (what one may consider failure), I am ecstatic as I realize this can be considered supplemental income that will be able to be reinvested into this blog to enhance your reading experience on FLA.

Through my arduous journey, I’ve learned to focus on the future value of money. One dollar to you may look like a standard George Washington-faced bill, but to me, I see its potential.  Accounting for 3% inflation, investing that dollar could return 5 times its original value in 25 years. Yes, that’s like putting $1 into an ATM and having it return a $5 bill back to you. How amazing is compound interest?! Hypothetically, you can increase that principal amount, and you’ve got yourself some unbelievable returns.

My hope with these income reports is ultimately to present some transparency for you. By showing it doesn’t take much effort to earn and save, I may motivate you to chase one of your biggest dreams. Dreams may originally sound outlandish, but they all need to start somewhere, right? Without further ado, here is FLA’s December 2020 Side Income Report.

 

DECEMBER SIDE INCOME REPORT

The best way to make money is to have various streams of revenue. The best way to protect yourself in the course of ill-fated events stripping you of some of your main sources of income is to diversify.

We have all heard the pragmatic advice of “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.” Well, put this theory into practice. The following is my best attempt to develop additional sources of income. Below are the six ways I attempted to make money from my side hustles in the month of December.

 

 

Stocks are my absolute favorite money making assets. Your money can make money for you with the click of a ‘buy’ button! Sure, there are ups and downs in the stock market, but if you look historically at the S&P 500 Index or the Dow Jones Industrial Average, your investment generally grows over the long term. Remember, investing and gambling are not the same thing.

“If you aren’t willing to own a stock for ten years, don’t even think about owning it for ten minutes.”

-Warren Buffett, American Investor/Business Tycoon/Philanthropist/Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

Investors and analysts may contend that conducting research on which stock to buy may be active work, but it is a generally held credence that dividends are passive income.

What are dividends?

Simply, they are distribution of some of a company’s earnings to a class of its shareholders. In this case, you are the shareholder. Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but the company you invest in will reward you with bonus money!

Let’s take a look at the aftermath of the stocks that paid out dividends this month:

December 2020 Stock Dividends

Which stocks have I invested in? I have a few individual stock picks, but the finance community knows this is often a loser’s game. I mainly hold VTI, the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund, which allows you to be diversified and capture 3,525 different stocks with a minimal expense ratio, or annual fee, of 0.03%. Index funds will often take you to the promised land in the long run.

Typically, you have 2 choices with dividends. You can either accept the dividend as cold hard cash or you can choose to reinvest the money back into the same stock automatically. It’s as simple as clicking the ‘yes’ button when prompted with the question on whether or not to re-invest dividends.

I strongly recommend you to reinvest your dividends and capital gains. Why? Well, look at this way: you didn’t have the earned dividend money to begin with. Do you really need it at this moment? Why not let your additional money grow even more? Open up an investment account and enjoy the magic of compounding interest by increasing your principal investment.

December Side Income – Stock Dividends / Interest Total: $220.27

 

In my free time, I participate in paid surveys. It’s one of my other sources of income. The surveys are mindless and allow you to temporarily escape from life’s struggles and reality. Oftentimes, you have a chance to play your part in society and provide meaningful feedback on hot topics that may be decided by top companies and government officials.

The 3 survey programs I use daily are:

  1. Prolific
  2. Pinecone Research
  3. YouGov

I strongly recommend any of these three survey websites because of the higher payouts. Our time on this planet is valuable. Always consider how much time you are trading for money.

Prolific

Prolific seems to have the highest quantity of surveys available. Each survey also previews an hourly rate to the user. This significantly helps in determining if the survey is worth your time. I’ve seen them range from $3/hour all the way up to $30/hour, but on average are $8/hour.

Pinecone Research

Pinecone Research surveys always reward you with $3 for every survey. Since each survey is typically around 10 minutes long, the site has a pretty standard hourly rate of $12/hour. However, the frequency of surveys is much less than Prolific.

YouGov

Finally, YouGov’s typical survey lasts for 10 minutes and will pay out $1.50, translating to an hourly rate of $6/hr. Even though it is the lowest payout, it still helps to have supplemental income. Again, always consider the balance between time and money.

YouGov is an eclectic group of the media, nonprofits and companies that congregate to find out what the world thinks. YouGov happens to be one of the most-quoted data sources in the US and across the world.

Prolific, Pinecone Research, and YouGov offer all kinds of rewards, but I normally recommend cash payout via PayPal. The transfer is usually instantaneous. Prolific does pay out in GBP, but the money is translated to USD when conducting a bank transfer in PayPal.

In fact, Prolific does not have a minimum payout, Pinecone’s minimum payout is $5, and YouGov’s minimum cash payout is $50, albeit YouGov offers the option of a $15 Amazon gift card.

December 2020 Side Income Survey Earnings

Pinecone Research December 2020 Side Income

Prolific December 2020 Side Income Cash Out

Prolific December 2020 Side Income Transfer

December Side Income – Surveys Total: $95.99

 

An additional passive income stream is selling your old goods or unused consumer products. Simply list your items with competitive pricing on Amazon and/or eBay, sit back, and let the buyers make you offers.

I often notice friends, family, and even co-workers constantly looking to throw out items that are still in perfectly good condition; it drives me nuts! Why not let someone bid on the product? Worst case will be that it doesn’t sell, and then you can throw out the item. No harm, no foul.

At the very least, donate your stuff. I typically enjoy donating old apparel to the Salvation Army and other charities. It always feels good to know your treasured clothing is not going to waste.

This month, I was fortunate enough for a stranger to bite on 1 item of my personal inventory I was looking to discard. After fees and small shipping costs, I still walk away with a hefty profit:

eBay Side Income December 6 2020

eBay Side Income December 14 2020

eBay Side Income December 15 2020

eBay Side Income December 18 2020

December Side Income – Selling Total: $195.05

 

As a blogger, I would like to keep the user experience as clean as possible. Therefore, I have chosen to keep all Google AdSense ads from my website. I am an avid reader of many other blogs, and I can truthfully admit it retracts from the reading experience. I am very proud of this decision and will continue with this route.

December Side Income – Google AdSense Revenue: $0

 

I published my first eBook titled “How I Launched, Marketed, and Promoted a High-Traffic Blog in Under 15 Days” at the beginning of December . I only promoted the book as part of the launch, but several people found their way to the sales page. Again, this is a learning process to convert the views into actual sales. As Robert Kiyosaki alludes to in his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, it’s all about being a best-selling author, not a best-writing author. There is a subtle yet significant difference.

December Side Income – eBook Blog Startup Manual Sales: $0

 

Who would’ve ever thought that spending money would actually earn you money? Well, with cash-back credit cards, now it’s certainly possible. With my Capital One Venture Card, I can now make this dream a reality.

Depending on the card you have, you’ll score 1-2 miles with every dollar you spend. Capital One Miles can be used in a variety of ways, and are generally worth between half a cent and one cent apiece.

Earn 50,000 bonus miles (equivalent to $500) once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

This month I was able to keep my spending down due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic that limits the amount of time spent outside the house, thus limiting the amount of opportunities to throw away those hard earned paychecks.

Capital One Credit Cash Reward Cash Back December Side Income 2020

After looking at my monthly expense report, I saw that I earned 3,270 miles, which is equivalent to $32.70.

December Side Income – Capital One Credit Card Cash-Back Rewards – $32.70

 

Well, that’s it for this month’s side income report! Hope you all had a safe and happy holiday season. Happy New Year! May 2021 bring you all good health and happiness.

In 2020, I was able to max out my Roth IRA and 401k – I highly recommend you do the same in 2021 if you have the option!

Although I continue to practice dollar cost averaging via my employer’s 401k, I will wait for some correction or downturn in the stock market before investing any more cash in my taxable brokerage account. Patience is a virtue!

Despite there being a global pandemic, the stock market performed better than average in 2020, thanks to global stimulus packages, a COVID vaccine, and some other promising factors that helped out the average investor’s portfolio. This is just even more confirmation that no one can predict how the stock market will perform, not even Wall Street.

Thank you for taking the time to read through my latest December income report and thank you for contributing if you have previously purchased something through one of my affiliate links!

If you wish to support this site, but don’t have a need for any of FLA’s affiliate products, you could simply do your regular Amazon shopping through any of the links on this site that lead to Amazon.com. You won’t pay any extra and FLA will receive a small commission. Thanks so much if you do so!

That’s a wrap for this income report and this year! I am looking forward to earning more money on the side in the future. Stay hustlin’, my friends!

Total December Side Income: $544.01

 

2020 Monthly Average Side Income: $375.24

2020 Side Income Grand Total: $4,502.93

 

How were your holidays and how was your year of hustling? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Editorial Note – Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

User Generated Content Disclosure – Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Top 10 Best Money Blogs To Improve Your Personal Finance Knowledge

Top 10 Favorite Money Bloggers To Improve Your Personal Finance Knowledge

As the holiday season is finally here, Fresh Life Advice is giving you all presents. I present to you my favorite top 10 best money blogs to improve your personal finance knowledge.

Collectively, these best money blogs incorporate topics on investing, retirement, estate planning, budgeting, saving, estate planning, mortgages, and many more money related subjects. Their articles are packed with information that keep you stimulated throughout your own personal finance journey.

“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

-Isaac Newton, Mathematician

What was Newton referring to?

He had the brilliant idea of using knowledge bestowed upon him by great thinkers of previous generations and utilizing their fundamental principles to propel his own understanding to a higher level.

We can apply this same philosophy to personal finance. As you read about me, you know that I’m always looking to learn and advance. Consistent success and growth stem from constant self-improvement.

As you follow FLA through my expedition to early retirement, I will make plenty of mistakes. Inevitable mistakes.

Expectations vs Reality Top 10 Favorite Money Bloggers

The wise ones with plenty of experience are aware that the path to success is not a straight line. It’s a zig-zag, circular, loop-de-loop type of path that will lead to failure after failure after failure. But the successful ones do not succumb to such intimidating obstacles in their way. They continually battle and never give up. This has been one of the most important lessons I have ever learned.

As I’m always learning and reading, I would like to share with you some of my favorite finance and money blogs that I religiously read. Some of these people have already achieved financial freedom. They represent role models that show you early retirement has been done before or will be completed. Myth debunked.

Fresh Life Advice, on the other hand, is trying to give you a perspective of the beginning of the journey. I want you to learn from my mistakes so you don’t make the same ones.

 

Top 10 Best Money Blogs

Hopefully, I will be able to collaborate and work with these bloggers in some type of way in the future. The old adage claims that two heads are better than one. Without further ado, below are some of the best money blogs:

1. My Money Wizard – Sean

My Money Wizard commenced in 2015, and I’ve been an avid reader ever since. Sean works as a financial analyst so he does have a background in economics. Whether it’s touting index funds or analyzing the optimal order in which to invest your money, I see many parallels between FLA and The Money Wiz. Sean’s been tracking his net worth every month and is on track to retire by age 35. My Money Wizard is one of the most humble and down-to-Earth blogs you will see in the Personal Finance blogosphere.

2. Budgets Are Sexy – J. Money / Joel

J. Money was one of the first in the game to publicly track his net worth in 2008. With such transparency, this best money blog allows you to track your own net worth alongside J$ to see if you are on pace for your own goals. J. Money made downloadable Excel spreadsheets that will aid with budgeting and net worth tracking. In 2019, J. Money sold the attention-grabbing blog Budgets Are Sexy to The Motley Fool.

Joel has now taken over the blog in 2020 and is one of the most dedicated bloggers I’ve read. Joel wakes up every single day, weekday and weekends, at 5 AM to seize the day. Although this lifestyle may not be for everyone, including his own wife, Joel’s productivity in Los Angeles is through the roof.

3. Millennial Money – Grant Sabatier

Grant’s incredible claim to fame was going from being broke with a balance of $2.26 in his bank account to saving over $1 million in less than 5 years. Grant was earning $50,000 a year in his day job and saving about 20 percent, but he knew it wouldn’t be enough. So he launched a side hustle building websites for law firms, and invested the vast majority of what he made in index funds. Now, Millennial Money has appeared on every major news outlet, and Grant has even gotten to hang out with Rachel Ray to promote his book Financial Freedom.

4. Financial Samurai – Sam Dogen

In 2009, Sam began writing Financial Samurai. Sam did not graduate from any Ivy League school, but he still managed to outwork his competition and got a job for Goldman Sachs out of college. In 1999, he made a $3,000 investment in VCSY and was blessed with a 5,000% return from the Dotcom Bubble. Part of it was luck, but he had done his research, and the big risk paid off immensely. From there, Sam never looked back. He worked his way up the corporate ladder and became a Vice President of his company by age 27. After saving more than 70% of his after-tax income, he was able to retire at age 34 in San Francisco with a net worth of over 2 million dollars. Sam now writes via Financial Samurai for an audience of over 1 million readers every single month. As an expert in negotiating and wealth management, Sam always generates profound posts that make you truly think.

5. Mr. Tako Escapes – Mr. Tako

Mr. Tako is one of the wealthiest bloggers that discusses money. Despite what you would assume, his wife and him did not work on Wall Street, receive a large inheritance, sell stocks before the financial crisis of 2008, or flip real estate. No, in fact, Mr. and Mrs. Tako have just been disciplined investors that have weathered the uneasy storm of harsh financial markets and have worked hard to retire at the age of 38. They now enjoy cooking delicious meals and homeschooling their 2 sons in their home in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. Mr. Tako often provides insightful commentary and predictions about individual equities. His whole reason for writing Mr. Tako Escapes is to document financial independence and provide a resourceful guide for both of his sons to use when they grow older.

6. Early Retirement Extreme – Jacob Lund Fisker

Jacob is not only the creator of Early Retirement Extreme but also seems to be the founder of the FIRE movement altogether. Mr. Fisker is one of the most frugal people you will read about with expenses so low that he will make you question your own annual purchases. After living a thrifty life as a PhD astrophysicist and biking to all of his destinations, he was able to free himself of Corporate America by the astounding age 33. In his book Early Retirement Extreme, he explains how his smart financial choices and simple living brought him financial freedom at such an early age.

7. Get Rich Slowly – J.D. Roth

Another one of the best money blogs is Get Rich Slowly, authored by J.D. Roth. He is a self-proclaimed “professional nerd, accidental personal-finance expert, dog lover, and whiskey drinker.” With so many personal finance sites on the web, J.D. stood out by documenting his struggles to get out of debt in 2006. The idea behind Get Rich Slowly was to convey that there are no shortcuts to achieving wealth. Everyone wants a get-rich-quick scheme, but J.D. exalted the idea of delayed gratification.

8. Mr. Money Mustache – Pete Adeney

When people think of the FIRE movement and best money blogs, usually Mr. Money Mustache is the first person that comes to mind. Many note Pete’s blog as the first website that got them hooked into the pursuit of Early Retirement. MMM developed an iconic yet simple chart that showed if you started saving more money, you’d be able to cut down your working years by a significant amount of years. This, in turn, saved many people the headache of continually slaving away in the office. Pete was a software engineer who reached total financial independence at the ripe age of 30. After he promptly quit his job, he started a side construction business as a hobby. The man with the wacky blog name now enjoys his freedom fully with his wife and son.

9. Go Curry Cracker! – Jeremy and Winnie

Jeremy and Winnie were able to hit financial independence in their 30’s. Go Curry Cracker and his wife pride themselves on traveling and exploring the world. The Go Curry Cracker site has many travel hacks, tax tips, and great insight to get you the best bang for your buck. By saving and resisting the splurge on unnecessary purchases, this couple now enjoys more annual vacations than they could ever imagine. With a playful yet analytical tone, Go Curry Cracker shows you how you can make the world your adventure too.

10. The Simple Path to Wealth – J.L. Collins

J.L. Collins is a FI blogger that is most noted for The Stock Series. Starting out selling flyswatters door-to-door, he is now an accomplished consultant, speaker, and author of one of the best money blogs. J.L. is also an avid index fund investor and world traveler. Based off of his blog, he’s written a book The Simple Path to Wealth, which chronicles his rags to riches life. J.L. Collins discusses controversial dollar cost averaging (DCA) and other interesting investment strategies on the honest best money blog.

 

Moreover, the Internet is a vast endless space so this list is ever-growing as I read and find more interesting sites along my journey. I’m always looking for new recommendations because an important part of life is the continual pursuit of education and self-growth. With that being said, I cannot limit the list to only 10 websites, so I must also present the honorable mentions for the best money blogs.

 

Best Money Blogs – Honorable Mentions

11. Tic Toc Life – Chris and Jenni

The story of Chris and Jenni stems all the way back to middle school, when they first met. After going to high school and college together, they eventually got married with similar financial goals. Chris and Jenni reached FI at age 33 to retire early at 35. Their goal became a reality. Chris and Jenni offer principals they learned along the way that readers could adapt to their own lives. They even started a Reader’s Fund, which generously donates monthly to non-profits of the blog readers’ choice! This Donor-Advised Fund is something FLA hopes to start too and something other best money blogs should mimic for the greater good.

12. Impersonal Finances – IF

Impersonal Finances is written by a man in his 30’s living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Despite what you may have predicted, he does not work in the tech industry. His blog chronicles how it’s possible to live in one of the most expensive areas in the U.S. but still retire early through consistent investment and constant saving. IF has one of the best senses of humor around that makes personal finance enjoyable to read.

13. Happily Disengaged – Noel

Noel is 2nd generation Chicano union carpenter with a lot of soul. He is not only a veteran of the Iraq War but also has backpacked around the world…twice. Is there anything this blogger can’t do? His travel has given him and his wife a taste of retirement. The site Happily Disengaged talks about consumerism, the corporate rat race, and anything to do with commuting on a freeway. With the eventual dream of living in Spain full time, Noel writes this blog to make both of his daughters proud.

14. Physician on Fire – Lief

If you have a career as a physician, then the Physician on Fire site is for you. Even if you are not a physician, you can learn so much from Lief’s approach towards money and his financial independence journey. He is an anesthesiologist by day, but he makes sure family comes first. PoF is definitely not afraid to speak his mind, and that’s exactly what you want in lieu of the slimy financial advisors that beat around the bush to make a quick buck off of your ignorance. All in all, Lief covers topics from income earning to credit cards and much more. You can look forward to his weekly series The Sunday Best, where he features other refreshing reads from around the personal finance blogosphere.

15. The Savvy Couple – Kelan and Brittany

Founded in 2016, Kelan and Brittany have a mission as The Savvy Couple to help families learn how to budget their money, organize their life, and unlock the freedom to do more of the things they love! This pursuit is simple yet very admirable. Once children are introduced into the mix, expenses and budgeting are thrown to the side, but Kelan and Brittany are there to keep you in line using tools such as the Eisenhower Matrix, automating systems, and outsourcing menial tasks.

16. Financial Fred – Fred

Financial Fred is written by who else, but Fred himself! As a millennial in these fast-paced times, Fred advocates that everyone should become more financially responsible. He loves to read and write about finance, economics, and how emotions affect our decisions. Currently working on his CPA designation, he’s had several management and executive roles within the field of finance. Thus, you can trust that Fred knows what he’s talking about.

17. Reverse The Crush – Graham

In 2016, Graham took a year off from working as a stock broker in Toronto, Canada. He mused and took time to prioritize his financial goals in life. From then on, Reverse The Crush was born. If you’re looking to build income streams through blogging and dividend investing to reach financial independence, then Reverse The Crush is the place to start.

18. Our Intentional Farm – Sean and Simone

No, Sean and Simone do not currently own a farm. But the name Our Intentional Farm is “about planting seeds of intention to reap a well-balanced and joyful life.” With the hopes to inspire and encourage others in similar financial situations, Sean and Simone show you how to keep track and rid yourself of debt. These are compelling articles that are not hypothetical situations. Instead, they represent real-life struggles to learn how to manage finances. The style is relaxed, while the content is rich.

19. The Working At Home Man – Matt

The Working At Home Man name is pretty self-explanatory. Matt has been working from home ever since 2017 only to discover that working from home has many more benefits to working in the office. If you’re looking to live a similar lifestyle, then Matt has plenty of resources to help you on your path to financial independence. The Working At Home Man also publishes monthly updates along with his portfolio progress.

20. Common Cents Lifestyle – Ashley

Common Cents Lifestyle came to life after Ashley found her passion in helping others with personal finance. She currently holds an MBA and has spent her expansive career in the world of finance. Ashley has a great understanding of retirement accounts, insurance, and general business. She even has a successful track record of growing several small businesses to medium-sized business. In her free time, Ashley loves to travel and ski. Not a bad way to spend your free time.

21. Max Out of Pocket – Max

Max Out of Pocket is not just a fun pun. In truth, Max created this blog with a wealth of knowledge from both the healthcare industry and the personal finance space. Armed with answers to every medical question you may have, Max shares information from his experience of working more than a decade in the American healthcare system. Knowing how the corporate world can be rewarding, toxic, and addictive, Max is here to help make your mental and physical life easier.

22. Divs4Jesus – D4J

D4J has one of the most creative names on the list. Some live and die by stock dividends. Dividends have yet to fail D4J. D4J writes the Divs4Jesus blog, including some pretty good stuff about investing. I’ve learned a thing or two from reading this blog, which means it definitely merits inclusion into the best money blogs honorable mentions. He shows how a diversified portfolio of 33 stocks and bonds can provide considerable passive income. For those of you who didn’t know, Jesus’ age at the time of his death was also 33.

23. GenY Money – GYM

GenY Money a fun site that’s chock-full of great material to help you manage your finances. As you probably have guessed from the site name, GYM is a member of Generation Y. She’s here to prove that Gen Y is not entitled, spoiled, and lazy after all. Gen Y can be very good with money, and GYM has all the tips for you to learn. In her 30’s and living in one of the most expensive cities in Vancouver, British Columbia,  Canada, GYM shares net worth updates along the way to the target $1 million goal by age 40.

24. FIRE Your Own Way – Jordan

Jordan is the creator of FIRE Your Own Way. Discovering FIRE is life-altering for many, and the story was no different for Jordan. She was able to save over $200,000 by age of 30 and is now well on her way to retire by 40. As a fellow proponent of experimentation and optimization, Jordan continues exploring for different ways to Financial Independence. Whether you want to retire early or retire eventually, Jordan is there to shed light on the process.

24. Financially free in 10 years – Mr. Robot

Mr. Robot is not actually a robot. Artificial Intelligence running personal finance blogs may become the norm, but humans are still generally the faces behind these sites. Financially free in 10 years is exactly what it sounds like. A Dutch man in his mid-30’s using the pseudonym Mr. Robot works in IT by day and runs this blog at night. Mr. Robot aims to retire at age 55 to enjoy the most of his freedom with his wife Mrs. Robot and child Lil’ Bot in The Netherlands. Like FLA, Mr. Robot also enjoys sports and movies in his free time. Without fail, Mr. Robot is the go-to guy for an obscure movie reference or sound personal finance advice.

25. The Sensible Merchant – Kevin

When I read Kevin’s story, what struck me was the mentality he adopted to take control of his money. That is, he decided to look at his personal life as a business. He looked for ways to lower expenses, increase revenue, and pay down debt. It’s inspiring to read, and he continues to write insightful posts.

 

Fresh Life Advice will keep a running list of the best money blogs that will be continually changing, as this list is not intended to be comprehensive.

Fortunately, I have come to known some of these sites’ creators on a personal basis. I can assure you these people truly do want to spread financial knowledge to as many readers as possible. Readers that are earnestly searching for personal finance knowledge. All of these best money bloggers have a passion for helping others navigate the often confusing world of personal and business finances.

The aforementioned blogs should make for plenty of reading material to keep you busy during the holiday season!  I really hope you learn something interesting from reading all of those amazing money, investing, and personal finance blogs!

If you have any websites or niches that come to mind, please include them in the comment section below. I cannot promise to add them, but I can guarantee I will check them out and read as much as I can.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you and your family!

Which blogs do you frequently read?

How Much Did I Spend on Amazon Shopping in 2020?

Amazon Shopping Report Card Grade

What a year 2020 has been! This year has been tough for everyone across the globe. Despite the hardship, there is plenty to be hopeful and grateful for. Today, I will be exploring how much I spent on Amazon Shopping in 2020.

Your holiday shopping may look entirely different this year due to the lockdowns and quarantine in order. Or your holiday shopping venue may be the same as every year. Either way, more people will be shopping online than ever.

In 2020, I am projected to save a whopping 73% of my income. This is no small feat and certainly took immense discipline. Albeit, the restrictions on in-person gatherings have ameliorated the expenses.

Nevertheless, I was able to indulge on myself and others via online shopping. For such a grueling year, your family, friends, loved ones, and even that micromanaging boss of yours all deserve a nice gift.

You can expect delays around the country as shipping companies will be overloaded with orders so I would recommend placing your holiday orders as soon as you can.

*Disclosure: At no extra cost to you, FLA will receive a referral commission if you use the Amazon affiliate links below to purchase an item. Thank you!

Let’s get to the list. What did I spend my money on this year?

AMAZON ONLINE SHOPPING 2020 REPORT CARD

January 2020

Product: NutriBullet NBR-0601 Nutrient ExtractorNutriBullet NBR-0601 Nutrient Extractor Amazon Shopping in 2020

Price: $50

Grade: A+++

The year started out with one of my favorite purchases. I know the highest grade in school is an A+, but I use the NutriBullet almost every single day. It holds plenty of volume for my daily smoothies and shakes, is super easy to clean, and has never failed to blend. I was thoroughly impressed with this one.

 

Product: Compact Travel UmbrellaSY COMPACT Travel Umbrella Windproof Automatic Umbrella Amazon Shopping in 2020

Price: $12

Grade: B+

I’m naturally a prepper. No, not one of those doomsday preppers. More of a realist ‘what-can-go-wrong-will-go-wrong’ type of prepper. I was in need of a new umbrella, so I bought a standard, modern model in preparation for the rainy months to come. No complaints here.

 

Product: Marino’s Men Genuine Leather Dress Belt with Single Prong Buckle Marino’s Men Genuine Leather Dress Belt with Single Prong Buckle Amazon Shopping in 2020

Price: $15

Grade: A

I wanted a nice belt with a professional look. This was perfect and is at a bargain of a price. The leather is great quality and will last me a long time.

 

Product: Crest 3D White Dental Whitening Kit, Professional Effects Whitestrips Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips 20 Treatments Amazon Shopping in 2020

Price: $49

Grade: A

I pride myself on my smile. As a result, I feel more confident and this, in turn, has a compound effect in my life. For transparency, I typically use Whitestrips annually. Talk to your dentist for his or her recommendation.

 

February 2020

Product: Toshiba 32LF221U19 32-inch 720p HD Smart LED TVToshiba 32LF221U21 32-inch Smart HD 720p TV - Fire TV Edition Amazon Shopping in 2020

Price: $130

Grade: A

TV’s can be hit or miss in regards to picture quality. The Toshiba TV is so clear. I also needed a Smart TV to connect to all of my streaming devices. I’ve officially cut cable! Terminating  your cable bills is a great way to save monthly!

 

Product: Mounting Dream Full Motion TV Wall Mounts TV BracketMounting Dream Full Motion TV Wall Mounts TV Bracket Amazon Shopping in 2020

Price: $22

Grade: A

This was the first time I’ve mounted a TV in my life. I was blown away how easy it was to install. It’s fun and rewarding to accomplish DIY projects.

 

Product: Spectrum Essentials Organic Ground FlaxseedSpectrum Essentials Organic Ground Flaxseed Amazon Shopping in 2020

Price: $8

Grade: A

Flaxseeds are a great source of protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids in addition to vitamins and minerals. I typically add a couple tablespoons of Flaxseed to oatmeal, smoothies, and other quick meals. They are great for your heart, cholesterol, blood pressure, skin, hair, eyes, and brain.

 

April 2020

Product: HP EliteDisplay E223 21.5-Inch Screen Led-Lit MonitorHP EliteDisplay E223 22 Inch Monitor Amazon Shopping in 2020

Price: $160

Grade: B+

Once the world started working remotely, I knew I couldn’t stare a small work computer laptop screen all day. This large additional monitor relieved the tension on my neck, eyes, and back.

 

Product: Posture Corrector For Men And Women

Price: $20Posture Corrector For Men And Women Amazon Shopping in 2020

Grade: C-

Piggybacking off the previous purchase, I wanted to ensure my posture would not degrade while working remotely. The product was an idealized way to fix any hunches I had developed. However, it just was not practical to wear this every day, and I quickly stopped using it. Price was relatively cheap so wasn’t a big investment, but I still liked the idea of it.

 

Product: Power Systems Urethane Coated Dumbbell Weight SetsPower Systems Urethane Coated Dumbbell Weight Sets Amazon Shopping in 2020

Price: $56

Grade: B-

I was looking for a standard pair of weights to help with at-home workouts. These weights do the job. You can expect all workout equipment to be overpriced since gyms are closing down everywhere.

 

Product: Shentec 2-Pack 3000mAh 6V Battery Compatible with PaslodeShentec 2-Pack 3000mAh 6V Battery Compatible with Paslode Amazon Shopping in 2020

Price: $27

Grade: B+

Needed batteries for a nail gun. These worked very well and had plenty of battery life.

 

Product: Smead Poly Expanding File Folder, 12 PocketsSmead Poly Expanding File Folder, 12 Pockets, 12 Customizable Tiered Tabs

Price: $13

Grade: B

The key to success is to keep yourself organized. This folder serves its purpose adequately.

 

May 2020

Product: PBfit All-Natural Organic Peanut Butter PowderPBfit All-Natural Organic Peanut Butter Powder Amazon Shopping in 2020

Price: $13

Grade: A

Peanut Butter typically is high in fat. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you’re looking to put on mass, but I really enjoy the taste of peanut butter. This PB powder allows you to indulge without the extra calories.

 

Product: The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin GrahamThe Intelligent Investor Amazon Shopping in 2020

Price: $14

Grade: A

I’ve heard so many good things about this book that I had to read it for myself. Warren Buffett touts it as the best investing book. After reading it, I’d have to agree. The sound investing technique of buying companies that can consistently post a profit every quarter will inevitably cause their stock price to gradually rise. The foundation of relentless innovation and a product or service in high demand has been proven over and over throughout the years.

 

Product: Happy 60th Birthday Toilet Paper Prank Funny Gag GiftHappy 60th Birthday Toilet Paper Prank Funny Gag Gift Amazon Shopping in 2020

Price: $13

Grade: D

This purchase was most irresponsible way to spend hard earned money in 2020. However, you can’t put a price tag on a practical joke. I’m sure this birthday gift got a laugh from a relative.

 

Product: 60th Birthday Gift Shirt – Vintage Aged to Perfection 196060th Birthday Gift Shirt - Vintage Aged to Perfection 1960

Price: $24

Grade: B

To compensate for the joke gag gift, I bought a nice t-shirt to celebrate the relative’s milestone birthday.

 

June 2020

Product: Stud Finder Sensor Wall ScannerStud Finder Sensor Wall Scanner - 4 in 1 Electronic Stud Sensor Beam Finders Wall Detector Center Finding with LCD Display

Price: $31

Grade: A+

My Dad has been using the same stud finder since I was born. I finally got him an upgrade. I was blown away when I saw this device is able to find the center of every stud behind the wall. It can be used for almost every type of wall you can think of too.

 

Product: Roku Express HD Streaming Media PlayerRoku Express HD Streaming Media Player Amazon Shopping in 2020

Price: $24

Grade: A

Roku’s stock has skyrocketed for a reason; they have a high demand. As I mentioned earlier, I cut cable this year. As a cord cutter, I wanted to enjoy streaming on any TV in the house.

 

Product: Pie-Cut Corner HingePie-Cut Corner Hinge Pair of Hinges

Price: $14

Grade: A

I needed a simple hinge to fix a door. This did the job.

 

July 2020

Product: Brita Everyday Pitcher with 1 FilterBrita Water Pitcher with 1 Filter Amazon Shopping in 2020

Price: $28

Grade: A+++

I can’t remember the last time I drank from a plastic water bottle. Using a Brita Pitcher and re-usable water bottles are such easy ways to help out the environment. I highly recommend every household get a Brita Pitcher.

 

Product: Kensun Durable Easy-to-Operate Dual Power Portable Tire Inflator Air CompressorKensun Durable Easy-to-Operate Dual Power Portable Tire Inflator Air Compressor

Price: $60

Grade: A

This air compressor is useful not only for car tires but also for sports balls and pool toys. It can conveniently be stored in your car trunk or garage. If you’re stuck on the highway, the compressor can plug in and get power from your car battery. It’s a very durable item.

 

August 2020

Product: RENPHO Body Fat Scale Smart Digital Bathroom Weight BMI ScaleRENPHO Body Fat Scale Smart BMI Scale Digital Bathroom Wireless Weight Scale, Body Composition Analyzer

Price: $22

Grade: A+++

I use this scale every single morning before I shower. It keeps me on track for my goals for weight loss or muscle gain. The scale connects with your phone via Bluetooth technology and will read out weight, body fat, water retention, muscle composition, etc. Lastly, it plots every metric imaginable on visually appealing graphs.

 

Product: Oral-B Pulsar 3d White Advanced Vivid Soft Toothbrush Twin PackOral-B Pulsar 3d White Advanced Vivid Soft Toothbrush Twin Pack

Price: $7

Grade: A

I was due for a new toothbrush. I really like these because they are very lightweight but also have the automatic electronic spin capability with the touch of a single button.

 

Product: Softsoap Liquid Hand SoapSoftsoap Liquid Hand Soap

Price: $15

Grade: A

As the Coronavirus got worse, the world was reminded how imperative handwashing was to our sanitary health. I stocked up on some hand soap.

 

Product: Hunter Dempsey Indoor Low Profile Ceiling Fan with LED Light and Remote ControlHunter Dempsey Indoor Low Profile Ceiling Fan with LED Light and Remote Control Amazon Shopping in 2020

Price: $143

Grade: B

This fan is one of the most popular models on Amazon for a reason – it looks modern and has a low profile. My only complaint was that the directions were not very clear. It took a long time to install even after reading the instruction over and over again. Seeing the final product made all the hard work worth it though.

 

September 2020

Product: Brita 35557 Replacement Filters for Pitchers and Dispensers, 6 CountBrita 35557 Replacement Water Filters, 6 Count

Price: $23

Grade: A

The Brita Filters need to be replaced every 2 months to ensure you are drinking clean water. I stocked up on filters for the year.

 

Product: Amazing Grass Green Superfood: Super Greens Powder with Spirulina, Chlorella, Digestive Enzymes & ProbioticsAmazing Grass Green Superfood Super Greens Powder with Spirulina, Chlorella, Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics

Price: $35

Grade: A

If you don’t eat enough leafy vegetables, this is a great supplement. Again, this powder can be added to smoothies and topped off on other meals. There isn’t any added artificial flavoring that offsets the health benefits. It was more expensive than expected, but 60 servings in a container will last you a long time.

 

Product: FlexiSpot OC3B Ergonomics Executive Office ChairFlexiSpot OC3B Ergonomic Executive Office Chair Amazon Shopping in 2020

Price: $144

Grade: A

Many working from home are looking for comfortable chairs to promote good posture. Ever since purchasing this chair, I feel like an executive when I sit down. Nonetheless, I recommend getting up, walking around, and stretching as much as you can to get the blood flowing.

 

Product: Achiou Neck Gaiter Face MaskAchiou Neck Gaiter Face Mask Scarf

Price: $8

Grade: A

Wearing a mask during a workout is often tough and sometimes restricts breathing. I’ve found this gaiter to be a nice alternative during my outdoor runs, especially on cold winter mornings.

 

Product: Lauzq Fleece Ear Warmers/Muffs Headband for Men & Women & KidsWinter Fleece Ear Warmers Muffs Headband for Men Women Kids

Price: $7

Grade: A+++

My ears are one of the first parts of my body to get cold in the winter months. This was one of the best purchases I made this year as my face actually feels warm during frigid weather. I really enjoy this fleece material; it is not restrictive and very comfortable.

 

October 2020

Product: Numi Organic Tea Gunpowder Green, 100 CountNumi Organic Tea Gunpowder Green

Price: $34

Grade: A

Green tea has endless amount of health benefits. From improved brain function to fat loss to protecting against cancer, you really can’t go wrong with green tea, unless you’re drinking more than 5 cups per day. Plus, green tea has some caffeine (approximately 30 mg to 50 mg) to wake you up on mornings you don’t want to be at work.

 

Product: Log Cabin Sugar Free SyrupLog Cabin Sugar Free Syrup

Price: $14

Grade: A

I’m a big fan of pancakes, waffles, and every other great breakfast meal. Normal syrup has a lot of carbohydrates and sugars that will induce insulin spikes. I can drown my breakfast in this sugar free syrup without feeling any guilt whatsoever.

 

Product: Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein PowderOptimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder

Price: $59

Grade: A

If your diet is lacking in protein from natural sources like chicken, fish, meat, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and eggs, then Whey Protein Powder may help supplement with Branched-chain amino acid (BCAA’s) to assist with building strong and lean muscle.

 

December 2020

Product: Wireless Earbuds Bluetooth 5.0, GPED True Wireless Earbuds Headphones with Charging CaseWireless Earbuds Bluetooth 5.0, GPED True Wireless Earbuds Headphones with Charging Case Amazon Shopping in 2020

Price: $16

Grade: A+++

Why overpay for Airpods when you can get the same wireless headphones for a fraction of the price? This was one of my favorite purchases. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had earphones ripped from my ear because the wire gets caught on a desk, door, or chair. These wireless earphones connect to your phone, and you can listen and talk on the go.

 

Online Amazon Shopping Wrapped Up in 2020

All in all, the total I spent on 34 Amazon individual purchases was a mammoth $1,306.78!

Amazon no longer provides easy-to-use order report so you either need to:

  1. Manually add up your purchases from your order archive history

Or

Amazon Request Order Report Instructions

  1. Request a report from a designated time range. Amazon will email you confirmation and you’ll have access to a spreadsheet, where you’ll be able to add up the total.

Thankfully, my monthly side hustles have essentially covered all of these purchases, AND I still have plenty of cash left over to invest. If your annual Amazon spending is more than you anticipated, do not fret or beat yourself up over it. Just work towards bringing that number down lower the next year!

One of the beautiful things about starting a blog is that you now have the public to keep you accountable.

Last but not least, reviewing this list will also make you stop and think:

  • Were these purchases worth it?
  • Did these products bring me happiness?
  • Were the items worth the labor and time at my job? Were they worth the delay towards ideal retirement?

These questions are now somewhat quantifiable now that you have a running total of expenses.

Some of the few mediocre grades may make us cringe and regret. On the other hand, a list of A’s & B’s should take you back to the time in elementary school when your parents would praise you for an outstanding report card.

You decide for yourself: do you deserve an ice cream sundae for your 2020 Amazon report card?

Let me know how your 2020 spending compares to previous years in the comments below.

November Side Income Report | 2020

November 2020 Side Income

Welcome to the 2020 November Side Income Report.

Let’s start this post with the obligatory caveat:

FLA’s side hustle income reports are not for the purpose of bragging. This side income amount of money is by no means impressive. The sole purpose of this series is to inspire you to create diversified income streams in order to help you achieve your financial goals faster.

I began this tumultuous F.I.R.E. (Financial Independence – Retire Early) journey almost immediately after graduating from college and shortly realizing it is never ideal to work for someone other than yourself.

After withdrawing from the corporate world, I plan to fully indulge in my mission of helping 10 million people with their own path to financial freedom. I’ve discovered a wonderful community of people with shared mindsets. So I’m currently on a journey to see if we can turn FLA into a little business that supports the mission.

The reason I’ve decided to publish these income reports is because I want you to be a part of the journey.

After aggressively saving 70%+ of my annual income year after year, I’m approximately 25% of the way to retirement with 10 years to go. I’m aware that side hustles may never fully support one’s expenses, but I’m willing to try.

At the very minimum of making $1/month (what one may consider failure), I am ecstatic as I realize this can be considered supplemental income that will be able to be reinvested into this blog to enhance your reading experience on FLA.

Through my arduous journey, I’ve learned to focus on the future value of money. One dollar to you may look like a standard George Washington-faced bill, but to me, I see its potential.  Accounting for 3% inflation, investing that dollar could return 5 times its original value in 25 years. Yes, that’s like putting $1 into an ATM and having it return a $5 bill back to you. How amazing is compound interest?! Hypothetically, you can increase that principal amount, and you’ve got yourself some unbelievable returns.

My hope with these income reports is ultimately to present some transparency for you. By showing it doesn’t take much effort to earn and save, I may motivate you to chase one of your biggest dreams. Dreams may originally sound outlandish, but they all need to start somewhere, right? Without further ado, here is FLA’s November 2020 Side Income Report.

 

NOVEMBER SIDE INCOME REPORT

The best way to make money is to have various streams of revenue. The best way to protect yourself in the course of ill-fated events stripping you of some of your main sources of income is to diversify.

We have all heard the pragmatic advice of “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.” Well, put this theory into practice. The following is my best attempt to develop additional sources of income. Below are the six ways I attempted to make money from my side hustles in the month of November.

 

 

Stocks are my absolute favorite money making assets. Your money can make money for you with the click of a ‘buy’ button! Sure, there are ups and downs in the stock market, but if you look historically at the S&P 500 Index or the Dow Jones Industrial Average, your investment generally grows over the long term. Remember, investing and gambling are not the same thing.

“If you aren’t willing to own a stock for ten years, don’t even think about owning it for ten minutes.”

-Warren Buffett, American Investor/Business Tycoon/Philanthropist/Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

Investors and analysts may contend that conducting research on which stock to buy may be active work, but it is a generally held credence that dividends are passive income.

What are dividends?

Simply, they are distribution of some of a company’s earnings to a class of its shareholders. In this case, you are the shareholder. Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but the company you invest in will reward you with bonus money!

Let’s take a look at the aftermath of the stocks that paid out dividends this month:

November 2020 Stock Dividends

Which stocks have I invested in? I have a few individual stock picks, but the finance community knows this is often a loser’s game. I mainly hold VTI, the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund, which allows you to be diversified and capture 3,525 different stocks with a minimal expense ratio, or annual fee, of 0.03%. Index funds will often take you to the promised land in the long run.

Typically, you have 2 choices with dividends. You can either accept the dividend as cold hard cash or you can choose to reinvest the money back into the same stock automatically. It’s as simple as clicking the ‘yes’ button when prompted with the question on whether or not to re-invest dividends.

I strongly recommend you to reinvest your dividends and capital gains. Why? Well, look at this way: you didn’t have the earned dividend money to begin with. Do you really need it at this moment? Why not let your additional money grow even more? Open up an investment account and enjoy the magic of compounding interest by increasing your principal investment.

November Side Income – Stock Dividends / Interest Total: $79.24

 

In my free time, I participate in paid surveys. It’s one of my other sources of income. The surveys are mindless and allow you to temporarily escape from life’s struggles and reality. Oftentimes, you have a chance to play your part in society and provide meaningful feedback on hot topics that may be decided by top companies and government officials.

The 3 survey programs I use daily are:

  1. Prolific
  2. Pinecone Research
  3. YouGov

I strongly recommend any of these three survey websites because of the higher payouts. Our time on this planet is valuable. Always consider how much time you are trading for money.

Prolific

Prolific seems to have the highest quantity of surveys available. Each survey also previews an hourly rate to the user. This significantly helps in determining if the survey is worth your time. I’ve seen them range from $3/hour all the way up to $30/hour, but on average are $8/hour.

Pinecone Research

Pinecone Research surveys always rewards you with $3 for every survey. Since each survey is typically around 10 minutes long, the site has a pretty standard hourly rate of $12/hour. However, the frequency of surveys is much less than Prolific.

YouGov

Finally, YouGov’s typical survey lasts for 10 minutes and will pay out $1.50, translating to an hourly rate of $6/hr. Even though it is the lowest payout, it still helps to have supplemental income. Again, always consider the balance between time and money.

YouGov is an eclectic group of the media, non-profits and companies that congregate to find out what the world thinks. YouGov happens to be one of the most-quoted data sources in the US and across the world.

Prolific, Pinecone Research, and YouGov offer all kinds of rewards, but I normally recommend cash payout via PayPal. The transfer is usually instantaneous. Prolific does pay out in GBP, but the money is translated to USD when conducting a bank transfer in PayPal.

In fact, Prolific does not have a minimum payout, Pinecone’s minimum payout is $5, and YouGov’s minimum cash payout is $50, albeit YouGov offers the option of a $15 Amazon gift card.

November 2020 Survey Earnings

 

Pinecone Research November 2020 Checkout 2 Pinecone Research November 2020 Checkout

Prolific November 2020 Cash Out

Prolific November 2020 Cash Out USD

YouGov Cashout November 2020

November Side Income – Surveys Total: $209.48

 

An additional passive income stream is selling your old goods or unused consumer products. Simply list your items with competitive pricing on Amazon and/or eBay, sit back, and let the buyers make you offers.

I often notice friends, family, and even co-workers constantly looking to throw out items that are still in perfectly good condition; it drives me nuts! Why not let someone bid on the product? Worst case will be that it doesn’t sell, and then you can throw out the item. No harm, no foul.

At the very least, donate your stuff. I typically enjoy donating old apparel to the Salvation Army and other charities. It always feels good to know your treasured clothing is not going to waste.

This month, I was fortunate enough for a stranger to bite on 1 item of my personal inventory I was looking to discard. After fees and small shipping costs, I still walk away with a hefty profit:

November 2020 Seller Earnings

eBay November 8 2020

November Side Income – Selling Total: $33.28

 

As a blogger, I would like to keep the user experience as clean as possible. Therefore, I have chosen to keep all Google AdSense ads from my website. I am an avid reader of many other blogs, and I can truthfully admit it retracts from the reading experience. I am very proud of this decision and will continue with this route.

November Side Income – Google AdSense Revenue: $0

 

I published my first eBook titled “How I Launched, Marketed, and Promoted a High-Traffic Blog in Under 15 Days” at the beginning of November. I only promoted the book as part of the launch, but several people found their way to the sales page. Again, this is a learning process to convert the views into actual sales. As Robert Kiyosaki alludes to in his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, it’s all about being a best-selling author, not a best-writing author. There is a subtle yet significant difference.

November Side Income – eBook Blog Startup Manual Sales: $0

 

Who would’ve ever thought that spending money would actually earn you money? Well, with cash-back credit cards, now it’s certainly possible. With my Capital One Venture Card, I can now make this dream a reality.

Depending on the card you have, you’ll score 1-2 miles with every dollar you spend. Capital One Miles can be used in a variety of ways, and are generally worth between half a cent and one cent apiece.

Earn 50,000 bonus miles (equivalent to $500) once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

This month I was able to keep my spending down due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic that limits the amount time spent outside the house, thus limiting the amount of opportunities to throw away those hard earned paychecks.

Capital One Credit Cash Reward Cash Back November 2020

After looking at my monthly expense report, I saw that I earned 4,913 miles, which is equivalent to $49.13.

November Side Income – Capital One Credit Card Cash-Back Rewards – $49.13

 

Well, that’s it for this month’s side income report! Hope you all had a safe and happy Thanksgiving. I’m grateful for my family, friends, health, and everyone reading these words. What are you grateful for? Let me know in the comments below.

I’m also grateful for the gains seen from the stock market, which is nearing an all time high. Although I continue to practice dollar cost averaging via my employer’s 401k, I will wait for some correction or downturn in the stock market before investing any more cash in my taxable brokerage account. Patience is a virtue!

Thank you for taking the time to read through my latest November income report and thank you for contributing if you have previously purchased something through one of my affiliate links!

If you wish to support this site, but don’t have a need for any of my affiliate products, you could simply do your regular Amazon shopping through any of the links on this site that lead to Amazon.com. You won’t pay any extra and I will receive a small commission. Thanks so much if you do so!

That’s a wrap for this income report! I am looking forward to earning more money on the side in the future. Stay hustlin’, my friends!

Total November Side Income: $371.13

 

Editorial Note – Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

User Generated Content Disclosure – Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Ideal Day of Retirement

Ideal Day of Retirement

What does your ideal day of retirement look like? What’s the perfect day of leisure that you envision?

Early retirement, and retirement in general for that matter, is the dream we fantasize about every so often. Some even obsess over it. Guilty as charged…

The underlying idea is that we may be trying to escape from reality. Maybe it’s that soul-crushing 9-5 job or that abusive relationship or even that condescending boss. Whatever the case may be, you’ve most likely thought about retirement.

It’s human nature to stress over the future. We ultimately want to be happy, each and every single one of us.

But we generally overlook the present. If you were to retire right now, what would it look like? Yes, walk through the scenario with me:

  • You’ve just handed in your resignation letter to your boss [yes, in this hypothetical you’ve already given your 2 weeks’ notice].
  • Your coworkers celebrated with cake [yes, they enjoyed the cake more than the speeches about you].
  • You’ve said your final goodbyes [yes, you’ll only keep in touch with the people who truly matter to you].

Really take a second to imagine. What would your ideal day of retirement look like? Most have the cliché fantasy of lavish vacations to the Bahamas or extravagant parties on yachts. If you can actually afford those without putting yourself into debt, then you certainly do not need to be reading this blog.

Retirement Vacation

A perfect day doesn’t actually cost millions to achieve or require much to make it happen. Contrary to popular belief and how most of the lottery-hungry population makes it out to be, you don’t need to spend money to be happy.

How would you spend your first day of early retirement? You’ve worked so hard in preparation for your financial freedom.

What’s My Ideal Day of Retirement?

Before we start, I’d like to disclose that I’m a night owl. 80% of the population find themselves as intermediate with minor preference for mornings or evenings while the remaining 20% of the population are either true morning people or true night owls. Night owls habitually get a bad rap for being lazy for sleeping in. To my fellow night owls, this is disparaging criticism does not hold much merit because night owls are awake just as long as morning people. The only difference is our body clocks are shifted a couple of hours behind. This stems from genetics, age, and environment.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way…

10:00 AM – Wake up after a full night’s sleep.

10:00 AM to 10:20 AM – Mediate and repeat some positive affirmations. Journal and jot down some goals for the day (i.e. write a new blog post). And of course, make my bed. This small accomplishment always propels the momentum for the day into full swing.

10:20 AM to 11:00 AM – I’m a firm believer that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I routinely rotate between French toast, eggs, and oatmeal with fruit.

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM – Cross off a couple of goals by crafting new FLA blog posts. My mind will be energized from a hearty breakfast so this should be relatively fulfilling.

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM – Work out. I enjoy weightlifting 4-5 times per week, even with a full time job. Without a full time job, I’ll be able to sleep and recover more to build stronger muscles. On this blog, we talk about money a lot… At the end of the day, money doesn’t mean anything if you aren’t healthy enough to live long and enjoy your luxurious life. Make your health a priority.

1:00 PM to 1:30 PM – As you’ve noticed, I eat quickly just by force of habit. I would take this time to eat an enjoyable lunch. Besides the quintessential bodybuilding chicken, broccoli, and brown rice meal, I frequently like to switch out the proteins and carbs for alternatives like salmon, tuna, steak, and sweet potato, butternut squash, chickpeas and black beans, respectively.

1:30 PM to 2:00 PM – I’ve really never been a big proponent of napping throughout my life. But I’ve come to learn the human body was meant to have a midafternoon nap, according to a new consensus among sleep researchers who are studying the biological rhythms of sleep and alertness. This stems from evolution, where our ancestors would take turns sleeping to always allow someone to be awake to keep the tribe safe from predators. Theoretically, I will be sleeping much more during early retirement, but I’ll just have to experiment to see if naps improve my quality of life.

Task Batching Productivity

2:00 PM to 3:30 PM – While the sun’s still out, I’ll go for a walk. Walking is an extremely underrated activity. Recent studies show that walking as little as two hours per week can help you live longer and reduce the risk of disease. You’ll clear your head, enjoy nature, and also burn calories without even breaking a sweat.

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM – Free time! I will most likely snack on some kind of fruit like an apple, banana, or kiwi while challenging my mind to a puzzle, game of chess, or even Sudoku. Whether it’s learning a new language, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or playing an instrument, I’d like to reserve this time slot for self-improvement.

6:00 PM to 7:00 PM – I enjoy cooking and would love to try out recipes I’ve read about in various cook books. A cook follows a recipe, while a chef creates a meal on the fly. I’d work on transitioning from a cook to a chef. This hour would be solely dedicated to dinner.

8:00 PM to 10:00 PM – As readers of FLA know, I’m a movie buff. I’ve seen over 100 movies in 2020 alone with newfound quarantine time. My favorite genre of movies is thrillers, but I’m always open to seeing obscure titles most people would never think of viewing. This would be classified as time to unwind.

10:00 PM to 11:00 PM – Some of the smartest people on the planet attribute to their success to the books they’ve read. This last hour of the day would be dedicated to reading anything off my book shelf. Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep ironically helps put me to sleep.

 

Will every day look like this? No, of course not. But it’s a day I am proud of and would be happy to live many times.

When I reveal my plan for early retirement, the number one response I hear from friends, family, and strangers  is:

“Wow, I could never retire early. I would be so bored.”

Well, take a look at my ideal day. I don’t see any boredom. In fact, I see days filled with opportunity and freedom.

When I think of boredom, I think of number-filled spreadsheets, monotonous status update meetings, and microwaved lunches. This is synonymous with the 9-5 corporate life.

Hey, maybe the daily grind is for you. No judgement whatsoever. But I know for a fact that it’s not for me.

 

Cost of Ideal Day of Retirement

Did you notice how little I spent in my hypothetical perfect day of early retirement?

The small things in life consistently make us the happiest. Those mansions, yachts, and fancy cars will inevitably leave you empty on the inside. We wonder why celebrities develop drug addictions and have messy divorces. That’s another story, but the ones we idolize don’t have it figured out. I’m here to remind you to try different things in your own life to make you happy.

I started a list of all the things I would do with unlimited time and some money. I’m always baffled by people who say they are bored. Even with unlimited freedom, I still feel like I wouldn’t have enough time to do everything I want.

Here are some ideas to fill your early retirement days:

  • Teach your kids everything – math, science, finance, programming, hardware, woodworking, cooking, hunting, writing, art, music, etc.
  • Build businesses partner, friends, or even with your kids [I know what you’re thinking – No, I do not condone child labor.]
  • Vacation with your partner – luxurious ones that he or she deserves
  • Act in a play
  • Camp in the outdoors
  • Canoe trips
  • Hunt
  • Start a band – try out a new instrument whether it be guitar, piano, or clarinet
  • Volunteer to help disadvantaged youth
  • Get into woodworking
  • Build and ride old motorcycles
  • Try Brazilian jiu-jitsu – it’s never too late to procure a black belt
  • Work out every day
  • Enter a bodybuilding or powerlifting competition
  • Complete a triathlon
  • Take surfing lessons
  • Become a part time Little League Coach
  • Help any family that is struggling with your time, give them a leg up, but also stick around to guide them

Whatever happens after you achieve financial freedom is ultimately up to you.

Relax

It’s a tough question to ask yourself but absolutely necessary:

What will you do during your ideal day of early retirement?

What Should You Do With Credit Card Debt When You Are Laid Off?

Credit Card Debt Unemployed

Welcome to the 1st FLA Guest Blog Post! Today we explore what you should do with credit card debt when you are laid off. Thank you to Bethaine from Debt Consolidation US for sharing these helpful answers to a frequently asked question.

She freely shares her magical money secrets to climb out of debt – which really aren’t too magical or secretive – that helped her build her net worth tremendously.

 

What Should You Do with Credit Card Debt When You Are Laid Off?

The first and most important matter is you need a good survival plan immediately when you are laid off and need to cope with the credit card debt.

In the case of the ‘Layoff’ scenario, the importance of a good survival plan is very necessary. Usually, the layoff order does not give you enough time to control your finances.

For the present condition, your goal must be to chalk out a survival plan for you and your family until you get a new job again. Along with it, you must check yourself from falling into a huge debt hole and take care of your credit score as well.

In this article, the intention is to brainstorm a plan for you so that you can survive your layoff as well as cope with your credit card debt.

1. You Can Pay Off Just the Minimum Amount Now

Usually, it is a bad idea to pay off the minimum amount on your credit card debt. Nonetheless, this idea will work for you when you no longer have a job.

Thus, the better option for you will be to pay off the minimum amount rather than paying almost nothing.

If you pay nothing, then the credit card companies may charge penalties, fees, and fines against you and it will most likely negatively affect your credit score.

It will be better for you to pay off at least the minimum amount for now. Further down the line when you can generate steady income again, you can then pay off more than the minimum amount.

By this strategy, you can salvage your credit score, get protection from late fees and fines, and won’t get any pesky calls from debt collection agencies.

2. You Can Negotiate an Agreement with Your Credit Card Firm

People often forget: everything is negotiable. After all, exchange of money is just a barter system.

You may contact your credit card firm and state your case to their representative regarding your present financial condition.

Nowadays, overseeing the current COVID-19 situation, many credit card companies are offering special assistance programs for those who are laid off due to Coronavirus.

With the special assistance program, you can come into an agreement with your credit card firm so that you can skip the monthly payment for a few months, waive your credit card interest and you may get other benefits also.

You have to get in touch with the credit card firm to get the special assistance that is only available in the pandemic time period.

3. You Should Try to Create a Family Budget and Continue Your Daily Expenses According to It

Creating a strict family budget and continuing your daily expenses according to the budget, can be a useful way to cope with credit card debt.

A strict family budget will decide for you what you need in your life now and where you can stop spending. This may, in turn, prove that some of your superfluous spending is surprisingly a luxury for you.

A budget may help you with some extra saved dollars that you can use to pay at least the minimum amount every month of your credit card debt.

4. You Can Consider the Credit Card Debt Consolidation Option to Tackle the Debt Burden

You can easily opt for the credit card debt consolidation to consolidate or merge all your credit card debts and make it into a single payment.

The balance transfer card can be another option for you that you can choose. You can transfer all your credit card dues to the balance transfer card.

With a balance transfer card, you may get a 0% interest promotional offer for 6 months to 18 months. You have to pay off your credit card dues with the benefit of a 0% interest rate and that is within 12 to 18 months.

Therefore, you can repay a major portion of your outstanding balance without paying any interest rate.

Thus, you can apply either the credit card debt consolidation method or the balance transfer card method to repay your credit card debt when you’re going through the inauspicious layoff situation.

5. The Wise Decision Will be to Shun Using Credit Cards for a While and Use the Cash Payment Option

In normal times, people use credit cards more than cash payment because, with credit card buying, you may get several rewards and points that are not possible with normal cash payment options.

But this restriction-free-buying mode has a negative side too. With the lure of rewards and offers, we sometimes spend more balance than our given necessity.

The ultimate result is you have to bear the debt burden on your shoulders.

So, when you are out of a job and your earning avenues are limited, return to the traditional cash-payment method.

It will keep you within a spending limit and you’ll be saved from any type of additional credit card debt burden.

These are the 5 ways that you can choose to take action when you are unemployed, concerned about your retirement, and the stress of how to repay your credit card debt is gulping you.

 

What Can Be Your Last Resort If You Are Completely Unable to Pay Off Your Credit Card Bill?

According to financial experts, when you are unemployed and don’t have enough savings even for paying off the minimum credit card amount, you can opt for the bankruptcy option.

You may get some immediate relief by choosing the bankruptcy option, but experts always recommend using the bankruptcy option as your last resort.

You may file bankruptcy under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 under the bankruptcy act, but beware of the negative effect because bankruptcy may damage your credit for the long-term.

 

Final words:

The best option is at least you should try to pay off the minimum amount on your credit card debt. At this fundamental point, you can avoid any late fee charges, penalties, etc. You should not try to avail of the bankruptcy option as your first option. Later when your financial situation will improve again, the best course of action is to try and pay off your credit card debt in the standard way.

 

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October Side Income Report | 2020

October Side Income

Welcome to the 2020 October Side Income Report.

Let’s start this post with the obligatory caveat:

FLA’s side hustle income reports are not for the purpose of bragging. This side income amount of money is by no means impressive. The sole purpose of this series is to inspire you to create diversified income streams in order to help you achieve your financial goals faster.

I began this tumultuous F.I.R.E. (Financial Independence – Retire Early) journey almost immediately after graduating from college and shortly realizing it is never ideal to work for someone other than yourself.

After withdrawing from the corporate world, I plan to fully indulge in my mission of helping 10 million people with their own path to financial freedom. I’ve discovered a wonderful community of people with shared mindsets. So I’m currently on a journey to see if we can turn FLA into a little business that supports the mission.

The reason I’ve decided to publish these income reports is because I want you to be a part of the journey.

After aggressively saving 70%+ of my annual income year after year, I’m approximately 20% of the way to retirement with 10 years to go. I’m aware that side hustles may never fully support one’s expenses, but I’m willing to try.

At the very minimum of making $1/month (what one may consider failure), I am ecstatic as I realize this can be considered supplemental income that will be able to be reinvested into this blog to enhance your reading experience on FLA.

Through my arduous journey, I’ve learned to focus on the future value of money. One dollar to you may look like a standard George Washington-faced bill, but to me, I see its potential.  Accounting for 3% inflation, investing that dollar could return 5 times its original value in 25 years. Yes, that’s like putting $1 into an ATM and having it return a $5 bill back to you. How amazing is compound interest?! Hypothetically, you can increase that principal amount, and you’ve got yourself some unbelievable returns.

My hope with these income reports is ultimately to present some transparency for you. By showing it doesn’t take much effort to earn and save, I may motivate you to chase one of your biggest dreams. Dreams may originally sound outlandish, but they all need to start somewhere, right? Without further ado, here is FLA’s third ever side income report.

 

OCTOBER SIDE INCOME REPORT

The best way to make money is to have various streams of revenue. The best way to protect yourself in the course of ill-fated events stripping you of some of your main sources of income is to diversify.

We have all heard the pragmatic advice of “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.” Well, put this theory into practice. The following is my best attempt to develop additional sources of income. Below are the six ways I attempted to make money from my side hustles in the month of October.

 

 

Stocks are my absolute favorite money making assets. Your money can make money for you with the click of a ‘buy’ button! Sure, there are ups and downs in the stock market, but if you look historically at the S&P 500 Index or the Dow Jones Industrial Average, your investment generally grows over the long term. Remember, investing and gambling are not the same thing.

“If you aren’t willing to own a stock for ten years, don’t even think about owning it for ten minutes.”

-Warren Buffett, American Investor/Business Tycoon/Philanthropist/Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

Investors and analysts may contend that conducting research on which stock to buy may be active work, but it is a generally held credence that dividends are passive income.

What are dividends?

Simply, they are distribution of some of a company’s earnings to a class of its shareholders. In this case, you are the shareholder. Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but the company you invest in will reward you with bonus money!

Let’s take a look at the aftermath of the stocks that paid out dividends this month:

October 2020 Stock Dividends

So as you see, there were no dividends paid out in the month of October. This is mainly because the companies I’m invested in did not report their quarterly earnings this month. Only about 50 public companies pay dividends monthly out of some 3,000 that pay dividends on a regular basis. The monthly dividends often stem from commercial or residential real estate (i.e. Real estate investment trusts otherwise known as REITs), since those businesses run on monthly payments.

Even though the dividends side income fell short, there were plenty of other assets to compensate. That’s the beauty of diversification!

Which stocks have I invested in? I have a few individual stock picks, but the finance community knows this is often a loser’s game. I mainly hold VTI, the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund, which allows you to be diversified and capture 3,525 different stocks with a minimal expense ratio, or annual fee, of 0.03%. Index funds will often take you to the promised land in the long run.

Typically, you have 2 choices with dividends. You can either accept the dividend as cold hard cash or you can choose to reinvest the money back into the same stock automatically. It’s as simple as clicking the ‘yes’ button when prompted with the question on whether or not to re-invest dividends.

I strongly recommend you to reinvest your dividends and capital gains. Why? Well, look at this way: you didn’t have the earned dividend money to begin with. Do you really need it at this moment? Why not let your additional money grow even more? Open up an investment account and enjoy the magic of compounding interest by increasing your principal investment.

October Side Income – Stock Dividends / Interest Total: $0.06

 

In my free time, I participate in paid surveys. It’s one of my other sources of income. The surveys are mindless and allow you to temporarily escape from life’s struggles and reality. Oftentimes, you have a chance to play your part in society and provide meaningful feedback on hot topics that may be decided by top companies and government officials.

The 3 survey programs I use daily are:

  1. Prolific
  2. Pinecone Research
  3. YouGov

I strongly recommend any of these three survey websites because of the higher payouts. Our time on this planet is valuable. Always consider how much time you are trading for money.

Prolific

Prolific seems to have the highest quantity of surveys available. Each survey also previews an hourly rate to the user. This significantly helps in determining if the survey is worth your time. I’ve seen them range from $3/hour all the way up to $30/hour, but on average are $8/hour.

Pinecone Research

Pinecone Research surveys always reward you with $3 for every survey. Since each survey is typically around 10 minutes long, the site has a pretty standard hourly rate of $12/hour. However, the frequency of surveys is much less than Prolific.

YouGov

Finally, YouGov’s typical survey lasts for 10 minutes and will pay out $1.50, translating to an hourly rate of $6/hr. Even though it is the lowest payout, it still helps to have supplemental income. Again, always consider the balance between time and money.

YouGov is an eclectic group of the media, nonprofits and companies that congregate to find out what the world thinks. YouGov happens to be one of the most-quoted data sources in the US and across the world.

Prolific, Pinecone Research, and YouGov offer all kinds of rewards, but I normally recommend cash payout via PayPal. The transfer is usually instantaneous. Prolific does pay out in GBP, but the money is translated to USD when conducting a bank transfer in PayPal.

In fact, Prolific does not have a minimum payout, Pinecone’s minimum payout is $5, and YouGov’s minimum cash payout is $50, albeit YouGov offers the option of a $15 Amazon gift card.

October 2020 Survey Earnings

Pinecone Research September 2020 Checkout

Prolific October 2020 Cash Out

Prolific October 2020 Cash Out USD

This month I also tried to add some survey sites to my roster. I experimented with Syno Media Panel and PureProfile for the month of October. The result? Extremely disappointing results…

Syno Media Panel October 2020

PureProfile October 2020

Considering I didn’t even reach the cash out minimum for either websites, these survey programs will not be added to this month’s total. As you can see, I earned $5 from Syno and a measly $1.90 from PureProfile. The lack of surveys and low payouts do not justify the effort whatsoever. Lesson learned!

October Side Income – Surveys Total: $104.66

 

An additional passive income stream is selling your old goods or unused consumer products. Simply list your items with competitive pricing on Amazon and/or eBay, sit back, and let the buyers make you offers.

I often notice friends, family, and even co-workers constantly looking to throw out items that are still in perfectly good condition; it drives me nuts! Why not let someone bid on the product? Worst case will be that it doesn’t sell, and then you can throw out the item. No harm, no foul.

At the very least, donate your stuff. I typically enjoy donating old apparel to the Salvation Army and other charities. It always feels good to know your treasured clothing is not going to waste.

This month, I was fortunate enough for a couple of strangers to bite on 2 items of my personal inventory I was looking to discard. After fees and small shipping costs, I still walk away with a hefty profit:

October 2020 Seller Earnings

eBay October 7 2020 Sale eBay October 20 2020 Sale

October Side Income – Selling Total: $81.50

 

As a blogger, I would like to keep the user experience as clean as possible. Therefore, I have chosen to keep all Google AdSense ads from my website. I am an avid reader of many other blogs, and I can truthfully admit it retracts from the reading experience. I am very proud of this decision and will continue with this route.

October Side Income – Google AdSense Revenue: $0

 

I published my first eBook titled “How I Launched, Marketed, and Promoted a High-Traffic Blog in Under 15 Days” at the beginning of October. I only promoted the book as part of the launch, but several people found their way to the sales page. Again, this is a learning process to convert the views into actual sales. As Robert Kiyosaki alludes to in his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, it’s all about being a best-selling author, not a best-writing author. There is a subtle yet significant difference.

October Side Income – eBook Blog Startup Manual Sales: $0

 

Who would’ve ever thought that spending money would actually earn you money? Well, with cash-back credit cards, now it’s certainly possible. With my Capital One Venture Card, I can now make this dream a reality.

Depending on the card you have, you’ll score 1-2 miles with every dollar you spend. Capital One Miles can be used in a variety of ways, and are generally worth between half a cent and one cent apiece.

Earn 50,000 bonus miles (equivalent to $500) once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

This month I was able to keep my spending down due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic that limits the amount time spent outside the house, thus limiting the amount of opportunities to throw away those hard earned paychecks.

Capital One Credit Cash Reward Cash Back October 2020

 

After looking at my monthly expense report, I saw that I earned 3,034 miles, which is equivalent to $30.34.

In addition, I was able to use Capital One’s Purchase Eraser function to use my reward miles to earn a free $213 flight!

Capital One Credit Card Purchase Eraser October 2020

Capital One Credit Cash Reward Redeem October 2020

October Side Income – Capital One Credit Card Cash-Back Rewards – $30.34

 

Well, that’s it for this month’s side income report! Hope you all had a safe and happy Halloween. Tomorrow, November 3rd, is Election Day. There is plenty of uncertainty, which will affect the markets in the near future. Don’t let the Wall Street buzz and noise influence you to sell out of panic. Instead, use it as a stock buying opportunity to purchase equities at a sale price.

Thank you for taking the time to read through my latest October income report and thank you for contributing if you have previously purchased something through one of my affiliate links!

If you wish to support this site, but don’t have a need for any of my affiliate products, you could simply do your regular Amazon shopping through any of the links on this site that lead to Amazon.com. You won’t pay any extra and I will receive a small commission. Thanks so much if you do so!

That’s a wrap for this income report! I am looking forward to earning more money on the side in the future. Stay hustlin’, my friends!

Total October Side Income: $216.56

 

Editorial Note – Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

User Generated Content Disclosure – Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

5 Scary Halloween Spending Facts That May Spook You

Happy Halloween

The unprecedented pandemic has certainly stunted our day-to-day activities and even our dearest holidays like Halloween. Health officials have forecasted a new surge in COVID-19 cases in the fall, as temperatures drop and the flu season approaches — all while celebrations, including Halloween, are due to kick off later this month. Below are 5 scary Halloween spending facts that may spook you.

Year after year, Halloween continues to be a highly anticipated holiday in America. But this year, we may have to proceed with caution with respect to trick-or-treating.

On the bright side, Halloween is usually an outdoor holiday as opposed to most other holidays celebrated inside of a relative’s home.

States across the country have either limited or restricted regulations for standard door-to-door trick-or-treating. That being said, residents have tried their best to lift spirits and continue longstanding house decorating traditions.

This blog has consistently been focused on how to save for early retirement, but often we forget to focus on the present. Of course it is imperative to save for your future, but every present day should not be taken for granted. Thus, give yourself permission to enjoy the holiday.

The National Retail Federation (NRF), in a partnership with Prosper Insights, surveyed 7,013 consumers about their Halloween shopping plans. The following 5 scary Halloween spending facts from previous years give me goosebumps!

Interpreting Spooky Halloween Spending

If you’re ever curious why you rarely receive a Halloween greeting card, it’s because most Americans are spending their October budget on costumes, candy, and decorations.

Spending in the past 3 years has hovered around the $9 Billion [yes, B, as in BILLION] mark. Due to the circumstances, I’d expect spending to be reduced this year.

Take advantage of this situation and your bank account will thank your unintentional frugality.

If there’s one lesson from the infographic, it’s that consumers spend money on things they are passionate about! Who doesn’t love Halloween?

And if Americans are spending $9 billion on Halloween, just imagine how many purchases are made in November and December during the holiday season peak.

Either way, this is no excuse to stop you from completely forgetting about Halloween. Dress up if it’s your favorite tradition. But make sure to enjoy yourself while staying safe.

Watching scary movies with jump scares [that you’re probably expecting] may also be an efficient way to practically quarantine yet still enjoy the spirit of Halloween.

If you’re looking to get ahead on shopping too, the Amazon Halloween Store has a variety of options for costumes, candy, and fun to celebrate the spooky holiday.

Just remember to not overdo it on the candy! This will save your waistline and your dentist unnecessary hassle! Cavities are never fun, no matter what age you may be.

Scary Halloween Spending Facts

May each of you reading this be lucky enough to eat a large candy bar this October 31st.

Let me know your favorite costume or trick-or-treat tactic below in the comments.

September Side Income Report | 2020

September 2020 Side Income FLA

Welcome to the 2020 September Side Income Report.

Let’s start this post with the obligatory caveat:

FLA’s side hustle income reports are not for the purpose of bragging. This side income amount of money is by no means impressive. The sole purpose of this series is to inspire you to create diversified income streams in order to help you achieve your financial goals faster.

I began this tumultuous F.I.R.E. (Financial Independence – Retire Early) journey almost immediately after graduating from college and shortly realizing it is never ideal to work for someone other than yourself.

After withdrawing from the corporate world, I plan to fully indulge in my mission of helping 10 million people with their own path to financial freedom. I’ve discovered a wonderful community of people with shared mindsets. So I’m currently on a journey to see if we can turn FLA into a little business that supports the mission.

The reason I’ve decided to publish these income reports is because I want you to be a part of the journey.

After aggressively saving 70%+ of my annual income year after year, I’m approximately 20% of the way to retirement with 10 years to go. I’m aware that side hustles may never fully support one’s expenses, but I’m willing to try.

At the very minimum of making $1/month (what one may consider failure), I am ecstatic as I realize this can be considered supplemental income that will be able to be reinvested into this blog to enhance your reading experience on FLA.

Through my arduous journey, I’ve learned to focus on the future value of money. One dollar to you may look like a standard George Washington-faced bill, but to me, I see its potential.  Accounting for 3% inflation, investing that dollar could return 5 times its original value in 25 years. Yes, that’s like putting $1 into an ATM and having it return a $5 bill back to you. How amazing is compound interest?! Hypothetically, you can increase that principal amount, and you’ve got yourself some unbelievable returns.

My hope with these income reports is ultimately to present some transparency for you. By showing it doesn’t take much effort to earn and save, I may motivate you to chase one of your biggest dreams. Dreams may originally sound outlandish, but they all need to start somewhere, right? Without further ado, here is FLA’s second ever side income report.

 

SEPTEMBER SIDE INCOME REPORT

The best way to make money is to have various streams of revenue. The best way to protect yourself in the course of ill-fated events stripping you of some of your main sources of income is to diversify.

We have all heard the pragmatic advice of “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.” Well, put this theory into practice. The following is my best attempt to develop additional sources of income. Below are the six ways I attempted to make money from my side hustles in the month of September.

 

 

Stocks are my absolute favorite money making assets. Your money can make money for you with the click of a ‘buy’ button! Sure, there are ups and downs in the stock market, but if you look historically at the S&P 500 Index or the Dow Jones Industrial Average, your investment generally grows over the long term. Remember, investing and gambling are not the same thing.

“If you aren’t willing to own a stock for ten years, don’t even think about owning it for ten minutes.”

-Warren Buffett, American Investor/Business Tycoon/Philanthropist/Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

Investors and analysts may contend that conducting research on which stock to buy may be active work, but it is a generally held credence that dividends are passive income.

What are dividends?

Simply, they are distribution of some of a company’s earnings to a class of its shareholders. In this case, you are the shareholder. Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but the company you invest in will reward you with bonus money!

Let’s take a look at the aftermath of the stocks that paid out dividends this month:

Investment Income September 2020

Which stocks am I invested in? I have a few individual stock picks, but the finance community knows this is often a loser’s game. I mainly hold VTI, the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund, which allows you to be diversified and capture 3,525 different stocks with a minimal expense ratio, or annual fee, of 0.03%. Index funds will often take you to the promised land in the long run.

Typically, you have 2 choices with dividends. You can either accept the dividend as cold hard cash or you can choose to reinvest the money back into the same stock automatically. It’s as simple as clicking ‘yes’ button when prompted with the question on whether or not to re-invest dividends.

I strongly recommend you to reinvest your dividends and capital gains. Why? Well, look at this way: you didn’t have the earned dividend money to begin with. Do you really need it at this moment? Why not let your additional money grow even more? Open up an investment account and enjoy the magic of compounding interest by increasing your principal investment.

September Side Income – Stock Dividends Total: $186.21

 

In my free time, I participate in paid surveys. It’s one of my other sources of income. The surveys are mindless and allow you to temporarily escape from life’s struggles and reality. Oftentimes, you have a chance to play your part in society and provide meaningful feedback on hot topics that may be decided by top companies and government officials.

The 3 survey programs I use daily are:

  1. Prolific
  2. Pinecone Research
  3. YouGov

I strongly recommend any of these three survey websites because of the higher payouts. Our time on this planet is valuable. Always consider how much time you are trading for money.

Prolific

Prolific seems to have the highest quantity of surveys available. Each survey also previews an hourly rate to the user. This significantly helps in determining if the survey is worth your time. I’ve seen them range from $3/hour all the way up to $30/hour, but on average are $8/hour.

Pinecone Research

Pinecone Research surveys always reward you with $3 for every survey. Since each survey is typically around 10 minutes long, the site has a pretty standard hourly rate of $12/hour. However, the frequency of surveys is much less than Prolific.

YouGov

Finally, YouGov’s typical survey lasts for 10 minutes and will pay out $1.50, translating to an hourly rate of $6/hr. Even though it is, the lowest payout, it still helps to have supplemental income. Again, always consider the balance between time and money.

YouGov is an eclectic group of the media, nonprofits and companies that congregate to find out what the world thinks. YouGov happens to be one of the most-quoted data sources in the US and across the world.

Prolific, Pinecone Research, and YouGov offer all kinds of rewards, but I normally recommend cash payout via PayPal. The transfer is usually instantaneous. Prolific does pay out in GBP, but the money is translated to USD when conducting a bank transfer in PayPal.

In fact, Prolific does not have a minimum payout, Pinecone’s minimum payout is $5, and YouGov’s minimum cash payout is $50, albeit YouGov offers the option of a $15 Amazon gift card.

September 2020 Survey Earnings

Pinecone Research September 2020 Checkout

Prolific September 2020 Cash Out

Prolific September 2020 Cash Out USD

September Side Income – Surveys Total: $89.08

 

An additional passive income stream is selling your old goods or unused consumer products. Simply list your items with competitive pricing on Amazon and/or eBay, sit back, and let the buyers make you offers.

I notice friends, family, and even co-workers constantly looking to throw out items that are still in perfectly good condition; it drives me nuts! Why not let someone bid on the product? Worst case will be that it doesn’t sell, and then you can throw out the item. No harm, no foul.

At the very least, donate your stuff. I typically enjoy donating old apparel to the Salvation Army and other charities. It always feels good to know your treasured clothing is not going to waste.

This month for September Side Income, I did not have any buyers interested in the inventory, but I’m not upset. The eBay account may not generate a consistent profit, but when items do sell, it’s a nice bonus!

September Side Income – Selling Total: $0

 

As a blogger, I would like to keep the user experience as clean as possible. Therefore, I have chosen to keep all Google AdSense ads from my website. I am an avid reader of many other blogs, and I can truthfully admit it retracts from the reading experience. I am very proud of this decision and will continue with this route.

September Side Income – Google AdSense Revenue: $0

 

I published my first eBook titled “How I Launched, Marketed, and Promoted a High-Traffic Blog in Under 15 Days” at the beginning of August. I only promoted the book as part of the launch, but several people found their way to the sales page. Again, this is a learning process to convert the views into actual sales. As Robert Kiyosaki alludes to in his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, it’s all about being a best-selling author, not a best-writing author. There is a subtle yet significant difference.

September Side Income – eBook Blog Startup Manual Sales: $0

 

Who would’ve ever thought that spending money would actually earn you money? Well, with cash-back credit cards, now it’s certainly possible. With my Capital One Venture Card, I can now make this dream a reality.

Depending on the card you have, you’ll score 1-2 miles with every dollar you spend. Capital One Miles can be used in a variety of ways, and are generally worth between half a cent and one cent apiece.

Earn 50,000 bonus miles (equivalent to $500) once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

This month I was able to keep my spending down due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic that limits the amount time spent outside the house, thus limiting the amount of opportunities to throw away those hard earned paychecks.

Capital One Credit Cash Rewards Cash Back September 2020

After looking at my monthly expense report, I saw that I earned 3,126 miles, which is equivalent to $31.26.

September Side Income – Capital One Credit Card Cash-Back Rewards: $31.26

 

Thank you for taking the time to read through my latest September Side Income Report and thank you for contributing if you have previously purchased something through one of my affiliate links!

If you wish to support this site, but don’t have a need for any of my affiliate products, you could simply do your regular Amazon shopping through any of the links on this site that lead to Amazon.com. You won’t pay any extra and I will receive a small commission. Thanks so much if you do so!

That’s a wrap for this income report! I am looking forward to earning more money on the side in the future. Stay hustlin’, my friends!

Total September Side Income: $306.55

 

Editorial Note – Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

User Generated Content Disclosure – Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.