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?

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 second 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 promise 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.

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. Most of the time, they are mindless and allow you to temporarily escape from life’s struggles and reality. Often times, 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 GPB, 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.

DateSurvey CompanyCash Out Reward
11/01/2020Pinecone Research$15.00
11/02/2020Prolific$89.66
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 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:

DateSelling PlatformItem DescriptionBuyer PriceFees & ShippingNet Profit
10/07/2020eBayCommercial Restaurant Food Scale$55.03$8.36$46.67
10/20/2020eBayBlue Plaid Checkered Sport Coat$43.16$8.33$34.83
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 actual 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 promise 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. Most of the time, they are mindless and allow you to temporarily escape from life’s struggles and reality. Often times, 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, 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 GPB, 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.

DateSurvey CompanyCash Out Reward
10/01/2020Pinecone Research$15.00
10/01/2020Prolific$74.08
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 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 actual 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.

5 Foolproof Steps for Early Retirement

Have A Plan

Many of us would like to build enough capital to prepare for the future and enjoy an early retirement.  However, this can feel impossible at times. What are the 5 foolproof steps for early retirement? How do we develop a solid plan?

Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can start taking today to help you achieve the F.I.R.E. (Financial Independence Early Retirement) you’ve always dreamed of.

There are no secret tricks and tips. It mainly stems from discipline and consistency. You don’t need to be a Wall Street investment banker or a PhD scientist to outsmart the market. Here are 5 simple steps that will put you on the right path.

1. Increase Annual Savings

Everyone has heard the trite advice of forgoing the precious cup of morning coffee at your favorite hip coffeehouse to save money. This simply isn’t going to get you to retirement though.

You need to build habits of saving. Let me let you in on a little secret; successful people do not have greater will power and determination than your average Joe. The high achievers just remove temptation and practice consistent habits.

Save as much as you possibly can now, and I promise you will not be disappointed by the results in 10 to 30 years from today.

2. Decrease Annual Expenses

It may seem like common sense, but so many of us struggle to grasp this basic concept. Expenses add up very easily and very quickly. It’s important you perform monthly audits of your credit card statements to see how your spending has changed month to month.

It is okay to splurge every once in a while, but be sure to not make it a habit. It’s the same idea of eating healthy. You can stop by the fast food drive-through once in a blue moon, but if you continually practice this bad habit, you will gain weight without a doubt.

Furthermore, avoid consumer and other forms debt like it’s the plague. Even if you are indeed in debt, it’s still easier than you think to rid yourself of debt with the power of positive habits. Again, it may be daunting to turn your net worth from negative to positive, but if millions have done it before, so can you.

3. Make Steady, Consistent Investments

Now, there are some factors here that you have little control over.

Investment Growth Rate: How much your investments compound annually.

Investment growth rate is sometimes at the mercy of the stock or housing market, depending on the year. But overall, you can expect a rate of approximately ~6-7% (with inflation accounted for). Your income from your job may not increase much year over year, unless you pester your boss for a raise or a bonus.

Your neighbor, your co-worker, and even your family may argue with you about which stock will provide the best returns, but one thing is for sure:

Time in the market is way more important than timing the market.

Investment and financial analysts will always recommend buying low and selling high, but the truth is, humans simply aren’t robots. We will never be able to flawlessly invest, but we can get the best bang for our buck by letting our investments grow for as long as possible. Let your money do the heavy lifting for you.

Raven Monkey Money Manager Foolproof
Source: Guinness World Records

Even our cute friend, Raven, can predict stocks better than some money managers that possibly bring home a larger annual salary than both you and I.

4. Diversify Income Streams

The wealthy often have multiple streams of income. Whether this is from stocks, real estate, I.O.U.’s, or even intellectual property, the rich know how to maximize cash flow going into their bank accounts.

The book Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki is a great fundamental novel that goes into detail regarding assets (things that make you money) and liabilities (things that lose you money).

Early Retirement Assets Liabilities
Source: Rich Dad Poor Dad Book by Robert Kiyosaki

Although we will not get involved in judging Kiyosaki’s character and other ventures, the financial community can agree the book is a vital tool to launch your net worth in the right direction.

Feel free to check out Fresh Life Advice’s Monthly Side Income Reports to see the current ways F.L.A. creatively supplementing a corporate paycheck. Again, there is no one-size-fits-all formula to follow, but hopefully this can supply you with myriad ideas to implement in your own life.

5. Use Money to Save Time

Ask yourself, “Self, what is truly the point of early retirement?” To most of us, the purpose of early retirement is to use our time for the things we truly care about. There is no doubt about it; we all have limited time on this Earth. That is the limiting factor that puts the rich and the poor on the same level playing field. What is the difference between the rich and the poor?

Well, the rich are using their hard earned money (or lucky inheritance) to buy back time for the things that truly matter in life: family, friends, hobbies, etc.

The poor, along with a great deal of the middle class, misleadingly think that spending their money on impractical status symbols, such as fancy watches, luxurious cars, and excessive wardrobes will make other people admire them more, and thus increase their happiness. This is, of course, a fallacy as we know that most people only really care about themselves and are often too busy with their own problems to be concerned with what car you drive.

For example, the modern wealthy folks now spend money on nannies, gardeners, maids, and other services that allow them to focus less on daily household chores and more on the mysteries and life experiences that awaits them.

 

Why Should You Have a Plan?

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

-Mike Tyson, Former Heavyweight Boxing Champion

Knocked Out
Ouch…

To the contrary, Fresh Life Advice has a formidable rebuttal to this famous opposing quote. F.L.A. would like to emphasize the importance of planning – specifically the right kind of planning. Everybody does have a plan until they get punched in the mouth — the key is planning for what you are going to do AFTER that happens.

One of the biggest reasons why I created a blog was to organize my thoughts coherently and offer advice to the general public. Again, I don’t claim to know more than you. I just hope you learn at least one new thing from me. Moving to different states and taking several different jobs, I’ve run into eclectic groups of people. Oddly enough, I observed that there was a constant underlying accepted corporate dogma.

People in the public and private sector both seemed to accept the standard way of life was to work until you’re 65 and then retire. This antiquated way of thought was hardwired into their brains either via their parents, boss, coworkers, etc. At times, I often felt like I was alone until I reached out to the finance blogging community. FIRE is becoming a modern mantra.

The first law in the United States that called for an eight-hour work day was passed in Illinois in 1867. In 1926, as many history lovers know, Henry Ford — possibly influenced by US labor unions — instituted an eight-hour work day for his employees.

Now, we can see this divergent fork in the road caused by the Covid-19 global pandemic. The world’s workforce is now being split up into employees who can work from home and essential employees who must physically be present in the office, warehouse, hospital, etc.

Many predict that in the future, the office will function as a 3rd space (similar to your favorite coffeehouse): a hub, a town square, a neighborhood. Workers will decide when, how and where to work. People will flow in and out. Employees will be connected by social networks, cloud computing.

Which side of the spectrum will you end up as technology and artificial intelligence develop at an aggressively rapid pace?

If there’s anything that life and Darwin have taught me, the answer is simple: you must not only survive but also adapt.

So what does this all have to do with money?

Well, my point is that the world is a scary and unpredictable place. Most people enjoy their 9-5 jobs because it gives them the comfort and security they long for to help them sleep at night. I’m here to tell you it’s possible for a normal human, just like you and me, to leave the workforce way before age 65. In fact, I’m on pace to retire by age 38. Even if I miss that mark by a full 10 years, I’m still on pace to retire a full 27 years earlier than the average American! That’s an incredible amount of time of freedom.

 

Is This ‘5 Foolproof Steps Early Retirement’ Plan Actually Foolproof?

Of course not. No plan ever is. But I can assure you it’s pragmatically close to flawless.

Life almost never goes according to plan. And that’s totally okay. We will adjust and adapt.

Many fear an economic downturn or recession. Well, I’m here to shed some light on this fear.

Economic recessions [bear markets] generally do not last as long as expansions [bull markets] do. Since 1900, the average recession has lasted 15 months while the average expansion has lasted 48 months. The Great Recession of 2008 and 2009, which lasted for 18 months, was the longest period of economic decline since World War II. If this happens, buy stocks or bonds at the cheaper price and retire a year later. There is nothing to fret!

The most important thing is to have a plan though. Be intentional with your thoughts and actions. It’s time to stop being reactive and start being proactive. Where’s a great place to start?

Well, think about your own retirement age. What age are you aiming for?

If you can control these 3 factors, you will be in GREAT shape:

Income: How much money you are making

Expenses: How much money you are spending

Savings: How much money you are saving

When people mention Savings Rate, they are simply referring to your Savings divided by Income. Don’t let terms like these confuse you.

Sounds obvious, right? It’s not rocket science, but Wall Street often makes it sound like it. There are only two ways to do increase your savings rate: earn more or spend less. That’s the basic rule of personal finance. Still, Americans significantly struggle with these aspects. F.L.A. will show you specific action plans to increase your savings rate.

 

Caveat:

Be ready for backlash when revealing your early retirement plan to friends, family, and loved ones. Even the people closest to you and the ones that you trust the most may project some negative feelings onto you. It’s completely normal.

“Don’t ever let someone tell you, you can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream, you got to protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.”

― Pursuit of Happyness

 

Will Early Retirement Guarantee Happiness?

Humans are terrible at predicting future happiness. In fact, there was actually a scientific study conducted by three established psychology university professors to prove this “end of history illusion.” No matter what age, humans underestimate how much they will change. Two different studies were conducted:

  1. A group of 18-year-olds was asked to predict what their lives will be like in 10 years. The 28-year-olds group reported significantly more changes than expected.
  2. This exact experiment was then conducted with 58-year-olds and the same result occurred when the subjects turned 68.

Conclusion:

Even with plenty of life experience, you have no idea what will happen to you in 10 years!

As a result, it is imperative that you have a plan in place to at least guide you in the direction you would like to follow. But more importantly, remember to practice gratitude and count your blessings every single day, because you never know what your future holds.

August Side Income Report | 2020

Here, we are. Welcome to the 2020 August 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 50%+ 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 first ever side income report.

 

AUGUST 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 August.

 

 

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.

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 which stocks paid out dividends this month:

AAPL – $58.38

ABBV – $20.45

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? Enjoy the magic of compounding interest by increasing your principal investment.

August Side Income – Stock Dividends Total: $78.83

 

In my free time, I participate in paid surveys. It’s one of my other sources of income. Most of the time, they are mindless and allow you to temporarily escape from life’s struggles and reality. Often times, 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, 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 GPB, 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.

DateSurvey CompanyCash Out Reward
08/06/2020Prolific$27.02
08/07/2020Prolific$12.97
08/21/2020Pinecone Research$15.00
08/24/2020Prolific$29.12
August 2020 Survey Earnings

August Side Income –  Surveys Total: $84.11

 

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 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 some higher priced inventory I was looking to discard. After fees and small shipping costs, I still walk away with a hefty profit:

DateSelling PlatformItem DescriptionBuyer PriceFees & ShippingNet Profit
08/10/2020eBaySelmer Clarinet$206.68$12.57$194.11
08/17/2020eBayBiaggi Hangeroo Garment Bag$79.23$8.30$70.93
August 2020 Seller Earnings

August Side Income – Selling Total: $264.47

 

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.

August 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.

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

 

Who would’ve ever thought that spending money would actual 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.

After looking at my monthly expense report, I saw that I earned 999 miles, which is equivalent to $9.99.

August Side Income – Capital One Credit Card Cash-Back Rewards – $9.99

 

Thank you for taking the time to read through my latest 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 August Side Income: $437.40

 

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.