Monday, January 1, 2018

2018: Happy New Year, December side hustles and year end summary

Welcome to January 2018, Happy New Year!  Did you have a fun time ringing in the start of 2018?  We spent the last few days of 2017 at our hospital, welcoming the birth of our second child, Naomi.  Labor and delivery went very well, much faster and smoother than with our son.  Within 10 minutes of pushing, my wife gave birth to our daughter!
Shortly after delivery, it was discovered that our daughter’s bilirubin levels were high.  Newborn jaundice is fairly common, and our son had it.  It pained us to see our baby girl spend several hours a day undergoing phototherapy - a light treatment used to lower bilirubin levels in a baby’s blood.  
Thankfully, she only needed treatment for 2 days.
We spent the last few days of 2017 at the hospital, anxiously waiting to be discharged to return home.  Going out to a party was the last thing on our minds.  Now all we want to do is get enough sleep.   

A big year of financial milestones
I’m still slightly in shock that we are now a family of four.  Now more than ever, we continue to strive towards our financial freedom.  I shared in a post last year about how I wanted to make our motto for 2017: “work hard, invest hard” and this past year has not disappointed. 
Net worth summary from
2017 was a big year of financial milestones for us.  We continued to contribute to all of our investment accounts including our: 401Ks, IRAs, taxable account and 529 for our son.  We will be opening another 529 for our daughter soon.  This past year, my 401K investments surpassed 200K.  Our non real estate total investments surpassed 300K.  And our net worth surpassed 1 million dollars!  We continue to focus on growing the gap between our income earned and money saved.  We track all of our spending and budgets with Mint and our investments with Personal Capital.  Our financial habits have grown pretty strong and I know we will continue to save and invest over this next year.    

Travel booked with points in 2017
Travel hacking our trips allows us to spend very little money, and yet live a rich life as we continue to save and invest for our future.  Here is a list of travel we booked (or saved money on) with points in 2017.
$550 off Airbnb stay in Tokyo, Japan by redeeming 55,000 Barclaycard Arrival Plus miles.
$300 off JR high speed rail pass in Japan from my wife’s Chase Sapphire Reserve $300 travel credit.
$274.30 off of a hotel stay in Taipei, Taiwan from my Chase Sapphire Reserve $300 travel credit.
$119.99 statement credit for a free hotel stay in Narita, Japan covered with Barclaycard Arrival Plus miles.  I wrote about our stay in Narita here.
$150 off hotel stay in Las Vegas, Nevada by redeeming 15,000 Barclaycard Arrival Plus miles.
$460.31 for a free hotel stay in Carlsbad by redeeming 30,687 Ultimate Rewards points.  I wrote about our 2 days at Legoland and Sea Life Aquarium here.

In March 2017, we enjoyed a 15-day trip to visit Japan and Taiwan.  Our then 21-month-old son had a blast exploring everything. 
Thanks to miles and points, our son was able to experience his first international flight – in round trip Singapore Airlines Business Class! 
We expect to go on many more family vacations in the future once our daughter gets a little older.  This gives us plenty of time to save up more miles and points for future use.

Another great year with our son
Raising our son continues to give us so much joy.  I wasn’t sure I would enjoy parenting so much.  It’s been fun watching our son grow and develop.  He loves to dance to music.  He loves to use his imagination while playing with his toys. 
He still loves running around outside, exploring our walking paths, pointing out all the different colors of flowers, and collecting limes and pinecones.  
And recently he’s been enjoying coloring with crayons and markers.  He’s becoming quite the artist!  We hope he becomes a good big brother to his new sister.      
December side hustles 2017
Here’s our monthly summary of side income that we have generated in the previous month of December.
Survey Income
On 12.4, I received 2 checks for $10 each from M3 Global Research totaling $20 of survey income.
On 12.18, I received a check for $35 from E-Rewards Medical.
I’ve been doing a ton of medical surveys lately.  They are mostly pretty easy and they pay much better than any other type of survey.
On 12.22, I received a check for $25 from M3 Global Research for completing a medical survey.

Rental Income
On 12.10, we received a net profit of $515 from our rental property.  Our tenants paid $85 worth of late fees.

Points Programs
On 12.18, I received a $50 gift card by redeeming 17,000 IHG points.  While this wasn’t the best redemption of IHG points, we haven’t stayed at an IHG property for several years, with no intention of staying at one anytime soon. 
On 12.16, I redeemed 2,370 MyPoints rewards for a $15 Amazon gift card. 
On 12.30 I redeemed 790 MyPoints rewards for a $5 Amazon gift card. 
I earn MyPoints pretty slowly at 5 points per email click.

Side Job
On 12.26, I received a check for $162.50 for teaching at the local university.

Website Income
On 12.24, I received a $20 direct deposit into our checking account for income generated by the website. 

December Monthly Totals:
We earned $50 cash back
I earned $80 from paid surveys
We earned $515 from rental income
I earned $70 from points programs
I earned $162.50 from teaching
We earned $20 from income generated by this website

All of this totals $897.50 from our side hustles for the month of December.

Side hustle totals
For 2017, we brought in a total of $15,307.76 worth of side income!
It’s now been 4 years since I’ve been tracking our side hustle income. 
In 2017, we earned $15,307.76
In 2016, we earned $24,195.44
In 2015, we earned $19,178.54
In 2014, we earned $28,633.42

All this extra side hustle income is in addition to our regular paychecks and most of these hustles hardly required any difficult work.  One of our best side hustles over the last few years was house hacking, or renting out one or two of our bedrooms.  That was a great way to keep our housing expenses down.  With a family of 4 now, we don’t see house hacking again in our immediate future, but would definitely consider it again as the kids get older.  Our rental property continues to steadily bring in monthly income with very few headaches, thank goodness.   
We finally got discharged from the hospital to make it home before 2018!
As 2017 ends, it’s nice to reflect on all of our accomplishments and look towards improvements for the next year.  I can't believe I've already been blogging for 6 years.  Thank you all for your support and joining us on our financial journey.  This New Year I want to focus on eating healthy while keeping our grocery costs down.  2018 is another year to relentlessly improve every aspect of your life.  Let’s make it another great year together. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments? Questions?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...