Saturday, June 1, 2019

Side hustles May 2019


The great thing about doing side hustles to generate extra income is that you can hustle on your own terms.  The more hard work, time, and creative effort you put in, the more extra money you can make.  You can hustle as little or as much as you want, whenever you want.  It’s your extra money, and you can choose how you want to spend it.  Instead of focusing on what ideas don’t apply to you, try focusing on different side hustle ideas that you can implement to work for your situation.

Once a month (usually on the 1st), I like to post a short summary of our personal and financial situation for the previous month.  While I don’t often post articles, I am committed to documenting all of my side hustle income.  Here I’ll share some of what’s been going on with our lives and our side hustles. 

Welcome to June!  Did you have a good May?  Every month it seems like time is passing us by so quickly.  I love looking back at all the photos we have taken to document our activities.  
The highlight of last month was taking a 4-day trip to Portland, Oregon to visit my wife’s parents.  We decided to randomly take a few days off work so that our kids could spend time with their grandparents.  To cover our flight costs, I redeemed 91,600 Chase Ultimate Rewards points towards our round trip flights worth $1,374.  
We spent a day exploring the Oregon Zoo.
We also spent time roaming around downtown Portland and relaxing at the in-laws’ home.  It was a great to get away from the stresses of work for a few days.  We absolutely loved not worrying about waking up to the alarm clock. 
Back home we stuck with our regular weekend routine.  We went to visit the local children’s museum twice.  Our kids practically make themselves at home here.
We also continue to walk around the neighborhood and visit playground.  Time really slows down when you focus on everything around you such as listening to the birds singing and breathing in the fresh air.
Here’s our monthly summary of side income that we have generated in the previous month of May.
Cash Back
On 5.6, I received a $4.00 statement credit on my Freedom Unlimited credit card from Chase Offers.  This was 5% off dog food purchases.
On 5.7, I received a $5.00 statement credit on my Freedom Unlimited credit card from Chase Offers.  This was for 10% back at purchases made at Staples.
On 5.21, I received a $10 statement credit on her AMEX Gold card from AMEX.  This was for the $10 monthly AMEX dining credit offer.
On 5.24, I received a $24.50 cash back statement credit on my SimplyCash AMEX business card.

Rental Income
On 5.5, we received a net profit of $450 from our rental property. 

Side Job Income
On 5.10, I received a direct deposit of $187.50 for teaching at the local university.

Survey Income
On 5.7, I received a $5 Amazon gift card from E-Rewards Medical for completing a medical survey
On 5.13, I received a $25 check from E-Rewards Medical for completing a medical survey.
On 5.19, I received a $15 check from E-Rewards Medical for completing a medical survey.

Miscellaneous Income
On 5.31, my wife sold a juicer that we haven’t been using for a while to a coworker for $40.

Monthly Totals:
We earned $43.50 from cash back
We earned $450 from rental income
I earned $187.50 from teaching at the local university
We earned $45 for completing online surveys
We earned $40 from selling unused items in our home.

All of this totals $766 from our side hustles for the month of May!  I still can’t believe that we are almost halfway done with 2019.  This extra side hustle income helps us continue to invest in our financial freedom.  

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Side hustles April 2019


The great thing about doing side hustles to generate extra income is that you can hustle on your own terms.  The more hard work, time, and creative effort you put in, the more extra money you can make.  You can hustle as little or as much as you want, whenever you want.  It’s your extra money, and you can choose how you want to spend it.  Instead of focusing on what ideas don’t apply to you, try focusing on different side hustle ideas that you can implement to work for your situation.

Once a month (usually on the 1st), I like to post a short summary of our personal and financial situation for the previous month.  While I don’t often post articles, I am committed to documenting all of my side hustle income.  Here I’ll share some of what’s been going on with our lives and our side hustles. 

Welcome to May!  Did you have a good April?  This last month has been our most entertaining month of the year. 
We started the month off with a 4 day visit to San Diego.  On the way to our Airbnb, we visited Legoland.  We have definitely gotten the full value out of our Legoland passes.  It’s awesome to be able to visit the amusement park on Thursday since it is quite empty, with no wait for any rides.
In San Diego, we went to Sea World two days in a row.  One of the days, our son wanted to spend most of the day just playing with the toys in the gift shops.  Since we have season passes to Sea World, we did not feel any rush in getting through as many rides, shows and exhibits as possible.  We patiently waited as our son spent much of his time just playing with sea creature toys.
I’m glad we found a nice Airbnb for our stay.  It was nice having so much space, free parking, and it felt like a home away from home.  On our last day in San Diego, we went to visit a beach for the first time.  Our kids got a chance to run around on the wet sand and splash in the water.  We had a blast!
We recently purchased annual membership to the La Habra Children’s Museum for $80 for our family.  We’ve already gone 3 times this month!  There are fun little kid activities spread throughout the museum including: carousel rides every hour, full sized dinosaurs, an area to dig up dinosaur bones, an interactive garden, a play kitchen, a play supermarket, a costume dress up section, train village, and taxidermy room with fish and insects.  The museum is a 15 minute drive from our home and has free parking.
The rest of the month was filled with other fun activities like dinner at friends’ homes, Easter egg hunt for the kids, going for walks around our neighborhood and playing in the playground.  This entire month has been an adventure for our kids.  Since our children are growing so fast, we want to spend as much quality time as we can with them. 
Here’s our monthly summary of side income that we have generated in the previous month of April.
Award Travel
On 4.29, I redeemed 91,600 Chase Ultimate Rewards points with my Chase Sapphire Reserve account towards free round trip flights for my family to Portland, Oregon worth $1,374.  We are going to visit the in-laws and have them see their grandkids.  I’m really glad we have a large stash of credit card points that we can spend towards free travel.   

Cash Back
On 4.1, I received $10.23 deposit in my Discover Cashback Checking account.  This is 1% cashback from paying our rental property with my Discover debit card.
On 4.1, I received a $10 PayPal deposit from Mr. Rebates shopping portal.
On 4.4, I received a $4 statement credit on my Freedom Unlimited credit card from Chase Offers.  This was 5% off dog food purchases.
On 4.5, I received a $50 statement credit on my AMEX SimplyCash Business card from AMEX Offers.  This was 10% cash back for purchases made at Staples.
On 4.11, I received a $1.02 statement credit on my Chase Sapphire Reserve card from Chase Offers.  This was 10% off a pie at Coco’s Restaurant.
On 4.15, my wife received a $10 statement credit on her AMEX Gold card.  This was the $10 AMEX Gold dining credit for spending money at Shake Shack.
On 4.27, I received a $10 Amazon gift card by redeeming some old points from my Lexus credit card.  It cost 1,350 points but I’m glad I could drain the point balance from my account as this is not a credit card I use much. 

Rental Income
On 4.5, we received a net profit of $450 from our rental property. 

Survey Income
On 4.8, I received a $15 check from E-Rewards Medical for completing a medical survey.
On 4.8, I received a $10 check from E-Rewards Medical for completing a medical survey.
On 4.8, I received a $25 check from E-Rewards Medical for completing a medical survey.  Yup, 3 checks from E-Rewards Medical on the same day!
On 4.17, I received a $40 direct deposit into my checking account from GLG Survey for completing a medical survey.
On 4.30, my wife received a $35 Amazon gift card from Amazon Preview, a company that pays for surveys.

Miscellaneous Income
On 4.18, I sold an old Apple watch strap on Macrumors for $27. 
On 4.19, I sold an unloved watch on Reddit Watch Exchange subreddit for $450.  This was a watch I purchased on a whim but then decided I really didn’t need.
On 4.23, my wife sold an older unused clothing steamer online for $30.  We haven’t used this in over a year as we no longer steam our clothing.
On 4.23, I sold another unloved watch on Reddit Watch Exchange subreddit for $785.  While I love watches, I don’t need a large collection of them.
On 4.30, my wife sold an unused bluetooth speaker online for $10.It’s great to be able to reduce clutter around our home and increase side income at the same time.  Selling all this stuff makes us hesitant to purchase random items in the future.

Monthly Totals:
We saved $1,374 on award travel
We earned $95.25 from cash back
We earned $450 from rental income
We earned $125 for completing online surveys
We earned $1,302 from selling unused items in our home.

All of this totals $3,346.25 from our side hustles for the month of April!  It’s been a great month of side hustle income for us.  More importantly, it's been such a fun month with the family.   

Sunday, April 28, 2019

FWOTW: Saving money off my dental procedure


It’s time for another frugal win of the week (FWOTW) post! 
One of the most frustrating things about medical and dental insurance claims is how confusing it can be to sort out the billing.

Since I have history of dental problems, I made sure to sign up for a premium PPO dental plan through my employer each open enrollment.  My wife also adds me to her PPO dental plan through her employer.

I had a root canal performed by an endodontist in December 2018.  The total billed amount from the specialist was $1,660.  My copayment was $100, and I thought that took care of everything.  4 months later, the specialist office and the 2 separate dental insurances finally finished processing the claim.  I just received a bill for $90.80, which was quite a surprise.

The first thing I did was contact the billing specialist at my endodontist office to make sure that I really owed the $90.80 balance.  After she went over all the charges with me, it was time to pay the bill.  Here’s how our conversation went:

Her: How would you like to pay your balance – check, debit or credit card?

Me: Can I get a courtesy discount?

Her: <pause>  Um… sure I can offer you a 5% discount for paying in full.

Me: Great, here’s my credit card number!

I ended up saving $4.54 just by asking nicely!  While this is not a significant amount of money, every bit helps along our financial journey.  I’m often surprised how many discounts you can get on services just asking nicely.

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