Saturday, May 1, 2021

Side hustles April 2021

 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?  

It has been a busy few months but our home renovation is finally complete!  No more sharing one single sink or toilet for the whole house.  No more doing dishes in the bathroom sink, or having the whole family sleep in a single bed.  We’ve used this opportunity to purge a bunch of unused items such as clothing, furniture, toys, dishes, etc.  We’ve been slowly selling, donating and trashing items over the last few months.  It feels great to reduce clutter.

We’ve been able to take our kids out to more fun places as they continue to open up (with covid safety protocols).  We were super excited to visit the Natural History Museum again.  At low levels of capacity, we felt like we had the whole museum to ourselves.  We’ve also been able to visit the Los Angeles Zoo, Aquarium of the Pacific, and the La Habra Children’s Museum.  

The weather has been great lately.  It’s been perfect for going on walks around the neighborhood.  

Here’s our monthly summary of side income that we have generated in the previous month of April. 

Cash Back 

On 4.4, I redeemed 670 Citibank ThankYou points towards an Amazon purchase of $5.36.  While this wasn’t the best value use of ThankYou points, we still got to save money.  We are currently not collecting ThankYou points so we did not have much use to hold onto these points long term.

On 4.1, I received $10.53 from the Mr. Rebates cash back portal. 

On 4.6, my wife received a $10 statement credit on her AMEX Gold credit card.  This card offers a $10 dining credit every month on select restaurants such as Cheesecake Factory or Shake Shack.

On 4.6, my wife received a $30 statement credit on her AMEX Platinum card. This was for $30 off $30 on purchases made with PayPal checkout. 

On 4.22, I received a $29.77 statement credit on my AMEX SimplyCash Business credit card. 

On 4.28, I received a $6 statement credit on my Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card from Chase Offers. This was for 10% cash back on purchases made at Petco. 


Rental Income

On 4.5, we received a net profit of $740 from our rental property.  

Survey Income

On 4.5, I received a $25 PayPal deposit from GLocal Rewards for completing a survey.

On 4.5, I received a $25 DoorDash gift card from Evolve Medical for completing a survey.

On 4.6, my wife received a $25 Gap gift card from Gap Inc. Insiders for completing a survey.

On 4.6, I received a $25 check from E-Rewards Medical for completing a survey. 

On 4.7, I received a $5 Amazon gift card from The Vision Council for completing a survey.

On 4.13, I received a $15 check from M3 Global Research for completing a survey. 

On 4.14, I received a $30 check from My Impact Network for completing a survey. 

On 4.17, I received a $25 Amazon gift card from My Impact Network for completing a survey. 

On 4.20, I received a $110 Amazon gift card from M-Panels for completing a survey.

On 4.27, I received a $25 Amazon gift card from M3 Global Research for completing a survey. 


Miscellaneous Income

On 4.16, I received a cash payment of $4.62 for recycling a few bags of plastic water bottles and glass beer bottles.  We’ve never been paid for recycling before - just never thought it would be worth trying.  With our home renovations underway, we’ve been drinking water from plastic bottles and thought we would give paid recycling a try instead of our usual city recycling bin pick up.


Sales income

On 4.30, my wife received $20 cash for selling a sleeping pack through Facebook Marketplace. 


Monthly Totals:

We earned $91.66 from cash back income
We earned $740 from rental income

We earned $310 for completing online surveys

We earned $4.62 of miscellaneous income

We earned $20 of sales income


All of this totals $1,166.28 from our side hustles for the month of April!  


Our home remodel has been our biggest splurge in the last 8 years.  We love our neighborhood and don’t see ourselves moving anytime soon.  Hustling for more income on the side helps us fund our splurges - as well as our financial freedom.  Keep hustling my friends. 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Over 700K invested

Today, our investment accounts have now hit the biggest financial milestone to date: surpassing $700,000 in value!  

Our investment accounts include money in our 401Ks, Roth IRAs, taxable accounts, HSA and 529.  Index fund investing allows us to diversify our portfolio and keep our costs very low.  This does not include money in our checking accounts, savings accounts, home equity or rental property equity.

It’s both incredible and slightly scary how well the stock market is doing.  There are great reasons for why the market will continue to soar.  There are equally good reasons for why the market is frothy and will crash soon.  The current market sentiment is that the economy will continue to improve.  Covid deaths are declining, millions are getting their covid vaccines, businesses are re-opening, and consumer confidence is up.  There is pent up demand to travel, visit amusement parks, attend sporting events and spend money.  This is great for the economy and investors believe the economy will continue to boom.  

We are conservatively riding this wild stock market.  At this time, we are more comfortable with less risk of financial loss than missing out on bigger financial gains.  Being too conservative has risks though - I don’t even want to think about how much potential upside we have missed out on!  Our portfolio is currently sitting at about 67% stocks and 33% bonds and slowly moving towards a 70/30 asset allocation.  

The stock market can continue to go up or it can sharply pull back.  No one can really predict the future.  Our asset allocation keeps us invested and helps us sleep well at night.  

Here is a look back at the timeline of our previous investment milestones:

July 2010: I opened up my first Roth IRA investment account.

June 2, 2014: 100K

March 12, 2016: 200K

June 5, 2017: 300K

July 15, 2018: 400K 

April 16, 2019: 450K

November 5, 2019: 500K

January 18, 2020: 550K

November 7, 2020: 600K

January 12, 2021: 650K

April 7, 2021: 700K

We continue to hit new financial milestones, with each milestone coming sooner than the one before it.  The power of compounding is truly incredible.  We are looking forward to reaching financial freedom.  Keep investing my friends.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Side hustles March 2021

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 April!  Did you have a good March?  With our home remodel project still underway, things have been very hectic around the house.  The crew has been continuing to work 6 days a week, 6 to 8 hours a day.  We have needed to move most of our furniture and household items into the garage, which looks like a hoarder’s living space now.  For a week, our family needed to all sleep in the same bed.  The project is estimated to be complete in about 2 to 3 weeks.

Our kids have been pretty flexible with all the new changes going on at home, especially the need to be away from the home for hours at a time.  We’ve taken plenty of trips to local playgrounds.  We’ve taken plenty of walks around the neighborhood.

The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach has recently reopened the indoor exhibits with safety protocols such as mask mandates and limited capacity.  Visiting the aquarium has become a weekly or bi-weekly activity for our family.

We recently visited Mother’s Beach and found it a great place to take the kids.  The water is shallow here and the waves are very gentle.  The sand is clean.  There is a fun playground here as well as many accessible public bathrooms and beach showers.

Here’s our monthly summary of side income that we have generated in the previous month of March. 

Cash Back 

On 3.1, I received a $62.29 statement credit on my Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. This was for getting gas, which qualifies as a Chase Travel credit eligible purchase.  This card is essentially providing us with $300 worth of free gas each year. 

On 3.1, my wife received a $30 statement credit on her AMEX Platinum card. This was for $30 off $30 on purchases made with PayPal checkout in February. 

On 3.4, I received $50 in statement credits ($25 x 2) on my AMEX SimplyCash Business card. This was for two separate purchases of greater than $500 for our kids’ school tuition. 

On 3.4, my wife received a $10 statement credit on her AMEX Gold credit card.  This card offers a $10 dining credit every month on select restaurants such as Cheesecake Factory or Shake Shack.

On 3.5, my wife received a $30 statement credit on her AMEX Platinum card. This was for $30 off $30 on purchases made with PayPal checkout.

On 3.7, I received an $18.06 statement credit on my Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card from the Chase Travel Credit benefit.  This was for a purchase made at a gas station. We have already used up the $300 Chase Travel Credit this year. It was nice to have $300 worth of gas covered by Chase. 

On 3.15, my wife received a $10 statement credit on her AMEX Gold credit card.  This was for the AMEX Gold dining credit - $10 off $10 spent at Cheesecake Factory.

On 3.21, I redeemed 4,786 Citibank ThankYou points towards an Amazon purchase of $38.29.  While this wasn’t the best value use of ThankYou points, we still got to save money.  We are currently not collecting ThankYou points so we did not have much use to hold onto these points long term.

On 3.22, I received a $29.11 statement credit on my AMEX SimplyCash Business card as automatic monthly cash back deposit. 


Rental Income

On 3.5, we received a net profit of $740 from our rental property.  

Survey Income

On 3.2, I received a $5 Amazon Gift card from the Vision Council for completing a survey.

On 3.9, I received a $30 Amazon Gift card from M-Panels for completing a survey.

On 3.9, I received a $40 direct deposit from GLG survey for completing a survey

On 3.14, I received a $3 Amazon gift card from MyPoints.

On 3.15, I received a $1 Amazon gift card from MyPoints. 

On 3.15, I received a $30 check from My Impact Network for completing a survey. 

On 3.30, I received a $10 Amazon gift card from Sermo for completing a survey. 

On 3.31, I received a $35 Amazon gift card from Sermo for completing a survey. 

Surveys continue to be a fun and easy way to earn extra income on the side.


Miscellaneous Income

On 3.16, we received a direct deposit of $5,261.20 from the IRS as our third stimulus check.  I list this as a side hustle, just like our last 2 stimulus checks, because our income qualifies only after taking into account the tax deductions on our gross income.  These deductions include two maxed out 401Ks ($19,500 each), a maxed out Dependent Care FSA ($5,000), a maxed out HSA ($7,000) and a partial Medical FSA deduction ($1,000).  We have been rewarded for saving more. 


Additional work income

On 3.31, I received a direct deposit of $144.28 for picking up extra hours with my employer.


Monthly Totals:

We earned $277.75 from cash back income
We earned $740 from rental income

We earned $154 for completing online surveys

We earned $5,261.20 of miscellaneous income

I earned $144.28 of extra income from my work


All of this totals $6,577.23 from our side hustles for the month of March!  We continue to slowly make progress towards our financial freedom every month.  Side hustles help us reach our goals a little bit faster.  Keep hustling my friends.  

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