Wednesday, January 1, 2020

2020: Happy New Year, December side hustles and year end summary!

Happy New Year!  Welcome to January 2020!  On New Years Eve, I had dinner and hung out at a friend’s house, then came home to fall asleep before 10:30pm.  I’m sure parents with young kids can relate – sleeping early is a luxury.  Did you have a good December?

It’s been quite a busy month for us and I expect that we will continue to spend more time doing family activities.  December has been such a joyous month.  We had plenty of holiday parties with friends, office coworkers, and family.  Our kids are finally starting to play nicely with each other.  It’s been fun watching the two of them entertain each other and come up with activities to do together.
We visited the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach 3 times this month.  Our kids love exploring the different sea life exhibits and playing with the toys in the gift shop. 
No December is complete without making gingerbread houses!
It’s been a bit cold and we’ve had a few rainy days.  Whenever possible, we still try to get our kids outside to explore our neighborhood and visit the playground.
My in laws had to change their holiday plans to visit us this Christmas last minute.  Credit card points allowed my wife and son to fly and visit for nearly free.  I could not leave my office due to short notice and so I spent 5 days bonding with my daughter.  
We had a great time visiting the Children’s Museum at La Habra.  Since we have passes here, we probably visit at least once a month.
I took my daughter to visit Petco to see all the fish, turtles, reptiles, guinea pigs and birds.  It’s like a free visit to the zoo!
I also took my daughter to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.  Admission is free for California teachers (I teach part time as one of my side hustles) and children under 2, so we both got in for free!  This museum has a ton of taxidermy animal exhibits, gemstones as well as dinosaur bones on display.  My daughter loved it! 
Next to the Natural History Museum is the California Science Center, another fantastic place to visit.  Admission is free (because exposure to science should be free for everyone), but they do accept donations.  My daughter wanted to hang around the kelp forest and sea life exhibits on this visit.
I am looking forward to brining my wife and son to the Natural History Museum and California Science Center this month!
Here’s our monthly summary of side income that we have generated in the previous month of December.
Cash Back
On 12.3, I received a $7 statement credit on my Chase Freedom card from Chase Offers.  This promotion was for 10% back on purchases made at Petsmart.
On 12.9, my wife received a $10 statement credit on her AMEX Gold card from AMEX Offers.  This was for $10 back after spending $25 or more at Yardhouse.

Rental Income
On 12.5, we received a net profit of $450 from our rental property. 

Survey Income
On 12.3, I received a $70 check from My Impact Network for completing a medical survey.
On 12.23, I received a $20 check from E-Rewards Medical for completing a medical survey.
On 12.28, I received a $25 check from My Impact Network for completing a medical survey.

Miscellaneous Income
On 12.4, I received a $5 Amazon gift card from MyPoints. 

On 12.7, my wife sold a piece of unused furniture to a coworker for $25 cash.
On 12.12, my wife received a $3 Amazon gift card from the Amazon Early Reviewer Program.

Monthly Totals:
We earned $17 from cash back
We earned $450 from rental income
I earned $115 for completing online surveys
We earned $33 of miscellaneous income.

All of this totals $615 from our side hustles for the month of December!  Our total side hustle income for 2019 was $14,181.54!

Side hustle totals:

This is now the 6th year that we have been tracking our side hustle income.  Here are the numbers:

In 2019, we earned $14,181.54
In 2018, we earned $14,802.47
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

In the past, one of our biggest income producing side hustles was renting out our extra rooms to local students.  That extra income helped us save up enough money to purchase our rental property and aggressively invest in stock market index funds.  When our kids get older, we may consider house hacking again.

This has been a big year for our family on our journey towards financial freedom.  This past year, our investments surpassed 500K!  Whether the market continues to soar or whether we hit a recession, we will stay invested in the market.  We are getting closer and closer to financial freedom. 

When 2019 started, I wanted to focus more on being in the moment and practicing more gratitude.  I try to remind myself daily not to let a wandering mind reduce my happiness.  This past year we have spent so much time doing fun activities with the family.  We’ve put much more value on experiences than material things.  My wife has been proficient at purchasing used clothes from Facebook Marketplace and other used clothing apps (such as OfferUp and 5Miles).  Our kids are growing so fast it doesn’t make sense to buy them fancy brand name clothing.

As our children get older, spending time with them has become a much more important priority than hustling for more income.  I’m glad that we were able to invest aggressively prior to having kids.

I am looking forward to seeing what 2020 will bring.  I’ve been blogging for 8 years and it has helped us track our journey towards financial freedom.  This year I want to focus more on reading for pleasure.  It’s so easy to waste a bunch of time on the Internet browsing sites such as Reddit.  I want to take advantage of my library card and put it to good use.  

Let’s make 2020 another fantastic year!  

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