Sunday, September 5, 2021

My retirement from this blog

     Photo by susancurrydesign

Hello friends, it’s time to say goodbye for now.  I’m going to retire… from this blog.  

I entered the workforce with my first full time job in 2008, just as the economy was tanking. I’ve always held part time jobs and was used to doing side hustles for extra income.  The problem was that I was never used to saving any money.  I spent every dollar that I ever made, often times on credit.  Money just slipped through my fingers.  I had zero experience with saving money, let alone investing.  

As the economy started improving in 2009, I became hyper focused on relentlessly improving our own financial situation.  I checked out every personal finance book I could get my hands on at the library.  I read personal finance blogs and message forums.  I started credit card points hacking.  After a while I felt like I knew enough to not only implement what I learned on our own finances, but also enough to share this information with others.

I first started this blog in 2012 to help track our financial progress over time.  When my friends or family asked me financial questions or advice, I could direct them to this site as a resource.  I’ve never claimed to be a professional financial advisor and I know that the information I’ve provided may not be for everyone’s individual needs and purposes.  I think I can do a decent job explaining financial concepts.  I’ve enjoyed blogging these past 9 years.  We’ve reached many of our financial goals and now it’s time for us to move on to our next journey.

There are so many great financial resources. There are financial tools, forums, bloggers, podcasts and groups to participate in to help you succeed.  Here is a list of my favorite resources:

I track all of my spending with Mint and ClearCheckbook.  I track all of our investments with Personal Capital.

When I need motivation on how to live a frugal and purposeful life, I go to Mr. Money Mustache.  I get my motivation through the psychology and research provided by James Clear.  The Collaborative Fund has a great blog on the psychology of money.  When I need to learn more about travel hacking, I go to Flyertalk, The Frequent MilerDoctor of Credit, and the Reddit churning subreddit. When I need a good price on something, I go to Slickdeals.  Bogleheads has a great community of investors. 

My favorite financial podcasts are ChooseFI and Afford Anything.  These podcasts also have great Facebook groups worth joining.

As I bow out of this blog, I would like to leave this quote by Thomas Mitchell:

"One of the best secrets of a happy life is the art of extracting comfort and sweetness from every circumstance...

People are always looking for happiness at some future time and in some new thing, or some new set of circumstances, in possession of which they some day expect to find themselves. But the fact is, if happiness is not found now, where we are, and as we are, there is little chance of it ever being found. There is a great deal more happiness around us day by day than we have the sense or power to seek and find.

If we are to cultivate the art of living, we should cultivate the art of extracting sweetness and comfort out of everything, as the bee goes from flower to flower in search of honey."

Thank you for being a part of our financial journey.  I wish you the best on your financial journey!

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Side hustles August 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 August!  Did you have a good August?

The big financial update for us is that we have sold our rental property for $495,000.  We’ve had a good run since we purchased the rental property in 2015 for $305,000.  We’ve enjoyed consistent monthly income, tax benefits, and home value appreciation.  This last year has confirmed that we aren’t cut out for being landlords.  We got lucky that the hot real estate market allowed us to quickly sell at a good price.  Real estate prices are likely going to rise over time, but I don’t think we will regret our decision to sell.  It’s been a good financial experiment and we are ready to move on.

Moving forward, we’d rather invest the time and energy towards simpler investments such as index funds.  I’d also much rather spend my free time with my family instead of dealing with handymen and plumbers and tenant issues.  While we will be getting hit with a huge tax bill, it will be offset by an inflated sale price due to the housing boom and hot real estate market. 

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

Cash Back 

On 8.10, I received a $39 statement credit on my Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card.  This was for their Peloton membership credit benefit, covering membership dues up to $120 until the end of the year. On 8.16, 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 8.23, I received a $14 statement credit on my Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card from Chase Offers. This was 5% cash back on purchases made at Petsmart. 

Rental Income

On 8.5, we received a net profit of $600 from our rental property.  This was a pro rated rent amount due to the move out of our tenants and the sale of our rental property.  

Survey Income 

On 8.2, I received a $20 check from E-Rewards Medical for completing a survey.

On 8.3, I received a $5 Amazon gift card from The Vision Council for completing a survey.

On 8.10, I received $30 worth of Amazon gift card from MNOW for completing surveys.

On 8.12, I received $20 worth of Amazon gift card from MNOW for completing surveys.

On 8.17, I received a $100 Amazon gift card from M-Panels for completing a survey. 

On 8.17, I received a $20 Amazon gift card from Evolve Medical for completing a survey. 

On 8.23, I received another $20 Amazon gift card from Evolve Medical for completing a survey. 

On 8.28, I received a $10 check from E-Rewards Medical for completing a survey.

On 8.28, I received a $35 check from E-Rewards Medical for completing a survey.

On 8.31, I received $30 worth of Amazon gift card from MNOW for completing surveys.

On 8.31, I received a $50 check from My Impact Network for completing surveys.

Website Income

On 8.10, I received A $76 PayPal payment from ROI High for website income. Thank you for your support. 

Miscellaneous Income

On 8.21, I received a $3 Amazon gift card from MyPoints.  This company offers points for clicking on advertisements through emails, offers a shopping portal as well as completing random surveys.

On 8.27, I received a $15 statement credit on my Chase checking account as a wire fee reversal. After receiving a wire transfer, our account was hit with a wire transfer fee of $15.  I called Chase and nicely asked a rep if they could reverse the fee.  Since we are long term customers with Chase Bank, the rep was kind enough to reverse the fee. 

Real Estate Income

On 8.26, we received a $251,763.52 wire transfer from the sale of our rental property.  This profit amount is after all closing costs, fees, some tax withholding and rental property mortgage payoff.  

Monthly Totals:

We earned $63 from cash back income
We earned $600 from rental income

We earned $340 for completing online surveys

We earned $18 from miscellaneous income

We earned $251,763.52 from the sale of our rental property

All of this totals $252,784.52 from our side hustles for the month of August !  This amount by far is the biggest side hustle income we’ve ever had, thanks mostly to good luck with timing the real estate market.  This amount officially pushes our cash and investment balance to over $1 million.  We will be working to slowly invest our new funds by dollar cost averaging into the stock market.  Keep hustling my friends.

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