Welcome to my side hustle report for July 2017! Ok..I know. I’m super late in posting this. To be exact I am typing this just before midnight September 1st. Procrastination at it’s best (worse?). But, I am determined to get this report posted in August- even if there are only a few minutes left.
This summer has been absolutely crazy! I really don’t know where the time went.
Actually .. I do. Running the girls back and forth to camp. Keeping up with an increasingly active toddler. Trying to squeeze in time for travel. Plus, side hustling of course.
I, for one, am glad that summer is over. School starts up in a few days so the kids will be transitioning back to a more typically schedule and so will I.
One thing I like about summer, besides the warm weather, is that it is a great time for me to get my side hustle on. I’m a college professor and I work under a 9-month contract from late August-mid May during the regular academic year. This leaves me with a lot of free time in the summer to earn extra cash. I opt to have my 9 month salary split over a 12 month period so I continue to earn a steady paycheck during summer months. My regular household budget is based our primary incomes only, so every “extra dollar” earned in side hustling can be used to fund whatever financial goal I happen to be working on at the time.
This summer I have been focused on:
- Completing a fully funded 6 month emergency fund
- Saving cash for a car
- Cash flowing a debt free vacation
- Boosting my sinking funds
I’m done with #1 and should be done with #2 in the next month. Number 3 was also a success. It was a great feeling to not have every thing paid for before we set out on our travels. I am still working on #4 and will continue to do so into the fall.
So, what exactly is a side hustle?
A side hustle is any income earned outside of my full-time salary. For example, income from a side business or a part-time job. For more info about how to get your side hustles on click here.
But, before you run out and get three more jobs remember that…
More money is not always the answer.
I firmly believe that you must fix your money mindset before you can truly transform your finances. Otherwise you will continue to make the same mistakes with the new money that you earn. Before diving head first into side hustling I would recommend:
- Figuring out your ‘WHY
- If you’re in a hole stop digging
- Get to know your enemy
- Create a budget in 5 easy steps
- Establish an emergency fund
After paying off the debt I slowed my side hustling for a (very) brief time so that I could catch my breath. Between my full-time job and my multiple streams of income, I had become accustomed to working 50 hour workweeks. I am also a type A workaholic so it’s easy for me to get lost in my work. But I have learned to enjoy the view along the way to financial freedom.
Side hustling has been particularly important to me recently.
My current full-time job will end in May 2018.
I’m long overdue for an update on this one. Definitely one coming soon. But for those who might be new, here is the skinny.
Unfortunately my academic department will be closing in the spring and I will officially be out of a job. I love the flexibility that teaching gives me and the great benefits that come along with the position. But I definitely will not miss the hour-long commute or the extra gas cost and wear and tear on my rapidly aging vehicle. I have been working hard to prepare my finances for the job loss since I found out the news. One major component of my strategy is to increase my side income, build my emergency fund, and get ahead on bills.
This job loss highlights the importance of multiple streams of income!
I never liked having all of my eggs in one basket. Multiple streams of income means diversification and minimized risk. Relying upon one paycheck from a single employer can spell financial ruin if a unexpected job loss occurs. Having multiple streams of income ensures that money will continue to flow into the household even if one source is lost.
Why am I sharing this information?
- It will help keep me accountable with the side income. It’s easy to just look at side hustle income as extra cash that I can blow on things I don’t need.
- To encourage others to get their side hustle on in order to accelerate debt payoff and advance other financial goals. Side hustles can help you improve cash flow, stop living paycheck to paycheck, or build up a fully-funded emergency fund. The ability to earn multiple streams of income is one of the 10 Habits of Self-Made Millionaires. Multiple streams of income also help decrease your dependence on your full-time paycheck. Wouldn’t it be nice to be your own boss one day? That will never happen unless you (we) get creative, start putting in the work, and make our dreams a reality.
So, what are my side hustles?
**If you are new here keep reading, otherwise feel free to skip to the next section.
My full-time income and my husband’s income serve as the basis for our monthly budget. Anything above those earnings is considered extra because I don’t need it to make ends meet. In addition to my full-time job as a college professor I dabble in several other pursuits:
- Teaching online courses for colleges and universities– I have been teaching online since 2009. Mostly health related courses. As I gained more experience I qualified for more jobs. In 2009 the economy was in the toilet and a lot of people were going back to school because they were out of work. This stream of income skyrocketed which helped me pay off all of the debt I accrued in graduate school. As the economy improved, opportunities were not as abundant but I still make a healthy side income.
- Part-time hospital job– I maintain my certification as a physician assistant and see patients at a local hospital on an as needed basis. These are normally 10-12 hour shifts.
- T-shirt business– just started this income stream so it hasn’t turned a profit just yet. Any money that comes in from sales is just recovering my upfront start up costs.
- YouTube– a Google Adsense account is linked to the YouTube channel. This allows me to earn a small amount of money from the ads that run before my video starts. I know it’s tempting to skip the ads, especially the really annoying ones but if you watch until the end it actually helps to support your favorite YouTubers. Just something to ponder.
- Blog/consulting/speaking– I’m working to build up this side hustle. The blog is not yet monetized but I am working on developing affiliate relationships in order to change that. Another side hustle is personal finance coaching. Unfortunately I have not done a good job of letting people know that I offer these services. I am working on building a coaching page to the blog to get the word out.
Now that you are up to speed..here is the nitty gritty..probably what you came here for.
Breakdown of my side hustle income for July 2017.
With the exception of the Google Adsense money, these numbers are take home pay after taxes.
Online teaching– $3,557.45
Clinical Job(s)- $3,854.61
YouTube/Google Adsense– $310.65
T-shirt sales: $18.00
Click here to see last month’s report.
July was a great month! It will probably be my best month for 2017. My income will drop back down as fall approaches and I ease back into my regular work schedule.
What do I plan to do with my side hustle money earned this month?
Note: I always return my tithe and offering off the top. No ifs, ands, or buts.
My goals for the remaining money was as follows:
- Investing- I just started a new brokerage account and will be adding to it.
- Make an extra payment on the mortgage.
- Add a small amount to the car fund.
- Cash flowing gas and food for the family road trip to Niagara Falls
- Finish saving for a debt free Christmas in 2017
Important Things to Remember When Getting Your Side Hustle on…
- Don’t forget to keep an eye on your tax situation. The year after I began side hustling heavily we owed Uncle Sam a lot of money because we jumped a tax bracket and I hadn’t noticed! Don’t be afraid of a higher tax bill. I will take Bill Gate’s take bill if I can earn Bill Gate’s money. Consider consulting a tax professional to help you figure out your withholdings and prepare for the increase in income. Now that we are approaching the end of the year I will begin to focus on readying myself for tax season. I will run a few calculations to estimate my tax bill and adjust accordingly. I never want to be surprised with a huge tax bill. That happened to me the first year that I increased my income through side hustling. I was caught off guard and paid dearly for it. Never again!
- Side hustling can be addictive. Earning more money is great but in many cases it involved trading time for money. Extra hours worked means time away from family and the other things that are important to you. Remember to give yourself a break and enjoy free time when you can. There is a time to hustle and a time for rest and relaxation. As I continue on the journey to financial freedom I will be working on increasing my passive income (rental properties, investments) so that I can minimize the number of hours that I am actively working away from home.
- Don’t view it as “extra money”. Extra money has a casual connotation. There is no intentionality behind “extra money”. When earning additional income it is critical to name EVERY dollar, meaning every dollar should have a specific purpose. Money that isn’t specifically designated for a purpose, such as saving, investing, paying off debt for example, will most likely be spent on stuff that doesn’t matter. Ensure that you handle this money in a way that aligns with your SMART financial goals.