Welcome to my side hustle report for May 2017! I posted my first side hustle report last month and got a lot of great feedback. I hope to make these reports a regularly monthly feature on the blog. For the past two years I have been creating videos about financial freedom, budgeting, and frugal living on Youtube and I specifically chose NOT to share details about my income. I enjoy watching videos where people discuss their income and debt with 100% transparency but so far I haven’t done that.
One, it’s very personal. Honestly, I don’t mind sharing the information with complete strangers, but there are people in my “real” life that watch my videos (and now read the blog) and it’s somehow more difficult to share the specifics with people I know (does that make sense?).
Two, it can be a stumbling block or a mental barrier for others. People might mistakenly assume that they need to earn a certain amount or earn what I earn, in order to get out of debt. It’s not about how much money you make, but how much you actually get to keep.
But my outlook has changed and I have decided to commit to posting side hustle reports monthly as a way to stay accountable with my extra income. Side hustle income was a major contributor to the elimination of over $90,000 of student loan debt. I made the last payment on that debt in August of 2016 and in that time I slowed my side hustles down a bit so that I could catch my breath.
But now it’s time to ramp up my side hustle efforts again. I am a college professor (non-tenured) and at the end of the 2017-2018 academic year, the department that I work in will be closing. So I will be out of a job..complete bummer. On the bright side, I will no longer have an hour-long commute. I also am extremely blessed in that I have over a year to prepare my finances for the job loss. One major component of my strategy is to increase my side income.
Why am I sharing this information?
1. Help keep myself 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 probably don’t need anyway.
2. 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.
What are my side hustles?
If you are new here feel free to keep reading, otherwise 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:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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. Natural salesperson, I’m not. So I tend not to put myself out there as much as I could to generate business. Helping people is natural to me so I find myself offering one-on-one help to people for free. I gotta do better in these areas.
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 May 2017:
With the exception of the Google Adsense money, these numbers are take-home pay after taxes.
Online teaching– $3,149.83
Hospital Job– $1356.45
YouTube/Google Adsense– $186.68
T-shirt sales: $133.00
Click here to see last month’s report.
I’m very pleased with my progress this month! The summer months are usually when I have more time available to work on my side hustles.
What do I plan to do with my side hustle money this month?
Note: I always return my tithe and offering off the top. No ifs, ands, or buts.
My goals for the remaining money are as follows:
- Continue to build my emergency fund. I am on track to complete Baby Step 3 (fully-funded emergency fund) before the end of 2017. For now, I have slowed my savings towards the car. I was previously saving cash very rapidly to pay for a car outright in cash. So far my car in holding on and running well. I will continue to pray over the car and anoint it with Crisco oil if I have to. (Just kidding about that last part)..but I will drive it until the wheels fall off.
Important Things to Remember When Getting Your Side Hustle on…
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
What are your side hustles?
What are your goals for the extra income?
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