At the beginning of 2019, I will quit my job as a cybersecurity operations director.
Want to get caught up? Go check out my first post of this series.
I’m not financially independent, and I won’t be retiring early, at least not for a while, even with a healthy net worth. Call me spoiled, but I can’t stand the traditional work routine. I’m going to escape it through the use of multiple income streams, some passive, some flexible.
If you’re confused, seriously, I explain everything in my first post.
To be better prepared for leaving traditional work, I’m tracking our progress through this series. Enjoy and make sure you subscribe to get updates on our journey!
We Need $3,500 per Month
In order for life to not suck a lot, our calculations say that we need $3,500 per month by January 2019. We could probably make it by on less, but this is the amount we are using to “strike a balance” between “sucktitude” and perfect-world.
Flexible and Passive Income for September 2017
For the month of September 2017, we brought in a net profit of $213.81!
Here are our basic income statements:
Debt Free Geek: ($61.93)
This site is a passion of mine, but it costs money!
MY GOAL: Break even by Christmas. I don’t care how, but I want this site to break even, whether it’s by cutting expenses or increasing income. I’ve been paying for the site’s expenses using another side hustle (tutoring on Wyzant.com), but I want this site to be self-sufficient.
SEPTEMBER THOUGHTS: THANK YOU to several of our awesome DFG readers for using my Amazon link for your typical Amazon purchases, (no extra cost to you)! I am sincerely thankful for you..
This is a small confirmation that you enjoy the content and/or want to see me succeed on this journey. Definitely encouraging me to keep moving forward.
If you haven’t already, join the Debt Free Geek guild:
- Like the DFG Facebook page
- Follow DFG in the Twitterverse
- Become a Patron
- Subscribe to the email list
- And probably the easiest: Bookmark my Amazon link and use it whenever you buy stuff you were going to buy anyway. I’ll get a 4% commish so it’s not much, but it adds up. And you pay the same prices. Thank you!
September content did decently well. I published six posts with their latest view counts, ordered newest to oldest:
- [100 Views] Zero Day Challenge: Issues, Results, Mods, Pizza!
- [61 Views] How to Become a USAA Member Even If You Aren’t in the Military
- [105 Views] How an Electronic Envelope System Helped Us Pay Off Over $150,000 in Debt
- [167 Views] I QUIT! Announcement and Flex Income Update for August 2017
- [313 Views] Everything You Need to Know About the Equifax Data Breach
- [156 Views] August 2017 Net Worth Update: $468,294 (+$25,749)
My main method of advertising is twitter. It doesn’t cost anything which is good for now since we’re not a revenue generator currently.
I’m jumping into sponsorships in October. My first sponsor is Matt @ We’re All Poor Here. Sponsor is a generous statement ($1). We’re blogger friends, and he’s just being a nice guy and participating in my test to see what kind of traffic I can generate for him. Check him out…his is one of the most entertaining blogs I read.
Note to bloggers: If you’re interested in partnering up in some way, or being featured with the “Awesome Partners” at the top of DFG, let me know.
First Digital Product!
I’ve also got my first digital product in the making. It’s a guide for cryptocurrency beginners. I’m combining all of my knowledge and experience (bumps and bruises) to share it in a single place for you guys.
My current plan is to have a focus group review it and provide feedback before releasing it to a larger audience. If you are interested in participating, please let me know.
If you just want a copy when it’s ready: join the wait list here.
Online Retail Business: $302.16
My wife, Alison, started this business in April, and it is picking up steam. She’s spent countless hours researching this business and building her products. Probably as much time as I spend on this blog. If you have a blog, then you’ll understand!
HER GOAL: $1,000 per month by February 2018. I don’t know all that much about this arena, but she’s done the research, and she thinks it’s possible. So far so good!
SEPTEMBER THOUGHTS: We’re hitting the holiday season so shopping will be at an all-time high. We expect this income to jump exponentially in October, November, and December, and then cool off in January. October could be close to $1,000 alone.
This is super encouraging since we only need $3,500 a month to make it. That’s the great thing about having multiple streams. Each of them only have to contribute a smaller piece of the whole puzzle.
Real Estate: ($24.17)
We’re not technically real estate investors yet! Hence our 2017 goal below.
Wait, why are we in the red already? I paid for a subscription to BiggerPockets forums. In hindsight, I probably could have done without it, but I was all amped up and wanted to learn everything I could at the time. In 2018, I probably won’t renew it because the free membership will likely be sufficient.
So far, we’ve made offers on two different properties which met 100% of our criteria. The first one is still open-ended because I am switching agents. Our initial agents were not being completely up-front with us, and we got shady vibes from them. They continued to insist on us offering higher amounts, including one redflag in particular, which I’ll share in a dedicated post.
The second property was a foreclosure, but we found out over the weekend that an offer had already been accepted while we were seeing it in person.
OUR GOAL: Buy our first investment property by EOY 2017.
SEPTEMBER THOUGHTS: The lesson we took away here is that we’re going to need to move faster and probably start putting offers in before we go look at the property in person.
That’s a scary notion, but I just don’t see how we can beat other investors if we take an extra 1-2 days to schedule an on-site visit. Alas, we continue our search. On a positive note, we are moving into a quieter season (Winter) where there should be less competition.
Something cool I learned this month was that I could modify our pre-qualification letter from our lender. He didn’t mind us changing the property address and the date of the letter. This made things easier since we were trying to get an offer in on a Saturday. The original pre-qual letter was for the first property, and we needed a new one for the second property. I texted my lender and got his OK.
I tutor in many subjects (mostly cybersecurity, networking, etc), using this platform. Year-to-date, I’ve grossed $1,618.91 with no expenses. After withholding 25% for income tax, I have a YTD net income of $1,214.18.
I made about $1,400 of that between March and May, but got burned out. It’s not easy to keep up 20+ hours of tutoring each month when you’re blogging and working a full-time job already. This is precisely why trading time for money isn’t a long-term, scalable solution.
MY GOAL: Tutor at least two students per month
SEPTEMBER THOUGHTS: I’m happy with the balance on this hustle. Some months I hear from my old students or connect with a new one. Some months, it’s dead quiet. I’m not applying for new tutoring gigs either. This is just a nice casual side hustle.
Here’s something interesting to consider: I charge $48/hour for tutoring, and I get to keep 70% ($33.60) after Wyzant’s fees. If I worked just 25 hours a week, I could cover our basic expenses. This is a worst case scenario and not as simple as it sounds, but it’s a confidence booster. And again, it’s just one stream of income!
Technology Consulting: ($2.25)
Prepare for a depressing report. This is hustle has been dry for a long time. I made some goals for 2017 but didn’t really stick to them. We all fail, and not growing this business is my biggest failure of the year.
My struggle is that I am not an outgoing person, and I’m not a natural when it comes to advertising and marketing my skills. It becomes even tougher since I work a full-time day job, and most clients need help during business hours.
I did finally get around to building a website to pick up local traffic.
MY GOAL: Optimize my site for SEO by EOY 2017
SEPTEMBER THOUGHTS: I would love to make some money here, but I can’t help but think about how difficult it would be to scale this business without hiring employees and putting in an absolute ton of man hours myself. So I’m not all that encouraged to try to grow it.
Why Flexible and Passive Income?
Freeing ourselves of the constraints of a 9-5 job will give us the opportunity to travel, live and work on our own terms. It’s not going to be completely passive income until later in life, and we’re fine with that.
The idea is to have diversified streams of increasingly passive income with a more flexible schedule.
What about you? Do you guys prefer the 9-5? Are you also working toward a different life/work reality? What are you doing about it?