October 2017 Flexible and Passive Income Update: $1,275.72

The Premise of this Series

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!

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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 in gross income 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.

Wow! We Made $1,275 in October!!

For the month of October 2017, we brought in a net profit of $1,275.72!

Keep reading to see a break down of each of our individual income streams.

Here are our basic income statements:

Let’s cover each income stream, from top to bottom.

Debt Free Geek: ($97.41)

DFG has cost me quite a bit of money this year. The majority of my costs are for paid plugins. I also have a subscription to ConvertKit to manage email subscriptions and help me to communicate with you guys easier.

MY GOAL: Break even by Christmas. To be clear, I don’t expect to break even for the year. That’d require about $800 of profit which doesn’t seem realistic since I’m only just about done with my very first resource (Cryptocurrency for Beginners, check it out!).

I want to have a break even month, which only leaves November or December… so the clock is ticking!

And I think I can do it. 🙂

OCTOBER THOUGHTS: THANK YOU to one of our awesome DFG readers for using my Amazon link for a purchase!

I made $3.67 from that commission which is much appreciated, and it didn’t cost you a thing.  Thanks!!

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!


October content did well! I think people tend to like my finance updates quite a lot. I’m also not doing a very active job of promoting my posts. I published four posts with their latest view counts, ordered newest to oldest:


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.


DFG brought in $19 from sponsorships from Matt @ We’re All Poor Here and Barnabas @ The Dad Wallet. I hope you’ll check these guys out! There’s still room for a couple more sponsors, so I’m looking to grow this area more by promoting other bloggers.

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.


I took a paid 30 day blogging challenge with Pete @ Do You Even Blog. The cost ended up being $50, and the goal was to challenge you to grow your blog and to take steps to make it profitable.

What I took away from the challenge was that you can’t expect your blog to sustain itself financially (especially at first) without adding value in exchange for money. It’s not magic. People don’t just give money to you for nothing.

In The $100 Startup, Chris Guillebeau says you need three things to have a business: (1) a product or service, (2) people willing to pay for it, and (3) a way for people to give you money. If you have only one or two of these three things, you don’t have a business! You have a hobby.

Online Retail Business: $1,192.94

Well this is my wife’s business, it’s doing well, and understandably so because we are in the holiday season which means shopping, shopping, shopping. We’re expecting to post even more impressive numbers for November!  🙂

This business will likely serve as a significant source of income over the next few years for us while we transition from my 9-5 job (as a cybersecurity director) into a life of flexible work and living.

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!

OCTOBER 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. November could hit $2,000 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.

After making a hand full of offers on properties, we’ve finally landed TWO duplexes under contract. I’ll be doing an in-depth post series on these properties if we successfully close on them, but so far it’s looking great.

We’re buying them for $68,000 a piece, and should create a net positive cash flow of over $900 a month!

OUR GOAL: Buy our first investment property by EOY 2017. 

OCTOBER THOUGHTS: Something we learned in October is that you can (and probably will have to) put an offer in on a property without going to see it yourself, AND without having all the details in order first. The extra time it takes you to gather the details and schedule a visit could cost you the opportunity altogether. Some other investor will be making an offer while you “gather facts”.

You can use the 10-day period for contingencies and get out of the contract if you find a deal breaker. I’ll share more on that in my post series on these properties. Again, we haven’t closed on them so it’s not a done deal yet.

Wyzant: $131.60

I tutor in many subjects (mostly cybersecurity, networking, etc), using this platform. Year-to-date, I’ve grossed $1,750.51 with no expenses. After withholding 25% for income tax, I have a YTD net income of $1,312.88.

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

OCTOBER THOUGHTS: I did start reaching out on a few jobs, and after that, the opportunities began pouring in. I think Wyzant tracks your activity and recommends you to students based on that.

Wyzant Tutors

Technology Consulting: $72.76


My main customer (a small mechanic shop in town) called me for some computer help so I helped him remotely which resulted in a $75 charge. If I could only get 10-20 more of these per month?! I don’t need much.

MY GOAL: Optimize my site for SEO by EOY 2017

OCTOBER THOUGHTS: I am working on a project with an old co-worker of mine, and it sounds like it’s going to end up paying about $4,000 for me by the end of this year. This is super exciting, and it’s a very nice premium for the level of effort I’ll put into the project.

I’m acting as a business analyst on a project to help a local landscaping company build a work order system to better manage their jobs as well as improve their visibility and control of their inventory.

We’re charging $22,000 for phase 1 of the project, and $4,000 is my cut. If there are further phases, it could mean even more profit!

What We’re Doing With Our Side Income

We don’t plan to live on the income just yet, we don’t need it.

So we’re using September and October’s side income to fund our trip to Rome next spring. Total cost for that trip is going to be around $4,000.

Once we’re done paying for that trip, we’re going to start saving this income for our RV. We’ll plan to purchase one by the end of 2018, and we expect that to cost us about $15,000, including any necessary renovations.

If you aren’t following yet…

We’re taking a road trip across the U.S. after I quit my job in 2019!! So, that gives us about 10 months to save $15,000 which is $1,500 per month. Totally doable if we keep at this.

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?


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