April 2019 Side Hustle Income & Savings Report

We took our first holiday of 2019 this month! A quick jaunt over to my hometown in India to meet the family and get some well-deserved R&R.

Election fever had begun to grip my state and we found political posters, ads and rallies everywhere we went. Nearly 600 million people exercising their right to vote in the largest democracy in the world is something quite special.

Side Hustle Income Report - April 2019 - Counting Every Dollar


Note: All figures are in USD unless noted otherwise. I do not include unrealised or realised returns from invested assets such as dividends in this report. Passive investing is not a side hustle! None of the content on this website is financial advice, and I am not a financial advisor. Please see the disclaimer for more information.Some of the external links in this blog post may be affiliate links, I do try to keep them to a minimum though. The links help keep the site ad-free for you and hopefully one day will figure in my side hustle income reports! Please see our earnings disclosure for more information.

Side Hustle Income in April 2019

Blogging: $2,301

Rental property after tax and expenses: $650

Credit Card cashback: $42.5

Interest on emergency fund: $25.8

Total: $3,019

Our main financial goal for 2019 is to build up our side hustle income to a level that covers our monthly expenses. Put it another way, we want to live on our side hustle income and save my entire paycheck.

As a quick reminder, we side-hustle for two reasons:

  1. Shortens our time to FIRE
  2. Mitigates sequence of returns risk after RE

If our side hustles can reliably and consistently fully cover our living expenses, I could quit my job after reaching our FI target. The side-hustle would ideally cover our expenses in RE and we could let our investments grow without dipping into them at all. That would be the ideal scenario anyway.

Blogging

Net income from the niche websites came to $2,301 for April.

All my niche sites are monetized solely through the Amazon Associates affiliate programme. If you would like to start a side-hustle blog, here’s my proven step-by-step method of doing it right.

I am not going to do a breakdown of each site anymore as it has become quite laborious thanks to the Amazon Associates’ clunky reporting system.

But the lion’s share of the income comes from a single niche site. Income is down this month, but that’s because February is always a quiet month after the holiday shopping spree. Amazon Associates pays out earnings net 60 days, so I report February’s earnings in April because that’s when I actually get it in my bank account.

Rental

$650 comes into our bank account like clockwork every month. This is net of the 10% management fee I am paying my property manager. So far everything has gone smoothly with no repairs needed at all.

Credit Card Cashback

Our Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card gives us an uncapped 1.5% on all spend and 3% on all foreign spend, 10% cashback on Amazon Prime, and 15% off on the Grab ride-share app! All of this resulted in $42.46 cashback in April.

Interest on E-Fund

I was able to deploy some of the cash balance that was accumulating in excess of our 6-month emergency fund. So interest is slightly down at $25.81 this month.

Side Hustle Income Report - April 2019 - Pinterest - Count Every Dollar

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Expenses in April 2019

So did our side hustle income cover our expenses in April? Yes, our side hustle income covered all our expenses.

The trend continues with expenses continuing to fall vs. previous months even though side hustle income fell quite a bit. No healthcare expenses, no clothes-shopping and no holiday expenses to pay for, so expenses remained well under control.

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Savings Rate Target

Our savings rate hit an all-time high of 86% in April, considering all income and expenses incurred during this period. This is once again above our target of 75% for the year!

In our newly published Beginner’s guide to Financial Independence, we have explained how a 60% savings rate can take you from zero net worth to being financially independent in just 15 years. With our 75% target, we aim to do it in 9 years or so. But if we maintain an 86% savings rate, we can do it in just 5 years! Not realistic, but it just goes to show the power of upping your savings rate.

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Why not start a side-hustle?

Starting side hustles has not just boosted income and sped up our FI journey, but has made our life more resilient and anti-fragile. This is especially important because my wife is a full-time mom and I am the sole earner in the family.

Relying on a single income is risky. If that single income disappears, your emergency fund can tide you over until you find a new job. But what if you are out of work for an extended period of time, say due to a recession? Or because your industry has become automated and your skills are redundant?

That’s why having a side hustle is a great hedge to your primary source of income.

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Conclusion

Starting in 2017, we have been seeking financial independence by counting every dollar:

  • Increasing income:
    • Picking a career in high-paying industries
    • Getting above inflation wage increases and promotions
    • Creating multiple passive income streams through side hustles
    • Drastically increasing income by becoming expats
  • Reducing spending
    • Never buy new unless its clothes
    • Bought used cars, mostly used baby clothes, used furniture, used toys…
    • Avoid buying depreciating assets as much as possible
    • Avoided all debt except mortgage
  • Saving hard
    • Saving at least 75% of my salary
    • Created an emergency fund of 6 months expenses
    • Learning the tax code to reduce taxable income
  • Investing smartly
    • Making our savings work for us by investing regularly
    • Creating a long-term investment plan and sticking to it

So how did you do in April? What’s your side hustle? Did you meet your financial goals? Tell us in the comments below – we are eager to hear what worked for you!

Peter writes about achieving financial independence through career-hacking, online side-hustles and super-saving. Using these techniques in the last 2 years, the Counting Every Dollar family has doubled their income, increased net worth by over $200,000 and reached an 85% savings rate!

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