March 2019 Side Hustle Income Report

March was a very busy month in the CED household. I was away on business trips well over half of the month. The upside was getting to visit 3 countries I have never been to. But it was exhausting, what with multiple 10+ hour flights and back-to-back meetings. But what I really disliked was being away from Mrs.CED and the kids for that long. More on that later.

On the side hustle front, it was definitely a good month. In March, we stuck to the same simple CED formula – make more, spend less, save and invest the difference.

Side Hustle Income Report - March 2019 - CountingEveryDollar.com


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 March 2019

Blogging: $2,810

Rental property after tax and expenses: $650

Credit Card cashback: $90

Interest on emergency fund: $22

Total: $3,572

Our main financial goal for 2019 is to build up our side hustle income to a level that covers our monthly expenses. In other words, we want to live on our side hustle income and save my entire paycheck. This is a significant boost to our savings rate.

Also we don’t intend to stop working altogether when we eventually reach FI. So our current lifestyle is a bit of a dry run for our planned lifestyle after FI.

Why do we side-hustle if we have a great income anyway? 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 FI. I wouldn’t need a buffer between FI and RE, so no ‘one more year’ syndrome to worry about! We could then let our investments grow without dipping into them at all, with the side hustle income covering our expenses. That would be the ideal scenario.

One of the best things that happened this month is me stumbling across the excellent Slowly Sipping Coffee blog run by a geologist couple. I am sure I have seen the blog somewhere before, but I never read it. I read their latest post, started going back through their post history and was immediately hooked.

I just finished reading every single post on their blog! As I was reading, I was thrilled to find their FIRE philosophy is exactly what we are planning – use the power of FI money to effect change in our family’s lifestyle. Reading about their story and experiences has given me food for thought.

Blogging

I managed to push out a single post on Niche Site 1, that’s it. Pretty poor I know but my excuse is that I was fully stretched by work travel.

To my delight, I managed to do much better than in February and crossed the $2500 mark in March:

Niche Site 1: $2651.15

Niche Site 2: $25.68

Niche Site 3: $102.98

International traffic income for all 3 sites: $180.62

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.

Foreseeing a work travel-filled March, I wrote and published 5 posts in one weekend in February. I am so glad I did. That plus a promotion I did resulted in a rebound in income and traffic increasing 25% month-on-month.

Rental

Nothing new to report here, $650 comes into our bank account like clockwork every month. The 10% of rent fee I am paying my property manager seems to be doing its job.

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! We make very good use of all these services, so the Unlimited Card is perfect for us.

Interest on E-Fund

My 12-month emergency fund continues to generate a decent return, even though that’s not its main job.

Side Hustle Income Report - March 2019 - Pinterest - CountingEveryDollar.com

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Expenses in March 2019

So did our side hustle income cover our expenses in March? Yes, our expenses were fully covered by our side hustle income!

Expenses were lower in March even with holiday expenses (flights and visas). I put this down to lower utility bills, lower supermarket and grocery bills and lower commuting costs – all because I was away for 3 weeks for work!

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Savings Rate Target

Our savings rate for the month of March was 84%, considering all income and expenses incurred during this period. This is again above our target of 75% for the year!

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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, imagine the financial upheaval it can cause. This is why everyone needs an emergency fund. But what after that?

Our side hustle streams are substantial enough at this point in time to tide us over should I lose my job or become unable to work.

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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 March? Were you able to side hustle, or save as you wanted to? Tell me in the comments below – I am 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 and reached an 70% savings rate!

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