May 2019 Side Hustle Income & Savings Report

Just a month after our hot and sultry Indian vacation, it was time to head to Europe for 3 weeks. We had been looking forward to this break for so long. The weather was glorious and thanks to a heatwave, on some days it was even warmer than Singapore!

The flight tickets are typically one of the biggest expenses of any holiday. But my expat package includes an annual travel budget for the whole family. So the flights were totally free! Plus we got to collect air miles – perfect! As always, we used AirBnB instead of a hotel. This kept our biggest holiday expense well under control. Still holiday shopping and plenty of eating out resulted in a slightly expensive May.

Side Hustle Income Report - May 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 May 2019

Blogging: $2,906

Rental property after tax and expenses: $650

Credit Card cashback: $29

Interest on emergency fund: $16

Total: $3,601

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 $2,906 for May. I am very pleased as this is a return to the 2500-3000 range that I have been doing recently.

Of course I totally expected February to be a quiet month after the holiday shopping spree. Remember, Amazon Associates pays out earnings net 60 days, so I reported February’s earnings in April because that’s when I actually get it in my bank account.

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 beginning to consider selling the main niche site as income is steady, and I want to spend more time writing here on CED. The typical valuation of a niche site is 30x monthly profit. On the one hand, getting a 30x monthly profit valuation means I am betting the site will die in 30 months time and I will get zero income from month 31 onward forever. But if I keep the site ticking over, I can get semi-passive income coming for the next 30 months and potentially have an asset to sell as well if I wanted to. Decisions decisions….

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. Anther month has gone by without any repairs required, I hope it stays that way!

Credit Card Cashback

Our Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback Card gives us an uncapped 1.5% on all spend and 3% on all foreign spend,. The 10% cashback on Amazon Prime, and 15% off on the Grab ride-share app offers are over sadly. So we got only $29 cashback in May. Ah well, still better than nothing.

Interest on E-Fund

Since we didn’t hit a monthly spend requirement from the e-fund bank account, we didn’t manage to max out the interest rate. So interest is well down at $16 this month.

Side Hustle Income Report - May 2019 - Pinterest - Counting Every Dollar

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Expenses in May 2019

We spent the better half of May holidaying. Of course I was on paid holiday that I had earned, so I was earning money even while I was not working. But with our side hustle, we were raking in the money without even thinking about it!

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

After nearly half a year of living in Singapore, our expenses are well below what we expected before we moved here. The initial expenses of setting up our new life here have abated and we are on super scrimping, super-saving mode.

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Savings Rate Target

Our savings rate fell from April’s all-time high of 86% to 81.4%, considering all income and expenses incurred during this period. Even though holiday expenses ate into savings a bit, we managed to stay above our target of 75%. The year-to-date figure stands at 85.3%.

In our recently published Beginner’s guide to Financial Independence, we 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.

So why not take action today? Don’t wait for the perfect moment or that perfect idea – just start. Start a blog using my newly published step by step guide.

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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 May? What’s your side hustle? Did you meet your financial goals? Tell us 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, increased net worth by over $200,000 and reached an 85% savings rate!

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