I have a friend who goes by Whiskeytrail. He’s been a reader of this blog for years now, and every few months he emails me with interesting experiments he’s trying out. Currently he’s on a mission to land 12 new income streams, one for every month of the year :) Hoping to “change it up some” and learn a ton in the process.
I thought you guys would get a kick out of this (and maybe get a little motivated yourself?) so I’ve copied and pasted the entire last update he shot me below. Which includes these latest endeavors, as well as an update on his own personal finances.
A few notes before you start reading: Whiskeytrail’s a married man with two older kids, no debt except for one mortgage, and lives off a meager $62,000 a year – gross, not net. Which he’s pretty proud of “having barely made it through high school.”
Here’s the latest on his hustling binge:
As we discussed, my goal was to develop/find one income stream per month, keeping in mind that I would use up to $1,000 to start each item (preferably less, but can’t make none if you don’t spend some!). Here I am in April and well, its not happening as fast as I would like it but, I am learning tons like you said.
(I’m only showing rounded net below, and not totals.)
- Started a 401k this year even though the company I work for doesn’t provide a very good one. None the less, its free money and as of right now its returning about 5%. Net $30
- Opened a Roth IRA. This is for stocks, options, dividends etc. After much deliberation, I’ve settled on starting with “dividend investing”. I’ve not started a drip though as I want to see “cash” returns. Still in the hole but its all about learning and money well spent. In a nutshell, made $21 in dividends but spent $63 in buying/selling fees. That’s ok for now as I’m learning but will be working on expenditures as time moves on.
- I created a separate savings acct that I put a small amount of cash in strictly for opportunistic investments. I have some ideas of what the next stream will be, and this acct will be for that, but I want it to grow some more. Net $200 (Yes it’s not much but I used quite a bit on purchasing stocks so rebuilding phase.)
- Craigslist -up net $2,000 so far. Had originally thought that I’d do 1 item per month, but I got greedy and sold 4 items including an old car that didn’t run. I’ve got a garage full of stuff so, more to come…
- eBay: Selling funeral plots*. As I had told you, it takes time, lots of time. Had some interest but in the end they are still listed. Will keep this up till the end of the year at which time I will make a decision to either do a $100 starting bid or donate to a needy family.
- Got a raise. Freakin awesome. This goes straight into savings. Net 3%
- Adjusted withholdings & pretax, again, to get lower taxes as I keep having to pay more each year. Averaging 25% tax bracket. F&%#!!! It’s time to do something about this. I will actually seek the help of a professional on this one as I’m not sure what else I can do. I’ve increased my pretax, decreased my withholdings etc. GRRRRR!!
- Increased total savings to all accts. I have a percentage chart at the bottom of my spreadsheet and I’m either below in expenses (good) or flat out killing the percentages for savings/retirement. (very good)
- I hate having a credit card but it does give me cash back. I don’t mean credits on services they offer or discounts. I mean, call them up and say hey, I want my money and I want it now. About a week later I get a check in the mail. Yessssss….. Net $100
- Sold a vehicle that I owed on and actually made money. Woohoo! Net $1,750 (yes you could argue I didn’t make money since there’s interest & maintenance etc. But now I have more liquidity/less liability, so I’m not going to argue.)
Originally took yours [Excel] and modified it, but over the last few years I’ve needed to expand and have it make more sense to my brain. So, meet the new spreadsheet based on J’s awesome one: Single Sheet Budget Template 2014 [OpenOffice]
What you don’t see is I actually make it 12 tabs deep (1 for each month), then anything that’s listed as last month gets automated to the previous month’s (tab’s) current cell. I’m somewhat of a math nerd so planning out this far “floats my boat”. I also have tabs to track all my investments and a 12 month calendar so I can plan or make a quick “reference to” in my monthly layout.
8 more months to develop more income. Already made a few mistakes and by no means am I done, but hopefully I won’t make the same ones. All in all it’s good and have learned a lot.
I’m going to do some more reading/research but I like what I see at Lending Club. This may be my next foray… I still am giving thought to your suggestion about blogging. No quick answer on this, yet…
Until next time,
I love seeing this on SO many different levels.
First, he’s learning a shit ton! Not only by diving in and getting dirty, but by researching a month ahead too and then tweaking as time goes on. This helps increase both his book smarts, and more importantly his street smarts. Which is one killer combination.
Secondly, he’s MAKING MONEY! Not a lot in some areas, and eventually he’ll run out of things to sell, but every month he’s physically bringing in more money than had he been sitting on his ass. And every month some of these streams will continue paying dividends too – both figuratively and literally.
Thirdly, it seems like he’s having a whale of a time poking around new things :) It’s like Xmas morning every month over there it seems, haha…
And lastly (though I’m sure I could go on and on), he’s TAKING ACTION. He’s not sitting around bitching or complaining to all his friends – he’s getting out there and experimenting. Some are failing while others are doing better, but he’s taking his future by the balls and trying to improve it. And doing that every month over for 12 months straight is a helluva great way to spend a year, if you ask me.
We’ll see what he comes up with next – or 8 *somethings* for that matter? – but I love the challenge he’s taken on, and I hope it inspires/motivates you to get down and dirty too. Either with your money, or just with life in general. Doing a new thing each month is exciting no matter what it’s about!
* You’re probably wondering how much cemetery plots sell for these days, as was I, so here’s more info on that from a previous exchange of ours ;) –> “As far as pricing, its just like a house; location, location, location. Some have transfer fees vs none, rules and regs etc and you have to remember you are competing with the cemetery on pricing. As far as my plots, they are in an older section that is almost full. My plots would actually sell for over $8k if bought from the funeral home directly. I’m hoping to beat them and am only asking $4k. (I stand to make a nice profit if they sell since they were free to me).”
[Image credit: Mary Margret]
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