Side Hustle #77: Online Proofreading/Editing ($1,600/mo)

Side Hustle #77: Online Proofreading/Editing ($1,600/mo)

online editing

[What up what up! Got another side hustle to share with you today, this time from a personal friend of mine, Lenny Bron, who has helped me on MANY occasions with my own blog here… Which would basically bankrupt me if I hired him full-time for, lol 😉 Such a great avenue though for those who love words!! Congrats on all your success, man!]

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Do you like reading? Do you enjoy correcting other people’s mistakes? Are you well-versed in English grammar? Do you dream of semicolons and ellipses chasing you in your nightmares?

Well, if three of those four questions sound like you, then you might be good at proofreading/editing online content as a side hustle!

Hi, my name is Lenny Bron and I’ve been proofreading/editing blogs, content marketing, e-books, and a slew of other content for roughly 3 years now. You can find me at theblogproofreader.com (it’s a landing page, best way to reach me is through email or through the “contact me” form on my site). I’ve flirted with writing this post for some time now, and I’ve had J$’s blessing for a while, so I’m finally giving this a shot.

First, I’ll tell you my little story about how I got into this business. Then, I’ll go into some ways people might be able to do something similar to what I’ve done starting from zero experience. Finally, I’ll bare it all financially and give you the details about how much money I’ve made in the last few years. Strap in, this is going to be a semi-exciting ride!

How I Got Started Proofreading

I knew nothing about personal finance 6 years ago. Well, almost nothing, I knew I could max out one credit card and then transfer the balance to another card with a 0% balance transfer for 18 months and then try (usually unsuccessfully) to pay that balance off before transferring to yet another card! Let’s call it “Frogger-ing” my credit card debt. I was also making ~$40,000 per year while living in NYC. (Hence the credit card debt, that yearly salary does not work in a high cost of living area.) Plus I needed to take semi-regular vacations I couldn’t afford, go out to bars every weekend, and have fancy dinners with my friends. In a nutshell, financially delusional!!!

But then I got lucky. I met an amazing woman and decided I needed to find a new job and get my life in order around 2014. So I did! This new job came with some great perks too, and one of them is a sweet 401k matching program. Good thing I knew absolutely nothing about investing, the numbers on the screen might as well have been differential calculus. My friend at work took mercy on my soul and gave me a little advice by telling me to pick funds with the smallest expense ratios (good advice!), but nothing explaining allocation (makes the expense ratio advice moot!). I even attended the company 401k seminar to try to get some actual knowledge. This was not helpful, they can only talk about the plan, not how to use it properly (pretty weak).

I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands and learn about personal finance/investing. This, of course, opened my world up to many personal finance books, blogs, and podcasts. (I have too many favorites to list, although you’re reading one of them right now!) It took some time, but after a year or two I thought I finally had a pretty good grasp on things. And something I kept seeing pop up was that people should have multiple sources of income (i.e. side hustles), so I began searching for something to sink my teeth into outside of my 9-5 job. I flirted with an Amazon FBA business shortly, before deciding it wasn’t worth the possible hassles.

I also kept reading all of these different personal finance blogs and seeing more and more spelling errors, grammar mistakes, missed words, and even double-wording. It was all over the place! I even had a massive running list of grammar mistakes from a bunch of different blogs. Anyway, what I didn’t like about these mistakes was they slowed down my reading. I like to read relatively quickly, but if there’s something wrong in the text, I’m stopping and auto-correcting inside my head. This was definitely a time suck. So I thought maybe there are bloggers out there who would pay me to proofread/edit their blog posts so they could provide a more enjoyable reading experience for their readers.

Testing the Waters

After reading yet another blog post with grammar issues I could fix, I decided it was finally time to give my idea a shot. I emailed the blogger, first introducing myself, then highlighting the errors with my fixes, and then offering my services as an editor/proofreader. Fortunately for me, the blogger did not need the services of a proofreader. I say fortunately because she told me it was a good idea, and that I should definitely keep trying because there will be people out there who need my services. That was absolutely a catalyst for me. I’m not sure I would have kept going had I not been given that little push.

I sent out many emails throughout those first few months to bloggers who I kept noticing had writing errors. One person in particular is basically responsible for the success of this venture. And you’re reading his blog right now! After contacting J$, he told me he didn’t have a budget for my service, but he did run a different site at the time (Rockstar Finance) which was an aggregator for all things personal finance. He had a directory of personal finance freelancers on the site and wanted to start a “Proofreaders & Editors” section, and offered to put me in as the first one on the list! I still can’t thank the man, the myth, the legend that is J. Money enough for this!

After a few more months and a few more failed attempts at working with bloggers, I was contacted by a fintech startup who had a blog full of personal finance material which they were continually adding content to. They actually found me through the Rockstar Finance freelancer directory! I went from making no money for about 7-8 months, to suddenly working about 10 hours per week making ~$1,200 a month with the fintech company. This just goes to show, if you can nail down a niche and get in touch with the right people in that niche, you have a much better shot of succeeding (no matter the industry).

Gaining New Clients

To make a long story short, my large fintech client told me they were hiring a full-time editor in February 2018. I was told they no longer needed me but might bring me back for more freelancing work in the future. That was a majority of my Proofreading/Editing income disappearing overnight. That also might have been just the thing I needed to kick my side hustle into gear.

There were now several factors that played into me gaining three regular clients within a 2-month period. First, the fintech client was kind enough to offer to post about me on a message board for other fintechs. This yielded a client I still work with today. I emailed a content creator whose newsletter I subscribe to about helping proofread his material, and I was hired by him shortly thereafter. Finally, I applied for a freelance position with a larger content creator and was hired because of all the experience I accrued within the previous two years. Three months later, the original client asked me to come back because there was already too much work for their new full-time editor!

None of those things would have happened if I didn’t get let go, but it also shows that, sometimes, it’s good to mix things up. I’d gotten complacent at the time, and that situation motivated me to pursue new clients again, which opened up many new opportunities because I now had a resume full of work I could use to attract new clients.

Today, I have four clients I work with on a regular basis, and they give me plenty of material to keep busy. But I also have enough time to do the work, maintain my day job, and spend quality time with my amazing wife and beautiful baby daughter. This is currently my ideal situation!

The Dirty (Financial) Details

Did you scroll down to read this section first? I really can’t blame you if you did, the numbers are always the most interesting part! (A phrase that could only be uttered in a personal finance blog!)

blog proofreader financials

Not too shabby for almost 3 years of side hustle work. Notice how everything declined in February of 2018 when my client left and how it came back within 2 months and surpassed all my previous other months just 4 months later. That’s the one I’m really proud of.

Potential Drawbacks

If I’m going to be completely honest, this side hustle isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. To begin with, this is not a way to earn passive income. You’re not sitting back while somebody else packages and ships a product for you. Editing and proofreading takes time. And you need enough time in your day to actually do it. I’m lucky enough to have the time for now, but family and friends always come first, followed by my 9-5. The side hustle will always be third banana in that regard.

Another real drawback is the one you always hear about when freelancing: You’re not really your own boss, you now have many bosses… we just call them clients! And every client wants things done their own way and you have to adjust to their wishes.

Remember, the goal of a proofreader/editor is to make the client look good by making sure the writing is clear, concise, and grammatically correct. Flexibility is the name of the game here. You have to be able to adjust on the fly and meet every client’s expectations. Ever gotten an angry email because you missed a punctuation mark? I have, and let me tell you, it ain’t fun. But still, I enjoy working with all of my clients very much and am happy with the relationships I’ve formed with them and all the other fantastic people I’ve run across while doing this hustle.

Resources I Find Helpful

Lastly, here are a few resources for anyone who goes down this path.

The-efa.org/rates — a great starting point for how to price your services

CapitalizeMyTitle.com — for making sure you have the correct title capitalization (which can be tricky!)

ThePunctuationGuide.com — for a quick resource on punctuation

Best of luck!

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Lenny is a proud dad of a baby girl, and based out of the New York City area. He enjoys helping writers provide the best content to their fans and can be reached at theblogproofreader.com, or via email at Lenny[at]theblogproofreader[dot]com

lenny bron - blog proofreader

Past hustles from our series:

Full list of 70+ hustles: Side Hustle Series

 

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[Prefer to get these blog posts *weekly* instead of daily? Sign up to my new weekly digest here, and get other thoughts on life/business/money as well: jmoney.biz/newsletter]

from Finance https://www.budgetsaresexy.com/side-hustle-77-online-proofreading-editing-1600-mo/

It’s National Pay Back Your Parents Day!

It’s National Pay Back Your Parents Day!

retro family

True story – today is officially National Pay Back Your Parents Day 🙂

Which the good folks at NationalToday.com alerted me to, who did a fantastic job of keeping my attention throughout their press release, haha…

Here’s a snippet of it:

November 20 is National Pay Back Your Parents Day, a chance — now that their kids are grown — to give parents what they really want (besides maybe grandkids): Cold. Hard. Cash.

Consider this: According to one study, Americans spend more than $233,000 just to raise a child from birth to 18 years of age. That’s an incredible amount of moolah that parents gladly shelled out to keep their kiddos in the lifestyle to which they’ve grown accustomed. Isn’t it time those children thought about paying their parents back?

Haha… they only speak the truth!

And honestly, I’ve always thought *birthdays* should be celebrated as such. Not necessarily in the cash department, but in the thanking our parents for actually MAKING US realm!!! Since we didn’t do a damn thing to be born! Haha… Why should we get all the gifts and love when it was our parents who are the real heroes?

But since I don’t see that tradition turning around any time soon, I can get behind this new day instead…

And here are a few ways you can celebrate Pay Back Your Parents Day today, with some help from that same press release as well as my own two cents… Gotta make sure they know just how much you love them! It was a lot of work raising you guys into the fine citizens you’ve become! 😉

  1. Take them out to lunch/dinner tonight! And cover the tab!! The true mark of adult’hood, lol…
  2. Create a coupon book a la 3rd grade. Offer deals like “one free ride to the airport” or “6 hours of free yard work” and watch your dad faint. (But then force them to actually *use them* one day, which they never tend to do!)
  3. Take yourself off their insurance/cell phone plans. The one thing all parents dream of, haha…
  4. Declutter your old room once and for all. You’re now living on your own, get our old stuff outta there and let your mom finally have her craft room!! 😉
  5. Start paying off your loans from The Bank of Mom and Dad. Yeah it’s awesome they fronted you some cash and said you can pay them back whenever, but why not get started sooner and show some good faith? Even $20 makes a dent in it!
  6. Add *interest* to your loans from Bank of Mom and Dad! Hitting them with a double surprise when they see an extra few pennies tacked onto that Jackson 😉
  7. Just literally call them up and tell them you love ’em. A) for making you, which we’ve established was pretty important, and B) for then keeping you alive all those early years. You’ve done a good job from that point forward, but the real work was in that first half of your existence… Remind them why they wanted to have kids in the first place!! 🙂

So happy National Pay Back Your Parents Day!

I’m off to print this out and stash for when my own kids turn 18…

I hope this holiday will still be around then!

birthday gif

 

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[Prefer to get these blog posts *weekly* instead of daily? Sign up to my new weekly digest here, and get other thoughts on life/business/money as well: jmoney.biz/newsletter]

from Finance https://www.budgetsaresexy.com/national-pay-back-your-parents-day/

Prospecting Ocean. The extractivist Wild West

Unless you live on a small-ish island, chances are you’re just like me: you suffer from sea blindness, this disregard (or maybe we’re talking about sheer ignorance) of the crucial role that the oceans play in absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, in regulating global climate, generating oxygen or providing livelihoods for communities.

But if we don’t understand how important this vast ecosystem is for our survival on Earth, we’ll end up leaving it into the hands of private companies to colonize and pollute its surfaces and depths.


Armin Linke, Ramu NiCo Management MCC Limited, Basamuk Refinery, Madang, Papua New Guinea, 2017


Armin Linke, Prospecting Oceans. Exhibition view at Biblioteca Universitaria, Bologna. Photo: Foto/Industria

Commercial deep sea mining is a case in point. Hailed as the answer to depleting mineral resources, deep sea mining -we are told- could ensure unabated economic growth, supplying silver, gold, copper, manganese, cobalt, nickel, zinc and rare earth minerals for the tech industry and even assisting the transition to a renewable energy economy. It would be profitable, ensure our techno-dependent future but the impacts on fragile (and understudied) ecosystems are potentially disastrous. It could even have knock-on effects on the wider ocean environment and threaten the global fight against climate breakdown by disrupting carbon stores in seafloor sediments, reducing the ocean’s ability to store it.

The colonisation of the seabed would be an underwater mirror to what the shipping industry has been quietly doing for years on the surface of the oceans.


Armin Linke, Sea level rise at Kulili Plantation Village, Karkar Island, Papua New Guinea, 2017

Prospecting Ocean, a body of work by the filmmaker and photographer Armin Linke currently participating to the Foto/Industria festival in Bologna, explores the challenges oceans are facing today from the perspective of legislation, science, the mining industry and local populations whose livelihood is threatened by extractive practices. Drawing upon three years of expeditions to the Pacific Ocean, interviews with experts, archive material and rare footage of the deep-sea, the exhibition scrutinizes seabed mining and other forms of extraction and the effects they might have on marine life and communities. His research makes it clear that ecological protection of our oceans is incompatible with their economic exploitation (which is not at the moment as highly lucrative and straightforward as it was hoped.) If anyone had any doubt about it.

Part of Linke’s research zooms in on Papua New Guinea where licences have been granted to excavate seabed for minerals, threatening ecosystems, lifestyles, health as well as economic and political self-determination.

Linke quickly made the connections between the theme of resource exploitation and the new visualisation technologies developed in the 1970s. “I became intrigued by visualisation techniques developed in the 1970s such as sonar, which allowed for the mapping of the ocean floors, the artist explained in an interview. “This type of sound measurement was then translated by cartographers and bathymetrists who drew underwater topography. Subsequently, a legal structure was established. Now, nations can extend their economic territory by making a request to the United Nations. Such geopolitical requests for the colonisation of the seabed are based on images that have legal validity. It is fascinating to see how visual media have historical consequences of this type.”

As such Linke’s Prospecting Ocean fits perfectly into the general theme of the Foto/Industria biennial: The Technosphere, the relentless technological saturation of our planet.


Armin Linke, MARUM, International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) and Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), seabed core deposit, Bremen, Germany, 2017

I could have spent hours inside the Bologna University Library scrutinising the archive material, photos, videos and other sources of information. The images are not all aesthetically stunning but the little known realities they depict are fascinating: videos filmed at United Nations assemblies, in international law conferences, at marine research centres and at sites endangered by sea-level rise and now also by seabed mining.

Please find some of them below. Some of them are commented. Most are not.


Armin Linke, Twenty-Second Session of the International Seabed Authority Assembly ISA, Kingston, Jamaica, 2016

The International Seabed Authority organises and regulates all mineral-related activities in the international seabed (outside of national waters.) According to Greenpeace, far from protecting our oceans, the UN body are selling it off to industries which only objective is to plunder ocean floors for profit. The picture they depicts is bleak. The non-governmental environmental organization accuses the ISA of consistently siding with the deep sea mining companies, of lack of transparency, of ignoring environmental concerns, of being composed mostly by members who have little biological or ecological expertise, etc.


Armin Linke, International Seabed Authority ISA, manganese nodule, Kingston, Jamaica, 2016


Armin Linke, Norwegian University of Science and Technology NTNU, technical test for remotely operated underwater vehicles, Trondheim, Norway, 2016 in collaboration with Giulia Bruno

Remote-controlled underwater vehicles (ROVs) document life on the seabed as well as the impact of our exploitation of the Earth’s resources. The ROVs can reach a depth of up to 5,000 meters where water pressure it too strong for the human body to handle. The contrast between the mysterious, quiet seabed with the machinery used to extract specimen for research is unsettling. Especially when we think that soon heavy machines for excavation might also be roaming and ruining these ecosystems.


Armin Linke, Norwegian University of Science and Technology NTNU, Department of Marine Technology Trondheim Norway, 2016


Armin Linke, The University of Texas at Austin. Ocean currents modelling room ath teh Institute for Computational ENgineering and Sciences (ICES) Computational Research in Ice and Oceans Group (CRIOS), Austin, Texas, USA, 2018


Armin Linke, Prospecting Oceans. Exhibition view at Biblioteca Universitaria, Bologna. Photo: Foto/Industria


Armin Linke, Prospecting Oceans. Exhibition view at Biblioteca Universitaria, Bologna. Photo: Foto/Industria


Armin Linke, Prospecting Oceans. Exhibition view at Biblioteca Universitaria, Bologna. Photo: Foto/Industria


Armin Linke, Prospecting Oceans. Exhibition view at Biblioteca Universitaria, Bologna. Photo: Foto/Industria


Armin Linke, Prospecting Oceans. Exhibition view at Biblioteca Universitaria, Bologna. Photo: Foto/Industria


Armin Linke, Prospecting Oceans. Exhibition view at Biblioteca Universitaria, Bologna. Photo: Foto/Industria

Foto/Industria, the IVth Biennial of Photography on Industry and Work remains open until 24 November 2019 in 10 different palazzi and other interesting venues across Bologna, as well as at the MAST (Arts Manufacturing, Experimentation and Technology) Foundation, the engine behind this cultural project.

Previously: H+. We are all transhumanists now.

from Finance https://we-make-money-not-art.com/prospecting-ocean-the-extractivist-wild-west/

Our “No Spend” Year

Our “No Spend” Year

no spend year

[Morning! Here’s a fantastic journey from Allysgrandma who took on a No Spend Year this year and is now going on indefinitely… Amazing how well we can adapt (and save!!!) when we actually focus and get a little creative! Congrats, Allysgrandma! It totally changed my life years ago too 🙂 (Though I was much less brave and only shot for a month, haha…]

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We are older (61) and did not handle our money like we should have.

I had to retire early due to chronic pain and my husband is getting very tired and can’t retire for at least 5 years and a few months when he gets full Social Security. We have made every mistake in the book and then some. Never, ever did I consider that I would not be able to work as long as I wanted.

Since “retiring” I try to do as much as I can to take responsibilities off my husband, and while doing kitchen chores I like to watch You Tube videos. Mostly I like watching frugality type videos. I came across Coffee With Kate at some point, and last fall stumbled across her vlog about a No Spend Year.

I’ve done similar challenges in the past with not buying any new clothes or shoes for a full year, but I’ve never done everything at once before. I thought about it for about a minute and decided I would do it. As I remember you make your own rules, but I decided to go completely nuts and not buy ANYTHING we did not need.

The first thing I did was inventory our freezer and pantry, then I decided to do cleaning supplies and personal care products. The second thing I did was talk to my husband, but any discussion about finances makes his eyes glaze over and he becomes grumpy.

I evaluated our spending for 2018 and two things stood out. Our grocery and gift categories seemed ridiculous. I had already done Christmas shopping for 2018, and I realized that my No Spend Year would be over in time for Christmas 2019! I made other gifts, including twin 3 year olds really cute aprons for their birthdays. I made my granddaughters the same thing. I have a ridiculous amount of fabric as I am a quilter. I made baby quilts for a baby shower for former coworkers also. I’m currently working on a quilt for my 3rd son-in-law. The other two already have theirs.

For groceries, the plan was to cut spending down from $6,500 in 2018 to a goal of $5,000 for the year. Vowed to not go into a grocery store without a list. I also placed a 6 month moratorium on meat purchases. My husband has never met a meat sale he did not like. He did 99.9% of all food chores before I stopped working, for 35+ years. We have a very full freezer, and in fact have a whole turkey (20 pounder purchased at Costco after Christmas for $5 – he bought 4!) and several other packages of meat in my daughter’s freezer.

I decided to cut back even further a few months ago when I realized we were still throwing too much food out and now attempting a Zero Waste Kitchen (can’t remember where I got that idea (Editor’s Note: Maybe Bea Johnson?)). We stopped menu planning and started using what needs to be eaten each day. We have a vegetable garden and are still harvesting tomatoes from our greenhouse (I live on the coast of very northern California, and we can’t grow tomatoes or peppers without one… Well they will grow, but not ripen).

For instance, in August I made my daughter a lemon cake with lemon frosting from scratch, and then a chocolate with chocolate frosting for my husband in September. I froze the rest of the two frostings. I pulled them out a few days ago when my 5 year old granddaughter was over and she wanted to bake cupcakes. I used half a box mix and then those frozen frostings.

baking cupcakes

We eat the same thing until it’s gone or we are sick of it. We found a New York cut roast that had been in our freezer way too long. It fed us from Sunday-Thursday. I used it in salads and we had fajitas made out of it along with normal roast and potatoes.

I also have done quite a bit of batch cooking this year. My adult daughters also like me to make them the same! I have 3 dishes I mainly make that were my most used over the years. I also freeze extra soup and chopped onions/bell peppers and anything else I can if I cannot use them before they go bad (Zero Waste Kitchen). I made jams and have frozen 3 gallons of blueberries.

batch cooking

We make our dog’s food. Lila is an older rescue chihuahua. She does not have many teeth and choked on her kibble one day. We started buying her whole food, but it was so crazy expensive we started making it ourselves. She hit the lottery when we adopted her!

rescue chihuahua

I helped a friend move and she gave me a bunch of clothes including my new favorite jeans! She also gave me 107 hardback books! I pick my oldest granddaughter (11) up on Tuesdays and we go to the library and pick out books. Cheap quality time. We also bake when they visit. The oldest has free rein in my sewing room and the youngest (5) is working on her first project – a doll quilt.

grandkids quilting

They also love to work in the garden, harvesting, picking berries (strawberries and blueberries) and cleaning the chicken coop!

grandkids working in garden

For meds I get my high blood pressure medication in 20 mg, but only take 10 mg, so I save money cutting them in two myself.

Our health insurance was going up to just under $2,000 in January of 2018, so we dropped it and joined one of those religious based medical sharing plans.

It’s called Liberty Healthshare and we pay $479 a month. My husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer in June 2018. Liberty Healthshare will pay nothing the first year, $50,000 the second year (which we are in) and regular coverage after the second year ends. We have been able to cover all his costs and his medication is working great!

I divided up succulents and trimmed back geraniums and have a ton of starts. I will use those as gifts. All three of my grown daughters want succulents. I got a bunch of cuttings from my mom’s audiologist’s office (I asked first) and they really grew. We have chickens for eggs. I give the chickens any half bad vegetables and throw the rest in our revolving compost bins.

We started keeping our aluminum and CRV deposit plastic bottles and glass containers instead of just dumping them into the recycling bin that the local garbage company furnishes for pickup.

I have a 5 gallon bucket in my bathtub that I put the removable head in to catch the water until it heats up. I also dump leftover water into my plants or into that bucket. I use it to either fill the toilet tank or to water my plants and flowers.

We have had challenges, however.

When we were notified our power would be off for up to a week this fall, we decided to buy a generator because there was the real possibility of losing the meat in our freezer. We had very little warning, and generators were sold out almost immediately. We were lucky to get our vehicles filled up with gas the night the power went out. We found a generator 3 hours away and my husband drove up and bought it. We used it for 4 hours before the power came back on. A week later it was out again for a few days. It felt like a real luxury having power, and we shared with the family next door – alternating plugging in their refrigerator and freezer with ours.

I purchased a new pair of walking shoes when both of my pairs started coming apart at the soles. I’m old, so comfortable shoes are important!

My No Spend Year is up, but it has become such a way of life that I am continuing indefinitely.

We have paid for the house we are renting for 5 days in Anaheim at Christmas for our 3 daughters, their husbands and our 3 granddaughters. I can’t wait for Disneyland!

The exterior painting of our home was completed yesterday. We also decided to rip up our carpet and refinish the hardwood that was underneath. The floor also was completed yesterday. Those were both hired out and we used our home/car account money.

After we arranged all that to be done, my vehicle stopped recognizing the key. I called my son-in-law, who gifted the car to me after my 2006 Toyota Camry was totaled in a 4 car pile up. It’s currently in the shop. Then our washer stopped draining. The washer was fixed, but the repairman (who has been coming to our house for years) told us to start saving for a new one. It is 10 years old to the month! Luckily the dryer is still working fine.

We have also noticed that our cooktop is emitting a strange smell, so I am calling for same repairman to come and take a look. I’m a bit concerned that what we thought was a hefty, well funded home/car savings account will be empty before too long!

I’m working to get our spending down even more in 2020. At the same time, I am continuing to spend as much time with my family and support my husband as he continues to run our business.

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So many great great tips here…

Anyone else currently doing a No Spend Year/Month?? One of the best things you can do – especially when you’re just starting out!

 

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[Prefer to get these blog posts *weekly* instead of daily? Sign up to my new weekly digest here, and get other thoughts on life/business/money as well: jmoney.biz/newsletter]

from Finance https://www.budgetsaresexy.com/our-no-spend-year/

A list of things I’ve never bought *new* before

A list of things I’ve never bought *new* before

shiney & sparkly

I was talking with a friend the other day on how I never buy anything new, only to realize how DEAD WRONG I was when I actually went to jot them all down, haha…

Literally only came up with two things, although they are the biggest things:

  • A car
  • A house

Now secretly I’d love to one day experience both of these even though I know my wallet would kill me (I want to have that new car smell/warranty and customize my dream house from scratch!), but as of today I’m a virgin new home/car buyer which I’m sure has worked in my favor over the years 🙂

As far as everything else in life though??

Apparently I’m REALLY good at buying that new! Haha… Took me all but 15 seconds to list out everything I’ve bought new over the past 39 years:

  • Clothes*
  • Food
  • Shoes
  • Games
  • Books*
  • Domain names
  • Electronics
  • Furniture*
  • Artwork*
  • Decorations*
  • Utensils
  • Power tools
  • Accessories
  • Bikes*
  • Toys*
  • Cell phones
  • Laptops
  • Engagement/wedding rings
  • Sporting equipment*
  • Pets*
  • Kids
  • Plants*
  • Underwear

Now half the list I also buy used too pretty often, particularly with books, furniture and kids clothes/toys (the asterisks above notates all the stuff we also buy used), but as you can see there’s still a lot of things we pick up right off the rack.

Pretty eye opening seeing it all displayed like that. And as you’ve probably noticed, I’m riding a wave of “bullet point” journaling on the blog right now, circa the old days of writing down logs. Only here on the web!! (Wait a minute… web, logs, weblogs – blogs! Heyo!)

Anywho, a fun exercise to dive into if I’ve got you curious now…

Anyone else never buy a car or house right off the lot? Anyone recently do it and now want to try convincing the rest of us that we’re missing out? 🙂

 

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[Prefer to get these blog posts *weekly* instead of daily? Sign up to my new weekly digest here, and get other thoughts on life/business/money as well: jmoney.biz/newsletter]

from Finance https://www.budgetsaresexy.com/list-of-things-never-bought-brand-new/

A wild story on real estate investing, stock picking, and pushing through life’s occasional chaos

A wild story on real estate investing, stock picking, and pushing through life’s occasional chaos

1888 house flip

Here’s a great tale of the trials and tribulations real estate investing can bring, particularly when you’re overly ambitious 😉

Big ups to long time reader of the blog, Doug, here for spilling it all out for us today…

You live a wild and exciting life, my man! I admire the boldness! Haha…

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I bought my first house right after graduating from college. I was fortunate that my parents helped me out by lending me the almost $20K down payment, which turned out to be their best investment in me by making my life more independent and getting me started in real estate investing so young.

I did save them some college bucks by getting a 2/3rds scholarship by becoming the business manager of “The Hustler” – the school newspaper before Larry Flynt started his version, who by chance is from my hometown and I kinda know his daughter Teresa, but that is another story.

To date myself, I graduated in 1987 and paid $97K with owner financing for the house that I lived in my senior year. I had roommates throughout the years in the house. The best part was that I got to pick who they were and they paid my mortgage and I became lifetime friends with most of them… although not all of them and their sometimes live-in girlfriends.

I ended up moving back to Ohio after mom got breast cancer, rented the house to college students and was a landlord. Later moved to Malibu and got my MBA at Pepperdine, continued to rent the house (now houses as I bought two more using the equity from the first one for down payments). Worked the corporate gig in Los Angeles as a property manager with CBRE managing large office and retail spaces which was cool but not much money. I remember starting out a $30K/year and after a month we lost a project, so I got bumped down, not up, to $27,500.

This was in 1993 and the economy was not that great in lala land. It was fun though, as I got to surf and snowboard in the same day and would sometimes sleep at my buildings, as the drive was almost an hour away from my Malibu pad with roommates. I paid under $500/month and lived next to Johnny Carson and Cher. My landlord bought his land on Point Dume in 1965 for $15K and built his house and guesthouse in back where we all split a 3BR/3BA guesthouse for around $1,500 month. The landlord was a fireman and luckily thanks to Proposition 13 which property tax increases are limited, he was able to keep the house and guesthouse and his son still lives in it today with his family.

Mom’s cancer remission ended in 1997 and so I took a leave of absence from my corporate job and moved back to Ohio to move into the parents’ house and take care of her. Mom died in 1999 and I took care of the estate and designing the tombstone for her as my dad and grandma passed when I was a kid. My mom never could get around to getting a tombstone as she didn’t want to pick one out for herself, and I don’t blame her.

While taking care of mom I bought 7 properties in my hometown of Dayton, Ohio, which turned out to be my life’s biggest challenge. At one point I owned 72 units, so that’s 72 refrigerators, 72 stoves, multiple washer and dryers, and multiple tenants. I also bought what I thought was a cool old fire station and rented it out to a church for over 15 years.

I had $3Mil plus net worth on paper… all in real estate. Robert Allen, author of “Nothing Down“, flew me out to Burbank to do an infomercial for him… Things were going well. Like the beginning of The Grateful Dead song “Uncle John’s Band:”

“Well the first days are the hardest days, don’t you worry any more,
Cause when life looks like easy street, there is danger at your door.”

I bet you can guess what happened next. 2008/2009 came along and real estate prices dropped, but my property taxes didn’t and life took a turn.

In short, although it took forever emotionally and in real-time, I lost almost all my properties to the banks through deed in lieu, short sales, and foreclosures.

During all my time as a landlord, I pretty much put my tenants first and unfortunately most still did not seem to care. I was in their eyes “the rich greedy landlord” even though the banks owned me.

Their problems became mine, and apparently I didn’t have any. So late rent was always a problem, as well as no rent, nightly move-outs, three-day notices, tenant fights, police breaking down doors and me fixing them at my cost, legal battles, shootings, meth labs, drugs, pit bulls, homeless people living in basements using my electricity as heat, roof leaks, mold, flooding, lawsuits with insurance companies…

You name it, I had it.

I was done with Ohio so I moved back into that very first house I had bought in Nashville. I lived in it for just over two years, sold it for $340K in June 2002, and was able to keep most of the money tax-free as it was my primary residence. It’s now worth over $800K, but oh well… Can’t keep everything.

I then moved into another house, sold it and kept most of that profit too. Then moved into another house, sold it and kept its profit. Moved into another, sold it, and so on and so on… Basically getting used to moving a lot.

After selling my last property, I rented a very small one-bedroom apartment for $700/month and was real estate free for about five years.

By random chance in Los Angeles in 2010, I reconnected with a former person I used to date a decade earlier. We moved to Venice, CA and I sub-leased my furnished 1BR apartment in Nashville with small positive cash flow. Then I got my CA real estate license and sold real estate in the West LA area.

Much different than Ohio!

I connected with a wonderful down to earth real estate lady name Denise Fast who when she first met Florence Henderson she asked what she did for a living and Florence said “I’m in a show called “The Brady Bunch” and Denise responded with “I have not heard of it.”

(Denise later would give her eulogy and sell her house. I met Florence at an open house at Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s house with Denise and she was soo nice! Before selling real estate, Denise was a single mother who worked doing nails and pedicures, so she didn’t have time to watch TV.)

Fast forward more years, I got married to my re-connected partner barefoot on the beach in Venice in August 2013. We were able to use my loss carryforwards on my taxes of almost half a million to offset our incomes for the next several years. We made offers on crazy expensive dinky houses in Venice beach using my spouse’s credit and income as mine was shot, and then we decided we could buy three houses in Nashville for the price of one in California. So we moved to Nashville full time in February 2017 and now own four houses, two of which are free and clear.

It makes me sick to my stomach how much time and energy I gave to my properties in Ohio. Had I followed my heart and not my head I would be very wealthy. I loved Nashville and would have bought there instead of Ohio, but because I had family there I thought at the time “it was the right thing to do” NOT!!! I sold my last property there last year for about the same price I paid 22 years ago if you can believe that.

On a side note from real estate, I am embarrassed to share another one of my BIG mistakes over my lifetime. I tried to pick and trade stocks and did some options trading and lost a fortune! Probably in the range of half a million to $700,000 or more. What’s weird is I don’t even like to gamble or play the lottery, but basically that is what I did.

What is also ironic is that I was told by Robert Allen years before to NOT DO this personally when I was at another event with him. He said “Only less than 3% of all the money managers can beat the S&P, so don’t try, just buy the S&P and forget it”.

Instead, because I’m an overachiever, I would later spend several thousands to also go to Tony Robbins’ “Wealth Mastery” gathering which should have been called “Lose Your Ass and Pay Me to Do It” conference. I learned how to trade options and buy dot com stocks, of course right before the dot com bubble.

It was held at a beautiful hotel in Carmel, California and I remember how bummed I was that instead of having time to enjoy the surroundings I was learning how to lose my money from 7am to 11pm every day. To add insult to injury, Tony Robbins had his own stock called “Dream Life” that I invested in as well, which would later go down to zero. Good with names, not with investments!

I have since seen the light, like you, and now keep it simple with Vanguard S&P index funds. Less is more!

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PS: The pic up top is of the second house I bought in 1988 for $68K. It had 9 fireplaces and was built in 1888. I later sold it for $420K in Jan of 2008, and it’s now worth $1.5M.

Here’s one of the fireplaces, and another shot of me getting down and dirty:

19th century fireplace

working on old house

* Link to Robert Allen’s book above is an Amazon affiliate link…

 

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from Finance https://www.budgetsaresexy.com/story-on-real-estate-investing-stock-picking-pushing-through-life-chaos/

Remember when you wanted what you currently have?

Remember when you wanted what you currently have?

buddha statue

Came across this quote last week and can’t stop contemplating it:

Remember when you wanted what you currently have?

Something so haunting, yet so beautiful about it, haha… But in a world constantly pushing us for “more”, it sure is a nice reminder of everything we’ve already achieved/received if we actually take a second to reflect upon it 🙂

Here’s a short list of all the things I remember really wanting bad over the years – how about you?

  • Air Jordans
  • Nintendo Game Boy
  • A girlfriend
  • My own car
  • My own place
  • A college degree
  • A “real” job
  • Parties and bars!
  • $1,000 in savings (<– the hardest when you’re starting out!)
  • A wife
  • Kids!
  • To become a full-time blogger
  • To be more confident
  • To not work so much
  • To not be so obsessed with money all the time (!)
  • To move back to my “happy” place
  • To be more generous
  • To find myself more
  • To find the answer of life

Okay okay, so I’m still working on that last one, but I feel like I’m getting closer! 😉 And it lies somewhere within those last few bullet points there – basically setting yourself up to be The Best You possible, which of course money can help with, if only to focus your time and energy better.

Try making your own list today and remind yourself of how far YOU’VE come too! Even if it doesn’t always feel like it at times 🙂

Don’t stop striving, but remember you’re doing a lot better than you used to be…

Old you would be so jealous!!

 

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[Prefer to get these blog posts *weekly* instead of daily? Sign up to my new weekly digest here, and get other thoughts on life/business/money as well: jmoney.biz/newsletter]

from Finance https://www.budgetsaresexy.com/remember-when-you-wanted-what-you-currently-have/

30+ Other Names for “Debt”

30+ Other Names for “Debt”

debt handcuffs

So this list was a lot harder to put together than our money one 🙂

Apparently there’s a lot less synonyms for debt than there is moolah which was surprising? (Though really *anything* that goes along with “SUCK” can easily be substituted here, haha…)

For Kari, who challenged me to come up with this list…

A bunch of other words for “debt”:

  • Albatross
  • Baggage
  • Bloodsucker
  • Burden
  • Buyorrhea (<– something Mr Money Mustache would make up! Haha…)
  • Chains
  • Deficit
  • Embarrassment
  • Encumbrance
  • Guilt
  • Handcuffs
  • Hindrance
  • In the hole
  • In the red
  • Indebtedness
  • IOU
  • Leech
  • Leverage (<– for those who love debt ;))
  • Liability
  • Lien
  • Load
  • Note
  • Obligation
  • Parasite
  • Reckoning
  • Responsibility
  • Shackles
  • Slavery
  • Soul Crusher
  • Stress
  • SUCK
  • Tab
  • Weight

And… that’s all I’ve got.

I tried googling “slang for debt” but that was quickly a no go, haha….

slang for debt

What do you guys like calling it? Anything good?

*****
For our list on 60 different words for “money”, click here.

 

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[Prefer to get these blog posts *weekly* instead of daily? Sign up to my new weekly digest here, and get other thoughts on life/business/money as well: jmoney.biz/newsletter]

from Finance https://www.budgetsaresexy.com/other-names-for-debt/

H+. We are all transhumanists now

Foto/Industria in Bologna is, according to its organisers, the only photo biennial in the world devoted to industry and work. I found no reason to disagree with them. The focus of this year’s edition is the technosphere: the ecosystem of technology humans have layered over the Earth to ensure their dominion over it. It is so vast that a 2016 study from the University of Leicester Department of Geology estimated the weight of its physical structure at 30 trillion tons, a mass of more than 50 kilos for every square metre of the planet’s surface.

The biennial sounded like yet another good excuse to take a train to Bologna. Which i did. Last Thursday. I’ll write about the biennial in the coming days but right now i’d like to spend the afternoon writing about an exhibition that suggests that the technosphere has started to invade our bodies. Even though me might not always realise it.


Matthieu Gafsou, H+


Matthieu Gafsou, H+. Exhibition view at Palazzo Pepoli Campogrande. Photo: Foto/Industria

Matthieu Gafsou has spent 4 years researching transhumanism, a movement looking towards science and technology to drastically improve human cognitive, mental and physical performances. The project saw him travel the world to visit research labs, cryo-preservation facilities and meet the advocates of transhumanism and the “everyday” people whose sheer survival depends on technology.

His H+ (the abbreviation of transhumanism) series suggests that each of us is a bit of a transhumanist. Smartphones might not be embedded inside our bodies but we’re grown dependent on them. Most of us can’t imagine functioning in society without these “memory prostheses.” They have given us new powers. And stolen a few we used to have (the ability to find our way in a new city or remember friends and family’s numbers.)

H+ includes contact lenses, “superfood” bars, LED light anti-ageing face masks, orthodontic braces, pacemakers and vitamins in the panoply of the unsuspecting transhumanist. They now seem very common and prosaic. Self-implanted magnet to feel magnetic fields and nootropics, however, unquestionably slide into transhumanist territory. You don’t depend on them to be alive or healthy.

And how disturbing is -to some of us- the cryopreservation of patients? Or the quest for immortality? The exoskeleton “capable of turning a soldier into a nearly inexhaustible war machine”? Some of these go far beyond the limits of medicine, they “optimise” us, they suggest that each of us is a mass of flawed cells and functions, a machine perfectible ad infinitum.

In the exhibition, each photo, each illustration of a humanity struggling to shed its perfectible forms and mortal limits is given the same treatment. There’s no hierarchy. Some images are explained. Others are not. It’s up to you to connect the dots and decide what is “normal” and what constitutes (now) a presumptuous pursuit to sidestep the limits our human condition.

Below are some of the images of the H+ series with comments by the photographer. I’ll let you meditate on them while i’ll hunt my book shelves for a battered copy of Seneca’s De Brevitate Vitae:


Matthieu Gafsou, H+. Some people wear necklaces that blink to the rhythm of their heartbeat. Others have had devices implanted allowing them to “feel” the North. In either case, these are demonstrative gadgets that prefigure objects with more potential. External appendages, they are outward signs of participating in a project: Their function is therefore quite superficial. They are symbols, futuristic substitutes for crosses or religious medals.


Matthieu Gafsou, H+. Kriorus’s brand new facility. The vats contain cryogenized brains and whole bodies awaiting the day when science can wake them up.


Matthieu Gafsou, H+. Kriorus not only deep-freezes corpses but also trains cryogenization devotees in how to prepare them. The body fluids are drained; otherwise, deep-freezing would break the tissues’ cells, making a future reawakening less likely. Lost in the distant countryside of Moscow, the depot is the hub of their activities.


Matthieu Gafsou, H+. Businessman Igor Trapeznikov, a member of Russia’s transhumanist movement, wears several handmade experimental implants, including a device that turns sights into sounds, which could prove useful for blind or vision-impaired people. His also has various handmade microchip implants that replace his credit card and house keys, for example. Moscow, June 21, 2017


Matthieu Gafsou, H+. STIMO (Epidural Electrical Simulation with Robot-assisted Rehabilitation in Patients with Spinal Cord Injury) is a clinical study aiming to improve the motor skills of people with injured or diseased spinal cords, who have major difficulties controlling their lower limbs. It is the extension of the reWalk experiment. The study required the participation of neuroscientists, engineers, robot scientists, physicians, and physical therapists. The first human patients received this type of implant in 2017. STIMO (Epidural Electrical Simulation with Robot-assisted Rehabilitation in Patients with Spinal Cord Injury) is a clinical study aiming to improve the motor skills of people with injured or diseased spinal cords, who have major difficulties controlling their lower limbs. It is the extension of the reWalk experiment. The study required the participation of neuroscientists, engineers, robot scientists, physicians, and physical therapists. The first human patients received this type of implant in 2017.


Matthieu Gafsou, H+. Marie-Claude Baillif has suffered from myopathy since adolescence. Without her respirator, she would have died thirty years ago. Her website features eloquent articles about her special relationship to technology: “My survival depends on microprocessors and electronic cards”; “Electricity is a matter of life or death for me”; “I love my phlegm aspirator”; “A little battery is magical; it transforms my life.” Technological devices keep her alive.


Matthieu Gafsou, H+. American professor Robert Wilson Chester Ettinger, a transhumanist trailblazer, wrote The Prospect of Immortality, the bible of believers in immortality and a sort of cryogenics guidebook. He thinks “natural man” is deficient: Cryonics is the key to unlocking and making the most of his full potential.


Matthieu Gafsou, H+. Yann Minh, born 1957, is a protean artist specializing in cyberculture and persistent worlds. Here he is seen in his “Nooscaphe.” He often describes himself as a “nooconteur” (a cyberspace raconteur) or a cyberpunk exploring cyberspace and the noosphere (the sphere of human reflection and, by extension, the Internet, which connects humanity through artworks, thought, etc.). He has won several awards for his creations in the areas of contemporary art and cyberculture. His futuristic, transhumanistic world mixes eroticism and science fiction. Paris, June 16, 2016


Matthieu Gafsou, H+. Julien Deceroi self-implanted a magnet into his middle finger. He says it works like a new sense, allowing him to feel magnetic fields, including their amplitude or modulations. He also wears microchips. He is the only grinder I met in Switzerland. (Grinders are biohackers who demand total freedom for their bodies, which they enhance by operating on them themselves, often in extreme conditions.) Julien Deceroi self-implanted a magnet into his middle finger. He says it works like a new sense, allowing him to feel magnetic fields, including their amplitude or modulations. He also wears microchips. He is the only grinder I met in Switzerland. (Grinders are biohackers who demand total freedom for their bodies, which they enhance by operating on them themselves, often in extreme conditions.)


Matthieu Gafsou, H+. For years, Defymed has been working on this prototype of an artificial pancreas, Mailpan, which could revolutionize the lives of diabetics. Mailpan is an implant filled with stem cells that can secrete insulin. The technological challenge is twofold: manufacturing a membrane capable of releasing oxygen and insulin while remaining impervious to the immune system when it attacks the stem cells; and finding cells that will manufacture insulin in an optimal way. When a syringe is inserted every three to six months, two ports placed under the skin allow the stem cells that have become inactive to be removed and replaced by new ones.


Matthieu Gafsou, H+. This anti-aging light therapy mask supposedly makes whoever wears it every day for five minutes look younger. The sales pitch borrows from medical discourse, even though it is a beauty product like anti-aging cream. What makes the device symptomatic is its participation in the already dominant ideology of the perfect body while adding the cult of technology as a way to save it from decrepitude. It is a geeky, cheap, non-invasive version of plastic surgery. This anti-aging light therapy mask supposedly makes whoever wears it every day for five minutes look younger. The sales pitch borrows from medical discourse, even though it is a beauty product like anti-aging cream. What makes the device symptomatic is its participation in the already dominant ideology of the perfect body while adding the cult of technology as a way to save it from decrepitude. It is a geeky, cheap, non-invasive version of plastic surgery.


Matthieu Gafsou, H+. Exhibition view at Palazzo Pepoli Campogrande. Photo: Foto/Industria


Matthieu Gafsou, H+. Exhibition view at Palazzo Pepoli Campogrande. Photo: Foto/Industria


Matthieu Gafsou, H+. Exhibition view at Palazzo Pepoli Campogrande. Photo: Foto/Industria


Matthieu Gafsou, H+. Exhibition view at Palazzo Pepoli Campogrande. Photo: Foto/Industria

Foto/Industria, the IVth Biennial of Photography on Industry and Work remains open until 24 November 2019 in 10 different palazzi and other interesting venues across Bologna, as well as at the MAST (Arts Manufacturing, Experimentation and Technology) Foundation, the engine behind this cultural project.

from Finance https://we-make-money-not-art.com/h-we-are-all-transhumanists-now/

Side Hustle #76: Selling “Printables” for Passive Income!

Side Hustle #76: Selling “Printables” for Passive Income!

bachelorette printables

[Welcome to another installment of our Side Hustle Series! Featuring blogger and podcaster, Julie “J” from Millennial Boss, who stops by the blog today to share her experience selling printables on Etsy… I’ll let her tell you just how much she’s made over the years (hint: it’s in the thousands!), but I love that it took her some experimenting to finally land on the perfect product to focus on, and even more so how she set it up to be more *passive* 🙂 Unlike other hustles often touted in our community… Hope this sparks something for y’all today!]

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My friend and I were out to eat at a nice restaurant overlooking the lake’s sunset in Seattle, when we heard the squeals of a rowdy group of girls on a bachelorette party seated next to us.

My friend sighed and noted, “I just wanted to have a nice dinner tonight! They’re so loud!” “Oh, I love it!” I told her. “Every time I look over I see dollar signs.” “Twenty, forty, sixty, one hundred!”

See, I love bachelorette parties, but not for the reasons one would expect – dancing, alcohol, the chance to wear cute matching outfits. Even though I actually didn’t have a bachelorette party of my own.

We did everything a little non-mainstream for our wedding starting with choosing a moissanite engagement ring instead of a diamond, skipping the bridal shower and bachelorette party, and using diy wedding flowers at our small winter ceremony. We were paying off over $100,000 of debt at the time, and it didn’t make sense to spend tons of money or subject our friends and family to do so on our behalf.

millennial boss wedding day

[Slightly freezing in this picture. Maybe a wedding in December in Boston wasn’t our brightest idea, even if we saved a bunch of money!]

I love bachelorette parties though because they are one of the most profitable niches on Etsy!

I stumbled into this discovery two years ago when I started my small Etsy shop as a side hustle. I started selling temporary tattoos for bachelorette parties with phrases such as “Bride Tribe,” and the Hangover movie inspired “Wolf Pack.”

I wasn’t a side hustler before this, but I had heard about the concept of selling on Etsy on a podcast and decided to go for it. I had been to enough bachelorette parties to know that cheap decor and accessories were what I wanted to sell. I’ve had to Venmo too many Maid of Honors in the past for bachelorette party supplies that I would never wear or use again.

After a quick google search, I found TemporaryTattoos.com and had a box of 3,000 gold tattoos with bachelorette-related sayings manufactured and shipped to me. I put them on my wrists and then took a few pictures on my phone of my arms in bars, in front of flower bushes as I walked around my neighborhood, and in front of my apartment complex pool. I then created an Etsy shop and listed the product.

wolf pack tattoos

To my surprise, this side hustle worked and the margins on this product were crazy! Each tattoo cost me 20 cents and I could sell them on Etsy for at least $2 each. Since multiple girls attend a bachelorette party, I often sold bundles of 15 or 20 tattoos at one time. Every sale was at least $15 profit, and Etsy brought all of the customers to me. I barely had to do any marketing.

The problem, though, was that I hated it. The cha-chings of sales coming through wore off quickly when I realized I had to check my Etsy app for orders each morning, print out a shipping label, and then stop at the post office on my way home from work each time. I didn’t have sales every day, so it also became hard to predict my schedule. If I was even a day late with shipping out the order, I could get a nastygram from the customer and possibly a negative review.

By the fall of 2017 I decided that the work itself was easy, but it took up too much mental space in my day that I just didn’t want to allocate anymore. And while the money was good, it wasn’t life changing enough to make it worth it.

Around that time I learned about the concept of selling printables when I invited Laura of I Heart Planners on my podcast and fell in love.

Printables (or digital downloads) are items that you can sell passively on Etsy. You make the digital file on your computer, upload it to Etsy, and then thousands of customers can buy and download it with no further action from you.

I loved the idea of a passive product that would remove the steps I didn’t like about being an Etsy seller. I switched my product line from temporary tattoos to printable scavenger hunts. Bachelorette parties can print out my scavenger hunts and take them bar hopping, checking off activities such as “find someone with the groom’s name and take a picture,” “request Single Ladies by Beyonce,” or “buy the bride a shot.”

bachelorette scavenger hunt printable

These scavenger hunts sell for $7 each, and my top design that took under two hours to make has made me well over $1,000 in profits.

The best part is how low maintenance this side hustle is for me. I really focused in 2018 and made a bunch of listings over the course of a few weekends and have barely touched the shop since. I think I added one new listing in June of this year but zero others in 2019. I’ve still made thousands of dollars this year on my shop!

The reason that I am side hustling is that my husband and I are saving for financial independence. We were in the financial independence retire early camp, but I’ve realized since starting my side hustles (I blog too!) that I love to work. I just want to be able to control how I work, and for whom I work for, in the future. There is work that is creative and fun if you can find it!

Since learning about FIRE though, we’ve paid off over $100,000 of debt, owned and sold a rental property, learned how to manage investments, and are well on our path to financial independence.

One could even argue that we are already financially independent somewhere, but since we choose to live in a high cost of living area (Seattle), we still have some ways to go. Luckily, we both enjoy our jobs so we are in comfortable cruise mode.

millennial boss hiking

In August of this year we had our first baby and I’m currently on maternity leave. The “cruising to financial independence” part is a little more difficult with a newborn, I’m realizing, but we’re loving it! I’m also super glad I have my side hustles, because covering unexpected baby expenses and saving for her future become a lot easier when you have additional money coming in on top of the day job.

Last year I made $40,000 with my side hustles all-in, so it’s no small change! Most of the income is from blogging which is where I put a majority of my hours into each week. The Etsy shop is my favorite, though, and I’ve made almost $6,000 and growing with just a few weeks of work last year. I’ve since learned a little more about Etsy SEO and increasing sales on Etsy that have also helped me dial up profits further.

etsy printable stats

When I have a free second, I plan to expand my product line to include baby shower and bridal shower printable decor and invitations. I think those niches, like bachelorette, will also sell well.

There are so many different printables outside of the wedding niche though that sell on Etsy. There are kitchen spice jar labels, holiday gift tags, place cards for Thanksgiving dinner, budgeting spreadsheets, kids first day of school signs, prom proposal posters, you name it. It’s just about coming up with a good idea and then finding the time to do it.

seasonal printables ideas

I recently gave away an ebook to my blog readers called “The Seasonal Products Secret” where I share 12 months of printable ideas you can sell on Etsy. With the holidays coming up, seasonal products are where you should look for profits, and I’m happy to share this ebook with Budgets are Sexy readers if you’re curious about it 🙂 You can download the free ebook here.

My plan this year is to figure out how to be a Mom and enjoy my maternity leave as much as I can. Next year, my husband and I plan to step up our side hustling game even more to see if we can reach financial independence faster. My dream is to start my own tech startup, and his is to own his own weightlifting club!

We’re also getting into guitar, woodworking, and crafting so we want some type of “she shed” in our backyard where we can work on these projects. We’re counting on our side hustle dollars to help fund the cost of this shed, which we anticipate to be between $10,000 and $15,000. Now we just need to find the time! If anyone has built a structure like this on your property, please let me know.

Thanks to J. Money for the opportunity to share my story on Budgets are Sexy today! If you have any questions about Etsy, or want to follow along on my side hustle journey, follow me on Instagram @millennialboss. I promise I won’t post too many baby pics.

millennial boss w/ baby

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About Julie: Julie is a 30-year old tech professional and new Mom living in Seattle, WA. She’s an East Coast person living on the West Coast because it chills her out a bit. She blogs, hosts a financial independence podcast, and sells bachelorette party printables on Etsy. She now teaches others how to sell printables on Etsy and blog through her courses at Gold City Ventures.

Previous Side Hustles featured:

*Links to her courses above are affiliate links

 

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[Prefer to get these blog posts *weekly* instead of daily? Sign up to my new weekly digest here, and get other thoughts on life/business/money as well: jmoney.biz/newsletter]

from Finance https://www.budgetsaresexy.com/side-hustle-selling-printables-on-etsy-for-passive-income/