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5 Months of Alternative Income Reports

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I hope I didn't bazinga you too badly with my lottery-winning April Fools post. The real reason I haven't been posting Alternative Income Reports is because I've been living up to my Lazy hype. Before I get into that, I should take a step back and try to explain what I call Alternative Income for all those new to the site. The best place to start is to review my previous post on defining Alternative Income. If you don't want to click through, the shortest explanation is earned income that is not restricted by the amount of time worked.

Here are some examples of income and whether I would classify them as alternative income or not:

  • Hourly Contractor - I'm an hourly contractor for my full-time job. I don't get paid if I'm not there and working. That's straight income - not alternative income as it's tied the amount of time worked.
  • Salaried Worker - There's an expectation that you will be working around 40 hours a week usually during set hours for the salary. That's straight income as well as it's also tied the amount of time worked.
  • Musician - While there are forms of straight income here (perhaps playing in subways for donations), there are differences. Here's an example of pure alternative income: I have read that Taylor Swift wrote her mega-hit Love Story in a half hour. She wasn't on the clock for any company and earned millions for that small slice of her time. While that is a very extreme case, one can earn alternative income in other ways.
  • Investing Dividends - I would count this as alternative income as it's going on behind the scenes

Some may ask why I keep track of Alternative Income. My answer is that with enough Alternative Income combined with living frugally one can acheive some form of early retirement... read more in my article about my definition of retirement. Also, I track my Alternative Income after taxes because I want to think about it in terms of how much money I have to available to spend that month. That's really the important number if you want your financial freedom.

Now let's get back to my laziness of not reporting my Alternative Income. It's mostly been a factor of my full-time job slowing my efforts to progress as much as I'd like with my alternative income. I know that may sound disappointing, but Winston Churchill has a famous joke about everyone having their price... and my full-time job hits that price quite well. Still there has been some progress in my Alternative Income and I thought I'd recap that.

I'll begin right after where I left off and give very brief highlights of each month:

  • November 2009 - Total $2,270.90 - Up until now, this was actually the most I've ever made in Alternative Income - though it really only the took the title by a few dollars. The biggest reason for the growth was a one-time ad buy from Prosper.com.
  • December 2009 - Total $2,836.40 - Jinkies! That's an all-time high. Occasionally all the pieces come together at one time and this was one such case. I had a residual month of the Prosper advertising as well as a new one from Bills.com. In addition to that, affiliate advertising (where I make money recommending products I know and trust) was at an all time high for the holiday season. Actually not all the pieces came together as it was my fourth worst month for pay-per-click advertising via Google Adsense.
  • January 2010 - Total $2,096.70
    February 2010 - Total $2,055.01
    March 2010 - Total $1,996.97

    I'm grouping these months together because they are almost exactly the same - all within $100 of each other. The biggest reason for the drop off seemed to be the changing advertising budgets of Prosper.com and Bills.com in addition to the end of the holiday season. The other big thing I'd note is that I'm starting to see some diversification between other sites of mine such as How To Fix and MonaVie Scam.

That diversification is very important to me because I don't want 30% or more of my financial road to freedom based on this advertising on this website. I hope to acheive this with income from other websites, investments through mutual funds, stocks, bonds, and more alternative investments like Lending Club.

Posted on April 5, 2010.

This post deals with: ... and focuses on:

Alternative Income

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11 Responses to “5 Months of Alternative Income Reports”

  1. Hey Lazy Man, thanks for the update. How much of your alternative income would you say is generated by this site? You’re getting a decent chunk of alternative income now. Keep up the great work!

  2. Manny Davis says:

    I was actually fooled on your lottery winning post.

  3. Lazy,

    Thanks a lot for posting these inspirational alternative income reports. $2000 in after-tax income is nothing to sneeze at. You actually need to invest $600K in 4% Ten year treasury bonds in order to generate that much in taxable income!

    Keep up the good work!

    BB

  4. Good stuff Lazy Man! Have you revealed what percentage of your total income is alternative income? If not, that’s cool.

    It really seems like the normalized cap on income is around $2,000 for most PF bloggers, with a handful in the $5,000+ range only who are doing it solo.

    Cheers,

    Sam

    • Lazy Man says:

      Well, I’m a contractor so total income can vary greatly. When I find a job that suits me, I’m in the six figures. If such a job doesn’t avail itself to me, I tend to go into a form of semi-retirement. I will work more on alternative income, but I will also take more time for myself (travel with my wife when she’s on business, take the dog to the dog park, etc.)

  5. Sounds good LM. Do you prefer being a contractor or having a regular job?

    You don’t seem to be too old, so just wondering what your state of mind is. In my mind you’re in your mid 30’s and just getting started, so what you say jives differently with my imagination.

    Rgds, Sam

    • Lazy Man says:

      I think it most depends on what the job is. If it’s the same job, at this point, I’d rather contract. My wife gets great benefits to cover me, so I’m better off not having to pay them in the form of a reduced salary for me. Also as a contractor, you are less likely to be told you need to be in at a certain time or even put in regular hours.

      You are correct on the mid-30’s… turned 34 in the last month. I don’t know what you really mean by just getting started? I’m aiming towards just being finished if we are talking financially ;-). On a serious note, you can learn about my plans of being closer to the end a lot quicker by going the series I wrote starting with: http://www.lazymanandmoney.com/our-early-retirement-plan-introduction-part-0/.

  6. Gotcha! Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. It does help if the wife has a full time job with health benefits you can be added to. That’s a no brainer.

    Any plans for kids? Everybody tells me kids are expensive, and requires people to work for the duration onf their educationl expenses.

    Will check out your retirement plan.

    Sam

    • Lazy Man says:

      Plans will be readjusted for kids if kids are in the plan. (How is that for an answer?) I addressed that in the retirement plan series.

      I hear varying things about how expensive kids are. Some people raise kids quite frugally. That’s a topic that’s really too far beyond the scope of comments here, though. I will say that I’ve already started a 529 plan just in case (it can be passed to nephews and nieces if we don’t use it) and the military has some college benefits for children of those who serve such as my wife.

  7. Barb says:

    Hi Lazy Man, I love the alternative income concept. My husband and I have some royalty income (he’s a famous guy in his field!), and I have done very well w/ our investments…. but I don’t really consider any of our investment capital gains and/or dividends as income since I designate it for retirement not spening. But, that’s my own mental accounting!! BTW, I am totally impressed with your posts, very well thought out-how do you find the time to keep up your site(s), write so much, & work?

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