Several months ago, I challenged you to Take the Monthly Income Challenge with me. The idea was simple: come up with some way to make more money in a month. It really doesn't matter how much, the important thing was to start it and track it. From there you can look how to grow it each month.
No one took the challenge. At least a few said it was an interesting idea. I'll focus on that silver-lining.
I've been making income through websites, freelance work, and gig economy stuff (dog sitting mostly) for years now, so it is a little easier for me to make extra money on the side. If you were working a long day as a salaried employee to come home to a family it would be difficult to say, "Oh just drive an Uber for a few hours." Nonetheless, maybe that person can focus their hobbies or interests into things that make a few dollars here and there.
(Honestly, I don't know if anyone has it that easy. While I'm not salaried, I've got a 2 and a 4 year old, our real estate “empire”, and frivilous lawsuits to work on... all before I consider working on Lazy Man and Money or dog sitting.
Each month, I try to come out with some kind of plan for what I'm going to do to push forward for the next month. However, before we get that let's review last month's results:
Last Month's Monthly Income Challenge
The Month's Good
September was a busy month for dog sitting due to one thing: Labor Day.
(Usually this section is much bigger as there are more good things.)
The Month's Bad
Good months of dog sitting often seem to lead to poor months of income at Lazy Man and Money. I spend more of my time with the dogs (awesome!), but less of my time writing (boo!) and moving forward on business development deals (meh). The blog income took a big hit, but it wasn't just due to dog. The annual personal finance convention, FinCon, was at the end of the month. It stretched to 5 days long with 3000 miles of travel and time zones each way. There were a few days before that to get ready and a few days afterward to debrief and get back into the swing of things.
Add it all up, and it's 10 days of non-income producing "work." It's definitely worth it and I learned dozens of things that will pay off in the long run. It's a matter of implementing them and waiting for it all to work. I wrote a little more about this before: The Future of Lazy Man and Money.
Additionally, September saw the start of pre-school for my oldest. I lose about 2.5 hours of productivity because school ends much earlier than day care. I could pay more to extend the school day, but I'm not sure if that's a financial win. More importantly, it is a spending-time-with-my-son loss.
When you lose 70% of your time, it's normal to have an adjustment period, right?
The Month's Results
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that the "bad" was much, much longer than the "good." In monetary terms that translated to a loss of just about exactly 10% for the month. That means I gave up all the gains I had in the last few months which is certainly a downer. (I didn't give up that money, I just didn't build on it.)
I need to put this into a graph. I'll push that until next month, because otherwise, I'll never get this published.
This Month's Monthly Income Challenge Plan
I came back from FinCon with a to-do list a mile long. If I can get the new design and new advertisers on board, I'll have a good foundation to move forward. I am going to be focused on putting my efforts there while keeping the plates spinning.
In the months after that I'll look to finally work on that short book. I'd like to do some consulting on blogging and money coaching, but I'm not sure where I will find those hours right now.
What's Working for You?
Let me know in the comments. I'm particularly interested in people who have some kind of side gig such as Fiverr, Uber, or anything like that to grow their income.
5 Responses to “Reviewing My Monthly Income Challenge (September 2016 Edition)”
Next: Gambling on the Election