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Reviewing My Monthly Income Challenge (September 2016 Edition)

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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.

Posted on October 12, 2016.

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5 Responses to “Reviewing My Monthly Income Challenge (September 2016 Edition)”

  1. My website is my side gig. Not that I’m making any money off of it at this point, rather setting up for the potential to make money one day.

  2. Warren Gray says:

    [Editor’s response before you read this: There’s so many things wrong with this comment. First, NEVER get involved in a company that calls itself “direct sales” when it is “multi-level marketing.” Second, don’t believe marketing people.

    According to these statistics 99.87% of people at Melaleuca LOSE money. “Prosperity goals” is a farce!

    Mr. Gray, you should have stuck with being a college professor rather than selling out to MLM/pyramid schemes/scams]

    Hi Notso Lazyman,

    Quite simply I am a Marketing Director with Melaleuca the Wellness Company.

    The company is currently the largest and fastest growing company in North America in the direct sales industry in the wellness field. This is a concurrent situation in a company that has grown into a $1.7 billion after 30 years in business and surpassed has Mary Kay and Amway in sales volume.

    Previously I had been a College professor in Australia.

    I love assisting others to reach their wellness and prosperity goals.

    Thanks for seeking feedback from your legion of followers.

  3. Geoff says:

    Hey LM,

    I can’t say I have ever taken a pain staking effort to look at my finances closely, but I do have some interesting ways I generate revenue.

    1. I have a full time job with my family business. We are in manufacturing, and have been around for over 30 years. I’ve only been with the company for a year since it is my wife’s family, but I have a good feeling I will stick around for a long time :).

    2. I am a part time gondolier (the Venetian boats not the ski lifts), and have made a few extra bucks here and there depending on the time of year and my availability. Not only is this job super fun, but it is the only job I have had with an amazing amount of flexibility. It was great for making money when I was in college, and Valentine’s Day actually makes me money!

    3. I am a super nerd and love the game Magic the Gathering. I have been playing it on and off since 1997, and have sadly sold off and quit the game far too many times. However, I have always parked some cash in Magic, because it is one of the only hobbies where I have seen very few losses and mostly gains over time. In fact, Magic has such good investment opportunities that it makes it even more fun to play while watching your money grow. With that being said, you have to be very smart with it, and it is does require a hefty investment. I could write an entire article about the intricacies of speculating on MTG, the reserved list and its ridiculous non-regulated market, but I’ll leave that for another time.

    I’ll try and take a more careful approach to my future months, because I have probably left many dollars on the table that are unaccounted for.

  4. My experience has been that I can be much more successful blogging versus writing eBooks. The market for financial eBooks is completely flooded IMHO. Good luck with the site redesign and getting advertisers onboard :-).

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