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.
We’re now 4 or 5 months in and few took to the challenge. I feel that it is 100% my fault. I need to get my new website design with fewer ads up and I need to jump into a time machine and do it a couple of years ago. I’ve dropped the ball as non-Lazy Man and Money “stuff” takes up 80% of my waking hours.
I did enjoy the story of a reader who commented about how he makes money with Magic, The Gathering on the side. It’s certainly not typical.
Let’s battle through this and move forward. 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 worked 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.” Maybe being an Uber driver works in your situation. Maybe it doesn’t. The idea is to explore what you can do on the side to earn some money. My wife sells a lot of our discarded stuff on Ebay. That’s a great way to earn a few extra bucks… and it is environmentally friendly.
(All this said, I don’t know if anyone has an easy path to make extra money. I feel like they already would, right? It’s especially difficult to grow this kind of income. 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… my two main sources of income)
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 to that let’s review last month’s results:
Last Month’s Monthly Income Challenge
The Month’s Good
September was one of my biggest month’s with dog sitting. It was second to July. I attribute it to the holidays: Labor Day and the Fourth of July. However, October topped them all… significantly. I’m going to call it the “Red/Bear” effect. A family who rescues racing greyhounds went on vacation and trusted our family with their care.
It was eye-opening to see Red, who is around 7 years old, hobble like he’s 15. He had flashes of play where he could hold his own with the younger dogs. It’s one thing to read about racing greyhounds, but another to experience it.
Sorry for the downer, but let me make up to you with the “Bear” story. One morning I woke up to this email at 8:30AM (I’ve edited it some to protect the dog owner’s privacy):
Hi. My name is [redacted] I am a Naval Officer at [redacted] and our dog sitter bailed on us at last minute. We are leaving for Germany at 1030 and have two dachshund/chihuahua mix dogs. They are pee pad trained but will go out side and use the bathroom if taken. I can provide the pee pads and the dog food that we have at the house. Trying to see if you could help us out. I will be back from Germany on the 31st in the evening.
We’ve never accepted dogs this small. Our fence has spaces in it and we like to give the bigger dogs freedom to roam in the yard.
I showed my wife the request and she nodded saying only, “Take them. We’ll figure it out.” I’ve always had the River Tam view when it comes to the military, “You’ve always taken care of me. My turn.”
With the clock ticking to their flight I called the owner and said we’d be happy to help in any way we can. He brought the two dogs by and went on his flight. We’ve had 80+ different dogs at our house and I’ve never seen two dogs more afraid. I don’t think they left their crate for the first 8 hours. In the next 8 hours, they ventured out to hide under a table. After the first day, they were burrowing under my blanket to sit in my lap or sleep with me at night. It was a complete 180. A month later my 4 year old still asks if “the peanuts” are coming back. My affectionate name for them stuck.
I realize that this may seem exploitative. I was at the local animal hospital recently and talked with a technician who was curious about my dog sitting. She asked my rates and said, “My rate is nearly twice yours. Maybe you make it up volume?” I flashed to one of my favorite movies, “Say Anything” and Jim Courts line, “Taking care of people isn’t a growth enterprise, Mr Sims. I hope you write that down in your report, I’d like your bosses to read it.” (Unfortunately, Jim wasn’t on the level, but I am.)
I think I do make it up in “volume”… but dogs are not “volume.” They are on the mental level of a 2 year old child (at least) and I believe they should be treated the same way.
Sorry, that got a WAY off-track from a typical income challenge report. To get us back on track, these events and others added up to a record-breaking dog sitting month.
Turning the attention to blog income, it got a strong rebound. I can’t say that I did much to earn it… I just do my best to write the best content I can. I have a bit of a Superman complex about it. If you like what I write, the best way to tell you do is to leave a comment.
My focus is on writing things you want to read (and comment on) and getting the new design live.
The Month’s Bad
Things went so well in October, I’ll fabricate something bad. Blog income wasn’t as high as I’d like it to be or as high as it was earlier this year. It’s a work in progress, but as I mentioned in the last report, “When you lose 70% of your time, it’s normal to have an adjustment period, right?”
The Month’s Results
Last month, I wrote, “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the ‘bad’ was much, much longer than the ‘good.’
This month the opposite is true. The Ying has Yanged.
In monetary terms that translated to a gain of a shade more than 10% for the month. Those gains are after a big loss though, so it perspective/relativity is important to factor in.
I need to put this into a graph. I’ll push that until next month, because otherwise, I’ll never get this published. November is almost over and I’m scrambling to catch up on October. That should speak volumes.
This Month’s Monthly Income Challenge Plan
I wave the white flag. I have a bunch of plans, but I never know what world event is going to deep-six them… #Honesty. November is waning and it doesn’t have too many non-holiday days in it.
I’ll focus on getting the new design live. It will likely spill into December. We’ll tackle it then.
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.
Enjoy reading your updates. While I have a pretty decent salary, it is that, salary, so it’s what I make if I only work 40 hours and it’s what I make when I work 60. I’m often on-call, work many weekends, so that leaves so little chance for “extra” money.
A couple of random thoughts:
1) I have friends that do Uber/Lyft almost full time and the net is $8 to $10 /hour. You have to calculate all cost, including auto depreciation. And you run the risk of real problems with your insurance company.
2) Love reading about your pet sitting business. My daughter has done pet sitting, but her specialty is in your home. That is what we use when we travel because it’s easier on the pets.You can make pretty good money while having a “real” job, but you need a lot of flexibility(would we hard to do while married with kids) and you find yourself in some weird situations because people are weird.
Best of luck on your plans, I look forward to reading about them.
Lazy Man says
I agree that Uber/Lyft might not be the best way to go, but at least you can when you want to. And maybe if you have an older car the depreciation isn’t much.
Pet sitting certainly increases the wear and tear on our house. You never know what you are going to get with a dog. They may be lumps and or they may be jumping all the place on tables and such. I’ve thought about the traveling to other people’s houses, but I feel like I’d be driving all the time.
I’ve had good luck with most people, but you are right there are have been a couple (literally 2) weird situations because people are weird.