Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays to you and yours! I'll be taking a short break this week and next as Christmas and New Year's roll around. Regularly scheduled posts will return on January 7th with a progress update for the month of December.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Multiple Streams Of Income

If you've been following my goal update posts, you'll notice that I have some sort of additional income just about every month. This usually comes from various side projects that I have going on. It doesn't amount to much - usually just a couple hundred of dollars - but it's extra* money that I can funnel directly to a particular goal, which in this case is buying a Tesla.

*By "extra," I mean it is money that is not regular income and is not included in my monthly budget.

My real estate background has impressed upon me the wonders of passive income. I love having my money working for me, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I love going to the mailbox and finding a check waiting for me. (Although these days, it's more like logging in to my online bank account and seeing a deposit has been made.)

While I was starting out in real estate and still learning the ropes, I heard a lot of people raving about Robert Allen's book Multiple Streams Of Income. I never read the book, but I understand the concept. You want passive income coming in from multiple sources. I'm completely in agreement with this idea. I've got money coming in from stock dividends, hard money loans, ebook royalty payments, blog advertising, and on-line courses. Right now, it's nowhere near enough to make a living on and that's fine. I'm creating all these income streams (or income trickles, really) in my spare time and whatever income they generate is extra money to me that I can apply 100% to my "fun" goals. Thus, I can work towards getting toys without taking money away from more important goals, such as building my emergency fund, saving for retirement, etc.

(Fun fact: That link to Allen's book has an embedded Amazon Associate's tag in it and I'll get a few pennies from Amazon if you click it and buy the book, or anything else from Amazon, during that browser session. This type of marketing was my very first foray into passive income.)

If you want some extra money, think about your hobbies and what you enjoy doing in your spare time. There's probably a way to earn some income from it. If you enjoy making things, you can always make things and sell them. While that will get you some extra money, that is not really passive income because you still have to work to make the items. As soon as you stop making them, the money stops coming in. But maybe you can create a blog about your hobby, or make a video course on how to make that item. Now, when that goes out on the internet and people click on the ads on the blog or buy your course, that becomes passive income. Your content is out there generating income for you 24/7, no matter what you are doing.
It's an income stream! Get it?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Other Tesla Blogs I Read

While I don't yet actually own a Tesla, I do like reading the stories of people who do. From their experiences, I can get a better idea of what to expect when I do get mine. Here are some of the other blogs and forums I read:

Tesla Motors Club - Tons of good information here, although, like any large public forum, it can be hard to find the good bits of info scattered throughout all the posts. I tend to read mainly the threads about Tesla owners who live in Arizona.

Tesla Owner - Blog run by a person who started out with a Roadster, then sold it and bought a Model S when those came out. After reading his experiences with the 21 inch wheels and high performance tires, I've decided that I'll be getting the 19 inch wheels on my Model S. The author is an engineer and lives on the West coast.

Tesla Living - A blog I found fairly recently. The author is also an engineer, so we have similar backgrounds. (I guess Teslas attract the nerdy engineering-type guys.) The author lives on the East coast. I liked reading his cost-analysis spreadsheet comparing owning a Tesla to a new Acura. It reminds me of the spreadsheet I made to determine who much I need to save to buy my Tesla with passive income.

I like the different perspectives the two blogs provide from the different coasts. Not only is it interesting to read about living with a Tesla in both warm and cold climates, it's interesting to read about having a Tesla where SuperChargers are relatively numerous (West coast) and relatively rare (East coast, near where the Tesla Living blogger lives).

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Goal Progress - End Of November 2014

At the end of each month, I post an update of my goals, including a brief discussion of any notable events that might have occurred during the month. The latest month's figures can always be found under the Featured menu in the menu bar at the top of the blog.

Last updated: End of November, 2014
Current value: $9,652
Change from last month: +464
Percent of Goal:  8.88%

Note that the funds in this account are invested in stock, so there will be fluctuations in value that are outside my control. I never withdraw money from this account, so any dips are purely due to stock price changes.

Events Of Note Last Month: The upward trend continued in November. Besides my regularly budgeted contributions, I added just $88 from sales of my online courses. That's one of the lowest monthly totals I've had. Udemy pays two months in arrears because they offer students a 30 day money back guarantee, so this payment represents weak sales in September. But I'm looking forward to January's payment, which will be for sales made in November. Udemy offered instructors a chance to participate in their Black Friday sale. This sale was actually a two week long sale that started two weeks before Black Friday. Prices for participating courses started at just $10 and increased by $1 per day until Black Friday. I was hesitant to join the sale. The normal prices for my courses range from $99 to $69. I only get between 25% and 50% of the sales price (depending on how the student found the course), so dropping the price to $10 seemed like I could be losing quite a bit of money. As it turned out, opting into the sale was one of the best decisions I've made. As I write this, there are still a few hours left in the sale and the number of students enrolled my courses has already more than doubled and my income for the month has shattered my previous monthly record! There is also the potential for more future profit because later on, I can cross-promote my other courses to those students who only picked up one or two of my courses during the sale.

I received another small royalty payment from my ebook - just $8 or so. It's small change, but I love the fact that I continue to be paid each month for work I did once in the past.

At the end of the month, the amount of cash I had in the account was over my threshold to buy stock, so I picked up another 10 shares of Realty Income. I'm approaching another milestone there, which I'll talk about once I reach it.

Some of you may have noticed I've added some advertising to this site - just one ad in the upper corner. I don't expect to earn much. I have a total of three blogs and I run Google ads on all of them, but very sparingly. I think I earn about $100 per year, which is just enough to cover the hosting costs. Still, it's another revenue stream.