My Paychecks, Businesses, and Investments
By Steve Gillman - January 25, 2014
Subscribers to the Unusual Ways Newsletter sometimes
ask how I make a living. The answer changes as I move from this
to that job or business project, but here is the basic outline
of what's going on right now. I won't get too specific with the
numbers, for privacy reasons and because they change so often.
But perhaps some readers will get a few ideas about generating
income and dealing with money issues in general.
I've hinted at previously that the days of our six-figure
income are over for now. My wife Ana and I started our online
publishing business over nine years ago for an investment of
a couple hundred dollars, and it continued to grow even when
I cut back to working twenty hours weekly in order to climb and
hike more in Colorado. It eventually allowed us to pay over $30,000
in taxes some years -- the downside of a large income. Now our
websites provide less than $2,000 per month from advertising,
affiliate products and my e-books, and we expect that to keep
falling (at least I do -- my wife is more optimistic). But hey,
we pay a lot less in taxes now.
I spend about ten to fifteen hours weekly maintaining the
sites and newsletters. Fortunately we did not spend all the money
when times were good, and we never went into debt. If you happen
to hit it big in something new (it was much easier when we started
out online than it is now), don't count on everything going just
fine forever. Prepare for tough times, just in case.
In November I received a royalty check for over $2,000 for
the previous six months' sales of 101 Weird Ways to Make Money.
I expect that to fall to around $800 for the next semi-annual
installment, because sales of non-fiction books tend to taper
off quickly after the first year or two. I've made a total of
about $18,000 in royalties from the book so far. Residual income
like royalties is nice. I should probably get a few more books
written. I have one particular one in mind at the moment, and
I've written parts of it.
Real Estate Installment Sales
We sold a home in Michigan quite a few years ago (and have
moved to Arizona, Colorado, and Florida since then) and we still
get payments from the buyer each month. Those will keep coming
in for another 4 years or so. Actually, only the interest should
be considered income. The rest is a return of capital, although
we also made a nice profit. Keep in mind that if you can sell
on payments you can usually get a higher price for a house or
other property, and usually get a higher interest rate than the
banks charge. We are only getting 7%, but I have received up
to 11% on deals like this. Because the balance is getting low
now the interest amounts to only about $100 per month, but every
little bit helps.
Ana is teaching Spanish in an adult education program for
$20 per hour, working about six hours weekly. Unlike myself,
she has college degrees, but for most classes this isn't a requirement.
I could teach a class on how to publish one's own books, for
example, and Ana taught a class on using social media for a while.
As long as you have some experience in anything and at least
five people sign up for the class you propose you could have
a job (although the application process is as tedious and bureaucratic
as you would expect from an organization filled with highly-degreed
people). It's something to keep in mind if you have evenings
free and want to make a little extra income. It's a particularly
good opportunity here, with more than a thousand students (mostly
retirees) enrolled in the various six-week-long classes, but
many towns have adult education classes like these on a smaller
I'm working a couple days per week as a handyman and painter,
making about $12 per hour. I like the extra income, but I'm also
learning all the skills necessary to work on fixer upper homes
in case I decide to buy and sell them. We did fix and sell the
condo above ours about a year ago. Since we planned to rent it
out and changed our minds we didn't buy cheaply enough to make
a big profit, but we made a few thousand anyhow. You can read
about that experience here:
We have a loan out to a real estate investor at a decent rate.
That brings in hundreds of dollars per month in interest. It
is secured by a mortgage on a nice home that's worth twice what
the loan amount is, so there is very little risk.
Continues here: http://www.everywaytomakemoney.com/doing-now.html
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How to Write for Money
Online Profits and Paychecks
Fully Diversified Investments
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