Happy Hump Day, blog-o-sphere! I'm sitting at my dining room table listening to the awesome (and creepy) promo of kariti's upcoming album Covered Mirrors. It's a great soundtrack for the impending doom of #covidschoolyear, which will commence on Monday. j/k, kinda...
Anyhow... I've been trying to do more reading this summer -- I am a librarian, after all -- and The Miracle Morning is a helpful book I just finished. My friend Matt Bacon sent it to me after I complained that I was feeling seriously out of a productive routine as summer wore on. It's the first summer in many years that I haven't been employed at a camp or something like that; I did some curriculum work for my school district and a lot of my own writing, but the regular "workday" schedule I'm used to has been absent.
The Miracle Morning has helped me get back into a productive routine. Author Hal Elrod recommends waking up early and starting the day with an hour of "S.A.V.E.R.S": silence (or prayer/meditation), affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading, and scribing (a.k.a. writing stuff). On the days I actually do this, it makes a huge difference in my productivity and mood throughout the rest of the day. For exercise, I'm currently in the middle of Lana Rey's Batman Challenge; I am also resuming vocal exercises, so those activities combined take 20-25 minutes. My affirmations and visualizations are done are cooking and eating breakfast, which is probably not Elrod's prescribed method lol. Either way, doing a "Miracle Morning" works!
Does a person *have to follow Elrod's plan to be productive? Obviously not. But as a way to resume a routine, it's been really helpful to me.
Now back to #covidschoolyear... I anticipate that I'll be taking leave at some point; not going to get into the reasons publicly, but there could be 2-3 months during this school year where after exhausting sick leave and Aflac, I won't be getting a paycheck. Yes, I'm up on all the EPSLA news, I'm talking with the union lawyer, so on and so forth.... Not looking for advice on that front.
What I am open to are suggestions about ways to grow my passive/work-from-home income from the "hundred bucks" range to something more substantial. The Heavy Metal Husband and I have a three-month emergency fund and some extra cash in checking accounts, plus he will still be working (barring the unforeseen....) -- so we're not up a creek, but I also want to avoid draining a ton of our savings. We'll have to use some of it, and certainly we're fortunate to have that amount of built up in the first place, but I'd like to use less of it if possible.
To prepare for this eventuality, HMH and I have reallocated our savings to the emergency fund (in a money market checking account) rather than joint brokerage, extra mortgage principal, etc. I'm putting my IRA contributions on hold as well. With this extra savings, I'm expecting about a $1,000 monthly shortfall between his paycheck and our anticipated expenses.
On that note, my 21-year-old brother is KILLING in day trading right now. Over the past several months, he's made more money on his TD Ameritrade app than I did in probably several years of my early twenties combined. Everyone was laughing at him at first... But now that he's up a thousand or more every week, we're all asking him for stock tips! Who's laughing now??
Of course, a young dude who lives at home can afford to take a lot more risk than an adult with a mortgage who needs that emergency fund to stay intact. But not gonna lie, I'm thinking about trying day trading on a smaller scale. Dividends are great, but I'll need more than twelve bucks a year rolling in. Same goes for my TPT store... $5 a month ain't gonna cut it if I'm looking for passive income to cover real expenses rather than just fun money.
So I opened an individual brokerage account at Fidelity and downloaded the app; over the next month or two, I'm going to do some low-investment experiments. If it seems like a total crapshoot, I'll nix this idea. But if I can get the hang of things, I'll think about increasing the investment amount. In the meantime, I just started reading Stock Market 101 by Michele Cagan, CPA so I can have a better handle on the "why" of market occurrences.
I'm also considering getting a real estate license. In Connecticut, the classes and certification test are relatively inexpensive -- and as much as I enjoy my current job, the pandemic has made me think about pursuing a field where my hours are more flexible and I'm (somewhat) in more control of where I'm going and what I'm doing. Friends who work in the field tell me that it's doable to start a real estate business on the side while working a regular job, in order to build experience and clientele before making the big leap.
So that's where I'm at, folks! Reading this over for typos, spending $3,000 of our 3-month emergency fund doesn't sound like the end of the world -- and there would still be money left over if the water heater breaks or something.
What do you think? How do you make money from home that doesn't involve a ton of e-sales? Let me know!