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Archive for September, 2011

Bloggers that Make $1000 per Month

I have a few confessions to make.  First, I am not one of those bloggers that make $1000 per month.  I am lucky to be 5% of the way there and make $50 per month.  I am pleased that I am covering my hosting costs and able to make a little bit on the side, but it really doesn’t make a big difference in my day-to-day living expenses.

My second confession is that I am looking for a little inspiration.  It has been a very busy week.  I will admit that earlier this week I was close to getting burned out.  It probably had something to do with leaving the house at 6:30 am on Monday and Tuesday and not getting home until 10 pm.  Two long days in a row like that can really wear on me.

So I am not looking for bloggers that make $1000 per month who are doing it full-time.  That is much like being self-employed and running a business.  There are several bloggers that I have run across on the web that are doing that.  Big deal!  I make more than $1000 per month at my day job, too.

Instead, I am looking for bloggers who are making $1000 per month while working 40-50 hours per week who have kids and are running them back and forth to practice, helping out with the household activities and sacrificing sleep to write, post, comment, and interact.  These are the individuals from whom I wish to draw some inspiration.

Why $1000 per Month?

Psychologically, it sounds like a number that could have a meaningful impact on finances, that’s why.  Four digits sound so much bigger than three digits.  One thousand dollars can make a big impact on debt.  It can provide living space or would be a nice addition to an emergency fund.  It is simply a nice, round number and should be achievable on a part-time basis.

It is also about what I get for rent from my rental properties.  The difference is that they have a mortgage.  Imagine creating the equivalent of a $100,000 asset that is yielding $1,000 income per month.  The thought of that is simply exciting to me.

Finally, it would provide a significant chunk of change to help me get out of debt.  I have done some calculations and found that $1000 per month plus some savings that I can get out of my current budget would help me eliminate all consumer debt plus my personal mortgage in a little over 6 years.  Another exciting thought.

Part-time Bloggers Making Four Digits Profit per Month

I would like to come up with a list of bloggers that are making four digits on a part-time basis.  I want this list to provide inspiration for those of us who are just starting out and think that achieving this goal while working full-time might be out of reach.  I don’t believe that it is, but at times, it does seem quite difficult.

Derek at Life and My Finances made over $2500 in August.  I am pretty sure that he works full time.  I seem to recall references to that in his blog.  I also know that he is rehabbing a house which is a ton of work as well while maintaining an online presence.

If you look at the earnings post detailed above, you will notice that it took 10 months to reach $1000 per month.  You will also notice that most of the income is from private advertising.  It obviously takes some time to build up a web presence so the point is to work hard for a year or two and then reap some benefit.

Retire by 40 made over $1400 in side income for the month of August.  I know that he works full time, but am not sure exactly how much of the $1400 is strictly from blogging.  If it is not over $1000 per month yet, I bet it won’t be long.

Looking for Part-Time Bloggers

Now, I could go and look and several blogs for earnings reports and try to figure out if the bloggers work a full-time job as well.  I did try that for some of my favorites, but many don’t publish earnings reports.  Some that do are often full-time bloggers anyway.  So, if you are a blogger that works full-time and makes over $1000 per month, just let me know in the comments or send me an e-mail.

You don’t have to reveal what you do for a living or how much you make in your job or even in your blog.  That is less important than simply knowing there are more successful part-time bloggers out there.

I would like to know what you regard as some of the more important tips that led to your monthly income.  Was it great content or design?  How long did it take?  How much did you interact with the blogging community?  What are some of the things that you did right or wrong?  If you knew then what you know now, how would it be different.

I would like to eventually compile the list of bloggers and their most valuable tips into a separate post.  Thanks so much for reading, and I look forward to hearing from you.

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59 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Cash Flow Mantra - September 19, 2011 at 10:00 am

Categories: Earning   Tags: , , , ,

Some Great Articles I Have Read Over the Past Month

Every so often, I like to post some links to some of the financial blogging articles that I have found on the web that have made a particular impact upon me.  These are those articles that make me sit up and take notice.  I will usually say, “Wow!  This is some great information and something that I could use.”  It is my desire to share this with my readers and hopefully get you to thinking as well.  I only hope that someday, I can write a few of these myself.

I am a fairly goal oriented person and the first article by Money Crush talks about SMART goals.  SMART is actually a mnemonic for remembering characteristics of the goals that you should be setting.  They should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.  Apply these criteria to the goals you set and watch your success rate soar.

If one of your goals is to achieve more passive income, then you should check out this post by the dividend pig for inspiration.  The fact that the annual dividends paid out on 3 of these 6 stocks exceeds the initial investment is remarkable.  The power of compound interest and dividend payments cannot be overstated!

There has been a lot of talk about gold and a possible bubble.  Wouldn’t it be nice to know what will be happening to the price of gold?  Well, here is a model to explain the price of gold.  Once you read this, I think the importance of “real” interest rates will become more clear so that you can follow these and more closely identify the top of the gold market.

This next article on Motivation for Getting Out of Debt at Planting Dollars was especially appreciated and well-timed for me.  I am getting ticked off myself and will be using these tips to start paying off some debt.  I may even write a post about it in the near future.

Finally, I thought this post about fairy tales keeping you in debt by Andrea at So Over Debt was just so clever and creative that it made an impact upon me.  I had to share and hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.

I hope that you can utilize some of the information in these five links that I have shared with you.  I know that even though I read many financial blogs, there are some articles that I miss or overlook and when these links get shared, I will find stuff that is very worthwhile.

Lastly, I would like to point out that Cash Flow Mantra made it into its first carnival this past week.  I did apply to a second but wasn’t selected.  Oh well, better luck next time, huh?  Instead be sure to check out the Totally Money Carnival #36 at Money Beagle.  My article on Thoughts on Investing in Gold and Silver is just one of many great posts from financial bloggers.

Have a great weekend!  And enjoy the fall weather and football!

8 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Cash Flow Mantra - September 17, 2011 at 11:37 am

Categories: Uncategorized   Tags: , ,

A New and Improved 401(k)

Starting next month, I will be undergoing some structural changes to the method in which I am compensated at work.  On the surface, it seems like it will be a good thing, but only time will tell whether or not that impression is correct.  One of the major changes is the retirement package that is being offered.

Now Getting a Match

It turns out that I will now be getting a match from my employer.  Previously, that wasn’t the case and anything that I put into my 401(k) came out of my own pre-tax earnings.  I still contributed the maximum and have for the past decade, but now my savings will be growing faster.

401(k) Basics

I am sure that most of you know what a 401(k) is, but for those who don’t, let me take just a few minutes to go over some of the basics.

The 401(k) developed as an alternative retirement savings vehicle to the traditional defined pension plan offered by companies prior to the 1980′s.  It gets its name from the section of IRS Code that defines this particular type of retirement plan.  It is employer-related, as opposed to an IRA or a SIPP pension in the UK.

Each employee younger than 50 can contribute up to $16,500 into the account which is invested according to the employee’s wishes within the constructs of that particular plan.  Most plans offer a mix of stock and bond mutual funds and a money market fund as well.  Each employee 50 years of age and older can contribute an additional $5,500 in a catch-up provision.  (I guess this assumes that most people won’t have saved enough and need to make up for lost time.)

Essentially, this shifted the burden of retirement savings from the employer in the form of a pension plan onto the employee using earnings in the form of the 401(k).  It really doesn’t sound like this has been a good thing since most American employees have not saved enough for retirement.

Pay Yourself First

One of the best ways to save money is to pay yourself first and make it automatic.  Yesterday, I turned in the paper work to have the maximum taken out of each paycheck before I even see it.  That way, it is impossible for me to miss it.  I won’t even be planning on it in my spending.

Even though I really suck at budgeting and don’t like it, I am really good at paying myself first and planning for the future.  I will not be falling into that trap of not having enough for retirement.  I have contributed the maximum for the last 10 years and will be doing the same with this new arrangement.  Plus, now I will be getting a match to boot.  Free money and a guaranteed return will help that account grow that much faster.

My Fund Elections

The investment selections are a little different than what I have been used to, so I had to pick some new mutual funds.  I considered my other holdings in real estate and my other retirement accounts and decided to add 20% to the PIMCO total return bond fund.  I know that bonds are nearing the top since yields can’t get much lower, but Bill Gross is a smart guy and will know what to do.  Plus I am not getting any younger and don’t have any fixed income in my portfolio.

I also decided to put 40% into a EurAsia fund since I don’t feel I have enough foreign market exposure.  I am currently invested in individual U.S. stocks.  Even though I am not getting any younger, I am still looking at almost 28 years before I have to start withdrawing.  Since Asia is increasing wealth by a rapid clip, I want to benefit from that type of growth.  There will be some hiccups along the way, but dollar cost averaging will help.

The last 40% was placed into a small company growth fund.  Small companies tend to outperform their larger brethren.  Small companies can get big and bought out which helps to more than balance out those that fail.  Again, a longer investment horizon and dollar cost averaging should benefit me.

So, there you have it!  My new and improved (due to a match) 401(k)!

Readers:  Do you have a 401(k)?  Are you contributing the max?  Do you get a match?  Will you have enough for retirement?  What do you think of my elections?  Please feel free to comment.  I will probably match your comments.

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14 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Cash Flow Mantra - September 16, 2011 at 7:51 am

Categories: Investing, Saving   Tags: , , , , , , ,

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