I am absolutely loving this guest series! Today, I introduce you to another blogger-friend of mine, Penny from She Picks Up Pennies. Penny and her husband took the Roth IRA Challenge together and successfully funded two Roth IRAs with side hustle income! Check out how they did it:
Last year, we put one-third of our net income towards debt. We don’t have loans. We don’t have consumer debt. But we have a whopper of a mortgage. As committed as we are to paying off our mortgage early, another key ingredient of financial independence has to do with retirement security. My husband and I are both teachers. We put just under 10% of our salary toward our respective pensions. But given the current–and, seemingly, eternal–budget crisis in our state, neither of us is really certain what will be waiting for us when we retire. As a result, fully funding both of our Roth IRAs is a goal we are determined to fulfill each year. But with our aggressive debt repayment goals, we decided to do a little side hustle action to max out our retirement savings. When it comes to making extra cash, my husband and I have learned one thing really well over the past year: monetize your passions and talents.
The Jock – $7000
My husband truly is a man of many talents, many of which converge on athletics. Not only is he an incredible athlete, he has the patience of a saint. He’s the perfect coach. In fact, he’s such a wonderful coach, he’s been asked to coach multiple sports throughout the school year. Last year, he oversaw two interscholastic teams: a soccer team and a volleyball team. He also sponsored intramurals that were open to younger students.
Since he coaches middle school students, many of these kids have never actually played the sport before, at least not competitively. That’s where the patience comes in. He has to keep the handful of students busy who have taken private lessons or played on travel teams, while helping the students who are still figuring out the different between a layup and a free throw.
His patience and athletic prowess paid off. In fact, he made over $7000 last year. That seems incredible — and it is! — but calculating the hourly payout is a bit of a reality check. Intramurals alone requires thirty meetings for an hour and a half each session, not to mention the time practicing, playing in games, and traveling for his interscholastic sports. This side hustle does make for a much longer work day, but since he’s so passionate about it, I’m glad he coaches. And I certainly know he is.
The Book Nerd – $5000
The coordination gods smile down upon my husband, whereas they mostly laugh at me. Seriously, I trip over flat surfaces on a semi-regular basis, and I think my track coach in high school was incredibly relieved when I fell down two flights of stairs and had to sit out the remainder of the season. In short, it wouldn’t be fair to anyone if I took a coaching position.
I do, however, sponsor a literary review and supervise a study club. Because books? That’s my jam. Last year, I earned a $1200 stipend for the literary magazine. I’ll early slightly more this year, because the stipend increases every year of experience. While I don’t know that I’ve gotten better across the board, I now have students writing about the latte factor and other financial matters, so I’m calling that a win.
In addition to the stipend, I earn an hourly wage for sponsoring the study club. I work primarily with special education students, so we are funded through special grant monies. I don’t know that the funding will always be available for this, but I plan to take advantage of it for as long as I can. I work with between 15-20 students for an hour at a time for a rate of $20 an hour. I know could earn a lot more through private tutoring, but these students’ families could never afford that. Plus, I work with them for free after school the other three days a week! With a somewhat irregular schedule, I netted about $800 last year. Altogether, this extra work scored me an extra $2000 last school year.
Because I’m a glutton for punishment I love teaching, I also teach summer school for six weeks in the summer. I only work four hours a day, there is minimal grading, and there are no standardized tests. It’s such a breath of fresh air. It also nets me $3000 before taxes. Overall, capitalizing on my talents and my passions helped me net an extra $5000 last year.
The Shopaholic – $870
If you follow my blog at all, you know that even though I don’t have consumer debt, I practically majored in overconsumption for most of my life. I brought many things to our marriage, including over 100 pairs of shoes and several dozen designer handbags. It was a problem. While I’ll never recover the money I spent shopping, I am trying to figure out how to make back as much as I can. Last year, I made money reselling in two different ways: I listed items on Craigslist and a local subdivision version of it and I took items to resale shops like New Uses, Plato’s Closet, and Clothes Mentor. When it was all said and done, I made $870.86 last year (Yes, I kept a spreadsheet. Of course). My hope is that I’ll make even more money this year, now that I’ve started using Poshmark, an online selling app that pays more generously than my local consignment stores and has a significantly lower creep-factor than Craigslist.
Monetize Your Talents
While I’m fairly certain our side hustles will continue to evolve over the years, I do know that we’ll always go back to the same guiding principle: monetize your passions and talents. The money is nice. The money will help lay the foundational for our financial independence. But we want to enjoy our time now since it’s all we know we have for certain. For us, future financial independence isn’t worth more than our current days. So while we continue to hustle, we’ll also continue to enjoy ourselves.