Ever since I lost my very first 9-5 job post-college (quite a number of years ago now), I’ve always had an underlying fear of putting my eggs into one basket. I’ve felt that tethering yourself to one job means locking in your one and only source of making money. For as much as people grumble about their day to day life at work, the vast majority of them would be dead in the water without it. As such, you’ll need to constantly diversify your income and create additional revenue streams as you go along. Once you’ve established said revenue streams, you can then decide where each can be best put to work.
As it stands, my own “hydra’ of income is very much a work in progress. I bring in extra money from a number of different sources, but most of it comes from my one, as it does for many of you out there as well I’m sure. I’d like to think that I can snowball at least one of these income streams as an investment into something that will continue to pay me down the line (like dividend paying stocks, for example). So, here we go:
- My Job as a Technical Writer – This is my bread and butter, and gets funneled into the usual monthly expenses. These include my mortgage, utilities, and other bills. Any home repair funds are also siphoned from here.
- Niche Site Portfolio – My oldest brother and I collaborate on a few projects, but this has been our most successful to date. We presently have about 20 sites, and all together they bring in a nice monthly amount of advertising revenue that I never rely upon but I’m happy to have. These funds fill up my emergency fund.
- Writing – I write on the side for a few sites/blogs. It isn’t big money but the work is easy and fun! It also serves as a nice monthly check as well. This goes to paying off debt.
- Poker – No, I’m not much of a gambler and you won’t see me on the WSOP circuit, but I enjoy poker as a hobby. Online poker is banned here in the United States for now, but there are subscription sites that operate legally under sweepstakes law (If you’ve ever watch the World Poker Tour, you’ve seen the ads for their site). They charge a monthly fee in exchange for running a variety of tournaments each month. Since they operate as a sweepstakes, however, there is a loop hole any poker hobbyist can take advantage of, because if you send in an index card with your membership information, they’re obligated to provide you with a month of service free of charge. This means that you’re literally gambling with the house’s money (since you are playing for free), and while you won’t get rich, it can be a fun side gig if you enjoy the game. All money I earn each month goes into dividend-paying stocks.
As you can see, diversification is an important part of personal finance for more than one reason. While it certainly expands your savings/spending power, it also allows you to safely store funds where their needed once your living expenses are met. If you were to create your own hydra of income (each head represents an additional income stream), how would you build such a monster?
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