Hey Everyone, I hope you had a great Labor Day weekend. We stayed in town and didn’t do too much this year. Our 120 years old home still needs a lot of work so I’m busy fixing up stuff. Anyway, I’m starting a new tradition for Labor Day. I’ll tell you about my various side hustles and update my list of Early Retirement blogs. The plan is to have an evergreen post for every holiday. Then, I’ll just need to make some minor update and don’t have to worry about posting on these long weekends. 🙂
Recently, I had an epiphany about side hustles. The gig economy is great for retirees. We can make a little extra cash and get out of the house. However, I don’t think it’s good for young people. It seems like young people can invest their time better elsewhere. Most of these gigs don’t pay much anyway. Young people should focus on their career or a side business that can grow into the main gig.
My main side hustle is blogging. 2019 is a tough year for us. Our income dropped about 50% from 2018. The traffic is about the same, but the affiliate income slowed down tremendously. I think the market is getting saturated. Most people who are interested in Personal Capital probably already have an account. Also, one of our affiliations went out of business. That affected our blog income too.
I’m not too worried, though. The blog income is nice, but we don’t need it to maintain our lifestyle. Our passive income is enough to cover the cost of living now. Anyway, blogging is still my number 1 source of side hustle income.
My next favorite side hustle is participating in a market research group. The pay rate is great. However, I only qualify to participate in a few groups per year. In March, I made $125 by talking about internet routers for 90 minutes. That’s darn good. Unfortunately, I haven’t qualified for anything since then. Maybe I’m just the wrong demographic. It’s a good side gig if you can get in.
Recently, RB40Jr and I started charging scooters for beer money. Well, college money for him. He’s way too young for beer. We live in a walkable neighborhood and it’s easy to grab scooters and charge them overnight. This is an awesome side gig in the summer. The weather is great and it doesn’t get dark until late. I also get some exercise so that’s two birds with one stone.
The pay isn’t bad either. We made $531 in August. That’s a lot of beer. However, I think it will slow down tremendously once the rain starts. Who wants to ride around when it’s cold, wet, and dark? Not me…
Anyway, this is a good gig if you live in the right neighborhood. Some people make quite a bit more, but they also spend a lot more time collecting scooters and dropping them off. We spend about 30 to 60 minutes per day on this side hustle.
The Job Spotter app is pretty cool. You look for help wanted signs, take 2 pictures, and upload them. The pay is pretty low, though. You get 5-15 points (cents) for chains and around 75 points for small businesses. In August, we made about $6 from Job Spotting. It’s not bad because I don’t go out of my way to do this. I just look a bit more carefully at storefronts when I walk by. It’s an easy side gig.
I signed up to be a food taster with Oregon State University and my first gig will be in October. It’s a burger assignment. Hopefully, it’ll be a good experience. I’ll update this post after the taste test.
That’s it for my side hustles in 2019. If you know a fun side hustle, share it with us. Now, on to the early retirement blogs.
Early Retirement Blogs for Everyone
If you’re anything like me, you can’t get enough of early retirement blogs. I used to be addicted to personal finance blogs when I was working full time because I was stuck in front of the computer all day. It was easy to take short breaks here and there to catch up on the blogs.
Now that I’m a stay at home dad/blogger, I can’t keep up with all the blogs anymore. I still spend a few hours a day on the computer, but I’m working on Retire by 40 and don’t have a chance to browse around that much. Anyway, I thought I’d compile a list of early retirement blogs so you can read your fill while you’re stuck in a cubicle. There are a lot more early retirement blogs than when I started in 2010 so I’m sure you will find a few that speak to you. Enjoy!
*My guide on How to Start a Blog and Why You Should. Everyone should have a blog. It’s a great way to build your brand and improve your writing. You can even make some extra income if you’re lucky. You won’t know unless you try it.
- Educator FI – This site focuses on teachers and staff in the education field. Teachers can retire early too.
- The Fioneers – Jessica and Corey are slowly working toward FI. I think that’s great. Financial independence can take a long time so you need to enjoy the journey.
- A Purple Life – One of the best newer FI blogs. Purple has an engaging style and her posts are a lot of fun. Check it out if you haven’t yet.
- Financial Mechanic – Graduated in 2015. Now a software engineer and trying to retire before 32. Good luck!
- The Frugal Engineers – Living the semi-retired life.
- Financial Freedom Countdown – Immigrant; achieved Financial Freedom in 12 years; living in expensive SF Bay Area.
- The Unconventional Route – A couple of curious Canadians who’re having a blast pursuing the status whoa instead of the status quo.
Still going strong
- Retire by 40! – It’s taken a while for me to learn the art of shameless self-promotion, but I can do it with a straight face now. Joe retired from his engineering career at 38 to become a stay at home dad/blogger. See why and how he did it at the About page. I’ve been blogging since 2010.
- Financial Samurai – One of the best personal finance blogs out there. I learn something new from Sam every week.
- Mr. Free at 33 – Jason Fieber (formerly Dividend Mantra) is back! He moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand to enjoy a great lifestyle on the cheap.
- Route to Retire – Jim retired and moved to Panama!
- Tawcan – Tawcan is on a quest for joyful life & financial independence. He is also in the high-tech field. He’s taking his time with his early retirement journey.
- The Retirement Manifesto – Fitz retired in 2018 and he’s having a great time. He’s a bit older and had a successful career so his advice is very valuable. I’m a big fan.
- Think Save Retire – Steve started his FI journey a little later in life at 34. He achieved his goal and retired from his IT career a couple of years ago. He is still very busy with other projects, though.
- Mr. Tako Escapes – Mr. Tako and his wife saved over 50% of their salary for years and reached financial independence at 38. He left the rat race in 2015 and he is enjoying more time with his sons.
- Accidental FIRE – Dave is just a guy in his mid 40’s who woke up one day and realized he’s financially independent. See how he got there.
- Millennial Revolution – FIRECracker & Wanderer retired at 31 to travel the world! Now I feel old…
- Abandoned Cubicle – Cubert has less than a year to go before he can leave the cubicle life behind. It’s getting close!
- Half Life Theory – TJ is a young and driven guy with some awesome stories. He has been through a lot. FIRE isn’t easy for everyone.
- Waffles On Wednesday – Why wait until the weekend to have waffles?
- Early Retirement Now – You can’t afford not to retire early! Big Ern retired in 2018! He has a great series on Safe Withdrawal Rates. Check it out if you haven’t seen it.
- Young FIRE Knight – A regular guy in his 20s who is sharing his journey to FIRE.
- DiverseFI – Doc G discovered the FI community, but still struggle with RE. Can he ever retire?
- I Retired Young – David and Sally recently retired early. They are traveling the world this year and will settle down in France next year.
- Tread Lightly Retire Early – A Pacific Northwest native who blends sustainability with financial independence.
- 1500 Days to Freedom – Carl’s goal is to build a portfolio of $1.2 million by February 2017. That’s 1500 days from when he started blogging. He left work last year and he is enjoying his early retirement immensely.
- Go Curry Cracker – Jeremy and Winnie left their high tech jobs to travel the world in their early 30’s. The GCC blog is a great resource for minimizing taxes and traveling.
- Root of Good – Justin retired at 33 from his civil engineering career. His wife followed a few years later and they are living the good life at a very low cost in North Carolina.
- Physician on FIRE – A great FIRE blog for physicians and non-physicians alike.
- FI Ideas – Susan quit her job in 2010 when she was 51 and never looked back.
- ESI Money – ESI is a 50-something retiree. Earning, Saving, and Investing are the three steps to financial independence.
- Freedom is Groovy – Mr. & Mrs. Groovy retired in October 2016 and teamed up to write a great blog. Check them out!
- JLCollinsnh – Jim Collin’s financial independence blog.
- Done by Forty – Mr. Done By Forty is working to achieve financial independence by 2020. Time flies and 2020 is coming up very soon. Can they do it?
- Retire Before Dad – RBD is trying to retire before his dad did (at 55.) That’s a great goal considering he was broke with no job at 27. Check out his story.
- Frugal Woods – Who doesn’t dream of calling it quits and heading off to homestead in the woods? See how the Frugal Woods family is doing in the wilderness of Vermont.
- Mad FIentist – Brandon left his hi-tech job to live in Scotland with his wife. They are traveling the world and living it up. Check out their great podcast interviews with many FIRE personalities.
- Sydney Lagier – Sydney retired in 2008 when she was 44 years old and she has been blogging ever since. It’s great to read about early retirement from a woman’s point of view.
- Early Retirement Extreme – ERE was one of the first early retirement blogs around and it was the blog that made me seriously consider early retirement. I’m not sure, but I think the articles are mostly reposts now.
- The Military Guide – Doug Nordman retired from the Navy and he has been providing great resources for military personals for many years.
- Mr Money Mustache – MMM is probably the most popular early retirement blog on the internet. They have a very active forum, too.
- Can I Retire Yet? – Darrow Kirkpatrick is a little older than other bloggers. He saved, invested, retired at 50.
- FI Fighter – Jay left from his six-figure high-tech career in 2016. I think he currently lives in the Philippine and travels a lot.
- The Escape Artist – The Escape Artist left his corporate job in 2014 when he was 43. See how he can help you escape from the corporate prison camp.
- Financially Alert – Michael sold his business and “retired early” in 2012 when he was 36. His larger FI goal is to reach $10 million in net worth.
- FIRE Station – They reached FI a few years ago, but just retired in 2016. Congratulations!
- Retirement In Progress – Mr. RIP is an Italian software engineer living in Switzerland since 2012. He writes about his journey to FIRE.
- Get Rich Slowly – JD Roth’s blog is focused on financial independence rather than early retirement. But I’ll sneak it in the list. JD is the grandfather of PF blogs and GRS is still one of my favorite blogs of all time.
Not quite a blog, but great early retirement resources.
- Ernie J. Zelinski is an international best-selling author, innovator, professional speaker, and prosperity life coach who inspires adventurous souls to live prosperous and free. I love Ernie’s books.
- Camp FIRE finance – The most recent personal finance FIRE articles, blog posts, podcasts, and other content available on the web.
Enjoy your journey!
Image by Aaron Arogones
Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is increasing his investment in real estate with CrowdStreet. He can invest in projects across the U.S. and diversify his real estate portfolio. There are many interesting projects available so sign up and check them out.
Joe also highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help DIY investors analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.