May 2014 - Money Making, Saving, and Investing Report

Welcome to the May 2014 Money Making, Saving, and Investing Report!

May 2014 was a good month  - we’re struggling to get our expenses down, but our income from side hustles was great!!!

To view all previous reports and to find out why I publish these reports, click here

Actions Plans for May 2014

KeyComplete/Some Progress/No Progress

  • Read the book: Think and Grow Rich
    • COMPLETE! – Book review coming soon!
  • Sell at least 5 things on Ebay
    • COMPLETE!  Here’s what I sold:
      • The Sims 3 – Wii – $14.50
      • The Simpsons – Complete 6th Season DVDs – $12
      • Animal Crossing – Gamecube – $19 (bought this for $2 – read the Wii game yard sale arbitrage article for more info)
      • Fargo DVD – $6
      • Wii Sports – $20 (bought for $3)
  • Finish the entire rough draft of my Investing for Beginner’s Ebook
    • COMPLETE!  Working on the edits now!
  • Create the Investing for Beginner’s Ebook cover
    • COMPLETE! – I will be showing it off soon :-)
  • Get Dad (a senior editor before he retired) to begin editing Ebook
    • COMPLETE! – He finished with the edits earlier than I expected!
  • Post at 7 additional monetized YouTube videos under my new JollyGood gaming channel
    • NO PROGRESS – I decided to go a whole new direction here.  Check out the “other points of interest” section below to see what I am doing instead of this action.
  • Conduct at least one tutoring session for $$$
    • COMPLETE!  I was able to conduct three tutoring sessions for a total of $240!

I am very happy with my May goal progress.  Even though I did not hit my YouTube video goal for May, I have an idea that I’ve been working on that I believe will have a much better long-term outcome.  See the “other points of interest” section below for more info.  Now, let’s look at the financial  specifics for May 2014:

May 2014 Money Making Saving and Investing Report

May 2014 Money Making Saving and Investing Report

Notes on Making Money for May 2014

May’s income was great and saw a big boost from side-hustle income.  Google Adsense was strong at $40+ for the month.  YouTube income was ~$10, and Ebay total was ~$70.  I also had three sponsored posts which banked $360 total!  I brought in $240 from tutoring (three different 2-hour sessions with different students) and had a couple other small odds and ends type things roll in.  This brought the total side hustle income for the month to $740+.  Dividends were lower for the month of May but should see a nice bounce in June.

Notes on Money Saving for May 2014

Routine expenses for May were not all that great.  Since we are eating healthier, our grocery bills are higher each month.  This is a conscious decision, and I think it is the right choice for us as we place a premium on our health.  Grocery expenses were also higher for the month because we had Mother’s Day at our house and several out-of-town folks over for graduation.  Our gas spending was also higher for the month since we went to the beach for Memorial Day weekend.

The biggest non-routine expenses for the month were Mother’s Day presents and a large dinner to celebrate my MBA graduation.  Overall, non-routine expense were pretty low, so nothing to take action on here.

Our total savings rate for the month of May was 50% – pretty good :-)

Notes on Investing for May 2014

For May, I picked up 54 shares of  VNQ at a price of $75.00 for a total of $4,050 invested for the month of May.  VNQ is the Vanguard REIT ETF.  This is a real estate investment trust that pays out a quarterly dividend that works out to be 3.6% annually.  I am trying to allocate 15% of my portfolio to this ETF (real estate).  It is held in my wife’s IRA since the dividends are NOT qualified!  Holding stocks that pay non-qualified dividends in a tax deferred account is a great way to get an even higher return!

Actions Plans for June 2014

  • Read the book: Effortless Savings - The author of the book contacted me to review this on the site.  He is sending me a free copy :-)
  • Sell at least 5 things on Ebay
  • Complete the first round of edits on my new book: Stock Market Investing for Newbies
  • Get second editor to review my new book: Stock Market Investing for Newbies
  • Finish my new website: OfficeForNewbies.com and post the first training video (see below for description)
  • Conduct at least two tutoring session for $$$

These goals are setting the bar really high for June, but I think if I push myself I can get everything completed – we’ll see!

Other Points of Interest

  • Here are the posts I created for the month of May – check them out if you missed any:
  1. How to Make Your Own Lightsaber
  2. Yard Sale Arbitrage – Wii Games
  3. Book Review – Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
  4. Investment Tips – Know Your Risk Tolerance
  5. Tips on Getting the Cheapest Car Insurance - (sponsored post)
  6. Finding Ideal Funding For Your Business - (sponsored post)
  7. Yard Sale vs Retail
  8. Why Do Londoners Pay More for Business Travel? - (sponsored post)

 

I am working to launch a new website!  It is called OfficeForNewbies.com - here’s a little about it:

  • It’s a WordPress site that will have Excel, PowerPoint, and Word YouTube video tutorials.
  • I will also include a step-by-step write up description for each video.
  • I decided to create OfficeForNewbies for a couple reasons:
    1. Unless you have hours each day, it is really hard to build up a video game YouTube channel.  The competition is just too high – I don’t have the time to compete here compared to high school and college age students.
    2. Video game YouTube videos have a much lower CPC than other types of videos.  I anticipate that software videos will have a much higher rate.  It seems like the how-to videos in general do much better.
    3. I have a lot of knowledge around Excel, Word, and PowerPoint that I can put to good use.
    4. I will actually be helping people – so I get that warm and fuzzy feeling that I’m improving the world around me :-)
    5. Opportunity to monetize with both YouTube videos immediately and eBooks down the road.

OfficeForNewbies is still under construction now, but you can check it out to get a sneak peak if you’re interested.  My goal for June is to have the site complete and post the first video tutorial.

One other fun fact is that I sold my first copy for FrugalCalc for $3!!  Hundreds of hours of work has finally started to pay off – REJOICE!!!

What are your money saving, money making, and investing plans for June?