3 min read
Last year my only source of income was my day job as a data analyst. Since I was still a college student living at home, I was able to save a huge chunk of my salary each month so it wasn’t a big deal that I only had one income stream.
However, I knew that once I graduated in the spring of 2017 I would need to bump up my salary and potentially find new income streams if I wanted to ramp up my net worth as fast as possible.
Fortunately in 2017 I was able to land a new job with a higher salary and grow some new income streams along the way.
Here’s a recap of how my income streams grew this past year, broken down by quarter.
Let’s dive in!
Day Job Income
The number one way I wanted to boost my income was through landing a higher salary.
Once I graduated in May, I went on a resume-sending blitzkrieg. I updated my LinkedIn profile and applied to ten different companies. I was fortunate to land a job pretty quickly over the summer, which led to over a 50% salary increase. This increase was much needed since my monthly expenses would rise substantially once I moved into my own apartment.
Next up, I wanted to build up a passive income stream through dividends. I decided to invest in REIT’s, high-yield index funds, and a couple dividend-paying stocks on a regular basis throughout the year.
The result was a massive growth in dividends that landed in my brokerage account. Any dividends I received I automatically reinvested, which helped this income stream grow even larger.
During the first three months of this year I earned a total of $3.35 in dividends, but during the last three months this number skyrocketed to $294.50.
At this rate, I expect my quarterly dividends to easily exceed $500 by the end of 2018.
Side Hustle Income
I had an interesting side hustle story in 2017. Starting in January, I found a way to connect with tons of students on Facebook and earn some money through online statistics tutoring. I kept this side hustle consistently through the first six months of the year, but as 2017 went on I began to spend more time focusing on this blog and less time on tutoring.
In fact, during the last three months of this year I didn’t earn any side hustle income because most of my attention had switched to blogging.
I can’t say for sure what my side hustle income will look like in 2018, but I’m always open to new income streams so we’ll see what comes my way. 🙂
In the beginning of 2017 I had no intention of earning any money from this blog. It started out as a fun way to share some of my thoughts on money and life, but quickly grew into something much bigger.
Through a combination of ads, affiliate links, and sponsored posts, I was able to earn over $1,000 each of the last two quarters of this year.
This is an income stream that I definitely plan on growing in the future because it’s so enjoyable.
My overall income grew from around $12,000 per quarter at the beginning of this year to over $17,000 by the end.
I like to visualize my total income by quarter because it can fluctuate quite a bit from month to month. By focusing on the quarterly growth I can get a better idea of the overall trend. It’s possible that my income will drop from one month to the next, but in general my goal is to grow it steadily each quarter.
2017 was an awesome year full of income growth. I expect 2018 to be filled with even more growth, which will help propel my net worth even higher and give me some financial flexibility.
When the lease is up on my apartment in nine months, I hope to have a net worth north of $100k and some healthy income flow outside of my day job.
My goal is to ramp up my dividend and blogging income, as well as potentially find a new income stream in 2018 outside of my day job. I’m excited to see what the next 12 months have in store for me, and I’m excited to share every step of the journey.
Thanks for reading 🙂
Zach is the author behind Four Pillar Freedom, a blog that teaches you how to build wealth and gain freedom in life.
Zach's favorite free financial tool he's been using since 2015 to manage his net worth is Personal Capital. Each month he uses their free Investment Checkup tool and Retirement Planner to track his investments and ensure that he's on the fast track to financial freedom.
Although the bulk of his net worth is invested in index funds, his favorite place to invest in individual stocks is M1 Finance, a site that allows you to build a custom portfolio of stocks for free.
His favorite way to save money each month on his recurring bills is by using Trim, a free financial app that negotiates lower cable, internet, and phone bills with any provider on your behalf.
His favorite place to find new personal finance articles to read is Collecting Wisdom, a site that collects the best personal finance articles floating around the web on a daily basis.
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