Anybody who is currently trying to build multiple income streams knows that it’s hard work to maintain them all. Whether the reason is due to a low interest rate environment, mental fatigue, or a tremendous amount of extra hustle during undesirable hours, when it comes to creating your own safety net, patience is a virtue. This post looks to help you grow and better maintain your multiple income streams.
One thing I’ve realized over the past 25 years of trying to build wealth is that if you can give your income a purpose, then you tremendously raise your chances of holding on and growing that particular income stream.
For example, at age 25, I wanted to quit finance and become a mango farmer / beach bum in Hawaii. I was sick of work after only three years.
However, at age 26, I bought a condominium and because of the mortgage, making money suddenly became more meaningful. For the next 10 years, I focused full effort on maximizing wealth so I could ironically have the option to be a beach bum!
Growing Your Multiple Income Streams
Back in 2015, I drove for Uber to generate more income. Whenever I go to play tennis or to meet people downtown I’ll switch on the app because 80% of the time I’ll get a fare that’s within 10 minutes of my destination.
Given I no longer have a full-time job, every day can be considered a Saturday, or any other day. As a result, if I am to drive, I might as well drive during the most popular times for surge pricing.
Given my existing passive income streams and online income, most people are somewhat incredulous that I would bother earning ~$30/hour gross driving. One time, I picked up a new waitress at my tennis club from her apartment.
When I told her I was coincidentally going to the club as well, she asked what job I did there. She never considered I was a regular member, which was awesome! Every time I order a juicy reuben sandwich after a morning hit, she hooks me up with some extra fries.
I’ve questioned whether driving is the best use of my time, especially when I’m faced with rowdy passengers. The short answer is that if I want to make max money, driving is not the way.
But, it’s nice to change up my routine for an hour or two after writing or exercising. Besides, there’s lots of other powerful non-monetary benefits I’ve written about, which particular helps put things in perspective when I’m having a bad day.
What has helped me continue driving long after my initial one month or 100 fare commitment was over is that I’ve earmarked all driving money towards food, and wants. If I want to eat, I must drive! Otherwise, it’s back to ramen noodles baby!
Boosting This On Income Stream
I’m currently on a $250 – $300 a week pace after expenses, driving a leisurely 8 – 10 hours a week. That means I can eat about $33 – $35 worth of food a day, which is way more than enough for someone like me. But if I want to buy the latest pair of fancy tennis shoes for $140, or take someone on a special dinner to celebrate, then I’ve got to start hustling!
Yes, I could just take money that’s already in my savings account to pay for stuff. But, there’s no sense of accomplishment in that since that money has already been earmarked for other purposes. Actively working for money helps filter what I really want. Pity the person who’s never had to work for money at all!
Income Tethering As A Way To Grow And Maintain Multiple Income Streams
The benefits of tethering your income include: not running out of money, removing any feelings of entitlement, being more cognizant of your spending habits, improved financial security, and creating more purpose for the work you do.
Below are some of my income streams and what they are tethered to:
* Uber driving income: Food, material wants
* Tennis teaching income: Entertainment (movies, shows, drinks)
* Rental income: Retirement, real estate fund
* Dividend income: Retirement, other investment opportunities
* Dividend income from a digital wealth advisor like Personal Capital: Fulfilling my childhood collection of toys I could never afford
* CD income: Retirement, peace of mind fund
* Corporate consulting income: Home improvement, like remodeling a bathroom
* Personal finance consulting income: Travel, entertainment
* Online income: Health care expenses and charity for the disabled
* Real estate crowdsourcing income: private school tuition $35,000/year
Each income stream has a purpose in order to maintain a nurturing focus. If I want to build an extension off my house, then I best find more corporate consulting clients. If I want to spend $200 to buy a single ticket to watch The Book Of Mormon musical, then I’ll need to teach four hours of tennis and so forth.
You’ll notice that Retirement comes up multiple times as a tether. This is because despite experiencing early retirement for two years without a hitch, I’m so accustomed to building my own financial safety net that I can’t stop saving.
Saving money is almost like a disease!
Tether Your Desires To Your Income
If you are having difficulty maintaining your multiple income streams for financial freedom, then absolutely find a specific purpose for each income. It’s important that once you start a new endeavor, that you stick with it long enough to begin capturing significant economic gains.
For example, a friend of mine is a talented musician who strongly loves to travel overseas. After all expenses and 401k contributions, she couldn’t comfortably afford the minimum $2,000 per week for journeys abroad. As a result, her vacations were mainly domestic. Given she has four weeks off a year, she decided to earn an extra $8,000 in side hustle money.
She knows how to read music and play the piano and violin thanks to her parents pushing her to learn as a kid. After gaining a strong reputation over the past year of teaching violin to adults who wanted to rekindle their musical skills, she now has a recurring referral base of new students at a much higher hourly rate.
Even parents are now asking her to provide lessons for their children. What began as a $30/hour side hustle, is now providing her an extra $20,000 a year teaching just six hours a week on average.
If she ever wanted to quit her full-time job, she probably could make $60,000 a year working just 20 hours a week! Now that’s the power of sticking things through!
Tethering makes earning money more meaningful. And the more purpose you find in making money, the more likely it is you’ll be able to build greater wealth in the long run.
Living in America has a way of making us give up way too soon because things are so comfy here. Fight the malaise so you can fight for your freedom!
Other Reasons To Tether Your Multiple Income Streams
- For charity
- To pay off student loans
- To fund an amazing vacation for your parents
- To pay for lessons
- To join and pay for a club membership
Having multiple income streams is great. It helps ensure you never face too much financial difficulty. If one income stream goes down, another income stream picks up the slack.
By building a great passive income portfolio, you will also achieve financial independence. And financial independence is the holy grail of personal finance!
Building Passive Income With Real Estate
Real estate is my favorite way to achieving financial freedom. It is a tangible asset that is less volatile, provides utility, and generates income. By the time I was 30, I had bought two properties in San Francisco and one property in Lake Tahoe. These properties now generate over $150,000 a year in passive income.
In 2016, I started diversifying into heartland real estate to take advantage of lower valuations and higher cap rates. I did so by investing $810,000 with real estate crowdfunding platforms. The spreading out of America is real. As a result, rents and capital values are rising.
Take a look at my two favorite real estate crowdfunding platforms. Both are free to sign up and explore.
Fundrise: A way for accredited and non-accredited investors to diversify into real estate through private eFunds. Fundrise has been around since 2012 and has consistently generated steady returns, no matter what the stock market is doing. For most people, investing in a diversified eREIT is the way to go.
CrowdStreet: A way for accredited investors to invest in individual real estate opportunities mostly in 18-hour cities. 18-hour cities are secondary cities with lower valuations, higher rental yields, and potentially higher growth due to job growth and demographic trends. If you have a lot more capital, you can build you own diversified real estate portfolio.
Best Tool to Track Your Multiple Income Streams
Multiple income streams become harder to track and manage over time. Therefore, it’s good to keep track of all your multiple income streams in oe place with Personal Capital.
Personal Capital is a free online platform which aggregates all your financial accounts in one place. This way, you can see where you can optimize your money.
A great feature is their Portfolio Fee Analyzer, which runs your investment portfolio(s) through its software in a click of a button to see what you are paying. I found out I was paying $1,700 a year in portfolio fees I had no idea I was hemorrhaging!
Finally, they launched their amazing Retirement Planning Calculator. It pulls in your real data and runs a Monte Carlo simulation to give you deep insights into your financial future.
Personal Capital is free, and less than one minute to sign up. It’s one of the most valuable tools I’ve found to help achieve financial freedom.