I would be the first to admit that I am not particularly good at anything. Really. But that didn’t stop me from following the FIRE movement (financial independence, early retirement), and I dare say to do a pretty decent job in it.
In elementary and secondary school, my English sucked in class C6, so I bought the tabloid The New Paper. I was just as bad at General Paper in Junior College, so I found a standard way to do it. Not knowing what to study, I eliminated everything else that I didn’t want to study. Since I was introverted, I consciously joined the orientation camp of my faculty and took part in NUS Rag & Flag – the contacts I made became the decisive bridge between my wife (then girlfriend) and me.
Maybe I’m a fantastic generalist. Maybe it’s because I have a compatible one Talent stack. Understanding our area of competence could be more important than we think. My track record of career changes is definitely not a typical route.
I think what I have is a lot of curiosity in so many different areas and that has allowed me to gradually create alternative income streams to support my main income from full-time employment.
Blog income reports are nothing new to this blog. I’ve written some over the years: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and most recently 2019. I’ll just mess things up a bit in the future.
New alternative income report
One tiny change in the future is that instead of an income report that only covers blog-related activities, it branches include all income from unpaid work. This means that I can maintain these sources of income even without my full-time job. And probably a lot more because I would have a lot more time to work.
This is an important metric for me, because in the event that I no longer work full-time, I would have to rely on these alternative income streams to maintain my lifestyle – be it the Luxe Edition, Cai Png Edition or Zombie Apocalyze Edition of mine Template.
My alternative income streams now consist of these four categories:
- Advertising revenue
- Affiliate marketing
- Portfolio dividend / fixed income securities
- Crypto income
1. Advertising revenue – Mediavine and Monumetric
In terms of advertising, I switched from Google AdSense to Monumetric and finally to Mediavine. As you can see from the table I published above, all earnings for all of 2018 and 2019 came from ads on this blog. No sponsored posts or anything that I really like .. since I can write about anything I want!
I was looking for ad management options that would provide a better user experience. H. Better, less spam and faster loading speeds for a better user experience. I found it in Mediavine. Ad revenue from Mediavine will continue to be my primary method of funding my web hosting and receiving pocket money.
In the first three months of the first quarter of 2020, I was still at Monumetric Network. Payment terms are 60 days, so advertising revenue is actually based on blog traffic for October, November and December. I calculated the numbers based on when I received the payment and not when I earned it.
2. Affiliate marketing
This blog will always be free for everyone – I will find out how to pay for hosting and services. In addition, there are many amazing products and services that the competition may not survive. Also, I don’t leave money on the table if there are options that are mutually beneficial!
I was extremely careful about any form of affiliate marketing. As I mentioned before, I thought about it a lot before deciding to have partners I would like to work with. It is not an easy task To be included in my trusted list, I personally need to be an active user of these products and services.
I will do everything I can to help them survive and thrive – even if it means giving up my share of the referral proceeds (AutoWealth) and paying out of pocket giveaway competitions (StocksCafe). I would like to believe that I made a small contribution to making AutoWealth profitable in the third quarter of 2020.
Below is my list of trusted partners –
- AutoWealth : Robo consultant (S $ 20)
- StocksCafe : Portfolio management tool (3 months free)
- Crypto.com MCO Visa : Payments (a whopping $ 50)
- You need a budget (YNAB) : Budgeting and tracking tool (1 month free)
- ohm : Electricity trader (S $ 20)
- SiteGround : Web hosting (% discount)
3. Portfolio dividend / fixed income securities
The most direct and traditional source of income is one that comes from investment vehicles. Invest in stocks that consistently pay dividends / distributions and generate income.
In addition to stocks and REITs that allow regular payouts, I’ve also added other options that generate a payout. As long as the withdrawals reach my bank accounts, they will be included.
- Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB) : Approx. 2%
- High yield accounts : UOB One (1.25%), SingLife (2.5%) and CIMB FastSaver (1%)
Automatically reinvested components, e.g. Robo advisors are not included in my tracked numbers. One such example is my SYFE REIT + portfolio (see screenshot of StocksCafe above), which automatically reinvests dividends / distributions, as I have not yet reached the next level with a portfolio value of $ 20,000 that offers the option of making payments receive. It is also the same for AutoWealth that automatically reinvests dividends.
4. Crypto income
If you remember what I said earlier about my curiosity for new things and my role as a generalist, it’s no wonder that I ventured into the crypto and blockchain universe. Especially with a background in IT, it is much easier for me to understand some of the basic concepts that would otherwise prevent most people from learning about it, let alone launching any form of investment with significant risk.
Crypto revenue is mainly generated from proof-of-stake activities (as opposed to proof-of-work) and crypto credits. This post is not meant to focus on crypto, so I won’t go into it too much. Used and loaned crypto assets belonged to the category that is not in the cold store.
Crypto Stakeout –
- ATOM (Cosmos) 9.85%: cosmostation
- MCO 6%: Royal Indigo via Crypto.com
Crypto Loan –
- BTC 5.5%: Crypto Earn via Crypto.com
- BTC 6% / ETH 4.5% / USDC 8.6%: BlockFi interest account (BIA)
Disclaimer – no reference to the purchase of one of the listed tokens.
Overall result for 2020 – first quarter
Due to the nature of my earnings, a substantial portion is in US dollars and I will use an exchange rate of $ 1 to SGD 1.40 for this post. Income in foreign currency is usually received and converted via PayPal. * Blood puked at terrible exchange rates *
Crypto income is usually converted and sent to my MCO Visa card and converted to SGD balance for immediate use. I am generally satisfied with what my crypto portfolio looks like at the moment and have no intention of increasing my holdings.
My total alternative income for the first quarter of 2020 was total SGD $ 2163.75 or an average of SGD 721.25 per month.
- January 2020 – SGD 522.11
- February 2020 – SGD 990.81
- March 2020 – SGD $ 650.83
This is definitely a slow and steady process to get the numbers high enough maintain the critical aspect of our current lifestyle editions.
I remember in my post on the zombie apocalypse budget template that I was basically in survival mode – no travel, no shopping, no allowances for parents, etc. To keep my target total alternative income high enough to keep me going Covering my zombie apocalypse budget is my goal now. This is of course an important part of every FIRE trip and that’s why I share mine here.
New schedule for the future
Instead of writing ad hoc report posts, as I have done in the past seven years, I intend to follow a more uniform schedule in the future. Regular reports actually serve an excellent purpose as a reference / learning point for people who share the same goals.
This will be the only format for quarterly and semi-annual reports, or what many know as status updates:
- Jan / Jul: CPF report
- February / May / August / November: Alternative Income Report
- March / June / September / December: KrisFlyer Miles Report
The reports are not only a static update of the figures, but also contain relevant information on the respective topics.
For example, the upcoming Krisflyer mileage report would include how I use the mileage payment feature for my IRAS income tax payments and how I get miles from it. For a fee, of course. Look out for it next month and my next StocksCafe sweepstake runs from June 1-14. So don’t miss it!
Given the current situation, the second quarter of 2020 is likely to be a challenge. Look out for it in August if you’re interested in how it went. As always, leave me a comment or private message if you want to chat!
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