March 2016 (Shameful) Expenses

Alright internets, you can look but you can’t touch. Here’s the expenses for the month. Not so pretty. March madness, thats what I’m putting it down to.

It was my birthday, which led to a trip to Nelson, where I attended a home brewing conference and Marchfest.

And I splurged on a fancy present for myself, a new iPhone SE. I don’t feel too bad about it, as my last phone lasted me 5 YEARS! It was definitelty time for an upgrade as the old phone was beginning to feel quite unusable.
Actually the phone just arrived this evening, the courier asked if it was a new iphone and I felt compelled to tell him I had my last one for 5 years, 5 YEARS PEOPLE. Is everyone understanding that I don’t upgrade my phone willy nilly yet? otherwise I’ll have to mention the 5 years thing again…..

A graph of my horrific spending habits

Mortgage payments are way up because we managed an extra Thursday this month. Gee thanks March. (It’s paid weekly).

Managed to put a whole lot of money in savings, but also pulled some money out of a short term savings account to purchase myself a new phone. 2 steps forward, one step back.

a more detailed look at my monthly expenses.

Professional registration – the government decided my job requires registration. Can’t have any ol bum working in the lab, might make meth or something? I dunno. Anyway every March I write them a letter swearing I didn’t commit any crimes in the last 12 months and they let me carry on.

Spending money was some computer bits and pieces that we bought to finish up a PC that we put together for the teen living with us. Teens need computers for school and stuff, stuff being streaming music really loud all the time….. plus I bought loads of craft beer. Restaurant category was eating out for lunch a dumb amount of time. I was quite disorganised this month.

After the trip to the homebrew conference I felt compelled to start brewing again. Uh oh, I better start a new category for this. So I bought ingredients for a batch of beer and some misc parts for the kegerator I built couple years back, some new beer lines, connectors and things.

2016-03-18 16.15.30
Actual label in the test brewery at Plant and Food research
2016-03-18 12.07.05
Punched hole in a bale of hops to test for moisture content etc
2016-03-19 14.25.30
Marchfest line up, I tried them all!
2016-03-18 17.12.48
We got to sample/sniff a new variety of hop in development at Plant and food research!

Holiday spending was over 4 nights in Nelson, including beer money for Marchfest. I paid for a lot of things in advance so the expense was just food really. Nelson was just wonderful, I really enjoyed it there. I hope they do the conference again next year.

So what can we see from my expenses? Well I’m definitely not in the frugal category and I actually get to go to far off places and do things I like (beer festivals yay!). There is room to save more/cut expenses if I want to ramp things up a bit. I do prioritise beer and food over entertainment (no pay tv for me, not even netflix bro!).

Did you notice something else? Apart from the mortgage I have no debts to pay down. At 36 I have finally learned how to use a credit card properly and all my student loans are dust. No car payments either because I drive a 1999 mazda familia.

Sometimes I feel like its a quite spendy budget, but I do feel in control of the direction of that spending. I get the the things that matter the most to me while still paying down that mortgage, investing and saving.

Considering the Not so Frugal Purchase

Are you considering purchasing something ridiculous like a jetski? A $1000 piece of home brewing equipment? A fancy new smart phone? There’s a few hard questions worth asking yourself before you make the plunge.

Can you afford it? Can you pay cash and not be absolutely devastated by the drop in net worth. No wiping out your emergency fund for a new kitchen! Buying it on credit…uh sorry, no, you can’t afford it, forget about it. “Oh but I can afford the repayments!” nope, you can’t afford to buy yourself a debt. Thats stupid, just don’t.

How long will this item last? A lifetime, amazing! 10 years, great! A couple of years, its okay I suppose. A year at most because its got some “fashion” time limit on it, very very bad.

How often are you going to use it? There’s definitely a justification for buying quality things that you’ll use everyday especially when you work out a cost per use of the item e.g A jetski, maybe a couple times a summer till you get bored of towing it places and paying registration on the trailer and then it will sit in the garage for ten years. Say 10 uses, jetskis in NZ cost about $12,000 so $1000 per use. Hmmm Maybe you’re better off hiring one for now until you are absolutely sure you love it so much you’re going to use it every weekend, or better yet use it to commute across the harbour.

man on a jet ski
Just $12,000 to look as glamorous as this guy. Bargain.

How about the home-brew gear, how often does that get used? Probably once a month….for many years, at least until the doc says no more alcohol, which might never happen. So conservatively maybe 10 brews a year for 5 years, 50 brews, cost of $20 a brew.  If you brew more often or make the equipment last longer costs will drop. Still looks like an expensive spend for a hobby.

Home brewing equipment - grandfather
mmmmmmm grainfather

What about the smart phone, you use it every day for GPS, photo’s, internet, keeping in touch etc. So over a year a $949 works out at 2.60 a day. My last smart phone lasted me 5+ years (Its true I have a 2011 smart phone) so that works out at $0.52 a day. Not a bad price for having a little powerful computer in your pocket at all times.

So for not so frugal purchases, make sure you can pay cash without it setting you back, that it’s going to last and you’re going to use it often enough for the cost per use to be really really low.

What else should we keep in mind?

When we want something bad enough its easy enough to justify it to ourselves, we can make up any number of reasons, truths or half truths (I will surely use this jetski every weekend for the rest of my life!) to get ourselves the object of desire. It can be difficult to sort out these half truths from the facts until after the event has occurred, just like how I promise myself I’m going to eat healthy this week but by Wednesday I’m chowing down on a cheeseburger. It’s hard to protect yourself from future you! Future you is probably going to get sick of jetski maintenance after a couple seasons!

A good budget can help protect you from excessive spending, at the very least all your savings and emergency funds should be out of easy reach and a discretionary fund for free spending is a must. Becoming financially independent doesn’t mean not having any fun ever, but large purchases should be well considered and delayed. The dent in the timeline to financial independence that these kinds of purchases cause should be carefully weighed along with how often you are making these larger not so frugal purchases. A new smart phone every five years is pretty good going, a new smart phone every year is something you might need to reflect on.

 

How to become an Uber Driver in New Zealand! (Its not just for off duty taxi drivers!)

Being an UBER driver in Auckland New Zealand seems tough. Firstly there are 1000’s of Taxi’s, we have too many, all hovering around everywhere. Secondly you need to have a passenger endorsement on your drivers license. I thought this would be difficult to get but its actually a simple, if time consuming process. Its actually the Private Service Lisences thats the real pain in the ass to get.

At the moment Uber only operates in Auckland and Wellington, Christchurch has just had a soft roll out of Uber and they are promoting it with 5 free rides for everyone!

  1. Ok you gotta sign up for an UBER account before you even start this process, you can’t drive yet but you’re getting ready.
  2.  Sit a P (P is for passenger yay!) endorsement course ~$400 but Uber has an incentive program where the cost is reimbursed, half after you pass the course and the other half after your first 15 rides.
  3. Update your license to P endorsement for a year – take your course certificate to the LTSA, it costs around $160, you’ll also need to supply a medical certificate which costs about $70 and complete a police check form.
  4. Wait for your police check to go through.
  5. Now you need yet another license, a passenger service license, to get this you need to sit an exam called the Knowledge of Law and Practise (You’ll have to memorise a couple of street maps). Its gonna take you hours of study and about $620 all up.
  6. THEN you need to fill in the Private Hire Service registration form from the LTSA and a Driver Check consent form.
Oh God, why, why did I ever think this was a good idea
Oh God, why, why did I ever think this was a good idea

OH MY GOD ARE WE SICK OF FALLING OUT FORMS YET.

Well there’s more. You need commercial insurance for your vehicle and a Certificate of Fitness from a vehicle testing station.

Then you’ve gotta be sure your car is up to scratch, or scratch-less as it were. Uber Auckland is after more drivers for its XL brand, so fancy vans are a go. Otherwise your car needs to be less than 10 years old. Having a hybrid car would be to your advantage, more profit for you. This rules me out as I drive an old 99 Mazda that makes a knocking sound every time I go around a corner and still has chips in the paint from when the punk kids egged all the cars in our street. Hey but maybe you’re new to the idea of NOT spending ridiculous amounts of money on a car and you have something pretty recent and tidy, you’re all set!

Car not suitable for Uber
Not quite Uber ready

It seems like a lot of effort to go through just to spend a few hours a week hustling for rides. Is it even worth it?

For a side hustle its probably not worth it, unless you are going to devote a lot of time to it. It’s a huge outlay with all the licensing and insurance you are looking at well over $1000 to get started, it could take you months to make that back and if after a few weeks you decide you hate it…well ouch. However if you’re dedicated to sticking it out you are buying yourself a part time job that you can do whenever you have spare time. There’s a lot of benefit to being able to set your own schedule.

If you are already a taxi driver or tour driver and have the licences then maybe you can make a few extra bucks hustling for Uber gigs between taxi fares (which explains why some of my Uber rides have been taxi’s with their sign lights off).

If you are considering Uber driving full time then it’s surely worth it. Uber has a support system to help you get through all the hoops, after all they need more drivers. Its gaining popularity here and a few drivers are claiming that they can make $1500 a week, however some drivers have gone back to taxi work because they only made about $350 a week. You probably have to hustle those peak times to make serious bank. There’s opportunities to make quite a bit of cash referring new drivers to Uber but it seems you can only access that via your driver app. So you have to get through the system before you can use that as your side hustle.

In conclusion, even though I like the idea of it, sadly I will not be signing up to be an Uber driver at this point.  So no chance of running into me on your next Uber journey!



Finding the impossible – The Search for Cashflow Positive Property

I love property but damn this market is weird.

New Zealanders love property in general, we all buy a lot of it and we let heaps of people from overseas come in and buy our property too. PROPERTY FOR EVERYONE! However this has led to a shortage of property in our main city and heavily inflated prices.

City of Unafforadability!
City of Unafforadability! Also this shot is extremely weird, where are all the boats………

There is no cashflow here in Auckland without a massive deposit and most landlords are banking on capital gains giving them returns and are willing to accept a meagre 1-3% rental return! Ouch!

So I’m starting out on a mission impossible… ummm make that mission improbable (please don’t sue me I can’t afford it.)

I’m going to find a property that is no money down, cash flow positive after all expenses paid.

I just heard half the country faint and most landlords laugh but I think it can be done.

First steps – Find the money!

I emailed my awesome mortgage broker (Megin) with a list of my assets, income and investments and asked her to give me a ball park figure of how much money the bank would lend me. Within a couple days I had a figure of $300,000. WOW, thanks bank. Its really important to know what you can borrow  and therefore spend so having a great broker like Megin on your side from the start will make things go so much smoother.

Now this isn’t guaranteed so I will need to make all my purchase offers subject to finance from my preferred bank. I can work on getting pre approval for the finance so I have more certainty.

For great rental returns I have to look outside of Auckland. Long distance property management can be tricky so I’ll also be looking to hire a local property manager.

I’ll need to find a regional centre that is experiencing population growth, has a strong rental demand and isn’t dependent on one industry. Gang towns are also out! I’m not afraid of university towns as long as there are other things going on. I probably want to stick to the north island so I can visit the property if necessary but property management is the plan!

Going against the grain – Others set out to lose!

I will destroy your car
I will destroy your car! – yep these parrots love to rip off all the exposed parts of your car.  Not sure how thats related to this post but you have to be pretty mad to set out to make a loss from property.

It may seem crazy to the rest of the world that a lot of investment property in New Zealand is negatively geared.  Often the rent doesn’t cover all the expenses and the investor can be throwing hundreds to thousands of dollars a month on top of rent collected at the mortgage. In fact I have co-workers who are not even trying to have their property make a profit. Why? Well at the moment you can offset losses against your taxes. But the max you can claim is your tax rate, i.e if you fall in the top tax bracket you can get a refund of 33.33% of your loss. That may be well and good if your loss is on paper only, say from depreciation. However if thats a real cash loss you are still losing a lot of money every year. My co-workers see topping up the mortgage as “compulsory savings” and they are banking on capital gains (which are not taxed in NZ) to eventually make their profit.

The reliance on capital gains and tax refunds frightens me because the government is pretty pissed off with property speculators at the moment and the tax offset could be cut back or even eliminated all together, also tax on realised capital gains has already been introduced for properties owned for less than two years. There could be an across the board capital gains tax introduced at any time really. Its much better in my opinion to be making a profit from day one. I want to pay tax because it means I AM MAKING MONEY, I AM PROFITABLE.

Profits first bitches.

wellington-1090591_1920

February Stock Purchase Made Me Richer Already!

I mostly invest in index funds, nice and boring. Occasionally though, to stop myself from going mad on the slow journey to financial independence I like to dive in and buy some single stocks.

Last month I noticed I had a bit too much cash sitting in the savings account earning bugger all interest, I had to put those dollars to work! So I put some more money into squirrel (its a P2P lender, picked up a nice secured 9% loan!), paid $1000 off one of the mortgages (which I’m not really sure was a good idea, but debt reduction is good for my psychological well being) and treated myself to some shares.

dollar-exchange-rate-544949_640

I purchased ABA.NZX that is, Abano Healthcare group. They are a company that has interests in audiology, dentistry and radiology. I work in healthcare so I guess I tend to invest in things I am familiar with when I pick out single stocks. I figure the index funds take care of diversifying my investments so I can afford to have a bias with the small amount of money I invest in shares directly.  I picked up 145 shares at $6.70 each (paying a stupid brokerage fee of $30). Really I should have waited till I had a larger lump sum to buy shares with to mitigate the fees here. I had been following the company for a while and I thought they seemed pretty good value at this price. The shares are now up to $7.30 a month later, a gain of $87 woohoo!  (Edit: its up to $8.01 as of June) For most investors in New Zealand there is no capital gains tax on shares so thats a win.  My single stock purchases are buy and holds I’m by no means a day trader, I definitely don’t have the time to do all they research required.

I usually stick to index funds (gotta love those low fees). Smart shares offer a monthly purchase with no brokerage fees! You can also get similar programs from Superlife. This months purchase was $190 worth of MDZ (a NZ mid cap fund) and $100 worth of DIV (a newish fund from smart shares that I’m trying out, its supposed to be divided focused, not that impressed so far!).

These monthly drip feed services have really helped me build up a portfolio before I was really all that serious about achieving FI (Financial independence) and even when times are tough the minimum contribution is only $50 a month. Thats well within reach of most people and its not so hard to sign up if you want to start investing in the sharemarket.

 

 

 

Understanding Marginal Tax Rates!

Nobody likes taxes, I figure thats why a lot of people don’t take the time to understand them.

When I was younger I thought the tax system was horribly unfair. Why would anyone want a pay rise if it meant getting taxed more! You might end up with less money in the hand after a pay rise!

Oh how wrong I was.

You see New Zealand has a marginal tax system, when your salary increases to fall in a higher tax bracket only the dollars over that income threshold are taxed at the higher rate.

Screenshot 2016-03-13 09.51.23

So if you get a pay rise from $48,000 to $49,000 only the $1000 over the $48,000 will be taxed at 30% rate NOT the whole $49,000. This way you retain the benefit of low taxes on a portion of your income.

Lets look at a breakdown of a real world salary, lets pick a completely random, no relation to this blogs author, made up, fictitious number out of the air……$66,740.

Screenshot 2016-03-13 09.56.37

Well that salary is not even large enough to get hit by the top tax bracket. How disappointing. (This person should really get off their ass and try hustle a pay rise). The table nicely breaks down the tax paid in each bracket, leaving a final cash in the hand annual salary of 53,698.

However there is one more tax to be paid in New Zealand, the ACC levy. The Accident Compensation Cooperation is a government run initiative that “provides comprehensive, no-fault personal injury cover for all New Zealand residents and visitors to New Zealand.” Yes you read that right, no fault and visitors covered. Its pretty amazing, most medical bills resulting from accidents are covered 100% and you can get income compensation payments if you can no longer work as a result of the accident. Like income tax it is deducted directly from wages.

Screenshot 2016-03-13 09.59.29

So even though the salary of 66,740 falls into the 30% tax bracket the effective rate is only 20.99%. The effective tax rate is much lower than the tax bracket your salary falls in.

If you want to see how your salary is taxed in New Zealand then the calculator at salaries.co.nz breaks everything down nicely, it even can account for student loan deductions and Kiwisaver.

Why you need to start NOW if you ever want to buy a house.

OK lets take an average Kiwi looking to get on the property ladder. You’re 35, you got married a couple of years ago and now you’re thinking of starting a family. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could have your own home. A backyard with a garden and space for junior to play. Walls you can paint and garage you can have a workshop in, a kitchen you can upgrade.

However house prices have really gone up in your area, and a 20% deposit is now well over $100,000. You’re thinking of going down to one income for a few years to start a family, how in the HELL are you going to save up $100,000 before you’re 40?abode-987096_640

The truth is I think you need to plan for the financial decisions you make in your thirties while you are still in your twenties. Even if you are single, a free spirit roaming the country currently never planning on settling down it can’t hurt to plan ahead. You need the power of time when it comes to accumulating enough funds for a deposit.

But does your average graduate or school leaver think like that? A young person finally getting a paycheque after years of schooling isn’t thinking about what they might want 15 years down the road. They have disposable income they are primed for spending. Hindsight is a beautiful thing but I only listened to about 1% of things people over 30 told me.

If I was young again I’d be maxing out my kiwisaver from day one. 8% of income plus 3% match plus tax credit will add up to a nice chunk of change by the time you are ready to buy a house. Hopefully chunky enough that you don’t have to withdraw all of it for the deposit. I like kiwisaver as a vehicle for saving a house deposit over the long term for young people mostly because the money is untouchable for anything else. You can’t decide to blow it on a trip to Thailand with your girlfriends. Its LOCKED DOWN!

Then I would match that again into a regular savings account. Yep another 8% of wages into the lowest risk high yield deposits you can find. And I’d whack a portion into an index fund because its not just enough to save money, you need to invest money! Now that portion you’re not planning to spend it in a hurry, you need to leave it in the market and add to it regularly to gain the benefits over the years.

This gives you a 16% savings rate plus a bonus of the 3% employer match. So pretty close to 20%. Set it up and forget about it until you get a pay rise, adjust your savings to match. Now 20% may seem like a lot, but it’s really not. You’ve been living on next to nothing while you were finishing your schooling so avoid inflating your spending to make 80% of your pay packet disappear each week. You can probably save even more. Keep upping the amount by 1% of your wages every pay day till you hit the sweet spot. Your savings/investing rate is directly linked to your ability to become financially independent. So keep an eye on it, don’t let any bad spending habits erode your savings habit.

Balance your budget with a Potato
Balance your budget with a Potato

If you start saving like this from your very first paycheque you won’t even feel the pain of missing that money. Despite what you end up doing with your life you’ll have plenty of capital for making those big financial decisions in the years ahead. You’ll have more freedom than many of the adults you know.

Depending on your job and social circle there is a lot of pressure to upgrade your lifestyle rather rapidly. But when I think back to my student days, well I was broke sometimes but things were uncomplicated. The house we rented was old, with internal windows and we didn’t have worry about maintenance. We split the bills 5 ways so everything seemed cheap.I walked everywhere and lived with all my friends in flat. The furniture was old and it didn’t matter if you spilled a bit of beer on it. On sunny days we’d drag it out to the porch or garden. I was happy and yes its unrealistic to stay living like a student forever, but the longer you can hold on to the uncomplicated liftstyle the bigger headstart in life you’ll have.

Millennials are often being underestimated, I think they are a very interesting group. About half the ones I know are barely interested in wealth and the other half are very motivated in following their goals, but they may not be related to wealth in any way. I’m not sure if its because they have already decided that they can’t achieve the homes and assets of their parents generation, or if growing up in a world with global warming and population explosion has made them search for meaning in other ways. So maybe that first home isn’t part of the life plan, well that doesn’t mean that saving investing that money isn’t a good idea. Money isn’t just something your parents generation obsess over, money in the bank is actually stored freedom and choice.

You never know what you’ll need the money for. It could allow you to retrain in an exciting new profession, take year off work to travel, quit that soul destroying job, allow you to invest so you can always be financially free and buy that first home. Give that gift to your future self.

 

 

My Inner City Rental – Plan for screening tenants

I have an apartment in the city. I bought it, but I barely own it. Somehow the bank lent me ALL the money to buy it. Well, I say somehow but I had heaps of equity in my own home and I got a favourable valuation and purchased under that so they were happy. I mostly manage the property myself and I’ve been really lucky in the quality of the tenants it attracts.

Today I handed over the keys to a really happy couple, full of laughter and just relieved to be living in the city. No more commute for them. They are  even going to sell one of their cars and start walking to work.

keys

Being a landlord actually feels really good to me. My tenants can afford the rent and the rent is satisfactory towards servicing my debt. Win! My tenants need a place to stay handy to work and I need people willing to pay to rent my apartment. Win! I want my place to be well maintained and my tenants want to rent a nice place. Win! I have a car park, they need a car park. Win! Its wins all round. As with any decent business relationship both sides should be wining. (IMHO anyways).

Finding tenants is not something I thought I could do easily so I outsourced it to an agency in the city. They are know as “the” place to go to find apartments but man they are terrible. Just useless. Well they are good at screening tenants and thats what matters (just useless at the admin and communication stuff).

So I need to make plan for next time to screen and assess tenants myself. I’ve made a list of the things I need to attract quality tenants next time. It seems to me to be a mixture of making your property look as attractive as possible so the right tenants apply and covering your butt by doing  background checks and calling references.

My Find Awesome Tenants Plan

  1. Advertising – I’ll advertise on trademe. Cost is $139 – 238 depending on how much extra promotion I pay for. (I’ll need to research if there are other places worth listing the apartment with as well). Good photos are important and I have a set of really nice pictures from when the apartment was staged for sale, I can’t use those forever though so at some point I’ll need to get some photo’s taken. It’s worth getting quality pictures to show your place in its best light, taking a few snaps with your iPhone might not cut it especially if you have to take pictures on an overcast dull day. I’ll lay out all the criteria I require for tenants and list the the paperwork/photo ID they will need for a pre-tenancy application.
  2. Check if any appliances need replacing or refurbishing – The bench top and cook top are on my list for improvements in the next year or two. (Ahhh thats going to be expensive!) The rest of the appliances are near new high end models that should last another 5 years at least. Quality fixtures are attractive to tenants.
  3. Credit checks – I’ll let them know in the advert that all applicants will undergo a credit check. Cost $12-48 each. There are a number of places offering background checks online.
    Tenancy Information New Zealand – comprehensive search, higher fees.
    Name Check – Looks basic but cheap and easy to use.
    Tenancy tribunal records – Free to check.
    Centrix – Cheap, credit reports and tenancy check.
    The application has to include a waiver so you are free to do these checks. Tenancy Services has a very helpful website for both landlords and tenants and lots of forms that I can download including a pre-tenancy application form.
  4. No previous evictions – Never ever, no way no how.
  5. Proof of employment and income – Preference given to those with proof of employment, payslips, employer as a reference etc. Income of the tenants  should be at least 3 x rent. Ability to pay is crucial.
  6. Reference from previous landlord – This will also be included in the advertisement as beneficial for any applicants.
  7. Highlight the buildings location and walk score – It’s close to the city hospital, university and heaps of large corporate employers. You can easily walk to events, shops, restaurants and bars.
  8. Ask “Why are you moving?” – Look for signs of hesitation when answering and general signs they applicant may be not be telling the whole truth. My last tenants moved into the city because their office was relocating to the city. Great Reason!
  9. Check facebook, twitter, instagram, linkedin etc – Social media can give you a lot of insight into a persons character. Are they working? Are they throwing loads of drunken parties? Maybe pictures of their previous address, are they tidy?
  10. If I get a chance check the car – Not how fancy it is, but how tidy it is inside. If there is an ankle deep layer of McDonalds rubbish in the back they are not very likely to keep my place clean either.rubbish car
  11. Plan for open homes – have pre-tenancy forms ready and a laptop connected to the internet. I can do credit checks on the spot and be ready to give potential tenants an answer asap. It will give the impression that I like things to happen quickly (a good quality in a landlord) and that there will be no pulling the wool over my eyes! I will check you!
  12. And finally keep discrimination laws in mind – Sure I can pick who I want but I can’t discriminate based on gender, race, if there are children, religion, sexuality etc. The things I am most concerned with is ability to pay/history of ability to pay and that a suitable number of persons applying to live in the property.

 

Damn thats a hell of a list. But I’m sure I’ve missed something! Have any ideas for a thorough screening process?

I Quit my Side Hustle

After 2 years of pouring beer and handing out samples in stores I finally decided to call it a day.

food-cold-wood-hand

The last job they booked me was a big box supermarket that had recently started to stock craft beer. It should have been an easy gig but this store seems to have a higher ratio of weirdos and assholes. After laughing off insults and rudeness, keeping a smile on while listening to some jokers superman fantasy (non-sexual but oddly violent) I decided that actually this wasn’t worth my time anymore.

I stuck out this side gig for 2 years (on top of a regular full time job). I initially took it because I love craft beer so it seemed like an easy way to make a little extra cash.

Over the years I’ve met some really amazing people. I have to say that craft beer people are some of the nicest I’ve ever met. But I want my weekends back! I need to spend more time with the love of my life and less time trying to convince green bottle beer drinkers to give IPA a crack.

A lot of bloggers will try convince you to get a side hustle. They are after all a brilliant way of bringing in extra cash and if you are smashing down some debt its bloody brilliant but unless you are some kind of stamina machine its going to eventually take its toll. However 2 years worth of extra income have certainly helped us get ahead with our investing.

I’m not ruling out going back to working a second job, I’ll always keep my eye out for something interesting and I’m lucky enough to not need the income so I can be picky about what I do and leave before I get too burned out or jaded.

Hey if you’re desperate to get a side hustle going anyway check out Side Hustle Nation – How to Earn an Extra $1000 a Month as a Brand Ambassador