The challenge of making money when we don’t need more of it

47 thoughts on “The challenge of making money when we don’t need more of it”

  1. You’ve nailed our plan for early retirement. We’ll continue doing things we love and earning some, but we’ll have freedom to pursue whatever things we prefer. In fact, this is why we’re less conservative than most, and may go higher than 4% as a withdrawal rate; I’m considering 5% or maybe higher. (JL Collins makes a powerful case for doing so, and it matches our circumstances.) We can always adjust as necessary.

    You’re dead on: when you live on less, even a little income makes a huge difference. I figure we’ll make a little, and, given how life works, we may well make more than we ever made working – ha!

    1. It’s ironic, isn’t it? When you quit working, your world opens up to work opportunities that you never knew existed! It’s kinda cool!

  2. I think this proofs the point that you don’t have too be afraid you will be running out of money when you’re getting older (and retired for a longer period). There are, and will be, always possibilities to earn money.

    Besides my full-time job, I don’t really have a solid side hustle. I blog (with no income) and sell some stuff (books and alike) online in a slow and steady pace earning me a net profit of around 350 euro for the past six months. Isn’t much, but it’s more than I need. Because we’re still in the accumulation phase, every euro we can save now, will be worth so much more when we become financially independent.

    1. It’s true, there is always an opportunity for skilled folks to earn additional money. Always. Even unskilled. I can’t count the number of stores and businesses with help wanted signs as we drove up the Oregon coast. They are probably just summer jobs, but it’s work…and income. If it comes down to it, there’s always something.

  3. I’ll continue to do artsy stuff after FI. This artsy stuff has the high likelihood of earning me money. Not a lot, because art, but enough to offset any meaderies or cider mills I’d like to visit. Any dollar we bring in can be put to good use immediately instead of having to dip into the fancy invested money.

    1. I love doing more artsy stuff now. Since it’s okay to fail, art just comes so naturally when you aren’t overly consumed with making a buck with it.

      And “fancy invested money”…hehe. I like that phrase!

  4. We are a ways from FI, but I cannot imagine we will be done with making money at that point… there are just too many options out there!

  5. Well, you don’t need the money right now, but who knows what the future holds. Early retirees will probably need to spend more as we get older. That’s my motivation for earning money after ER. Also, college is going to cost us a ton of money unless our kid can get some scholarship.

    1. Oh, I can’t imagine how much college will cost. You might want to offer them a proposition: Get a full-ride scholarship and you’ll give them $25,000 in cash. Saves you a bunch of money, and could provide enough motivation to get ‘er done? πŸ™‚

      1. My parents did this, basically. They told my siblings & I if I got a full ride they would buy us a car. I’m the only one who took them up on it & I think they came out ahead by about $60,000.

  6. I feel like I’m likely to end up with the same “problem” after FI, but maybe not immediately. I’ll probably need some time to veg once I first pull the plug. At this point I’m maybe 2/3 of the way to FI, but currently whenever I think about doing more in the realm of side hustling to earn a little extra, the idea of the extra work sounds awful. I write some thoughts on a blog, but really haven’t made much effort to advertise it or make money from it because it just seems like too much of a bother. I think in your position though, it makes sense. When the regular full time grind is removed I imagine it becomes a lot easier (and more fun) to mess around with side projects that earn you a portion of your spending, and I bet I’ll find myself feeling the same way. For now though, I’m more in the mindset of trying to care less about money in general and just keep chugging along at my regular job until my nest egg grows big enough.

    1. I definitely understand not having a lot of motivation to do additional stuff when you’re working a full-time job. For me, the blog was actually an escape that helped, but it’s true that it might just be more work for other people. Once that full-time job is gone, you’ll get to reset your course to pursue things that genuinely bring you happiness.

  7. Blogging. I do not need the dough and the hourly rate I am making is dismal. As a doctor I am doing just fine from my income standpoint. I do it because I wanted to create something. I like to write. I want to learn how to maximize social media (though I hate using social media for my own personal life, just the blog). Plus I want to meet people like you!

    Bam….maybe one day I can make some serious bling with my site, but I am doing it more to see if I can make it successful.

    1. You and me both, Dads! I like this stuff, but it’s also a challenge to see how much I can earn, or page views I can get in a month. I don’t really care about that stuff, but it’s an interested data point that I like to see if I can properly maximize. πŸ™‚

  8. I’m FIREd already but I still do stuff to make a little money. I do it for fun.

    For example, I’ve made $1,300 this year in bank bonuses. You know those are the bonuses where you sign up for an account, jump through hoops, and get a cash bonus. It’s like a game. πŸ™‚

  9. Bahaha! I do have to say this puts you in a unique, niche group. πŸ˜‰ I’d say this is a good problem to have, though. It reminds me of Mr. Money Mustache donating $100k because he could. It’s a great way to build a legacy if that’s what you’re looking for.

  10. I confess, I’m in a similar situation. Our spending hovers in the $30-40k/yr range. We have a paid off house plus $1.7x million investments, so need the money even less than you do. In spite of our lack of need of money, I keep the ads on my site, and occasionally take on consulting gigs for a few hours each month. I don’t turn easy money down but I don’t go out of my way to generate more of it. πŸ™‚ The side income adds up to almost enough to cover our expenses each year, so it’s a nice reassuring safety blanket (that we probably won’t ever need).

  11. Since I started my blog after reaching FI, any money I earn at my full time job (will be part time in 2 months!) or my website is bonus money.

    The website earnings help pad our charitable giving fund, which I probably would be working on with or without the blog, but I like to be able to say I donate half of my site profits — as you can probably tell, because I do say it quite often.

    Keep having fun, and I imagine the money will continue to find its way to you.


    1. Congrats on going part-time, PoF! Very cool that you were able to work that out. And even better that you give so much to charity. Money well spent, eh? πŸ™‚

  12. In April of this year I put some Amazon Associates ads on my blog. Since then I have made a minuscule amount of money from those ads. What came as a surprise was how happy those teensy earnings made me. I mean, we are on track to save around a quarter of a million dollars this year from our day jobs. I would never have guessed that my microscopic blog earnings would mean so much to me – the joy is all out of proportion compared to the amount.

    1. Yes, it’s because you’ve personally earned every cent of it. I’m self-employed now, and I celebrate every dollar I make a lot more than when I worked for an employer, because I had to earn every single cent of it, and build from the ground up to do so. There’s something particularly rewarding about being rewarded for one’s own work.

  13. I do make a tiny little bit of extra money from side hustles like my blog. It doesn’t amount to much (~$100/month), but it’s nice to have that little extra earnings stream (however small it is). The vast majority of our $50k in expenses comes from dividends on our $2.5million-ish portfolio.

    I suppose I could go back to work and earn even more $$, but it seems kind of pointless to pile-up money further.

    1. If you don’t need the money, you might as well enjoy yourself – even if that includes office work. For me (and apparently you as well), office work doesn’t contribute to my happiness. Thankfully, it detracts from it. Spending my entire productive life in an office, even if it did make me happy sounds positively dreadful.

  14. We still work Ft jobs, but try to work some side hustles. We don’t need to, but I find it enjoyable. I won’t be retiring for quite a while, but would love to still make some extra cash when I do retire. Like you, I would like to make a few bucks doing what I enjoy.

  15. Retired in May….picked up a sweet seasonal job as a national park ranger for the summer. Out in the sun, meeting cool people, and topping off the Roth IRA’s with the extra $$$.

    1. Sounds pretty sweet. We might consider a camp host gig one of these years too, which is also seasonal work. Hanging out and making some dough ain’t bad for a season.

  16. I wish I could one day say I don’t need any more money, but that’s just something I day dream about before sitting down at the computer to work πŸ˜€
    I believe extra cash always comes in handy. If you can’t find a way to use it yourself (for travel or other hobbies that bring you joy), then being able to help out your family and kids or simply donate it for a cause you believe in are still good reasons to motivate someone to earn more.

    1. Amen to that. If you really don’t know what to do with all your money, there are always ways to make sure it goes to a good cause. πŸ™‚

  17. TSR –

    Loving this post and I can only bet that this would happen when you are financial independent. You can try things you enjoy, get paid for it if you want and stop doing it if you don’t care for it anymore with not a big impact. Further, if it takes off and you love it – then the money follows, hilarious.

    A project I like is selling things on eBay. Taking pictures of my possessions and seeing them sell always cracks me up. As well as analyzing a dividend stock or two. Fun, makes me happy and I hope that it benefits others in the process.

    Nice post and talk soon.


    1. Thanks DD! Yeah, it is interesting what people will spend money on. The weirdest stuff. Craigslist is the same kind of deal. You could put almost anything up there and people will buy. Who knew?!?

  18. I earn a significant amount every year through my site gig which is a site monetized with adsense. My main motivation to keep making money with it right now is that it is a full part of my plan to make more money faster so that I reach FI faster. Technically right now I’m FI if I count the side gig’s money as part of my passive income. But it’s not passive. Therefore, current goal is still to make as much money as possible, as fast as possible until we reach full FI.

    Once we’re there, the extra income from the side gig will be gravy. I’m not sure what the motivation will be once we reach that point. Either I’ll stop bothering about the side gig entirely, or I might gain extra motivation to spend more time at it once I don’t have a job. I don’t know yet. My current feeling is that I’ll lose motivation for a while until I recover from the job, then might get back to it a year afterwards.

    1. That sounds pretty sweet. And yep, I can totally see temporarily losing interest in your side hustle while you decompress from your full-time job, then getting back into it later on.

  19. I like the YouTube channel! I work part time, which I find is a nice compromise between early retirement and full time work. I’m only onsite 2 days a week, and while I do some work from home, I usually work less than 20 hours per week. I feel lucky that I found this opportunity in a professional field at a fairly young age. Anyone can be a part time barista or cashier, but it is hard to find in the corporate world, at least in my field. I have almost no stress and plenty of time to work on my side ‘passion projects’. Plus, the extra income just goes toward more investing, donating and traveling. So, just fun money. Knowing I can quit anytime sure makes the petty BS easier to blow off. haha. Also, I haven’t had a performance review in years and I refuse the golden handcuffs of PTO, health insurance, etc… I want no real ties to the corporate world, just an easy part time gig. πŸ™‚

    1. Amen to that, PP! No real ties to the company means you’re in way more control over your time than they are. An excellent position to be in!

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