Welcome to the second income report of the current market pandemic, market crash & partial recovery. So how did we do in the month of April for investment and side hustle income?
Instacart: $4,725. This was the unexpected surprise in the month of April. These are our combined earnings from Instacart, primarily because we live next to a Costco and have been picking up a couple of nice orders per day. I posted about my initial Instacart experience last month, but now we have two people looking at the app and we’ve gotten efficient at which orders we take. This includes the first two weeks of April, where everything was shut down and we put in 35-40 hours a week on deliveries and earned over $1,300 each week.
The service has become more saturated and it appears more people are out doing their own shopping, but I think we will average anywhere from $500 to $2,000 per month. We both love shopping at Costco and own a significant amount of Costco stock…so it’s amazing to find a way to be paid to do something we love without the commitment that comes from a job. This amount is the gross income we earn, so there’s mileage deductions then self employment taxes that come out of the funds. Our gas expense was around $120 and I’m driving a fully depreciated vehicle around with normal maintenance expenses.
Dividend / Interest: $1,296. This dividend income consisted of my two monthly payers (STAG and EPR) along with monthly dividends from JPM and VTR. Dividend Income is down compared to January 2020 because I exchanged out many of my regional bank holdings that paid in the quarter. I had two of my holdings announce dividend suspensions, CCL and CBRL, but neither of those were scheduled to pay for this month. The pain in the dividend income comes next month with CBRL. I’ve been reinvesting dividends at these lower prices and hopefully I’ve seen the last of the dividend suspensions in the portfolio. Including some of the additions made, the taxable portfolio is projected to earn $18,900 for 2020. I’m sure that number will change as the year goes on, but that’s not a bad amount after a couple of dividend cuts.
Bank Bonuses: $300. I landed a TD Bank signup bonus for the month. We should be on track to earn somewhere between $1,200 and $2,000 this year in signup bonuses. I recommend looking at Doctor of Credit and picking the $300+ bonuses that don’t have a lot of work. We have a second TD Bank bonus plus Wells Fargo and PNC in the works. This is before we get to open more credit card bonuses in July thanks to falling back below the 5/24 rule.
Blog: $0. Blogging about financial independence and early retirement was consistent this month, once again earning zilch. Site traffic fell in half for the month, between some combination of less writing from me and people having more pressing concerns with a likely 20% effective unemployment rate by the end of the month. Amazon also did a massive reduction in commissions, so it is unlikely I will see another $12 payout from the service this year.
Overall it was a good month and consistent with our Bear Market Contingency Plan. We spent less money, generated some gig economy work, and didn’t have to withdraw from our portfolio. It felt good to avoid selling any assets while their prices were depressed. It was also nice to stay busy doing “essential work” to not go insane being trapped inside our home. Things are slowly opening back up this early retiree will find that “work/life” balance with a lot more of the life and leisure!