In Budget Roundups, Money

February 2021: Income Budget Roundup

THE INCOME = $26,599.71

All of the images below have been created with The Wealth Tracking & Budgeting Tool available for sale on Etsy, or at where all proceeds go to charity

This is a sheet you buy ONCE and you can re-use for future years, plus it lets you store all of your historical data from previous years (super handy).

Day Job: $22,995

I work 40 hours a week as a STEM consultant (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I don’t say what I do, my industry, etc. I already reveal so much, plus have signed NDAs (Non-Disclosure Agreements) that I do not feel the need to specify further, nor do I personally want to.

If I work overtime, I charge for it.

So I truly work 40 hours a week.

Some weeks, I work more than 40 hours and then I work less the following week. On average like all freelancers, we have a rough idea of our hours and if we are overworking or not versus what we have been paid.

Side Income: $3722.45

General February Musings for Side Income

I already stopped in January trying to really work at my side income. So far it’s still been doing okay. The coaching I am doing has been via email only, because I cannot handle calls (I am in constant conference / impromptu calls all day).

Mini Challenge: Actual cash $CAD for bills

I have also started (for my own purposes), separating out what I get in actual $CAD in my pocket to use on bills that month, and the rest either in $USD which I invest as $USD without any currency conversion loss to $CAD and then back to $USD again using this method.

This means, as I get paid mostly in $USD for my side incomes, I keep it all aside as investing 100% because I do not want to convert it into $CAD to pay bills (not that I have to). I also have side incomes that are things like dividends or private lending that are automatically reinvested, so I can’t withdraw that money to pay for bills either.

With that in mind:

With the actual $CAD that deposits in my bank account & goes to bills this month, I was short $483.71 this month. This is helping me keep expenses low because it helps me keep my spending down (somewhat).

Pause on the emergency fund draining

I actually tried to drain it but I sent to family instead. In total, I transferred about $50K in cash out the other day, and that’s that. So I need to shore up the cash from my income to also cover tax payments coming up.

The hacked credit card strategy went well…

Getting my main credit card hacked was a true blessing in disguise, but I was also a bit miffed because it was barely any weird spending last month and the minute my card disappeared, BAM.. I had to pay over $500 in things I would have rather put on my main card rather than my backup one.

Alas. It’s only just $7.50 I “lost” but I am irked nonetheless.

On the plus side, I didn’t spend a lot of money. I mean.. I am sort of buffing my nails and amazed over here that this card was the real driver in making me rethink everything I wanted to buy.

I mean EVERYTHING. I refused to buy anything until I got my card, and once I got it, I only bought what I really had been waiting until the last minute for, like Little Bun’s Grade Two books.

CloudTax: Free Online Tax filing

This month I did my first Instagram collaboration ever (I am super… super.. picky for obvious reasons, mainly because I don’t rely on the money but also I won’t promote stuff I don’t think I’d actually use), and it was with CloudTax which offers free online tax filing (if your stuff is simple and a T4, look no further), and even if you need someone to do it all for you, their rates can’t be beat ($30!?!?!)… I mean it’s way cheaper than an accountant, frankly.

At any rate, I was pretty stoked to partner with them. If you decide to do CloudTax Pro for $30, I’ll get 30%. Or even if you don’t and do free tax online filing I’m happy you have the option now. You can just scan your slips with the app.

I usually buy tax software and we have to struggle through the slips and so on, so this is starting to look more appealing to me. I wasn’t keen on paying an accountant before when I could do it myself, but if it’s just $10 more (and not $300 more) and it takes the hassle off me, I am willing to pay it.

1 and 2 Blog: $1217.42

Advertising: $805.98

Affiliate: $411.44

I haven’t been pushing either. I just don’t have the mental space or bandwidth to do this.

How do I make money off the blog?

I am mainly with Monumetric, an ad network and they give a pretty decent rate of pay, on par or better than other networks but you need to have 10K views to join. My referral link for them is here.

3 Money & Career Coaching: $1101.66

I am only doing coaching via emails now, I simply don’t have the time for calls any longer as my conference calls are ridiculously long and draining. I track how much time it takes to answer emails and put the balance at the end of each email to show you how much time I have left.

You can read some of the great feedback I got here, and see my rates, and some of my success stories are all listed here.

I also launched my Canadian Investing 101 Course which makes up some of the revenue there. If you’re interested, it’s $100 for the course, and you get 15 minutes as a one-on-one call with me after the presentation.

4 Books & Products: $97.02

I’ve written 6 books under my Like A Boss umbrella, and I need to start on that 7th book on how to build side income businesses but I haven’t yet because… time. I sell them on Amazon as well.

I am working on my seventh book right now on negotiations. I am writing pages here and there, finishing up the thoughts in my head.

Save. Spend. Splurge. Products sold, include:

(All net proceeds from The Wealth Building Tool go to charity)

5. Bank Interest = $8.99

I may have a tiny bit more in the kitty next month but wouldn’t you know it, the promotional interest rate has all but disappeared and now it will be 1.5% at best. Better than 0%, but I drained my accounts to send money to family, and now I need to hoard cash for taxes too.

6. Bank Promotions = $0

None in the works any more.

7. Cashback = $21.89

Just from credit cards and Rakuten, and I obviously don’t rely on it, but it’s nice to get some money back when you have to buy things anyway.

Other cashback options: Rakuten also only pays out every few months or so:

I also use credit cards to get cashback, and my main card is the Rogers World Elite Mastercard with 3% cash back on forex (foreign exchange) purchases and 1.5% cash back on everything else.

8. Dividends: $990.91

All of it got reinvested back into buying more stock, so this income, while possible as a side income of cash, is not probable as I don’t take it as cash. Hence my challenge of “actual Canadian Cash” as a way to cover bills every month.

I use discount brokerage Questrade for all my RRSP, TFSA, Margin and RESP accounts:

9. Resale = $0

I don’t have time for this. It’s the taking pictures of the items, it’s the checking to see if it sold, it’s promoting it, it’s having to go to the post office. I am putting this whole thing on hold.

I do however, shop a lot on:

10. Lending = $466.67

Net charged off (meaning principal lost, couldn’t recover more)

  • 2018: $22.18
  • 2019: $72.69
  • 2020: $94.87

I am starting to withdraw the actual cash from this account because my $700-ish balances are just bloody sitting there for obvious reasons:

Small businesses are not starting up.

Small businesses are just trying to cover their loans.

Things are not going well economically-speaking, so there just aren’t any loans to be made as Lending Loop is restricting who can sign up for a small business loan or not (e.g. no hospitality or food), due to the pandemic.

I will take that money and immediately reinvest it back into the market in stocks.

11. Surveys = $10

I managed to eke out a few, $10 is $10 especially on these long boring, insufferable calls.

How I make money off Swagbucks

I signed up for their email notifications, so they send me emails like: Earn 100 swagbucks in 20 minutes! and I fill those in. I also occasionally find survey sites I like, like Peanut Labs (connected to Swagbucks) and I see what’s there because their payouts are pretty good for the time spent.

  • Swagbucks: Use my referral link to get 300 Swagbucks but only once you earn another 300 Swagbucks doing surveys etc within the first month. You need only 750 swagbucks to redeem it for $10 from Paypal.

12. Other = $1.91

I got money back from what I spent due to a currency conversion.


My income goals this year are roughly:

  • $30K side income – I am scaling back significantly from the $80K days in 2020
  • $300K total income – Is this even possible? I would need $50K in side income or overtime, and only the former is remotely doable. Maybe.

Honestly, just kind of going with the flow now.


Story of my Side Incomes

These are my main income streams for my side hustles (i.e anything that isn’t my day job). Money is money.

Every dollar counts. I have been working for a while since 2013 (even earlier) to try and get this to be a more stable, solid replacement for my living expenses so I will never have to sell my investments again to liveI lived through a horrific, scary no-working time in 2009-2010 when I was stressed AF and had to slowly sell my plunging red investments just to live.

I vowed at that point in time, to never do that to myself again, and started building up side hustles.

What’s “side income” to me?

So ANY income is considered a side hustle. No matter how little.

I may not necessarily take out all of the money when I make it (e.g. Lending or Dividends get reinvested back in), but I count everything. Also, any income that was otherwise extra including stuff I’ve won, gift cards, I include all of that as income even if it is “one-off”…

Why so many?

The average millionaire has 7 income streams, and currently I have 12 going on at any given moment – 11 side incomes and 1 main one.


My major sort of steady income streams are:

  1. Blog (Advertising)
  2. Blog (Affiliate)
  3. Blog (Books)
  4. Dividends
  5. Bank Interest
  6. Lending

The rest of them are one-offs, or just things I do every few months or so, like bank promotions where I may get a few hundred dollars every 3 months signing up for things. It’s not huge amounts of money, but it adds up to $600-ish to a few thousand a year.

All of this income can disappear

Honestly, I try not to rely on this. One month, people are buying or using your affiliate link, and another month, crickets. The key is just to try and get everything up at once, working hard to make them all viable sources of income so that when one lessens, another can pick up.

If you are interested, my money is parked here:

  • Tangerine: Use my Orange key { 32726976S1 } for free money (You get $50 once you deposit $250; and I get $50 too).
  • EQ Bank: Now at 2% … (I refuse to bank with LBC Digital and any of their related banks forever and ever. Read all about it here.)

…credit card extra rewards cashback savings here:

..and invested here:

…and I list my things for sale here:

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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