-Building the Cushion for Expanded Living-
One of the top questions I always get is, “how did you afford to take a year off?” There is not a magic answer for this, it was the old school thing of saving, and a few other life-hacks that created the movement into a year on a motorcycle through all 50 states and breaking a Guinness World Record. Many assume that I was sponsored fiscally and that is how I could take the journey. I will not lie at the start I would have loved sponsorship, but looking back I am glad I had no fiscal sponsorship because then I can be an inspiration of an average American salary creating an adventurous life by choice. I did receive gear and parts as sponsorship and am grateful, but we are talking about how to make the green here in this article, the funds to make these adventures reality.
For the above journey I saved for 2 years at my 9 to 5, sold off what I did not need, deposited all my acting/brand ambassador funds (will talk about this below) directly into my dream account, and picked up a part-time job for a year [on top of the fulltime and other small business’, a couture fashion company (dl-couture) and 2 humanitarian companies (Threading Hope and Highwire)]. Now, I know what you might be thinking, that is crazy…and you might be right…or is it just an excuse, if you want it bad enough you will make it happen even on an average salary. Life is about choices for every road you take, so let’s talk about a few that will give you the opportunity and freedoms to enjoy this big amazing world we live in if you want to.
Since my year on the road, I have come across some new ways to side-hustle and will talk about and share my experience with these for you to consider as ways to increase your travel cash. These ideas can work as side-hustles or as ventures while you are out on the road creating a nomadic lifestyle that is funded. Just remember that your side gigs only work as hard as you hustle, it is called side-hustle not side-sit and watch everyone else live their dream! So here we go, below are some ideas that I have done and made a good amount to pad up the savings.
Teaching English Online:
VIPKID – A little cultural exploration right in your home. For this job, if you have a bachelors and interest in becoming an English teacher, check them out! They are a very legit company and have a pretty rigorous hiring process but the ability to make between $20-$24 an hour is a highlight that adds up quickly once you are rocking and rolling. They also continuously provide a multitude of training and incentives. You get to pick your schedule (for example, I tend to get a few hours in the morning 5 to 6 days a week). Before most people are awake, I have taught English to 5 students, and you end up starting your days with laughter and smiles, and psychologically, is there any better way to get you going for the day. They have training for stay at home moms and dads, for nomadic teachers, for so many different things.
If you are interested please click the link below and check them out, if you decide to apply and become a teacher please use my referral – it is one of those incentives I spoke of 😊. There are many of the VIPKID teachers who do this as a full-time job as well, and your options are endless.
Or my Teacher Code: DANEL0005
(This side hustle went into an account for my passive income creation fund for a year. Although yes, I would have had a great travel journey with what I made, my long-term outlook for travel is for it to start to sustain itself and to build passive income, one of the ways I look to do this is Real Estate investing, which I am just starting this year – so next year I will update you).
Freelance – Writing
I am a writer and have a few different projects of my own out there, but I also freelance and write for other companies. Be it online for blogs or articles for magazines. This is an excellent side-gig but was not an overnight success project. I have been freelancing with writing for over seven years, and now have a couple of steady clients each month that bring in a side-hustle income that can be used towards travel.
(Freelancing can be quite expansive if you have the technological know how to code, build websites, or create marketing, I do not have this skill but have friends that do well with the gigs they get on Fiverr).
Extra Work – acting/modeling
You know all those people that fill the background in movies, well they get paid! (There are a lot for free too, and unless you are trying to grow your acting resume I do not recommend working for free, there must be a benefit to both parties). Depending on where you live, many projects will provide you emails, links to upcoming needs and auditions. It is as simple as submitting your information. Some will say never to pay for this, although I do use a company in Phoenix that is $65.00 a year and for that I get weekly / daily emails about project needs, I can submit in less than 5 minutes, and they also have a resume and photo bank on their site for producers to view and select from. It is a small price to pay when I have made anything $100 a gig to $3500. (now the $3500 was not a background gig it was a featured role for a commercial). But again you can research and find the companies in your area that you want to work with and as you grow, you may need an Agent and if you get SAG, well that ultimately increases the fund game.
Some side-hustles that are more specific and not as generalized or broad:
This one may scare many people. I have been speaking for years, many times in the beginning for free, then for $45, then for $1000… It is a side-hustle like all the others. You will get what you put in. Many days you will put in more hours than you think are possible, but with your eye on the prize all avenues will either teach you, support you, or lead you into a new venture. With speaking, you will have to create your brand, your topics and market yourself for bookings. I continue to speak professionally and hope that over the next year this will be a significant factor in my income.
Do you have a skill /trade that you can market? I have always loved painting and over the years have made thousands on the side-hustle for art and commissions. Now that I am stationary again the painting will begin again. I sold these through art shows, ETSY stores, and then at private events.
Your options for creativity and know how are endless you have to put in the work to learn the business side of selling art. (I recommend your free books from the library, they are an excellent resource for many things). I also continue to run dl-couture and other art/fashion projects.
Real Estate Investing:
This is still a learning project for me, in a year I will let you know how it went this year. But some of the blogs/ podcasts/sites that I find very informational are:
www.Biggerpockets.com (I have their pro-membership, so you have access to a wealth of knowledge for real estate)
www.affordanything.com (I love Paula Pant’s podcast, she has a wealth of information on Financial independence but also for real estate and has terrific guests with knowledge on many levels of side-hustle and finance, and as she says…you can afford anything, just not everything!)
I also very much enjoy listening to the Financial Independence podcast the Mad Fientist: (https://www.madfientist.com/shortest-path-to-financial-independence/ ).
I could make an entire blog just about the blogs, books or podcasts I listen too…I am a lifelong learner and enjoy expanding my knowledge. I hope this blog post has given you some great ideas, or even the courage to take on a new side-hustle. This blog has just named a few ideas to help you get on to your next journey, these are few I use or have used, and there are so many more. I like to try new ones and will add to the list as it expands. I tend to stay away from things like surveys, pennies writing…I did try these in the beginning but found that the hours I put in made less than minimum wage, so it was not worth it for me. You might quite enjoy it.
Also- important to note:
My primary income from FT is used toward retirement accounts and building up the regular savings. I use all my side-hustle funds as extra “fun” money, travel expenses or toward other investment ideas like real-estate, that way there is still a safety net for growth/loss. Yes, I have been called a workaholic, and yes I take on many projects and ideas, but even if you don’t share the *insomniatic gene, you can get quite a bit of “fun” money by picking up one or two of the above ideas PT.
*insomniatic- I know it is not a “real” word, but it is the word that I wanted here, so the joy of creative licensing.