Stock Street started as a platform for me to regurgitate the knowledge I have accumulated to help people better understand personal finance and investing. However, I realized early on that while writing articles about investing money is great, many readers would be even better off if I also showed them how to generate extra income AND shared my knowledge of personal finance and investing.
In order to solve this pickle, I decided to create the idea of the 60/40 life. It is a pretty basic idea: make an extra minimum $60 weekly for 40 weeks each year. Many people have difficulty generating enough money to support their family, let alone have enough money to save for their future. The 60/40 life is my idea to help solve some of the financial problems that many people around the globe especially in the US face.
$60 weekly, 40 weeks each year.
The idea of the 60/40 life is to find what I call “time efficient side gigs” (TESGs ). This is a powerful idea; monetize your free time. TESG’s should be flexible and available to do during your own free time. We all have times when we are bored sitting around, so we might as well generate some extra income during those times.
Stock Street will be reviewing different companies in different industries, such as ride sharing, teaching English online, internet-based professional services, etc. to help you find the right TESG for you, you can read the reviews, use our links to the sites, and decide if you are interested in the type of work needed to generate extra income from the companies.
These TESG’s can be used with Stock Street’s ideas on reducing expenses to really create more wealth for your household.
Spending your extra income
Savings, investing, paying down debt
Making extra income is a nice idea, but the other part of the equation is planning on what to do with the money. Since this is a personal finance and investing blog, of course I would recommend the money be used for savings, investing, paying down debts, avoiding debts, or basically, anything that is finance-related.
Debt prevention and savings rate sustainability
Obviously, you can do what you want with your money, and some of you will end up spending your extra income on a new car, maybe a drug that makes you hungry , maybe beer or maybe even a nice trip to Hawaii.
The rule I have decided to go with is this: if you spend your extra income on items that would have otherwise been used with a credit card, or taken away from the money you would have otherwise saved/invested, then by all means, go ahead and spend, spend spend. I would prefer you use the money to invest, but debt prevention and keeping your savings rate high have similar impacts over time as investing ; you will have more money down the road.
The Propensity to Consume
The marginal propensity to consume (MPC) is an economic concept which explains that an individual with an increasing disposable income will also have higher likelihood of increasing his/her spending. Simply stated, as you make more, you feel you can spend more. Prime examples are seen when people win the lottery and end up bankrupt, or when professional sports players end up broke very early in their lives.
It is difficult to combat the propensity to consume phenomena. So just be aware that it exists. Make some extra money and have a plan outlining what you will do with the money before you even start earning it. This way you can battle the forces of propensity consumption. Otherwise, it is a difficult nut to crack.
I am a realistic person and I know not every one of you is going to invest the money you will make doing side gigs. What I don’t encourage is for you to use the money for things you would not have otherwise purchased, and I definitely hope the additional income will not give you an excuse to make larger purchases which in turn will lead to increased debt. E.g. you save your extra income for a boat, and then realize that maintenance and gas consumption will have to go on to your credit card; hence you just increased your debt .
Livin’ the 60/40 life should allow you to better yourself financially. Having a plan to battle the propensity to consume, and hopefully spending the money in a smart way, should lead you to a much-improved path towards financial success.
Here are some questions and answers you may have about livin’ the 60/40 life. Feel free to ask questions in the comments section below as well!
I had two thoughts which led me to use $60 weekly:
Wealthy retirement and/or early retirement
I was thinking about a 30-year-old reading this blog when I developed the $60 weekly. It seems to be the sweet spot to generate enough money to retire a few years early, or to have an extra 300k lying around during retirement at age 65. And this is assuming a growth rate of 6.5% annually over time.
A delicate balance: enough to be excited about yet not too much work
For those who don’t plan on saving the money, it is a decent enough amount of money to get people excited to have extra each month. Having an extra $20 per week is not that exciting for some, while having an extra $2,000 per week may require a lot more work than what majority of you will want to put in. $60 fits in the sweet spot for being excited about spending, and where I think the majority of readers will be.
Why 40 weeks?
I’m all about being realistic. Nobody is going to do side gigs over years with no breaks in-between. The 40 weeks allows plenty of time to say, “This week I’m tired and I feel like cracking a few beers at Chili’s”. (you know, finance blog, two for one’s at Chili’s…saving money on beer ;))
Do I have to stick to $60 or 40 weeks?
Hell no! But I would suggest you stick to a minimum of $2,400 per year in extra income to invest/generate. Some readers will realize it is possible to generate far more than $2,400 per year using more passive income strategies. Some prefer to work like an animal for a month, then take a month off. Some will prefer to make $50 weekly for 48 weeks to hit the $2,400.
Whichever way you want to do it, just try to hit a minimum of $2,400 annually.
Can I just cut my expenses to save an extra $60 weekly?
It is preferred that you use the 60/40 life in conjunction with the ideas provided by Stock Street to reduce your expenses.
(Post coming soon that will be linked here)
If you both decrease your expenses and generate additional income with TESG’s, it is possible to generate significant money for the future.
That being said, if you do not want to do side gigs and just want to reduce your expenses so you can save and invest that $60 weekly, I am all for it.
What if I am older?
If you are older, you may want to alter the 60/40 life if you are attempting to use it to retire early or drastically increase your retirement savings. Due to the compounding of money over time, when you are older, you have less time to let compounding lift your account values.
Depending on what you wish to accomplish, you may decide to use that extra income to invest in something more aggressive, like rental properties, and start reinvesting the 60/40 money with the rental income to expand your real estate over time. Or, you may decide you want to go with something that has potential higher earnings.
Either way, it is still a good idea to try to generate extra income no matter what your age is.
What can the 60/40 life generate?
An extra $2,400 annually can do wonderful things:
A 30-year-old can save over $295,000 by age 65 if they invest the money in an IRA and make 6.5%. Or even potentially retire at least 5 years early by 60 years old when that money grows to $200,000.
Someone with $20,000 of debt can add the weekly $60 to their minimum payment. This can decrease the payoff period. It would cost a little over $500 per month to pay this off over 65 months; adding the extra $60 weekly can decrease the paydown period by two years and save a lot of interest.
Someone with student loans of $30,000 at 7% would be able to pay off their loans in almost half the time if they added the extra weekly $60.
If you decide you don’t want to use the money for financial purposes, you may want to use it for an annual trip. $2,400 annually can pay for some great vacations. You can take the kids to Disney World (good luck with that!), you can fly to Europe for a week (I purchased a ticket to Paris for $600 last May), maybe even hit that ski trip you’ve been wanting to take for so long.
Instead of travelling and putting trips on a credit card or reducing your savings rate, working for cash for travelling will save a lot of money in interest payments down the road. And if that vacation trip would have otherwise come out of your money allocated to your investments, you just prevented an investment reduction.
4. One time payoff:
If you have a wedding or a wedding ring you need to fund, a car purchase, a honeymoon, or if you have any number of expenses in the future, you can use this concept to save money. Here at Stock Street, it is preferred to save for large future expenses over using credit; so, if you have a life event you can think of maybe two years from now, might as well put a little extra work in to save for those events.
5. Real estate down payment:
If you are looking into investing in real estate and don’t have the funds saved for a down payment, you could save $10,000 for a down payment on a rental property in less than five years. If you purchase a rental property for $100,000 and earned a $2,400 profit for the year, you just added another $2,400 of income to your household. You can use that money to paydown the real estate loan, you can invest the cash in an index fund, you can “rollup” the money and use it to purchase another rental property, wash and repeat.
There are many uses for the money; hopefully you make good decisions with it.
5.055 Simple Steps:
Step 1: We show you ways to make an extra $60 weekly.
Step 2: You choose which income-generating ideas are best for you.
Step 3: We educate you how best to save/invest the extra money earned.
Step 4: You decide how you feel comfortable investing your money.
Step 5: You do not spend all the extra income you are generating and you save at least a portion.
Step 5.055: When you feel lonely, watch the best movie ever made: Braveheart. Wait, what?
Sound good? Start livin’ that 60/40 life! No better time than the present, am I right?