Jonathan and Brad discuss saving time and the secondary good market as a potential side hustle opportunity.
Reclaim Your Time
Last week, Jonathan ended up at the DMV on a Friday afternoon with a crazy wait time. What should have been a quick trip turned into an ordeal worth avoiding.
After the painful trip, Jonathan did some research into when you should go to the DMV.
You should avoid the DMV around these times:
- Before or after a holiday
- At lunchtime
- Immediately after opening or right before closing
- The first and last week of the month.
A good time to go to the DMV would be:
- During the middle of the week
- An hour before or after the lunch rush
- The middle of the month
Although this is useful for the DMV, it likely applies to other businesses like the Post Office. If you have some breathing room in your life, then you can choose to reclaim the time you would have spent in line. Instead of being forced to take care of this on your lunch break, you might be able to visit at a less busy time.
Having some flexibility in your schedule gives you an ability to reclaim time that you otherwise would just lose as a matter of course. Right, so, for some people, going during their lunch hour might be the only option. But, if you have some flexibility, and certainly, if you're at FI or thereabouts, you have the option to spend your time as you see fit.
You can do this for many things. For example, celebrating Valentine's Day a day early or late can still be an enjoyable experience, just without the crowds. Or Disney World in the off-season. There's even the idea of switching up Mother's Day and Father's Day–go opposite of the crowd.
If you have flexibility in your life, where you can go anytime, why would you go when everyone else is going?
It is possible to optimize your life just by looking at things a little bit differently.
Side Hustle Through The Secondary Market
One of the things that stood out about Sunny's story was the idea of flipping cars for a profit. He searched for great deals and pounced on the opportunities as they arose. Sunny was able to fund some of his college expenses by taking action on this idea.
Years ago, Jonathan listened to a podcast about flipping cars. Although it was only ten episodes, it outlined everything you needed to know about flipping a car. If you are interested in learning more about car flipping, then check out Three Hour Car Flip.
But if you can have that sort of entrepreneurial spirit at a younger age, in your teens, early 20's; you can find inefficiencies in the market, you can always generate income.
Amazon FBA is a great way to have a side hustle for a secondary market.
Another great example of a successful flipper in the secondary market is Rachel Ray from Richmond, VA. She has identified clothing as a massive secondary market. She finds individuals that are interested in decluttering their closet and helps them sort through to find what has resale value and what doesn't. Rachel sells the clothes of value and keeps half of the profits.
The secondary market is an incredibly powerful vehicle for looking at those line-item budget standards a little bit different.
How Sunny Funded A Roth IRA For His Child
Sunny has funded a Roth IRA for his child from the time his son was six months old. At just four years old, his son already has $3,000 in his Roth IRA. That has the ability to grow at an 8% return for 60 years to reach a worth of $300,000!
It all started when Sunny was holding open houses for his rental properties. He was looking for stable families to fill their units, so they hired their son as a “baby model” for those open houses at the going rate of $100 an hour. Now, Sunny pays his three-year-old a quarter every time that his son rolls up 10 dollars worth of quarters from the laundry machines.
Both of these employment opportunities were completely legitimate wages for their young child.
Sunny makes sure to carefully document the hours his son works and shares it with his CPA. He pays his son as a 1099-MISC contractor through his LLC. Those records will be kept on file for many years in case a question comes up along the way.
Related: How To Open A Roth IRA For Kids
How Sunny Sold $30,000 Of Pacifiers On Amazon
After Sunny's first child was born, the hospital provided them with a single pacifier. Within a few weeks, the original pacifier was lost and Sunny was scouring the Internet for these particular pacifiers.
He found that it was extremely difficult to find this exact pacifier. Several forums were full of parents seeking these specific pacifiers. When Sunny stumbled on a 100 pack, he decided to buy the whole thing and sell the ones he didn't need on eBay.
However, he quickly got tired of running to the Post Office to mail them off. So, he found Amazon FBA and started selling through that program. Last year, they hit $50,000 in sales! On most days, they sell 10 of these pacifiers.
It was just a need that we felt. And we were like “Hey, let's do something about this. Let's fill this need.” And you know, parents have thanked us for it since.
The time commitment of this side hustle is relatively low. He buys the pacifiers in packs of 1,000 at a time. Next, his mother-in-law created packs of two with an FBA label. She earns a quarter for every package she seals. Then they ship it off to Amazon for fulfillment.
The net profit of each two-pack they sell is $8. When Sunny hits FI, he might just start his own pacifier business.
When you create the space in your life, that you're no longer trying to figure out how to keep the lights on; this isn't about retirement, it's about having options!
Connect With Sunny
Feedback From The Community
Let's hear some of the questions in our community this week!
Email From Mike
Mike is new to FI. He wants to know if he should prioritize paying off his credit card debt or focus on investing in Vanguard. He recently transferred his credit card debt to a 0% introductory card but is worried about reigning in his spending.
Answer From Big ERN
Big ERN from Early Retirement Now called in to answer Mike's question.
Normally, he suggests that paying down credit cards with high interest take priority. However, the 0% introductory rate could leave room for a little bit of both, investing and debt pay off.
I like spreading out my equity investments over the longest possible time span and sequence of return risk is the reason. Because sometimes you are lucky and you contribute money right at the perfect time. And sometimes at the absolute worst time. And by spreading out your contributions, you average out some of that risk. It's essentially diversification.
However, Mike did not mention some of the details. For example, if he has $100,000 in credit card debt and is only paying down $1,000 a month, then the credit card debt is the biggest priority. If he has a manageable amount of debt that he can repay in the next five to six months, then investing alongside the debt payoff might be more appropriate.
Question From Rachel
Rachel has a new car loan at 3.4% interest. Recently she got a raise of approximately $500 a month. Her question is:
Do I push all of that to the principal of my car, shortening the loan time by about two and a half years and saving myself just over $1,000 total on the life of the loan? Or just chug along and put the extra towards investments?
Related: How To Get Out Of Debt
First, if you have an employer match make sure to take advantage of that before anything else.
You don't walk away from free money, especially on an interest rate that is so favorable.
Much of the answer depends on your mindset. If you can use the debt as a motivating factor to put your money towards long term goals, then paying it off could help you reach your goals faster. If you fully intend to put the money towards investments without fear of spending it all, then investing it is the way to go.
New to FI? Be sure to check out Episode 100: Welcome To The FI Community!