It’s time for 5 questions. We’ll discuss stock earnings, home renovations, side hustles, emergency funds, and money for freelancers.
1. How does a company’s quarterly earnings report affect my stock? Yes, but it’s not just about whether the company made or lost money. The report also contains information about what is going on inside the company. So just because the company made money doesn’t necessarily guarantee a positive report. It’s more important to read the report and get a sense of what’s happening within the company than to just make decisions based strictly on numbers.
2. How do you do home improvement and landscaping on a budget? Plan and budget! Before you go crazy at the plant store, how many will you need, how much sun does your yard get? Repurpose things, good for your wallet and the environment. The most important thing is to do some of it yourself. Potting plants isn’t something you need a professional for. Re-wiring your home, you probably do. See what you can borrow from friends or neighbors. Don’t buy a tool that you’ll only use once. And you can be proud of the work you did to make your home nicer.
3. Are podcasting and blogging actually good side hustles to make extra money? They can be. LMM’s makes some money through affiliate links on our blog. So if you sign up for Zip Car through this link, we get a small cut of it.
Making money via a podcast is possible too. Marc Maron makes $14,000 per episode of his WTF podcast. Does LMM make money? Not just yet. We bring in some money but it doesn’t yet cover expenses like me, hosting the site, hosting the podcast, equipment.
You can make money but it takes time. Matt’s “day job” is Swim University. He’s had the site for four years, has been working on it full time for two years and has made $40,000 so far this year, mainly through affiliate links. The end goal for a podcast is to have companies sponsor you, to sell advertising on the podcast.
If podcasting isn’t your thing, there are plenty of ways to make extra cash.
4. A listener has recently had to put a $3300 air conditioner on her credit card. Should she pay it off over time at 21% interest or use some cash in her Fidelity account to pay it off more quickly? There are a few ways to do this. Open a new credit card with limited time 0% interest and transfer the balance so you can pay it off over time without interest. If the money in the Fidelity account is your emergency fund, no AC in Georgia constitutes an emergency. If that would completely wipe out the emergency fund, look into Lending Tree to get a low-interest rate loan.
5. What advice do you have for a freelancer in a physical job that can’t be done forever, whose income varies month to month and needs to kick investing into high gear? Do what Matt calls the “freelance sprint.” Take on as many jobs as possible in a short amount of time to earn a lot of money quickly. The goal is to create a big cushion to see you through until the income is more steady. One way would be to have someone film you doing your job and put it on Youtube as a tutorial. A lot of people don’t know how to change the oil in their car or unclog their drain so there’s an audience out there and you make money from the ads on Youtube.
Thanks for the questions, everyone! Keep sending them in and we’ll continue to answer.
Boulevard The Sixth Glass: A deep, mysterious ale.
Betterment: Our favorite investing site.
Matt’s YouTube Video: The frugal gardener!