Ok, post number one. As stated in my ‘About’ page, I’m a single mother, I have a disabling disease (Rheumatoid Arthritis, amongst other things) and two high maintenance teenagers.
My son has Asperger’s Syndrome and my daughter has a Generalised Anxiety Disorder and suspected Asperger’s Syndrome.. She is also currently being investigated for Crohn’s Disease and is quite an unwell little chick right now.
So there is quite some stress in my life.
A bigger stressor, that has been floating around in the back of my life for many years now, is that I rely on my ex-husband’s child support to survive. And in two and a half years, both my children will be over 18 and that income will stop.
And then what?
I’ll be in financial trouble. I live a very spartan life as it is. We rarely eat out, I don’t go out for coffees, I spend about $100 a year on clothes, and my entertainment is a bottle of wine and Netflix. There are not many places to cut expenses. When that income disappears, I will struggle to make ends meet.
Of course I have known this forever, and planned on starting an aggressive investment strategy, and learning all about the share market, and improving my financial situation. But did I DO it?
In my defence, I have been quite sick for the last few years. Very sick, actually. As in ‘mostly bedridden’ sick. With absolutely no support. I have tried to go back to work many times, but I am just not well enough. Each time I have tried, I have driven myself to complete physical collapse and time in hospital. So its time to accept that this body is very limited, and any ‘normal’ job is out of the question.
So traditional forms of income are out. I still need an income, however, but I need to earn it from my bed, or from my couch. Because on a good day, I might have four upright hours, where I am capable of doing light housework. I currently have two ‘good’ days a week. On a bad day, I’m lying down all day. I’m having four of those a week right now. And on a mediocre day, I might have somewhere between one and three hours of constructive time.
So I have to earn money online. I have looked at all kinds of schemes, and plans, and most of them are rubbish. And I only say ‘most’ because I haven’t seen them ALL yet. But nothing I have found is a genuine, viable online income, that doesn’t require you to sell your products to your non-existent friends, or answer surveys for a penny a pop, or pay money for a website that won’t earn you anything.
Having said that, blogging is clearly part of my plan, but blogging is most definately the long game. Most blogs take longer than my three year time frame to really get established and create an income. But I love to write, and take photos, and I have no one else to talk to, so dear world, blogging it shall be. I’m pretty sure there are plenty of people in my position, who need to earn income on non-traditional ways, and maybe they’ll get some ideas from me, and maybe I’ll get some ideas from them.
But back to the point. I need to create an income of around $1000 a month. And I need to do it in two years. What am I going to do?
Roughly, this is the plan.
Learn about the share market
I am going to start learning about investing in the share market. As I learn, I will blog. My initial thoughts are investing for dividend income. And that’s the extent of my knowledge on that.
The main problem with my ‘investing’ plan, is that you need some capital to invest. This is what I don’t have. So I need a way to get that. Which leads me to the next point.
Sell my house
I am going to downsize my house, move to a cheaper, smaller, disability friendly house. One that I can get around easily in a wheelchair. I don’t need my wheelchair every day, but I certainly do some days. Maybe half my days, in fact. And I’m going downhill. This house has some steep concrete stairs that I can’t navigate, and just a few stairs means that I can’t get a power chair out of the house. I also have a huge backyard. This was great when the kids were smaller, but they are now in their mid-teens. They don’t need a big backyard to run around in. So downsizing serves many purposes, not the least of which being a leaving me with a lump sum that I can invest in the share market, to provide an income stream.
The problem here, is that the house requires some work, to say the least. I bought it for a good price, largely because of the horrid curtains and the fact that it was in need of a coat of paint. I started painting four years ago, and I have ONE room left to do. The reason it has taken this long is not because I’m lazy, or lose motivation, its because I’m sick. As previously mentioned, Rheumatoid Arthritis knocks me on my butt most days. BUT. I do tiny bits at a time, and eventually I get things done. Hence, its taken four years, but I have almost finished painting this house. It needs some touching up already, for market. But it looks much better than it did. Now I’m focusing on doing some work in the garden, because the garden is a wasteland currently, and a few thousand spent establishing a garden will reap major rewards in the ultimate selling price. Or so I believe. Guess time will tell. It will also take a lot of physical energy and strength, which I often just don’t have. And I don’t have a man do to the heavy lifting, so that means I’m going to have to pay people to do a lot of the work. I’ll still be ahead in the long run, I believe.
I’m keeping track of all that I’m spending on home improvements, and we’ll see where it gets me.
Writing and blogging
I run another blog, which is specifically about my illness. I make about $20 a month from Adsense there. I know, don’t spend it all at once, right??? Blogging is hard work, for little return. Especially at the beginning. But if I optimised the site and worked it a little harder, I could improve the income considerably. There are many other ways I can monetise the site, including actually writing the book I’ve been talking about for years. Maybe it’s time I actually did that.
Design skills and an Etsy store
And lastly, I am setting up an Etsy store. I used to be a web designer, and I did some graphic design as well. I should be able to use those skills to create some pre-made logos, and perhaps get some design work that way. Again, any work I get, or projects I start, have to be done from the couch. I have a fabulous laptop, Photoshop and Illustrator, and that’s all I need to design logos, websites, whatever.
So there it is. Several income streams, hopefully put them all together and I should be able to live well enough and be able to support myself and my children without help from anyone, and NOT live under the poverty line.
That’s the goal. I have three years to achieve it. Follow along and see how I go.