13th Month Income Challenge PersonalProfitability.com

PPP020: The 13th Month Income Challenge

Today I introduce listeners to the 13th month income challenge. Imagine what your financial situation would look like if you got a raise of more than 10% next year. Don’t wait for your employer. Give yourself a raise with the 13th month challenge!

Resources Mentioned


Eric Rosenberg: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages. Welcome back to the Personal Profitability Podcast. I’m your host, Eric Rosenberg. I’m excited to welcome you back to this episode. We’re back to normal after our last episode, super exciting recording live with superstars Pat Flynn and Flexo at FinCon.

So, today we’re back just you and me, our normal selves, having a beer, if you are able. Today, I want to talk to you about something an idea I actually came up with the other day. I call it the 13th Month Income Challenge. Grab you pen and paper. I have some knowledge bombs to drop on you today, and some actionable stuff. I really hope you will take the heart and start doing something with.

We’ve talked a lot on this podcast since the beginning about earning more on the side and trying to earn your first dollar. We’ve had stories of people who’ve gone from working full-time to working for themselves; people who have built up a great side income and side businesses. Today, I really want to focus it on you in giving you actionable steps. So, whether you have a full-time job, whether you are into a side income project, or you’re just curious, wanting to need to learn a little bit more. This episode is for everybody.

The 13th Month Income Challenge

I want to start talking about what the 13th month challenge is, the idea I came up with, and where it came from. So, I talked about before, I have a VA who helps me on my blog. She helps me with a lot of the formatting and social media and some of the SEO stuff I do. When I was searching for VAs, I was reading Chris Ducker’s book, “Virtual Freedom”. Chris is a — He’s a great guy. I’ve gotten to meet him a couple of times. He is based in the Philippines, he’s originally British.

And in his book he talks about a tradition when you hire a full-time Philippines-based VA. They actually have a law if you are employing people full-time in the Philippines as a company, and not a freelancer relationship necessarily. But if they are an on-the-book-employee, you are required by law to give them a 13th month salary in December.

That is actually — I did some more reading about it, and that’s common in a lot of Latin America and Southeast Asia. The idea is you make your, you know let’s say, incomes are generally in the lower side there. Let’s say you’re making a thousand dollars a month, and you make a thousand dollars a month every month but in December you get an extra thousand dollars. So, instead of making $12,000 a year, you’d make $13,000 a year. They pay that extra month payment in December not coincidentally aligned with the holidays. So, people have little extra money to buy holiday gifts and make sure they have the ability to get together and really enjoy with friends and family.

It’s actually a kind of cool idea but I thought if they really budgeted all year for the holidays, they could take that extra bonus payment and save it or invest it or you do something special with it. Not just use it and buy people gifts. You don’t spend it on other people, spend it on your future self.

When I was thinking about that I thought, “Well jeez, what is stopping someone from earning a 13th month income themselves and saving that money and using it for your future self?” That’s how the challenge was born, the 13th Month Income Challenge. [I’m tongue twisting myself] That is my challenge for you, it comes from there. I want to get through how we can get you to a 13th month income, how I’ve done it myself, and go put a framework together.

Determine Your Income Goal

The start of making a 13th month income, first you have to understand what your income is and get yourself an income goal.

Let’s say the average person in the United States, I did a little research, makes a little bit over $50,000 a year. Not the average person, the average household median income. Whether it’s a one person household or two-person household, whatever it is, the average median level in the United States is $50,000 and change per year.

At that rate, your monthly income would be $4,167 a month. If you make $4,167 every month for 12 months, your 13th month income challenge would be to make $4,167 per year on the side, as a minimum. Which, I know it’s a huge number and for me I’ve had months where I’ve made more than that this year, but I didn’t start that way and the first time I made any money on the side was much smaller than that.

Earning Your First Dollar on the Side

I want to talk to you a little bit about how I started and give you some ideas along the way for how you can make your first dollars on the side. My first dollar I ever made on the side, it was actually way back, I babysat in middle school and high school but I didn’t have any other job at the times. That was really my primary income.

When I was doing all that, my first real side project income, there was this thing called, GeoCities – it is gone now, became part of Yahoo. That was even here before Google was a thing anybody had heard of. There was thing called GeoCities and it lets you built websites really easily. That’s where I started learning HTML and on the beginning, this was in high school. It was probably around the year 2000, 2001 so a few years ago, I built these websites.

And I was a huge pro-wrestling fan at the time. I don’t really watch as much as it anymore, but I was like super into The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin and all those guys and I want to make a fan site all about it. With GeoCities I made my fan site and started writing about my favorite pro-wrestlers and their accomplishments in the squared-circle as it is called in the wrestling ring.

I put banner ads, there was a Yahoo banner ad network and anytime someone clicked on my ad I got a nickel. When I got enough clicks, I got a $5 cheque. All of that time, if I remember, I think I made a good $11 something like that, that I was paid out, the humble beginnings.

Different Online Platforms in Earning Extra Income

Now there are much better ways to make your first dollar in the side or your first five cents on the side to start working. One place that I would really go if I were brand new is Fiverr, F-I-V-E-R-R. You go to fiverr.com and sign up, and you can look and see all these different things people are doing. There are things people are willing to do for $5.

I actually tried my hand at Fiverr a little bit in the past. I did custom DJ sets for people, they would send me a song list and I would rock out my living room and record them a playlist of 45-minute song for $5. Obviously, my dollar return per hour was not very good, but it was something I thought was kind of fun.

I also help people some WordPress problems and now I can charge quite a bit more for that. But it was a great starting place where you can do something really quick and make $5. If you have any talent at all that can be sold digitally, you can do it there. There’s some really funny stuff like I actually– in this podcast, when you listen, the sexy British girl voice in the beginning and end of every episode, I got that on Fiverr. It was a $5 project. I found a British girl to do the voiceover.

There are people who will do graphic work, writing, editing. People will even sing a song that you — some really bizarre things like sing Happy Birthday in a fake voice or do an impression of a celebrity saying happy birthday to someone you like or record a video of them writing a card to somebody, all of these really funny things. If you go to Fiverr, click around for a few minutes, you’ll find them. So really, anything you can think of or if you find something that people are doing well doing and you think, ‘Oh, it’s fun. I could do that.’ Give it a shot. That’s one way you could do it.

Other options online, there’s a site called TaskRabbit.  It works kind of like Uber for doing someone a favor like, “Oh, will you go pick this thing up for me? Or will you do this little task or grab my dry cleaning?” Things like that. Silly things around town, that you can get paid for it. Some of that is online tasks too.

There’s another option, Amazon Mechanical Turk. That is, if you Google Amazon Mechanical Turk, people have these tasks that cannot be done by a computer. They’re usually short little tasks and they’ll pay you anywhere from a few cents to few dollars per task. They could be a task that take less than a minute. They could be task that take longer, they usually pay accordingly. That’s another place you can sign up and make some money pretty quickly.

Or something that I’ve become a bigger fan of overtime you can become a driver for Uber or Lyft. So, if Uber and Lyft are operating in your state or country, you can sign up, use your own car pretty quickly, start driving people around, make some money in your spare time.

Offline Income Sources

Offline, you know, things that people do in high school, you can still do. You’re not above them, you are not better. You can babysit, you can take care of people’s lawns, you could shovel snow. I’m not too good to earn a dollar, anyway. You know, a dollar is a dollar. Everyone has their ethics. I wouldn’t go out and be a prostitute, anything like that but I’m not too good for any job. I think that a good mentality to have is to stay humble. So, do what you can, earn that first dollar ’cause that is a huge milestone making a dollar on the side. If it’s $5, $10, $20, even better.

When I was doing this in my history, I had a point with my blogs when I was making a good five, ten dollars every couple of weeks and it started to grow and I realized I hit a new milestone. I’m making enough money online every month to pay for all of the beer and booze and other alcohol I was drinking which — when I hit that point, I was about 25, 26 years old, I think, and I actually have a quote on it on a post I just wrote about this exact topic. I said, “I admit it, I spend a lot at bars and clubs at my 20s but I was making enough on the side to cover the costs and then some.”

That was another huge milestone. Think about it. If you were making — I’m always a big fan. I don’t say be super frugal. I don’t think you should make your life so difficult to save money. But if you can save money pretty quickly, that’s okay, you know, go for it. Focus on the big wins.

If there’s something you really love and enjoy and value, it is okay to spend money in there as long as you can afford it, you know, you’re debt free, you have the excess income that allows that, you’re already saving for retirement and investing. I was doing all that and I have enough income that I was able to go to bars and night clubs and I really enjoyed and I spent, I don’t want to know how much money I could go back and look but I spent probably thousands of dollars at bars and nightclubs over a few years. Some people might say how that’s squandering money, but I had the income that I was able to pay for it.

So, if you can grow your online income or side income, whatever your fancy is, to pay for those types of things in your life, your vices, your hobbies. Lately I’ve started flying planes, that’s a very expensive hobby and a little more wholesome than going to bars and more expensive as well. So to be able to afford that, I have to work hard and make the money to pay for it. That’s the next milestone that I — when I had the realization I was covering my beer money every month.

The next step from there, I realized, I was covering more than a mortgage payment every year than I was covering my rent every month. I was covering — I moved in to a place that I bought and my monthly cost went up a little. I was covering my mortgage every month and now I’m still regularly — I live in a nice house and I’m covering my mortgage every single month with my online income. That’s not enough to go full-time at this point, but it is enough to make a real difference in my life.

That’s such a far-reaching place for a lot of people to think, ‘How can I ever make ten, twenty, thirty thousand dollars a year on the side?’ Let’s set a goal that you can attain. If you’re an average person, again, $50,000 a year is a median income. That’s a little over $4,000 a month– or $4,000 a year to equal that 13th month. You’d make a little over $4,000 a month. So, if you want to make that 13th month income, those were some ideas to get you started.

Use Your 13th Month Income to Achieve Your Financial Goals

Think about the financial goal you could do with that 13th month income. Things that I like to do just now with my side income, I maxed both my Roth IRA and my wife’s Roth IRA. That’s $5,500 each, and I made enough online to max those out for the year and there’s a huge tax benefit. We have that for retirement.

If you have an emergency fund that you’ve been wanting to grow or you’ve been wanting to start, this is a great place to make the money and do that. Maybe you could start a down payment fund for your house. Maybe you want to budget some of that for a weekend getaway with your family, with a favorite girl or guy in your life, maybe something fun for yourself. You don’t have to put it all in one place, but if you are making an extra month income every year, you could do these huge things with it.

So really, do the math, look at your income. If you make $40,000 a year, $60,000 a year, $100,000 a year, it doesn’t matter. You can definitely make that 13th month income. I’ve said before, I’m not– I’d like to think I’m a smart and good-looking guy but I’m not that special. I’m not that different. If I can do it, you can do it. You just have to hustle. You have to put your work and mind, your work ethic forward, put your mind to it. You can definitely do it.

This week I didn’t want to have a super long episode, I just really wanted to be straight to the point and get you guys all on track for the 13th Month Income Challenge.

If you want to do it, if you are in it, you want to get this thing started, come join me. You can go to personalprofitability.com. There is a post that I have called, “The 13th Month Income Earning Challenge” at the very bottom. You can leave a comment saying you’re in; you’re trying to make the 13th month income.

You can join– we have a special Facebook group that I’ve had for a little while, just for personal profitability readers. If you join the email list, you’ll get a link to join that group. I’m going to say it out right here, in case you’re not on the email list. I really hope you’ll join. I do send some exclusive and pretty good content there.

You can go to facebook.com/groups/personalprofitabilitygroup and join everyone else. I’d love you to get in there and say, “I’m accepting this challenge. Here is my step one. Here is how I’m going to earn dollar one.” If you’re already making a dollar, “Here’s how I’m going to try to earn the next one.” If you’re stuck, if you’re really having a hard time, ask for help. I am there personally. There’s some other great people in there who are already starting making great income on the sides. Some on real estates, some online, some through other side hustles and businesses.

Really do please come join us, declare your 13th Month Income Challenge acceptance and make next year and every year a better and best year of your life. There’s no reason that next year cannot be the best income year of your life and the most funnier of your life. So, let’s join together, let’s do it and start making some money. Until next time my friends, stay profitable.

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