Welcome to my income report for August 2021
In August, I have earned $543 passively in total. 578% more than in the previous month.
What I Did In August
Rented My Apartment
So if you follow my journey closely, you might remember, that I bought an apartment last year with a plan to do some rehab, make it nice, and put it back on the market. Well, it didn’t pan out as I expected.
Government locked down the whole country and I had to wait few months till the economy reopened again. By the time it was December, I was fed up with keeping it afloat from my own pocket, so I put some work in and at least clean the place up and repainted the walls.
But I exactly didn’t invest too much into marketing and only marketed it on less known portals, so it took a while to get first interests. But the economy was still closed, people were sitting at home and the supply-side was enormous.
I did a tour for a couple, that wanted something more upscale. Then a three-member family with a dog, who needed to move quickly but did not accept extra charge for the dog. Many students, who for sure wanted something more hip.
Only after accepting help from real estate agencies, I saw the light at the end of a tunnel. It took them exactly two months to lease the place. There is definitely some value in hiring professional help.
So I am glad it is sorted out, even though the rent is not as high as I projected with the pre-covid scenario, but that is life. The question is, how long it will stay occupied. The rents will go up, electricity will go up, but the supply side will go up as well.
According to the news, real estate developers should bring 3000 new apartments to the market. And most of the short-term stay places changed their lease to long term.
We will see, the lease contract expires next year and they can leave anytime if they forgo the collateral.
Taking Driving Classes
Another big topic, that takes a lot of my time is getting a driving license.
Right now, I am taking driving classes for both cars and motorcycles, and let me tell you upfront, I am not a naturally good driver. But more on that later.
You might wonder, why I didn’t get my license at age of 18 like everyone else.
Well, to be honest, I had many excuses back then. My younger poor liberal me just could not justify going through the hoops, spending 10K our family didn’t have for some paper I won’t probably use.
Living in a capital city meant being used to public transportation. And I didn’t mind spending time commuting by bus or subway. That was the time I could read a book or do my homework.
The only time I wish I had a car was when I carried something heavy or when I took a ride and I envied my friends, who owned cars.
That feeling got over pretty fast though. At that time, our family was at rock bottom facing the threat of being homeless, so there was no point in daydreaming and saving money for driving classes.
Even if, it would take me a decade to save for a second-hand car. Then there is the cost of ownership, which could very well erase the whole paycheck from my student jobs.
So no, I don’t regret postponing this hobby given difficult circumstances.
But time changes. And now is the time to cross this off the list.
First, we might have twenty years of free mobility in Europe before the EU bans car ownerships. They are known to know what is best for you and I believe they are capable of putting car ownership on a blacklist. Or at least tax the hell out of it.
Second, my parents are aging and might have an issue travel long distances by themselves, so I should take responsibility and be able to take them whatever they need.
Third, since I shifted my mindset from car ownership as a necessity to a hobby, I have a much easier time justifying the cost of ownership. I mean, I have spent much more money on traveling in the past than I would put out for a beginner-friendly used car. And spending money on hobbies is much more joyful when you don’t have to overthink the benefits of the spending.
Fourth, I can treat myself with a car I want if I really wanted to have a nice car. In the past, I dreamed about owning a BMW or a Mercedes. Now that dream can come true. So the possibility of having a choice definitely gives me the motivation to learn driving.
Fifth, driving a car is just a part of middle-aged men’s image. If I will ever have family and kids, I will need to commute with them and do weekend shopping trips.
And what about a motorcycle? If I wanted to move to Asia or any other seaside location in the future, I should better know how to drive a motorcycle. It is the fastest, most convenient, and joyful mode of transportation.
The last time I have visited Vietnam, and I had a date with a girl, she had to drive. And everyone around was making fun of me, saying what kind of man I am who takes a ride from a girl. I felt humiliated and seriously thought about learning how to drive asap.
So I signed up for the classes and it is a pretty time-consuming activity. One class is one hour and a half long. So three and half hours in total if I include commuting. This times two and there is not much time or energy left for anything else.
I am saying energy because it takes tremendous mental power to keep the focus on the road.
My first class was a terrifying experience. I remember being afraid to hit someone or something with a 2,5-ton vehicle. Losing focus for a split second could have fatal consequences. How the hell can other people enjoy riding, while having to:
- Watch the speed limit
- Shift gears every few minutes, sometimes three times in 60 seconds
- Stay inline
- Watch for other cars
- Watch for pedestrians
- Watch for road signs
- Anticipating which way go or turn next
So my brain is not able to process and evaluate all these pieces of information constantly while having to make snap decisions in a matter of milliseconds. I would be totally fine cruising empty roads along the seaside coast. But I am totally stressed out navigating through Prague’s streets. After one hour and a half, my brain is so numbed I think getting an accident is only a matter of time.
My instructor joked about it, but there is some truth, that I might not arrive at the long distant destination and would have to stop mid-way to take some rest.
With that said, I am probably not a driving natural, so there goes my plan to get a used BMW 3 M-Paket edition with alloy 18-inch wheels, neon lights, and steering wings.
Instead, I will purchase the most beaten, but most statistically reliable and economically efficient car on the market. Either it will be Skoda Fabia due to low repair and insurance costs, or Japan-made cars, that offers an incredible value with their low maintenance and operating costs. So probably a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla. I don’t care if anyone mocks me for not driving a luxury car.
Once I reach 150k-300k Km on that car, I might start thinking about getting a faster and more expensive vehicle. Until then, I will be humble and practice as much as I can.
With motorcycles, it is even worse. It is not at all similar to driving a bike as some might say. There are so many differences, that are not at all intuitive.
There is again gear shifting, gas throttling, and lower body bike manipulation. To shift a gear, you use the left handle and left leg to find the proper gear. It does not help, that the gear level is not displayed at all. You have to remember what gear you are on.
To speed up and not stale, you have to constantly throttle gas with your right hand. Throttling itself is more art than science, each bike has different sensitivity and a one-degree push can send your bike to the wall.
There there is a balancing act. It is so damn exhausting to drive a bike. In a car, you sit, relax and just do hand and leg motions.
On a motorbike, your mind has to decouple your upper and lower body. While your lower body should be tense and squeeze the bike as hard as you can so you won’t lose balance, your upper body on the contrary has to stay 100% relaxed.
Your hands have to be relaxed, you cannot lean on the handles, else you will accidentally turn or worse throttle a gas pedal. So your neck, back, legs, and arms will get a serious workout.
So manipulating a motorcycle is like ten times harder than driving a car. Now add in the focus on the road situations and it is clear, that my brain will be the limit, that won’t allow me to safely drive high-speed motorcycles.
We will see how it goes, but now I know it is not meant to be and I will be happy to drive a scooter at 20 Km an hour one day, nothing more.
The Hustle App
In August, I continued to use The Hustle every day. The big refactoring project is still on hold.
Good House Music
At the time of writing this post, my Good House Music Youtube Channel grew to 306 subscribers. A 0.9% increase over the previous month. I have uploaded 1 DJ mix and only 1 new single track. The most viewed track recorded 43 views.
I will keep uploading till I reach 269 uploads, then we will see if it is going anywhere.
Personal Youtube Channel #1
In August, I posted 0 new videos on my personal Youtube channel.
I will keep uploading till I reach 246 uploads, then we will see if it is going anywhere.
Personal Youtube Channel #2
In August, I posted 0 new videos on my personal Youtube channel.
I will keep uploading till I reach 30 uploads, then we will see if it is going anywhere.
I got one new customer and I have fixed some bugs, that cause the data to be outdated. There seemed to be a slight increase in ad revenue, which should fully cover operating costs. But that is maybe due to the seasonality of real estate companies, who follow up with new residential projects after a year-long covid pause.
Income Report Breakdown
For charts and numbers, click on my new Open page
I am still keeping few dollars on my account with an Autotrader turned on. And I am glad, that defaulted companies are keeping their repayment schedule as promised. In two more years, I should recover a major portion of defaulted loans.
In the meantime, the golden age of P2P Lending in the Czech Republic is officially over. The first and most commercially known lending platform, Zonky, announced, that they are closing business for small retail investors, who want to actively pick loans.
Now they will just focus on managing loan portfolios for passive investors, who do not care about loan picking, for a hefty fee of course. Now tell me if the 2.5% net interest rate is worth it.
I have foreseen the downfall of the platform after they cracked down on automated bots years ago and I withdrew most of my deposit since then. A good call I would say.
The second Czech P2P Lending platform, Bondster, no longer offers collateralized loans with a buyback option and liquidity guarantee, and I am hesitating to lock my money at 6%+ with an unknown Philliphine loan originator. Sounds too risky.
Right now, I still keep a small portion of money in savings accounts to cover my living expenses.
Small banks saw an opportunity in raising rates to make their saving accounts attractive again. With that said, the best offer on the market is at 1.01% p.a., but they force you to open yet another separate account. Apparently, their core banking system cannot work with variable saving rates, so a hard pass.
In August SP Index grew by another 2,9%.
There was yet another 1.7% correction in mid-August when I took a 300 USD loss. It would again eventually turn around into profit in the next weeks if I hold the contract. There might be some pattern, that happens every month.
With a minor setback taken into account, whatever gain I got from trading was taken down by the meme stock positions that I got assigned last month.
Probably the covid party is over and people found more fun ways how to spend stimulus checks than buying the dips and YOLOing meme stocks.
I also missed the window during which I could close my USD position for profit. I think I was in the gym that night when FED announced future tapering. If I was at home, I would watch the speech and act accordingly. The USDCZK dropped by 2% the next day. So much for my luck and market timing skills.
Used Stuff Sales
My path to life minimalism went well in August. I have sold a hairdryer and a selfie stick, the fewer material things I own, the more freedom I get.
Plans, dreams, and wishes
My goals for September are the following. Keep dancing and get back to creating content!
That would be it. Thank you so much for following me on this journey and see you in the next report.