Welcome to my income report for December 2020

In December I have earned $208 in total. 11% less than in the previous month.

What I Did In December

So what happened in December?

Enjoyed My Time-Off

December is my second most favorite part of the year. Not because of the weather, but because of the Christmas holidays. A perfect opportunity to spend quality time with family, to give gifts, to watch fairy tales, and to enjoy Christmas candies and other cheat meals.

It is also the last month of the year. Last chance for redemption before a new year begins. Or a new chance for making new year resolutions. Because of that, people are in a Christmas mood and they take everything easy.

The mood is so contagious I always save a few vacation days for the end of the year so I can fully enjoy my time off and the goodies that come with the Christmas holidays. So in December, I managed to take off 10 days straight.

Not quite enough if you ask me. I would need a month off to truly rest my mind from my 9-5 job. But sufficient to explore and kickstart some new side projects.

I am always over-optimistic and in this case, it proved to be true. I already had too much on my plate. Financia website, Youtube channels. All took all of my free time.

So the journeys I had on my backburner for years like learning mobile development, learning game development, and launching new niche websites will continue to stay in the realm of dreams.

It all comes back to my ability to launch a new affiliate website while recording the Youtube content. After launching the website, It will be a matter of weeks if I wanted to kickstart new projects.

I know recording content significantly slows me down. If I had recorded my Chrome extension journey, I would finish it in 6 months instead of a month and a half.

On the other hand, by publishing content, I get exposure, credibility, and satisfaction from helping others, who share the same journeys. And building a domain authority is far more valuable, than having a finished minimum viable product, that I built anonymously during the nights.

Anytime I get a comment asking for my help, I am more than happy to share my knowledge.

So yeah, I don’t regret not reaching my goals, because there is a higher purpose in taking one step at a time.

End Of Year Summary

I would love to write something smart and motivating for the summary of 2020, but all I can say about 2020 is – it was a lost year for me.

I won some, but I lose some more. First, let’s talk about the positives.

  1. Full-time home office. A dream came true with the start of the crisis and I could not be happier. Sleep deprivation was long gone and I saved two hours of commuting every day. No more stress from running to the office in time, get dressed every day, and sitting in a freezing, sterile office.
  2. Traveling. Even though the traveling was risky through the summer, I managed to spend one month in Croatia exploring the country from corner to corner. You can read my trip report here. And I timed it quite well. Few days before leaving Croatia, many countries restored national lockdowns.
  3. More free time. Thanks to the home office I saved 2 hours of commuting, 1 hour of morning preparation, and 0.5-1 hour of an evening nap. That is 3-4 hours of my life I took back, every day. How did I spend all the free hours? Did I become a productivity hero? Not quite. I extended my sleep pattern by one hour and a half, and my morning writing session by half an hour. One hour goes to either cardio or stretching session. The rest goes to my side projects. As you can see. I compensated life areas that suffered the most. I almost eliminated stress, improved my sleep pattern, kept myself in shape. Without mental clarity, I would not be able to hustle more hours on top of 9-5 job hours.
  4. Finished real estate deal. Even though I closed a real estate deal at the market all-time high, I am happy I didn’t wait for the drop after all. Because despite the lockdowns and economic downturn, people seemed to have enough money for down payments. There were very few foreclosures and the demand stayed high due to cheap mortgages. If I waited for two months, I could get a bigger apartment for the same price in a similarly attractive locality with cheaper financing, but that’s life and my luck. I would not be able to time the market even if I had a crystal ball.
  5. First paying customer. The achievement I am most proud of. After hustling for so long, doing countless websites, spending hundreds of hours learning python, javascript, and having many failed projects under my belt. One of my projects finally got its first paying customer. The key lesson here is that solves a real pain and that I marketed it to a targeted community. It does not mean, that I can replicate the success over and over. But I learned enough to know what not to do. For example, don’t monetize projects right off the bat. Do it only when it gets traction and when there is enough value for the customer. Until then focus on growing its value and doing marketing.
  6. First music channel 100 subscribers. A minor achievement, but personally an important one. Ever since I started my first music channel in 2014, published one video, and gave up quickly after seeing zero views. I came a long way. It took me one year and a half to get to 100 subscribers. And I learned a slow, sustainable way to grow my channels. What’s more, I enjoy creating content and editing more than I ever did before. But I had to change my mindset, forgetting about quick success. Instead, I had to spend 100+ hours creating videos, learning inside out about video production, and spending a lot of cash on equipment. Only after, my video didn’t suck hard. They still suck but suck less. I might have just described any random hobby, that requires natural talent and money, while I am lacking both. But it is the beauty of it.

For every upside, there is a downside as well.

  1. National lockdown. Being at home all the time is great, given you have 100% freedom in traveling and doing whatever you want. Like working remotely from the beach in Bali. It is not so great if everything is closed, and you cannot even visit the gym, nor go to the concert or cinema. Then it feels more like a prison. There is no social life, no traveling, the limited freedom.
  2. Closed gyms. You need to care of yourself both physically and mentally. Fortunately, I made the best out of the situation and I do handstand workouts together with dumbbell and resistance band training almost every day. I run almost every week and I try to keep my calories in check. I thought I would make a progress with stretching and mobility routines, but I always somehow skip my pancake and hamstring workouts. They are perfect for occasions when I procrastinate, but my laziness always won over. Maybe in 2021.
  3. Restricted traveling. One month in Croatia is not enough. Had I travel two weeks before, I could include Slovenia in the list as well. The better scenario would be to visit three or more countries in a single one-month trip. The ideal scenario would be traveling every two months for two-three weeks. Which won’t be possible in the next 2-5 years. The market with long-distance flights was crushed and the prices lowered by high demand for overpriced first-class seats won’t be the same since companies learned, that working online is better than sending a person across the continents for 10000 USD. Short distance flights will adversely become cheaper short term because travel companies need to dilute fixed expenses for maintaining a fleet. So the strategy for the next 5 years is to swallow doubled long-distance flight ticket price, take longer 2 to 3-month vacations, and try to lower the overall cost with cheaper short distance intercontinental flights. But will it be worth it to visit empty cities with closed hostels? I don’t think so. The crowds, events, and people are part of the experience.
  4. Unfinished rehab project. During the summer before the second wave, I thought I will be able to rehab the apartment in less than two months. But as I made the checklist of what needs to be done, it got complicated really fast. Of course, I could just do it and start rehab without a plan or hire a project manager, but in both cases, the overall budget would increase by 25%. So as an egoistic stubborn person, I would rather bleed every month on monthly expenses than to delegate the work to a third party. It’s stupid, I know. So in 2021, I will give it a top priority and I will try to finish the plan and then start rehabbing in February/March.
  5. Avoided stock market moves. A once in the lifetime opportunity to buy cheap stocks and I missed it again. Here I was rightfully cautious because of my over-regulated 9-5 job. I cannot just buy stocks as I wish. I have to make a report before the purchase. And at that time, I didn’t have a broker account, the Czech currency was weak and the media spread doomsday articles. So I did nothing. Had I listened to my gut, I would increase my net worth by 25% by the end of the year, just from participating in the market recovery. So guys, always listen to your gut and just do it. Deal with consequences later. And of course, have an emergency fund and risk only money you can lose.
  6. Unfinished side projects. There are two projects I kickstarted at the beginning of 2020, but I never made any significant progress besides buying a domain. As always I got caught up in between my other projects and my 9-5 job. There is just not enough time in the world to do it all. I will keep them on my to-do list though and I will try to launch an MVP once I finish my website development journey.

Live projects

The Hustle App

In December, 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 190 subscribers. A 6% increase over the previous month.

I have uploaded two new DJ mixes and 7 single tracks. The most viewed track recorded 129 views.

If I celebrated my first Patreon last month, I have to revoke all the joy this month. At the end of November, my only Patreon has canceled his subscription.

And since there is a trial period when someone subscribes in the middle of the month, I got a big fat zero from his membership. Thankfully, I am doing this for fun, otherwise, I would be disappointed and gave up way sooner.

I will keep uploading till I reach 200 uploads, then we will see if it is going anywhere.

Personal Youtube Channel

In December, I posted 4 new videos on my personal Youtube channel, that I don’t want to share yet.

My most viewed video posted in December got 44 views. My other videos averages about 10-20 views after publishing.

Nothing to write about here. I have too many low-quality footage and too little time for editing. I will keep experimenting with different topics and formats and see how it evolves.

So far, documenting my website development journey keeps me busy. And it will take me at least 15-20 more episodes to wrap it up.

I wish the almighty youtube algorithm will someday be in my favor and push any of my videos, but I am not in hurry. I plan to work on my channel every day for the next five years.

Financia

In December, I worked hard on Financia, mostly improving the website based on user feedback.

  • Improved SEO
  • Added search autocomplete feature
  • Added more regions
  • Added most similar items
  • Added new filters
  • Improved UI
  • Tons of other bug fixes and optimizations

Except for one new customer, nothing much happened. I have spent two weeks developing a search autocomplete feature.

Certainly, a waste of time, because it does not improve the added value. But nevertheless, it is a user-requested feature and I was intrigued to learn python and javascript implementation, which will be useful in future projects.

What bothers me the most is the performance. The scaling tech stack is not my strong ability and since the size of data sets grew to over tens of millions, both frontend and backend are horribly slow. Moving to the windows environment only helped temporarily.

If I won’t do something, my scripts might never finish the execution one day. I will have to probably sacrifice data completeness and reduce the data set size.

Income Report Breakdown

For charts and numbers, click on my new Open page

P2P Lending

Nothing has changed in December.

My P2P strategies are turned off and I am still waiting on the sideline. Most of the defaulted lenders are on an ongoing debt recovery plan, that will fulfill all the debts in the next ten years. So I will keep the account funded for the moment when everything gets back to normal.

In December I also missed a chance to make money on foreign conversion. I could convert all my EUR balance to CZK and make money on the market movement, but I didn’t expect CZK to appreciate that quickly in a matter of days.

Nevermind. Hopefully next time I will listen to my gut.

Savings Accounts

Most banks lowered both rates and saving limits at the beginning of 2021. So it seems my passive income will shrink even more. There is still one shady bank offering unlimited deposits for 0.7% which is not bad at all. I think it’s time for another rebalance.

Used Stuff Sales

My path to life minimalism went well in December. I got rid of the wireless earphones. The less material things I own, the more freedom I get.

Plans, dreams, and wishes

My goals for January are the following. Make Financia better, keep working on my new authority website, and produce video content on regular basis.

That would be it. Thank you so much for following me on this journey and see you in the next report.

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