There’s nothing like passive income—after all who doesn’t want to make money while they sleep?
In 2018 I began this journey intent on making my money work for me. Since then, I’ve learned it is well worth the effort to set up a system of spending that gives back in the most advantageous way to you. Some like to accrue travel points on their credit card but I’m all about cash. Each month I’d like to continue making more money passively and show you the small ways that you can also increase your income—it might seem like pennies at a time—but those pennies add up.
The term ‘passive income’ has a few slightly different definitions, but in my case, I am simply sticking to that income which comes from credit card cashback, interest, and dividends from stock. This is money that ”just comes to me” by way of how I’ve set up my spending and saving. Don’t get confused, however—this is not money that fell out of the sky—this money came after thorough research and some risk-taking.
During the month of August, I received $89.69 in dividends. Below, along with each stock, I have the amount of dividend income I made in August, how many shares I own, and the total amount of money I have invested in the stock. I’ve had a stock account for many years, but it was not ”doing anything” because I was playing it safe by keeping all my money in the bank. Then I took the initiative to remove my savings from a CD in 2018 and put that money into the stock market. To say I was afraid is an understatement. But, no matter, the decision paid off. Just to give you an idea—I made somewhere around $20.00 per year with $20,000.00 invested in my CD. Here is what I made in one month with the stocks I purchased for a total investment of approximately $12,000.00.
Stock AugustDividend Total Shares Money Invested
ATT (T) $31.20 60 shares $1800.00
Verizon(VZ) $6.15 10 shares $590.00
Green Plains Partners LP (GPP) $24.00 200 shares $1000.00
American Express (AXP) $4.30 10 shares $980.00
Realty Income (O) $9.34 40 shares $2300.00
Diversified Healthcare Trust (DHC) $5.31 531 shares $3200.00
LTC Properties Trust (LTC) $1.90 10 shares $470.00
Invesco Exchange S&P 500 (SPHD) $7.49 50 shares $1700.00
Most of these stocks are paid quarterly, but the REIT’s: ‘O’ stock, LTC, and SPHD are paid out monthly.
After moving my money out of that miserable CD at my local brick-and-mortar bank, I started to notice banks with very high-interest rates. Definitely, you can get a higher percentage rate inside a good bank account than a CD. It is a huge misconception that a CD is the way to go. It’s like we are practically gaslighted into believing a bank account cannot pay us more—this is despite the obvious evidence to the contrary. Often, a high-interest bank account comes with some hoops to jump through, but I think it is worth the effort. I keep some cash in my neighborhood bank, but then I transfer money to my online bank where I get 2% interest. This month I received $33.37 in interest. I keep as much as I can in that bank until I need it for big expenditures like property taxes at the end of the year.
Credit Card Cashback
In my last post, I talked about my favorite credit card: The American Express Blue Card. The American Express Blue Card gives the following:
*6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases.
*6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
*3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (e.g., taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more)
*1% Cash Back on other purchases
Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
AmEx has additional benefits and perks—most notable being the $5.00 ”Small Shop” credit for spending $10.00 or more at approved small businesses (I had 4 of these for a total of $20.00 at the time of my bill. So with those credits and the regular cashback credits, my August total was $104.83. I should note, that this amount fell under half of July and half of August because my billing cycle ends mid-month. Also, the small shop credit benefit ended mid-Septemer.
Adding all three up, I earned a total of $227.89 in the month of August. Not bad, but I’ll keep tracking my expenses and looking for ways to not only increase my passive income—but also find ways to invest it in the future.
Have a Great Week!