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One of the most important aspects of living off of passive income and being your own boss, is being able to sustain yourself and your family financially. That is the goal right? Quit your 9-5, support yourself and your family through passive income streams, and dedicate yourself entirely to your family? Well, in order to accomplish that goal you will need to utilize various financial tools to aid you on your journey. One of the best methods I have found of saving money towards specific goals is creating sub-accounts through ING Direct. If you would like a detailed tutorial on how these can actually be set-up, Ramit Sethi has created a great step by step tutorial you can find here.

The best part about ING Direct is the ease of set-up. Within 5 minutes of creating an account, you can have multiple accounts created, money being transferred to fund these accounts, and automatic transfers scheduled that will automate your savings. This part is key if you are really going to build wealth and progress rapidly towards your goals. We both know that humans are unable to escape the psychological roadblocks that keep us from saving money and that if we do not actively set money aside for future goals, it just will not happen! So with ING, you simply schedule an automatic transfer from your bank account, and the money is whisked away to be held safe and grow! What I like most about ING is that you can create unlimited accounts. I have 7 accounts created. Everything from my emergency fund to HOA fees, to car insurance and taxes. Every relatively large bill that I want to set money aside for each month, I simply create a sub account. The money is deposited each month, it grows, and I withdraw the money when I need it. Simply as that.

I could talk about the benefits of ING all day, but let’s face it, money talks! So if you respond to these comments with your e-mail address, I will send you an invitation to join up with ING Direct and they will give you a $25 bonus just for signing up! (I will get a little bonus as well, so its a win win for everyone!)

Photo by: Simon Howden

The more I look for ideas of earning an income online I keep seeing one recurring theme: iPhone apps.

It seems like every time I turn around another one of my friends gets an iPhone. Personally, even as fanatic of a fan of Apple products as I am, I cannot stomach paying the monthly service fee through AT&T so I don’t own an iPhone, but I know that a whole boatload of people do, and those people buy apps!

So you have a captive audience willing to spend the big bucks on the phone, the monthly service fee, and all the trapping to make their iPhone cool and unique, and you better believe they are willing to pay a few bucks to download a cool app that will make them stand out among their friends.

Now I will be the first to admit that I don’t know the first thing about programming, so I would have to outsource the programming for an iPhone app, but I’m gonnna jump on this bandwagon while its hot.

Have you developed an iPhone app? Do you know exactly where the best programmers are to be found? Is there money to be made?

Photo by: Francesco Marino

By now you have probably all seen the ING Direct commercials asking “What is your number?”

I want to ask the same question about a different number. ING wants to know what number you will need to retire, I want to know what number will cause you to quit your 9-5 job and start living your life on your terms!

When I sat down to consider my number I quickly realized that a lot of factors had to be considered. I have a good hold on our family finances so I knew exactly how much would be needed to cover our expenses each month. But the goal of securing passive income is not just to cover expenses, I want to create a life for my family that meets our needs, allows us to spend more time together, and secures a safe future. With this goal in mind, suddenly my number jumped drastically.

I figured it would be easiest to break it down into a monthly number since most expenses and income are calculated on a monthly basis. I had to consider the rising cost of supporting a growing family, the expenses of socking more money away into retirement accounts, the added expenses of being self-employed (higher insurance premiums, business expenses, taxes), and a well padded emergency fund if something were to go awry.

I also factored in the concept that the amount that I would take right away is not necessarily my end goal amount. The amount that it will take to get me to switch will be considerably less than the amount I believe I am capable of bringing in. Suffice it to say, once you figure out your passive income plan, it should be easily scalable, which should offer a significant boost in your income in the future.

After considering all those factors, I settled on my number: $5000/month. Once I reach this goal I will be safely able to separate from my current job and venture into the world on my own terms, unencumbered by a 9-5 job!

So I encourage you to find your number! How much in monthly income would it take to pull you away from your 9-5 job and start putting your priorities in the order they need to be?

Photo by: Michelle Meiklejohn

True Happiness

JD Roth over at Get Rich Slowly wrote a review today about a book entitled “The Happiness Project”. The book chronicles the author Gretchin Rubin’s, journey as she spends an entire year running life experiments and trying to decipher what truly makes her happy.

I find that a lot of the thoughts in this book ring true in my life. I have a goal of supporting myself and my family through a passive income stream with the result of increased happiness. If I did not think that this would bring about more happiness for myself and for my family then why would I go about it in the first place?

I think at some point we all have to wrestle with the question of  “What is it that truly makes you happy?” And I don’t mean a fleeting happiness that is here one day and gone the next, I mean life-sustaining happiness that will carry you through your later years.

This book is inspirational and I highly recommend it as a worthwhile read!

What exactly is passive income? Passive income is simply defined as a revenue stream that does not require your direct involvement. This may sound like a fictional term but it is much more common than you may think.

If you own any rental property, and you receive a rent payment from a tenant each month, this is passive income. You put the pieces into play (purchased the property, secured a tenant) and now you sit back and collect the cash every month.

I have previously stated that my goal is to escape the 9-5 and live a life where I can devote the majority of my time to my family, and I aim to accomplish this through passive income.

Passive does not equal lazy, it equals freedom!

The goal of passive income is to free you up to devote your time to your priorities, whatever they may be. Work less, earn more. That is the goal behind all passive income streams.

A passive income stream is one that is created, left on its own, then simply monitored and tweaked to perfection. A blog that earns revenue from advertising, an e-book that is sold on a website, affiliate sales from a product you are promoting on your website, “how-to” DVD that is sold on Amazon, these are all forms of passive income. You are able to earn income without directly having your hand in the earning process.

As I begin my journey towards a passive income I want to explore every option. If you have any creative ideas for a passive income stream, please share!

What has worked for you?

What would you do differently if you could go back and restructure your passive income streams?

Photo by Michelle Meiklejohn

Ascending to your goals

What are some goals that you have in life? Getting a job that pays six figures? Getting married and having 4 kids? Little house with a white picket fence? Retire at 50? 40? 30?

When I was growing up I always had my head in the clouds (to be fair I still do today). I have always had a very vivid imagination and my daydreaming could be sparked at the slightest provocation. I would dream about where I saw my life when I grew up, what I would do for a career, what kind of car I would drive, what sort of house I would live in. My mom would catch me sitting around staring off into space a lot and always stop me to ask what dream I had this time. I would usually gush about my latest fascination and then she would always bring me back to reality by my most dreaded question “So how are you going to reach that?” With that one simple phrase she would burst my imagination bubble and bring me back to reality. While that little question is a stellar piece of parenting, growing up I came to loathe the question. It took a long time for me to see that she was actually right.

I could dream all day about the life I wanted, but unless I put an action plan together it would never actually happen.

This realization is one of the reason I started this blog. I know that I need to get my butt in gear and do something, if I want to reach my goals. I’ve stated before, my goal is freedom from the 9-5 career. Freedom to spend my time with my family and my true passions.

What are your goals? What is your priority No. 1? What would you do with your 8 hours per day if you were not stuck behind a desk? Do you have a clear vision in your mind? Great! Use that as motivation.

Now, let’s get out there and gain our freedom!

Photo by Salvatore Vuono

Beginning this journey for me carries a lot of weight. For one, I am not single and therefore I have a lot more to consider than my own personal well-being. My wife Rachel means the world to me and this journey is largely about her. As of today, we do not have any children, but we plan to have them in the next few years. With my wife and my future children at the forefront of my mind, I can clearly see what I need to do.

One of my favorite sites, which I read on a daily basis, is Art of Manliness . Brett and Kate McKay do a fabulous job of defining what manliness should look like. In my life, as a husband and future father, I want to hold true to these ideals of manliness. I want to be a loving husband. I want to be there for my wife emotionally and physically and I want to provide good leadership in our house. Leadership by service. I also want to be a great Dad. I want to have the time to spend with my kids and help shape them into responsible adults.

I know that I will be much more effective at being a good husband and a good father if I am able to have the necessary freedom to excel at these roles.

No please do not misunderstand me. I don’t want freedom from a 9-5 job because I am lazy. Quite the opposite. In fact, I intend to pour every waking moment into my wife and my kids and have my income earning activities as a sidenote. I have felt for a long time that we as Americans have the concept of the  work/family balance skewed backwards. Imagine how different our society would be if we spent a couple hours a day working and the majority of our day with our families. Would we be better off? I certainly think so!

So as I enter into this journey, I’ll be honest, I have a few fears. What will my friends think. If I truly am able to accomplish my goal and escape the 9-5, will my friends accept this? Will I be looked down on as a revolutionary? What will my kids think of their Dad does not have a traditional job?

All of these questions will be answered over time. I have to lay the groundwork. I have to build the base of my system that will allow me to earn a fairly passive income and direct the rest of my time to my family and to becoming a better person, spiritually, physically, and psychologically.

Photo by Michelle Meiklejohn