FIRE.030 100k bonus! Yes, but I earned it

You have to be thinking, how could someone (a normal, non-Wall St, non-C-level exec) earn a bonus that large? I have to admit, I was shocked when I realized that working in my little second job/side gig teaching at a local community college for 15 years earned over 100k.

Why is that a “bonus?” It’s a bonus because 1) it is not money that was tied to job/career/salary. 2) it was a few hours one night per week 3) more importantly, because I never spent a single penny of that side income. Not spending the money at first was just an accident. I made enough money in my main job to cover my savings, my bills, and my spending/fun activities. That left those extra direct deposits available for an easy transfer into my savings account, then a transfer to my investment account.

To be clear, my “bonus” goes straight to my net worth number. That is freakin’ awesome.

Let’s break this down. The small income of $2900ish per class/semester over time has grossed over 100k. The nice thing about my adjunct faculty salary is the small inflation adjustments I’ve received over the past decade (now $3300). In preparation of leading up to FIRE, I added a second night class. Unfortunately, the second class has been hit or miss for registration over the past few years, mostly not filling and being canceled. That sucks for my side income, but I understand that paying me requires student tuition (plus county/state funding?) which is logical.

Takeaway: 1) you’ve heard a side gig can give you more income. Absolutely, but I suggest finding something where you have a unique skill that may allow a higher hourly rate than what something the masses could do. 2) If you can use the opportunity to save that gig’s money, AWESOME!


Side note: did other tech nerds think “gig economy” had something to do with gigabytes? How dumb and literal nerds can be!

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