With the recent change in my wife’s employment situation we have returned to a state of Multiple Income streams. For years I have taken for granted having multiple incomes. For a brief stint of the 6 months while my wife was a stay at home mom we operated on a single income. This period really opened my eyes to the benefits of having multiple income streams.
Noticing the Absence of Multiple Income Stream and it’s Impacts
The first time I noticed the absence of the benefits of multiple income streams was when I evaluated my Emergency Funds after the job change. Having a single income stream means if you lose your job there is no safety valve of a second income to keep you going. We can easily see that having multiple income streams decreases the likelihood of an emergency caused by job loss. This had multiple impacts on me personally.
- One of the first things we did when my wife’s employment changed was to increase our emergency account. Ultimately we overshot as I just did not understand the change in my financial needs. Simply put I was more worried about our financial risks from job loss. The result to some extent was a reduction in the income we could have earned from interest. Even had I set it correctly it was the right thing to do to increase my emergency account during this time to account for the added risk. Not having that added risk would have allowed my assets to be more productive.
- The second benefit of multiple incomes we missed should be extremely easy to understand. It impacts your ability to save. The more incomes you have producing, likely the more money you are bringing in. This is especially true if you are a couple, but it would also be true for an individual. If you have a rental house and a job then if you lose the job you still have the rental income producing as an emergency fund. You also have added revenue you can use to increase your savings rate. I’ve stated before we have made a policy early on of living off a single income, while saving the second. So long as one of our incomes is a living wage we can easily save the second one to get ahead.
- The third benefit of multiple incomes is more specific to couples working multiple jobs. Life insurance’s primary purpose is to cover the potential income loss if one spouse is no longer around to work. Disability insurance’s primary purpose is to cover the potential income loss if one spouse is no longer able to work. With couples both working the impact of one income disappearing reduces. As a result multiple incomes can lead to the benefit of a reduced need for life insurance and disability insurance. Less need means less cost, allowing you to more efficiently apply your assets.
- The final benefit of multiple incomes is related to your long term path to Financial Independence. Multiple Incomes diversifies your methods of earning money. It also diversifies the possibility of one of those incomes increasing dramatically in size. As a result having multiple incomes allows for the possibility of choosing between income streams once you have tired of an existing income stream. I see this a lot when reading about fellow bloggers like Retire by 40 that started blogging as a hobby. Eventually the income rose enough to supplement their retirement funds. Ultimately they were able to retire earlier from their main income stream thanks to having multiple incomes including passive ones. Just like with assets, diversification of income has advantages when it comes time to choose your future or change your direction.
Pursuing Multiple Income Streams More Diligently
This epiphany has led me to pursue additional income streams. We already have some income coming in from dividends, my job, and my wife’s consulting gig. Now I am upping my income stream from travel hacking, investigating real estate investing, experimenting with minor monetization of the blog, and considering other potential side hustles. Before my wife’s change I was content with what we were achieving. The experience has motivated me to pursue additional income streams in the hopes that they might decrease our dependency on my income.
Do you have multiple income streams? Any recommended low time commitment income streams? Have you noticed any additional benefits from multiple income streams?