So, you’ve decided you want to try the multiple streams of income route. Done. Decided. But, how will you make it work in real life?
In my last post, I discussed how neither my hubby nor I want to work for someone else long-term. It’s quite a countercultural idea to Mainstreamers, but one that is not so unattainable, especially for those of us immersed in the online space. If you can spot a niche, you can fill that niche.
Problem is…I don’t want to just fill ONE niche. I am more aligned with the idea of multiple streams of income. What about you?
Because I am interested in so many different ideas, it was hard for me to pull them all together.
Here’s where it got tough for me. My hubby is also a multipotentialite, though he may not admit it. Just imagine our household: two distinctly different people, both very passionate about a number of different things. It could look a bit chaotic (and sometimes still does) if you were a fly on the wall of our house. One week, we could be laying out plans for a social media consultancy. The next week, we could be discussing real estate investment and flipping houses. I never knew which idea was going to “cut the mustard” or was worth investing time into.
What we needed to do was to determine the ratios of income each of us should be responsible for based upon our current budget.
We’ve all heard that people are doing "the multiple streams of income thing," but what they usually don’t tell you are their ratios. Divvying up the various streams of income into ratios is crucial to making it work for your own lifestyle.
Here are a few different ratios that could work for you, based upon your own current life situation. Be open to change, as you never know when you might move from one status to another!
Pros: You probably have very few constraints or major responsibilities at this point, which gives you more flexibility in your choices. You also can risk more to achieve your dreams.
Cons: All financial responsibility is resting on your shoulders, so you most likely don’t have another person to chip in when times get tough. Good reason to create an emergency fund!
A diversified portfolio could look like this, though don’t feel confined to exact percentages. This is just a guideline to give you an idea if you need direction. If you already have a plan that is working for you, stick with that until you need to change it up.
2/3 Bread & Butter Income + 1/3 Interchangeable Incomes = Your MSI Plan
The bread & butter gig should be bringing in the bulk of your income, so you can focus on other incomes you’d like to develop. The interchangeable incomes are the ones to experiment with. They should be able to generate some income, but the ratios are more interchangeable.
It’s wise not to start with more than 4-5 incomes. You can add additional incomes if you would like, but it’s a good idea not to spread yourself too thinly at first.
For Married or Life Partners (but not working on the same businesses)
Pros: If you’re both on the multiple streams of income bandwagon, than you can partner together or choose separate interests to make this work.
Cons: If your partner is opposed to this idea, then you might want to seek outside assistance from a mentor, counselor or professional if this is really important to you.
50% Income Partner #1 + 50% Income Partner #2 = Your MSI Plan
You might also want to do more of a 60/40 or 70/30 split if one of you is embarking on a new endeavor or has more responsibilities elsewhere. That would allow for some wiggle room to get up-and-running with a new gig or would give space for the other partner to take care of those other responsibilities.
Each partner can have multiple streams of income to make up their split. Their total income should equal the ratio the two of you decide upon.
For Married or Life Partners (working on the same bread & butter business)
Pros: You both have skin in the game to make these gigs work out.
Cons: You may not be as diversified as couples with separate interests. You may also experience some day-to-day clashing because you’re working so closely with one another.
80% Bread & Butter Income + 20% Interchangeable Incomes = Your MSI Plan
If the two of you have already established a main business, you could use this plan to diversify your portfolio. Continue pouring most of your energy into the bread & butter business, but explore other options to avoid the “putting your eggs all in one basket” scenario.
You could also want to do more of a 60/40 or 70/30 split. Tailor these ratios to what works best for your life situation and according to your values.
For Married or Life Partners with Young Children
Pros: You get to experience the ups (and downs) of having children, maybe for the first time.
Cons: One of you may be more responsible for managing the household as the stay-at-home-parent (SAHP), which would put more of the income load on the other partner.
70-100% Income non-SAHP + 0-30% Income SAHP = Your MSI Plan
If the stay-at-home-parent has already established some streams of income, then, he/she can continue contributing to the plan. If the stay-at-home-parent is a brand new mom/dad, less fiscal responsibility should be placed upon that person. The business of caring for children can be a full-time job in itself.
This could be a tough transition if the SAHP was the primary breadwinner before the children came along, but it’s one that needs to be realistically discussed and decided between the two.
For Married or Life Partners with Older Children
Pros: You’ve already made it through the challenging younger stages with your children. You might have more time and energy to focus on your multiple streams of income.
Cons: You could be playing "taxi driver” to all types of events, activities and sports! This would fill up much of that “extra” time to dedicate to your business ideas.
70% Income non-SAHP + 30% Income SAHP = Your MSI Plan
The SAHP might still have significant responsibilities in caring for the family. In this case, he/she could lessen the ratio of income he/she is responsible for. Otherwise, this might just be the opportunity to step-up-the-game and move aggressively towards trying to grow those income streams.
Note: Each family has unique needs and requires different levels of focus from the SAHP. Adjust your ratios accordingly. Never feel that you need to adhere to a specific formula because some online person (me!) simply gives a suggestion. :)
So, there you have it. These are some formulas to get you started towards creating your own plans for multiple streams of income. In future blog posts (or in my upcoming Lifestyle Design Guide), we’ll discuss how to personalize each of these further depending on your unique situation.
Your Turn: What do you think about determining multiple streams of income ratios for your family? Have you ever done something similar?