One of my most successful side income streams has been investing in dividend stocks. Building a solid portfolio of dividend growth stocks will help provide me with a solid source of income for many years to come. While I am still in the allocation phase of buying stocks for this portfolio, I have started to see some very positive results. Just this month I hit a milestone by earning over $100 in dividend income! Building a dividend income portfolio does not require a lot of my time, but there is still work to be done. For example, each month I take a look at my overall holdings in the portfolio to see where I can make some minor tweaks. One of the things I look for are ways to stay [...]

One of the most important rules of The Money Sprout Blueprint is to build a diversified set of income streams. If one or two of them suddenly dry up, then you can rely on the others to keep your monthly income coming in. Building a portfolio of dividend stocks provides an opportunity for investors to diversify their income. I have been slowly building my dividend income stream for over the past 5 years. I recently started tracking my monthly results to give a guide to those looking to do the same. Each month I provide results on the dividends I earned during that time, changes to my portfolio, new capital invested, and any other important details. Before we look at the results for March, let’s take a look at my [...]

Just when I thought things were going well as a freelance writer, I got "let go" from one of my staff writing positions earlier this month. This is certainly a setback for my short term earnings potential as a freelance writer. Instead of earning over $200 this month, I am now estimating about $125 in freelance income from staff writing. While this temporary setback may hurt a little in the short term, I am more than determined to keep at it. I still have a goal to be making at least $500 per month in freelance writing income by the end of this year. Here's a recap of why I was let go and what I am learning from all of it. The problem came down to poor communication between [...]

Some of the most well known blue chip dividend stocks are found in the Consumer Staples sector. Companies from this sector produce goods that are considered essential to people. Food, beverages, and household items are products from this sector that people are unwilling to cut out of their budget - despite how the economy is performing. Consumer Staples stocks are generally considered to be safe investments that offer slow and steady growth and are non-cyclical. Since the products sold by these companies are always in demand, these stocks are not as impacted by the economy compared to others. This is one of the reasons why so many companies from this sector have such a strong dividend history. Here are five Consumer Staple stocks that I currently own in the Money [...]

Niche Ideas

I have been doing a lot of brainstorming lately on opening up an eCommerce website as a new source of income. For some time, I thought retail arbitrage was the way to go when it came to selling items online. However, after selling a few items on eBay a couple months ago - I realized that this type of income stream was not for me. Retail arbitrage as an income stream doesn't follow the characteristics of the Money Sprout Blueprint. For example, this type of selling does not seem to be sustainable. Relying heavily on external forces you cannot control is not a sustainable business model. I have been burned in the past by relying on a third party site (i.e. eHow) for income generation. I will not make that [...]

Have you ever sold any items on eBay or Amazon for a profit? In the past, I have sold a few odds and ends online after cleaning the garage or going through the attic. Just some regular used items. I sold these items because I really didn't want to throw them away and thought someone else could get some use out of them. I never really thought of selling items online as a way to make extra money. That is until I saw firsthand the profit that could be made through retail arbitrage. Just before Christmas last year, I came across a hot holiday gift item that was temporarily listed at a huge markdown on It was a toy item that both of my young boys (10 & 6) [...]

Successful dividend investors rely on many tools to help evaluate companies. One method often used is to find stocks on published lists such as the Dividend Aristocrat Index. This index includes stable companies that are well managed and have a strong history of increasing their dividends each year. Well known dividend payers like McDonald's (MCD) and Coca-Cola (KO) are found on this list. Other tools used by dividend investors to further screen stocks include several financial ratios that are specific to a company. For example, the dividend yield can be used to measure the cash flow an investor will get for each dollar they invest in a given stock. The price to earnings (PE) ratio can help tell an investor if a stock is overpriced in the current market. Another [...]

Over the past two months, freelance writing has become a viable side income stream for me. While I am not ready to quit my full time job just yet, I can see there is a bright future ahead if I stick with it. I have a goal to earn at least $500 a month from this sprouted income source by the end of the year. Over the past two months I have made some progress towards this goal but am not there yet. Let's take a closer look at my second month as a freelance writer. I earned $75 in my first month back as a freelance writer back in January. This income earned was as a staff writer for a personal finance blog where I wrote 3 articles. After [...]

At the end of each month, I provide a detailed report of the income earned from sources other than my full time job. I report my income and any expenses incurred from building that income from the past month. I have a goal to eventually match my monthly income from my full time job (~$4,500) with that from other side sources. This monthly report holds me accountable and keeps me focused on my long term goals for building these income streams. Check out my articles on Sprouted Income Streams for an overview from past months. Not only will income be reported, but also any expenses associated with creating this income (other than taxes). Things like hosting fees, domain name purchases, and any other services or products purchased that will aid [...]

Building a solid dividend income portfolio is one of the most important parts of The Money Sprout Blueprint. I believe in diversifying your income in order to protect your personal finances - and dividend stocks are a part of that. While The Money Sprout is NOT an investing site - I like to provide details on how I am building this income stream. I am not giving recommendations to buy or sell stocks here but will show you what I am doing to build this solid income stream. Each month I provide results on the dividends I earned during that time, changes to my portfolio, new capital invested, and any other important details. Before we look at February's results, let’s take a look at my 2014 goals. I have set [...]