April Extra Income- $3,255.19

Where things stand May 1:

Debt: The only debt I have today is a mortgage and our current renovation debt-total of the reno debt will be disclosed soon.Right now they are on 0% interest cards and will be paid off with a HELOC eventually.

This month I was able to pay off the payment to the lawyer for setting up the trust AND the remainder of the renovation costs that turned our basement into an AirBnb space!!! Woo hoo! Those two debts combined cost me $1,150/month and I am glad to have it back in my budget. Hopefully May will see significant increases in savings.

I put most of our Airbnb renovation costs (approximately $11,000) on a 0% interest for 18 months credit card.  I pay $850/month and it is on track to be paid off before it starts accruing interest in May 2017.


April 1 May 1 Difference
Reno $1,265.45 $0 -$1,265.45
Lawyer $645.00 0 -$645
Savings $3,981.88 $4,081.88 101.54


We’re 2.72% of the way to our ultimate goal of $150,000, 16.32% of the way to our first rental property down payment goal of $25,000.


April Extra Income

$1,530-Rental property

$1,058- Airbnb

$446.57 – Mystery shopping

$100 from Godmother for my trip to California

$50 –Swagbucks gift cards

$23- Credit card cash back redemption

$22.48- Dividends

$20 Sam’s Club Cash Back

$3- Field Agent App

$1.54- Interest on savings account

$0.60 – Affiliate income


Total: $3,255.19

Thoughts: Keeping track of my weekly spending has been really effective. Also, I told Mr. Beach Life that I am “not participating” in eating out except for special occassions. No longer will I go out to eat just because we failed to plan. That was worked out great. Also, this past week we started eating a Keto diet and I have no self control around beer and french fries so it is easier to just stay in.

I didn’t put nearly as much into savings as I wanted to this month BUT I paid off the renovation and lawyer’s bills!!!!!! It’s done!!!!!  You’ll probably see a new lawyer’s bill next month but it is not as large.


Rental property: 1/3 goes towards property taxes, income taxes and insurance.  1/3 goes to my IRA. The last 1/3 goes toward the renovation costs.  Once that is paid off I hope to send the $510 to savings every month.

AirBnb: April was a great month, even though one of our guests was a no-show. They are okay, and haven’t asked for their money back (we wouldn’t give it back to them anyway, since there was zero communication.) We only have one weekend in May booked, but it is graduation weekend so it will give us just about what our mortgage payment is. Unfortunately, we have to pay our property taxes next week so I am hoping for a couple more May bookings to keep our cushion.

Mystery shopping: Of the $446.57, $238.57 was reimbursements.  For that $238.57, Mr. BL and I got:

  • 6 grocery trips
  • 1 delivery pizza
  • Dinner at a fast casual burger place
  • A book!
  • Beer and an appetizer at a resort hotel!

This was a great month for mystery shopping! I had my Amazon Prime membership reimbursed and had a ton of web/phone shops. These are my favorite shops because they only take a few minutes and they don’t cost anything. I don’t have that many mystery shops lined up for next month but I am looking.

Travel Gift from Godmother: My Godmother likes to send me money and uses anything as an excuse. I am very lucky.

Swagbucks: I cashed in some of my Swagbucks for a $25 gift card to Lowes for the renovation and $25 for Sam’s Club for groceries.

Credit Card Cash Back: I used some cash back points I’ve accumulated to pay down some of the renovation debt.

Dividends & savings account interest: I only own shares in 3 different companies but hope to eventually increase my holdings. Right now everything gets reinvested.  This is the largest month of dividends I’ve received, though, so that is exciting. After I purchase my next property I hope to start adding to this account. Savings account interest gets added to the down payment fund.

Sam’s Club Cash Back: I upgraded my Sam’s Club account last year to see if it would be worth the higher yearly price for the cash back. It wasn’t. Lesson learned. This year I am going down to the regular price, but I found out that University Employees receive a $10 gift card if they renew with a special form. I am definitely taking advantage of that offer!

Affiliate Income– Not much to see here…


Looking forward to May:

There is a birthday in our house and steak and ice cream cake and blueberry muffins have been requested as the preferred way to celebrate it. We will probably go out for steaks unless we finally pull the trigger on a grill. The dinner out will probably be half the cost of the grill so maybe we should just do it…

Other than the birthday, I am hoping for another low expense month so that I can start aggressively saving again. Also, hopefully the renovation will be complete. Or almost complete. And our lives can return to normal!

Here are my past passive income reports:

March- $2,880.47

February- $3,264.08

January- $1,967.57

December- $3,962.97

November – $3,004.40

October – $3,209.55

September – $3,068.95

August – $4,914.27

July 2016 – $2,733.35

June 2016- $2,848.04

May 2016- $3,684.56


11 Responses

  1. Mrs. Picky Pincher

    Woohoooo! Great job bringing in that extra income! That’s a great idea to convert your basement just for rentals. I’ve been toying with the idea of rentals as passive income, but we’d need to buy a completely separate property. Hmmm.

    • Jax-This post may contain affiliate links

      We specifically chose our house because we knew we could rent out the basement. Originally we thought we would do long term rentals but we make 2-3 times as much renting out just a few days on Airbnb. My number one advice to anyone house hunting is to consider multi-unit properties. Who doesn’t want someone else paying their mortgage for them?

    • Jax-This post may contain affiliate links

      Thanks, Erik. No posts on Airbnb yet but I am going to start working on them!

  2. Sylvia

    Heck yes, awesome month. Damn, that’s a crazy good hustle with mystery shopping. I just do it casually whenever I feel like it, haha, but I might step up my game this month. Defff gonna throw myself relentlessly at that grocery shops site you sent me – there were like a dozen in my town alone. Makes it seem like ‘free groceries for the entire month’ is not outside the realm of possibility.

    Also, now that I’m back in my house and have rooms I could feasibly rent out, I want to get started on AirBnb. When my entire house was rented out, I found that I rather *enjoyed* someone else paying off my mortgage XD We’ll see how it goes.

  3. Investment Hunting

    Nice move using a 0% card to finance the renovations. It feels good to use someone’s money and not have to pay interest. Do you feel like a bank? 😉

    • Jax-This post may contain affiliate links

      Ha! I love leveraging my credit to get ahead but it does come with a little bit of stress.

  4. Ms. Frugal Asian Finance

    Looks like you’re doing really well with your rental property and Airbnb. The mysterious shopping side hustle seems to pull in a lot too. Keep up the great work! 🙂

    • Jax-This post may contain affiliate links

      Thanks! We’re pretty lucky to live where there’s a steady stream of guests AND mystery shops!

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