Where things stand September 1:
July was a super expensive month. August was also expensive. (Spoiler-September is already expensive. Can Q4 please be quieter!?) August saw more vet bills and then we had a concrete slab in front of our house removed. It was cracking and letting a bunch of water leak into our basement and causing the walls to bow. So, it sucks we spent so much but it really needed to be done.
The difference between July and August, however, was I hustled my butt off mystery shopping to try to keep ahead of some of the bills. So far, so good. Savings progress is slow, but I am excited to be almost a quarter of the way to my first savings goal!
|August 1||September 1||Difference|
We’re 4.01% of the way to our ultimate goal of $150,000, 24.09% of the way to our first rental property down payment goal of $25,000.
August Extra Income
$450.37 – Mystery shopping
$390- Birthday gifts. $290 in checks, $100 Amazon.com gift card
$200- Bank account bonus
$125 –Swagbucks gift cards
$62.14- Selling books
$4.86- Interest on savings account
$2- Credit card cash back redemption
$0.15 – Affiliate income
WOWZA! I think month after month I prove that I am really great at earning extra money-especially when it’s needed. What I need to get real to myself about is why aren’t I saving most of it and why is my spending apparently so out of control?
Rental property: Right now, 1/3 goes towards property taxes, income taxes and insurance. 1/3 goes to my IRA. Ideally the last third will go to savings, but this month it went toward dog expenses.
AirBnb: We’ve been playing around with our prices. Lowering the prices $10-$20/night has increased are bookings a ton. If you think August is high, wait until you see September’s numbers! We’ll take it while we can get it, though, because November-January are our slower months.
Mystery shopping: Of the $450.37, $229.47 was reimbursements. For that $229.47, Mr. BL and I got:
- 13 grocery trips
- A meal at a casual restaurant
- A fast casual burger meal
- A really cool shirt!
The rest of the money was earned through phone and web shops! I really upped my game recently and it has paid off.
Birthday: It was my birthday month and my godmother sent me checks and gift cards all month long!
Bank Account Bonus: I use the money in my savings account to open new bank accounts for the bonuses. I opened this account in June and it finally credited me the bonus in August. All of it stays in savings. It’s a super easy way to pad the savings account.
Swagbucks: I cashed in some of my Swagbucks for a $25 gift card to Hulu (which also covers my HBO subscription) and $100 for Sam’s Club. I want to quit Swagbucks but it’s so hard when it covers so much of our extras each month!
Selling Books: I sold 2 books last month that were free to me! Doesn’t get better than that!
Credit Card Cash Back: I used the cash back points I’ve accumulated to lower the monthly balance.
Dividends & savings account interest: I only own shares in 3 different companies but hope to eventually increase my holdings. Right now everything gets reinvested.
Affiliate Income– Not much to see here…
Looking forward to September:
September’s goal is “keep head above water”
All of the vet bills, fence bills, patio bills and renovation bills are stressing me out. I have a two pronged plan: Earn as much extra as I can and quit spending money. Obviously I am killing it on the first part. The second part has major room for improvement.
It seems silly to “look forward” to September since the month is halfway over. There has already been another vet bill, and a uhaul bill to get furniture Mr. Beach Life inherited.
I am trying to keep pace with the mystery shop jobs, but I have dropped the ball on a couple of them so I need be more realistic about how much time I actually have to perform them.
This week I’m visiting my family in California where I hope to get a head on writing posts. I already have some high paying mystery shops lined up, so that is a bonus!
Happy Hustling, everyone!