Where things stand January 1:
|December 1||January 1||Difference|
Ugh. I hate that this number has gone down, but last month Mr. Beach Life and I decided to separate and I needed to use the money to get into a new house. I am so, so happy that I had enough saved so that I could secure the house I did because I love this house. But it still hurts to use my savings for something that won’t increase my passive income.
December Extra Income
$1,530 Rental property
$792.64 – Mystery shopping
$100 –Swagbucks gift cards
$100- gift from Godmother
$25- Credit card cash back redemption
$3.50- Interest on savings account
What a great end of the year! And it was a 3 paycheck month to boot!
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 it’s going towards debt until the debt is gone.
AirBnb: We made enough to cover this month’s mortgage and part of January’s. This is the last time I will report on the Airbnb money until I live in the house again.
Mystery shopping: Of the $792.64, $408.16 were reimbursements. For that $408.16 I received:
- 15 grocery trips
- A restaurant meal and dessert
- Dinner at an NBA game
- 1 fast casual burger
- 1 pizza delivery
- Two fill ups for my gas tank
- Storage bin
- Shipping for an item I sold on Amazon
- A sandwich at a fast casual sandwich shop
- A set of drinking glasses
The rest of the money was earned through phone and web shops! I continued my focus on phone and web shops in November and it made a difference for December’s income. December is a slow month in the mystery shopping world to begin with, and I really pulled back at the end of the month. January probably won’t be great on the income front for that reason.
Swagbucks: I cashed in some of my Swagbucks for a $100 gift card for Sam’s Club. I want to quit Swagbucks but it’s so hard when it covers so much of our extras each month!
Gifts: My Godmother sent me a housewarming check.
Dividends & savings account interest: I only own shares in 3 different companies but hope to eventually increase my holdings. Right now everything gets reinvested. One day I hope to add more money to my dividend account, but paying down debt and saving for a down payment come first.
Credit Card Cash Back: I used the cash back points I’ve accumulated to lower the monthly balance.
Looking forward to January:
I am focusing on putting together my new house, walking my dogs, mystery shopping and blogging. I am lucky that my Godmother took me shopping for things for my kitchen/house while I visited her so I don’t have a ton that I need to buy. And what I do need to buy I can take my time either finding mystery shops for them or scouring thrift shops.
I have a couple planned expenses for the month. I am going to join the city recreation center. Partially because I am interested in the group exercise classes but also to give me a reason to leave the house and a chance to meet new people and socialize.
The other expense likely will be to weatherproof my house. The biggest problem is that the back two rooms used to be an outdoor porch and have zero insulation. The second biggest problem is that the house is old and none of the doors actual fit in the frames. And the third biggest problem is that the windows are not at all efficient and suck out most of the heat that the vents underneath them spew. I have a good amount of Lowes and Menards rebates/gift cards so I am going to buy window insulation kits with them, but also have to buy a hair dryer. I think I have a $5 Target gift card so that will help. I’m also going to make my own door drafts and I am pretty excited about that!