October Extra Income and Debt Update

Where things stand November 1:

So, not much progress on the savings front. I withdrew money from my online savings account to open a new checking account that will give me a $200 bonus. It’s worth missing the few pennies in interest to get the $200. But it also means now my savings are in 3 different accounts. I don’t touch them, so no temptation to spend, but it also feels like I have less saved than I do since the balances aren’t combined.

I open accounts when I find bonuses worth it.  Most accounts require you to keep them open for 6 months to keep the bonus so I still have a couple months before I can close the next one, or roll it into a new account for another bonus.

 

September 1 October 1 Difference
Savings $6,039.04 $6,054.13 +$15.09

 

We’re 4.03% of the way to our ultimate goal of $150,000, 24.21% of the way to our first rental property down payment goal of $25,000. It’s a little depressing not seeing this number grow.

 

October Extra Income

$1,410.70- Airbnb

$1,530 Rental property

$791.24 – Mystery shopping

$125 –Swagbucks gift cards

$69.02- Change my mom rolled and never deposited  (thanks Mommy!)

$23.32- Dividends

$16- Credit card cash back redemption

$5.09- Interest on savings account

Total: $3,970.37

You will see no complaints from me!

 

AirBnb: A guest canceled one day of her stay, but we still ended up having one of the best months since we started. November, however, is not looking so great. And December even worse. I hope that if we lower the rates a tad in December we might find a student who needs a place to stay for the break.  

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.  

Mystery shopping: Of the $791.24, $419.66 was reimbursements.  For that $419.66, Mr. BL and I got:

  • 10 grocery trips
  • A weekend in a tiny cabin rental
  • 2 fast casual burgers
  • Pizza delivery
  • A meal at the sit down restaurant
  • 100 business cards

The rest of the money was earned through phone and web shops! I got paid for 9 phone shops and 10 web shops, down a ton from last month.

Swagbucks: I cashed in some of my Swagbucks for a $25 gift card to Hulu (which also covers my HBO subscription,)$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!

Change: My mom and I rolled this change probably 12 years ago and then we did nothing with it. I have moved them to 4 houses. I’ve been going through my boxes in the basement and realized it was time to deposit them. It was great timing because I needed the extra money in my account!

Dividends & savings account interest: I only own shares in 3 different companies but hope to eventually increase my holdings. Right now everything gets reinvested. Last October I received $21.23. 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 November:

November is going to be spendy in different ways than October was spendy. First, this week Mr. Beach Life’s step dad is visiting us again and hopefully they will finish what needs to get done with the renovation! We feed step dad and take him to his favorite restaurant in return for the labor he so generously provides.

Then, my best friend will be in town this weekend! Okay, not my town, but the capital city about 90 minutes away. I will spend the weekend with her in her hotel, but that means gas to get there and money for eating out. I haven’t seen her in 3 years (minus her wedding, but that doesn’t really count) so to say I am excited is an understatement.

Then two weekends later, Mr. BL and I will be returning to the capital for a lucrative mystery shop.

And then it’s Thanksgiving! I would be happy to spend it at home eating tacos, but I know we should make an effort to fulfil some familial obligations. At the minimum that will require gas to get to wherever we end up, but it also might mean buying a Thanksgiving dinner to cook.

 

October Spending

 

Here’s the nitty gritty

This has been my first month trying out a zero based budget of sorts, and I have to say I was pretty successful. I am hopeful for a similar success next month now that I know I can do it.

 

October Debt Repayment

October 1 November 1 Change
Visa 1 $11,109 $9,824 -$1,285
Amex 1,007 $2,016 +$1,009
Mastercard $8,864 $8,733 -$131
Visa 2 $1,920 $1,896 -$24
Chase $1,000 $1,000 $0
Visa 3 $3,014 $1,516 -$1,498
Best Buy $1,154 $1,154 $0
Total: $28,068 $26,139 -$1,929

 

Progress! Finally!

The Amex card is the card I have been putting all my day to day expenses on. It gets paid off every month.

Not all of the cards had a payment last month due to the timing of the balance transfers. The due dates for my cards fall on the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 14th, 27th and 28th. I am excited to see these balances going down!

Part of the reason I was able to put so much towards the cards this month was because of the higher than normal mystery shopping income. I can’t count on that much extra coming in next month, but I will continue to hustle for those extra dollars. They make a difference!

3 Responses

  1. mrspickypincher

    Do you think you’ll keep your bonus accounts? I’m tempted by the bank/credit card hacking world, but I’m not sure it would be worth the confusion of having so many accounts open all the time. Anyhoo, here’s to trying to save during a spendy November! It’s hubby’s birthday in a few weeks and we’re hosting Thanksgiving.

    • Jax-This post may contain affiliate links

      I’ve been closing the accounts after 6-7 months for a few reasons. 1. It’s easier to have not as many accounts open. 2. You need to keep a certain amount in the accounts to keep them free, so I roll the old account into a new one for another bonus. 3. You’re eligible for another bonus with the same bank if you haven’t banked with them in 6 months to a year, so I want to keep my options open! 4. They’re checking accounts and don’t earn interest.

      If you have the extra $500 (or more, depending) that you can afford to have sitting for 6 months, it is really easy money. I use Doctor of Credit to read about what bonuses are available and how easy they are to get.

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