Where things stand October 1:
September was another spendy month. I already posted about the debt I have acquired in the past year, but September saw me adding to that debt a bit. Mr. BL’s granny’s estate was settled, so we rented a Uhaul to get the furniture left to him. It was super expensive to begin with, but Mr. BL also took things from Granny’s to his sister’s house for her. There was another trip to the vet. And I bought a rug from a man in the Hardee’s parking lot. All of that is to say savings has been put on the back burner. All I saved was what is automatically transferred from my paycheck and the interest on my savings account.
|September 1||October 1||Difference|
We’re 4.02% of the way to our ultimate goal of $150,000, 24.16% of the way to our first rental property down payment goal of $25,000.
September Extra Income
$486.70 – Mystery shopping
$382.37- Required minimum distribution from inherited IRA
$135 –Swagbucks gift cards
$100- Gift from Godmother
$44- Credit card cash back redemption
$41.88- Selling books
$6.00 – Affiliate income
$5.00- Interest on savings account
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? I want to get a handle on spending this month.
AirBnb: We’ve been playing around with our prices. Lowering the prices $10-$20/night has increased are bookings a ton. We just got our property tax invoice so it’s good to know we’ll have enough to pay it. I also have been using about $200/month to pay down some of the credit cards.
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.
Mystery shopping: Of the $486.70, $154 was reimbursements. For that $154, Mr. BL and I got:
- 10 grocery trips
- A couple gallons of gas
- A nice shirt
- A meal at a casual steak restaurant
- A fast casual burger meal
- A really cool shirt!
- A new set of sheets for the Airbnb space
The rest of the money was earned through phone and web shops! I got paid for 37 phone shops and 23 web shops. That sounds like a ton, but the reality is I get paid between $2-$5 for each shop, normally. There were two $12 phone shops and 2 $7 phone shops, but those aren’t available as often as the lower paying ones. I like them because generally I can do them at work, or during the weekend and they only take a couple minutes of my time. I don’t have to spend any money to do them (mostly-there are some where I make hotel reservations on my credit card, but those are refunded the next day.) I like to do shops that are on West Coast time, just so I have the option of completing them from my home.
RMD: This is from the smaller of the two retirement accounts I inherited from my mom. This is after 50% withheld for federal taxes. 2016 is the first year of my life where I have worked a single full time job. Prior I was a student, or I worked a full time and a part time job. I have most of my RMDs withheld for taxes since with the rental income it is sometimes difficult to anticipate how much I need to pay. I might change the withholding rate for next year after tax time.
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 and $10 for Starbucks. I want to quit Swagbucks but it’s so hard when it covers so much of our extras each month!
Gift from Godmother: I went to California to visit my family and my Godmother sent me a check to use while there. I don’t ask for these gifts, but they sure are appreciated!
Credit Card Cash Back: I used the cash back points I’ve accumulated to lower the monthly balance. It was high because of the Uhaul and the Hardee’s rug.
Selling Books: I sold 2 books last month that were free to me! Doesn’t get better than that!
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– I am not sure why it is so much higher than usual, but I will take it!
Looking forward to October:
I am going to severely limit my spending this month. I can’t keep spending like I have in the past, because I don’t have the cushion I used to have available. I am going to get into the habit of questioning every purchase and deciding whether it’s necessary, can be replaced with something cheaper or if I can just do without.
One goal I have is to do a lot of eating through the pantry. I like keeping extra in the house, but it does no good if it goes bad before we eat it. It’s time to use up what we have, freeze what can be frozen, make use of odds and ends, and eat through the freezer.
I am going to keep up with the mystery shopping. Especially for food. I go through cycles of what kind of shops I focus on. In August and September I did a shitton of phone and web shops. I think this month I might expand my shopping radius during the weekends to take advantage of some higher paying shops that either aren’t available in my town, or I have done too recently to be considered again.
Lastly, I want to (begin to) empty the basement of my stuff, and I hope to be able to bring some money in from that. I don’t anticipate any large sums, however, but anything that can go towards paying down my debt will be welcome. Also-space to walk around the basement will also be welcome!