Weekly Accountability: The Side Hustle Edition

This week has flown by! I am always excited about the beginning of a new month. I love waking up on the first to update my net worth spreadsheet (it went down a ton this month, all because Zillow’s estimate of my rental house went down. It’s okay, all the more reason to keep on saving and investing so the house doesn’t make up so much of my net worth.)


The beginning of the month is also a time to review upcoming expenses and make sure I am on track financially. I really, really hope that this month I can sock away a good amount of money and finally start to catch up on my savings goals. Life happens and I am glad I am in a place to cash flow emergencies/extra expenses, but I am getting discouraged with how little is making it to savings. It looks like I could be on track to save as much as $1,000 this month.




The decision to put my rental house into a trust triggered all sorts of problems. For starters, a $9,098 tax bill. The lawyer I am working with is handling it, but unfortunately it came at his busiest time of year-tax time. It should all be figured out eventually, but in the meantime the lawyer has sent me another bill. For $1,100.


I need to figure out the best way to pay it. Even though I hate taking money from savings, that’s kind of what it is there for. I could use the cash I was going to put into savings this month and be done with it. Or I can utilize another 0% balance transfer to spread out the payments. That way I can still contribute to savings and pay the lawyer.


To Side Hustle, or Not to Side Hustle

All of this has me thinking about how to earn more money. Mystery shopping is my main side hustle but I have scaled back to have time to work on Project Beach Life. Yet, the return on my time investment leaves a lot to be desired. Obviously, I get a lot of out working on this blog besides money or I wouldn’t continue. So money isn’t everything.  But it does get me thinking about a question the Ty at Get Rich Quickish posed earlier in the week: Is Your Side Hustle Holding You Back Financially?


The answer? Probably. Though, not in the same way that Ty identified. If I spent as much time on my resume and cover letter and applying for job as I do on Project Beach Life, it probably wouldn’t take too long to find a better paying job. Or if I spent that time on professional development, or volunteer opportunities, or continuing education, I would be better positioned for a higher paying job. I think about that all the time but it just comes down to that fact that that’s not how I want to spend my time. (And also the better paying jobs will either require a 2-3 hour daily commute, or for me to maintain another house/apartment since I’d have to move away for them.)


So, I will be sticking to mystery shopping as my main source of extra money. But is that worth it? Penny wrote this week about The Stupidity of the Side Hustle. Side hustling can be exhausting. That is the main reason I scaled back on mystery shopping. I wanted time to do other things-like hang out with my family, or sleep. Side hustling can definitely help with emergency bills and savings goals, but it shouldn’t be forever. It can also be harmful-MLMs or providing tutoring services when you’re not actually qualified. I’m all about earning extra money, but not when it comes at the expense of someone else.


So, that’s where I’m at. I need (want) to earn more money so I can put more into savings, but I also like to spend my time on activities that make me feel good about myself. One day I want my time to be my own, and I am starting to get impatient.


On to the numbers!


April 28:

No spend!


April 29:

$27.87- Renewed  hosting for Project Beach Life for another year. Let’s hope this year I make can make that money back!

$24.66- Filled up the tank.


April 30:

$12.25- Groceries


May 1

$29.73- Groceries

$6.24- USPS to mail two books I sold

$51.48- Mystery shop for a dinner out. I will be reimbursed $35 for this meal.


May 2:

No Spend!


May 3:

$100- Cracker Barrel and Applebees gift cards. We’re going to go out to a Mother’s Day Lunch with Mr. Beach Life’s Granny and Stepsister, and then possible take Mr. Beach Life’s mom to dinner that night. I bought gift cards through Swagbucks since it was kind of last minute that we put this together with Mr. BLs stepsister. I would have just redeemed my SBs but there wasn’t enough time. I debated buying the cards through Raise.com and TopCashBack, but I would have had to spend more on higher value cards than I wanted.

$3.79- Almond milk latte.  We’ve being on the keto diet for about 10 days now and I was seriously struggling with staying awake. I am positive it was because I hadn’t had enough carbs. To hedge my bets I bought a latte.

$9.49- Groceries. All avocados.

$20.13- Groceries. I went to Aldi to stock up on some keto foods. Like heavy cream for our coffee. I also got some flax seed and hemp seed to make a keto porridge this weekend!


May 4

No Spend!


Total: $285.64 with $35 coming back in mystery shop reimbursements!


We spent a lot on food this week, but overall we spent about half as much as normal. I am pretty jazzed about that. Next week I hope to reduce our grocery spending. The rest of the spending will go up when I pay most of my bills. Even though I am spending a ton on groceries, I am not spending anything on alcohol and eating out (except for the Mother’s Day meals, of course.) There is always room for improvement.


Have a great weekend, everybody!

Disease Called Debt

8 Responses

  1. Ms. Frugal Asian Finance

    I also have that thought about professional development v. side hustle all the time. What I’ve been trying to do is perform well on my job and devote myself to my blog after business hours. If I feel that I can do more at a better job, I’ll need to change my focus and allocate more time to the job search. But so far, I think I’ll stick with my current full-time job for a while.

    Sorry to hear about the rental property situation. It is a high tax to pay. I hope you’ll figure it out soon.

    • Jax-This post may contain affiliate links

      That is what I’ve been doing, too. I don’t particularly LOVE the job I’m in, and it already takes so much time from me. I might feel differently if I was working a job that was my passion, but right now I am better off spending the time I have on my own projects. Thanks for stopping by!

      • Jing

        I have the same issue! Since I just started my blog I find myself day dreaming about all the possibilities sometimes during work D:

  2. Mrs. Picky Pincher

    Aw dang, I’m sorry to hear the blog doesn’t have the money ROI you’re looking for. I’ve had to supplement my blog income with freelancing income, which has actually been more lucrative and reliable. I took the idea from Millennial Money Man and it’s actually been pretty shweet. I use my freelance money (about $200/mo) to pump funds into Picky Pinchers, which in turn becomes either easier to manage or gets more followers. But yeah, it’s gotta be a labor of love lol.

    Thanks for sharing the side hustles, and good luck with hustlin’!

    • Jax-This post may contain affiliate links

      I think I can get a better ROI, but it will take time and I am okay with that.

      That’s a great idea to use freelancing to put back into Picky Pinchers!

  3. Gary @ Super Saving Tips

    Wow, that tax situation and attorney bill are terrible. I also use 0% balance transfers to spread out my payments on things like that (most recently, my wife’s new dental crown).

    Back when I was working full time and side hustling at the same time, I felt that the time spent on the side hustles was worth it for the money I was making. However each one was for a limited period of time. There often comes a point where you might prefer to do other things…priorities shift and that’s ok. So whether or not you stick with the mystery shopping, be sure to spend some time on what really matters to you.

  4. Mel @ brokeGIRLrich

    Ugh, good luck with the side hustling conundrum. Through working on my blog, I’ve definitely done a ton of side hustles so I could write about them only to find out they are a terrible time vs. earnings ration. I hope you manage to hit your savings goal for the month though.

  5. Jamie @ Medium Sized Family

    I agree that side hustles are best for meeting a short term goal, but not worth doing forever. You really have to consider what you want the most from life, and I think it’s important to find a good balance between earning and living life.

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