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!
$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.
$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.
$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!
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!