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Archive for June, 2013

Tweaking the Budget

June 26th, 2013 at 04:19 pm

I have used Swagbucks for years, but recently put forth more effort and figured out how to reach my daily goal without having to do surveys, games, and other time consuming tasks. I use SBTV mobile and that helps a lot.

Anyhow, my new plan is to cash out $40 in Amazon gift cards every month on Swagbucks and another $10 via other sites/apps I earn from. I will use this $50 a month for gifts (as I already do) and for some household items. I found seven items that are about the same price on Amazon as they are at the store. By time I get free shipping (I am an Amazon Prime member) and make less trips to the store, it really pays off!

By purchasing items on Amazon, I will be able to lower my weekly budget for gas, groceries, personal items and spending money. I currently budget $115 a week, but I am now lowering it to $105 per week, which comes out to $455 a month. I am confident this new system will work out well.

Low Spend Weekend

June 23rd, 2013 at 05:52 pm

I kept spending to a minimum this weekend. I spent a total of $24.96 and $20 of that was for gas. I spent $3.87 at the gas station on Saturday because I was going to a one time job of interviewing customers at a major store for four hours. I didn't have time to go home to grab water and a snack after I realized I had forgotten to bring anything to eat or drink with me.

Today I put gas in the car and met up with the ex to drop off my son for his summer visit. Ex was running late so my son conned me (He is turning 14 soon so he is a pro!) into buying him an ice cream cone. I won't see him for three weeks so I consider it $1.09 well spent.

After I dropped off my son, my husband and I took a drive to the beach to try and see the sand sculptures, but there was not one parking spot to be found. This means I may have to throw a few extra dollars in the gas tank before my spending replenishes on Friday. Other than that, I don't foresee having to spend any other money.

Paid Off!

June 19th, 2013 at 03:06 am

I just arranged to have the last of the balance on the credit card paid off this coming Monday (waiting for a transfer from one account to another). I took part of it out of savings, but in the end it makes a lot more sense to pay off a card with 14.99% interest rate rather than letting that cash sit in the EF at less than 1%, although I will build the EF back up asap.

I do have 100 of that money coming back from my daughter, but I won't get that until late next month. She is in the hospital having surgery on her infected gall bladder later today. Luckily, this won't affect her new job. However, because she is new, she isn't getting paid this week so I told her just to pay me sometime in July.

I also talked to my student loan lender. Long story short, starting in September I will pay 198.98 per month which will cover both my undergrad and grad loans. This was one of six choices I had. I liked this particular choice because it gave me a low payment without having to re-do paperwork each year based on income. If there is any balance after 25 years it is forgiven, but I honestly want these gone asap. I will start formally tracking those here in September.

Still pretty far off from where I want to be financially, but happy to be making progress!


New Monthly Swagbucks Goal

June 17th, 2013 at 05:37 am

I have used Swagbucks since 2009 and accumulated several hundred dollars in Amazon gift cards. I rarely reach the daily goal. However, I just downloaded the SBTV app on my phone. Since I run my phone on wi-fi 90% of the time, it isn't using my data.

I simply let the videos run over and over on the app in addition to doing the usual tasks (daily poll, NOSO, toolbar, couple of searches, codes) and find it will be very easy to hit the goal every single day.

Therefore from now on my plan is to earn at least $30 a month. I will cash out for $25 PayPal and a $5 Amazon code. Who knows, I may even do better and grab and extra $5 Amazon or two.

I will keep you posted on how well this works out. I did already reach today's goal and it is not even 9am!

Weekend Update

June 15th, 2013 at 03:43 am

I am aggressively trying to work on paying off my credit card in the next couple of weeks. Just last week the balance was at $557.42 and now I owe $395. My daughter (authorized user) owes about $100 of this and she will pay off her portion on her next payday (6/28). She rarely uses it, but just started her first professional job and needed to purchase a few business pieces for her wardrobe.

I am still on the hunt for another side hustle for the summer. I will spend some time on Odesk this week to see what is there. I will also try and pick up some extra mystery shopping as well. I was lucky enough to get a one time customer interview gig for next Saturday through my favorite mystery shopping company. I will earn $76 for three hours of interviews (and probably another half hour for the report).

No big plans here for the weekend. I tutor this morning (It is the last Saturday for the summer!)and have a couple of articles to write this afternoon. Other than that I will get my walk in today and do a little cleaning. Not very exciting, but at least it is productive.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Figuring Out the Summer Budget

June 12th, 2013 at 03:59 am

My tutoring hours always vary a bit, but in the summer they really slow down. The company I work for does not have hours on Friday and Saturday in the summer and the other hours are a little shorter as well.

Since I won't have a firm grasp on my income for a couple more weeks, I am planning on doing my best to pay off the credit card before things slow down (last "big" check will be the week July 1st). I will also cut down on savings and only save 50-100 per month. Finally, I will most likely try and find another writing "side hustle".

My guesstimate is I have to make up about $500 a month until the end of September when the tutoring gets back to "normal."

Spent way too much...

June 10th, 2013 at 03:30 am


Yesterday, I had the opportunity to sail on a schooner around Boston Harbor. My hubby, son, and a friend went. We tried to find a meter (free on Sundays), but of course all those spots were taken and had to spend $20 to park in a garage. We also spent $31 on lunch and tipped the crew on the schooner as well. In the end I spent $65 yesterday.

However, for a great day in the city and a free two hour sail, I think it was worth it! For us to spend money like that is extremely rare, so I suppose it is best not to fuss over it. I will shave a few dollars off my weekly "allowance" (covers groceries, gas, and spending) the next few weeks to make up the difference.

Hello

June 9th, 2013 at 03:41 am

I have been reading the blogs here on Saving Advice for quite awhile. I must confess; I am a lurker. I love, love, love how everyone tracks their finances and stays accountable. This motivated me to start a blog here myself. I do have a "regular" blog that is related to personal finance, but it has other topics as well.

I figured here is a great place to track each and every personal finance success (and "failure").

I will be adding my numbers in the next couple of days. For now I wanted to introduce myself and say hello. I read everyone's blogs here so often I feel like I "know" you all (I hope that isn't creepy sounding!).