<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Home > Page: 2

Holiday Bonus

December 16th, 2016 at 05:50 am

I printed my paycheck this morning (Yes, it is odd. Our check is emailed to us! The credit union processes it with no issue.). When I logged into the secure site to get my check, I realized I got a $50 holiday bonus. It was a pleasant surprise because not only did we not get anything last year (Of course I was only there a month at the time, so maybe I just didn't get anything.), but we are independent contractors.

I ended up spending another $28.50 on gifts. I donated $7 to the gift baskets for my main boss and the two bosses above her (suggested amount). I also ordered a gift for my grandma on Amazon. She is the one adult I buy for. I was told not to, but I wanted to, so I did! I had $10 credit, which kept the total down. She always sang the song, "I Love You a Bushel and a Peck" to us as kids. I bought her a photo frame with the saying and a small box of chocolates. I paid to have the frame wrapped as well. I am now officially done!

I sent the remainder of the bonus to the moving fund. I also got my regular monthly bonus, which covered my taxes out of this check.

Total Christmas Spending: $145.17

I got a raise too!

December 6th, 2016 at 03:14 pm

Ceejay's post reminded me about posting my own raise. I just received my evaluation and got a 4% raise. Although in most ways we are treated like employees, we are independent contractors as editors. This is because we are paid per edit and have flexible hours (We do work certain days.) My raise is per edit.

I did not get a raise on my hourly position with the company since I have only been doing it since July.

Christmas Spending Total

December 2nd, 2016 at 07:48 am

Christmas spending is done. Here is the breakdown:

Mini fridge for son-$49 (My daughter contributed half as an early grad gift for her brother).

MSU hat for son-$15.90

MSU shirt for son-$15 ($5 Amazon credit).

$25 movie gift card-$0 (You.gov redemption) I will give this to my son's best friend. Since he is here when we are celebrating, I would feel bad not to have something for him.

Lighted hover ball for nephew-$7 (free shipping, 15% off, and $2 gift card used)

Spice set-$0 (mystery shop). I am sending this to daughter and her bf's mom who are cooking a big Christmas dinner.

Dress up set, Batman and copter, activity book for grandkids-$12.77 ($30 in Amazon credit, Prime shipping).

Stocking stuffers for DH grandkids who will be visiting (He bought their gifts. I wanted to contribute so made stockings)-$5 (15% off at Target. I had extra stockings so just needed the stuffers.)

Candy for all stockings-approximately $8 (I lost this receipt somehow. I did get the 15% off at Target and the candy was on sale.)

Dental floss for son and friend's stockings-$0 (I got these on grocery store mystery shop. It's a running joke between them.)


There will be food bought for our belated celebration. However, nothing will come out of my pocket. DH will cover anything not covered with grocery store mystery shops. Edited to add: $3 for wrapping paper. All spending was cash!

Target Savings Today and Tomorrow

November 27th, 2016 at 05:06 am

Target is offering 15% off your total order online or in the store. I am going to get my household goods.There are a few exclusions including higher end electronics and gift cards, but I don't see it excluding sale items!

My son and I went out on Black Friday exclusively to get extra Shopkick points. I bought laundry detergent because it could not wait until today. Both Target and Walmart were dead at 7:00 AM! As a matter of fact, I got a front row parking spot at Walmart. In the end we splurged and went out to eat breakfast at IHop (It was dead there too!). I realize my time is short having kids at home, so I am willing to make a splurge once in awhile for quality time.

I hope you are all enjoying your holiday weekend! I know I ate enough that I need to go to my aquacise class every day this week!

Christmas Shopping

November 20th, 2016 at 06:11 am

It was a beautiful 60 degree day here in NW Florida yesterday. Luckily, I was not overly busy with work (I LOVE not having set hours), so I took a few hours off and went Christmas shopping.

I have a very short list. This year I am only buying for my son, grandkids and nephew. We generally don't buy for past 18 in our family. I have done so a couple of times when I had an unexpected windfall, but this is not the case this year. Plus we have a ton of big expenses with moving in 2017!

I shopped on Amazon for the grandkids and have just under $42 in my cart. I got them cute little animal banks. The animals pop out of the box and grab the money. I also got the batteries and a memory game for them to play together. I should be able to accumulate most if not all of those costs in credit before I order and send. I ordered the traditional Christmas Crackers on Amazon yesterday since they are hard to find in my area. I covered those with Amazon credit.

My son wants a mini fridge. I priced them online but went to Lowe's, Kmart, Target, Walmart and Home Depot yesterday. Lowe's and Home Depot had the best deals. I found one on clearance at Lowe's for $99 that is 4.2 cubic feet. I will probably end up getting it, but I will make sure there are no great deals on Black Friday first. Home Depot's was only slightly smaller and also $99. Those are on sale through the 30th.

I already have an MSU shirt (Amazon credit) and a movie gift card (earned through YouGov) for my son as well. This is the last year he gets gifts, so I want to make it as nice as possible without going broke.

I should end up less than $150 out of pocket this year. Other than the fridge, I figure the other fifty (or less) will come from cash flowing my nephew's gift and a couple small items for my DH and son's stockings (As previously stated, DH and I are amicable and in the same house, so I want to have something small for him even though we are splitting up in the spring).

Oh, I also have a nice holiday spice pack from the Spice and Tea exchange I got on a mystery shop. I am sending that to my daughter since her and her bf's mom are cooking a large Christmas dinner.

How are the rest of you doing with your Christmas budget? I see CCF has done well so far!

Moving On

November 12th, 2016 at 10:12 am

I had a post with my two sense on the election, but I opted to delete it. It was non-biased, and I don't think anyone would have found it offensive. However, I decided to stay out of the political discussion.

Speaking of moving on, my DH has finally made progress on moving forward with his life. He realizes I am not backing down from moving to MI or separating from him. Although he has not solidified his plans, he is planning on temporarily staying in a travel trailer on his brother's property in NH while he gets on his feet. In the meantime, while he is here he is going to save up and start getting rid of items he has acquired and never uses. I told him as long as he can behave, he can stay until the lease is up at the end of May. It is a huge relief to me we are doing everything amicably and also not to wonder if he will have a roof over his head.

I am saving all I can as well. What is so upsetting is the amount I can save versus all the expenses makes it difficult to stay ahead. I have put out a lot for senior year expenses, money to MSU to hold my son's spot, and I am saving for the move. I also need a tire (which means buying at least two) and possibly fuel injectors for the car. I was going to slow down on subbing, but it doesn't look like that will be an option.

I went through my expenses. I cut out Netflix. The only other things I can technically cut are cable and swimming. Swimming is my one "fun" item, but it is also my primary exercise. I am holding off on cutting it for now. It is $25 per month for unlimited aquacise classes. My DH knows we are splitting up, but is insistent on buying me an Xmas gift. Maybe I should take him up on it and have him pay a month or two.

As far as cable, I found out it will actually cost me more to keep just internet. It is so frustrating, because I really don't watch tv much.

I have no other entertainment budget. I literally only do things that are fully reimbursed by mystery shopping (eat out or movies).

I looked at my car insurance in September when I added my son's car. My total insurance bill is only $105 per month, and my son pays his $40 share. It won't get much cheaper than that! We will go to to the dentist next month and then I will drop that insurance until the move. It will likely be a different carrier in MI anyhow.

The other thing I looked at was the cell phone bill. I am grandfathered into an old TMobile plan. I pay $120 for five lines (unlimited everything) including taxes. My son, daughter, and best friend contribute to that bill as well.

I know we will get there. I just hope to get a little further ahead before actually having a major car expense. I was hoping to do the regular maintenance and do the bigger stuff in April or early May. My laptop is also on the fritz as well. I guess I will have to see how it all pans out!

Michigan State Bound!

November 2nd, 2016 at 10:25 am

My son got accepted to Michigan State! It was his first choice, and we are beyond excited. I will be moving this summer. Although I don't hate this area of Florida, there is nothing keeping me here. I have no job ties (beyond subbing which I can easily do up there), friends or family in this area.

I left Michigan in 1998, but most of my family and a lot of friends are there. I look forward to strengthening those bonds. We will live within 25 miles of MSU, so I will be about a 100 miles from my family. Sure beats 1000+. Besides, I think the area I grew up in has gone downhill, so I prefer to live further north.

Now we just have to see what scholarships he gets. From what I read, it looks like at the least he will qualify for $8000 per year. We realize freshman year will cost more with out-of-state tuition, but he will be in-state by sophomore year. I told him to take 12 credits to save some money. He has AP classes, so if he passes all those tests he is ahead on credits anyhow.

I still think his dad may be eligible for getting him some money from the GI bill, but he says no. However, I would bet money he never looked into it. If he qualifies, he would also be automatically considered in-state so I need to push this hard.

On a side note, I am participating in NaNoWriMo, but I didn't get too far yesterday. I did just over 400 words. I love my idea, but I am having trouble putting it into words.

Moving Fund

October 23rd, 2016 at 10:24 am

I started a moving fund last week. I am transferring $15 a week. This is far from enough, but my son is also contributing $500 between now and when we move. I am also going to contribute my quarterly perfection bonus for editing (assuming I qualify). We are paid a quarter of how many edits we complete in the three month time period. So, if I edited 300 reports in three months, the bonus would be $75.00. I qualified this round. I will have two more attempts before the move. I am also going to contribute my Pinecone earnings.

If I am short come time for the move, I will take it from short term savings. I have over 7 months, but I am researching my cheapest and easiest options. I do not want to drive a moving truck myself. I am leaning toward storage containers. I may also talk to my son's father about driving the truck. He will be in town for graduation. He and my son could spend time together on the drive to MI, and I would pay for his plane ticket home. Therefore, he has a vested interest. Smile


October 21st, 2016 at 12:45 pm

I cashed out on several micro earning sites today.

-$25 Paypal from Media Insiders

-$10 Target from Cross Media Panel

-$25 Regal from YouGov

-$10 Paypal from Receipt Hog

-$5 Amazon from Panel App

The Paypal redemptions will go in the budget. The others are all going for Christmas gifts.

Thank you for your support

October 9th, 2016 at 07:29 am

Thank you all for your support regarding my impending divorce. The most difficult decision is to figure out how long to let him stay here. I am not sure he has anywhere to go. I hope one of his family members will take him in, but I am not so sure. He has alienated most of them this past year. I have decided to start the divorce process either way. I am going to work on the paperwork and file it later this month with some of my extra money from subbing. It's over $400 for a simplified divorce (no lawyers or assets to split).

I need to ensure we are divorced before he can collect on my social security. I also want my life insurance beneficiaries to be my kids. I have him as the beneficiary and was told since he is my spouse, he would have to sign off for me to leave it to anyone else.

Other than not knowing when to ask him to leave, I am okay. I came to terms with this months ago. Of course, I don't know if I will have a more difficult time when he is actually gone. I have known him almost 17 years. I truly hope he will be amicable. I really do wish him the best. I hope he gets help and can find peace and happiness down the road.

Not so happy update

October 8th, 2016 at 06:45 am

I've mentioned before my marriage hasn't been going so well. It is over. Since DH has nothing (He does not have the means to get his own place), I am doing my best to not end the marriage until I move next June. After the past two weeks, I am not sure I can do it. His depression (major mood swings) is worse than ever, and he won't get help. He also is not contributing anything to the bills other than gas in the car. There are more details, but I will refrain from sharing on the internet. I really want to end it all amicably and want him to have a place to go, but there is a limit of what I can or should deal with. I do feel it is important to add he is not a violent person.

My cousin is also in a bad marriage, and we have done a lot of talking. We are seriously consider living together when I move back. We are only two months apart in age and have always had a good relationship, so this could be good for both of us. It would save us both money as well. So much to think about...

Car Troubles

September 18th, 2016 at 02:23 am

I said it when I posted my list, but I will say it again. I loved reading the lists. I already felt connected to this group more so than any other online group I have ever participated in. I feel like I know you all a bit more now.

My son and I went straight from school to do two of my mystery shops since they were in the vicinity. One of the shops we had to pick up Mexican takeout. I needed photos of the food. I had him pull over on the nearby side street to take the photos before the food was jostled around. The car overheated. Yes, the car he bought last weekend! I am thankful we were parked on a side street and not in the middle of the busy road.

I told him let's not overreact. We had it towed to a place nearby and DH came and gave us a ride home. It turns out it is the radiator. While I am not thrilled to have to shell out money on it so quickly, it IS the original radiator on a 20 year old car. It is worth fixing.

My dad knows my son worked hard to save for the car and depleted his account with the purchase, registration, etc. He also knows I am paying for senior pics for my son this week. So, he offered to let my son borrow the money ($500). With the discount from Geico and the oil change it should be $425, but he rounded up. My son can get his license next Monday (Florida requires a permit for a year!), so he will be all set to drive on his own by time we pick the car up. I have to wait on the check, and the radiator has to be ordered.

My darn tire light came on Friday night. We put air in the tires and so far so good. But then yesterday, I started my car and it sounded rough. I swear, when it rains it pours. I am hoping it is nothing serious. It ran fine later in the day. Bad gas maybe? I plan to have my car looked at thoroughly when this subbing gig is up in less than three weeks.

It is just after 4:00 AM here. I think I will give going back to sleep for a couple hours a shot. I have editing to do later and two grocery store mystery shops. I will rest while I can! Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone.

Nhgirl's list

September 17th, 2016 at 05:04 am

I just typed this and lost it. Thank goodness I copied it!

Reading the lists uplifted my mood a bit yesterday. It was a rough day, but that is for another post. Here is my list. I am a afraid I am pretty boring overall!

1.) I have three kids. I have two boys and a girl (25, 23, and 17).

2.) I have two grandchildren, a boy (4) and a girl (3 in January) via my oldest son.

3.) I currently live in Florida. I grew up in Michigan and also lived in New Hampshire for many years.

4.) I plan on leaving Florida for good after my son graduates in May. I tried Florida twice, and it is not my cup of tea. I am probably moving back to Michigan.

5.) I have been to 46 states (I still need to get to Arkansas, Oklahoma, Alaska and Hawaii).

6.) I currently have three jobs, and I like it that way. I am most comfortable with several streams of income.

7.) I am a moderate Conservative.

8.) I almost never listen to music. I don't hate it, but it is not a part of my life. I could go the rest of my life never hearing another song, and it would not bother me.

9.) I have had a strong urge to volunteer lately. I have decided to wait until the move. At that point I have a specific charity to work with in Michigan in mind.

10.) I never grew up with animals in my home. Much like music, they just are not a part of my life.

11.) I would love to travel more. I have not been outside the US and Canada.

12.) I have an irrational fear of being a bag lady. Hence, my need to work so much. I am sure it is also partially because I have always been the major breadwinner.

13.) I have lost 14 pounds since late July. I cut out processed foods and most sugar. I have also participated in aquacise classes.

14.) I've been married twice. I am currently married, but we are discussing a separation.

15.) I really want to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. I have had a novel in mind for years, and hope I can follow through.

16.) I have an interest in owning a tiny house. I am not a minimalist, but I don't own a lot of things. I like the idea of no mortgage!

17.) I almost never purchase anything (outside of paying my regular bills) that is not reimbursed. I hate spending money. I can thank mystery shopping for this.

18.) I think about my future constantly. As I get closer to 50, I don't want any more (major) regrets.

19.) I am fortunate at my age to have both parents and a living grandparent (who is in great shape for turning 89 next month).

20.) I have never met any SA bloggers, but I would love to do so!

Freebie from Barclay

September 10th, 2016 at 06:03 am

I just went through my mail and assumed I had another piece of junk mail. I make it a habit to open everything to be on the safe side. I have a Barclay MasterCard. I was sent a $5 Starbucks card as a thank you for being a member.

I wanted to post this in case anyone here has a card with them. Be on the lookout. It is a smaller than usual envelope (invitation size).

My son bought his first car!

September 5th, 2016 at 01:33 pm

My son put a deposit on his first car yesterday. He got such a deal! It is a 1997 Chrysler Concorde and is in pristine condition. It has leather seats, and other than minor wear on the driver's seat, it looks brand new inside. For that matter, it looks new outside as well! It has only had two owners. The original owners were older and kept it garaged. The lady we are buying it from bought it for her mother. She put an additional 800 miles on it and could not drive any longer. We took it on a test drive and everything worked beautifully.

We got this car for $985 which was the Kelly Blue Book price for the 1995 model. The lady thought it was a 95, and so we saved at least $300 because of her error. I felt slightly bad about it, but she said it was no problem.

The car even has ALL of the maintenance records. It is also fully loaded. My son is so excited to go pick it up next weekend! He worked so hard to save for a car. I am tickled he ended up with such a deal on his first car (and it was the first car we looked at).

Since he has his permit for a couple more weeks, I had to wait until DH was available to drive with me to go get it; hence the wait.

Subbing Update

August 30th, 2016 at 08:19 am

I went in this morning to meet the teacher I will be covering during her maternity leave. Believe it or not, the school district does not offer paid maternity leaves! Thus, she is taking a month off. I will start Friday and work through October 6th. I can handle this short period.

I will only have to take September off from aquacize. However, I am going to sign up for lap swimming on the weekends for the month. I will use my swim lane to do my exercises rather than do actual lap swimming. I can swim, but I am not a strong swimmer.

Yesterday, I also got a lead on another editing job. I am not sure if it will come to fruition, but after a conversation with a mystery shopping company, I was asked for my resume. I would not leave my current editing job. This would be additional part-time work.

I am looking forward to the additional savings the next couple of months!

Life just got thrown back into chaos

August 26th, 2016 at 12:31 pm

Just when I settled in a nice routine, I got a call that changed everything. My son's high school called. This is where I did the long term subbing last year. They offered me another long term position for a maternity leave. Logistically, it makes life difficult. However, I am not going to turn down the money!

My son has to have his permit for a year so won't get his license until the end of September. He has first and last period off. Now he will have to sit around with me during those classes for a few weeks (good time to do homework)!

I will also have to give up aquacize for September and October. The classes are at 7 and 10 am, so it will be impossible.

I don't start until next Friday, so I can finish aquacize for the month and say my temporary goodbye. It will be very tough doing three jobs for two months, but I have done it before! I do understand how fortunate I am. Jobs tend to fall in my lap. I am definitely grateful.

Health and School News

August 23rd, 2016 at 05:18 am

I have been going to aquacize for three weeks now. Today will be my 12th visit. I guess I can say I am getting my $25 per month's worth! I feel so much better. I have also stuck to eating 12000-1500 calories a day. I have stuck closer to the 1200 the majority of the time. So far, I have lost 9 lbs.

In other news, I got three lucrative bank mystery shops. This is with one of the few companies that pays mileage as well. The three banks will pay $363 dollars total. If only I could pick up that kind of pay for shops all the time!

I can definitely use that money with senior year stuff for my son. He just signed up for the October SAT test (I hope he kills it like he did the ACT!) and he is applying to Michigan State next week which is another $65.00. I also need to look into senior pictures in the next month.

Time to begin the day, my son has to keep his permit one more month, so I have to take him to and from school in the meantime. He has the first and last period of the day off so the bus is not an option.

Justifying an Additional $25 a Month

August 7th, 2016 at 07:19 am

I got on the scale at Publix (if you are unfamiliar, they have a very large scale right near their entrances) and it was not pretty. I knew I had gained since I started the long term subbing in February. Not only was there stress eating going on, but due to my husband and son's schedules I was often on my own for dinner. I opted for convenience. Unfortunately, I had put on more weight than I thought. Over the past several weeks, I have made changes. Eighty percent of my diet is fruits and vegetables. I am making sure I have no more than 6g of added sugar per day (I can't give up yogurt or my one cup of coffee with cream). I also am shopping for myself only in the outside aisles of the grocery store. The only thing I can think of I will find on the inside aisles for myself are coffee and granola (although I am going to look into making my own granola).

I also joined Aquacize classes at the community center. I love it! It is $25 per month for as many classes as you want to attend per month (10 offered per week). I thought long and hard about adding $25 in the budget. In the end health won out. I figure I am saving money in the long run with better health. I went four times last week. I figure I can average at least three days a week. I am exercising for 15 minutes on the days I do not go to class.

I already feel better. I sleep better and my brain fog has lifted. The changes I have made are those that I can stick with long-term (hence not giving up cream in my coffee). I am not counting every calorie, but when I estimate each day I am sticking with about 1300. I probably really need to add another 100 or 200 later on as I am estimating on the high side. I know it is unsafe if I fall below 1200 and that number is low long-term.

If you want to watch a good documentary about the effects of sugar, That Sugar Film on Amazon (free for Prime) is a good one.

Trip Total and More

July 26th, 2016 at 12:31 pm

Thanks to a couple of mystery shops, a small cash gift, and my Enterprise discount through my daughter, my trip total for 10 days was $325.92. I am pleased.

The visit went well and my son absolutely loved Michigan State. We will still take a day trip to Florida State, but he more or less made up his mind. He is in CT visiting his dad, but he is not taking him to UConn so it is out. I am upset he won't make the time to take him, but my son said he really doesn't want to live with dad full-time. He also does not want to live on campus.

As far as MSU, I would likely move back to MI next year. I am looking around a bit, but I will cross that bridge in the fall when it is a definite decision on his part. I am looking at towns within 25 miles so it is not a far commute.

I emptied out my short term savings today. I had the struts replaced on the car. The total was $672.36. I had $636 even saved up. I cash flowed the rest out of checking. I do need an alignment. The gentleman who fixed it referred me elsewhere and said the alignment would be $55.00. I will get that done next week.

While I was gone, my veggies grew! I have cucumbers and peppers ready to harvest. The tomatoes are getting close as well. I am excited. I have only tried gardening once before, and it did not go well.

Prime Day/Getting ready for trip

July 12th, 2016 at 01:38 pm

I made it a point to not look through the deals. I told myself I would get one of two things if there was a deal. I looked at Prime Pantry and a Kindle Unlimited subscription. Prime Pantry was free shipping for over $60, but I am pretty stocked up these days, so I found it difficult to spend enough. In the end I treated myself to a 6 month subscription to Kindle Unlimited since it was on sale. I had all but $6 of it in Amazon credit.

I also called my parents because I knew the bargain Kindle Fire was going for $33.33 today. I remembered when I was there in October, one of theirs was having issues. They are all set but wanted one for my nephew, so I ordered it. I will get reimbursed when I get to Michigan on Friday.

I need to get moving and do my laundry and pack. I want to get it done since I am off today. For once I am hoping work is slow tomorrow, so I won't feel so rushed. I have to get the rental car and pack it up since we are leaving bright and early Thursday morning. I am so excited to go see my family and friends.

Swagbucks and Amazon

July 6th, 2016 at 05:22 am

I am sure by now most, if not all of you, are aware that Amazon Prime day is the 12th. Swagbucks has a two day sale on their Amazon gift cards. Unfortunately, the $3 and $5 cards are not on sale, but the rest are. For example, the $25 card is usually 2500 Swagbucks. It is on sale for 2200 Swagbucks.

I have been cashing out all on all of the sites and apps I use so I have the credit in time. I don't have a particular idea in mind, but if nothing else I am sure they will have free shipping that day for Prime Pantry and I will get a bunch of free household and food items.

On a side note, I have to share my excitement for next Tuesday. Not only is it Prime Day, it's Tmobile Tuesday, and time to get the freebies from PinchMe (noon ET on the 12th). My family thinks I am crazy, but I LOVE free stuff!

South Florida trip Total and College News

June 25th, 2016 at 07:16 am

I did pretty well with the trip to south Florida. I spent $428 overall. This included a car rental for a week and two plane tickets. The only thing I am not including in the cost is the three restaurants. I will be reimbursed for those as they were mystery shops. I also mystery shopped two grocery stores. I picked up snacks and juice boxes for my grandkids with those. I head to Michigan in three weeks and hope that trip is around $600 so my total stays around $1000 for both trips. This should be totally doable as I will stay with family. The major costs will be the car rental (heavily discounted through my daughter) and gas.

In other news, I am so proud of my son. He scored a 32 (the national average is around 21) on his first try on the ACT. This was with no prep and he ran out of time on the math section. He is going to take it again and shoot for a perfect score (he was perfect in reading and close to it in science and English). With his GPA and these scores I know he will get some excellent scholarships. We are daring to hope he may even get a full ride somewhere!

Random Update

June 10th, 2016 at 06:57 am

This month is flying by. I can't believe it is almost time for my first vacation. I head down to see my older two kids and my grandkids in south Florida on Thursday for a week. I have to get a box of clothes shipped on Monday so we will have them when we get there (avoiding bag fees). I found two small drawstring bags for my son and me to take one change of clothes on the plane along with our Kindles. We can have one small carry on. I need to measure the bags again to make sure. I am not paying $45 per bag as it would negate the great deal we got flying down there ($142 for two round trip tickets).

I am also working this weekend. I was supposed to be off, but I took off six days while I am gone. I am learning the system for the new admin portion of my job that starts next month.

On the financial side, I set aside the money for the car rental and $200 in spending. However,a good portion of that $200 will be reimbursed next month. I took three restaurant and two grocery store mystery shops while I am down there.

I am also working on keeping the costs down for the July trip to Michigan. It is exciting to be taking my son to visit colleges. He is down to four choices. He is deciding between Michigan State, Florida State, Dartmouth and U Conn. His dad will be taking him to visit U Conn and Dartmouth in early August. I have no doubt he will be able to get into all of these. He is a smart kid! We are researching scholarships like crazy.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Guilty Pleasures

June 4th, 2016 at 07:14 am

I spent $200 on myself this past week. I rarely do this. I desperately needed clothes. I was wearing jeans and that doesn't cut it all summer in Florida. In addition to the shorts and shirts ($75), I bought a tablet, case, and accessories, which came to $125. It was a want, but it will be useful. I have two laptops. Each has issues, but are usable. My son is going to buy one of the laptops so that purchase will even itself out. The other will be my spare.The tablet (with keyboard) should work out for me for editing and mystery shop reports.

I picked up a couple more mystery shops for this week. It made me feel a little less guilty about spending that money. On a good note, I finished the school year yesterday. I hope to feel a little less overwhelmed. I am looking forward to my trip to south Florida in less than two weeks!

May Mystery Shopping Income

May 30th, 2016 at 07:54 am

I purposely made it a slow month for mystery shopping. Since teaching is coming to an end soon, I knew I would have to go back in full gear in June. Thus, I took a "break" in May. I did a total of 19 shops, including the one grocery store I have left today.


Shops included 3 grocery stores, one fast food, phone shops, a coffee shop, a casual restaurant, a bank, and a couple of nicely bonused sizing audits at Ross.

I already have over $200 in fees scheduled for early June. The week I am in south Florida visiting the kid/grandkids will be slow, but otherwise I see June bringing in a nice sum!

One Door Closing, Another Opening

May 26th, 2016 at 04:40 pm

The school year ends next week and so will my long term subbing. It was stressful, but I enjoyed most of the students overall. It was also interesting teaching my own son, a unique experience we will always remember. Fortunately, that part worked out very well. He is bright, even brighter than I thought! Next year, I will do some day to day subbing, but I have no interest in being a full time teacher.

On the other side, I had my six month evaluation for editing the other day. I was asked if I wanted a second position. I will be doing some administrative work (from home as an independent contractor). This should net me another $500 per month. I never would have dreamt years ago how many doors mystery shopping would open for me.

I am definitely looking forward to my two vacations this summer! Luckily, all that extra money I brought in teaching has allowed me to justify these trips. I also paid off a car, a credit card, and saved a $1000 (so far).

I hope you all have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!

Great Deal on Trip!

May 8th, 2016 at 09:40 am

I booked the June trip to Ft. Lauderdale yesterday. My son and I are going to visit my older two kids and my grandkids. I got two roundtrip plane tickets for $162! We can only take a small personal item and did not get to choose seats. It's a fairly short flight,so I can handle a middle seat if need be. My son is 17, so it also doesn't matter if we can't sit together. I will ship down a small box of clothes a couple of days in advance. I got the rental discount through my daughter and a full size car for the week was $117. So, the grand total is $279! I am also scheduling four or five restaurant mystery shops so most of the food will be reimbursed. I also have a place to stay, so no hotel. I am so pleased with the total! Of course, I probably need to add $40-50 for shipping the clothes both ways, but I can get at least $12 back with a post office mystery shop.

I am overwhelmed with a ton of editing today, but again, my bank account is looking much better. Of course, I will be very happy when I have time off from both editing and school come mid-June! Excuse any typos, my keyboard is having issues. Happy Mother's Day.

April Mystery Shopping Earnings

May 1st, 2016 at 07:16 am

It's been awhile, but I am trying to get back to reporting my shopping. I only shopped local (within 25 miles) and only 4 shops had a bonus. This is for 25 shops, which is far less than my norm. I will increase it to full speed in July. I still teach the first few days of June, have a vacation, and am of course am teaching all of May. So, I will just do what I can until then.

Cash Earnings: $248
Reimbursements: $127

Reimbursements included $49 for groceries, $50 in meals, $5 for socks, $2 for small bottles of dish detergent, $1 for a pack of good pens on clearance, $5 for a shirt at Goodwill, and $15 for a bottle of liquor.

Edited to add: Yes, the cash earnings are low at a little less than $10 average per shop. However, 5 shops were phone shops. I did not have to leave the house. They pay a little less, but not having to go anywhere makes it worth it to me.

Teaching Supply Woes

April 30th, 2016 at 07:41 am

In some ways it is is nice to be teaching again. However, the negatives keep popping up lately, such as suggestions on who to vote for. Maybe I am sensitive, but I do not like my career and politics to mix.

I also found out we are required to give final exams on a scantron. We are also required to purchase them ourselves. I am already miffed my code does not work on the copier and I have had to do all of my copying at home using my own ink. When I asked about reimbursement, I was told to try and print class sets whenever possible (which I do). I was told to keep my receipts and use it as a tax write off. I was finally told I could take a few packs of paper from the supply room. However, I still have to use my own printer and ink if my code won't work. Btw, using another teacher's code is a big no no in case anyone wondered. It is one thing to purchase supply items as an independent contractor. As an employee, it is outrageous.

I have more or less decided I will stick with subbing next year. It is a lot less hassle.

Sorry for the rant! Off to try and relax and enjoy the beautiful weekend. I hope you all have a good one.

<< Newer EntriesOlder Entries >>