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January 21st, 2018 at 07:05 am

After all the unanticipated income chaos with the tutoring and subbing fiascoes, I am finally leveling out. I created a budget going forward. I anticipate this budget to run through August. My goal is to have my certification requirements completed over the next few months so I can seek a full-time position next school year.

The numbers are net and figured on the low end, as my income fluctuates. Any additional money I will put in savings.

VA work : $300

I am using this money to pay the credit card and my dad ($150). The remainder goes to savings ($150).

Subbing (figuring on 15 days per month): $1050

I am using this money to pay the rent, health insurance, electricity, internet and water.

Editing: $500

I am using this to pay the cell phone, car insurance, life insurance, renter's insurance and critical care insurance (I can't find a disability policy on my own, so this is the next best thing).

Mystery shopping and microearning (Swagbucks, etc): $750

The first $400 goes to gas, groceries, bus passes and entertainment.

Remainder: IRA (avg. $350)

Any subbing over 15 days goes to savings. This covers any months that fall under 15 days and the summer months. My student loans are on deferment until September. I plan on keeping the editing and still doing some shopping when I get full-time employment. I will then start paying off the loans aggressively (and boosting my retirement savings).

Financial Update

September 9th, 2014 at 05:34 am

Total income from mystery shopping income for August is $1337.21. This was my best income month ever for mystery shopping, but I worked hard at it this summer. Most shops were completed within 25 miles of my house, but I did travel (as much as 150 miles) for a few highly bonused shops.

As I previously stated, I reworked the budget for fall (our income varies so I went on the low end). Savings will be as follows:

EF-Continue with $26.50 per week (easy version of 52 week challenge)
Short term savings: $50 per week
Roth IRA-$300 per month

If I make more than anticipated, I will split it between debt payments and savings.

My "guaranteed" monthly income is as follows:

$650-Mystery shopping (approximately 15 hours per week)
$1625-Tutoring (30-35 hours per week)
$550-VA Work (5 hours per week)
$600-Child support
$575-DH portion of household expenses

Total= $4000


Car:approximately 6k left on my loan (site is down so can't get exact amount at the moment)

Student loans: $27170.35

Spare Change

July 8th, 2014 at 02:58 am

I took my spare change to the credit union yesterday and deposited a total of $26.53 to my checking account. My DH has a medical bill that was higher than expected, and the deposit covers just about half of the increased cost.

Tough Month

January 16th, 2014 at 10:14 am

I knew it was going to be a tough month. We are on a no spend month other than absolute necessities. DH is working as a long-term sub which meant two weeks of no income over the holidays. Of course with snowstorms and the holidays, the tutoring business was less than stellar as well. So far, we haven't had to hit up the emergency fund (and I have managed to save for the 52 week challenge).

I am trying to pick up some extra writing assignments because both of the cars are in my name and I have to register them and get them inspected (I hate having a January birthday). I expect one will need new tires (registration and inspection are saved for all year, the tires will be a bit of a stretch). Luckily, I picked up three new students (tutoring) this week. I will let you know how it all pans out at the end of the month.

2014 Budget

December 29th, 2013 at 06:44 am

I ran the numbers and although my income is somewhat variable due to being self-employed, it was easier to work out than I thought it would be. I figured low and if I make more than what is budgeted, I will give myself a quarterly bonus that will be split between debt repayment and my IRA.

Household (includes entertainment and insurances etc.): $2583 per month

Savings: $325 per month
$26.50 per week to EF (equivalent to 52 week challenge)
$15 per week to short term/sinking fund
$145 per month to IRA (Low I know, but it is what it is)

Debt repayment: $520 per month
Car: $400 per month (payment is $361.15, but I round up)
Student Loans: $120 per month (IBR)

Total: $3428 (after taxes)

Student Loan Payment

July 12th, 2013 at 01:21 pm

A couple of months ago I signed up with Smarterbucks and got the Smarterbank debit card. Long story short, if it is used as a credit, you earn .05 percent of each purchase toward student loans. When the earnings reach $15 they send in a payment to the student loan you have on file. You earn 1% for each purchase over $100.

They have a deal right now that once you reach a $5, they will give a $10 bonus (if earned by 9/15/2013). I reached my goal and got my bonus today so I have a $15 payment on the way toward my loan!

I simply transfer my weekly spending allotment to the Smarterbank card each week and use the card as a credit each time I make a purchase. There are other ways to earn as well if you decide to check out their site (smarterbucks.com). It isn't a lot, but every little bit counts! I figure I can average 2-3 payments a year via Smarterbucks (in addition to my own payments of course).

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!

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.