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Making Some Extra Money

August 16th, 2011 at 06:37 pm

I found a pretty cool idea to make some extra money AND eliminate some of the clutter in my house.

I saw an ad for a flea market not too far from my house. For $10, you can rent a table for the entire day. The facility is off of a major highway and they offer bathroom facilities and a snack bar.

I went and checked it out this past weekend and even though it had been raining and was pretty hot outside, there was still a good crowd.

I talked with the owner and he told me all I had to do was come in around 7am on the day I want to rent a table and they will assign me a spot. The $10 fee is not due until the end of the day.

I plan on trying it out next weekend. I'll let you know how it goes.

I'm Keeping My Great Tenant

August 9th, 2011 at 07:31 pm

I'm so excited. It looks like I'll get to keep my tenant for two more years. Her lease expired this month and she wasn't sure she would renew. She wanted to try and find something cheaper and she was having issues with her next door neighbor.

She's been a great tenant and I've been really lucky with her. She was my very first tenant and I didn't take the proper precautions prior to renting the place to her. I didn't check with her previous landlord and I didn't run a credit check. It was just something about her that made me feel comfortable renting my home to her. She was also very forthcoming about her credit history. She said to me and I quote, "my credit sucks but I need a place to live". That made sense to me so I took a chance.

I just felt really good about her and took the plunge. Here we are almost six years later and she is still with me. She has never given me a bad check and she has only been late with the rent once or twice. She hardly ever calls me for repairs unless it is something major.

I did agree to reduce the rent by $50 a month in order to keep her. I know I could probably get $200 more a month in rent by renting to someone else but I'd rather keep my good paying tenant who hardly calls me for the minor stuff. My new tenant would pay more but they'd probably call me for every little thing and may not be so good at paying their rent on time.

My sanity and piece of mind are worth the additional $150 in rent I'm not getting.

I LOVE Unexpected Money

August 8th, 2011 at 03:22 am

I received an email the other day from a company called Ebates advising me that I had earned $20 and they would be depositing the amount into my Paypal account today.

I've been a member of Ebates since 2007 and I've really been pleased with them. Basically, you just shop as you normally would except you shop thru their website and Ebates gives you a percentage back in cash.

You can also earn $5 for each person you refer once they make a purchase. I'd referred a number of people in the past and I guess they just got around to making their first purchase.

I logged into my Paypal account and transferred the $20 to my checking account.


If you would like to check out Ebates, I would greatly appreciate it if you used my referral link. Once you're a member, you can refer other people and earn cash for yourself.


July Financial Results

August 1st, 2011 at 03:37 pm

Another month is in the bag and it's time to report how I did for the previous month.

Income $4823.08 (composed of Salary, Rental Income & Interest)
Expenses $3721.60

Difference: $1101.48

I met my goal of keeping my expenses at least $1000 less than my income each month. This month, I was able to keep a little bit more than my goal since my eating out expenses were less than normal.

One of my biggest monthly budget busters is eating out every day for lunch. I'm not a big fan of packing a lunch and I enjoy having time out with my co-workers during the day.

There were several days in July where I had meetings during the day and the company paid for lunch. This allowed me to spend a little bit less than usual.

Credit Card Rewards. Ripoff?

July 24th, 2011 at 04:47 pm

I logged on to one of my credit card accounts today just to make sure there was no balance and no payment due.

This is a card I sometimes use for small purchases and since it has a $48,000 credit limit, I don't keep it with me all the time. I don't want to have that much temptation sitting in my wallet. (At one point, I had 3 credit cards in my wallet with a combined credit line of over $70,000.
I now only carry my debit card, one credit card (with a $20k limit) and my corporate credit card (for work).

This credit card has a rewards program that gives 1 reward point for every dollar spent. In order to redeem your points, you have to have a minimum balance of 2500 which is equivalent to a $25 gift card.

I noted my rewards balance and saw that I only had earned 511 points. The credit card company was nice enough to remind me that I only[b/] needed to spend $1989 more dollars in order to get a $25 gift card.

Are you kidding me? Do people really fall for this crap? Unfortunately, they do. I [b]used
to be guilty of this myself. I HAD to get those rewards points so I HAD to use my card. I'd find an excuse to buy this or buy that just to get to the minimum amount needed to earn rewards.

The problem with this is that I bought things I didn't need and I never paid the card off in full. Even though the credit card company was paying me to use the card, I was paying them much more in the form of interest each month.

Thankfully, those days are behind me now. I've learned my lesson. I only use my credit card if I can afford to pay the balance in full.

What about you? You have any issues with rewards credit cards?

Monthly Debt Reduction Goal

July 21st, 2011 at 04:40 pm

The amount of money I owe is slowly coming down!! At the beginning of the year, I'd set a goal of decreasing my overall debt by AT LEAST $1,000 a month.

The last few months, I've fallen a little bit short of my goal. Checking my spreadsheet for the year, it looks like I've only been reducing my debt by about $925 each month. I've recently bumped up the payments I've been making on my 0% credit card debt in order to get them paid off before the interest free period expired. I can start applying that money towards my car loan and student loan.

As of today, I've paid on all of my debt for July and it looks like I beat my goal.

The grand total of my debt reduction for July is $1,190.54!


July 18th, 2011 at 03:45 pm

I figured I'd start this blog by giving you a detailed breakdown of my debt.

As of today, I owe the following:

Mortgages $314,027.88
Student Loans $21,089.17
Best Buy $700.84 (0% until August 2012)
HHGregg $325.00 (0% until Dec 2011)
Car Loan $11,964.03

Total Debt: $348,107.92

Mortgages. The mortgages are split between my primary home and a rental property. Unfortunately, I am upside down on both of them. I estimate the value of the two properties to be $245,000 which means I am upside down by roughly $69,000.

Student Loans. The student loans are fixed at 5.5%. I've been out of college for over 12 years. I should have had this loan paid off by now but I kept putting the loan in forbearance. I'm currently paying an extra $50 a month to pay down the loan.

I plan to pay off HHGregg and Best Buy by the end of this year. My car loan was just taken out in April of this year. I estimate the car to be worth about $17,000.

Follow My Money

July 18th, 2011 at 08:49 am

You can follow along with my money journey. Follow me on twitter @savemymoney1.


July 18th, 2011 at 08:27 am

Hello Everyone!

I'm extremely excited to start this blog. It is a lot easier to share your personal finances with strangers. Hopefully, you guys will enjoy my blog and we can learn something from each other.