Sunday, September 7

Budgeting is easy, self control is hard.

Last months budget ended up terrible! We did have any money left over in our "get out of debt" fund to pay bills this month, and we even over spent a few envelopes!! I made a miscalculation with my wifes checks, One was significantly smaller then usual, and I thought she was getting 3 checks last month (instead of 2) but it is this month that she gets the extra check.

To make a long story short we blew it, but we're back on track this month right now.

In other news, I've talked about swatcash here before and after giving it a try for over a month now all I can say is wow!! This site is great and there really is money to be made here. You won't get rich quick, and you won't be able to quit your job, but they make it fun to make money! I've made $70.91 so far in a month. Now that isn't a lot of money, but I had fun doing it and the further you get into it the better it gets! I really love this site!

Sunday, August 10

One month of budgeting

Well our first month of budgeting is under our belts now and I can freely tell you that it wasn't easy at all. At first we kept strict reigns on the money because we have the "fresh" motivation to turn our "debt lifestyle" around, but towards the end things got a little harder.

At the end of the month in our "get-out-of-debt" enevelope we ended up with $512.21 extra to put on my student loan. Which sounds great, and it is, but we had about $640 in that envelope that we ended up spending (and now I'm kicking myself for it!)

This month is looking to be promising though. I get 5 checks this month (5 fridays) and my wife gets an extra check as well so both of those are going to go straight on the debt. Hopefully at the end of this month we'll have $500 from our "normal" monthly extra, plus my check, and my wifes check to put on the debt. We're hoping for about $1400 extra to pay on the debt this month if we're diligent about not spending money that isn't budgeted.

Our first "extra" payment will go out this month (the money saved from last month) and I think it will go on my student loan because of the higher interest rate then the Jeep (and they're close enough that I feel comfortable paying it down first).

Hopefully budgeting gets easier as we get more used to what we have and what we don't have to spend.


Thursday, July 31

Make a little extra money online

I've looked all over for ways to make a little extra money online in the evenings after work. I was just looking for a little bit of money that I can play around with, have some extra fun, and just get a little extra money. I'm going to outline the best ones I've found so far so you can take advantage of them too!

Adsense: Hasn't made me squat. I know it works well for some people, but this blog just doesn't have the traffic required to make that a viable option. Last time I checked I didn't even have one click on my ads. Don't bother with this unless you have a high traffic site.

Online Surveys: I've actually made some alright money with this. These won't make you super rich and you definitely won't be able to quit your day job with this but I made $18.50 taking surveys this money that I actually got in check or paypal form. I've taken enough surveys to get another $7 once I cash them out. I basically use 3 survey sites because they all pay out in cash (not prizes). I use Pinecone research as my first choice. This doesn't give the volumes that I get on the other sites but they pay $3 per survey. You'll have to find a sign up link on google, they don't publish it on their website. My next choice is Lightspeed Panel they pay with paypal so when you cash out you get the money right away. I like this site because they have a wide variety of prizes AND you can take cash options if thats what you want. Thirdly, I use Opinion Outpost which I like a lot too.

Pay-to-click emails and offers and other things: This seems to be working alright for me actually. This is quite a bit more work then the instant feedback you get from surveys (money right away) because with these sites you usually have to work your account up a little bit.

The first one I use and the one I'm the most experienced with is Inbox Dollars and I have $22 in my account so far. I haven't used any "pay offers" and have made that money soley on their "free offers" and clicking emails every day. I need $30 to cash out and get my first payment. I really like this site because they offer a "cash back" for online shopping and there are a LOT of merchants like newegg, dicks, old navy, gap, the apple store, and many other small specialty stores. This website is a great deal if you shop online often, and if you don't it could still pay off pretty well. Like I said, I've got $22 in my account without doing any shopping! Best of all all new users get $5 instantly for signing up!

The second site I use that falls into this category is Treasure Trooper. This site is very similiar to Inbox Dollars but is a little more fun. They pay but they also have "treasure" that adds a little bit of a fun aspect to the site and the shopping. With enough treasure you can buy things like clues into their forum hunt for real $$, ipods, xbox360s, and other things like referrals. I've gotten $15 into my account with this every easily. They payout at $20!

I hope you try these out and make some money for yourself. It is really easy to do and it's a great way to make a little extra fun money in the evenings after work!

Tuesday, July 22

Yes, You Can Get a Financial Life

So I'm about half way through reading Yes, You Can Get a Financial Life by Ben Stein and Phil DeMuth and I must say that it is a very good read.

The book is geared towards younger people trying to get their financial future set up early. It teaches the dangers of credit cards, but doesn't describe them as pure evil like Dave Ramsey in his book Total Money Makeover. I still think I like Dave's philosophy better, but this book does stress to be extremely careful. Dave wants people to pay cash for everything, while this book recognizes that 90% of people won't be able to pay cash for their house.

I like this book a lot because it still stresses the right points about not buying things you can't afford (especially houses), but it doesn't say go buy a mobile home either. There is a really good balance in the book. This book isn't geared towards getting out of debt like Dave's book, so it gives a very high level but good advice on investing retirement savings. The book also gives excellent advice (like Dave's) on insurance and while it doesn't paint whole life insurance as the devil like Dave does, it does highly advise you just get term life insurance and keep it simple (and cheap).

Don't take financial advice from someone that isn't where you want to be. Read some books from authors that have money, don't take advice from aunt edna that doesn't have 2 million in the bank, don't take advice from uncle darrell that is still working at 75. Read some of these books from authors that have money and know how to keep it. Ben Stein is well known for having money. Dave Ramsey doesn't keep it a secret that he's a millionaire. Take advice from the people that are where you want to be. Read some of these books (get them at the library for free...its what you pay taxes for!)

Sunday, July 20

Blew the budget!

If you haven't been keeping up, my wife and I are on a mission to get out of debt. We're still over $30,000 in debt, but we've made a commitment to each other that we're getting out. next month our first "extra payments" will officially go on our debt, I'm really stoked about that. This month is the first month we're on a budget and it has been rough!

We're on a basic envelope budgeting system and we've broke to rules twice this week! With our system our "fun money" doesn't get funded until the end of the month because it assumes that there will be carry over from the previous month. Well to make a long story short we spent all $100 that gets put into our fun budget this week and that enevelope doesn't get officially funded until next week! We also blew all the extra tip money my wife made on a movie and a date last night (The Dark Knight is awesome by the way!). This week has been rough for our budget. We haven't dipped into our "get out of debt envelope" yet which is a good thing, be we took a "budget advance" which is not a good thing.

Hopefully next month we'll get it under control and avoid doing anything like that. So what did we blow our budget on? A Wii Fit. We went to Wal-mart and they had 5 of them. We just couldn't resist. We both wanted one and gave in to temptation (since they're like impossible to find right now)

Tuesday, July 15

This budget stuff!!

So this budget stuff is harder then it sounds! I'm so used to living with a very loose budget that tightening it down is a little stressful. Just little expenses, things I want on a whim, are no longer possible and it is slightly stressful!

We're doing good even though we've already had an unbudgeted unexpected expense. I canceled my cellphone last month and got a bill this month for it still which I forgot I was going to be getting so we had a $40 unexpected bill come in. We squeezed it from a little "fat" in the gas and food budget, but it is still going to be pretty tight.

Life on a budget saves money, but it sure is stressful!!

Friday, July 11

First Items were a bust!

So I put my first items up on eBay last weekend and it was awful, absolutely terrible. Out of the things I posted not only did nothing sell, but eBay canceled all my auctions! Now this is partially my fault and partially their fault and it took me all week to get everything worked out. I am primarily going to be dealing in Weapons ala Swords and Knives. I love swords and knives and I dream about fighting in medieval times. I know hollywood has glorified it all, but what I would give to be a British Archer or a Scottish Noble Swordsman.

My first items that I was trying to sell was Wolverine claws. They look awesome and I was going to make a good bit of profit on the sale of each one. I even had bids so I know they were going to sell!!! But ebay decided to tell me that it was against their policy to sell items that have 3 or more points, which include claws :-( Even though that isn't listed in their prohibited items page. Nevertheless I moved on to other swords and posted them tonight after everything finially got resolved, although not to my liking. If anyone would like to purchase a set of claws I can send you a few pictures, $40 shipped (US only) for one pair, $65 for two.

I have listed some Lord of the Rings replica swords and I'll be listing some more tomorrow as well. You can look for them on ebay, my seller name is jhildebrand2007. Look me up if you're interested in swords!