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Posts tagged with: extra income

Fall, 2015 Budget – Hope


We have been living on a pretty strict budget since last spring (see previous budget posts on this here: Summer Plan and here: Going Hardcore.)  We gotten lots of amazing things done on this budget including playing off most all my consumer debt (minus ex-husband’s car,) sending all the kids to their summer camps, having a mini-vacation at Great Wolf Lodge for the twins’ prom and just generally getting a better handle of our finances.

An important part to our success was budgeting on my “regular” income and saving “extra” income.  Regular income are long term clients who have hired me on a contract basis AND have proven reliability of paying regularly.  It also includes the adoption subsidy for the twins. Extra income are a variety of projects that I pick up at any given time.  That EXTRA is really what allowed us to live a little while going extreme in day to day finances.

So with that being said, I have decided to continue to budget that way.

DescriptionMonthly Goal
Monthly Total$3,108
Rent + Water + Storage$1,344
Life Insurance$23
Car Expenses$150
Car & Renter's Insurance$107
Kids (Misc)$400
Busch Gardens$50
Misc Business $20

Based on this budget and a reliable, regular income that varies little on a month to month basis of $5,261, this leaves with me $2,153 monthly to pursue debt pay off, savings and housing options.

At this time, only two things are for sure with how I will use this money…

  1. I will continue putting $100 per month into my EF account which I promptly forget is there.
  2. I will continue paying monthly minimums on my one remaining debt.

After my September 1 deadline for making a housing decision, I will come up with a more concrete plan for this money.

Two More Real Food Workshops!


I was contacted by two different “friends of friends” about my Real Food Workshops and have two more events booked.  These ladies want to get their own group off the ground so we discussed that I’ll do an intro event that basically explains how my family made the switch.  We will make the super easy whole wheat tortillas that are great to have on hand for a bunch of different recipes.  I hope the guests can be inspired to improve their family’s diet and save money in the end.  Exciting stuff!! 

I’m feeling pretty good about the various incentives I earned for the month of September from Pampered Chef.  I have $200 to spend on products and am excited to add to that this month and then I can get a major shopping fix…without spending money.  That’s another unintended benefit of deciding to do this! 

The kids did all the paperwork preparation for these workshops and DD goes with me and handles much of the paperwork at the event (keeping it organized and making sure guests have what they need).  We have so much fun doing this and it is great together time!  Of course, the extra income is always welcomed!

Side Business


During the summer I kept getting contacted by friends and family with questions about our real food plan.  After awhile I started brainstorming about how I might be able to turn this into some sort of exta income opportunity.  So, in late August I organized a “real food workshop” idea and had a great turn out.  I hadn’t shared about it on the blog because I wanted to see how it all went before I committed to it beyond this first try.

At the first workshop–on September 9–we made the very simple whole wheat tortillas from www.100daysofrealfood.com.  I rented the neighborhood clubhouse so everyone could have a lot of space and figured out the numbers so that I was sure to not lose any money in the process.  I charged each person a $10 fee to attend to cover the rental fee and everyone brought their own ingredients.  I envision this becoming a sort of support group to get people and keep people on the real food wagon.  I was amazed that the first workshop had 10 attendees!  Most participants are moms that work outside the home and we discussed a very long term goal of making it a sort of “supper club” where we each make multiples of the same meal and then we swap and all leave with different meals for the week.

As a sort of afterthought to the workshop idea, I did something pretty crazy for me.  At the last minute I decided to become a Pampered Chef consultant.  Over the years, I went to many a kitchen show and have a lot of great kitchen gadgets to show for it.  But, until the real food revolution hit my family, I wasn’t using a lot of those tools.  But, now that I cook so much I am getting so much use out of them AND know the importance of having the right kitchen tool!  I was kind of scared to share this b/c it did cost me $150 to sign up.  Well, I’m happy to report that as the month draws to a close, I have earned $450 with this adventure!  That’s commission and overage on the attendance fees only.  I also earned more gadgets and dollars to spend with PC.

What perfect timing for me to stumble into this workshop/Pampered Chef idea!  Actually, I was opening the new consultant kit when Steve said we needed to talk that day before he moved out.  I laughed later picturning myself as one of those consultants you read about that say “PC changed my life!  I was opening the starter kit when my husband informed me he was moving out!”  🙂  It has been a great distraction for sure but the VERY best part of this is that the kids–especially DD–are totally on board and excited.  In fact, DD has no fear and I even got an email from her teacher asking me to send in a catalog!  LOL!  And DD sat and watched all the teaching materials PC sends to new consultants and then one day asked if I had spoken to three new people about my business that day!  Talk about accountability!   When you come home to an 8-year-0ld checking on your progress, you really don’t want to disappoint!

So, we will see where this takes me and I’ll enjoy every step of the latest adventure!  Please don’t worry that I am too busy for this—keep in mind I am kid free every other week (after helping with transportation for M, T and W activities).  It’s a fun distraction that made me a lot more money this month that I was expecting.  I hope to reinvest just a small portion of the commission into the business and use the rest to pay off debt.  🙂

On the divorce front, there’s good news on what is owed in taxes for 2011.  Instead of close to $1500 it is actually only $935.  Since I had not heard anything from Steve on it I found the return on Turbo Tax (he had been working on it) and finished up what needed to be finished and snail mailed him the forms with a note asking that he sign and send me his half of taxes.  This snail mail communication is how Steve has to do this but given my history with dealing with my ex it just feels bizarre.  In hindsight, what a huge red flag it is that someone cannot get along with an ex.  That’s so telling about anyone I’ve decided–if they cannot be a civilized adult to the person they had children with, something just isn’t right.  That’s a great life lesson to take away from this and the lessons just keep coming to light.


Increasing Income


While the spending cuts continue, I’ve spent a little time brainstorming some income generating ideas.  Hubby and I have a storage room of “extras” that we didn’t need when we combined our families.  In addition to wanting to cut that $35/month cost for the storage space we have discussed selling the “extras” in the storage unit.  Our original thought was to keep everything for the eldest when he goes off to college but I think we just made a blanket decision on that and didn’t really take a good inventory of what we have, what he can realistically use and–most importantly now that we are tackling debt–what we can make money from selling!  We have a refrigerator, washer and dryer, lots of furniture.  We’ll do an inventory soon, figure out what can go and put all proceeds toward debt.

I also have some leads on side income that I can work on during the “kid free” weekends.  I’m looking at doing some side jobs in my professional area as well as some new things that are out of the box.  I have a telephone interview for a position as a reservation clerk for a major company…but they already sound perplexed by my application.  Oh well….I’ll just be honest and tell them I’m on a debt elimination plan!  All of the ideas are “work from home” opportunities so there will be no additional costs incurred for commuting.

I did a closet clean out this weekend and have a good size box of random Ebay stuff.  I’ve sold on Ebay before—mainly craft supplies a few years ago.  I might have $200-$300 worth of random items so I’m excited about that!

I took two big boxes of my daughter’s clothing to a consignment shop this weekend.  I had taken a small bag of things to this store in the past just to see how I did and from about 15 items, I made over $50.  I am excited to find out what I earn with this batch.  I had a load of adorable Easter dresses from over the years and I’m glad I actually got them TO the store well before Easter!

I’m looking at things through these new glasses and asking myself if something I find around the house can make us money!  Let me hear your unique ideas for income!