March 2014

WooHoo! Another month, another budget and probably the first time I’ve actually kept a series alive past the first, hopeful post.

This month looks a lot better than last month. You’ll see just how much better in next Sunday’s post (because in another fit of long-term commitment I’m making the second Sunday of the month Net Worth Day!) and I’ve got this cool little tracker thing I’m going to use when I have enough data to show the changes in our Net Worth. The road from here to there is going to be an up and downy one and it will be neat to just keep tracking through the whole process.

Back to the Budget!

Unemployment $544
mTurk $100
Writing $100
Cash on Hand $342
Total Income: $1,086
Car $500
Gas $187
Electric $106
Internet $68
Phones $82
Business Expenses
Hosting $15
Domains $0
Total Expenses: $958
Total Difference: $128 (positive #!!)

We are actually in the positive this month!

The mTurk and writing numbers are approximate in the sense I’m at like $3 on mTurk right now so need to build that up in a big way, and the writing income is already made and pending deposit into my PayPal account, so I could do better there if assignments come up during the month.

Since our income fluctuates wildly, I enter things based on their risk value, which I have assigned in my mind with no particular algorithm other than my intuition and past performance. Mostly past performance. I know there will be things to do on mTurk to boost that number up, there always are. Writing? That is much more ebb and flow and seems kind of random sometimes so I am unwilling to count those as eggs in my income basket unless they’ve already hatched, been accepted, and are pending deposit.

Whew, I don’t know about you but I’m pretty sure I took the egg analogy too far. I was picturing myself as a chicken. It got weird up in here!

Oh, I don’t want to forget to tell you…I’m always going to link to mTurk if I mention it in a post just in case someone else wants to make very small amounts of money. It’s not an affiliate link and I don’t get anything for referring you. I just … if you wanted to do it I would feel like a jerk if I made you do a Google search when it’s faster for me to put the link in while writing. So don’t feel obligated or anything, cause it makes no nevermind to me either way.

The extra money is obviously going to be going toward gas for the car for the month. If Randy starts working this month (and my Spidey Sense says he is) then things will be a little more unpredictable.

Beyond gas, we are going to keep every penny on hand in case we need it for food/toiletries. One of the things we make sure not to do is let our expenses expand to fit our income. I think it will be a valuable habit later on if we just keep on doing what we’re doing in that category.  

Other Income Plans

We have current and planned listings on Craigslist and this month we are also going to start selling some things out of the house on eBay. You know, the stuff that can be shipped easily. I’m not selling things we love or my children cannot live without. It’s just the accumulation of living somewhere for eleven years.

Tomorrow I pick up paczki for a friend in California and ship them overnight so she can have paczki on Fat Tuesday. Even though I offered to do it for the cost of the paczki and shipping because I just feel it is sad and not-right a good polish girl should go without good polish pastry on such a special day, she insisted on getting our family a dozen paczki to say thanks! She is a wonderful human being and thanks to her our Fat Tuesday will include ALL THE paczki! I’m very excited about this. The kids don’t know. They are going to freak when they see a dozen assorted paczki in front of them. 

I’m excited for March. I think things are going to go well, but even if they don’t, stick around and you will be the first to find out!