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Side Money & More CC Cashback

January 24th, 2015 at 08:44 pm

I took on a last minute cat sitting job twelve days ago. The owners are clients where I work and one of their cats was diagnosed with diabetes three days before they were headed to Hawaii. I agreed to make twice daily visits to their house to give insulin injections since the house sitter was not comfortable medicating the cat. It has been a big time commitment and extra driving, but I am happy to report that the kitty is doing very well on his insulin injections. Smile

I will make $520 gross. I haven't looked at my gas expenses yet. Their house is 19 miles one-way from my house, but only 2 miles from my office.
I'm so glad the gas prices have come down recently!

On Thursday I cashed in $25.54 points for account credit on a Chase account.

And $125 worth of account credit to a Wells Fargo account.

Next, I need to gift card shop ($600+) with my Southwest points. I don't think there is a cash option there.. I didn't see one.

Cashed in CC Reward

January 11th, 2015 at 04:40 am



Big Grin
This was our reward from DH's Sapphire Preferred card that we opened for the bonus and charged a portion of the new roof to.

Soon I will be paying off and cashing out the bonus from the Southwest card I opened.

Rain. HELOC News. Spending.

September 27th, 2014 at 04:46 am

We had a little rain early Thursday morning and again this evening. The weather has been very mild for weeks and the rain didn't change that - still mild. Plus the rain makes everything smell so nice and fresh and we can certainly use the moisture.


Our loan officer from the CU left me a voicemail that she was completing the documents today. DH and I will sign early next week and the money will be available by next Friday.
DH has contacted several roofing contractors. Some have come to the house already, but we don't have any written estmates yet. We want to get moving on the roof ASAP.


Re: Spending.

DH's side work profits were used to get the truck's water pump replaced (finally), two new tires and a few other odds & ends replaced (wipers, filters, etc.)
$1451 in auto parts and repair

It is the start of a new 4H year.
Yearly membership dues and two pre-purchase tickets for the large fundraising dinner came to $71.

DD is in the Honor band at school this year. Band camp weekend for $135.

I bought a Groupon for the Pilates studio I used last year for $89/eight classes.

I went kayaking last weekend with a girlfriend. $55 for the all day, 11 mile trip down the river. It was beautiful and relaxing, but....

My back was so tight after kayaking that the following day I had a spasm and threw my lower back "out". Had to see a chiropractor yesterday to pop everything back in place. (Primarily the left side of my pelvis.) I haven't used a chiropractor in over 13 years, but I really needed help.
$45 and worth every penny!

Everything (including $900 to debt payoff!) was paid using side money. WooHoo! Keep it coming! Big Grin

Special Focus Debt - PAID OFF!

September 24th, 2014 at 09:40 pm

DH and I have both been blessed by some side work this past week. I have a dog that I am pet sitting at our home for two weeks and DH installed a furnace and new duct work for an acquaintance last weekend.

I decided to use the cash I made and some of what DH made to PAYOFF the "Special Focus" credit card.

$876 - Previous Balance
$0 - Current Balance

Yippee! Big Grin

My Friday - Spending & Making Money

August 9th, 2014 at 06:20 am

Spending.
We got new tires for the Pathfinder.
It had been three years and three months since the last tire replacement and at least 70k miles. They were really worn, to the point that I was worrying about driving too far on them.
Four new tires, an alignment and taxes/fees came to $960.

Making.
I redeemed my Wells Fargo AmEx points for cash into our checking account. That was $550! Big Grin

I made $60 for pet sitting this weekend.

Won $25 cash prize at a veterinary technician meeting this evening.

And I booked a pet sitting job coming up soon that will pay $400.

Last Day of July!

July 31st, 2014 at 11:04 pm

Sunset view from the side of the house (DS's bedroom window).



My phone does a good job with pictures, but this doesn't quite convey all the shades of color there was in the sky. Hope you all enjoy anyway. Smile

In other news, the bonus points have posted for my Wells Fargo Propel card. Yay!

Unfortunately, their system is down, so I can't redeem right now. *Shucks!*

Side Income

July 24th, 2014 at 11:16 pm

This past weekend I did a trial run sitting a client's dog. They dropped her off at my house on Saturday and I brought her home to them Monday morning before work.

Everything went very well. My family loved their little dog. The dog parents were thrilled that everything went well. They are planning a big vacation in a few months and were anxious about where their dog would be staying. Now they are so happy knowing she will be at my house.

I collected a check Monday morning when I dropped her off. $70.

Then during lunch I visited my usual cat client and collected $80.

$150 *extra* for the week! Big Grin

Still Having Short Paydays..

May 28th, 2014 at 06:33 am

Although not as bad as previous weeks we are still running short each payday. With the increased heat DH's work is busier, but still not back to full paychecks. Friday we were just about $100 short.

As long as my work is not dead slow and the boss sends us out early then my paychecks are predictable. It might be + or - an hour per week depending on what's going on and there's not much I can do to change that.

You might recall several months back my boss increased, then cut back on my Tuesday hours.
For a long, long time I only worked a half day on Tuesdays. Then he and I agreed to increase it to a full day because it was so much work for just him and the receptionist alone. That worked well for awhile until he decided he needed to save money and cut my hours back to where I had been.

Well I think that choice has really been biting him in the butt.. There have been several busy Tuesdays recently where there is a bunch of extra work.. But he hasn't yet asked me to stay all day. Rolleyes

I really enjoy getting home early on my half days, but I wouldn't pass up the extra hours if I could get them here and there.

Anyway...
I received my usual $15 check for the inventory tracking on Friday.
I applied it to my *Special Focus Debt*.

$1109 Starting Balance

$15 Payment

$1094 New Balance

*Void After 90 Days* Checks

April 27th, 2014 at 01:59 am

Friday morning my boss hands me an envelope from one of the monthly inventory "surveys" I do. Inside was the worksheet and the usual $15 check.

Then that afternoon he hands me another envelope from the same company. Now I'm confused 'cause this one had a worksheet and another check.

Looking more closely I see the first envelope was from January. I can only figure it was in an old pile of mail that the boss finally went through? Or hopelessly lost in the mail?

The check was dated January 15 and it had one of those *Void After 90 Days* statements on it.

I went ahead and deposited it in our checking account - hopefully everything will be fine. Once I'm certain it won't be returned I will transfer the money to savings.

The other $15 I am going to use on the "Special Focus".

Back on the Horse

March 22nd, 2014 at 11:04 pm

I have decided to dig my heels in and I just applied the $60 cash to the cc I have special focus on.
I let snowflakes "melt" into our checking account way too often.

Feeling much more collected today. Smile
And absolutely confident that I will not have lunch out or a family meal out for the rest of the month. I will need to go to the store for bananas and dinner fixings for next Saturday, but other than that we have a ton of food.

A friend and her family are taking a weeklong trip to visit family. She was going to board their little dog at a local kennel. I told her I would watch her dog at my house for half the cost of the kennel. She was thrilled.

It is a Win/Win/Win. I'll make $150. She'll save $150. Pup will have totally tailored attention.

Speaking of horses.. got notice that our boarding rate is increasing by $10/month to $170/month. Operating costs going up for the ranch owner -especially the cost of hay. I figure the drought is only going to make that worse.

April is also vet visit month for our horse. Likely $100 for that.

End of the Week & I Was Bad

March 22nd, 2014 at 04:40 am

Another payday with short paychecks.
(Next week will be golden as neither DH nor I had short days this week.)
But, yeah, $206 less income this week than what I budget/estimate/plan/project for. Frown

I have $60 of cat care cash that I was planning to put toward a cc.
In fact, this week I decided to make this particular card my main focus and commit any *extra* to its payoff no matter what.

Now, I either need to stick to that plan OR use that $60 cash to help cover the usual expenses. No matter which option I am still going to have to transfer some from savings to cover outgoing bills.

It is feeling very one step forward; two steps back.

& I was bad this week...
I don't know if it was the nice weather making me lazy, or the "special" time of the month, or the feelings of stress over weeks of lower income, or some sadness/reality over unexpected deaths (there was a horrific car crash where a pickup truck crushed a car all the way to the front seats. Killing two women - mother/daughter. Happened on a road I frequently drive.) Sicily, the weird missing plane and some other upsetting (child abuse) news stories..
But I ate lunch out four days and as a family we ate dinner out once and had fast food dinner once.
$30 - lunches out
$46 - dinner out
$21 - family fast food

And I completely feel like I am shooting myself in the foot - while taking those two steps back!

Discouraged.

Paycheck Pinch

March 16th, 2014 at 03:14 am

The last three weeks have been slow at both my and DH's offices. February is typically the slowest month in veterinary offices and then starts picking up. HVAC work slows down when the weather is mild - not cold enough for furnace work; not hot enough for AC work.

When it is quiet we get sent (or choose to go) home early. This past week I lost four hours on Wednesday when the boss told us not to stay for the afternoon. DH was home about 1pm every day this past week, so that is about 12 hours lost there. (The very nice thing is that often his bosses will pay for some of the lost hours.)

It adds up to a lot of lost income. Frown

One week can be absorbed without much pain, but this is the third week and I had to deposit the $60 of cat care cash I had earmarked for the EF to help cover scheduled payments.

If the paycheck pinch continues the first place that gets cut back is extra debt payment. Frown

Extra Cash

March 9th, 2014 at 08:27 pm

I have been very bad about tracking the cat care cash here.
I really want to do better. Trying to put half towards debt or EF each week.

Week of
2/ 3 - $80
2/10 - $80
2/17 - $80
2/24 - $80
3/ 3 - $80
----------------
$400

Used for
$40 - DD's allowance
$40 - DD'S bus fare
$20 - DD'S field trip
$20 - DD'S school lunch acct.
$38 - lunches out for me
$10 - birthday gift for DD'S friend
$15 - champagne for girl's night
$27 - in wallet
remaining $200 into checking.

$8k Friday!

February 18th, 2014 at 05:43 am

Friday we had a wonderful flow of money into our checking account. Big Grin

First, our state and federal tax refunds were direct deposited.
This is the first time I have done direct deposit - it was uber fast. I e-filed with FreeTaxUSA on February 6th and the deposits were pending in our account on February 13th.

Second, I deposited the check for our horse trailer sale.

Third, I deposited mine and DH's payday checks.

All together it came to just over $8k!

Makes a girl a bit giddy to have all that deposited into her account at one time. Big Grin

Yeah, it is all spoken for.. but I enjoyed the giant checking account balance all weekend. Tomorrow I will split it up.

Highlights are:
$4300 - Roof Savings
$1000 - EF
$ 550 - Tree Removal Savings
$ 255 - Payoff a CC

I have decided to send B's hubby (who changed the trailer tire) $40 extra when I mail the horse board check on March 1st. It will be an unexpected and welcome surprise I think. Smile

------
As far as sickness goes..

As of Sunday, DS's daycare lady (GrandmaB) was still in the hospital. On a positive, she is doing better. I did talk to her by phone for a minute after I was briefed by her daughter on everything. She has pneumonia and also a urinary tract infection. Thankfully no heart related problems. She might even be back home at this point.

DS is pretty much feeling 100%. Every once in awhile he has a nagging little cough.

I am getting better (MUCH better than I felt on Saturday) still a bit of stuffy nose. I also have a cough that makes it sound as if I'm a lifelong smoker (I'm not at all!).

DH started feeling sick Sunday afternoon. He was in bed by 7pm tonight.

*Fingers Crossed* DD doesn't get it - so far she is fine.

SOLD the Horse Trailer

February 12th, 2014 at 06:09 pm




Well that was fast! Big Grin

It's the kind of thing where you don't know if it will sell in a week or take months. This type of trailer, in good condition like ours, is in pretty high demand, so I had a positive feeling about it selling eventually. When I posted it I was thinking, "I hope the right person will see this right away."
Turns out that's what happened. Smile

The buyer offered $4400 cash, which I accepted.

The ranch owner, B, took care of the transaction for us since we live 3+ hours away.
She set up the time to meet the buyer.
She also had to cart air to where the trailer was parked in order to fill the tires enough to tow it out. Turns out one of the tires had a leak, so B's husband changed the tire using the spare on the trailer.

B also checked all the cash bills with her counterfeit marking pen and wrote a very detailed bill of sale.
(I told her I picked the right person for the job - she was more thorough than I would have been. Smile )

I had told B previously that we would give her $100 for her help selling the trailer. Given the extra effort B and her hubby had to put in (changing the tire especially!) my DH feels we should pay them a little more and I don't disagree. She is thrilled with getting *just* the $100.

Would you pay any extra? What do you think is fair?

Chase Sapphire Reward - Woot!

January 24th, 2014 at 04:27 am



I am kind of kicking myself for not getting DH one when the extra bonus deal was on.

I am thinking of him getting one now, but it would *only* be $400 bonus.

Do you think I should go for $400 or wait until the bonus is bigger again?

We are only charging purchases we would normally make to get the bonus these credit cards offer. We don't pay interest on these credit cards by paying our balances in full. It doesn't make sense to get a bonus if you end up losing it to interest payments. The bonuses are being applied to other debt or to fund savings. Please do not attempt this type of plan if you are not able to pay balance in full every month.

Warm, Dry Weather. Cash Mondays.

January 22nd, 2014 at 12:23 am

It is a lovely 70F day again. The news folks are starting to refer to the month as JUNEuary. To be honest, there are days in June that are not this nice. We need rain badly - it is so dry! I just hand-watered the back yard lawn because it needed *something*.

DS has a slight cold and just was complaining that his right ear was hurting. I gave him some Advil and a pudding cup. Hopefully we can get him to feel better soon!

Last Monday and yesterday I made the "standard" $80 for the care of the old cat.
$160 Two weeks.
-$20 DD needed PE sweats. She kept the change for school lunch.
-$20 Cash for my wallet.
------
$120 deposited to checking

Total YTD side work: $180

Good Morning! Recent Spending.

January 13th, 2014 at 03:13 pm

Sunrise from the backyard.



DD had her annual eye exam, $64. She needed new glasses and frames. (I glued her frames several times in the past several months. No option to reuse those!)
She ended up liking a pair at Lenscrafters again. She also really wanted to get the new ones right away and LC made them for her in an hour. They give 50% for children 12 and under, so I told DD this is likely the last year we will go there. We paid $249.50.

She is going to a weekend 4H leadership convention in a few weeks. It is pretty large; delegates from clubs in all the northern California counties. I am excited for her to have these types of opportunities. The total cost for the weekend was $140. (Paid half months ago when we turned in her application.)

Last Monday I earned my usual $80 for administering fluids to an elderly kitty. I gave DD $20 for her afterschool bus fare for the month.

Side work Total: $60

Getting the Chase Sapphire Preferred

November 22nd, 2013 at 06:18 am

Last night MonkeyMama posted a link to a link for 50,000 points on a Chase Sapphire Preferred once you reach $3k spending in three months.

I went right ahead and applied and was approved last night.

Some thoughts on how to meet the spending requirement:
Our car insurance is due next month. I have been paying it once yearly and have the cash in savings, so that will go on the card.
Groceries.
Utilities like cable, water, garbage.
Vacation spending.
Motorcycle registration renewal w/DMV.
AAA membership in January.
If need be, DS's monthly preschool tuition (2% fee).

All spending was/is planned spending. Nothing is being charged that can't be paid in full.
(I need to copy & paste CCFree's wonderful "disclaimer" outlining CC rewards here Big Grin)

OMG! $1,000 Tip!

November 13th, 2013 at 02:12 am

DH came home from work with a thousand dollar tip from a client! She gave him and his boss each $1k when they completed their job.

DH works in heating and air contracting. Sometimes he gets tips. Usually $20 or so for "lunch" or "beers after work". He has gotten as much as $100 a few times. But this tops them all! Wow!

It is his *extra* money so he chooses how it gets spent. He is spending some on a project he is working on, a little for vacation spending and the rest to remove a tree in the backyard (or something else the family/house needs).

I am still shocked by the amount... Amazingly Cool!

Financial This 'n That

November 9th, 2013 at 03:51 pm

Called our cable provider for a lower rate. We have TV, internet and home phone bundled with Comcast.
I was all set for a tough negotiation and threats of leaving. Didn't need that at all! The CSR was super nice and I was all set less than 15 minutes later. Smile
Kept our same package and services for $120/month for two years.
A savings of $55/month compared to their *regular* rate! ($16/month less than the *low* rate we had been paying.)

DD lost/forgot her debit card. (While walking home with a friend she stopped for a fast food snack.)
An hour later our bank called - her card had been brought in by a good citizen. Big Grin
A good lesson learned.

Our gas and electric bill last month was the lowest it has been all year (I think?) $80. Such mild days and nights in September/October we didn't need the heat or the AC.

Had to reorder checks. Totally ran out right before the first of the month. Rolleyes
Last time I bought them was March 2012.

It has been slow at work, so this past Tuesday my boss reduced my schedule back to a half day on Tuesdays again. (He is a total dork, but that's a different post.)
Darn it - I was liking that bit of extra income.
The silver lining is that I work in the morning, pick up DS from preschool in the afternoon and get home well before dark.
My work schd is pretty sweet: full day, half day, full day, half day, full day, weekend.

Might be able to switch DH's iPhone to Ting at the end of this month.
(Shhh..I got an email about beta testing..)
That could save us an easy $40 to $60 each month! Very excited!

Had a 0% balance transfer offer come up. A bit of quick math and I figured the upfront transfer fee would "pay for itself" after 3.5 months. We would not have the balance paid off by then. Prepaying a bit of interest now to reap long term 0% benefit will pay off in the long run.

I am continuing to earn $80/week with my quick, 30 minute, twice weekly trip to give an old cat fluids.
I also earned $140 by pet sitting some other cats five days last week.
This extra cash has been so awesome! Big Grin

Another Monthly Snowflake

September 12th, 2013 at 09:49 pm

I signed up last month to provide work inventory information to another survey company. It pays $15/month. It is easier to fill out than the first one and I figured if I was already tallying numbers it makes it really easy to do. This company pays monthly and I got my first check yesterday. Smile

Working More Hours

September 2nd, 2013 at 09:30 pm

Happy Labor Day!
I hope everyone gets to enjoy a restful day off. We are in relaxation mode here at our house. Smile

Tomorrow I start working Tuesdays all day. For years I have had the morning off. Recently I started thinking I should offer to work all day. I already pay gas money to commute and I could add 3.5 hours to my week by making this change. I figured that after tax and additional childcare costs I will still bring home over $2k/year more. That is hard to say "No" to.

Last week went better than I had expected in regards to my new morning routine of getting the kids off to their schools. What it boils down to is leaving the house 30 minutes earlier. I hope we can keep it up all school year long.

Wednesday Doings

August 22nd, 2013 at 05:11 am

Today was DD's first day of middle school. The lazy summer mornings are gone now Frown Darn it!
Next week I add dropping DS off at preschool to the morning routine. I know it will be worth it. He is ready for more stimulation and he is very excited to start "school". Smile

In the extra income side of things: I received my quarterly check for recording some of my works' inventory usage to a research company. It pays $20/month. So my check was $60. Smile

Unfortunately, I saw an unauthorized charge on my AmEx card this evening. $85.xx. I submitted a dispute form online and fingers crossed it gets cleared up quickly. And no more funky charges!! Argh!