Thursday, June 14, 2007

Break even challenge Week 1 Update

So this week was a miserable failure in the break even challenge. I had a huge deficit between how much money I made and how much it cost me to live. That means that this week I’m eating into my savings cushion. I’m not sure yet if it’s because of how I’m accounting this, because I started slow, because I just didn’t work at this seriously enough, or because it’s a flawed concept.

I decided to account for click, survey, rebate, and paid offer earnings when I got the money and not when I completed the offer, a decision I still stand by because of all the uncertainty associated with these things. However, because these things can take up to two months, I may complete these actions this week but not get the money for 2 months. This is more of a long term thing than it is a weekly thing. But that’s okay, I believe that if I keep totals it will all come out in the wash.

I started my part time job this Tuesday, so I basically took all of last week off. On days when I work 2 hours tutoring, I have broken even for the day, so that makes it a lot easier. However, I am only working 3 days a week right now. That still leaves 4 days, or $240, that I need to make up in other ways. I’m starting to realize that’s a lot of money. I’m considering taking on my hours at my job to make this work. I think working 2 or 3 hours a day, 5 days a week would still be a pretty comfortable way to live.

I also went over budget in both groceries and entertainment this week. Groceries because I was stocking up, entertainment because, well. . . because I overspent. We saw a movie for $10 (for two of us! Hubby gets the student rate and everything is cheaper here than it was on the east coast), we went to lunch for $11 at a sandwich shop on Saturday, but then we went out to dinner on Sunday. We went to a fast casual burrito place but still somehow managed to spend $19. That puts us $15 over our entertainment budget, meaning I have to find a way to make $3 extra every day. When I think of it that way, it makes it a whole lot less appealing.

Tehnyit suggested that I account for increased fuel costs and other incidentals. As of right now, I am within my fuel budget for the month. I budgeted about $100 for each car, and while I put $30 of gas in my car last Thursday, I still have about half a tank so I think I’m okay. Even though I spend gas chasing deals, I think I still use less gas than I did when I was working every day.

Totals for the week
$420 bills
+$7 grocery overspending
+$15 entertainment overspending
$442 = break even number
-$120 tutoring
-$7 grading essays
-$5.07 Associated Content payment
-$1 rebate check
-$11 survey payments
-$2.93 profit after shipping for book sold on
-$0.50 Paid to click payout
-$0.01 found a penny!

$294.49 deficit

Hopefully I'll make it up as the summer goes on