Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Month in Review

So, I just went through my bank statement for September to see how I did. As I mentioned earlier, I have not done well at tracking my spending for this month so I had to rely on my statement. I am going to make a stronger effort to do better this month.

My bright sides were my electric, water and cell phone bills - all of which came in less than budgeted. I also came in under the mark on dining out and entertaining expenses. As you can see, I didn't quite hit my $900 mark, but actually this was about where I expected to be. The fact that I hit my goal in July was a fluke. This, I think, is a lot more accurate. I plan on being able to bring in the full $900 each month, but I realize that building up income streams take time.

Speaking of income streams, my Amazon and Half sales were up incredibly this month. eBay was a little light, but I am hoping to get it going again this month. Some items I listed recently sold, so I am going to try and get some more things going. I have had a goal to list 3 items per week - whether eBay, Amazon or Half. For the most part, I have been able to keep up with that, though preferences lately have been with Amazon and Half. I was also able to generate income this month by working at a second job house managing. I don't know that there will be as much I can do this month, but I will keep my fingers crossed. Another non income related goal which was on my list - installing cfls, has been very successful!

Now onto the bad news...

I didn't meet my goal on listing the garage stall for rent. I don't know why I have a mental block on that, except that it seems like a "daylight" thing to work on, and lately with how late I have been getting home, I haven't seen a lot of daylight. I did get to spend one afternoon cleaning it out so it looks more rentable... now I just need to get that sign out!

I went over (yet again) on my Misc. budget. To try to even that out I have made some changes to next month's budget. First, I have added two new categories - home improvement and gifts. To try to even out the numbers a bit, I lowered my dining out and entertainment lines. Hopefully that will help distribute some of the pain.

I also added another new line item - Nonprofit donation. I feel it is important is to give back. I realized recently that I used to have a good system in place for charitable donations, but not any more. I need to get back on that ASAP. Right now I only dare set up that budget item for $15.00 a month, but hopefully in time I can get it back up to my former levels - once I making sure all other bills are being met, of course.

I've also got a few more irons in the fire to earn income (of course.) I have two mystery shopping assignments set up for this month and another sales opportunity that I am going to try for a friend. More details on that soon!

Photo by: TW Collins


catie said...

Gifts, yeah, that one will sneak up on you. That is one line item where, if I don't spend my gift budget, I carry it over and build it up. Some months are SO much heavier than others. Also, that way I have a cushion when I get invited to a party and want to bring the host a bottle of wine or something. Or when a friend is blue and I want to get them a little "cheer up" gift.... I don't have to stop and analyze my misc. budget.

Dawn said...

You are right - some months are heavy with gift giving - birthdays and whatnot. But also there were some unexpected ones (well, at least not on my budget) like Matt's wedding. Having a budget and letting it carry over is a good idea.

passivefamilyincome said...

Dawn - Good for you on the charity donation. Just out of curiosity, how much more inventory do you have to sell on eBay, Amazon, etc. before you don't have anything left to sell? Are you concerned that this income stream will someday dry up?

Dawn said...

PFI - eBay, I have cleared out several boxes of inventory friends have given me, but I still have plenty to go. It seems I am always running across more. Plus my mother and sister both offered to load me up should I become light.

Amazon & Half - I still have a good sized inventory on that too. I'll write more on that this week.