Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Busy Times, Drastic Measures

So, I mentioned yesterday how busy I’ve been. I guess I don’t need to add that my budgeting has gone straight out the window - you can see that on my sidebar over there. Budgeting is one of those things that when I am keeping on top of it, it only takes a couple of minutes a day, but when I fall behind like I have, I tend to stall and stay behind.

I could sort through my bank statements and figure out January and February, but the truth of the matter is, whatever has been spent has been spent. Right now I feel like the best way for me to get off on the right foot is to just start fresh in March. So far in this month I have made over $400 and am on track for my nine hundred dollar goal, and I feel pretty good about that.

I will say though that having my budget from last year really helped with my taxes. It was simple for me to see how much I have spent on business items like gas, water and trash - all of which a portion is used by my tenant. So, once things slow down a bit, I do have some motivation to go back and, at the very least, record the numbers from last month.

As for my tenant, that’s another kettle of fish...

My tenant moved out in January, so I did receive rent for that month. This is the first month that I did not get rent, but so far income-wise I am doing fine. I did take this opportunity to get some work done on the unit. I hired my house painter to come in and fix up the entryway-stairwell area (which needed both paint and trim replacement) and the kitchen (which had some cracks in the walls and needed painting.) He should be done with that this week. It cost me about $250. While I am sure I could have done it all myself for less, there has been no time to do it. I’ve been swamped - that would have pushed me out even further. I decided that the cost per hour was completely worth it. This way when I slow down and can start showing the place, it will already be ready to go.

Fortunately, the tenant left the apartment spotless. Seriously, I was amazed at what a good job she did cleaning up. So, the next step will be to get some photos and start advertising it. My friend Tracey recently was apartment hunting and she wrote me a fantastic email with all the kinds of things she was looking for when she rented her place, and which web sites she looked on. It was really helpful. I actually feel pretty confident about getting it out there and getting it rented.

The one big thing I have left to do is type up a lease. I have some that have been used in the past, I just need to make one that someone can sign and turn in to me. I actually enjoy making forms, (it’s one of the things I do for my job,) but I am not looking forward to the time it is going to take to do it right. Ah well! It is too important not to take my time with it.

My goal is to have someone in by April 1. I can show it through March and if I find someone right away, they can move in a little early. I’ll let you know how it all goes!

Photo by: cindyproject
Via flickr

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