50/50 Week #4 Recap and Review
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We’re continuing the 50/50 Challenge and it’s time for me to share my own progress.
Money Earning and Savings Tips this Week
This week we continued with 4 more tips to help you save and earn a bit of money on the side.
- Money Saving Apps for Travel
- Considering Purchasing A Work-At-Home Program?
- Get More Money in Your Paycheck: Calculate Your W-4 Withholding
- ING Direct Black Friday 2011 Deals
We had two guest posts as we went out of town to hang with family and friends. I'm recharged and ready to finish out this month with a big bang.
This week I'll switch it up and share my progress with the Challenge this month. If you remember, I announced that my goal is $1,000. My plan was that half would be from cutting expenses and the other half would be more income from work. The good news is that I made my goal with earning more (in fact I may make almost $1,000 extra this month). The bad news is that I haven't reached my savings goal. Yet. I still have 2 days to get it done, so I'll be working today and tomorrow on finding some money.
Picking the 50/50 Finalists
Now that we're in the last week, I wanted to remind everyone how the winner will be picked for the 50/50 Challenge. As a reminder the prize for the 50/50 challenge is the new Kindle Fire. This is a big challenge to undertake and I think it deserves a fun prize.
For those not familiar with the Kindle Fire, here are some features:
- 7″ vibrant color touchscreen
- Over 100,000 movies and TV shows re available to stream or download, purchase or rent
- Kindle Fire gives you free storage for all your Amazon digital content in the Amazon Cloud
- Battery Life: Up to 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback
The contest ends November 30, 2011 (11:59 PM Eastern), so please post any progress and updates you'd like me to consider before then. I’ll be drawing the finalists on December 1, 2011 and will contact them. That's why I need a valid email so I can contact you if you’re one of the finalists.
I’ll post the finalists here on Couple Money once all the finalists have confirmed their emails and Couple Money readers will then have until December 4, 2011 (11:59 PM Eastern) to choose their winner. If you're a finalists, try to rally your friends to come over here and choose you when the entries are open. Spread the word on Facebook and Twitter if you want.
I'll contact the winner and send them their prize. The Kindle Fire is for US Residents only. For Canadian and other international readers I will offer $199 via Paypal only. You must have an account with Paypal or you will be disqualified. You must be 18 or over to qualify for the prize.
So far, I'm already looking at some great challengers that all deserve to win.
Progress on the 50/50 Challenge
How are you doing with the 50/50 Challenge? Are you ahead or behind your schedule? What area(s) do you need help with? Do you have a question or topic that you’d like me to cover this week?
Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver
I can’t believe that the month is almost over!! I think we will be continuing this saving/earning for the remainder of the time I am out of work!!
I thought it would be much harder to cut back with my salary being gone (especially since I had the bigger salary in our house). A few simple things have allowed us to cut back big time!! Now onto the updates!!
As I pulled down the Christmas Decorations, I began to think of things I might need to add to the decor, or should I say the babies Christmas Decor. I managed to reuse a couple of things and decorate the entire baby’s room without spending any extra money. I re-used some blue lights that I didn’t use last year and made some unique decor for FREE!! I also agreed with my husband to forego any Christmas clearance decor come January!
1) So far, we are way under for our grocery budget for the month! That is a savings of about $150.
2) We also did so good budgeting our money this month, that despite not having an income for me, we were able to put $400 in our savings!!
3) Electric bill was down $10 as well (doesn’t seem like a lot, but when starting cloth diapers too, and doing laundry every day, this is pretty good)
4) Changed our TV plan to decrease by $10/month! Every little bit counts!!!
5) Haven’t been eating out nearly as much (especially the husband) savings of about $60 as compared to last month. Whenever we went out to eat, it was with a giftcard!
6) I was able to make an extra $400 this month by working a few hours here and there!
Total Savings thus far = $150 + $400 + $10 + $10 + $60 + $400 (earned) = $1030
Wow, I haven’t actually done out the numbers yet and my goal was $500!! This is impressive!! I am very psyched!!
One Last Update:
I also wanted to add that when we dropped our cable/internet/phone bill by $10…a few days later, we got an offer from a competing company to drop it $40 more. This sounded good, but we did not want the promotion to be for just 1 year, and then the prices would be higher again…so we talked to a friend who works for the “new” cable company (which we didn’t know he worked for) and he said that he might be able to get us even more of a deal!!! We will be in touch with him tomorrow..possibly more savings!!
Well, this 50/50 month has really flown by, but it has definitely gotten me going and will be something that I continue to pursue into 2012, so I thank you for the motivation.
Here’s an overview of my progress with the challenge:
As far as the earning more portion of the challenge, I was surprisingly able to sell 2 of my guitars just within the last week or two, so I’m happy about that.
I say surprisingly, because they weren’t the 2 guitars that I was looking to sell on Craigslist or eBay initially, but instead I ended up selling 2 other Gibson Les Pauls that I have via word of mouth. My friend actually does band and performance photography/video, so she was able to put the word out about my guitars for sale, and it resulted in some interest from local musicians.
So it’s definitely a good idea if you’re selling stuff to just get the word out there to anybody who might have connections. I’ve actually seen this work with some of my other friends as well, as I know a guy who sells mobile phones, and pretty much any time any of our friends or acquaintances needs a phone, we all know who to call or let people know about him, so the power of connections is huge in sales. I know you sometimes don’t want to be that person who is always promoting their business to people, but if you just bring up your business casually or mention, “Hey, I work at the car dealership,” it can result in some sales.
I won’t go into the details about these guitars as I have in the past, but I bought both of these Gibsons over the last year and was able to net a profit of about $450 for the both of them, considering I had them setup professionally with new strings, etc.
So I’m happy about that and think I could be somewhat successful with reselling guitars.
I will also mention that these sales were much easier, due to the connection between friends, whereas all of the Craigslist traffic I received really caused me some headaches and made me generally annoyed at people and their behavior. Not everybody of course, but enough people to make me question whether I wanted to deal with more Craigslist traffic. eBay would probably be better, because you don’t have as much of a personal connection, being it’s all done through the eBay system.
As far as the savings portion of my goal, I also did have some success.
My main goal was to cut back on eating out and getting take-out at local restaurants, and for the latter half of the month, I did really do well towards that end.
I had some issues earlier in the month, but I was really good about eating regularly at home leading up to Thanksgiving, and since then, I’ve been in leftover heaven, so I’m happy about that.
It’s hard to measure just how much I’ve saved, but since it’s easily possible for me to spend $100 a week splurging on restaurants and good deli food, I would probably estimate my savings at about $250, taking into account the increase in spending on groceries, etc.
I should say that I’m not a strong budgeter, so I don’t keep track of every penny that I spend, and therefore, I can’t say positively how much I might have saved, but I would say that $250 is a good estimate, as there was a good two and a half weeks at least that I didn’t eat out at all.
Just writing this now is making me want to order a pizza, but since it’s the last day of the challenge, I’m just going to go into my kitchen and cook some pasta and be happy about it.
So with the $450 in increased earnings and the $250 in savings, I have reached the $700 level.
However, my original goal was $1,000, so I did fall short of my goal.
I did actually just get another referral for my DIRECTV service yesterday, which is a savings of $10 per month for 10 months (or $100 in a year), but I’m not counting that towards my goal, since it wasn’t really a part of this challenge for me (although worthy of mention I think).
Either way, I guess I failed my goal, but I am happy with my progress and extremely happy that I got things going with selling some of my guitars that were purchased for that purpose.
I cannot thank you enough for providing the motivation for my successes and really appreciate you putting out this challenge.
Good luck to all of the other challengers as well.
I know the contest is over, but I just wanted to let you know about one more last update, just because I can’t help myself. We switched our Cable Company and were able to drop our cable/internet/phone by another $10/month, in addition to the $10 we reduced with our former company. We will also receive a $200 VISA gift card for switching companies. The best part is that the rate we will be getting is not a promotional rate, so it will not go up after the year is up! Every little bit helps!!