September Income – $1692.21

Here is a breakdown of my income for September.

Online Income

$646.75
Achievemint

$25

Interest

$5.20

Account Bonuses

$75

Cash Back

$35.80

Mystery Shop

$43

Amazon FBA

$50
Dividends $19.87
Medical Study $700.00
Jobs $91.59

Total

$1692.21

My income was pretty good in September considering I had very little job income.  The job income was unexpected since it was a final paycheck from a job I had back in 2008. It took them a while to find me.

I didn’t do a very good job of tracking my Amazon FBA income in September. I’m guessing I made about $50, but that might be a bit high since most of the stuff I sold made only a small profit and some items were sold at a loss.

I received some bonus income from the Motif referral bonus and the Betterment referral bonus.  Unfortunately, the Betterment bonus has ended. If you want to sign up through one of my referral links they are in the sidebar. If you want more information on the Motif bonus feel free to email me or leave a comment. I’m going to try to make more money from  referral bonuses. I like them because they make me money and make money for my readers as well.

My cashback income stayed about the same. If you haven’t joined Mr. Rebates yet you can get a $5 bonus for signing up through my referral link and I’ll make a little money for referring you as well.
Mr. Rebates

September was the last month of the medical study so I won’t be getting any more checks from that. Those checks did help my bottom line quite a bit. I have worked the first couple weeks of October which should result in a reasonably good income for October.

 

 

September Expenses – $1743.67

Here is a breakdown of my expenses for September.

Household $408.45
Entertainment $19.68
Transportation $90.19
Food $181.83
Student Loan $106.00
Travel $258.40
Phone $26.81
Health $652.31
Total $1743.67

 

My September expenses were high, but that is mainly because I had a dental procedure that was about a $600 expense. If you take that away my expenses were fairly close to my target of $1000.

My food expenses were way too high.  That was mainly due to having expensive meals during my hiking trip on the Katy Trail. I should have done better there, but when you’re walking there aren’t a lot of restaurant options. I did eat out way too much the first half of the month which made my weight loss harder than it needed to be.

Travel is the other expense that I don’t always have.  A big part of that was $114 I spent on a hotel during my hike.  That was more than I wanted to spend, but where I got off the trail there wasn’t any camping and only a couple of hotels were within reasonable walking distance.  It didn’t occur to me until later that I could have taken a taxi to a cheaper hotel and still come out ahead. Oh well, I will know better next time.  I also prepaid some of the expense for our trip to Cancun next month.  This vacation is not going to be as cheap as I originally thought.  It will still be a great deal though.

Entertainment expenses were my only low-cost category. This was because I had purchased a movie gift card the month before and we only went to the movies once.  My entertainment for the month was mainly watching lots of football.

This month I will have dental expenses and travel expenses again so it will not be a low-cost month.  I should at least be able to lower my food expense.  Although it will be a higher expense month I’m okay with it.  It isn’t worth letting my dental health suffer just to save money.

Weight Loss Goal Achieved!

CAM00421 It wasn’t easy, but I have finally achieved my weight loss goal. As most of you probably already know I bet $3000 back in April that I could lose 30 pounds in six months. My weight loss started off fast and then plateaued for most of the summer. This last month I kicked the weight loss into high gear again since I was in serious danger of losing $3000. The last few pounds to lose were very stubborn. I was stuck with about five pounds to lose for two weeks. This week I watched my diet very carefully and exercised and was finally rewarded with meeting my weight loss goal. I would have preferred to have lost more than my goal, but just hitting the goal is still a big accomplishment. I’m celebrating meeting my goal by eating some foods I’ve been denying myself this weekend. After that I’m going to get back to losing weight. My new goal will be to get to 170 pounds which is considered a healthy weight for my height. I’m hoping I can hit that goal early next year. The all-inclusive vacation next month and all the holiday food might make that goal difficult, but I think I can do it.

I just sent the email to HealthyWage.com to claim my winnings. I don’t think they have anyone working the weekends, but I’m hoping it won’t take too long to process the winnings. I’ll let you know how the process of collecting my winnings goes and do a review of my experience with Healthy Wage once my bet has been paid.

Blog News – Royals Playoffs Edition

I’ve been working at a temp job for the last couple of weeks so the blog has been neglected. I don’t know how people who work full-time and blog do it. Once I’m done with my work day I don’t feel like doing anything the rest of the day.

A few things have happened since I last blogged here. I’ll let you know about them briefly here and I might write blog posts on some of the things later depending on interest. That is both your interest in reading about them and my interest in writing about them.

I’m not really a baseball fan, but I have to give props to my hometown Royals. They are in the playoffs for the first time since 1985. When I was a kid I was a big Royals fan. It was an ideal time (late 70s to mid 80s) to be a Royal fan since they made the playoffs almost every year. Although they did end up losing to the damn Yankees most of those years. Even though I’m not a big fan anymore, I am glad to see them break their long playoff drought. Between the Chiefs’ big Monday Night Football Fan and the Royals Wild Card win this has been one of the best Kansas City sports weeks in a long time.

I’m very close to meeting my weight loss goal and winning my Healthy Wage bet. If the bet had been for 25 pounds like I intended rather than 30 pounds I would have already won. The low carb diet has been working very well for me. Last week I had a dental bone graft and had to eat soft foods for a couple of days. Most of the soft foods I could think of weren’t low carb, but I figured that would be okay since I’d still have a very low-calorie diet. I was wrong and I put on weight both days of eating soft foods even though I was eating less than 1000 calories a day. I switched back to low carb and the weight has been coming back off slowly. I’m hoping to announce that I met my weight loss goal tomorrow. The weight has to be lost by Tuesday or I lose the bet so the weight has to be lost soon.

I sold my car last month. That car purchase and sale wasn’t a good financial move for me. I probably should have bought it for less and sold it for more. I decided to get rid of it since it looked like it was going to require too much maintenance and repair to keep it going. I’m not sure yet whether I will replace it.

My GF, my mother and I are going on vacation to an all-inclusive resort in Cancun the first week of November. I was able to get a Southwest Companion Pass for free so my GF’s flight is free other than taxes. My flight and my mom’s are also free other than taxes since I had lots of SW miles from signing up for their credit card and shopping through the SW portal. My mom is a travel agent and she is getting the room free. This should be a very low-cost vacation. I’m guessing the cost for all three of us will be less than what one person usually spends for this type of vacation.

I’ll write more about the weight loss soon. If you would like me to write more about any of the other topics let me know and I’ll get a post up as soon as I have time.

August Safe Withdrawal Rate – 37.25%

My SWR for August was 37.25%.  While writing this post I noticed that last month I stated my SWR rate was 37.58% in the post and 35.22% in the title. I’m not sure which one of those is correct.  Depending on which is correct my SWR either slightly improved or got a little worse. I didn’t add to my savings in August, but the stock market did pretty well so I think the SWR probably improved slightly.

My goal is to get the SWR down to 4% so the lower my SWR is the better. That goal is probably many years from being met. The 4% SWR translates into having 25x your annual expenses in savings or 300 months of expenses in savings. Once I reach that point I will consider myself financially independent.

I have 32.21 months of living expenses saved which is a slight improvement from 31.92 months saved in July. This amount went up due to the stock market rebound in August. I didn’t add to my savings in August.  I calculate my months of living expenses saved by dividing the average of my trailing twelve months of expenses by my total money saved. When I don’t add any money to my savings the only changes to my SWR and months of living expenses saved are from my investment performance and the average of my trailing twelve month’s of expenses going up or down.

How Do Payday Loans Work in Canada

In Canada, payday loans are available for those with bad credit that need cash immediately. These are untraditional loans that have high fees associated with them. The Canadian Government has put regulations in place stating that a lender cannot impose more than 60-percent interest on a payday advance. Additional information of the process and qualifications are below.

Qualifications

The qualifications for obtaining a payday loan in Canada are rather simple.

What you need to qualify:

  • Proof of Canadian residency
  • Permanent employment
  • Valid bank account
  • Must be at least age 18

Based upon your request and your verifiable income, an amount is determined that you can safely borrow. Other bills are typically not included in this qualification process.

Application Process

During the application process you must provide proof of identity, proof of residency, employment verification and proof of your valid bank account. The application asks basic demographical questions such as your address, age, place of employment, amount of funds needed and in some cases, other household bills.

Applicants with minimal income may require a co-applicant. The co-applicant is also legally responsible for the repayment of these funds should the primary borrower default.

In Canada, payday loans are not all immediate. Your application must be reviewed. Upon approval and acceptance of the terms of the loan, the funds are deposited into your bank account within a single working day. Approvals take, on average, 15 minutes to 24 hours. You will be notified if your decision does not come instantaneously.

Repayment

Most Canadian payday loans must be repaid within 14 days. These terms rarely vary as the Government heavily regulates this industry. The interest on the principal is 23-percent and the annual percentage rate is 599.64-percent on average. Some lenders may charge more interest. On a simple, $300 payday loan, you can expect to repay $369.

Stiff consequences, such as criminal charges being filed against you, can be sought by the lender for non-payment. This can also occur if you do not have sufficient funds in the bank account when the account becomes due. It is important to only take the loan if you can honestly afford to repay it in –full and on time. The Canadian Government regulates how many loans a citizen can have at one time and over a period of time. This helps to prevent the payday loan cycle from sucking you in and leaving you in financial despair. 

Extreme Frugality – How to Live Well on Very Little