April 1 Check In
As I do every month, it’s time to review how I did with my debt and my income. My very first post on this blog over three years ago listed out all of my debts and the interest rates that I paid on them. I do this because I want to show that it is entirely possible to pay down a six-figure debt without resorting to bankruptcy.
It’s important to remember a few things about me:
- I don’t make a six-figure salary. Ha! Not even close.
- I’m the sole breadwinner for my family of three adults (four if you count my fur baby).
- One of us doesn’t have healthcare, so we pay out of pocket for LOTS of doctor visits and medications.
- I don’t get outside financial assistance.
When I started this journey, I was obsessed with making more money. If you’ve been following my free bi-weekly Get Out Of Debt in 2012 course, you’ll see that my focus has not been on making more money. Instead, I’ve opted to show you, for now, how to make the money that you have work for you. Like a good blog says, you have more than you think. I had more than I thought. It was all about perspective, focus and dedication.
Time to show you how I did with my debt in March.
As expected, my debt is trending in the right direction. Even a trickle downward is a good thing, in my book.
The credit card in red appear as zero even though I have about $2,500 in debt on it because it’s a work related travel expenses for which I should be getting reimbursed on the fifteenth. I’m not counting my job’s debt (because that’s really what it is) as my own. I’m still lobbying for a Corporate American Express card because I should not carry thousands of dollars in debt on my credit card that really belongs to my employer. I’m on another trip again in two weeks that will add up to maybe $1,500. Next month I’m gone again and that should be around $3,000 to $4,000 in expenses. Not good! I know that my company does this in order to earn interest on their money for as long as possible. It’s sneaky, and not fair for my employer to expect me to float their debt for weeks at a time.
With that said, I’m really down to four major debts. I have the Prosper.com loan that you guys helped me fund. Remember that? I hope that you’re enjoying your interest every month. I also have the home equity line of credit (HELOC), the credit card debt, and the student loan. That credit card debt was originally part of my student loans which I transferred onto my credit card. I am only paying 1.99% annual interest on that debt whereas I had been paying 7.5% when I had it with Direct Loans.
My problem now is where to focus. My gut tells me that my energy should be on the credit card, but I’m divided since I’m paying a much higher interest on the Prosper loan. What I think that I’ll do is continue to add a little extra to the Prosper loan while working to pay off the credit card. I want to get rid of that balance before the low rate expires in another 10 months or so.
Let’s review how I did with making some extra money on the internet. I am sharing the net value of money that I’ve earned after fees have been deducted. Remember. I might have earned it, but I might not yet have been paid for it.
Sponsored Tweets: $4.75
Super Secret Niche Site Google Adsense $38.67
My Tenant from Hell Google Adsense: $2.94
YIAC Google Adsense: $171.49
Ad Network #1: $73.20
Ad Network #2: $59.38
Private Ads $1854.47
You’ll notice that I’m breaking down my income a bit more than I normally do this month. I’ll tell you why. If you’re not a blogger, then you might not know about some changes to search engine results that Google recently made. Google hates when you make money by selling a link on your site to someone else’s site. They also dislike sites that are on the receiving end of a bunch of links that it might view s suspicious. Many sites (including mine), make money by endorsing products and providing a link over or simply by providing a link in the first place without coding the link to tell Google that the link is a result of you having sold the link space to someone else.
This affected a ton of sites, dropping a lucrative income source for many sites by the wayside. I don’t have a bunch of links and I severely limit the number of advertisers on my site, so it won’t affect me too much. Funny enough, it did affect my niche site, My Tenant From Hell, because Google thinks that I have too many links from this site going over to that one. Whatever.
This change also scared a lot of bloggers into sharing less information on how they are making money online than they normally would. Me? Not so much. This is how I started the blog, and if it’s my undoing, then so be it. Basically, Google can suck it.
I’ve always been open and honest and up front with all of you, my regular readers. I think that you would find it disingenuous of me to change how much I share with you just because it might affect what evolved from a hobby into a lucrative income stream. Plus, I’ve always told you to have a “Plan B” for everything. I have slowly been diversifying my online income as well. It won’t make me millions, but it’ll do for now. You might see another one or two ad networks up there next month. We’ll see.
My birthday is on Earth Day later this month. As usual, I’m giving away some of my hard-earned cash. Come back on the weekend to learn how you can win some green too!
Is your debt headed in the right direction? How did you do in March?
I leave you with my theme song for this month, especially if you were affected by Google.