December 1 Check In

It’s the first of the month, so it’s time again to see how I’ve done with the debt reduction. After last month’s fiasco with the state emptying my bank accounts, I have kept exactly zero in my accounts and have returned to the ice ages of carrying cash and paying individual bills directly with the debtors or through my good friend, the money order. Hey, it’s not sexy, but it works and I don’t have to worry about having my money pulled from under me. I’ve been cashing my physical paychecks (Lord, it’s been ages since I’ve seen one of these things) at the bank that my employer issues the checks from, and I have a credit card with that bank, so it costs me nothing to cash the checks. On to the numbers!

November 1, 2010
Student Loan #1 $447.64 @2.47%
Credit Card #1 $532.38 @13.99%
Credit Card #2 $0 @14.24%
Credit Card #3 $4,034.63 @0%
HELOC $41,443.89 @3.125%
Student Loan #2 $37,510.89 @3.3-7.5%
The bed $444 @0%
Personal Loan $0
Car Note $0
Total: $84,413.43

December 1, 2010
Student Loan #1  $398.91 @2.47%
Student Loan #2  $37,437.17  @3.3-7.5%
Credit Card #1  $338.46
Credit Card #3  $4,086.83  @0%
HELOC $41,254.66 @3.125%
The bed $229 @0%
Credit Card #2  $0
Personal Loan $0
Car Note $0
Total: $83,745.03

I paid $668.40 towards reducing my debt in November.  There’s something to be said for working pretty much on a cash budget.  Since the state emptied my bank accounts I have not deposited my paychecks into my checking account.  Instead I have cashed my check at the bank that owns my HELOC and 2 credit cards, thereby avoiding a $6 check cashing fee.  This allows me to directly pay the HELOC and 2 credit cards at the same place where I cash my checks, so there is no avoiding those payments.  Also, since I can physically see how much cash I have at any given time, I have been pretty conservative with spending the cash.

I always have some unexpected expenses and November was no different.   My BF has no health insurance, so we pay for his doctor visits and prescriptions out of pocket.  We try to offset those costs by using what we sell on eBay, but this month I shelled out about $190 in cash at the doctor for visits plus I added about another $200 onto my credit card for prescriptions.  I paid the credit card off before the end of the month to avoid fees.  I wish the healthcare bill that everyone is so hell bent on repealing would hurry up and catch up to us since $400 in medical bills is a sizeable chunk out of my monthly paycheck.  I plan on paying off the bed next month and then moving back on to the credit cards.  In the meantime, I am considering turning towards Prosper, Lending Club or taking a zero percent cash advance from my credit card to pay off the tax liability that I owe the state.

Time to review how much money I’ve made on the internet.  Remember, I may have earned it, but I might not have been paid for it yet.

Internet Income in November
Google Adsense $31.32
Sponsored Tweets  $5.24 ($7.47 total for the year)
Commission Junction  $0.70
Cash Crate  $0
eHow   $1.37
Direct Ads: $90
Total:          $128.63

I have said this for the past three months, but this is my best performing month for internet income.  Moving to the WordPress platform has really helped to grow my Google income .  Direct advertising income should increase next month as I have a few ads that will come online at that time.  I will drop Commission Junction once I reach the payment threshold of $100.  At this rate it will take me about 10 years.  You can see how I’m doing with my debt in real time by clicking the Debt Tracker tab all the way up top in green.  Thanks for checking in with me!

This post was included in the Carnival of Debt Reduction.

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17 thoughts on “December 1 Check In

    • Thanks! I was pretty psyched myself. Since switching to WordPress one month’s income surpassed 1.5 years combined. I’m not complaining.

  • I always find it interesting to see where others are making their money. CJ is one of my steadiest income sources! (Also, I’d double check the GA rules. I believe there is something in there about sharing income. They close accounts left & right.)

    Also interesting to hear that you attribute an increased income to the WP switch. There many, many reasons for moving to a WP blog, but I’d never actually heard income mentioned as one of them.

    Way to go – looking forward to more check-ins!

    • I think that as long as I’m not detailing too much information I can share income. Maybe I’ll change it to just say “Google”. Think of all the sites where people show their checks. Switching allowed me to install a good widget that helped me place ads in different places very easily and vary sizes, and types without too much work.

      I have to learn your CJ secrets. I know that it has big potential, but I just don’t know how to make it work or what I’m doing wrong. 🙁

  • You’re making progress and that’s what matters! That really sucks about the health expenses you have to go through. Any other alternatives until you get some relief? Also, I’m having a good experience so far with Lending Club, so definitely consider checking it out if a loan is what you’re looking for. I’m going to be trying to get into the Internet income soon also, and hoping to use it strictly for debt and savings. Wish me luck!

  • I make money so SLOWLY with Google Adsense. Do you have any secrets or tips?

    I appreciate your honesty in laying out all of your debt. Good work this month on paying so much off, even with the medical bills.

    • Install the plugin “Adsense Optimizer” and allow ads to be shown at the top of your articles and allow the to show different types of ads such as link vs. images and I bet you’ll make more Google money. 🙂

  • I’m really impressed by your Google income. I don’t have much luck with Google ads. What ever you’re doing, you’re doing a great job.

    Can your BF qualify for any state medical aid until he can purchase insurance? $400/ month for medical seems kind of high. I would think he’d be able to purchase an insurance plan for less than that as an individual. However, I haven’t researched insurance rates for a long time, so maybe I’m out of the loop. Keep up the great work on your debt repayment!

  • I’m really impressed by your Google income. I don’t have much luck with Google ads. What ever you’re doing, you’re doing a great job.

    Can your BF qualify for any state medical aid until he can purchase insurance? $400/ month for medical seems kind of high. I would think he’d be able to purchase an insurance plan for less than that as an individual. However, I haven’t researched insurance rates for a long time, so maybe I’m out of the loop. Keep up the great work on your debt repayment!

  • I have mainly avoided the affiliate stuff for now simply because I don’t think it pays off much until you have a ton of traffic or tons of SE traffic. Adsense and direct ads are probably better until then. Congrats on the growing income, and may it grow more and quicker! 🙂

    • I was just approached by another company for cost-per-action ads and declined. They could not understand why, so I explained to them that it was not profitable for many of us. I would rather use that space for paying advertisers.

  • I have mainly avoided the affiliate stuff for now simply because I don’t think it pays off much until you have a ton of traffic or tons of SE traffic. Adsense and direct ads are probably better until then. Congrats on the growing income, and may it grow more and quicker! 🙂

    • I was just approached by another company for cost-per-action ads and declined. They could not understand why, so I explained to them that it was not profitable for many of us. I would rather use that space for paying advertisers.

  • lol Re: Commission Junction “at this rate I’ll probably get paid in 10 years”.

    i started off with CJ and then dropped it because it was getting too depressing, and then you’ll have to get them to “take action” and sign up or buy the darned thing for you to get paid… I find google adsense much more friendly in terms of income.

    Thanks for sharing the details of your income for our pure voyeuristic enjoyment 🙂

    I thought you said you had a tenant, do you not have a mortgage loan then?

  • lol Re: Commission Junction “at this rate I’ll probably get paid in 10 years”.

    i started off with CJ and then dropped it because it was getting too depressing, and then you’ll have to get them to “take action” and sign up or buy the darned thing for you to get paid… I find google adsense much more friendly in terms of income.

    Thanks for sharing the details of your income for our pure voyeuristic enjoyment 🙂

    I thought you said you had a tenant, do you not have a mortgage loan then?

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