July 1 Check In

It’s the beginning of the month and like all months it’s time to review my finances. For those of you new to this process, the entire reason for this blog’s existence is to chronicle my journey of getting out of debt.

I didn’t do much in June. No vacation. No parties. No weddings. Thankfully, no funerals either. I spent the entire month either working, traveling for work, or renovating the rental property. It’s not fun living on your hands and knees in 100 degree weather. The lady behind the counter at the local Turkey Hill knows me for two reasons: 1) I usually go in there covered in paint and; 2) I always scoop up an armload full of Vitamin Water, slushie drinks and regular water for myself and whichever family members are helping out that weekend.

Speaking of family, I’m pretty grateful that multiple family members have pitched in to take the 3 hour ride with me on the weekend and thenproceed to get covered in paint, wood chips, glue or whatever medium we happen to be working with that weekend. Having a close family and set of friends is an awesome thing, and I owe them a multitude of thanks.

Honestly though, I think that they just come along to see what kind of house $37,000 (closing costs included) buys you. Thankfully they’ve been impressed that it’s not a dump or in a rat-infested, crime-ridden neighborhood with junkies for neighbors. Renovations would have been completed yesterday, but it was too hot and I was burnt out, so it will be completed next weekend, and I promise that I’ll have pictures and figures for you then.

The Debt

I’ll be honest with you here and say that my debt servicing wasn’t the best in June. I’ve taken resources that would normally go towards paying down my debt and instead used them for all of my incidental expenses (paying for EVERYTHING for EVERYONE who comes along since I’m too cheap to pay them directly) for this renovation.


My June Debt

Yes, my debt skyrocketed. You guys voted and decided that I should add the debt from the new house to the balance, so here it is folks (that’s the 401K loan line). It isn’t too bad for someone with two homes I guess, but it is kind of scary. Time to get back to drilling that number down as fast as possible. I plan on devoting rental income to this debt, so that nothing comes from my earned income.

I’m also having a teeny problem with my, as of July 1, former management company. They didn’t bother to make sure that rent was collected for June and didn’t return my phone calls until July 2.  Nor did they follow the process to have the tenant evicted for non-payment of rent.  Now it’s July and he will owe me two months of rent.  If I don’t have the money by Saturday, I’ll start the proceedings to have him out of my house by the end of the month.  I don’t have time for BS with non-paying tenants, and I had even less patience for a management company who I was paying not doing their jobs.  When I see their ads for apartments I want to cringe because I know that the property owners who have just signed contracts with them have no idea what they’re in for.

Until now the tenant has been fairly decent, but I’d rather have an empty apartment than one filled with a non-paying tenant.  For now he’s playing the “oh, I mailed the check at the beginning of June” crap, but if he thinks that I’m a push-over because I’m a woman, he’s in for a sad surprise.  If he doesn’t have the rent money on Saturday, I’ll hand him a notice to quit on the spot.  I don’t have time to play around and there are lots of willing tenants looking for housing.

On to how I made money online in June.

Blogging Income

Google Adsense YIAC: $162.45
Google Adsense MTFH: $0.09
Google Adsense Super Secret Site: $59.02
Google Adsense Shirataki Noodle Facts: $0.44
Google Adsense other: $0.14
Lijit Networks: $12.60
Ad network #1: $163.20
Ad network #2: $42.00
Private ads: $480.06
Webmaster Work: $0
Sponsored Tweets: $12.63
Total: $932.63

Again, I’m still pulling in a decent amount of money per month from my blogging work. I’ve been running into a bigger issue lately of being too overwhelmed to answer the multitude of e-mail that I get each day. I’ve been missing advertiser messages and such because, quite frankly, with everything that is going on in my every day life, I just have no time to handle everything. I’m trying to rope some of my family into profit sharing deals where they help me with running the blog for a share of the profits. That way, everyone is happy and I can sleep for more than 4 hours per night.

Also, I’m not bitching, but I keep getting offers to write for large, much more well known places. The problem is that they do not pay. It takes time to write a decent, engaging article and if you’re including facts and statistics, you have to spend a good amount of time fact checking. I’m asking myself, what am I worth and are these things worth my time? More often than not, I say no, it’s not. So, instead of seeking my work on big, flashy sites, I pass on those opportunities that will essentially just vampire away the best of my work from you guys. It’s true that they can be stepping stones to larger things, but I don’t want my life to be blogging. I don’t think that I’m built for banging out articles every day that say the same things. I always tell you guys to never sell your talents short. I won’t do the same. But maybe I’m just not being realistic. Who knows?

We’ll pick back up on the Getting Out of Debt Course soon. If you haven’t taken the first few classes, go back and do so. At this point you should be in a rhythm. If not, we’ll analyze why you’re still having problems.

How did your month go? Any progress with your debt? Any new babies? Seems like everyone is pregnant these days. There’s something in the water. Oh, and photos of the house coming next week!

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16 thoughts on “July 1 Check In

  • We have been making over our kitchen and dining room for the last two weeks…and it’s almost complete! We’re amazed with the progress and the results.

    Good luck with your project! I have been feeling quite swamped lately myself. Glad to get the project underway so I can relax and concentrate on other areas.

    • It’ crazy how a remodel can be draining while in the process but so rewarding when it’s over and done with!

  • Sandy, what does one do if a tenant simply REFUSES to pay? Do you take them to court?

    My goal has been to get tenants with 720+ credit scores. Do you use a Credit Score measurement?

    Finally, $900 a month in online income is good. What if you spent all your rental property time on the online income. Do you think it would grow further as a result with much less hassle?

    • Hey Sam,

      The deal between a landlord and tenant is that you provide them with a place to live and in exchange they pay you for the privilege. If they don’t pay then they do not deserve to live there, so yes, off to court. I will serve the tenant with adequate notice and then proceed with eviction. In the state with my rental property I can have someone out in less than 30 days.

      The problem that I have is that credit report means nothing these days. A person can pay their other bills, not pay the rent and still have decent credit if the landlords choose to not pursue due to costs and to not report. I am not one of those landlords. It might seem brutal, but this is a part of my livelihood and I must treat it as I would any other business deal.

      If I spent the time on the site, sure, I could build it to surpass the rental income. I’m looking ahead to when, or rather, if I lose interest in blogging or if I just can not write any longer. The rental income is a part of my 40 year plan. The blog? I take it as it comes.

  • I am so impressed how you can manage to attend to all these stuff personally. And your $900-earnings online inspires me to work more as well. Thanks for sharing!

  • I liked how you showed us how much you made from blogging. I know that I have thought about using the internet to make a little extra money on the side, but was never 100% sure how much it really made. Now I think I am going to look into it more as a emergency fund.

    • Yes, I’m pretty honest and up front about the income Your effort will correlate 100% with your income. Do more, earn more! Good luck with building your income.

  • I hear all the benefits of owning rental properties but each time I hear from a real owner, I question the benefits. The time, the energy, the stress–is that still worth the income you make IF they pay. And, when they go to sell and calculate all the real expenses–it’s never as lucrative as they expected.

    • I can honestly say that he’s 9 months into a 1 year lease and has paid his rent through last month. I don’t know what happened with June’s rent or July’s but he mentioned that he was having some problems with a very high estimated electric bill. The problem is that I am not in charge of his energy usage or the company.

      I look at this rental property as very long-term investment. As I’m now 34, I could hold this house for the next 30 years until I decide to retire and then sell it, or, if I wish, retire to this house. In the short-term, sure I expect some pain. Long-term tenants would be great! If he can resolve his issues, I don’t have a problem with him staying.

    • Owning rental properties is great when the tenants are good…and terrible when the tenants are bad. My parents have a two-family house and went through hell with their last tenant. He was great for a couple of years and then it all went south over the course of the last year or so. He essentially went bonkers. They asked him to leave, presented him with papers to vacate (which he ignored), and ended up having to take the case to court to get him out. It cost them a few months of rent and over a grand in legal fees, but they finally got their peaceful home back. And they have vowed to never rent out the upstairs again!

      Honestly, having that 2nd floor apartment was fantastic over the majority of the years they have lived there – it covered mortgage costs and really helped my parents financially, but the stress of having a crazy person living above them was too much in the end.

  • Sorry to hear about your tenant problem. You need to find a good property management company. I know it’s not easy and I guess you need to keep trying new ones until you find someone that works out.
    I think your debt looks fine. The extra debt is for the rental property that will generate money later so it’s not a big deal.

  • Watching you tackle your debt has made for some of the most interesting reading I’ve come across in a while. I know it’s just a few words you put up at the beginning of the month but its like watching the walking dead! I can’t wait till the next update to see if things get better or worse for you. Who’s going to die… what gets paid down. Kudos and Carry On!

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