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Wednesday, August 15, 2018
September 1 Check In

Oh, September.

Back to school for your kids and back to work for me.  I’ve been off work for a nice six months.  It’s been glorious.  I spent the entire summer going to bed between 4 and 6 every morning and working like a crazy woman other times.  I even took time off to do STUFF that I would never have done otherwise. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I will miss.

Yes, folks, I am going back to work.  I don’t have a job yet, but I’ve only started my search last week and have already had three job offers.  I’m not jumping into anything but instead taking my time to find something that fits me and my personality.  I know that others are having a hard time finding work, but I’ve been incredibly lucky in that area.

In the meantime, I’ve been growing my online business and it’s been progressing nicely…or it would if my most popular designs weren’t being knocked off by China.  😐  It’s the cost of doing business these days since China will knock off just about everything from shoe laces to industrial equipment.  My little business most certainly isn’t immune.  How do I compete? By continuing to offer new items and offering the best quality for the best price along with responsive customer service.  It’s how every business competes.  But enough about that, you want to hear about my debt and stuff.

The Debt

september debtseptember debt chart

As I mentioned a few months ago, the debt repayment has slowed to a crawl.  Not really, but kinda sorta.  I actually spent a fair amount of money to rip out the walls in one of my rental property’s bathroom and replace the wall (there was water seepage) and put in beautiful subway tiles instead.  I also resurfaced the deck in the back yard as well.  I believe in ripping off the bandage to fix a problem as soon as I can before it snowballs into a bigger issue.  Many landlords let things go for a long time before fixing the issues.  Not this girl.

I also paid for the annual insurance on both homes all at once.  Plopped it onto a credit card because I like the points.  Since I had two out of three of my rental units empty for August, my rental income was slashed, but new tenants moved into one home on September 1 and I am currently screening new tenants for the other empty apartment.  I could have had new tenants in both apartments immediately, but I am being extremely picky and doing thorough background checks on all potential tenants.

Since I evicted one tenant for what I thought was drug activity, I will not rent to anyone who will not submit to background checks.  It’s pretty cheap ($20 per person) and I refund the cost if I accept the tenant.  I think that’s pretty fair.  Plus, I bumped into my friendly local police officer who informed me that my former tenant had in fact been arrested after I evicted him for possession with intent to distribute.  Better being safe and being called a horrible bitch by your (former) tenant than dealing with someone selling drugs.

New Deck

That’s the newly refinished deck.

I say all that to say that yes, the debt didn’t move much last month, but it is still trending down.  As long as the needle doesn’t go up, that’s a beautiful thing in my book.

Online Income

Google Adsense My Tenant From Hell: $0.07
Google Adsense YIAC: $112.60
Google Adsense Niche Site: $288.88
Private Ads: $384.44
Ad network #1: $108.00
Ad network #2: $25.14
Total: $919.13

Tough month!  For the first time in about two years I fell short of my goal of making at least $1,000 online.  Well, that kind of sucks.  I did make some changes that impacted my online earning ability though.  First, I ended a relationship with an ad network.  A company whose business practices I didn’t agree with purchased ad space on this site.  I wouldn’t reject them, so I just rejected the ad network itself.  Morals can impact your wallet, but I sleep well.  I also didn’t respond to a bunch of ad inquiries because, frankly, I was concentrating on my other business.

You might also have noticed that I slowed down the number of articles on this site significantly.  Remember, I warned you last month that this would happen.  I’m thankful for those of you who visited, commented and interacted with me on Twitter.  Really, you can ALWAYS find me on Twitter.

New Stuff?

New Bathroom wall

New bathroom wall. Yes, the tub is pink. I will change the color next year.

I’m getting bored with the look of this site.  In the nearly five years (good Lord, has it been that long?!) that this blog has existed I have probably gone through about five looks for this site.  I’d like to think that it keeps on improving, but that might just be my ego talking.

If there’s something missing that you would like to see, tell me!  I’m pretty open to suggestions since this is your site as much as it is mine.  Okay, that’s bullshit, but you get the idea. I accept input.  🙂

It’s almost time to begin yanking the onions and potatoes from my garden.  I hope that you had an awesome summer.  Fall is shaping up to be filled with pumpkin spiced lattes and everything nice.

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This messy little blog was all my doing. I started this blog four years ago as a way of keeping myself accountable to my own debt reduction plans. Now I'm using this blog to help others get out of debt as well. Consider subscribing to get more delicious posts like this at least twice per week.

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Simon @ Modest Money September 5, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Back with a bang and a thorough update! Welcome back 🙂
Wish you the best in getting a job that you like and that fits your temperament. One thing you mentioned in the post really hit home, principles and morals before money, always. Whether it impacts negatively financially on you or not, intergrity simply can’t be bought. At the end of the day, you have peace of mind and that is just priceless!

    Sandy Smith September 6, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Thanks Simon! I’ve learned long ago that the money is fleeting but the guilt lives on.

eemusings September 5, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Morality, man. You just can’t go wrong. I applaud your decision!

I’m sure you won’t have any trouble finding a great job quickly. Best of luck!

Tara @ Streetsaheadliving.com September 6, 2013 at 7:50 am

better safe than sorry with a drug dealer! Nothing like coming back to your house after it explodes due to some idiotic meth dealers blowing it up.

    Sandy Smith September 6, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Don’t know how I would explain that to the neighbors! Everyone is watching too much Breaking Bad.

SavvyFinancialLatina September 6, 2013 at 12:40 pm

I think tougher background checks will help you weed out bad tenants.

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