Monday, April 27, 2009

Growing Snowflaking Opportunities

One of the hardest things I deal with when paying off my debt is that I want to be making greater and faster progress.

I am on a partially fixed and partially not fixed income. I have a full time job with a set salary, a part time job that pays hourly and fluctuates, and then other income streams.

These other income streams are probably the most important part of my income. Some are passive, some require a lot of work. These are the ones that have the potential to always help me. Some make me just a few cents, some can give me a lump sum payment of a few hundred dollars (if I'm super lucky).

So what am I working on in my "spare time"?

Voice Over Work

I have been doing voice overs for a while. I have a professional demo online and I am always looking for work. This can pay really well when I get gigs, but a lot of the work I have done for free while I build my portfolio. This is the kind of thing that can get me lump sums if I get the work. I'm currently looking for an agency so that I don't have to chase gigs myself all of the time.
I also find it really really fun.


When I have a little spare time, which is rare, I take a few minutes to fill out surveys on CashCrate. With their awesome referral program, I am able to make extra money each month. True, when you start out you might not earn much, but snowflaking is about adding in little bits to make a bigger whole.


Do you know how to do something not many other people know how to do? I write articles on eHow. Granted, this starts with you just making pennies, but it's passive income. Once an article is written it's on the site and generating income. If you have a large library of articles, you can potentially do very very well. There is a really nifty list of requested articles if you are looking for inspiration. I've written articles from How to Get Around a Necklace Allergy to How to Make Felt Sales

I read a lot of books, and when I am done with them I am really brutal. If I know I won't read it again, I instantly put the book up for sale on My old building used to have a trash or treasure section where people would leave things for other people to take and any time there were books, I would go through them and grab them to sell online. I can usually make three sales a month or so with them. It's not a lot, but again, every little helps!

Distilled Rose Herbal Tea

I have a fledgling online company that I am still working on getting off the ground. I make herbal tea blends and sell them at my Etsy Store. Once I get this off the ground and start marketing the company it has the potential to be a good earner for me.

So how about you? Do you have any great extra income ideas that work for you?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

And the Beat Goes On...

I admit, I am sad that my updates on here have been infrequent and I know that I'm not the most thrilling read right now. But I do appreciate everyone sticking with me and here's a state of the union update.

Last night we finally moved the last of the things from our old loft. Though it was a great place to live, it ended up costing us an absolute fortune. We got a fair bit credit card happy with decorating it, and we really were living beyond my means.

My new apartment is lovely and I am so happy about it. It's not perfect, but it's much more my style. Now, of course, it is absolutely filled with stuff. I have a lot of unpacking and sorting things out to do.

It's hard. There are things that I want to buy for the new place. I want a smaller microwave. I want a couple more orchids (I collect them), I want to get some plants for the yard, I want a curtain rod and curtains. I also want a new couch, since Andrew will eventually be taking the day bed that I am currently using.

I can't have these things right now. I don't have the money and I have to force myself to wait until I do. Sure, I could throw that stuff on a credit card, but how would that help? I'd just feel guilty.

In looking over my finances, I realized that making those huge student loan payments wouldn't be feasible or logical right now, so I am back on my Snowball. I was able to make another payment on my scooter loan to get that paid down. Now, even if I just went back to the minimums, it will be paid off by December. I think I can actually have it paid in full by June.
I'm sending extra money towards my student loan at this point, and I'll be working on some other strategies to try and make some additional income.

I also got the notice today that the lawsuit against me has officially been settled and that the dismissal papers are on their way to me. I can't explain how happy that makes me. I am so utterly relieved by that. I can't wait to actually get those papers in the mail. I will be baking up a storm in a little bit for my lawyer.

I'm working on very slowly rebuilding my emergency fund. It was completely decimated because of the lawsuit and not having it makes me really really edgy. But, I will persevere and hopefully I can have it back up to a sizable amount by the fall.

In the sidebar of the blog, I've got a list of debts and goals now that I am updating frequently. These are to keep me more accountable towards my goals and because I'm not hiding anything. I know I'm in debt, you know I'm in debt, thats why I have this blog. It's full disclosure time.

With the loft out of the way, I have more time to work on other projects now. I will try and make this one of them.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New Project

Andrew suggested that I try and focus a little more on my artistic pursuits to alleviate some stress. With that, I happily announce the launch of my newest project. This is a little personal and fairly deep in to my soul, but the man has the occasional point.

Words Across a Page

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

March Net Worth Update

Well it was all going so well and now I'm utterly screwed. I had to pay a $3500 lump sum payment and as a result of me having to borrow some money from my parents, they have now put me on what feels like an impossible payment plan for my student loan. I honestly feel lost, like I'm never going to get out of this. But I've felt like that before and I've made progress so I just have to buck up, work really hard, and knuckle down and get this taken care of. Because I had to empty all my accounts, my NetWorth has taken a pretty bad hit.

Here is the break down for this month:


Car Value - $2,730 (No change)

Prosper Loans - $200 ($205)

Cash Savings - $0 ($732)

Roth IRA - $34 ($20)


Student Loans - $25,781 ($23,781)

BOA Credit Card - $4,617 ($4, 559)

Scooter Loan - $944 ($1,210)

Net Worth

- $28,378 (-$25,863)

That's a 9.72% backslide.

So now, I'd on an incredibly tight budget. I have to add in paying my parents $500 every month to a budget that was already tight. This means that I won't be able to focus on my interest bearing consumer debt, which drives me nuts. Because taxes are due this month, my new budget will go into effect in April.

I just moved to a new apartment that is cheaper and my husband and I have separated out our living expenses since we are living apart right now. I would normally pay $1100 for our living expenses. Now that I have moved I'm estimating my expenses to be:

$825 - Rent
$35 - Water
$20 - Internet
$50 - Power
$50 - Gas

$960 - Total

Then I have some joint expenses that I share with my husband and my share of these is:

$65 - Phone
$38 - Insurance
$65 - Joint Credit Card

$168 - My share

So that's $1,128 for living expenses and joint bills. This is a little more than I have been paying, but if we can get rid of our stupid joint credit card or at least get those payments down lower, or if I can keep my utilities low because I am estimating conservatively, then I think I will mostly be okay. I'm going to be piling as much extra money as I can on to my scooter loan and then my credit card in the hopes that I can get those paid off, though current projections put that at 15 months away if I pay no extra.

I'm going to have to start querying and trying to find side jobs again, which is a scary prospect when you are already working 50-60 hours a week.

I'll make it work somehow, I always do. I'm passed the panic and just into anger and frustration now. Next month my network won't look much better. But I should start to see some progress in May.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Update and Thanks

Thanks so much for the outpouring of support over my recent financial woes. 
I'm trying to find the bright side of all of this. The only one that I can see is that I can finally put this accident behind me and things will hopefully be calmer from here on out. 
I rounded up all the money that I needed, but my Networth took a significant hit and I've had to do some major rewiring of my budget. I'll post on that soon.

Today is moving day. I'm heading into a smaller and less expensive apartment and I am really really happy about it. This new place has some quirks, and there are some things that aren't terribly convenient, but it's going to be great for my finances. 
I'm already trimming things out of my budget, like just getting Internet for $20 a month instead of adding in cable for an additional $40 a month. Im very hopeful that this new apartment will feel like the home I've been craving since we left our old apartment. 

With taxes also due in April, Im not going to be able to get on track until May. May is when I can implement my new budget properly and start sticking to it. I'll also be able to work on paying down debt in May. I'm thinking that it'll be time to start querying and looking for freelance work again if I can. 

Thanks all for the support. Networth update coming soon!