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2007 $20 Challenge Recap

January 14th, 2008 at 06:56 pm

A relatively quick look through my Quicken records reveals a few insights from my 2007 Challenge.

My top new income streams were:

Babysitting: $2026.00
eBay Sales: $507.91
Housesitting: $300.00
Garage sale: $240.00
Half.com sales: $231.14


My final Challenge total was $3477.01, the bulk of which (95%) came from the 5 sources listed above.

I am particularly proud that all of these income streams are things I wasn’t doing prior to 2007. Furthermore, these money generating "schemes" are sustainable activities that I will continue to do in the future. I have decided to try to limit my babysitting to one family for 2008—the family for whom I first started babysitting for in January 2007. They typically need me 2x / week, so the income is not inconsequential. As I took on more families, I realized I wasn’t leaving any free time for myself. I felt cranky and worn out. I think this will be a healthy compromise.

My take home pay for my graduate student stipend plus salary for teaching summer school was $20,685 in 2007. The money from the $20 Challenge represents an additional 17% in income. At times I felt like all the work to add to the Challenge was for nil- some weeks I felt like a professional child care provider, yet after one year I earned just slightly more than $2000 from babysitting. I also think that by focusing on earning more money I was more hesitant to spend money. My thought process was something like: “$50 for a sweater when I have a drawer full already? That’s 5 hours of babysitting—I’ll pass!” Also, for better or worse, when you babysitting on Saturday night you are not out spending money!

What I will do with the money? I had thought about using the money to begin to dabble in some non-retirement investing. However, after learning more about the tax consequences I’d face and weighing my other goals (ie- continue to save for house down payment and max out Roth IRA for 2008) it seemed foolish to use the money for anything else.

Thanks to all who supported me with your comments and encouragement!

4 Responses to “2007 $20 Challenge Recap”

  1. denisentexas Says:

    Wow, I'm impressed! Maybe I can pick up a few babysitting or housesitting jobs here and there. Those would help! Congrats to you for such a great year!

  2. denisentexas Says:

    Just where is this money? Does it exist only on paper or is it physically located somewhere? I'm trying to find out just how others do their challenge. Smile
    And a non-finance question for you: how did you do the strikes on your ages on the left top of the page? I have tried several things and so far, none work!

  3. threebeansalad Says:

    Thanks Denise! I deposited most of the money in my Emigrant Direct Savings account. As that grew, I opened a few 1K CDs. Sometimes when I was paid in cash I jsut kept the money rather than going to an ATM for cash.

    Re: the strikes.. I just to write the code but it ends up striking through my instructions! So, I'm going to refer you here:

    If that's not clear, PM me and I can write the code in an email with it being activated!

  4. denisentexas Says:

    I still haven't figured out what Emigrant and ING and all those things are but YHWH willin' and the creek don't rise, I'll soon need to! Smile
    Thanks for the link to the code. That worked. Smile
    But..how do you PM on here? I don't see how to do that or email a person!

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