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More Sales!

May 26th, 2008 at 04:39 pm

Sidestream Income:
$3154.93 old total
$60.00 AC unit

TOTAL: $3214.93

My AC unit (priced at $75) didn't sell at the yard sale. The Craig's List ad elicited some calls and emails, but no one came to look. So, when a college kid offered me $60, I decided to accept the offer.

I'm nearly at

Text is last year's total and Link is
last year's total for the
Text is $20 Challenge and Link is
$20 Challenge!

2007 $20 Challenge Recap

January 15th, 2008 at 02:56 am

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 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!

Challenge Year Total: $3477.01

December 31st, 2007 at 08:33 pm

Old Total: $3445.86
+ $12.75 textbook sale
New (and final) Total: $3477.01

The sale represents the sale price of the book ($18.99) minus the shipping and commission. I also added in the amount I've earned over the past year from a survey site to arrive at my yearly total: $3477.01.

The sale was another textbook I got for free from a professor who was cleaning out her office.

The total represents only new income streams for 2007- in other words, all money represents opportunities I sought out as part of the Challenge.

Later in the week, I'll post some reflections on the experience. Some of you may wonder what I plan to do with the money- as I've eluded to on the Message Boards, I plan to use it to invest in my first non-retirement mutual fund. I'm still in the process of determining which one.

Almost at Year's End!

December 30th, 2007 at 06:05 pm

Old Total: $3395.86
+ $50.00 babysitting
New Total: $3445.86


I also made a a sale and have some survey cash. I'll add that in tomorrow after I mail the book. It looks like my yearly total will be just under $3500.

$40 for Challenge

December 29th, 2007 at 07:02 pm

Old Total: $3355.86
+ $40.00 babysitting
New Total: $3395.86

I returned from 5 days at my parents last night and then babysat this morning from 8am-12-- earning $40. I'll go back again tomorrow for 5 hours.

I can't decide if this push for more babysitting jobs is worth it. After the holidays I'm cooling the babysitting. I suppose it **IS** worth it (at least for a short while)-- I've made about $200 in picking up new families. It doesn't seem like much, but I guess that's how money accumulates-- slowly and piece by piece.

$105 for Challenge

December 21st, 2007 at 03:29 am

Old Total: $3250.86
+ $105.00 babysitting
New Total: $3355.86

I made $105 babysitting for the new family this week. Tonight was a little easier-- maybe we all just needed to adjust to each other. The little boy is jealous of the 8 month year old. I understand why, but it makes it difficult to care for her while trying not to make him feel like second fiddle. If I can toot my own horn for a minute, I will say that I think I have a knack for kids. From what I've heard from their other sitter and the parents, I think I'm making a lot of progress with the little guy.

Oh well. I said I'd sit for them the week after Christmas. I'll have to see how that goes and them decide if this is something I want to continue.

$40 for Challenge

December 20th, 2007 at 04:50 am

Old Total: $3210.86
+ $40.00 babysitting
New Total: $3250.86

I babysat for my "regular" family tonight. I've also babysat 2x for a new family, and will do so again tomorrow. They said they'd pay me at the end of the week, so I'll wait until then to add the $$ to the Challenge.

The new family has made me realize how much I love my regular family! I'll spare the details, but it's made me think that I'm better off losing out on a little bit of $$ and continuing to babysit only for the one family. My sanity is worth more then $10 / hour!

$20 babysitting

December 16th, 2007 at 11:27 pm

Old Total: $3190.86
+ $20.00 babysitting
New Total: $3210.86

New babysitting jobs

December 15th, 2007 at 10:36 pm

Big babysitting day today: This morning I met with a new family who needs help over the University's Winter Break. They seem like a really nice couple. My first time babysitting for them will be Monday night, but if all works out, there should be ~ 40 hours of work over the next several weeks (the Mom is also a PhD student, and she needs 2 hours / night M-F to do her own work uninterrupted since she spends part of the regular work day home with the kids).

Then, at 2:00pm I went to the home of another family and babysat their 14 month old for 4 hours. Mom and Dad are professors and need uninterrupted time to work (I'm sensing a theme here!). If the weather isn't bad, I'm supposed to come back tomorrow and again for the Saturday-Sunday after Christmas.

I'm charging both families $10 / hour (I've just decided to say that's my rate).

This evening I'm going to my regular babysitting family- but as a guest at their Christmas party! I was happy to be invited. I bought Webkinz for the kids... I know they'll be thrilled!

Old Total: $3150.86
+ $40.00 babysitting
New Total: $3190.86

$50 for Challenge

December 13th, 2007 at 01:22 pm

Old Total: $3100.86
+ $50.00 babysitting
New Total: $3150.86

I made $50 babysitting last night. The kids were eagerly anticipating a snow day today-
and they got it! It's snowy an icy this morning. The public schools are closed, but not the University. Rats!

Contest Cash!

December 10th, 2007 at 01:51 pm

Old Total: $3075.86
+ $25.00 Blog Contest
New Total: $3100.86

Thanks to everyone who read and commented on my

Text is blog contest entry and Link is
blog contest entry and a special thank you to those who voted! Good luck to the December entrants, too!

In case, there was any doubt, I'm adding the money to my Challenge total!

Ride Share

December 10th, 2007 at 03:54 am

Old Total: $3050.86
+ $25.00 rideshare
New Total: $3075.86

I gave a rider (identified through Craig's List) a ride from Mr. Bean's city back to my town earlier today. She gave me $25 for gas.

$30 for the Challenge

December 6th, 2007 at 05:03 am

Old Total: $3020.86
+ $30.00 babysitting
New Total: $3050.86

I made another $30 babysitting tonight. I haven't been back to the overnight job since September. I don't know if it will ever resume again-- and if it does if I'll have it in me to go back. As graduation nears, my money making schemes are becoming less of a priority as my thesis work become more time consuming. I've always worked a steady 8-9 hours a day on it, but the final stretch might involve marathon effort.

There will be no babysitting this weekend as I'm going to see Mr. Bean. I was able to find someone to ride one way with me-- which should amount to $25 for "gas".

Over 3K!

November 30th, 2007 at 04:05 am

Old Total: $2995.86
+ $25.00 babysitting
New Total: $3020.86

I made $25 babysitting tonight.. and I crossed the $3000 mark!

Almost at 3K

November 26th, 2007 at 06:48 pm

Old Total: $2965.86
+ $25.00 ride share
New Total: $2995.86

I took an undergrad with me on the trip back home after visiting Mr. Bean this weekend in exchange for $25 to cover gas.


November 14th, 2007 at 06:17 pm

Old Total: $2665.86
+ $300.00 house sitting
New Total: $2965.86

Who-hoo! I just got paid for the house / dog sitting I did last week.
5 days at $60 / day = $300 bucks!

The good news is that they gave me a list of future days they need a house sitter. I don't think I can do all the days, but if I can, it will total an additional $1740!

Challenge money and an Aldi trip

November 11th, 2007 at 03:06 pm

Old Total: $2615.86
+ $50.00 babysitting
New Total: $2665.86

I babysit from 9pm-2am last night. Luckily I was able to sleep in this AM to recuperate!

Mr Bean is arriving last this afternoon and staying for 2 weeks- this will the longest time we've spent together since he moved in May. I have to pick him up at th e train station 30 miles from our house. The station is near the only Aldi in the area, so I plan on going there beforehand to stock up on stuff for the pantry as well as some things for Thanksgiving. Last

Text is spring I was less than enthusiastic and Link is
spring I was less than enthusiastic about Aldi since I found the prices to be comparable to our normal grocery store that doubles coupons. However, I haven't had much time for clipping coupons nor do I go shopping as much now that I'm only cooking for one, so I'm looking forward to this trip.

Finally.. something for the Challenge!

November 8th, 2007 at 04:29 pm

Old Total: $2550.86
+ $65.00 babysitting
New Total: $2615.86

The Challenge had hit a slump, but a marathon babysitting session helps to revive it!

I'm also house/dog sitting this week which should bring in $300.