November Recap

by Erika Torres


Last month, I started keeping track of all the side money we’ve been making. This side money is going to help fund our trip to Costa Rica so we can finally go on our honeymoon two years after getting married.

The Side Hustle for November:

Mystery Shopping: $184.20
Selling books: $6.86
Surveys: $32
Blog Advertising: $350.67
November TOTAL: $573.73

Not too shabby! I don’t expect December to be as great because advertising is usually slower and I am not doing as many mystery shops.

November Goals Recap

My only goal in November was to figure out a way for Eric to start his new job and complete the fire academy–since there was a one-week overlap. It worked out even better than we had hoped for–his new job start date got pushed back a week. Eric will graduate with his Firefighter I Certificate this Saturday and will start his new job on Monday.

Budget wise, let’s just say we’re breaking even. We’re spending a bit more money nowadays than at the beginning of our Four Months on One Income mission.

December Goals

  1. Create a 2012 budget based on paycheck cycles rather than months. I will be posting this on the blog, so hopefully others can start up a budget too!
  2. Start 2012 with no new credit card debt except for what we already have.
  3. Stick to our $500 Christmas gifts budget. (we decided to do stockings for each other’s gift and perhaps go on an overnight trip)

Yakezie Challenge

Late last month, I joined the Yakezie Challenge! It is a group of personal finance bloggers focused on increasing their Alexa rating and forming a connection with other personal finance bloggers. The lower your Alexa score, the higher your opportunity for scoring sponsors. Alexa ratings are a different form of Google Analytics, and you need to download the Alexa toolbar to know your rating. Since joining the challenge, my rating has gone from 1,004,000+ to 664,125 as of yesterday. My goal is to get into the coveted 200,000 or less.

As featured in…

I had guest posts over at Little House in the Valley on our five steps toward buying a home and The College Investor featured my post on New to Investing?

I was featured in the following carnivals:

The Yakezie Carnival hosted by 20’s Finances
The Festival of Frugality hosted by Totally Money Blog Carnival
The Totally Money Carnival hosted by Faith and Finance


Check out Finance Fox’ giveaway for a chance to win $100!

Beating the Index is also giving you a chance to win $100!

Pssst…I started a Facebook page, please like me! Please? I said Please!


Teacher Girl December 11, 2011 - 5:56 pm

This is awesome! So glad to hear things worked out with Eric’s job/school and great to hear about all the extra income you are making. You must teach me about this blog advertising thing. I have wanted to do it for years!

Marissa December 11, 2011 - 4:53 pm

Nicely done with the ads. I am glad to see that you had luck with mystery shop. I honestly have no patience for the amount of paper work that comes with it.

Aloysa December 11, 2011 - 4:33 pm

Nicely done! Blogging is definitely bringing in some money. I am glad you joined the Yakezie challenge. How else would I have found you? 🙂 Great progress.

Summer December 9, 2011 - 1:43 pm

Yay for stockings! I love them, and happen to be doing six for family this year, and I have no children. Geez…. I seem to be the Santa for my one day in-laws, boyfriend, and mother. I love it though. Stocking fillings can be costly too, so maybe set a spending limit for them and stay away from the 4 foot stockings. =) I tried to get my boyfriend to buy and fill one of those for me, but he said I wasn’t that good. Ha, Ha! Although, what I have been wanting is something that ah fits on my finger and is shiny. We’ve been shopping around for that, but I can’t seem to justify him spending the amount of money for the ones I like. I’m a little torn, leaning strongly to just doing bands when the time comes. Anyhow, I went off rambling. Hope you guys have an awesome holiday!

From Shopping to Saving December 9, 2011 - 1:22 pm

YAY! How awesome your progress was this month. I need to get more serious about mystery shopping – I just feel like I haven’t had time! Grr!!

Good luck on the yakezie challenge, I would love to try it in the future!

Michelle December 9, 2011 - 10:58 am

Wow you made a lot with advertising! How do you make so much?

The Happy Homeowner December 9, 2011 - 10:01 am

You had a great month; congrats! And congrats to Eric on graduation & the new job!!

jobo December 9, 2011 - 5:44 am

Wow, you raked in some good bucks this month, honestly!! that’s great! How does the advertising work? I could never figure it out, but am curious.

Niki December 9, 2011 - 3:36 am

Great progress, Erika!

You’re right about it not be too shabby! Who ever knew blogging could be so profitable? Good luck with December.


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