Friday, October 9

October Goals

In the future I plan to have some very tangible monthly goals, such as eliminating a certain amount of debt or cutting an expense by a fair amount. For October, I have some loose ends to tie up from obligations I made pre-job loss as well as goals around secondary income:
  • close on Rental Property #7
  • $500 in mystery shopping income
  • maximum food expenses of $100; maximum fuel expenses of $100
Basis for these goals:
  • I did not qualify for financing for Rental Property #7, so I am scrambling to find alternative funds.
  • Last month I earned negative $34 in mystery shopping income. Very simple explanation: my last day at my job was August 31st, so I did A LOT of shops last month for which I have not yet been paid. I will be paid for many of those in September, and I will continue seeking additional income this way.
  • Last month I spent $268 on food, compared to $248 in September 2008. I will lower my cost this month to $100 by using gift cards (I have several), coupons for dining out, and by mystery shopping different restaurants, for which I am reimbursed. Last month I spent $106 on fuel, down from $377 in September 2008, thanks to all the gas stations I mystery shopped (which include a fuel purchase component for which I am reimbursed) as well as not having a daily 50 mile commute to my job. That, combined with lower gas prices, should enable me to reach this goal.
Gas and food are my two largest variable expenses. My two largest expenses will be hard to change: the mortgage and car payment. I consider my utility costs to be fairly reasonable, a result of my frugal habits. However, I plan to explore ways to cut these even further.

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