This has been a slow week. On Sunday I completed several shops. Then Monday and Tuesday were dead. Yesterday I completed a lunch shop and for fun (not a shop) we went to see Identity Thief. The local theater only charges $4.50 before 3 PM Monday-Thursday - I like frugal entertainment. It was a funny movie.
On Sunday I am driving to Pensacola. I plan to spend three nights there. The value of the route I am doing is around $600, so I booked a cheap room at an Econo Lodge. Most of my shops are night time so my hope was to find several end-of-month bonuses for daytime work, but that hasn't panned out yet. I guess Pensacola has a lot of desperate shoppers, too. What I miss about Alabama is the incredible opportunities that were always popping up. It wasn't uncommon to find day-long routes where I could make $300-$400. Now I am lucky when I earn $200 in a day.
I've been giving some thought lately to whether mystery shopping is worth it. It has gotten more and more difficult to earn a living since the move. Specifically, the hefty bonuses I had grown accustomed to don't happen down here. I can still earn a decent amount but I have to work much harder at it.
I have also been doing some thinking about my real estate investments. Should I sell everything in Birmingham and reinvest in Clearwater/Tampa? Should I sell everything and invest the proceeds in a REIT - that way I am completely hands off? Should I keep everything but hire a property manager? Should I just continue doing things the way they are now? The more I dwell on my future, the more I desire to not be tied down to something. I want flexibility. On the other hand, my current real estate portfolio has an amazing return, and since I have moved I haven't had too many surprises.
I will probably end up making few changes when the dust clears. Hopefully I just need to get over the ho-hum feelings I have been having and keep chugging along.