Friday, August 9

The Budget: How I am Maximizing my Route Pay

This mystery shopping route should be very lucrative as long as I keep my costs down.  When I negotiated with the mystery shopping company, we settled on a per shop fee that was inclusive of my travel expenses.  This keeps everything nice and easy on the accounting side.

I have set a weekly budget for my trip.  Most weeks, this budget should work just fine.  In the latter part of my trip, my expenses will be higher because the shops are more sparse.  Towards the end I may only be able to complete 1 or 2 shops per day.

My Frugal Miser Road Trip:  Weekly Budget


  • Income:  $1,804
  • Expenses:  $925
    • 7 nights hotel, $500
    • Gas, $150
    • Meals, $75
    • Miscellaneous, $200
  • Net Weekly Income:  $879
Notes About Expenses:
  • These shops cannot be completed on Sundays, and many cannot be done on Saturdays, either.   I would like to supplement my income on the weekends since I won't have much else to do.
  • I am budgeting $71 per night for hotels.  Any opportunity I have to shop a hotel will turn that night's expense into pure profit.
  • I am probably too conservative on meals, but I am going to try to eat healthy AND cheap.

7 comments:

  1. Curious to what that would be per hour of work. Are you going to be working a 40 hour week or is it going to be more? So, where are you going to be heading for?

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    1. It probably is close to 40, but much of that is drive time. I left one hotel this morning at 7 AM and arrived at the next at 4 PM. By then I had submitted 3 of the 4 reports; the last one took 20 minutes.

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  2. Replies
    1. I usually don't. I have a 4G/3G hub that I use in my car to access the Internet. Normally I begin entering my shops while I am having the service done if my back is against the wall or if I can hide in a bathroom stall. Then I will pull over in a parking lot to get the rest of it sent off. I find it is much easier to submit one job before I start the next as I don't want to mix up details.

      If I am driving, I have the computer on but I wait until a red light to actually type. Or if the shop requires photos, I will start uploading them and set the computer to the side while it does the work.

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  3. Most interesting.

    We are considering getting an inexpensive tablet and WiFi hub for doing our routes (they are only 100-200 mile radius at this point). I would probably have to use the laptop to process the photos but I hate to have to maneuver a full sized laptop all day - figured the tablet could handle those tasks and just save the photos to a mem stick.

    I have researched the WiFi hub and the best bang for the buck (no contract) seems to be Virgin Mobil (already our cell provider) as they have 4G in our area and 3G in our travel area (mostly). What service do you use, and do you find it to be spotty coverage or mostly ok?

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    Replies
    1. I am using Freedompop. I signed up for the $3.99 500 MB Pro 3G/4G plan and just added rollover of unused data for $3.49. It runs on the Sprint network. I get 4G at home and in most big cities; 3G elsewhere except in the small towns that don't have Sprint 3G. I usually have service, but when I don't I can pull into McDonald's or Starbucks parking lot to use wifi.

      My Chromebook is tiny - 2.4 lbs I think. It has an SD slot so I can upload photos. The only thing I haven't been able to do with the Chromebook is batch resize photos. It boots in 7 seconds or less so is really useful out in the field.

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    2. I am using Freedompop. I signed up for the $3.99 500 MB Pro 3G/4G plan and just added rollover of unused data for $3.49. It runs on the Sprint network. I get 4G at home and in most big cities; 3G elsewhere except in the small towns that don't have Sprint 3G. I usually have service, but when I don't I can pull into McDonald's or Starbucks parking lot to use wifi.

      My Chromebook is tiny - 2.4 lbs I think. It has an SD slot so I can upload photos. The only thing I haven't been able to do with the Chromebook is batch resize photos. It boots in 7 seconds or less so is really useful out in the field.

      Delete