Anyone else freaking out that it’s already September? Kids are back to school and I’m back on track, kinda. No huge wins this week but some nice profitable progress nonetheless.
The 3 Most Profitable Things I Did This Week
Week Ending September September 8, 2017
Paid Estimated Taxes for 2017
Yup. This is kinda a big deal for me. Not glamorous but BIG.
Paying estimated taxes should be automatic for any freelance professional. I know this. In fact, based on my current tax mess, I probably know this better than anyone. However, putting money aside for quarterly taxes is easier said than done.
However, since I’m bound and determined to stop the insanity that is my tax dilemma spiral, I HAVE to get better at saving and submitting estimated taxes–and shockingly, I am. Today proves it.
What happened today you ask? I mailed the IRS a check for $3,750!
This represents one (my first) of my quarterly estimated tax payments for 2017. Yes, I know it’s September and I’m behind schedule. I knew it was unlikely for me to catch up entirely due to other debt repayment strategies I had in place. In fact, my goal back in July was to “aggressively save and pay estimated taxes for 2017, as much as possible starting ASAP.” Two months later and I just made a huge step in the right direction.
Can The Lady find another $11,250 in 4 months? No, probably not but I’m going to try.
When stuck in a vicious cycle, slow your roll any way you can.
Applied for and Got a Gas Credit Card
I know, I know. Credit cards are the devil on earth. I’ve said it before and I still believe it.
Unfortunately, they are necessary evils in building back a credit score. It seems to have credit score, you need to have credit cards. Stupid, stupid system of fuckedupedness, in my opinion. However, if retiring and buying a dream home are to be more than dreams, I need to continue to improve my credit score on all fronts. Hence, the new Shell Drive for Five(R) gas card. (You can read Wallet Hub’s review of the Shell gas card here.)
Here’s the logic:
INCREASE CREDIT AVAILABLE: Due to my historic failures with credit card debt (thank God I finally won that battle), I only have 2 credit cards (1 secured card with a $200 limit and 1 department store card with a $490). I have consistently paid in full and on time. Since I technically have a maximum of $690 of credit available, a $500 bump represents a decent improvement in total credit available.
RECEIVE SPAVINGS: I automagically get $.25 off per gallon for 1st 2 months, then $.05 off every gallon, every time after that. (For those readers not familiar with the word “spavings”, you might want to read this article about the definition of savings.)
MORE SPAVINGS POSSIBLE: There’s also an associated Fuel Rewards program where you earn points through purchases at participating restaurants, shops, etc. (You know the drill.) Since my biggest budget weakness is eating out too much, my increased spavings at the pump might be a small perk until I remedy the larger problem.
TRAINING MYSELF: I’m trying to train myself to seek out and leverage money-savings opportunities. If it’s convenient and to my benefit, I’ll try almost anything to save money. This comes with a handy-dandy app and seems pretty streamlined. Of course, I haven’t read all the fine print but it’s a frickin’ gas card.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: For the other GenXers out there, if the movie Reality Bites taught us anything it was that a gas card can pay your rent in a pinch. As a side note, that movie also taught me that Evian is naive spelled backwards. (That one really stuck with me as an important life lesson.)
I Did Nothing And Made Money
I just opened an email from one of my banks, Ally. Apparently, they raised my interest rate for my savings account to 1.20% APY.
I didn’t do squat. They just opted to give me more money. Cool.
Back in July, I moved my $1000 emergency fund over into Ally. Since then, I’ve made $1.83 in interest. Hey, it’s better than it was making over at CapitalOne360. (I do still love them BTW and kept a few savings accounts there running at 0.75%.)
Apparently, Ally is my ally in my financial goals. They just raised the bar a bit higher.
I’ve been hearing more and more about passive income streams. I’m not quite sure how these are defined but I do know as a 47-year old woman with a 9-year old, making money without effort sounds pretty phenomenal.
Here are a list of ways I make money through zero effort:
- Earn interest on my savings accounts.
- Earn returns on my investments, including ETFs, stocks and 401K.
- Earn dividends on my investments.
- Increase cash value on my life insurance policies.
- My blog is generating income from ads. (Minuscule amounts.)
- My published book is out there, just waiting to be bought and shoot me my $0.80 per unit royalty.
- I am the beneficiary to my deceased father’s pension and receive a monthly check.
I feel I need to brainstorm this list out a bit.
- I do plan on eventually writing and selling an eBook but I don’t really consider this “passive” as I know the amount of work it will be.
- I have a superb idea for an app but need to research this A LOT as it is not an easy endeavor.
- I did write a zombie apocalypse survival cookbook that I haven’t done much with. (Hmmm. I wonder if there would be interest. Contact me if you are. Of course, I’m biased but it’s pretty damn funny.)
- Of course, there’s my perpetually unfinished novel. (Damn thing haunts me.)
- I have branded The Lady in the Black items available on CafePress that I haven’t promoted at all. (Not even sure it works.)
Any ideas from you guys? How do you make money while sitting on your sofa binge watching Netflix and drinking wine? How profitable was your week?