Welcome to the December 2013 Making Money Report, Money Saving Report, and Investing Report!
Things were a little challenging with spending/saving for December with the holidays, but let’s see how we did!
To view all previous reports and to find out why I publish these reports, click here
Actions Plans for December 2013
Key: Complete/Some Progress/No Progress
- Read the book The 4-Hour Workweek
- Check! I finished it and you can read my book review of it here: Book Review – The 4-Hour Workweek
- Select and purchase investments for both of our Roth IRA accounts
- Setup Google AdWords account for FrugalCalc.com and run $100 business trial
- Set this up, but so far no one has paid for the program 🙁
- Get 4 posts on RichmondThriftSore.com about products offered for sale to help out mother-in-law
- I didn’t get to this. I trained my mother-in-law on WordPress and how to create the articles, but she hasn’t updated the site yet – I’m counting it orange since I gave it a try 🙂
- Ebay profit of $50 again for this month (hoping to offload many Pokemon cards and other junk around the house)
- I only sold about $25 of stuff last month, so I didn’t hit this goal. The holidays caught up with me and wasn’t able to devote enough time here.
- Post at least 5 additional monetized YouTube videos
- I uploaded 13 videos total, so I blew this one away!
- Save $350+ on kids daycare by pulling them out during the holidays while we’re on vacation 🙂
- I scored here as well. We withdrew our son for two weeks and I took the two week vacation credit for our daughter (was afraid her spot might disappear if we withdrew her).
Not bad overall for the month. I hit 5 out of 7 goals, so I’m pretty happy with the progress all things considered. Things with this blog are picking up a bit as well, so that’s pretty encouraging!
For this month, I created a new type of format to review my financial performance. I think that you’ll agree it’s a great upgrade!!
Notes on Making Money for December 2013
December was a great month for income! My wife got a bonus from work, I got a nice dividend distribution from my investments, and side hustle income saw a great pop. Total Adsense revenue was ~$35, Amazon Affiliate income was ~$9, and I had a sponsored article that netted me ~$141. Ebay sales were a little weak at only ~$26 for the month. I haven’t sold any copies of FrugalCalc yet, so I’m a little bummed about that. But, all-in-all I’m happy 🙂
Notes on Money Saving for December 2013
I got slaughtered this month on expenses! If you check out the graphs, you’ll see that routine expenses were largely in-line with previous months. Groceries were higher (~$300+) than typical due to having family stay over for Christmas. Also, gas was a bit higher as we traveled out of state for New Years to attend my Sister’s wedding. Routine expenses were offset by the fact that I withdrew my son from daycare (slight risk that he’d lose his spot) and took vacation credits for my daughter. This saved ~$390 for the month.
Non-routine expenses for the month is where most of the damage was dealt. There were Christmas gift expenses, but thankfully we were able to keep these on the pretty low side. Remember that car accident I was in? Well, the $250 deductible came knocking!
The next huge chuck of change was spent for my Sister’s wedding and traveling to New York City (mini-family vacation tacked onto the end of our traveling). My car was in need to new tires, and because we were going on a long trip with questionable weather, it made good, safe sense to purchase these ($380). One of my Sister’s awesome friends offered to let us stay in his Manhattan apartment while he was out of town, so this was a great way to save a little cash! We did spring for $200 worth of fancy grocery store gift cards to show our appreciation to him, so it didn’t come free. But, it helped us save hundreds over a hotel.
Another way we tried to keep expenses low was by walking almost everywhere while in NYC (with a little subway here and there). We probably walked more than 150 blocks with two young kids in 5F – 15F weather, and our kids were awesome sports about it overall 🙂 My wife and I also shared a lot of meals to keep our eating out bills low while in the city.
We should see a lot of the credit card expenses hit in January as well related to the wedding and NYC trip (wedding hotel, NYC restaurants, etc.), so our expenses next month will by high as well 🙁 But, it was awesome to share in my Sis’ wedding and see NYC 🙂
Notes on Investing for December 2013
With all of the holiday company and traveling going on, I did not have time to actually purchase stock. I moved $4,000 over into my investment account and plan to pick up 33 shares of VBK at a price around $121 – $123 in the next day or two. VBK is the Vanguard Small-Cap Growth ETF which pays small a yearly dividend that I just missed.
I also took the time to compile my complete asset allocation and put it in a nice and neat pie-chart! This includes everything that we own (equity in physical house, 401K, IRAs, bank cash, personal investment accounts, etc.). As you can see, for a 32-year-old my asset allocation is pretty screwed up!! I’m trying to move over $1,000 – $2,000 cash each month into my personal investment account for purchasing stocks in addition to what we save each month to hit ~$4,000 of new investment in the stock market per month. I converted my 401K over to a target retirement fund for new distributions, but I’m still waiting for some kind of market dip to move a majority of my money that’s currently in corporate bonds (stable value fund) over into a total stock market fund or a target retirement fund. Read more on the background of how I royally screwed up my asset allocation if you’re interested in reading about my epic fail.
Actions Plans for January 2014
- Read the book The Millionaire Next Door
- Sell at least 20 things on Ebay (post coming soon on my New Year’s Resolution to get rid of stuff)
- Create the outline of a new eBook on investing for beginners (another New Year’s Resolution 🙂 )
- Post at least 5 additional monetized YouTube videos
- Get all of my MBA assignments done on time – work is piling up in the last semester, so I’ve got to devote a fair amount of time to this 🙂
Other Points of Interest
- Here is a list of the posts I created for the month of December.
- Book Review – Rich Dad Poor Dad
- High Deductible Car Insurance and Emergency Funds
- Selling Pokemon Cards on Ebay
- How To Change Your Own Oil
- Investment Tips – Invest at the Point of Maximum Pessimism
- Book Review – The 4-Hour Work Week
- Gambling Vs Investing – What’s the Difference? – Sponsored Post that I actually wrote 🙂
- How to Change Thermocouple in Hot Water Heater
- Investment Tips – Patience is the Most Powerful Ally
- I forgot to mention this last month, but MoneyAhoy.com got a Google page rank of 4!!! I’m very excited with this 🙂 Website traffic dropped off a bit during the month of December, but I’m thinking this is mostly due to the holidays…
What are your money saving, money making, and investing plans for January?