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Monthly Progress Report (#7)

It’s the last day of June, which means it's time to check in and see how I'm doing with my debt.

Before we do that I feel like I should apologize. I know I've been a bad blogger, things just get so crazy in the summer. I really admire people that blog daily. It seems weekly has been a struggle for me lately with the warm weather and so much to do around the house. I’m not promising I’ll get any better in the next few weeks because I think things are only going to get crazier. But I am trying. And one day, I promise I’ll be a better blogger.

Anyways, enough about my poor blogging habits. Before we get down to the nitty-gritty, maybe you're curious and want to check out last month's progress report?

Alright, now let's see where we are after seven months of trying to get my financial butt in gear.

June has been kind of a rough month for me. Still no renovations, my car needed new brakes (both front and back!) and I bought tickets for a couple of different events. Why? Because I'm not going to miss my favorite band playing an hour away even if they're playing at 10 PM Thursday night and I have to work Friday. Also, because I'm impulsive and want to make the most out of my summer and I'm in a bad mood about my renovations... so not spending money isn't going great.

Here it is, here are my debt totals:

Mortgage: $148,600 
Car Loan: $8,100
Student Loans: $4,400
Credit Cards: $3,100
Grand Total of Debt: $164,200

My student loan balances

I'm not thrilled. It seems like any time I make some sort of improvement on those credit card balances, it never fails I end up with some unexpected mess the following month. All these messes seem to be car related recently. Hopefully, since everything has been taken care of I'll get a break for a little while. Just kidding, I'll have a car insurance bill in August before I know it. UGHHH.

Such is life, I guess. I'll have to make more of an effort to get those card balances down.

The good news about my renovations continuously being pushed back is I have more time to knock the balance needed down.

Renovation fund requirement: $950
New Grand Total of Debt: $165,150

I was so surprised by that number I had to recalculate it twice to make sure I wasn't missing something huge. But it really is right! The majority of the decrease is due to some extra money I earned at my mom's garage sale.

I'm so happy to be under the $1,000 mark in my shortfall. Of course as the renovations are dragged out it leaves me with a ton of time to think and add more things I'd love to see done.

Even without all my newly dreamt up wishlist items, I anticipate there being unexpected expenses. I've never took on a project quite this size so I have no idea just how many surprises can arise. Hopefully I'll get lucky and we come in under budget! Yeah, I'm skeptical about that too.

Now, onto the depressing news of my savings accounts. Since I’m still so focused on debt, nothing much has changed in my savings. Well, nothing good. 

Here's a quick look at the savings side of things:

Savings account: $2,000
P2P Lending account: $250
Investment account: $150
Grand Total of Savings: $2,400

I actually lost money in my Lending Club account - two loans look like they're going to be uncollectable. Two fairly new loans. That's what I get for writing I had been fairly successful - a $50 loss and a foot in my mouth.

It's ok, I knew P2P was riskier than the rest and overall I'm still happy with my returns.

June was an ok month, I'm $700 better off than I was at the end of May. I'd like to eliminate my renovation fund shortfall ASAP and it looks like I'm finally in the homestretch. Now if only I don't end up with any major expenses in July, I should be well on my way to being where I need to be.

Do you have any big plans for the Fourth? It's one of my friends birthdays so we'll be celebrating with a pig roast and fireworks! Hope you have a great Fourth of July! Be safe.
Broke Dolly
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Earn Big with Shopkick this Weekend 6/21-6/23

I’m having a rough week so this post is more PSA than anything remotely insightful. But I hope that it helps you out. And more importantly, I hope you’re having a better week than I am!

Y’all know I’m a big fan of Shopkick - the app that pays you to walk into stores. If you aren’t using Shopkick, you should be. It’s easy money. So download the app, check out my little Shopkick tutorial and start racking up the kicks!

Whether you’re new to Shopkick or a seasoned pro, this weekend would be a great weekend to hit the stores - Shopkick has announced today June 21st until Sunday June 23rd is a Blue Weekend!

What does that mean? Blue Weekends are weekends where Shopkick goes crazy. Crazy with the kicks! 

Ok, I sound a little crazy. Let’s try this again. Blue Weekends are offered from time to time, usually holiday weekends like Labor Day - you know the big shopping weekends. On Blue Weekends extra kicks are offered for walking into stores and linked card purchases (both online and in store purchases).

Here’s a look at some of the walk-in offers this weekend: 

And some of the online offers: 

Now let’s get shopping! A little retail retail therapy is just what I need. I hope you get some fab deals this weekend if you hit the stores and even if you decide to stay in, enjoy the first weekend of summer! That’s right, it’s finally here!!!
Broke Dolly
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A Ticket for Your Thoughts - Two Free Mets Tickets!

I was a little bummed yesterday, my renovations have stalled for the foreseeable future and my contractor’s response time leaves a lot to be desired.

But then as I checked my email for the 20th time to see if said contractor responded I saw an email from the Mets titled “A Ticket for Your Thoughts..”

Two things - 1) Yes, sadly I am a DIE HARD Mets fan and 2) I was expecting some cheap bleacher seat in exchange for a crazy long survey. But my, oh my did I underestimate the Amazins. Not only were they offering two tickets, they were offering two field level tickets for the completion of a ten minute survey. 

You better believe I didn’t hesitate to fill out the survey. I would have filled out an hour long survey for field level seats but it really only took the promised ten minutes. The questions mostly focused on how I felt about the Mets as well as the other professional sports teams in the New York area. 

If I’m being honest, it wasn’t a bad survey at all - I’ve filled out way worse for 50 cents on Swagbucks. Hey, 50 cents is 50 cents!

After answering all the questions I received a code that I could use to purchase two tickets to any home game Monday through Thursday (excluding July 2nd and 3rd). I lucked out and was able to pick a Mets-Cubs game right before Mike’s birthday. 

Relax, I told him about my free tickets - I’m not cheap enough to gift them as a birthday present. Although, I am a firm believer that tickets make the best gifts!

So for ten minutes of effort on my lunch break I received two seats right behind the third base bag (definitely gonna be on my toes with those foul balls!) that would have cost $160 plus fees. Definitely one of my favorite survey prizes!

Moral of my little blog post? Sometimes it’s worth signing up for promotional emails! I wish I could share the link with you. I’m hoping you have a similar email waiting for you in your inbox if you’re a baseball fan. Even if you’re not, going to a free game and seeing all the commotion and eating ballpark hotdogs has to be a good time, right?

Have you gotten a survey from your favorite MLB team in exchange for free tickets? If that’s not your thing, tell me what your favorite survey prize was/is!
Broke Dolly
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