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Archive for January, 2013

January 2013 Survey Income

January 31st, 2013 at 11:12 pm

2013 has gotten off to a solid start as far as my survey income is concerned. For January, I earned $813. As always, it is very much effort-dependent. Next month will likely be somewhat lower as I was pretty busy this month and didn't get to do as many surveys but we will see. There's still time to impact the February numbers.

I've posted about the new app I'm using on my iPhone to track all of this. It continues to work well and make everything easier and clearer.

Loving my iPhone 5

January 8th, 2013 at 05:59 pm

Why is an entry about an iPhone appropriate for a financial blog? Well, ultimately, everything we do has financial impact so why not. Besides, a device that simplifies your life and can even save you money definitely fits the topic.

Anyway, enough rationalization. I got an iPhone 3G in early 2009. At the time, I thought it was terrific. It could do all kinds of things - check email, get online, play games, take pictures, record video, etc.

The 3G had one major fault, though. It was agonizingly slow. Many of the apps available simply didn't live up to their potential usefulness because the phone was just too darn slow. Yes, it is nice to have a device in your pocket that can be phone, computer, camera, GPS, game player, movie viewer, and more, but if it is too slow to actually accomplish those things, it isn't quite as impressive.

Enter the iphone 5. I got this just before Christmas when WalMart cut the prices. A phone that is $199 everywhere else was $127 at WalMart. I was planning to upgrade anyway and that made the decision even easier.

This phone is GREAT! It is lightning fast and all of those apps that had great potential before have actually now become useful in the real world. I've even started seeking out new apps for specific tasks which is something I rarely did on the old phone. This week, I got a running log app to record my treadmill time. I also got an app called Money Monitor that I've started using to record all of my medical survey income. I used to do that with pen and paper in my datebook. Then at the end of each month, I had to manually add up the total for the month. Now, each time I get a payment, I enter it on the app and anytime I want, I can quickly see how much I've earned so far that month (or year to date as the year progresses).

Sorry to sound like an iPhone commercial but for anyone thinking about it, now is definitely the time to go for it, or upgrade if you have an older model like I did.

December 2012 Surveys

January 1st, 2013 at 07:25 pm

December turned out to be a very good month, actually the best of the year. I really focused on doing as many surveys as I could. I still missed a bunch but did a much better job overall. The number was also helped tremendously by an invitation the week before last to do an in-person interview for $350. Fortunately, it was at a time that I was free to attend.

For the month of December, I earned $972 bringing my total for 2012 to $7,158. I had set a goal of $7,000 for the year so I managed to reach that despite a couple of lousy months.

2012 Year in Review

January 1st, 2013 at 05:34 pm

I think I actually have all of my year-end data in place as of now so I can review how our finances weathered 2012.

Our total invested assets including non-retirement, retirement, and college savings accounts increased by 18.2%. That number would have been higher but I did dip into savings to replace my 1998 car at the end of June. If not for that, the portfolio would have been up by over 20%.

On the debt side of the balance sheet, our mortgage balance dropped by about $7,150 or a little over 10% of the balance on 1/1/12. As noted, I also bought a car. In addition to the down payment, I did take a loan for about 13K and have already repaid over $5,300 of that since July. I don't intend to keep that loan for more than a year or so.

So assets up 18.2%, mortgage down 10%, and a new car loan that is already more than 41% repaid in less than 6 months. Overall, I think that was a pretty decent year.