Friday, October 12, 2018

Our $5,000+ emergency expense

Last week we had to tap into our emergency fund for a $5,000+ repair.  It all started when we noticed that our toilet was gurgling and bubbling water as we ran the washing machine.  I shot a video of it and contacted my friend who is a plumber.  He replied back right away saying that our sewer main line was starting to back up and this could become an emergency pretty quickly.  He was unable to come check out our problem because he was recovering from an injury - and recommended we have someone come over ASAP.
We did a quick search for plumbers on Yelp and called one of the higher rated companies to come inspect our main sewer line.  This seemed like a pretty straightforward job at first – we thought we would just need to have a plumber snake through tree roots blocking the drainage of the pipe.  We didn’t expect to pay more than $100 to $200.
When the plumbers put a camera into the pipe, they discovered that we had extensive blockage from big tree roots that couldn’t be removed with a snaking device.  The plumbers then had to dig into our lawn to replace a section of pipe damaged by tree roots.  They proceeded to dig a huge 5 feet wide by 5 feet deep hole into our lawn.  Our quoted price now jumped up to $1,000.
Once the hole was dug to access the main sewer line, the plumbers discovered that our main sewer line had a 20+ foot crack on the top of the pipe!  Suddenly the repair plan became much more complex.  Instead of replacing a small section of pipe, the plumbers needed to replace 25 feet worth of piping.  Our price now jumped up to $5,182.  
The plumbers did excellent work on our repair, spending almost 2 complete days on the project.  They also came back for follow up inspection a few days later to make sure there were no issues with our sewer line.  We tipped them $120 for their quality work and our expenses totaled $5,302 for the repair.  Ouch.
I’m thankful that we have a healthy emergency fund to cover major expenses like this.  Most Americans don't have enough savings to cover a $1,000 emergency.  I’m a bit bummed spending that much money all at once, but it was an absolutely necessary repair.  I’m glad we had the problem diagnosed and fixed early before things got out of hand.  In the grand scheme of things, $5,000 is not a lot of money.  We should have our emergency fund replenished in a couple of months.  And now our main sewer line has a 25-year warranty, so we won’t have to worry about any sewer line issues for a while.
It’s time to get back to saving and investing for our future!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Side hustles September 2018

The great thing about doing side hustles to generate extra income is that you can hustle on your own terms.  The more hard work, time, and creative effort you put in, the more extra money you can make.  You can hustle as little or as much as you want, whenever you want.  It’s your extra money, and you can choose how you want to spend it.  Instead of focusing on what ideas don’t apply to you, try focusing on different side hustle ideas that you can implement to work for your situation.

Once a month (usually on the 1st), I like to post a short summary of our personal and financial situation for the previous month.  Here I’ll share some of what’s been going on with our lives and our side hustles. 

Welcome to October!  How was your September?  It’s been quite a month for us. 
A few months ago I had SMILE laser treatment performed.  Since my prescription was so high prior to surgery, the results of my first procedure were not 100%.  Earlier in the month I had an enhancement refractive surgery procedure done called Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) to completely correct my vision.  PRK is an older type of laser procedure that has been around for over 30 years.  The difference between PRK and modern laser procedures such as LASIK and SMILE is that PRK results in a much more painful and slow recovery period.    
Due to the slow recovery period of my eye surgery, my wife and I both took off some time from our work.  We were both out of the office for 10 days, which gave us plenty of time to live like we were retired!  We spent so much time trying to keep our kids busy.  We did plenty of dancing, singing, playing, walking and exploring.  
I made some sea creature flash cards for my son to play with:
The great thing about visiting places during the week was that there were so few crowds.  We went to the Discovery Science center, where our son loved exploring the different exhibits.  
We also went to an indoors children’s playhouse where our kids were the only ones there for the first few hours.
Here’s our monthly summary of side income that we have generated in the previous month of September.
Cash Back
On 9.5, I received $10.23 deposit in my Discover Cashback Checking account.
On 9.5, I received a $1.25 statement credit in my AMEX Blue Cash Everyday credit card from AMEX Offers.  This promotion was for 10% cash back on purchases made at supermarkets up to $20 in cash back. 
On 9.7, I received a $15 statement credit in my AMEX Blue Cash Everyday credit card from AMEX Offers.
On 9.23, I received a $14.50 statement credit in my AMEX Simplicash Business credit card
On 9.25, I received a $3.75 statement credit in my AMEX Blue Cash Everyday credit card from AMEX Offers.  This promotion was for 10% cash back on purchases made at supermarkets up to $20 in cash back.  I love these AMEX offers!     

Survey Income
On 9.4, I received a $15 check for doing a survey with E-Rewards Medical
On 9.25, I received a $20 check for completing a medical survey with My Impact Network

Rental Income
On 9.5, we received a net profit of $430 from our rental property.

Monthly Totals:
We earned $44.73 from cash back
We earned $35 from survey income
We earned $430 from rental income

All of this totals $509.73 from our side hustles for the month of September.  This was a pretty slow month for side hustle income for us – we were too busy having fun!
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