Sunday, February 9, 2020

FWOTW: Saving money on condo insurance

Our frugal win of the week (FWOTW) comes in the form of saving money on condo insurance for our rental property.  When we receive new insurance (home or auto) policy renewals each year, we always try to get a few outside quotes to see if we are paying the best rates possible.  Spending a few minutes calling around can save hundreds of dollars. 
This year, I received a letter from our rental property lender stating that we needed to lower the deductible on our HO-6 insurance from $5,000 to $500.  An HO-6 insurance policy is condo insurance that protects a condo unit while providing personal property coverage, liability coverage and living expenses if a condo becomes uninhabitable.  HO-6 insurance is designed to coordinate coverage with the condo association master policy, which covers the building’s common areas.  We were paying $323.91 annually for our HO-6 insurance and lowering our deductible would have increased our premium by $188.98 to a whooping $512.89!

It’s important to keep our rental property operational costs down so that we continue to be profitable.  Keeping tenants’ rental costs down also keeps them happy.  I asked a few local landlords which insurance companies they used and also got the name of a few insurance brokers.  Insurance agents can often find the best pricing since they are very familiar with the types of coverage individuals need.

We were able to find new HO-6 insurance coverage with an annual premium of only $193!  This new insurance offered similar coverage with a few changes that we didn’t need, such as $20,000 coverage of personal belongings (not needed since it is our rental property).

After a few phone calls and emails, we were all set up for another year of rental property HO-6 insurance.  This only took about an hour of time and saved us $319.89 ($512.89 - $193.00)!

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Side hustles January 2020

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.  While I don’t often post articles, I am committed to documenting all of my side hustle income.  Here I’ll share some of what’s been going on with our lives and our side hustles. 

Welcome to February! Did you have a good January and start to 2020? We continue to fill our free time with family activities and adventures.  It gets tiring at times, especially because the kids have so much energy.  But I love seeing the excitement and joy in our kids’ eyes.  I enjoy looking back at all the photos we capture of our experiences. 
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles is our new favorite museum to visit.  From dinosaurs to gemstones, there is just so much to explore here.  My son loves seeing all the real dinosaur fossils; our daughter loves the Gem and Mineral Hall.
The Children’s Museum at La Habra continues to be a regular spot to visit over the weekend.  Our kids love shopping in the play supermarket (our son loves the handling the cash register), seeing all the dinosaurs, and digging through the sand for fossils.  There’s always a new activity in the arts and crafts room.  This place is like our second home.
As usual, no month is complete without a visit to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.  Each creature exhibit is unique and fascinating.  The gift shop doubles as a reading library for our kids. 
On Saturday, January 25th, we went to visit the Cayton Children’s Museum in Santa Monica.  This was a special day where this museum (as well as 40 other Southern California museums) offered free admission.   Our kids enjoyed exploring the various exhibits including a life sized helicopter and fire truck.  There was also a pretend pet hospital, bounce ball pit and elevated obstacle course.
With temperatures heating up, the weather has been perfect to go on family walks around our neighborhood.  The local playground is not far from our home.
We just got back from spending two days at Legoland California and two nights (with free breakfast) at the Grand Pacific Palisades hotel.  It was great to visit on a Thursday and Friday because of how empty the park was.  We got to go on many rides back-to-back with little to no wait times.  I can’t imagine waiting in line for hours on hot days – especially with restless kids.  Since our son is over 42” tall, he’s been interested in trying some of the rollercoasters at Legoland!  These rides are perfect for young kids getting exposure to faster rides. 
Here’s our monthly summary of side income that we have generated in the previous month of January.

Cash Back
On 1.15, I received a $211.10 statement credit on my Chase Sapphire Reserve card for a hotel reservation I made for our family’s hotel stay in Carlsbad.  This was part of the annual $300 travel credit this card provides.
On 1.31, I received a $35.21 statement credit on my Chase Sapphire Reserve card for a restaurant delivery from DoorDash.  This is a new benefit of the CSR card which includes free DashPass for 2 years (normally $9.99/month) and $60 statement credit through end of the this year and $60 statement credit through end of next year.  DoorDash made dinner easy for us while on vacation since we had food delivered to our hotel lobby.
On 1.31, I received a $19.80 statement credit on my Chase Sapphire Reserve card for a restaurant delivery from DoorDash.

Rental Income
On 1.5, we received a net profit of $450 from our rental property. 

Survey Income
On 1.21, I received a $5 Amazon gift card from The Vision Council for completing a medical survey.

Miscellaneous Income
On 1.3, my wife received a $15 Amazon gift card for completing a survey from Amazon Preview.
On 1.6, my wife sold a baby-changing mat for $5.
On 1.22, I redeemed 6,667 Pampers Rewards points for a $30 Amazon gift card.
On 1.22, I redeemed 2,223 Pampers Rewards points for a $10 Amazon gift card.

Monthly Totals:
We earned $266.11 from cash back
We earned $450 from rental income
I earned $5 for completing online surveys
We earned $60 of miscellaneous income.

All of this totals $781.11 from our side hustles for the month of January!  Not a bad way to start this year of side hustles.  With the recent stock market pull back, extra side hustle income will help us contribute more towards our investments.   

I’ve been doing more reading lately and I’m looking forward to sharing some insights I’ve gained.
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