$2,420 in Extra Income, Life, Wedding Updates

Happy Monday everyone! The weekend went by way too quickly and of course I’m not happy about it. I still have so much to do and don’t feel like I accomplished much. This weekend we did a lot. We looked around on Sunday to try and think of possible areas that we want to buy…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 26, 2023

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

This is the style that we are kind of going for. We LOVED this house. And it faces a lake.
This is the style that we are kind of going for. We LOVED this house. And it faces a lake.

Happy Monday everyone! The weekend went by way too quickly and of course I’m not happy about it. I still have so much to do and don’t feel like I accomplished much.

This weekend we did a lot. We looked around on Sunday to try and think of possible areas that we want to buy in, and we found a couple that we like. We pretty much know what kind of house we want (we are pretty open, but love older styled and southern style homes).

We’re still unsure about how much we want to spend, and I guess it all just depends on how much we are able to save. It also depends on whether we want to go all Young House Love and renovate the house ourselves and make it perfect for us, or just buy something that someone else liked. I’m still not sure what I want to do! Oh yeah and we don’t know if we want a house that’s in an HOA or a home with a lot of land.

I have a feeling that buying this next house will be a long process, and much longer than when we bought our first house at the age of 20. Anyone else feel like this the second time around?  It’s just that nothing seems perfect and what we’re exactly looking for!

I guess I should probably make a post soon that details everything that we want or need, and then I can makes references to that whenever I need to. What do you think are “needs” with the house that you buy? Let me know because there could easily be something that I’m overlooking. We want to live in our next house for awhile and don’t want to forget anything.

I’m still looking for possible guest posters as well. Since I am kind of close to paying off my student loans, I’m thinking about starting a debt payoff guest post series. Anyone interested? Topics can be about what you’re doing to pay off debt quickly, how you’re paying them off, whether you think your debt is good/bad, etc! A post that is somewhat related to the topic of debt is great.

I’ve also been constantly updating my blog post from the other day on How To Start A Blog. There are now added tips and instructions so that you guys don’t get too confused when starting your blog. I also have several other posts about blogs in the works, including how to transfer your blog from Blogger to WordPress.

Also, don’t forget to check out my sister’s blog, FITnancials. I’m helping run it, while she is the writer. This blog has been going pretty well and I’m still excited about it. My sister is a new writer but seems to be doing well. She’s still learning about the whole blogging thing but is starting to get the hang of it. She recently got a Page Rank of 2  from the recent update as well!

Spending:

I don’t think we bought anything in the past week, at least nothing that I can think of.

extraincome

Extra Income (does not include salary from our jobs):

The $1,635 was for the first 10 days of February. This does not include the $325 from my sister, payments that I’m expecting or any affiliate income. If you add up just the $1,635, rent payment and some additional affiliate income which will come by check (I don’t want to count the expected payments until I actually receive them), then I have made $2,420 for the first 10 days of February.

I do feel like like I’m on a slow start for February so far, but I don’t think I’m doing bad. Hopefully I can start reeling in these payments that I’ve been waiting for!

I’m still working on my affiliate income as it’s one of my main blog goals for 2013. For now, will you tell me if you do affiliate income and what I should know? Any tips, opinions, etc. would be awesome.

This was our Friday night dinner. Chicken in vodka sauce, toasted ravioli and toast. YUMM!
This was our Friday night dinner. Chicken in vodka sauce, toasted ravioli and toast. YUMM!

Food: 

No meal plan for this week, but we have been doing really good with eating at home as much as we can. We also ate out a couple of times last week, but we had a coupon for every time. Buy one get one free dinners at all of our favorite restaurants? We’ll take it! Thankfully it was W’s birthday last week so we got tons of free coupons.

Wedding

Nothing new with the wedding right now. We finally have decided on photographers. I love who we chose and I’m super excited! Now we just have to get everything else on track, which there is a lot. I don’t feel too rushed though, and I’m not really worried.

homegym
Our home gym in our basement is complete!

Being healthy:

The treadmill came in last week and we put it together. Took around 2 hours for us to put it together but it was well worth it. We thought about paying the company to put it together but we decided that it was not worth the extra $250 to pay the company to do this.

One thing that we didn’t really think about when we bought our home gym was making sure the ceiling was high enough. Yes we measured the height, but didn’t measure how much room we would actually NEED. So even though the home gym fit, we can’t actually do pull ups on it because the ceiling is so close (but come on, I most likely would never do a pull up anyways).

So this also means that if a giant wanted to run on my treadmill, they would be out of luck because there head would most likely hit the ceiling. Luckily I am only 5’4″ and have around one more foot before I hit the ceiling when I’m running.

I’ve only ran on it twice so far, but I have been swamped with things to do so I will blame it on that. My goal is to run on it 5 days this week and most likely at least 5 miles each time. Wish me luck!

How’s your spending, working out and extra income going?


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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. plantingourpennies

    Our biggest need when we were house shopping was location. I needed to be within an easy jog of the beach. After that, it was all negotiable.

    1. Being near a beach isn't really possible for us, but I wish it were! Living in the Midwest does have its downfalls in that area.
      My recent post $2,420 in Extra Income, Life, Wedding Updates

  2. Our first house was so easy, and we know we didn't spend enough time looking and thinking about it.

    And thanks! Yeah there's a TV across the room. It's kind of far, so people will probably have to squint while running.
    My recent post $2,420 in Extra Income, Life, Wedding Updates

  3. Laurie

    LOVE the pic of the house you showed, Michelle! The best piece of advice we got when house hunting was to think "If I had to live in this house forever, could I?". Don't buy something assuming you can just sell if you get sick of it, b/c you never know… Also, think long term: Will the house work if you: have kids, when you're old, have pets, etc., etc. Try and think of all the scenarios not just in your life now, but what might come later, and see if the house works for you. Love that meal, BTW – It looks delicious!

    1. I know I love that house! Those are all great tips. When we bought the house we currently live in, we knew it wouldn't be a forever house. We DO love our house, but we want something bigger.

  4. I'm looking forward to your post about converting from blogger to wordpress. I've been considering it for a time, but haven't had the guts to go for it.

    1. I'm going to try and post it this week, so stay tuned ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. As far as house goes, while there is a lot to consider, I agree – location! Check it out at different times throughout the day, find out how long your commute is, is it close to shopping, restaurants, etc. Also, maintenance. Big yard? Lots of landscaping? Siding that will require lots of maintenance?

    Let me know if you think of any questions or ever want a guest post coming from a realtor’s point of view!

    1. I want love a guest post from you Sam. If you're still interested, send me an email at senseofcents@gmail.com

      Luckily, we already know what area we want (it's the same neighborhood as W grew up in). Now we're just waiting for a house to go up for sale there as maybe only 1 goes for sale every year. UGH!

  6. SingleMomsIncome.com

    My spending is off to a good start. And working the extra income hopefully February can bring something good to me! ๐Ÿ™‚ It looks like your extra income and spending is going well too! Good luck looking for the right place and home to buy, pretty exciting!!
    My recent post Getting Started Freelance Writing: What You Should Know.

  7. Brian

    When we start looking for a new house (or if we start looking) I will probably want to be on water. I love lakes and rivers. The good news, we will probably end up buying the family cottage (or one of the other 3 plots next to it) in southern Indiana on the Ohio River. Granted the Ohio isn't great for swimming and boating, but it is a body of water.

    Other than that I am pretty easy going on what I look for. I guess my only real need is a garage since I hate having to defrost my car in the morning.

    1. We are thinking about possibly buying a house on a lake as well!

  8. This is how I feel as well!

  9. SavvyFinancialLatina

    Let's see what's on my list?
    -Location
    -big closets
    -master to fit a king size bed
    – good layout
    – easy yard to maintain

  10. Yea I wan to hear all about the home search. It’s so exciting!

    I would love to do a guest post a out getting out of debt. I will email you. Happy Monday.

    1. Looking forward to your email. Thanks!

  11. I love your idea of hosting a debt payoff guest post series, Michelle. It's always fabulous receiving different perspectives and inspirational stories from those grappling with debt. Let me know how that evolves!

  12. Heather

    When we buy our next home, I would want to make sure it is large enough for entertaining. Right now we live in a smaller home that cant hold a large group gathering and would love to throw christmas/thanksgiving parties without everyone cramped.

    Are you planning on renting out your first house or selling it?

    1. I agree, I definitely need space for entertaining.

      And we haven't decided what we will do. It's a tough decision.

  13. Joanna@OFB

    We haven't bought a house, but when we do, here are a few of our must-haves: walk-in closets, double sinks in master bath, open floor plan, LOTS of natural light!

    1. I agree with your list! There are just so many things that I want.

  14. therandompath

    When looking for a new house, look into the school districts. I know you're only 23 and don't plan on having kids for quite awhile ๐Ÿ™‚ But if you are looking to stay in this next house for the next 20 years, this is something to think about so you are prepared.
    My recent post Your Wedding Doesn’t Have to Break The Bank

    1. We definitely plan on looking at school districts. Thanks!

  15. Probably Rachel

    After six months in our first home.. we're already talking about our second! Not that we're planning to buy our next place soon but as we've been making some changes and improvements to our place we've mentioned what we want the next place to have. We've also discussed building.

    Our next house needs to have a bathroom on the main floor (we currently have 2 full baths, but one is in the basement and one is on the second floor), attached garage, a pantry and more food prep space in the kitchen. We chose to buy a house situated between my husband's office and my office (in opposite suburbs) and it works out that the location makes working anywhere in the metro area possible. My husband got a job much closer to where we bought our house so our next place won't NEED to be "in between."
    My recent post Friday Five: What I Learned

    1. We can't decide if we want a new house built, or if we want to buy a historic house. Tough life right here, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. We have a lot to think about for our second home. We want a ranch style home and they are very hard to come by in our area. After the style, it is all about the neighborhood for us.

    1. We have a ranch style home right now, but I think we want a 2 or 3 story now. And we agree, first it's style, then it's neighborhood for us.

  17. Pauline @ Reach Financial Independence

    I love that style of houses and the lake proximity is really cool! prices look very cheap where you are, you sure will be able to get a fantastic house!
    My recent post Little house in Guatemala, week 14-15

    1. Thanks! And yes I hope we will be able to find something.

  18. Congrats on purchasing a second home so soon! I got my first couple years ago and will probably be a while, if ever, before I get a second. For my first I remember having a list of requirements but because inventory was so low here it I had to let some wishes go.
    My recent post Starting a Legacy That Will Last a Lifetime and Beyond

    1. I know we won't be able to find our perfect home, but I do hope we find something close.

  19. Forget the second house and buy a sailboat! Come on Michelle, you know you want to! Seriously though, you're crushing it with your extra income and blog. Keep up the good work!
    My recent post You Can't Have Offshore Sailboat Cake and Eat it Too

    1. Haha yes I know we can't decide what to do!

  20. I know what you mean! We have a finished basement now, and I don't think I could ever move into a house that didn't have one.

  21. Good to know! Thanks! Sometimes I forget that I'm no longer a track runner haha

  22. I'm sorry Beth. Sounds like you haven't had the easiest couple of years. I would say keep applying for jobs and doing your hardest to land one. Are you using cover letters, preparing for interviews and everything else? I'm assuming you are so this is tough.

  23. Briana

    Buying a new house is exciting and overwhelming at the same time. When we were looking for our second house, we must have looked at 75 or more! None of them matched exactly what we want.
    What I would suggest is finding the home that meets most of your wants/needs while making sure it has the potential in the future, after a little work on your part, to make it into exactly what you want. If you are going to have children in the future, look for a place with a yard big enough to add on to the house if you need to. That is what we lacked in our first house. And, though we loved our first house, we had to move to acquire additional space.
    Good luck!
    My recent post Dear Neighbor

    1. We will most likely look at tons of houses too. Haha 75 is a lot but I'm sure we'll be around that number. And thanks for the suggestion, will definitely keep that in mind.
      My recent post $2,420 in Extra Income, Life, Wedding Updates

  24. Do you plan on sharing a breakdown of your online income? You lump affiliate income, virtual assisting, and others into this category, right? The numbers you are putting out every week are pretty inspiring. I hope to do the same myself.
    My recent post The Story So Far

    1. I don't know if I'll ever publicly on my blog separate it, but if you are interested, you can always email me and I will give you the breakdown ๐Ÿ™‚
      My recent post $2,420 in Extra Income, Life, Wedding Updates

  25. myfijourney

    So far, everything (spending and working out) goes according to plan. But I just got word that two of my friends are getting married later in the year, so I may get stuck shelling out money for a trip. They're good friends, so I should probably attend. But I need to start tightening the screws on my spending so that I can still make my savings goals.

    1. We need to start tightening our spending as well! There are so many things that we need to save for.
      My recent post $2,420 in Extra Income, Life, Wedding Updates

  26. Nothing wrong with that. We're still unsure if we want a huge house or something just a tad bigger than what we have now.
    My recent post $2,420 in Extra Income, Life, Wedding Updates

  27. A slow start at $2400, I love you are making so much money that seems slow. We built a house in 2004, and the garage seemed huge because we'd never had one. It gets full fast, so I would say have a bigger garage than you think you need.

    1. We only have a 1 car garage now, and we know that we would want at least a 2 to 3. 1 is just too small!
      My recent post $2,420 in Extra Income, Life, Wedding Updates

  28. Maybe it's me but I can't stand HOA's and prefer land. That's the main reason that I live in a rural farming community. The nive thing about where I live is that it's only 30 minutes away from downtown Raleigh and 40 minutes away from the Research Triangle Park. So even though we live in a rural area we can easily commute to work or hit Raleigh up for a nice restaurants.
    My recent post Confessions of a Tool Junkie

    1. I prefer land as well but W says he doesn't want to mow it all the time. I will have to fight him on that! ๐Ÿ™‚
      My recent post How to Live on One Income

  29. Michelle, your update posts blow me away. I wouldn't be surprised if your next one was like "I've decided to run for State Senate/City Council and I'm going to win!" No seriously, you're an incredible planner. I'm getting married next summer as well and have yet to make one move on our wedding. My priority is debt and the first real estate purchase, so I feel like thinking about my wedding before those two is silly. I want to enjoy my wedding debt free! Thanks for keeping the rest of us motivated to not sit around and do nothing…

    1. Haha that would be hilarious if I ran for some public office. I'll have to keep that in mind ๐Ÿ˜›
      My recent post How to Live on One Income

  30. I love the style of home you're considering, very beautiful. For us, what mattered most was we knew what city we wanted to live in. It had to be a safe neighborhood within that community with a great school system (even though we didn't have children at that time), walkable distance to beach (hubby is an avid surfer and we love the beach) and most importantly – affordable mortgage. We could have bought a larger home (sometimes we probably wish we did) but it would have cut into our "fun" money. We love traveling and we weren't willing to give up our "fun" money for a bigger home. It's definitely a balancing act and knowing what matters most to you. We love our home and can still take lots of mini-trips and one big family vacation.
    My recent post Valentine’s Day Love Box

    1. Thanks for stopping by my blog. This is something that we're trying to decide as well. Should we get a big house that cost more or something smaller that we can pay off quickly?
      My recent post How to Live on One Income

  31. Nick @ AYoungPro.com

    Great update! I love hearing about all of the progress you are making. We are currently building a new home and our main focus has been keeping monthly costs as low as possible. One of the nice things about buying a new home as opposed to an older home is that you can focus on adding a lot of the "green" perks and advances in construction technology. Good luck, I know buying a home is stressful.
    My recent post What I Learned From My First Day on the Job

    1. We are trying to decide if we want a new or old house right now. I love that we can decide everything that we want to with a new house, but I just love the timeless styles of older homes ๐Ÿ™‚
      My recent post How to Live on One Income

  32. Canadianbudgetbinder

    Love the home gym, I have a very similar set up in mine and love it! I'm always adding something new. Great going with the extra income again. I also bought my first home at 20, my second a few years later and it was a bit of a process yes and I did score a decent house. You learn so much from one house to the next that's for sure. Cheers
    My recent post The Grocery Game Challenge Feb 11-17 Stock-up When You Can! Pancake Day!

    1. Have you made a post about buying young? You should if you haven't! ๐Ÿ™‚
      My recent post How to Live on One Income

  33. brickbybrickinvesting2012

    I love the home gym. I built one for my garage it helps out tremendously!

  34. The Blonde

    I love the style of that house! I`ve always had a fondness for American architecture, as i find them more charming and much nicer than what I`m used to. and wow, that`s a great extra income! congrats!