Net Worth Update: April 2015

networthupdateBuckling Down

Y’all, I am so happy with this month’s report, I can’t even. After my awful financial March, I really wanted to make back some of the lost ground this month, as well as pay off the credit card. As you know, Bob, there are two ways to increase net worth: spend less and earn more. (Yes, I am a font of PF wisdom.) My side hustling had dropped to almost nothing recently, but I set a goal of paying off the $250 I still had on my CC using solely side income, and took a few steps to increase it: I kept the usertesting window open more (and made $177)), I applied my cash-back points to my credit card ($35.84), and I spent a bit of extra time at Swagbucks (and made $50). I also put the word out that I was looking for babysitting, though nothing’s actually come through on that yet. All of that plus $20 in interest added up to $282 of side income — $30 more than my goal.

Then I got around to looking at the “spending less” side of the equation. A third of the way through the month, on April 10, I was up to $846 in expenditures (rent, cash draw, credit card expenses — see below). I started to wonder if I could make it through the following 20 days on (1) the cash I’d already withdrawn for the month and (2) $150 in other expenditures, leaving me at under $1000 for total April expenses. Did I make it?

To the numbers!

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 4.44.46 PM


That is much better.

1) Slush: I spent $2.99 on a month’s worth of streaming radio feeds for baseball, and also bought the new Sufjan Stevens CD (before I decided to really clamp down on discretionary spending for the month.)

2) Personal/medical: drugstore stuff, co-pay for doctor’s visit.

3) Gremlins: yearly renewal of VPN subscription ($40; will reconsider whether or not I need this next year. I do like having it but don’t use it all the time); taxes owed to my previous state and county ($31)

4) Repairs: Got a couple of small things fixed on my bike.

5) Clothing: bought a t-shirt from American Apparel. It’s expensive for a basic piece, but I have had this style in another color for years and it has yet to pill or stretch or discolor at all, so hopefully this one will be worth it too.

And yes, I’m extremely proud of my total $989.87 expenditure for the month 🙂


Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 11.13.11 AM


Overall, I had a net (post-tax) income of $3561.80 in April, including paychecks, side hustle income, and pre-tax 403(b) contributions. I lived on 28% of that income (22% of gross), which is pretty darn great. The markets rose again, giving an assist despite a downturn in the last couple of days, and between that and increased income/decreased spending, I am super happy that my net worth increased $2711, for a total of $21691. Now here’s to not continuing my pattern so far this year of good month-bad month!



39 thoughts on “Net Worth Update: April 2015

  1. Wohoo! High five! 😉

    1. thesingledollar says:

      thanks! I kept waiting for my car to need a repair or something, but I made it through to the end 🙂

    1. thesingledollar says:

      I’m running around pumping my fist and stuff 🙂

  2. Chonce says:

    Sounds like a great month! You killed it with UserTesting reviews and I’m impressed by how much you put into savings this month! I still need to work on building my car repairs savings account since it’s still pretty much drained from January still.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Yeah, my repairs fund is also at almost nothing — next month (fingers crossed) I’ll start building that back up. I was super pleased with my side hustling; I got lucky and got some longer Usertesting tests — one that paid $30, one that paid $25, and one that paid $20 — which helped a ton.

  3. Living on 28% of your income? Girrrrrrl. Impressive. and Holy crap Usertesting earnings! That’s an excellent month!

    Your travel fund is depressing. $3.15? That’s sadder than my house fund from last month!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Hee, I know, my poor travel fund. It’s not getting better any time soon either because I’ve got trips in May and June that won’t put me into debt, but will cause me to use my travel funds immediately instead of saving them up for future travel. Eventually I’ll top it back up 🙂

  4. A+ for living on 28% of you take-home income. I’d say that puts you in league with the badasses!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      I feel totally badass this month! Try me again at the end of May 🙂

  5. Cindy says:

    And you crossed the $20,000 net worth threshold! That’s awesome!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      OMG, I completely forgot to even mention that, I was so excited about getting my expenses under $1000. I guess I’ll just have to make a huge deal out of $25K when I get there 🙂

  6. Great job! I have never tried, but I wondered if it really worked!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Thanks! It totally does work, though as I wrote about in this post, there are conditions under which it works better. It probably would for you actually since “privacy for audio commenting during the day” is one of them 🙂

  7. MJ says:

    This is incredibly inspiring! I love looking at the spreadsheets.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      thank you! I love making the spreadsheets. I pull them out and look at them when I want to cheer myself up too 🙂

  8. Nice job! I will have to check out user testing because I’ve never heard that before. BTW that link isn’t working. I actually made decent money this month, but had a lot of gremlins myself (phone, brakes). Booo!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      I wrote more about usertesting here:

      Short version: it works really well for freelancers IF you don’t mind getting distracted on a regular basis, so it might work for you! Thanks for the note — link fixed in the post now. I’m super glad you made decent money at last this month though.

  9. Kristin says:

    Wow, you had an aweeome month, congrats! Really impressive. Tell me more about this usertesting?!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      I wrote more about it here:

      Short version: it works really well but only under specific circumstances 🙂 Thanks for the congrats!

  10. Alicia says:

    Damn!! Those are some low expenses! Well done. I’m also intrigued by this usertesting thing as well… open to Canadians?

    1. thesingledollar says:

      not gonna lie, I’m very pleased with myself 😉 Usertesting — hmm, good question! I’m not sure; check their website I guess?

  11. Awesome job – congratulations!!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Thanks! 🙂

  12. Jason says:

    Well-done. Keep it up.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Thanks 🙂

  13. Looks like you had a great April! I know mine is going to be looking a little crazy when I actually sit down to crunch the numbers! That’s what an 11 day vacation will do to you! 🙂

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Oh yes, that’s partly what happened to me in March 🙂 Travel will kill you financially but it sure is fun.

  14. Mel says:

    I thought I was pretty up to date on side hustles, but I’ve never heard of User Testing. I’m on the hunt for new ways to bring in money this summer, since I don’t have high expectations for employment until September.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      I hope it works for you! It is good money, but it’s extremely sporadic. It works best when you can just leave the window open constantly while you’re working on other things.

  15. Well done! Your happiness is contagious! Cheers!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Thank you 🙂

  16. Well done on a great month! I’ve been thinking about doing reviews on User Testing. How many reviews did you have to do to earn that much?

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Thanks! It was cool 🙂 Normally, they pay $10 for a 15-minute test. However, I got lucky this month and got a few longer tests that paid a bonus; that doesn’t happen very often. I did twelve tests, I think. Anyway, if your daily circumstances allow it (you can leave the window open more or less constantly) it can be a great source of extra income. It pays much better than most of the things you can do online, and it’s easy.

    1. thesingledollar says:


  17. Wow! You are seriously kicking ass. Congratulations 😀

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Thanks 🙂

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