Though this was our best month to date, the rapid gains we've experienced in previous months have largely leveled off this month.
The LTNE Headquarters survived Hurricane Sandy with no damage. We maintained power the entire time, only losing our Internet service for about a day.
Special thanks to my top site referrer this month: Mr. Money Mustache, though the bulk of my new visitors this month came from Disqus, which is the comment system that many bloggers use, including us here at LTNE.
Our Most Accessed Posts this Month According to Squarespace (Clickable Links):
- My Evolving View of "Stuff"
- The LTNE Report -- September 2012
- Frugal and Intentional Living Update -- OOMA VOIP / Digital Phone Review
- How I Saved My Family $214,292 This Week
- Lending Club October 2012 Update!
Our active income was down slightly this month due to some unpaid vacation days for Jen. I expect it will also be down next month, since she had to reduce her hours due to the kids being out of school for Hurricane Sandy and also for other conflicts.
Passive income increased this month, but for the first time, we've seen a radical shift in the source, as Amazon.com affiliate income dramatically dropped, but affiliate income from FlexOffers increased significantly, mostly from sign-ups for Lending Club, though we also had someone sign up for Squarespace, who is our hosting service here at LTNE. The great part is that the person took advantage of our build a blog guide when he or she hit our Squarespace link, so good luck with your new blog anonymous contributor!
To all of our readers: a sincere thanks for using our links! Remember: if you shop at Amazon.com, using our link doesn't cost you anything, but helps out here! And it is really appreciated! With a total of $98.23 in internet-derived passive income, we've experienced our seventh month of consecutive increase with a 18.89% increase from last month! Obviously this number is well short of anything that could count as a meaningful source of income at this point, but it does pay for the hosting of the site, so thanks!
Also, we've doubled our stake in Lending Club loans and have begun to experience a social lending snowball with our assets there. I expect to dramatically increase our Lending Club loans once we achieve our debt elimination goals. Currently, we are experiencing a 19.60% rate of return on our Lending Club loans! As the months tick by, I think we will increasingly rely upon peer-to-peer lending to provide more and more of our monthly passive income.
You might have noticed that I've redesigned the site to dramatically reduce our number of advertisers, getting rid of non-performers and focusing in on those that have the most relevance to our content here. Let me know what you think.
We've continued to hold down overall spending, though our spending did increase slightly this month, due to some family travel. Our overall expenses on routine and recurring categories continued to decline, and we've been satisfied with the savings we've achieved by purchasing home phone service using the Ooma Telo Box, which is working great for us, and only costs us $3.72 a month.
Our debt elimination continues to be our primary focus and I can happily report that we are less than a month away from having completely eliminated all of our non-mortgage debt, having paid off an additional $5,350 in debt this month, for a total decrease of 67.29% from last month.
Our overall net worth increased 12.62% this month, continuing our march toward a positive net worth. We bought our rental home with a VA loan (which was our own home prior to us moving for the military) at the height of the housing bubble, so we still owe far more on it than it is worth, but as long as we can continue to keep it rented, we're sticking it out!
Our Alexa rank continued to fluctuate this month, ending the month slightly worse than last month. We're continuing to press for a rank of less than 200,000 by 14 January as part of the Yakezie Challenge, but months like this won't get us there. I'm guessing that we will need to at least double site readership to have a chance to achieve this goal. You can help by spreading the word about our site!
Traffic for the site is up, though I discovered today that I was calculating traffic improperly in previous reports, and I apologize for the error. Traffic this month increased from 1660 to 1688 total unique visitors for the month, which is a 1.69% increase. As I mentioned earlier, we will need to at least double our readership to hit our Alexa target. LTNE is averaging about 50 unique daily visitors right now and as you can see on the chart below, our gains have been only incremental during the last four months. I have significant work to do in this area. If you'd like to help, please link to our blog or use the social media buttons to help spread the word about our site!
For those of you following our Health and Wellness mini-blog, I attempted an October challenge, which included losing an additional 10 pounds plus dropping 1 minute from my two-mile run time. Well, I'm happy to report that I achieved the latter goal, dropping my most recent 2-mile run test a full 1:36 to a 14:40. On the former goal, I made progress, but missed my 10 pound target. Maybe a November challenge is in order... As I mentioned in an earlier report, 41 is the new 28, as I try to get back to my fitness levels from that earlier era!
In Other News...
I'm beginning to work with a mastermind group of bloggers, spearheaded by Brian over at www.iwearspandex.com, which is an enthusiast site for cycling. Mastermind groups involve like-minded individuals who can provide guidance, criticism, encouragement, and specific strategies to assist each other in achieving goals. In our case, we are all small bloggers looking to increase our performance online. More to follow on this, but it is well-timed as I need to look carefully at the objectives for Live the New Economy in the upcoming months. My biggest challenge right now is one of competing demands.
So, that's it for October!
Please leave a comment below. If you are a blogger, leave a link for your own site so that we can all visit! Also, please spread the word about Live the New Economy using the share button below. We have mostly leveled off on growth and need to get things going again if we're going to reach our blogging goals! Thanks!