Sunday, October 30, 2005

I've been really bad about updating here because money has not been the primary thing going on here lately. Oh, yeah, we're still in debt, that hasn't gone down much. But my knee is wrecked and will probably lead to surgery, grades are due on Friday for the first quarter of the school year, and I'm still trying to set up a business in my basement.

I have the basement looking pretty good. I still have lots I want to do, but it's looking up and is actually useable now.

We haven't had a lot of luck on ebay - I need to get more posted, but the last three things I've posted haven't sold with two go-rounds (after two tries, it goes into rummage or the Goodwill pile).

So...I did update Quicken yesterday morning before noon - which was really good. :) I was very proud of myself. The bad news? We have $100 to last us until Nov 20th for gas, food & whatever (all bills are paid). Fun fun fun. We do this every month and I still can't figure out why it happens. I did a search on Quicken and found that we've been spending a lot more on gasoline than is budgeted - but that is to be expected, since gas prices have gone so high. We also went over on eating out - by a lot, which was surprising, because I don't remember going out. Figures.

Business stuff - is exciting. I've been working on that a lot. But with grades due this week, an MRI on Friday...well, I don't know how much time I'll have to work on it this week. Some, for sure, but not as much as I wanted.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Thursday was payday, and I made a vow to myself that I would update Quicken/pay bills/etc by Saturday noon -- and I did! I was so proud of myself! Isn't that pitiful? Paying my bills on time made me so happy. I think that's a sign of illness.

We actually sent the extra money from the student loans to the BECC - first time since we put the loan in forebearance that we actually did what we said we would. We also took money from ebay sales and split them between the Best Buy card and the newer cc. Those should both be paid off by March - maybe even sooner for Best Buy. And on the BECC, next month we will be below $9000 for the first time in years. That's a cool feeling!

I've been working on business stuff - and getting my basement ready to be my workroom/office. I've been going through a lot of stuff - my rummage pile has grown astronomically (rummage will be in June). Dh and I went through all the VHS tapes, CD's and cassettes to get rid of what we didn't need/use/want anymore. Lots went into the recycle bin (can't sell tapes that we took off the TV, etc), and some into the trash. We haven't gone through them in years. Our music is on the computer and the mp3 player, and we have a huge collection of DVD's - so this is all redundant stuff. It felt good to get rid of it. We have so much stuff...but it's amazing - how much we're willing to cull to get our house looking better.

Okay - I'm off to run on the treadmill a little while. Take care! ;)
Thursday was payday, and I made a vow to myself that I would update Quicken/pay bills/etc by Saturday noon -- and I did! I was so proud of myself! Isn't that pitiful? Paying my bills on time made me so happy. I think that's a sign of illness.

We actually sent the extra money from the student loans to the BECC - first time since we put the loan in forebearance that we actually did what we said we would. We also took money from ebay sales and split them between the Best Buy card and the newer cc. Those should both be paid off by March - maybe even sooner for Best Buy. And on the BECC, next month we will be below $9000 for the first time in years. That's a cool feeling!

I've been working on business stuff - and getting my basement ready to be my workroom/office. I've been going through a lot of stuff - my rummage pile has grown astronomically (rummage will be in June). Dh and I went through all the VHS tapes, CD's and cassettes to get rid of what we didn't need/use/want anymore. Lots went into the recycle bin (can't sell tapes that we took off the TV, etc), and some into the trash. We haven't gone through them in years. Our music is on the computer and the mp3 player, and we have a huge collection of DVD's - so this is all redundant stuff. It felt good to get rid of it. We have so much stuff...but it's amazing - how much we're willing to cull to get our house looking better.

Okay - I'm off to run on the treadmill a little while. Take care! ;)

Sunday, October 16, 2005


Once again, I have succeeded in putting off updating Quicken(as mentioned in the last post). So as I go to pay for groceries last night, it comes up as "NSF" for the debit card. That's so embarassing, and I'm old enough to know better. I hate updating the bills. I hate that we have no money to spend on things. I resent it. I know, I'm supposed to have a terrific view and be happy that all of our extra money is going to the BECC, I'm supposed to do it cheerfully blah blah blah. But I don't find it fun, I don't find it amusing, and I don't think it's cool. I hate sending hard-earned money to them. I know it's our own fault. I'm not running from them.

It's just that sometimes, I'm really sick of it. So I go and thump my head into the sand and pretend that it's all good.


So this morning, I had to get Quicken all updated to figure out what the problem was, and we're over by about $70. So I need to return two bras I bought at Penney's, and a knee brace that doesn't fit. And I need to transfer $50 over from ING to cover the rest and allow us to put gas in the car so I can get to work and home on Tues & Wed and at least to work on Thurs...because then it's PAYDAY!

And I will update the bills by Saturday noon. I will.

And I will start to update Quicken weekly so we know where we're at. Because if I had known that we were so close, I would have curbed the spending more. I just really need a new bra. Losing weight means things stop fitting. I won't go into it more for you gentlemen around, but let's just say the girls aren't happy with the fit lately.

So after payday, we'll check the damages and see what we can do. This month, we WILL send the BECC the extra $185 we set aside for them every single month. Or maybe I'll send it to the Best Buy card to get it closer to closed! Plus we have ebay sales. I'm really thinking of targeting Best Buy so it can be gone, even though we aren't being charged interest by them at the moment.

Okay. It's a plan. Now - off to figure out business stuff.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Man, I haven't been very good at getting Quicken up to date and sending smaller payments off to the cc's. I've been busy getting the basement in order and trying to figure out the web of tax forms that I need to set up my business. Ugh.

The good news is that I'm finding more and more downstairs to post on ebay or set aside for the rummage sale. That's kind of nice - more extra income there. I've posted seven things in the last week - I think that's a new record for me. ;)

It also occurred to me that if I can get the dressmaking out there, if I can make enough to cover the $2500 we get for me teaching summer school...maybe I can get away with not doing it next year! I think that may be a reason why I'm so out of it this school year. I had no time off. Summer school for 6 weeks, then dh's mother died and we were in KY for two weeks. I had one week, then back to school. I know, I know - "But you get all summer off...I don't get that much time off" yadda yadda yadda. I'm in a very high stress job (and yes, I know that there are other high stress jobs), and I can't do it without a break. If there's no break, it's not worth it. And people wonder why teachers burn out with such crap...

Anyway. That $ mostly goes to keeping bills up to date and getting xmas money put aside. If we can get that throughout the year and/or with this business and/or with soc sec and/or with dh working on more ebay stuff...I could stop the summer school. Which would be really nice.

Too much in my brain. I have grading to do, and I'm really wiped out and grumpy. Think I'll pack it in and go to bed.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Starting a Business...

Man, there are about a billion sites out there about starting a home based business.

After the whole "get a job as a seamstress in a bridal shop" thing that didn't work out, I started thinking - why not do this on my own? I've been doing some research - as far as I can tell, there are no dressmakers in the area around our home. Hmm...

I need to get the basement in order. But now - I have a goal, which is really cool. Before, it was just, "Oh, get the basement looking decent". Now, though - I need an office and a sewing room. I need to get a lot of stuff out of there.

I've been working on the research and the paperwork. I need a good web page maker. I don't want it to look homemade - I'm hoping to make it look classy. I need all kinds of stuff - business cards, logo, ads, etc.

Part of it is also crafty part - making things out of loved dresses. In the past, I've made Memory Dolls out of old bridesmaid's dresses, and christening gowns out of old wedding dresses. Today, I found a wedding dress at Goodwill for $4! I'm going to get some pics and then tear that baby apart to show what I can do. I'm so excited!

It's nice to have a goal. This could really help us get some debt paid off - the profit that doesn't go back into the business can go to the BECC. I know that most will go back in, but this at least feels like a step forward, and it feels right. I'm nervous about the tax stuff, but I'll learn. My sister says she'll help (she's had her own business for quite a few years now).

Monday, October 03, 2005

Keeping financial stuff together...

I recently posted this over at in the message boards, but I thought I'd drop it in here, too, because I like the idea....

About a year or so ago, I saw an infomercial for Suze Orman, and she had some type of set up that had all info in one spot - a nifty little notebook type thing with all cc's, all insurance policies, etc. And I started to think - my God, if something happened to me, dh would have no clue where to start, because I handle all the money stuff. On top of that, he has no interest in learning where we have all our money and who we owe!

But...I wasn't willing to spend the $50 or whatever that she was charging for it.

So - I bought a bright red plastic multi-pocket expanding folder. I told him that if anything ever happened to me, to go in the safe (just a little Brinks fire-proof safe) and get the red folder - that it all was in there. (It just occurred to me that I haven't updated it in awhile...I don't think the Best Buy card or the "new" cc are in there...)

I made a bunch of different titles for each pocket. In one is a cc statement, but also just a written sheet with the cc number, the phone number, and the general amount we owed them at the time (with the date on it, so he'd know when that was). I also put the web page address and our login/password.

Then, one pocket for mortgage info. One for the insurance company (car & home). One for life insurance (three policies, who to contact, etc). One with birth certificates. One with his old divorce decrees. One with important Army papers. One has the car titles. Basically, anything that he would need if I wasn't there and he had to do it all alone.

Once that was done, I felt such peace of mind. I worry so much about what would happen to him if something ever happened to me - but this was just such a weight off my shoulders, because it was all in one place, easy to find, not hidden away but still safe. Once we get a will and power of attorney + medical directive, a copy of that will go in there, too.

I'm sure I put more in there, but I can't think of it right now. Oh - bank accounts, where and what the account numbers are. Retirement accounts. Who to contact about my teaching pension. Any investments. Stuff like that.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Saturday Night's All Right...

Well, I'm not fighting, but it's been a good night. I actually got caught up with grading this evening, and so I have all of Sunday to enjoy without having to feel guilty because I haven't graded anything (I tend to put it off until Sunday stupid of me...)

Anyway - dh has come up with a great idea for extra money on ebay, selling wholesale...stuff. Until we get it all figgered out, I'm going to stay secretive and not say any more. He's very excited about it, though, which is great to see, because he tends to get very down on stuff since he can't work outside the home. So I'm really hoping this will take off.

And I am making headway on the business stuff. More to come on that later.

But - it's late. Rather, it's early (1:15 am), so I need to get my butt to bed. So tired! I'm going to allow myself to sleep in tomorrow morning, and it will be fabuloso. :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Okay. I did it.

I felt so guilty that I went and did our bills.

I feel much better.

Although I didn't get as much sent to the BECC as I should have.


I put off paying the bills.

I really don't know why.

Some weird God-given right to keep my own money?


Anyway. We are now officially one week and one day past payday (we get paid monthly) and I still have not done the bills. We have bills coming due, and I feel no pressure. Isn't that terrible?

I did hop online and send the smaller cc a token payment. I had meant to send them at least $75 over that. But nooooo...I haven't updated Quicken yet to see where we're at.

And the BECC is due in 2 days, too. Have I sent them extra? Have I paid at all? NOOOOOoooooooooooooooo....too lazy for that.

Hmmm...I guess I need to go on their website and see when the due date is. Swear to God, I'm NOT paying any more late fees with them...

And yet, here I sit, clacking away on the keyboard rather than pay our bills.

Go figure.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Dh didn't get the job. :( It would involve just too much walking. He's bummed, but I'm proud of him for getting the application in and getting the interview. We're still thinking on that one.

I can still draw. That's been kind of fun today - I've been drawing some designs. I need to seriously consider if I want to do this (start a business). The tax stuff intimidates me. Do I really want to deal with all that?

And it was pretty cool - I am one of the blogs mentioned in the Carnival of Debt Reduction! I feel so loved! You like me, you really like me! (The depressing thing is that there are many people out there who have no idea why I wrote that...don't even remember it happening...) ;)

Mighty Bargain Hunter has the Carnival this week - brand spanking new with lots of info. Thanks for including me! :)

I'm off to do some work in the basement that will hopefully pay off in cold hard $$$ to send to the BECC (Big Evil Credit Card).
Dh has an interview today! This was great news - I'm so happy for him, just to get the interview. He has serious disability issues (back & neck), so he can't walk/stand/sit for extended periods of time. The car usually helps him, but he can't lift, so deliveries are out. This interview is for a security position at the mall, driving the parking lot. We talked about it and agreed that his health is more important than the money, and if they want him to do things like 1 shift walking the mall, that he wouldn't be able to take it. But I'm just so happy that he got the application in and was called for an interview!

On other news - one thing sold on ebay, $20 more than I thought I'd get for it, so I was excited about that. The other two things didn't sell. I need to post more today.

Payday - September is the check that we get our contract changes on, and I was delighted to see that we'll be getting $100 more/monthly check than last year. This was great news. It will take the crunch off the increase in the gas bill and the gasoline bills, allowing us to send more to the BECC.

I also got two reimbursement checks equalling about $100. :)

I bought five McCall's patterns that were on sale for $.99 each at Hancock Fabrics the other day. Wedding/evening/prom type of dresses. I'm going to be looking at what I need to do to set up a seamstress/design business in our basement. I'm still in the really early stages, but there's money there.

And...I think that covers it for money stuff. I need to do the bills this weekend since payday was this week. I can send a nice chunk to the BECC, and we have about $150 in paypal that I'm going to split between the Best Buy card and the smaller, lower interest rate cc. That will feel good!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Money Issues...

I seem to spend all of my time lately either obsessing about money we owe others or weight issues. I'm not sure I like it.

No call from the bridal shop. I have to decide whether to just let it go or be gutsy and call her again. I hate being pushy. Really.

But it seems like everywhere we go, I think about how we need to pay down the BECC (big evil credit card). Today, we had a really nice day planned, going to an art festival about an hour away. Everything we saw there, I thought - "hey, we could make that and sell it and pay off the BECC". I constantly think of crafty stuff, but I know how hard it is to make it in that arena. And crafting on ebay is just nearly impossible. I have some things I'm going to set out when we have our next rummage sale, and advertise as a rummage/craft/plant sale, but that's not going to be until June unless I get some energy.

I really hate that it's taking over every waking moment (or so it seems). In a way, that's a good thing because it keeps it clear in my mind, but I really don't like it controlling everything we do.


Money making stuff lately. Well, I got three more things posted on ebay. Not much. Returned that guy's money that I mentioned in my last post (not really money-making, but good for ebay business that he's not complaining).

Oh - I talked dh into letting me get loads of books out of the house. We have 8 bookcases in the basement (8!!), and we never go down there to find books. So I was able to get about 4 moving boxes full of books out of there. I was able to post about 1 of those boxes (maybe 2 dozen pretty big books?) on If everything were to sell on, we'd make about $400. Not too bad. I saved a few books to combine into lots for ebay, and the other three boxes went into the rummage pile.

And the computer is working in the basement now, so it should be easier to post things to ebay. I've been using as an excuse the fact that I've read in numerous sources that it's better to end an ebay sale on a Tuesday, but screw that. As long as it ends in the evening, I'm going to post when I have time to post. I don't always have time on Tuesday (7 day sale) or Thursday (5 day auction) nights. I just need to get things posted. So there! lol

Some other ideas:
~Memory dolls
~Custom sewing - the big stuff like wedding and prom dresses, possibly career wear, but no super easy stuff that I couldn't charge much for
~Garden decorations - like my growing chairs
~One of a kind christening gowns
~Word processing for college students (university within 15 miles of us - actually 2 pretty big ones within 20 miles of us)

I just don't know where to start on a business. I have no interest in getting all the paperwork done, so my ideas just sit there. Lazy me.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

No news...

Well, I haven't heard from the bridal shop yet. I really hope she calls. I haven't decided what I'm going to do if she doesn't call...still thinking on that one.

Tonight I'm going to post more on ebay. We had two more successful endings, but not huge things. About $16.00, and no one's paid by paypal yet. But we did get the money order for one sold last week, so that's another $11 in our checking account, plus about $25 deposited from So we'll get through the month without raiding paypal. That's a good thing.

We sold an almost complete set of Time-Life books for about $50 last week. He pays by paypal, so it's sent out the next day. He emails me yesterday (after already leaving positive feedback) to say that one of the books is missing. I, of course, have no proof that I mailed all of the books that I said I did. So I look all over my little ebay room, all over the computer room (I may have brought it up here to write the auction, because the book he says is missing was damaged and I wanted to make sure that I put down what was wrong with it) - the book is not in this house.

So, short of calling him a liar, I am offering to pro-rate the one book from the total purchase price and refund that amount. It would be about $5, and I can live with that. It's cheaper than having him send them all back to us and having to refund the entire amount + 2 way shipping. And then he'll be happy. My gut tells me that book was in the box, but what can you do? We have 100% positive feedback, and I take pride in that fact, and the fact that we are honest people trying to clean out our house, not a real ebay business.

Sometimes ebay really sucks. All that drama.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Second Jobs...

Well, on Friday I stopped over at the bridal shop that had posted an ad for a seamstress. I had a great talk with the owner, and I think she was impressed. It would be really ideal - close to home (actually, so close that I could walk it in about 10 minutes), not using up gasoline, extra income, good hours (only two nights a week, and then only until 7pm, and Saturdays, no Sundays). I know she has others to talk to, but I think she was impressed that I stopped by and with my background. Keep fingers crossed.

We have three things ending on ebay tomorrow and two will sell. It's at about $16 right now. Not much. I'll be posting more on Tuesday night. Dh got the computer working downstairs so I don't have to lug everything up here to post.

We have a little over a week to payday (20th) and we are poor! We did grocery shopping tonight and need to put some gas in, plus pay the phone bill. We got a $40 check from insurance that will cover the phone bill, but I will have to use some ebay sales/paypal to help us get through the week. I really hate getting paid once a month. It's so hard by the end of the month! Not to mention that I hate feeling so poor - I'm really looking forward to a decent second job that will help us get the debt out so we can spend our money on us - savings and investments - rather than "past us" (dumb spending).

Ah, well. We live and learn...I'm just sick of the learning part and ready to get into the living part.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Ebay Sales!

Well, we had listed 7 things, and 4 of them sold, so we made about $85 on it! I'm a little disappointed the other things didn't sell, but I relisted them at lower prices to see if I could encourage anyone.

We're at over $100 in paypal right now, so I'm going to be transferring it over to our bank account and then sending it off to the BECC (Big Evil Credit Card). I don't know why I wait until it's over $100. I shouldn't. Really.

I am also planning on getting a couple of other things posted by Thursday. If I can keep that up, we'll get at least $50/week extra to send to the BECC.


In other news, I have a lead for a different second job. A bridal shop about 10 blocks from me wants a seamstress. Now - I made my own wedding dress, numerous prom dresses, and a set of bridesmaid's dresses. I'm going to call them this afternoon to see if they are looking for part time. I'm excited - I could walk to work (saving gas), and since it's so specific, I think I could ask for $10-$15/hour. Even just a few hours a week could really add up and get more to the BECC!


I'm really nervous about the bills. I'm so sick of them hanging over us. And if the BECC doubles minimums like other cc companies are doing, we will be so screwed. We won't be able to pay them. Really. That would put our minimum to over $500. We pay what we can, usually around $400/month, but there's no way that we could cover $500 without serious problems.

It's bad enough that gas is going up so much - if heating oil goes up as much, our monthly electric/gas bill will be atrocious.

I hate worrying about money. I really wish we were independently wealthy. I know the numbers say that even independently wealthy people have money problems, and that your spending increases in time with the income, but man. All I want is to pay off the cc.

We're tightening the belts right now to work on paying things off, so if the gas situation does affect our heating, we'll have some extra that we can play with. I got another 6 month extension on the student loans, which will help. But man, we'll be in trouble soon if we don't get this under control, and quick.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Finally got some stuff on ebay!

It took me awhile to get back into the hang of things. Dh's mother died two weeks ago, and we had to make an extra trip down to KY. And then, I got into a panic because I only had a couple of weeks left of summer vacation before I had to go back to work.

But I finally got my ebay table in the basement cleaned off and ready to go. Took pics, cleaned them up, sized them, uploaded them...and posted 7 things tonight. 2 of them have potential of going big, so we'll see what happens.

I was able to take earning this month and divide them between the Best Buy card and the smaller cc that we had to use for traveling to KY. That meant that nothing extra went to BECC (Big Evil Credit Card), though. I hate that. So these ebay sales could really help me bring that one back down.

I go back to work tomorrow. The kids come back Thursday. I'm going to wear one of my new outfits tomorrow - fitted gray pants and a wrap gray striped sleeveless blouse with kick ass shoes. The grand total for this outfit = $15.74. :) Gotta love that. I'm losing weight, and I want to look better. I needed work clothes that fit, so I did end up getting quite a bit from clearance racks. Not too much, because I still have more to lose.

In that vein, Jo Ann Fabrics had a sale on Simplicity patterns on Saturday - $.99 each. I bought four of them. Between all of them, once I reach a lower weight and my work clothes absolutely will not do, I will have fitted slacks, fitted capris, elastic slacks, slim skirt, flowing skirt, tank, fitted tank, dress, t-shirt style top, fitted jacket, boxy jacket, and purses. :) I don't have the material, yet, of course, but I was proud of my find. They are all pretty complimentary, and I'll choose colors that go together. I haven't been this excited about clothes in a long time. I still have a long way to go, but I have that as inspiration.

Not much else. Still considering a rummage sale this fall. I mentioned in an email to my mom that I don't have any big things, so I might wait. She emailed back saying I could have her wicker furniture and papasan chair to sell, and there might be more in storage. I don't remember if I've mentioned how my mom is (although it explains so much...), but she buys stuff like there's no tomorrow, then changes her mind and gets rid of it within a year or two. Good for my ebay sales and rummage, but bad for her bills. Every time, I offer to pay her the money from sales, but she doesn't want it. Sometimes, I think she's crazy...

Friday, August 19, 2005


I had a very brief interview at the local Ground Round today. He offered me the job almost immediately, but I was very upfront and honest, told him I wanted only a Friday night and a Saturday night shift. He said he needed three shifts.

Now, if I wasn't teaching, it wouldn't be a big deal. But I know myself. If I don't have at least one day off, I'll start going nuts, really resenting what I'm doing. And there's no way I'll work a shift during the week. So I refused.

It's actually a nice sign of strength - I didn't have to take the job, so I knew I could walk out. We can make it on the money we make, but it sure would be easier to pay the bills down if we had a little extra coming in.

But I need to stay sane at the same time. So no. Not now.

He did tell me to give him a call if I change my mind, which is nice. Now, if I could only find a serving job that will allow me only Fri & Sat nights. Most want a 3 or 4 shift/week commitment. That's what's screwing me here. ;)


Thursday, August 18, 2005

Yeowch...Networth IQ

What an interesting site! Even though it's pretty depressing for us... ;)

Go to for your own. I will admit, I didn't put exact numbers in, only educated guesses. I will update after we do bills this weekend.

Here's mine, as depressing as it is - over -$60,000 net worth.

I will, I will, I will get this under control. I can't continue to live like this.

*edit* - I just looked through their site...I have the dubious honor of having the lowest networth there. How exciting!

Ugh... I guess my new goal is to get that number up and not be the lowest any more.

Kicked in the ass...again...

My m-i-l died last weekend.

We had the money put aside for one visit, which we made two weeks ago now. So, this visit had to be charged. We flew down, stayed in a hotel, rented a car. Much more expensive, but eased the stress of an 7-8 hour drive tremendously. Food, too - we had a fridge, but no microwave. I haven't gone into Quicken yet, but it's probably close to $1000.

I hate that.

We got back home yesterday, and today I got a call from the local Ground Round. I put an application in there last month. So I have an interview with them tomorrow. I figure if they will give me Fri and Sat nights, I can try it and see. If it starts affecting my work (teaching), I'll just have to drop it. But with a Fri and Sat night, I could reasonably make $150 extra/week that could go to paying down the bills.

Dh hates the idea, but I have no clue how we will keep up with the bills if I don't get something else. Ebay only goes so far. Speaking of which, I have to get some things listed in the next couple of days...

Also still planning for a rummage sale. My mom is helping rather nicely, giving us crap to put out there. :)

Total owed to cc: over $10,000 again. :(

Friday, August 12, 2005


We put money aside to visit my in-laws this summer (450 mile trek), but my m-i-l is very ill and we had to go sooner than we thought. We stayed out at her house...the A/C wasn't working (KY in August = hell). We had to buy one or stay at a motel.

$200 added to cc bills.

In addition, she is dying. We came back home, but will have to return within a few weeks unless a miracle occurs. We don't have the money set aside to go, and will have to stay at a motel because her home is no longer available. All on the cc.

Life happens, and sometimes it sucks. Our electric bill went up this month. We are on monthly budget payments, and I was really hoping they'd go down - they went up. We won't have to pay $45 to my s-i-l to help with m-i-l's bills anymore, so that will help. But how will we pay down the cc?

Ebay is our friend. But I can't post anything to sell until I know we will be around. So it will have to wait until after the funeral.

I can't miss any work to go down there - so if the school year starts and she hasn't died, dh will have to go alone. How terrible is that?

Man, I'm really down.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Interesting article...

I found this article...actually, I don't remember how I found it. I was surfing somewhere. It's by Suze Orman, and she talks about how couples need to be on the same page in regards to finances:

Dh and I have been very lucky as usually, we are on the same page. Every once in a while, we differ on where the money should go (he thinks we need to buy another video card, I think we just bought one two years ago and why in the world does he need to play more games on the computer anyway...). But more often than not, we can keep each other on track.

He's usually really good about talking me out of going out to dinner. We still need to work on that, because I can be very unreasonable, and I know how to use his feelings against him - isn't that terrible? I manipulate him, I *know* I'm manipulating him - and yet I still do it. Good lord.

"They" say that half of all divorces are due to money problems. I'll bet it's more than that. But I can see how the stress could really get to you after awhile.

Well - I'm just babbling now. I'm off to find thrifty things to do!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Cleaning helps me concentrate on debt...

Is that crazy?

I'm not a Martha Stewart type, by any stretch of the imagination (I actually have a plaque in my kitchen that says, "Martha Stewart doesn't live here -- adjust"). We do have a very cluttered basement, though (one side of the basement is finished and is my "playroom" - office for me, sewing room, library & exercise room. There is so much crap in there, it's not even funny, and we've only lived here three years. The other side of the basement is unfinished and has the washer/dryer, my pantry, storage, and my ebay area - table for packing, packing materials, and a shelf full of stuff that needs to be listed online.

We had a rummage sale in the spring where we made a little over $300. What didn't sell and I knew I couldn't ebay went directly to Goodwill, which I'm really proud of. It didn't go back in the house. But I go through organizing and decluttering the finished side of the basement, I'm finding more stuff, so we may actually have a second rummage sale this fall. I think I'll even advertise it as new (not rummaged before) stuff.

I made a big dent in it last night - worked down there for about 3 hours as I watched the finale of Hell's Kitchen (I only seem to get sucked into the really stupid reality shows...). But as I worked, I started thinking of all the stuff we've bought over the years - on cc, with cash, using bonuses, at auctions, and it occurred to me that we are hoarders.

No big surprise, I think most of the US holds hoarders. But - for two people, no kids, in a small house - we really have a lot of crap.

Luckily, dh is starting to agree with me that we just have too much stuff. He is agreeing to get rid of some of it, too, which is amazing, because he's even more of a packrat than I am. I thought I had really gone through and grabbed stuff for the rummage sale in June, but I'm finding a lot more than I just want out of the house.

I do rummage sales differently - one day only (no multiple day crap for me), and by noon I am marking stuff down rapidly. Sometime around 1:30 or 2:00, things go half price, and I tend to have everything closed by 3:30. If it's not sold, it goes to Goodwill, unless I think I can ebay it.

The two that I've done like this have worked well - $550 on one, $300 on the other. 'Course, I get lots of stuff, and I almost always have some furniture out there, which helps bring more in.

But - as I sort (back to that), I do think about our debt, and make peace with the money I've spent. I think that helps. If we do have another one, the money will go to pay off the cc. That's incentive, too. That sucker needs to go down.

Sunday, July 31, 2005 Associates Program

I knew had this set up, but never took advantage of it before. If you go to their main page ( and go all the way down the left side until you see a link for "Associates", you can set up a little shop on your web page with your favorite books, movies, etc.

You do, of course, get a certain percentage if a person actually buys from your page. Always a plus. :)

So I went through and found some of my favorite personal finance books. If you haven't read them, amazon has some good deals on some of them (especially the used ones). They're on the side. I also posted some of what I'm reading right now. It's summer - I have an excuse for frivolous reading material.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Women's Finance ( has put on some quizzes! :)

Financial Diva in Training!
Financial Diva in Training
You try your hardest to save money and get ahead in your expenses, but sometimes new trendy clothes or your daily Venti Frappuccino habit seems to get in the way of becoming that Ultimate Financial Diva. While you might not always have extra spending money everyday, you splurge when you deserve it ...and who doesn't deserve it every once in a while!
Find out what kind of financial diva you are! at

Friday, July 29, 2005


I think the library is one of the best inventions ever. We go every week. Sadly, it is our Friday date. :)

I have been able to check out more books than I could ever afford to buy. One of the best parts is that I can glance at a book, say, "hey, that sounds interesting", grab it and take it home to browse through for three weeks - then take it back. If it sucks, I never have to worry about it - or dust it. If I love it - really love it - I could go and buy it. We have a couple on our "wish list". If it goes down to a really good price, we'll grab them.

We've also checked out hundreds - literally - of DVD's. It saves money from even renting them at Blockbuster or Netflix. You may have to wait awhile...I just decided last week that I wanted to see "Finding Neverland". Well, I'm 13 out of 15 people on the waiting list - that means a minimum of 13 weeks before I'll get it, if they only have one copy. But...if you get there first...I'm first on the list to get the first season of "Quantum Leap". :) Love that!

That's where I get most of my finance books. Maybe I'll put a few that I really like over on the side. Dave Ramsey is good, for those of you who have never read him. I really like his "Total Money Makeover".

I'm off to look for money-making things...maybe pics for ebay. ;)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Paying off Stuff...

I'm sooo good at titles...

Anyway. Today was the end of summer school and the receipt of a big fat check. Along with another check we had, it came to about $2700. We actually sat down and wrote down everything we wanted to pay off. We marked down to the penny where that money was going.

This is new to us, because in the past, we would have spent and spent and then I would have bitched and moaned about the fact that it was all gone and we had nothing to send to the bills.

BUT ...I updated Quicken, figured out where everything was going. Awesome!
$530 to the new cc (to pay it off)
$400 to the Best Buy cc (1/2 of the fridge)
$300 to the big evil cc
$200 to get money put aside for bills we don't pay monthly (like AAA and the truck registration)
$300 set aside for xmas so we don't use the cc like we have every other year
$200 that we owe my mom
$250 for our visit with in-laws in KY next month
$100 for the state fair next week
$200 to the Vets Admin for medical bills
I know there's more, I just can't think of it at the moment and my list is in the other room. We also moved $100 from paypal to the ING account, so our savings (emergency fund) is up to just under $300. When paypal gets back up to $100 again, I'll move it to our credit union savings. I'm pushing for $500 to make me feel okay. Just in case.

Yay us! I was really proud that we did this all upfront and right away. So - that's about $1700 that goes towards bills. It feels so good.

Makin' money!

I haven't had as much time as I like to update in here. It's just been a really busy/bad week.

Monday, we lost power - for 11 hours! Tuesday - my husband swallowed a piece of steak wrong and we spent 5 hours in the emergency room. Crazy!

Today is the last day of summer school, and I get my big check. I will then be able to pay off two of the cc's and send a nice chunk to the Big One. Also, we will set money aside for the holidays (so we don't end up using the cc like with every single other holiday for years), and put a few hundred in savings. That'll about do it for that check, but it will feel really good to have some of those paid off.

Things I have been trying to do to get a little extra money to send off to the cc's: selling on ebay is prosperous (our ID is markkris if you feel like bidding on some of our "treasures"...), and like I mentioned before, I signed up for some of those "take this survey and get money" sites. We'll see how those go. has a ton of sites on reading email for money, etc. I'll have to check those out. If you haven't been to her blog yet, check it out - she has a ton of great stuff.

I'm also working on getting a crafty-business going. Nothing totally serious - I'm not doing craft shows, but maybe using some spare time this winter to try to make some stuff to sell online or something. I have a good idea (that I'm not ready to write here yet). We'll see how it goes.

We used to sell Watkins products, and I've been thinking about Avon, only because I can't find an Avon lady around here and I love their products. I've heard it's only $10 to sign up. Maybe.

so...lots of ideas floating around in my head. Too many!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Mystery shopping/online surveys

Anyone ever done these?

Just curious - I signed up for some online survey stuff today.

More later - but I went here:

Monday, July 25, 2005

Changed Stuff Around...

Well, I think I got things set up a little better. I can link now over there --> That's cool. I also changed things so that the title and stuff more closely shows what I'm going to use this for.

Our debt feels crushing at times. We have about $10,000 in credit cards, which is really our main goal at this time. We also have a little under $90,000 on the house and about $60,000 in student loans. We will probably work on paying off the house before the student loans because of the lower interest rate on the student consolidation loan.

I struggle with compulsive spending. Completely my own fault, but it is almost a daily struggle. Even just last month - dh updated Quicken and told me that we had spent just over $90 on eating out since June 20th. Say what? All of that "burger here" and "soda there" add up. How depressing.

Not much else I'm going to say today. I teach summer school and get paid this Thursday, when I'll be able to make a nice payment to two of the credit cards - and get them paid off. Then I'll be concentrating on the big cc.

More later -

Friday, July 22, 2005

Newbie to blogging

I'll admit it - I use opendiary regularly. I'm so confused by some of the stuff here, because I'm so used to the ease of use with opendiary.

How can I "bookmark" different blogs here so I can go back to read them at times? I have some people I'd like to revisit without having to remember the site name...

Thx. :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Sometimes I think that money is just a necessary evil...I've been a naughty girl.

We bought a new refrigerator. It's beautiful. I used to make fun of people who got excited about home appliances... Those were the days.

We bought an mp3 player. It's beautiful, too.

We bought a pressure washer. Although not beautiful, it will help make our house beautiful. We have wide eaves and the house never gets rain on it directly. That's a good thing for leaving the windows open during rainstorms. It's a bad thing for getting air moving through the house and the damn dirt on the siding (cedar, not vinyl).

Although I get a nice fat check for teaching summer school, it's all spoken for - paying off the above, giving some to medical bills, going to KY to see my in-laws, setting aside some for xmas, and the rest to the big cc. Not a terrible thing, but it was supposed to all go to the big cc so we could get it paid down.

I have my student loans in forebearance with the hopes that we'd use that extra $185/month to send to the big cc. It hasn't really happened that way. I'm getting better, though, and I'm bound and determined to get that money out of the checking account and to the cc. See...if it's there...we spend it.

The last three months I've also been good about getting budgeting money out in cash and keeping it in the safe. Things like the water bill, which we only pay every three months. If it stays in the checking account, we spend it - then suffer when we have to pay the water bill. So - that's been working well. So far. I want to get a second checking account (no ATM card) for that stuff, that we can just transfer the money between accounts at the bank. Every time we go there, though, they're always stinking busy. We need to try again.

I may also have another rummage sale this summer. My mom is cleaning out the basement, and she sends things to us for that - she doesn't want the money, she just wants it out of the house. She does that a lot. We got a ton of glassware from her doing that, too.

Ebay - well, it's been going well. We've been keeping things on there pretty steadily, and making some money. Slowly but surely...I'm going to set paypal up to pay the cc directly. We pay ourselves back the shipping costs, which can get pretty hefty sometimes. I set up a great area in my basement where I have a table, shipping stuff, etc., plus a bookshelf with all the stuff to sell on ebay right next to it. It's great. It's been really nice to have it all in one spot.

I don't think I'm ready to post how much we owe as of yet. That's still private. But - I'll post one of them - the Best Buy card (for the fridge) has a little over $800 on it. That will be gone after next week. :)

I guess that's it for now. I'm going to save this blog for money and teaching stuff. How exciting! lol

Monday, July 04, 2005's been too long...

I forgot how to post on this site. How lame am I? I do most of my online writing at opendiary (no, I'm not 12, but it's easy to use), so this confused me. Never realize that I'm a high school teacher with a master's degree, hey?

The idea of summer school is idiotic. Force students to take makeup classes in the summer (well, they're not forced, but ...), and then, make it so that the classes can't really be taught in a linear fashion (I have two sections, and both sections have first and second semester students in them, so I can't teach one course). It's like having two different courses to teach to groups of students in the same time period.

I never would have made it as a one-room schoolteacher.

Graduation is over, thank God, and another group of seniors will soon enter my classroom. This years' seniors were freshmen when I started at this school. I can't believe that I've been here three years already! They've been good - and they've gone by fast.

Home stuff - still in debt, still too much to do on the house and not enough time or money to do it, etc. We've been selling lots of stuff on ebay to go to the bills. Summer school helps, too. That's a one-month paycheck for 6 weeks of 4 hour days, 4 days a week.

I'm also going to apply for a banquetting job tomorrow. Easy work, limited hours, no orders to take, no money to handle...I like that.

Not much else - we'll see what happens.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Another Graduation Looms...

It's that time of year again...where seniors feel the year is over and they don't have to do anything...

Unlike living in Texas, where school ended the week before Memorial Day (even though we had to return in the middle of August, I really liked that schedule better...), we still have two full weeks of school left.

Today is the senior trip, they went down to Chicago to stroll along the Navy Pier...tomorrow is senior skip day. So three of my classes are pretty much gone (I had a whopping 5 students out of 62 for my 1st & 2nd hour classes) and the fourth class had only half of the kids (a junior/senior elective). My student teacher has my fifth class (freshmen).

So today is a lazy day. I get to unwind from AP exams, clean up the classroom a little bit, take care of my enormous pile of filing, get rid of some old projects taking up room, etc etc.

Unfortunately, I get less done on lazy days than on busy ones.


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

My life...

We left South Texas seven years ago. In fact, I spent my first wedding anniversary on the road just past Texarkana, big Uhaul towing our car, loads of fun. At the time, sorry to tell you, I was not ready to re-enter the classroom. I was totally stressed out and unsure what I wanted to do (other than return to Wisconsin). No offense. Really. It was me, not you.


I spent two great (read: poor) years trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. I worked at a paper plate factory (two weeks), Kmart (hell) and a restaurant. At Kmart, they made me department manager within about 2 months. Of toys. This was the fall, as in before Christmas. Do you guys remember how much I love little kids in large numbers? Yeah, that was fun. I walked out of that job. In fact, it holds the distinction of being the only job I was ever fired from.

The restaurant was better. I was a server trainer and made tons (well, not really) of dough. I worked there for a little over a year and really got my addiction to alcohol raging madly.

Then I entered grad school and decided to try to re-enter the field of education. I got a job at a psychiatric hospital near where we were living. The students there ranged in age from 13 - 19 and were placed there for 1-2 years by court order. The reading ability of these kids ranged from 1st grade to college. It was quite an experience, to say the least. They could be extremely violent and had serious issues - all had mental, physical and/or sexual abuse problems in their past. I learned more about teenagers in those two years than in any experience or class before.

I also learned how to take a student down to the ground without hurting them. :) Always fun.

Anyway - after two years, I was really feeling that I needed to get back into a regular classroom. I took a job for second semester of 2002 which was supposed to turn into a permanent job (but didn't), and then I got the job I'm in now.

I've really been enjoying being back in the classroom, and I feel that I am back to (if not better than) the teacher I used to be. I got my master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Economic Education, I published a booklet through the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, wrote my thesis on it, and even received an award in Excellence in Economic Education from the National Council on Econ. Ed. That was cool.

I still have an excessively weird sense of humor, and I still love torturing students. I still hate whining seniors and punky freshmen. I still think of South Texas with a lot of affection - although I'm glad I don't live there anymore (the heat/humidity was just killing me...).

Mark & I bought a house and plan to stay there for quite awhile, and I have no intention in the near future to leave this job. This is my third year here, and I feel nowhere near as overwhelmed and unhappy as the last couple years at Sci-Tech left me. I think I just needed to grow up a lot. And...!gasp!...although there are no little McDaniel's running around, we have not totally thrown the idea out the window. When I hit 32, that ole clock starting I'm 35 and my doctor told me that my eggs were old. That bitch. Sorry, I know - too much information for a lot of you. Deal with it.

You might be amused to know that my students still call me by many different names, although "McDaniel" is a lot easier to bastardize than "Fulmer." I get MickeyD, of course, KMac is another. KM often (it's how I sign my emails to them). Ms. Mac on occasion. For some strange reason, "Mom" is catching on. That scares me. Oh, and every once in awhile, I get a "Satan" - but that is usually from my AP Econ class. :)

I also get the joy of getting student teachers I get to teach unprepared college students how to be just like me. How exciting! I love it!

Okay - I have to something. I'm sure there's some paperwork around here somewhere that needs to be completed. I would love to hear from any of you to hear how life is treating you.

Take care!

Too weird...

I know - too exciting for anyone. Reading about the life of a high school teacher. How much better can life get?

I know there's a few former students I've found in here...I'll write more about the last 7 years since we left Texas in just a few. Give me time.

After all, I need to track all of you down...