Tuesday, December 12, 2006


My sisters and I agreed not to exchange gifts this year. That takes so much pressure off...it's just amazing. Last and this Christmas have been the least stressful I've had in years. I still have xmas cards to get out, but overall it's been very pleasant.

We've sold quite a bit on ebay lately. I worked really hard to get a lot online to get some extra cash before things stop selling in January. My mom was so excited when I mentioned that sales really slow down in Jan - "You mean I can get some deals?" lol

Not much else going on money-wise. I found a deal for us to go to Vegas, round trip air for 2, 3 nights at Excalibur for $650 (taxes included). That would just be the ultimate in a vacation for us and a celebration of our 10th anniversary. Now, if I can only find the money... :)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

We paid off Best Buy today. 'Nuff said.


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Charitable Giving...

You never think things happen to your own family. In July of 2000, my 17 year old nephew dove into shallow water and broke his neck. He is a quadriplegic and will be paralyzed for the rest of his life, unless a miracle occurs.

In our family, we realize that a miracle already has occurred - he is alive. For Jake's story, go to http://www.forjake.com . My mother (his grandmother) wrote the whole story down. The really cool thing is that if you asked him what he'd do, if he was able to do anything in the world - he wouldn't "fix" himself. He's mentioned how sad Parkinson's Disease is, and how terrible Alzheimer's is. He will say that his life is pretty awesome, all things considered. He wants to be a public speaker - to talk to people about life and taking all you can out of it.

My nephew is an amazing young man, who took what was given to him and saw a tragedy not as an ending to life - but simply as a new way of living. He looked up to Christopher Reeve so much, as a man and as a spokesperson for paralysis. Christopher Reeve took being a quadriplegic into the spotlight and made it real to many people that just don't see it in their lives.

The idea that someday, the Christopher Reeve Foundation might donate money to some brilliant scientist and make it so my nephew could use his arms again - use his legs - walk...is amazing to me. Although Jake would never ask for it himself, we ask it for him.

So, my favorite charity is the Christopher Reeve Foundation. Just because it gives hope. So do many others, of course, but this...well, this is personal. :)


Happy Thanksgiving!

Our Thanksgiving Day was wonderful, as always. It is always a treat to be with family for no other reason than...getting together. My sister went up to MN to be with my nephew, so we missed her, but had a nice time with my mom and other sister and her husband.

I've planned my attack for Black Friday and will hopefully get some good/great deals. We have sold enough on ebay to pay off Best Buy (yay us!) and I'm planning to post as much as I can on ebay between now and about a week before xmas. I had 20 things that ended last weekend and another 21 that end this weekend. I want to get a few more collections up there this week.

We are getting $1000, and will get some dental work done as well as be able to buy some things for xmas. The rest will go in savings. My sisters agreed not to exchange gifts this year - that will be so nice, less stressful. We're in our 30's and 40's...there's no reason we have to keep buying for each other all the time. This has cut down tremendously on the stress - both having the money for xmas as well as not having to buy gifts. Also, the paying off of Best Buy. All nice.

Okay - I'm off to do some research on ebay. :) Stay cool!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

here i am...

We've been working really hard on keeping the budget. We took $100 out at the beginning of the paycheck to NOT TOUCH until the 6th, which is about 1/2 way through the month for us. We've done it!

But...we're at $3 in the checking account, so that $100 has to last us through until payday. That's $50 a week, which is food & gas. No problem. We just need to be careful and stay on top of it.

We have until the middle of Dec to pay off Best Buy before the big chunk of interest gets added back in. We have about $125 left, and we have $150 put aside in savings to wipe it out...but then, we have nothing. Nothin in savings, nothin for xmas.

I posted a bunch of things on ebay this weekend. That money can go to Best Buy. I mean it this time! It will. It will. IT WILL. It has to. We have wiped out all other funding. We have nothing in savings. We have nothing available on the cc's.

This has to work. Because...it does. Otherwise, we'll go broke again. And I won't let that happen.

Work: busy. I may take a couple of classes in the spring to hop up the pay scale. AT the same time, it will give us some breathing room on the finances. I have a student teacher, and I've done some work with the state. I was nominated for a Kohl Fellowship, which is the first step to teacher of the year here - that was cool. :)

Okay - I"m off to post more on ebay. :)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Not much...

I've been very busy with work & work-related stuff...conferences, etc. Good thing there's reimbursements.

Spent on my own for conferences: $172. The state will reiumburse all of it, thank God. No clue how I'd do it without that.

Not great news on the budget end...we're at $35 to last us until payday on the 20th. I'm so sick and tired of this happening every single month. No extra money to go to the BECC's, taking money out of savings to get through the month, taking ebay sales to get groceries...

We eat out too much. That has to stop. I'm not sure how much we'd save just from that, but it's a lot.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Reworking a Budget

I think it's really important to keep a budget a flowing, moving thing. Yeah, I used the "b" word...but it's necessary for us, or our money just disappears. (My other comment would be "grow up and stop being scared of a word", but that might just be mean...)

With the new beginning of the year paycheck (see last entry), we had to sit down together and figure out where our newfound wealth of an additional $177 after taxes per month would go. Actually, what usually happens is that I sit down and look it over, show it to him, he makes suggestions and changes, and on it goes until we're content.

Unfortunately, our cc minimums increased by almost $70 a month, and our electric/gas bill went up by $20/month. That sucked up $90 of that "extra" money. Then, we've been struggling with gasoline (it was over $3/gallon for awhile, and now, thank God, it's down to $2.39 for the moment), so we upped that category a little bit. Why is it that bills never go down, only up?

So we pushed and prodded and tweaked...until it's all accounted for. We do ZERO-BASED budgeting, which means that we start with our paycheck and account every dollar somewhere until we reach zero. The category might be something like "Blow" or "Treat Ourselves", but it goes into a category. If we don't...it disappears.

I think we have to treat our money with respect...it may not be a living thing, but if it doesn't know where to go, why would it go somewhere great - like paying off cc's or going into savings?

In the money saving category, I'm working on the grocery bill. It's just too high for two people, no kids. So today - pancakes for breakfast and homemade pizza for dinner. I got some chicken out of the freezer (el cheapo legs and thighs) which I plan to cook up this morning, let sit to get the fat out, and make chicken dumpling soup this afternoon (Yummmmmy!). That will take care of a couple of dinners and my lunches for the week.

Budget is not an evil word - it's a working word. I like that.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Paycheck year roll-over

The first paycheck of the school year is always the best because it shows the changeover for one more year of experience. With experience + education, we saw a $177 increase per month (we only get paid once a month) after taxes.


I was halfway enthusiastic about going to Boston Store tonight for their "hiring carnival", but hey...almost $200 a month is about what I'd make there...that's what the increase was...maybe, for now, I'll be happy with that.

We could always use more, of course, but...

Plus, I found out that I have only 3 years to get 24 credits or I'll bottom out on the paycheck. It's a weird teacher-pay thing. So...maybe I'll go back to school. Again. It would defer my current loans. And with more loans we could probably pay off the cc's. Nothing like moving it to a lower interest, tax deductible, 30 year rate.

Dave Ramsey would cringe and yell. I know.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Two things posted on ebay. The bathroom is clean, and I even got some stuff back in the linen closet. We got 16 ears of corn from Woodman's for $1 today. Got boxes and packing material from my mom for free (for ebay stuff).

It's all good.

I am slowly learning that I can do just a little - that everything doesn't have to be finished at once. You'd think I'd know that at my age.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


The last two weeks have been amazingly full of things to do...we were doing okay following a budget until we found out that I had made a bank error - in our favor! Then, we spent about $150 in three days - gas, eating out, in general being terrible money-minded individuals.

But - we sold a bunch of stuff on ebay (about $100 for the moment), and I finished the bridesmaid's dress (another $100). We're sending a chunk to Best Buy and setting some aside for xmas.

We put some clothes on layaway at Walmart and decided to pay half this paycheck and half the next. We didn't put it on the cc, which is a big step.

We've sent some extra to Best Buy - deposits from half.com sales. Also a big step.

We've been making meal plans and pretty much sticking to them. Also a big step. :)

So...slowly but surely. Dh found something online that he's interested in doing. If it works for him, more info here later. Also - I can get into ebay sales again now that the bridesmaid's dress is done & delivered, plus the first two weeks of school are over and I'll have more time.

I might get a job for the xmas rush. We'll see. I know I say that every year, but hey...Boston Store or Penney's could be really nice. And it would only be for two months or so. Anyone can do anything for two months.

Okay - not much else. More later. :)

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day

Not much going on - lots of work, getting back into the swing of things with school starting back up, making a bridesmaid's dress, ebaying...

The ebay is going decent. I don't have the time right now to list more, with school starting, that dress I need to finish (wedding is two weeks from yesterday) and still trying to finish up the bathroom. We've made about $75, with about $30 (as of now) ending within about 3 days.

We've been having car problems, which really cuts into the amount we can send to the BECC's. We had to replace the water pump & thermostat ($200), and he says the catalytic converter is shot ($250+) and the valve cover gasket needs to be replaced ($500+). I guess next on the list is the catalytic converter - he was amazed that we've never had to replace it, our car has 170,000 miles on it. But man...where are we going to come up with another $250 - $300?

I vowed when I bought this car that I'd keep it until the monthly upkeep rivaled car payments...how many months do we continue until we give in? I hate car shopping - and have no desire to have a car payment again, even though we have no money put aside to buy one.

It's just about to the point that I need to reconsider the second job thing. There's no news on the soc sec lawsuit (dh is going to call the lawyer this week to see what's up), and we need the cash. If that came through...well, things would definitely be easier. But there's no sign of that happening...

Okay - I need to go update the bills to see where we're at until payday.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Small Victory

I sent $13.68 from Half.com sales to Best Buy today! I'm very proud of myself - I tell myself that it doesn't make sense to send tiny little payments off to the cc's, that I should wait until there's a big ole payment to send off.

But...I sent it! Funny part - this "little" payment is bigger than the minimum due ($10). We are down to $148 left, which needs to be paid off by the end of Nov (actually, Dec 14th) so the $100+ in interest isn't added on.

No problem. I have this. :)


~Listed a bunch of stuff on ebay
~Worked on the bridesmaid's dress I'm making for a customer
~Took pics and wrote descriptions for a lot more stuff to list on ebay. I should be able to get them on tonight or tomorrow, depending on how far we get on the painting in the bathroom.

I am going to:
~look at these Blog for Money things I've found. More later.
~go to the library tonight, I have stuff due.
~make up some Swiffer duster refills that can go in the washer - love those!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

New Debt Tally...

Okay - I did it. I added up all our unsecured debt. My tummy hurts. :(

$13,258.39 at this exact moment in time.


Well - I'm angry about it, we pay over $200 a month just in interest for the "pleasure" of having these stupid cards. I'm getting stuff on ebay and cranking up the business. That's a start.

I'm also on a grocery exile for awhile - how long can we go with only getting basics? (milk, bread, etc) We're on a whopping 5 days. Plus 4 days without eating out. :)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

And then...

Of course, after I spend the EF on stupid things, we have car problems.

We've had a slow leak in the water/water pump/radiator for awhile...yep, it's bigger. Ickier.

So the car sits until we can find $200. Good things: we have another vehicle, we have no where we NEED to go, it could be worse.

But man, this sucks.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Rummage Finds...

I love rummage sales. They're more fun when dh comes along, but he was taking the old bathroom walls (and the other stuff we pulled out) to the dump. Yay - less in our garage = good thing.

Rummage finds today:
~Craft book for things made from material scraps, $.25
~Craft book Part II for things made from material scraps! $.25
~Oil painting book for dh $.25
~20 normal sized jewel cases (dh hates the slimline ones) - $2.00
~2 cans wood stain (amazingly, dh and I were just talking YESTERDAY about how we needed to get stain for the new woodwork in the bathroom - $.20!
~One yard fleece, one corner cut out, + about 1/8 of a yard of fleece, different color - $.50
~Portfolio of Japanese art for work - $.50

I'm missing something in here, but I can't think of it off the top of my head. My best rummage find lately came last Saturday when we just stopped for the fun of it, I found a hardcover copy of "The Outlandish Companion" for $.25...it will sell on ebay for over $10 - it's a pretty popular series. Yay!

We bought a 1/2 gig travel drive for ebay purposes, to have it all in one place and allow dh to get used to using ebay (his excuse is that I don't have things together so he can just cut and paste). :) It was $12 on sale at Office Max - a great deal.

Oh, and Office Max has the free teacher stuff this week - a tote, travel coffee mug, whiteboard marker, marker holder + ads. Not bad - it's free for teachers. :)

Saturday, August 12, 2006


(Big Evil Credit Cards)

Yes, I know they aren't really evil. Yes, I know I/we got ourselves into this problem, and that it isn't really their fault. That doesn't mean I like them.

They've raised our minimums. Now, I know that it's been all over the internet for over a year now, that this would happen. But I didn't hear anything from them, so I figured I was safe.


We now have to come up with $70 more per month to send off to them. No clue where that will come from.

But...good news. I have a job making a bridesmaid's dress, so that will be at least $100 that can be sent to Best Buy to get the fridge amount down. We owe a little under $200 to them, but have to get it paid off by Nov in order to avoid all the deferred interest being added on - and that's over $100 right now.

I've been making some "swiffer duster" refills that can be thrown in the washer, and I may put some on my business site. They're incredibly easy to make, and I could sell them for a pretty reasonable price. I hate buying things just to throw them out - I like the swiffer duster, but man, do I hate buying those (expensive!) refills. I really love that this can go in the washer. I'm going to try my hand at making a swiffer mop head, too - avoid having to throw those away.

Isn't it weird? The reason why Swiffer is so popular...is because you can throw it away and not worry about it. But it seems like such a waste!

I plan on getting a lot posted on ebay before I return to school in Sept - and all of that goes towards getting BB paid off and then hitting HSBC hard.

Keep thinking...what would life be like with no payments...? :)

Cleaning up

Okay - I've been looking for PERSONAL finance blogs...I've cleaned up house a little bit.

If anyone is reading this and knows any PERSONAL finance blogs (not just copies of articles and facts that can be found anywhere on the internet), please let me know! :)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

You know...

I like to read pf blogs because I like to know that others are there, have been through the same things, etc. But there's a new trend - to show off what we've already seen 10 billion times in other places, but not to talk about every day things.

Even the Carnivals that are up (at least this week) include mostly things that you can find in any pf book, magazine, tape, or TV special. Everyone spouts out the things they've learned from Suze Orman or Dave Ramsey, or the latest article on msn, but no one talks about the personal things. The personal things are the things that make blogs interesting. If you don't want to share personal stuff, that's fine, of course. But I'd rather read about how someone is paying off $10,000 worth of debt than that oil prices are going to go up again because of the pipeline shutting down in Alaska. I can get that off of CNN...I don't need it on a blog.

Okay - I guess I'm grumpy. But there are a few people that I've liked to read in the past, and all they've become is a conglomeration of news stories that I can find anywhere. I guess I need to find some PERSONAL finance blogs. I'll have to go hunting sometime.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

On track

Amazingly, we have not gone over budget for the bathroom remodel. My sister and her SO have done the majority of the work, and we were hoping we'd be able to pay him something, but that doesn't look like it will happen. We didn't tell him we were going to pay him, he was just doing it because he loves my sister and enjoys fixing things, but we felt better knowing we'd be able to give him a little money.

I was really being pushed on the money part, and I realized that I really resented it. We knew we wouldn't get the summer school check (which was paying for the remodel) until July 27, but we were pushed to buy things with our paycheck so they could get started earlier. I knew in my heart that it was a mistake, but I went along with it anyway. I guess it just shows that you should listen to that little voice inside your head.

I wanted to get that summer school check and cash it, then pay cash for everything we needed so we'd keep track better of what we spent. Instead, half came from payday, about another 1/3 was paid for by my sister on her zero interest cc (we'd pay her back) and the rest came out of the summer school check once it came. They started two weeks earlier than we had originally planned, and then couldn't come last week because of other commitments. So, hopefully this weekend it will be almost complete.

But...we overspent. We're still okay, we'll make it through the month, we paid my sister back, but...we spent more than we should have. We ate out a lot while it was hot and they were working on the room. We bought a couple things that we didn't plan for. It all adds up, doesn't it?

We do have about $60 worth of stuff to return, so that will help. But...no extra to the cc's this month. We have about $200 (a little less) to pay off on Best Buy before they WHAP! us with extra fees for the fridge (it was 18 months no interest, and our 18 months is up in November). And the cc's are just...well, they suck.

Do you realize that if we didn't have cc's to pay, we'd have $500 extra every month? EVERY MONTH. And that's just paying a little over minimums, too. If we didn't have cc's or student loans, we'd have $750 extra a month. And if we didn't have any payments - no cc's, no student loans, no mortgage - we'd have $1600 EVERY SINGLE MONTH that we could use to build up an emergency fund, save up for stuff, build wealth...

At least I can dream with Dave Ramsey. What would life be like with no payments?


Tuesday, July 25, 2006


(1) end of summer school - tomorrow, thank God

(2) Need to finish curriculum work...also by tomorrow

(3) need to get basic planning done so it doesn't kick me in the face when we return to school at the end of August

(4) Bathroom remodeling - busy busy busy...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Spending money

We started demo on the bathroom last night. I got all the icky plastic tiles off the walls except for the ones behind the vanity and behind the toilet tank. It exposed waaaay more mildew than I'm comfortable with. Sinus alert! Headache! Asthma attack! We're going to have to get some of those nifty little things that cover my nose and mouth before I can do much more in there. I couldn't even take a shower - i washed my hair in the sink and took a sponge bath.

I'm sooooo looking forward to having a new bathroom...maybe I can even take a bath again instead of shower... ~sigh~

Summer school was worth it this year if the check gets us our new bathroom. The bad part is that it won't go to the cc's, but I don't think I'd make it through another winter with the bathroom in such bad shape without getting pretty ill.

So it's worth it. :)

Monday, July 17, 2006

My best money saving tip...

From one of my favorite sites - No Credit Needed http://www.ncnblog.com (no, I haven't figured out links in blogger yet...) - anyway, he asked for posts of our very best money saving tips. My best one (or at least the one that helps us the most) is...

Meal Planning.

I'm not talking about "feeding the freezer" food frenzies (how's that for a terrific name?), mostly because I don't like cooking enough to actually be in the kitchen that long. But - what saves us a TON of money is to sit down sometime over the weekend, check what's in the freezer, what's in the pantry, and what's on sale, and write down seven dinners.

I don't even necessarily pick the days we'll have them - just to know that I have seven dinners that are available in the house and haven't been what we've eaten 16 times in the last few weeks stops me from (1) going out to eat, and (2) running to the tiny, overpriced grocery store in our little town (which can be almost as bad as going out to eat for all the junk I pick up).

It's that easy - my #1 money saving tip. :)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Finding Money...

Dh is going over to a local RV resort today to apply for a part-time (only 5 hours/week) night watchman job. He called them yesterday and it sounded promising enough that he is hopeful on it. It would be sitting in the little box and checking ID's, then driving the grounds in a golf cart.

I have an appointment with a woman tomorrow night to make a bridesmaid's dress. This would be for a Sept wedding, so it's coming up fast - but that would be fun.

I also got 3 things posted on ebay, hopefully with more to go on tonight.

I've been making more stuff to try to post, either on ebay or on http://www.etsy.com . Possibly at the crafters' mall they opened here in town.

And dh is looking at pen & ink drawings to post on etsy, too.

So...we're trying to find money. With the summer school check and the paycheck next week, we'll get back on top of things. With the curriculum writing check, hopefully we can put more back into savings to get that back up, and get some money put aside for Christmas. Then, the ebay money plus any extra can go to get the fridge paid off first (after the end of Nov, if there's any left, it goes back to the first day we bought the fridge and puts interest at 25% back on - we aren't going to let that happen). We owe less than $200 on it, so that shouldn't be too bad. In a worst case scenario, we can use summer school check or curriculum money to pay it off.

I'm feeling a little better about it. I'd feel much better if we had more in savings, but that's my own stupid fault.

I've been watching Oprah's Debt Diet reruns, and taping them for dh. We aren't in situations like that, but we have our own spending issues. Maybe all of this will help.

Monday, July 10, 2006


We blew our budget again.

Not only that, but we've used up almost all of our savings. We have about $50 left in ING, $30 in our regular savings. We're $80 over our cc#2, and at limit for cc#1. I have no idea what we'd do if something happened to the car or house.

I hate this.

I'm really good at kicking myself in the butt over this kind of stuff, because it's mostly me. I eat out too much. Crap, I just eat too much. It's not dh - it's me. I don't feel like cooking on some nights...so I talk him into going out to eat. I eat breakfast on the run. We make runs to the smaller grocery here in town - to get milk, etc - and if dh goes, he just gets what we need. If I go, I end up with chips, cookies, soda...in other words, loads of crap we don't need.

I need to stop this.

~Put together new items for web page
~Check out http://www.etsy.com to sell some stuff
~Load ebay up with all our auction winnings to get caught up and get money back in savings.
~Dh to check out night watchman job at local RV park.
~Check into part time job at local fabric shop. (Less stressful than than waitressing, but less money)

I think that's a decent plan. Timeline: by the 15th. That gives me 5 days to get a handle on these things.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Well, the interview at Olive Garden went well, but I don't think I'll take the job if they call again. Honestly - it's just too much thinking for a second job.

Their training is intense - 40 hours, watching videos mainly. BOR-ING. 5 tests - including one on wines, one on mixed and frou frou drinks, one on the menu - all must be passed with 90% or higher in order to take tables. 4 full shifts of following a trainer (no tips). 4 full shifts of a trainer following you (no tips). 2 weeks of limited tables (2 table sections). Then, permanently no more than a 3 table section (WHAT?).

When I worked at the Chancery, on the busiest Fri and Sat nights, we had 4 table sections, growing larger as the night went on and people were cut. I have no clue how they make any money at OG - 3 table sections suck. Yeah, "When you're here, you're family", but I have needs to meet.

So...driving home, I thought about how icky that was, and I observed that knot in my stomach, and I realized...

I'm in control.

I don't have to take this job. It's not like we wont' eat if I don't. It's just to pay off some bills and get some money to go to Vegas. That's all.

So...I won't.

That's power. I'm not used to it. It's freakin' awesome.

Yes, I want to pay down our bills. Yes, I want to save up to go to Vegas so we can pay cash. Yes, I want a larger EF. But not at the cost of my sanity. Not to become a slave to someone else.

I know some would disagree - it's only for a summer, after all. But hey...we're making ends meet. I'll find something else.

And if not, we'll be just fine.

Power, baby. It rocks.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


I'm so creative in my titles... ;)

I have an interview with Olive Garden this afternoon. Hopefully, it will turn into a part time income for the summer. The nice part is that I have all the power - if it sucks, I'll just leave. We don't NEEEEEEED the money - it would be nice to meet some goals.

I started going through the stuff we bought at auction on Sunday. I was able to go through three boxes last night (had to mow the lawn), but nothing listed on ebay. Which ended up being a good thing, because a week from yesterday is a holiday, and nothing sells good on a holiday.

One of the boxes I got for a buck is about 150-200 little cookbooks - kind of like the kind you see at the checkout at the grocery store, "400 ways to cook Spam", but from the 1920's - 1950's. I figured I might get something out of them. As I was looking on ebay, though, a lot were selling in small lots of 10 or so - for $10 - $15. We might make our $55 back (we spent $75 there but bought a few things for ourselves) with just this box!

So - I'm trying to decide how to post them. I figure I have three options: (A) go by food types - a listing for meat recipes, desserts, etc. (B) go by years, a listing for the 1920's, 1930's, etc. There are some terrific ones from WWII years - "cook with your victory garden" and what not. Or (C) a combination - 10 booklets from 1920 - 1945 or something like that.

Dh is interested in doing the auction/ebay thing. Especially with this "win" we got at the auction on Sunday - a car full of stuff to sell for $55 + a cart for his workshop + a really nice occasional table for me + a couple other things for us ($20 altogether, give or take a little bit). If we could keep $50 set aside for auctioning, he could hit auctions on the days when we couldnt' go together, and buy up some stuff to try. There's the chance, of course, that we'll get stuff that won't sell...which would probably go in a rummage pile to have another sale next spring. Ugh. But hey - we usually do really well ($600 at the last one!), so maybe this would be worth it.

And dh is interested in it, which is good. We could repay ourselves that $50 as things sell, and he/we could go out and get more. That $50 investment could really help us build up the EF and pay off bills.

All I have to do is grit my teeth and release control of ebay...I am such a control freak...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Jobs, Part II

Dh called the temp agency and the forklift job required heavy lifting. He's so disappointed. :(

Olive Garden interview is tomorrow at 3pm.

Goals for today:

~Get my ebay table back in business (we took it out of the basement to use at the rummage sale at the beginning of the month)

~Go through at least two boxes of stuff from the auction (that's sitting in the garage) to see what we have and triage for ebay.

~List at least two things on ebay tonight. I have a handful of things already photographed and ready to go.

~Talk dh into working on my computer in the basement. He's been saying for months that he wants to make it faster, add things in, etc (our home is a veritable Frankenstein's lab of computer parts) so I can post on ebay better. Maybe a little push is in order.

Sounds good.

Monday, June 26, 2006


I've been trying to get a second job over the summer (that I'd even be willing to keep once school started up in the fall again, if it was the right connection), but they see "teacher" in the application and I never get a call back. It's like they figure, "oh, she's a teacher, why would she want to waitress?"...hello...if I didn't want to waitress, why would I fill out an application...?

Anyway - I got a call from Olive Garden yesterday - a Sunday, no less. Wasn't expecting that. I have an interview with them on Wednesday. And from past experience, once you get an interview, you're offered the job in serving, unless schedules don't mix. So hopefully I'll be starting with them soon. Pluses - nicely priced meals, bar tab increases your meal tab. Minuses - I have to handle money (no cashier), bar means I have to offer drinks and start to remember all those drink combinations again. I've done them both before (those minuses), but they suck.

Also, we saw in the paper that a temp agency was hiring forklift drivers. Dh is going to call them today. He is disabled and can't walk, lift or stand for long periods of time, but if it's JUST forklift, he could sit and it shouldnt' bother him too much. That would make him feel so good - to be able to bring home a paycheck.

We also went to an auction yesterday and got a lot of stuff to sell on ebay. We spent $75 but got a car load full of stuff, plus more that dh had to come with the truck to pick up. We got a box of old children's books (1940's - 1960's) that should pay for that $75 alone once we get them on ebay. Plus boxes of other stuff - old toys, books, ceramics, collectibles, christmas stuff. I'm excited.

This extra income is going towards a few things. My idea is that we divide it. Everything we make gets divided into at least three categories, possibly four. (1) get savings up to $1000 a la Dave Ramsey so that if we have an emergency we don't have to use the cc to fix it. (2) pay off cc's. (3) save up money for our 10th anniversary trip to Vegas next spring break (hoping for $1000 - I think we can have fun with that. $1500 would be amazing!). Possibly (4) - our computer needs work. Dh has built our computer for as long as we've been together, and right now our NEWEST part is about 2-3 years old. In other words, a dinosaur. Dh would love to rebuild it. $1500 minimum.

So...we have to decide. I'm okay with a four-way split - divide all paychecks, tips & ebay sales into fourths pretty evenly and put into those four categories. But then again, many (including Dave Ramsey, who we are following to a certain point) says that it's better mentally to focus on one thing, finish it, then move on. But then...we might not get all that we need.

I'm unsure. I know that if I get this waitressing job and dh gets the forklift job, that we could zip off that $1000 baby EF within a few weeks. Would that be better than dividing into fourths?

And I know - paying off the cc's is more important than Vegas...but dh and I haven't been on a vacation in at least 5 years, and it's our 10th anniversary next summer. We can go to Vegas relatively cheap. It's a goal.

With the extra jobs, the summer school paycheck would go to fixing the bathroom (mildew & leaking pipes) and the curriculum paycheck ($600) would go to xmas and visiting dh's family in KY in August.

Ideas? Opinions?

I need to find some friends on here. :) I like the feedback.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Have you ever looked at creditboards.com ? It's amazing what some people do. I go there to read, but rarely post (this is completely normal for me, I never think that I have anything good to add into the conversation). People normally post their FICO scores (which we haven't checked in years, no need to, really, we're not looking for more credit), but there's a guy who posts all of his cc's and limits. I mean, I'm really happy for this guy that he can control credit, but who needs 13 credit cards with a CL of $35,000? Is this good for his credit rating - to have that much open?

I soooo don't understand that. But then again, I can't be trusted with open credit. I see it as a giant green light - our "second" credit card we got last summer is a great example of that. We got a $3000 limit after we bought the fridge, used it to go to KY for dh's mother's funeral (flew down) and then whhoooooooop! All of a sudden we owe $3400 on it (got a limit increase).

They also hate Dave Ramsey there - bringing up his name is kind of like asking to be shot in the head. Since DR advocates NO credit, ever (which I don't necessarily agree with - cars, homes, student loans, etc), he's seen as a goon. They call him a snake-oil salesman. But I like his ideas - common sense, but they help to keep me on track.


Speaking of which - the money. Well, we made $600 at the rummage sale, and paid off most of the fridge, plus updated the emergency fund back to $500. We bought a new printer (ours was deader than dead) and we had to get a new air conditioner, which went on the bigger cc.

Our minimum payments have gone up. The "small" cc is at $98, the BECC (Big Evil Credit Card) is at $250.

I've tried to get a summer waitressing job, but they see that I'm a teacher and wonder what in the world I'm doing looking for a serving job. That sucks. I'm going to call around this afternoon and if nothing comes up, I'm considering going with a temp agency. Brainless work, but at least they'll get me in somewhere. I'm teaching summer school, but we're done by 12:30 and I could work evenings. I also heard from another teacher here that Pier 1 is hiring. Maybe I'll go there...but I'd be so tempted to buy stuff. It's dangerous.

I found something online that I'm going to show to dh. It's at-home work answering phone calls, etc. Maybe he'd be interested - he could set hours.

I also have stuff to put on ebay, and I need to update some business stuff. I have some new ideas, and I need to get the word out. http://www.sew-enchanting.com :)

One way or another, though, we need to get these bills paid down. It worries me, how easily we fell back into having huge cc payments. Obviously, I'm no good at that. I think it would be much better just to not have them around. We're still paying off on the cc the cash advance that we took out to get the new roof on the house when we bought it - 4 years ago! ugh! I want it gone!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Rummage sale

Amazingly, we made just under $600 at the rummage sale last weekend. I was just exhausted!

$200 went towards getting us up to date. We overspent - again.

$100 to my teaching license renewal.

$200 towards the fridge - we owe just under $200 on it now.

$100 back into savings. Not as much as I'd like, but a little bit.

Not bad. Tomorrow, I'm going summer job hunting. School is out, summer school doesnt' start for a week, and we need some cash to pop off some of these bills!

Rummage sale

Amazingly, we made just under $600 at the rummage sale last weekend. I was just exhausted!

$200 went towards getting us up to date. We overspent - again.

$100 to my teaching license renewal.

$200 towards the fridge - we owe just under $200 on it now.

$100 back into savings. Not as much as I'd like, but a little bit.

Not bad. Tomorrow, I'm going summer job hunting. School is out, summer school doesnt' start for a week, and we need some cash to pop off some of these bills!

Rummage sale

Amazingly, we made just under $600 at the rummage sale last weekend. I was just exhausted!

$200 went towards getting us up to date. We overspent - again.

$100 to my teaching license renewal.

$200 towards the fridge - we owe just under $200 on it now.

$100 back into savings. Not as much as I'd like, but a little bit.

Not bad. Tomorrow, I'm going summer job hunting. School is out, summer school doesnt' start for a week, and we need some cash to pop off some of these bills!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mid-May report...

I need to get better about posting here. I know no one reads me, but it helps to keep me on track.

Our rummage sale is in three weeks. We have a lot to do by then. All the stuff has to come up from the basement and be priced and packed into the garage somewhere. Actually, there's things in the garage that have to go into the basement before we can do that...what I need is a packhorse. Seriously.

We have some garden chairs that I need to finish by then, and I'm hoping to finish some Barbie clothes to sell by then, too.

I have a ton of stuff to put on ebay. I'm going to work on that tonight. We sold some a couple of weeks ago, but needed that to get through the month. Figures.

I did make a little cash through the business by making a prom dress for a girl from school. I didn't want it to get around school that I made dresses, because it's uncomfortable and stresses that whole teacher/student relationship if I have to measure them and stuff. It's a gorgeous dress, though. I got enough to help us through the month and open my business checking account. Maybe I can pay off Vegas soon. ;)

umm...I'm planning to get a second job for the summer months - actually just through the end of July. It will help us get a kick in the ass on the bills, and keep me occupied. I may also put an ad in the papers soon about making memory dolls/pillows from prom dresses. Put signs up and business cards out at the rummage sale. Ads for christening gowns after June wedding season.

I have tons of ideas. That's a start.

We're using the summer school check to fix the bathroom. We desperately need to - there's mildew that needs to be fixed before winter. if we can't pay for it all, we'll do most and finish next year when we have more money. NO CREDIT CARDS!

I think I'll burn them.

Monday, April 10, 2006


okay. I'm back, and desperately need to get finances under control once again.

Somehow (read: me and my terrible use of cc's) we have gotten up to almost $14,000 on cc's. Even with money put aside for xmas. I can't be trusted with a cc - you'd think I'd learn that.


Not including about $65,000 in student loans. And the house.

I have been re-reading Dave Ramsey, and listening to his show, and I'm ready. I've been planning the rummage sale in June, looking for big stuff. Dh and I are on a spending plan that's realistic. I'm posting loads of stuff on ebay this week while I'm on Spring Break. I have leads for my business - yay! And this time, what we sell will go towards paying someone off.

This makes me feel like I have a big ball in the pit of my stomach. It's terrible. It needs to end.

Hope to see some of you back here. :)

Monday, February 20, 2006

Yeah, I'm still alive!

I've been so busy and I'm ashamed to say that I haven't been doing great on the whole debt thing.

But I have been setting up a business, so that's been taking a lot of my time. Exciting, but very busy!

We overspent at xmas, as usual - even with the money set aside for gifts. We are tapped out - again. This is really something I need to get under control. It's very frustrating.

I'll try to get in here more lately - I know most of you are gone anyway. :)

But I'll have the new site up soon -