Friday, December 28, 2007

Chart Update!

We are only $17.67 short of having our debt UNDER $13,000!

I am so freaking excited...I'm trying to find an extra $20 laying around to send to them, just to see it under $13,000...

How weird is that?

I sent a $250 snowball today...and we got $100 from my mom for xmas - we're just trying to decide where it will go.

Yay us!

It's going DOWN!

(Woo hoo - and it just occurred to me- I haven't even transferred all the money from paypal from the Great Ebay Blitz of 2007! Woo hoo!)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Money Goals for 2008

Doesn't it seem weird to see 2008? I feel old.

I told dh that I'd like us to sit down to make reasonable money goals for 2008. I gave him examples: paying off the lower of the 2 BECC's, paying off the dryer debt, keeping the BEF at $1000, sticking to our written budget and using cash envelopes, etc. I asked him to think over what his priorities would be, and we're going to talk about it over the weekend.

Here are my goals for the moment:
1. Keep the car running another year. Hopefully that won't take too much.
2. Get the lower of the BECC's paid down to below $2000. That would mean paying off $2000 or so.
3. Pay off the dryer ($450).

I'm keeping them simple, because I hate it when I set goals too high and then it's impossible to reach. We only have about $50 a month to pay towards debt if I don't do ebay stuff or rummage sales, etc. I do teach summer school and plan to this year, also, which is a nice check, but also has to help us cover other sinking funds like Christmas, etc.

We'll see what dh's list is. He is less involved in the bills part of things, so he may not be 100% sure of where we're at - not because of me hiding stuff or anything like that, it's his lack of interest. I'm working on that, too.

Dryer comes today!

No one should be this excited about being able to do laundry again. ;)

Ah, well. It will be nice not to have to go to the laundromat to dry my stuff again. I told dh - it's not the going there, because that's really not the issue. It's the having to do it all at once and not being able to do other things at the same time that's really annoying. I like being able to throw a load in the washer, go do something, throw it in the dryer, finish what I wanted to do, go back, etc. It'll be nice to get back on track.

They gave a 2 hour window for delivery. I like that - no sitting around all day. Although that's all I'm doing. Sitting around, that is...

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas to all my new blogging friends! May you have an amazing, debt-free Christmas.

We were able to cash-flow Christmas, which feels AMAZING.

We did finally buy a new dryer, but I'm not counting that (stupid, I know - it's all semantics) - it's 0% until June, and we can easily pay that off. I know it's cheating on the snowball, but I couldn't bear to use the EF for it...(hangs head...). It is really good to know that if we CAN'T pay it off by June for some reason, we have the cash to pay it off before the interest hits. That feels good. :) It was really getting to be a pain in the butt to have to wash here and take the clothes to the laundromat to dry. I'd had enough.

Have an amazing holiday - I'll be back with after-Christmas sales reports on Wed or so.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Why do you suppose I'm putting off sending that $800 to the target BECC?

We deposited it days ago. We know what we plan to do with it. So why haven't I sent it?

Every time I think of sending an amount that big to them, I freeze. And we have a $1000 BEF now, so it's not like we're shorting ourselves in case of emergency or anything like that.

I just don't get it. I keep double and triple checking our numbers, just to make sure we're not forgetting anything.

Maybe this comes from times past when we'd overspend and then not have enough to get through the month...?

I'm confuzzled on it.

ebay news: we had some good sales, and some not-so-good sales. After all fees, etc, we're looking at just under $300 to send to the target card. Yay! We did have our first jerks in awhile - said something showed up broken, didn't pay for insurance after we're really clear that we don't self-insure and can't control what happens with the USPS, PLUS they were saying that it arrived 1000 miles away in a day and a half, when the USPS wasn't registering it as delivered (delivery confirmation is a necessity if you sell on ebay). I flat out told them that we don't self-insure, and we were not going to fall to their scam for the sake of our 100% positive ebay rating. So far - no response. We'll see what they do.

So, the big Ebay Blitz of Holiday 2007 was a success. I'm tired and very ready for Christmas break. No more ebay until about March - it takes that long for people to recover from their cc bills post-Christmas, and sales on ebay are pretty sucky until then.

I do have a commission for a christening gown coming through, which is nice because it's a pretty slow time for business. That will be fun.

And the Packers won, which always makes for a nice day.

And, I'm making fudge tonight, so that's always good. :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


(We had a snow day today - actually, an "ice day" - one doozy of an ice storm. 1/2" of ice + about 4" of snow. No school. Lazy day for me.)

We finally got the check from the state today for the work I did last summer! I am SOOoooo glad that we didn't need to wait for it for Christmas money. I would have been so stressed out by now.

I also got ALL of the things on my Christmas ebay shelves listed. If you count all that I've listed in the last 2 weeks, I've done about 70+ listings. ~faints~ I'll need a nap once ebay season is over. I listed the last of it last night. I do have one more thing I want to get on soon (tomorrow night, probably) - some Texas A & M material that I got at a rummage sale. A&M are playing at the Alamo Bowl on Dec 29th, and I'd like to get the material on soon in time for that. Otherwise, ebay is DONE until about March or so, when it will start picking up again. All I need to do now is wait for the auctions to end and ship the stuff out. So far, we have about $200 in paypal - we've paid all seller's fees and reimbursed ourselves for shipping. Not a ton (especially considering the work...ugh...), but better for me than a part-time job at the moment.

It will feel GREAT to send a chunk off to the BECC's. Between the check from the state, ebay sales, and reimbursements, we'll be able to send about $1000 and still have all the sinking funds we need (right now, for the AAA bill in Feb and for updating our dog's shots).


Sunday, December 09, 2007


We use Quicken for our finances. I rarely use the graphs, etc, even though I should. I updated the bank account this morning, and pulled out the graphs and charts.

How could we have spent so much money on groceries? I just don't get it.

Dh does not like the envelope method. He worries we'll run out. I point out - the money has to come from somewhere. We are going to have to sit down and have a serious talk about this.

Our grocery & household budget (tp, cleaning stuff, vitamins, etc) is $350 a month. There's only the two of us, so this should be totally okay.

What did we actually spend during paycheck months? (We get one paycheck a month, on the 20th, so our month is a little different from the calendar month)

So far, since 11/20 (today is 12/9), we've spent $499.44
10/19 - 11/19 = $566.19
9/19 - 10/19 = $515.74
8/19 - 9/19 = 392.20
7/19 - 8/19 = 643.62 (!!!)
6/20 - 7/19 = 536.02

So...I see no significant change in there from when we started DR in July or so. You know, when we're supposed to have been on a budget. I'm tickled with the August paycheck spending - which is still almost $50 OVER what it should be.

I don't know what happened in the July paycheck. Might have been coupon frenzy.

But you see a pattern here. We've already overspent our grocery, etc budget by $150 and there's still 10 days to payday.

Since Oct 1st, we've spent $1200 (!) on groceries, and $358 on eating out.

I need to get this under control. It's both of us. We are both impulse shoppers. Having the cash in the envelope helps keep me focused - maybe I'll set it up with most in envelope, saving half for halfway through payday, and keep $50 in the checking for dh to use the debit card with so he doesn't feel deprived.

What the hell are we buying?


Saturday, December 08, 2007

Ebay Blunder

I made my first mistake on ebay for the holiday season - I sent the wrong package to a winning bidder.


That's so embarrassing.

Luckily, this one is easy to solve. I finally figured out what I sent to her (I knew I had sent the wrong thing because I found what I was supposed to send to her still on the pile...), and it's an auction that didn't sell (thank God). So I quickly took that one off the list and emailed her. I'm going to send hers out priority this morning, and she can keep (donate, throw away) what I already sent her, no charge of course.

We're out about $6. If that's the worst thing that happens in the Christmas Ebay Blitz I've set up, we're in GREAT condition.

So far, after ebay and paypal fees, plus taking shipping out, we've made about $250 or so. All to go to the target BECC! :)

Mwa hahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaa

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

How bad do you want it?

Dh and I had a conversation the other day on how badly we want to be out of debt. It was great communication regarding what we're willing to give up and what constitutes quality of life.

I know this will veer from the Dave Ramsey path a little bit, but we aren't willing to give up everything. I guess that makes us not-so-Gazelle. But...there are things that just make life easier that we like having around.

That doesn't mean that we don't view the debt as a very high priority, and any extra money that comes through will go to paying off the BECC's.

In fact, after the last few weeks of actually getting some stuff on ebay, paying all fees and postage, etc - we have over $180 in paypal that we'll be able to send off to the target BECC before Christmas! I'm very excited about that. We dont' have HUGE things to sell on ebay (no really big ticket items), but we're unloading a lot of smaller stuff and getting decent amounts for them. I can live with that. Auctiva really makes my life easier on that part.

Are we willing to go without heat? no. Are we willing to put the heat down to 63 or something? No, sorry. 65 at night, 68 during the day, that's where it's staying (but I do love our programmable thermostat! That rocks!). The money we'd save just...isn't worth being that cold.

Are we going to go without cable? No. Although we may switch to Dish.

Are we going to lose our home phone or cell phone? No. We have the landline for here, and the cell for going places. I don't want two cell phones, and neither one of us is comfortable with no landline.

Will we look at the groceries? You bet. That can always use trimming - it's our biggest expense outside of the mortgage. How can 2 people eat so much?

And eating out? ~blush~ This is the worst for us. We need to stop - I need to grow up and just deal with making dinners. I hate cooking, but jeez...that's just too much money to spend.

It was really nice to talk and agree on things, though. I told him that I've seen people that will make a payment to the cc if they make an impulse buy (like, buying cookies for $2.52, so making a $2.52 payment to the cc company). He's thinking on that. :) He likes his impulse purchases. It sure would make us think twice, though, if we had to pay double. Not so much of a deal, then...

We do agree that what we "find" (with ebay, rummage sales, business sales, reimbursements, rebates, etc) will go directly to the target BECC, even if it's only a few bucks. Those few bucks can add up...just look at our ebay sales...

So it was good.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

November Review

Well, apart from a good day just in general for "stuff done" (not, it's nasty out there - snowed about 2" this morning, sleeting most of the day...icky. Glad we don't have to go anywhere...) - I realized it's now December and I need to look back to see how the month of Nov went!

  • No cc use - YAY!
  • Finished BS1 - $1000 BEF in the bank - YAY!
  • Got a LOT listed on ebay - YAY!
  • Got rid of universal life policy, got cheaper term that fits our needs better, resulting surrender meant we got almost $2000 back - so we pay cash for Christmas, got the BEF, and were able to get caught up on some things that should be sinking funds but just aren't right now --- DOUBLE YAY!
  • Still no $800 check from the state...
  • Had to dispute one ebay sale because of the stupid buyer...
  • Dead dryer - we'll need to buy a new one.

Hey, if those are the worst, I can soooo live with that - and we had an overall great month. :)

I'll be able to send a chunk to the BECC, and then we'll see how the new chart looks from NCN Network!


We've had some really good ends to auctions on ebay - not super huge numbers, but moving a LOT of stuff out of the basement, and selling stuff for more than I paid from local auctions - always nice. :)

By the middle of the month, we should be able to send at least $200 to the targeted cc...which would be AWESOME! lol I'm so excited to be able to start sending extra money to the BECC's. Even dh said it would feel really good to send them some extra.

What else have I done to help our money situation? Well...
  • I washed clothes at home rather than just use the washer & dryer at the laundromat...
  • We are NOT running out to pay full price for a new dryer, we are waiting to see what the sales are. I would prefer Best Buy, only because they often have free delivery and carryout of the old, they have the "reward zone" which is kinda nice for big purchases, and we have a "mystery coupon" that we could use for them (guaranteed at least $5 off, possibly up to $5000. You know, even $50 off would be REALLY sweet...).
  • Finally sorted through all my coupons. I've been slacking there - my "to be sorted and filed" pile had expired coupons in it...that's how naughty I've been...
  • Sent 4 envelopes of expired coupons to a friend who's an Army wife. She can use them on base. :)
  • Got 2 packages mailed off for ebay winnings,
  • and packed up 4 more to send Monday,
  • and got the rest of the Christmas ebay stuff off the shelves and ready to start processing for ebay. That was cool.
  • Put together a reimbursement sheet for our medical reimb. program - we'll get a few bucks back, which is planned to be sent as a snowflake to the BECC...
  • and a rebate for $2.99
  • and a rebate for $18.72. All of those are intended to be sent directly to the BECC. I have one for $8 here at home, just haven't gotten to the bank yet.
  • ...that might be it. But hey, I'm ecstatic with all of that!

Packers lost, which is really sad. It was my birthday on Thursday, too - I thought they'd give me a really nice birthday present. Shucks. ;)