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eBay and a garage sale

July 16th, 2007 at 11:14 pm

I put up several listings on eBay for my son last Sunday. He has decided to sell his video games and GameCube. We'll see what happens - he wants to get some more Star Wars Legos. I'm trying to encourage him to sell things for a few reasons;

1) He can make his own money and clear out some things that aren't being used.

2) I just love stepping on Lego pieces when I walk across a room in the dark. Especially the pointy ones.

3) If there are things that he wants that cost more than his allowance, he needs to earn the money himself. We made the mistake of giving our daughter too much and that wasn't a good thing.

4) When he earns the money himself it (hopefully) will help him to develop responsible spending habits.

5) Yeah, right. As soon as that money is in his sweaty little palm it will be spent on Lego toys and ice cream. I did tell him that he needs to save some of this money. He plans to spend the first $50 of his garage sale/E-Bay money and save the rest. We'll see if that goes out the door when it actually happens. I have a feeling that I'm in for the 'It's MY money' argument next weekend.

We all pitched in and cleaned the garage Sunday in preperation for the garage sale we're having next weekend. You weren't there and all, so just try to imagine the joy of cleaning out the garage with a 12 year old and an 18 year old. I don't think we'll exactly look back on those moments of family togetherness and laugh, but at least the garage is clean now and my husband put out a lot of trash for pickup tomorrow. I'm sure the trash guys will hate us for the bed frame pieces, carpet padding, cracked aquarium, random pieces of wood, random pieces of metal, and so on. I tried to sneak as much wood as possible into the cans. My husband did put some items into the attic space.

Here's a question for you men on this forum. WHAT IS UP WITH SAVING WOOD? My dad did it. My FIL does it. My husband does it. He actually took the random pieces of wood that we've had in the garage and put them in the attic space. You know, because that's so handy to get to and all. It has been sitting around for the last I-don't-know-how-many years, patiently waiting to be formed into birdhouses or Adirondack chairs or a lifelike bust of Abraham Lincoln or something useful like that. Poor wood, all alone up there in the attic, waiting to get moldy or musty or dusty or something before it's thrown away in 10 years because it's then useless.

{ahem} Anyhow... now all I need to do is price all of our treasures and make the signs and get change from the bank and arrange everything on strategically placed tables and hang the clothes on the rolling racks and lug stuff up from the basement and all. Afterwards the remainder will go to the Salvation Army.

Most of the money needs to go towards bills. I would like to use some for a few things around the house. So, by the time Monday rolls around I'll be wealthy, have a clean house, and all of the bills will be completely paid off including our mortgage because people will be fighting over our things and a bidding frenzy will ensue, thus driving the prices insanely high.

It could happen.

Very frustrated right now

July 12th, 2007 at 09:14 am

If someone came along and wanted to take my dogs, I would seriously consider it. I don't think I've been this mad in a long time.

I went to a really great yard sale about a month ago. I found some new outside light fixtures, still in the boxes. One is for the front porch and the other two are for the garage. My husband went out fishing one day and there was a thunderstorn. One of the boxes was sitting on the stairs, and Shadow got her head through the gate, chewed throught the box, styrofoam, plastic, and the wiring of one of the fixtures. I was so pissed off! Now I either have to pay to get the thing rewired, or take a loss on all three. They're a matching set and the other two wouldn't make any sense without the third.

At the same sale I found a beautiful glass-fronted cabinet for the kids' bathroom. It can be hung on the wall and used to store all kinds of goodies. I had it downstairs in the living room, waiting for the day when I could get up there and paint and then hang it. I just love this cabinet.

Today I went out for a few hours and the dogs broke down the barrier to the living room, crapped on the NEW carpeting, went pee - also on the new carpet - and chewed a corner of this pretty little cabinet. It will be very hard to repair without leaving a noticeable flaw, if I can even fix it at all.

I am so angry right now! They knew exactly what they were doing, and that it was a bad thing to do. They were just upset and let us know.

Brotherly love

July 10th, 2007 at 11:25 am

My daughter applied for a job at a place that makes car parts. Not really a very fun job, but she has taken an apartment and could use something that pays better than what she makes now. I think this job would pay $10.90 or something like that. Anyhow, my brother works for the company as a buyer and I shamelessly called him last night to ask him to put in a good word for her. I'm crossing my fingers that it helps.

I've listed a few things on E-Bay to sell and am doing laundry. Today is a good day to stay in the house because it's HOT outside.

I returned some clothes last Thursday and had it credited back to my debit card. For some reason the money hasn't gone back into my account yet. I think four working days is plenty of time, don't you?


July 10th, 2007 at 08:24 am

I went to Dave Ramsey's website last night to look around. Here are his 7 baby steps;

$1,000 to start an Emergency Fund

Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball

Three to six months of expenses in savings

Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement

College funding for children

Pay off home early

Build wealth and give! Invest in mutual funds and real estate

Well, so far I'm on step one and I have $525.60 to my name. That's not too good is it? That's the sum total of one savings bond and $25.60 in my bank. I went to the consignment shop today and they gave me $20.50 for selling three items.

The bill that I really want to pay off right now has a minimum due of $26.97 and a balance of $916.11 - it's due July 30.

I'm going to list some things on E-Bay today. Hopefully that will go well - I'll let you know!

Where has the time gone?

July 9th, 2007 at 11:31 pm

I'm back after a long hiatus (word of the day) and ready to begin anew. It's late, but as I took a nap today I'm up finishing the last load of laundry. It's only blankets for the dogs but I wanted to get that last bit done.

I have a different job now. Someone I used to work with came to visit me and mentioned that she knew of a place that needed a manager. I applied and got the job last October. The money is not great but it keeps me alive. I've applied for financial aid and will be going to school again this fall. Wish me luck!

Not too good around here right now

July 19th, 2006 at 02:50 pm

We are still feeling the financial pinch. I've been thoroughly fed up with DD for some time now. She is 17 and doesn't seem very motivated to get a job. I told her yesterday that I'm not getting her any new school clothes this year. None. The expensive things she has from Abercrombie, Hollister, and so on are strewn about all over her bedroom floor. She's not speaking to me, and DH disagrees with me too. He said "You got tons of new school clothes when you were her age." I fired right back at him, saying "Yeah, well my dad made enough money to pay for them." My husband says that we can find a couple of hundred for school clothes for her somehow. What a laugh. We are so tight right now we're barely making ends meet. I'm not doing it. I cut up my credit card for a reason, and the heck if I'm charging clothes for an ungrateful brat. That may sound harsh but I guess I'm feeling harsh right now.

I'm going back to school for sure. I'm taking accounting courses and the semester starts August 25th. This weekend my SIL is having a yard sale and I'm going to put any money I make towards school. Wish me luck.

I told my husband that things need to change, which he obviously knows. We looked through the course selection book together and he seemed really interested in Computer Forensics. I registered online and asked him when he will register. He said that he's decided to get another job instead of going back to school because we need money right now. He's been talking about this second job thing for months and has done nothing. I'm not holding out much hope for it happening anytime soon. If things are going to change I just need to take the plunge and do it myself.

Some good news, I sold a book on Amazon for $50.00! That's the most I've sold one for in a long time. I'll update my book totals another time. I feel so disenheartened with the $20 challenge thing right now. I had to close out my account to pay a big tax bill and am down to tucking stray dollars into my piggy bank at home. I won't give up, though.

Recent book sales

July 2nd, 2006 at 10:27 pm

It's been a while since I updated on my book sales, so I'll wade right in.

The View From Saturday - $2.01

Vanishing Acts - $4.91

Someone Like You - $

The Mavericks - $1.80 profit

The Great American Novel - $4.77

Standing In The Rainbow - $3.06

Airs Above The Ground - $2.65

Fix It & Forget It Lightly - $7.43

The Cheehakoes - $8.14

Ballad of the Whiskey Robber - $4.08

Snow Crash - $2.32

Light - $3.05

The $20 challenge total is $785.36 now. That is an invisible number, as I had to close out my account in order to pay taxes. Mean, nasty taxes! Now I have to figure out a way to replace that money.

I took a pile of clothing to the consignment shop, things that I purchased at the last few yard sales I went to. I took some yard-sale purchased household items to another consignment shop, so hopefully that money will start to trickle in.

In deep water right now

July 2nd, 2006 at 10:01 pm

We got hit with two tax bills right in a row. One was from a business I used to own and one was for our property taxes. The total amount was $4,200.00 and was a huge blow to the budget. I'm very frustrated and anxious about our finances right now. So, allow me to vent.

It seems like we owe everyone everything right now. The June mortgage payment was made Friday and it was late, but at least it got paid. DH picked up a minimum of groceries to last until next Friday.

I had to close out my $20 fund account. That just stunk but there was no getting around it. I know it helped to bail us out and all that, but it still makes me mad. It was a lot of hard work to get where I was and now I'm back to nothing.

When things get better I'm going to replace every penny I had to take out. Next month we have to pay the mortgage (hopefully on time) two home equity payments, the bank of dad (LOL) put gas in the cars, and so on and so on.

Right now DH and I don't make much money. We both have low-paying jobs. As we both work 40 hours, we make out somehow each month. My car is really old; his is OK for now. Our house is beautiful and we are happy here, but there is no way we can travel or afford extras.

Sometimes I get so tired of thinking about money. I'm seriously thinking about returning to school in the fall to complete my degree. The extra money that comes with having a college degree sure would help. Plus, I'm tired of looking at the same dead-end jobs I see in the paper week after week.

I make a little extra selling books and things. DH doesn't have the motivation to make changes in his own life and just between all of us it really bothers me. Mom always told me to make changes in myself if I want things to get better. That's good advice. So, I'm going to figure out what I can do to make things better and hope that DH follows suit.

I remember a couple of months ago, when I talked with him about this. I was feeling motivated about selling more items online, and told him that we each need to do something to improve our finances. As in, both of us. He is very child-like in his approach to finances. He expects me to take care of everything, all of the bill paying and all of the decision-making. One thing about having control is that you DO have all of the control, but also all of the burden. I mentioned that if I could make $200-$250 a month selling items online and he could find something to do that netted the same amount it would help a lot. He didn't respond. I stepped up my efforts and have hit my goal each month since then. I mention it when a book sells for an especially good price but he is just polite, nothing more.

I'm been feeling a growing unhappiness over the past year about how things are going and that scares me. DH works in a manufacturing atmosphere and it sounds terrible. He tells me things about his job, his co-workers and duties, and it's all I can do to sit still and listen.

It's not that I'm not interested or don't like to talk with him, but something has been really bothering me. It's this; why doesn't he get the heck out of there? Look around for something different? Develop some skills, get some education, something? Anything?

Well, I can't very well complain about something that I'm not doing myself, so that's when I decided to look into returning to finish my degree. I know that most campuses have job placement assistance, so that will be a great resource.

Our messy garage

June 14th, 2006 at 06:08 pm

Organizing our garage is one of those projects that I've never wanted to do.

I can't watch TV as I organize.

It's dusty and dirty.

There are bulky things in there. I can't throw them away because they're too big. They're not worth donating (pieces of wood, old shelves, etc.)

A lot of it was expensive at one time. DS's battery operated car was $400. (My parents got him that when he was 4). But honestly, he is 11 now. It's been sitting for at least 5 years. The scooters for the kids. DD is 17 now and I can't picture her hopping on her little blue scooter and zooming around.

Getting to the point...

Today I decided to try & make a little money. It did NOT go well, in case you were wondering how I feel now that I'm a millionaire from all of these bright ideas.

I called a recycling place and asked if they purchase steel shelving. The guy said yes. So, DS and I sweated and grunted and threw 18 shelves into the trunk and backseat of the car. He banged his hand. I whacked my foot. We were very polite and pleasant to each other the whole time, of course. (Stop playing and get over here and help me before I get mad. I KNOW mom, etc.) We hopped into the blissful air-conditioned comfort of the car and set off. Good thing I brought the phone book, complete with the address and a mini map. I only turned around 3 times before finding this stupid recycling place and would you PLEASE STOP playing with the radio?! OKAAY MOM!

We pull up and the guy that came ambling out said that they only buy when there's a large quantity, but I was welcome to toss the shelves onto the pile'o'junk they had sitting there. He must have seen the pissed-off look on my face because he offered to help toss them on the pile. I went ahead and did it because the alternative was to drive home and unload these dumb things back into the garage and that wasn't happening. One good thing is that DS discovered the joy of throwing shelves as far as he could onto a pile of metal, making a loud crashing sound. At least one of us had fun.

We went to one of the local consignment shops next. I had called and she said she was going out of business, so while we were in the area I decided to stop and see if they owe me anything. Too late - empty store. Crap. I took a loss there.

I stopped by Kohl's and returned some jeans I had bought for DH. $14.83 credited to my debit card.

So, there you have it. I'm richer by $14.83.

There is an empty space in the garage where the shelves were leaning against the wall. All the rest of the stuff is still there and I feel guilty every time I look at it. Oh well.

Books sold

June 14th, 2006 at 11:54 am

I've been getting the books that sold ready to ship, so I may as well update.

Delos - .88

Mommy Knows Worse - $4.58

Surviving Schitzophrenia - .81

Coming Out Straight - $13.19

Basics of Pistol Shooting - $4.73

Not very thrilling this time, but every little bit helps. This time adds $23.31 to $716.95, making the new total $740.26

Recycling Wednesday

June 14th, 2006 at 10:36 am

Today is my day off, and I'm off to the local recycling place. I have some metal shelves and am going to see what they're worth. Wish me luck!

Yesterday I took the CVS $25 prescription transfer coupon to Target and redeemed it there. Now I have a gift card to Target for $25. I'm going to try and find DH's Father's Day gift there. The prescription was actually for our dog, Shadow. It's a muscle relaxer that we give her when she moves around too much and is in pain. The prescription cost was $10.00 and it is very helpful. In fact, I gave her some 1/2 hour ago and she's snoozing in a warm patch of sunlight.

I have a big box of baby clothes that I need to do something with. E-Bay or consignment - I'm not sure what. I need to decide so they make some money for me!

More later. I'd better quit typing and get moving. I need to go to the post office. Someone bought a book from me and they live in Spain. I have to take it there and fill out the custom forms. The library is right there, so hopefully there will be some good books for sale.

Beautiful day today. The laundry is hanging on the line.

Pictures of the bathroom

June 11th, 2006 at 03:22 pm

Try to control your excitement - I give you... the downstairs bathroom!



cleaning Sunday

June 11th, 2006 at 01:09 pm

Today is very nice - not too hot, not too cold. I've been cleaning, and so have the kids. DH laid down the law and said NO activities until their rooms are clean! They are both working up there right now.

It's amazing how long one bathroom can take. I hung the rest of the border (been procrastinating on that big time), scrubbed the floor, scraped off some paint splatters that got on the grout, and got DH to hang the towel bar. I hung one of my favorite cross-stitch creations and it finally is complete!

Well, except for the spot in the wall that needs to be patched. And new curtains to buy. And knobs for the cabinet would look good. And...

Anyhow. DH is grocery shopping and I think I'll clean the fridge out before he gets back. It's as close to empty as it's going to get, so I may as well.

Off to scrub. Yay.

Afraid last night

June 10th, 2006 at 10:12 am

Yesterday DH, DS and I went to my parents' house to take them to dinner. They chose a very nice Polish restaurant and the food was terrific. I had city chicken, complete with mashed potatoes and corn. Very rich, but so good! We went back to their house and played cards for the next couple of hours, with the usual booing and heckling. We munched on a snack mix. A good time was had by all.

DH and I were both tired. I took a couple of Tylenol PM as soon as we got home and conked out.

Around 2:15 I woke up suddenly. I had been choking in my sleep. There was some kind of acid reflux thing going on and the burning in my throat and chest were distressing, to say the least. Choking and wheezing, I sat up and tried to clear my throat. No luck. My coughing woke up DH and he sat up and looked at me. He looked pretty freaked out so I staggered to the connecting bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror. My eyes were huge and tear-filled, and my face was a deep red. It felt like there was water in my lungs and acid in my throat and chest.

It was hard to catch my breath and I started to panic. Luckily DH was there to help calm me down. I struggled for about 15 minutes and he had me stand up while he just hugged me. That was comforting and my breathing slowed down a little, from panicked gasps to a more slow, normal pace.

I remembered a free sample (!) I had received and went downstairs to grab the Tums softchews that had been sent in the mail to me. I tell you what, one of those took the burning sensation away almost immediately. I was so grateful to have them! I fell asleep after another 45 minutes or so.

Right now it feels like my lungs hurt, like I inhaled something that isn't supposed to be there. I probably did.

So much for eating and going to sleep right away. Mistake. Big mistake.

How was your evening? ;0)

A terrific garage sale (and garage)

June 9th, 2006 at 12:16 pm

I went to the bank and took out $40 so I could hit some garage sales. Well, I ended up going to two before coming home. The first one was an older couple, selling home decor, tools, housewares, golf items, etc. Nothing too exciting there. The second sale was awesome!

First of all, this garage was tricked out; it was the nicest one I've been in. The flooring was a combination of Pergo-type wood laminate and an all purpose carpet, like what you would have in a business. There was a pool table, a small bar area, and a very nice setup to store tools. There was a TV on the wall. I've never seen anyone finish a garage to look like a rec room before, but they did a nice job.

Anyhow, I was able to find tons of beautiful infant clothes and household items. I spent less than $45 and walked away with a huge box of goodies.

Yesterday I went to the library and spent $1.00 on two books. Don't laugh - they have sold already.

Guns, Germs, and Steel - $7.81 profit

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister - $5.14 profit

also sold last night;

Shoot the Moon - $2.48 profit

Totals for the last couple of days - $45.25 spent and $15.43 profit. I need to subtract $29.82 from the challenge total of $746.77 to make the new amount $716.95.

How do I e-mail someone?

June 8th, 2006 at 11:06 am

How to I get in touch with a fellow blogger? I feel like a dummy because I don't know how.


Cleaning day - and two baths

June 8th, 2006 at 11:00 am

Well, today's the day that I've decided to get my shovel out and clean the house LOL. So far I've done the dishes, some laundry, and washed the dogs. They were both good this time and Honey didn't try to escape from the tub. I'm only a little damp instead of looking like a drowned rat.

They each react differently to getting a bath. Shadow is snoozing in the warm sunshine and Honey is literally running around in circles. A bath invigorates her. Ah, to be young and frisky like that again! In people years Shadow is 42 and Honey is 7. They both act their ages.

I sold more books today so I'll update the total soon. I've been really trying to focus on getting good items to sell. One that I got at a yard sale sold for over $11.00 - I was inspired by that to go to some sales tomorrow.

I need your feedback. I've been thinking about quitting my job and doing the yard sale thing. Here's where I would sell items;

a local housewares consignment shop
" " children's " "
" " woman's " "

What if I seriously got into couponing? I bet I could save a ton of money there, plus build up a nice stockpile. How about rebates? I've never really done that before. Is it worth it?

I would need to make/save about $300 a week to make it work, and pay the bills.

Any thoughts?

Book sales

June 7th, 2006 at 09:53 am

Here are some book that have sold recently;

Fibroids - $2.46 profit

The Joy of Fatherhood - .24 LOL

Blowing My Cover - $2.86

A Table in the Presence - $3.82

Crazy Plates - $10.14

I'm too nice sometimes. I assumed that the fatherhood book is for Father's day and there's no way it will get from here to California via media mail on time. People just have no idea how long media mail can take. So, I shipped it Priority. Sheesh. Big profit there. Anyhow, the challenge total is $746.77

There's a great sale at American Girl.com!

June 7th, 2006 at 08:52 am

I was just thinking about Christmas in my last post, and decided to head over to the American Girl website. They have great sales sometimes. Well, they are having a terrific clearance sale going on and I found some books for my niece's daughter.

Here's what I ordered;

Hallie's Horrible Handwriting .49

Bright, Shiny Skylar .49

Thank You Logan! .49

Lindy's Happy Ending .49

The Fair-Share Pair .49

These are GREAT prices for American Girl books! The shipping cost was only .95 and the total cost for my order was $3.40 for five books. The retail value is $19.95 and I'm happy to say that I'm done shopping for one person.

They don't take very good care of things in that house. She's a sweet little girl and I like to get her nice things, but hate throwing my money out the window because her parents are too lazy to pick things up off the floor or read to their kids. She is 8 now and hopefully will get interested enough in these titles to read them independantly. If not at least I tried and it didn't cost much.

Here's the link to the American Girl website; http://store.americangirl.com/pls/ag/AG_pagethumb?catid=4413...

Make sure you explore all of the sale areas. Enjoy!

Christmas shopping

June 7th, 2006 at 08:17 am

Ok, let me just say that I know it's June and thinking about cold weather, snow, Christmas crowds and spending money probably isn't your favorite topic right now.

With that being said, I've already been on the hunt for holiday bargains. When Target went to 90% off back in January I was able to get the "grab bag" gifts done for DH's family and also pick up quite a bit for my nieces' kids.

Lately I've been focusing on stocking stuffers for my own kids. I was shopping at Target the other day and found some excellent clearance deals on an end cap.

mascara for DD - .50

makeup sponges - .24 each

small hairbrushes for each kid - .86

shower gel for DS - .58 He will be 12 by next Christmas and it's a nice "manly" scent LOL

We picked names for Christmas and I have my MIL to buy for. That will be fun. She's a pleasure to shop for. It's nice knowing this far in advance so I can keep an eye out for bargains.

I figure that when the Halloween candy goes on sale in early November I can stock up for the Christmas stockings.

Does anyone else start shopping early? I even find nice unused items at garage sales to fill in around the edges for the kids. I like to get them books and will be actively looking for appropriate like-new ones as I hunt for things to sell online. It's expensive going to Border's and getting them there. Fun, but pricy.

Some things are impossible to buy this far in advance because the kids don't decide until November or December what they want. In the meantime I'm going to do my best to get the things I do every year. One is a box of books for each child, another is stocking stuffers - some useful and some candy and some toys, etc.

I'm going to keep saving points from MyPoints and redeem in the fall for a gift card for DH. That will be a nice addition to his Christmas stocking and won't cost a thing. Last year I got him Burger King gift coupons from MyPoints and he really liked that.

Recent book sales

June 7th, 2006 at 06:40 am

I'm going to try very hard to buy and sell more books. We have a tax bill that is huge and needs to be paid. I think I'm going to have to use a chunk of the challenge money to help pay it off. It's also time to hit the garage sales to find things to sell, plus have one of my own.

With that said, here are a few books that have sold recently;

The Kite Runner - $2.86 profit

Blackberry Wine - $3.25

Jumpstart Prep - $1.93

Sick Puppy - $3.04

Snowfall - $1.45

A Red Heart of Memories - $3.91

Why a Daughter Needs a Dad - $3.79

Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting - $5.69

I would have done better on the last title but I decided to ship it via Priority mail, which costs $2.46 more. I'm assuming that it's a Father's Day gift and media mail might not get it there in time. A lot of people don't realize how long media mail can take.

The total for this lot is $25.92 and I'm hoping to work on adding and culling books from my bookshelf over the next few weeks.

I have $727.25 in the challenge savings account. I'm not sure if I'll be able to hang on to that. The tax bill is due in about two weeks. I also need to transfer some money from my last paycheck to add to savings. That's on hold for the moment while I go over our budget.

5th grade graduation

June 7th, 2006 at 06:05 am

Yesterday DS had his graduation ceremony from elementary school. Next year we have middle school to look forward to - yikes! They did a nice job for the most part. I enjoyed the slide show; each kid was shown as a baby or very young child and then as they are today. I have to admit I got a little mushy over that part. It seems like just yesterday...(sniff)

I took him to a movie after he got home from school. I was going to add my piggy bank money to the challenge amount, but spent it yesterday. Movie tickets - $5.50 each (twilight show), candy, soda, and an ice cream at the store, $6.00, and popcorn at the movie theatre $4.00 (we shared a medium and it was just right). It was nice to have the money on hand for doing something fun and I wanted to celebrate with him the end of the school year. It was worth the $21.00 I spent.

The library is within a mile of the movie theater and you know I just had to stop to see if there were any good books to buy. I set DS up with a book of his choosing and one I grabbed on impulse, "Freaky Friday". He got really immersed in that one and seemed sorry to return it to the shelf when I was done with my book purchase. There are so many good children's books that just never go out of style.

I spent $6.00 on my books. As I was paying with the money from my piggy bank I was a little embarassed to be paying with quarters and dimes but the librarian was so grateful for the change. She said they needed it badly. The ladies that work at the library are so nice and I enjoy going there. I spent $6.00 and so the new challenge amount is $701.33.

That spoiled child... is mine

June 4th, 2006 at 06:22 pm

This will be a hard post to write, but I can't always talk about the good stuff. Well, I could but it wouldn't be a very honest blog.

I used to own my own business. Financially things went well, especially at Christmas and Easter. Money was plentiful but time with the kids was not. So what did I do? Bought them things. DS is 11 and doesn't ask for much of anything. He's the most low maintenance kid you could imagine. He doesn't care what he wears, eats, or has. An occasional treat is fine, other than that we seldom buy him things. He saves his allowance for what he wants and frequently gives or loans his money to his big sister.

Then there's the 17 year old. She wants me to buy her things all the time, constantly. She has no job and isn't actively searching. She's a junior in high school. We used to spend time together shopping or going to the book store or the movies. I frequently took her to Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch, Bebe, Neiman Marcus, etc. My mom and sister buy her a lot too. Last February we went to a wedding in Minnesota and visited the Mall of America. I got her a couple of tee shirts. My sister got her shoes, a purse, a few outfits, and mom got her a Juicy outfit, some jewelry... you get the picture. They went off on their own and I didn't think it would be that much stuff.

Anyhow, it's not like I'm not to blame here. She is used to shopping expiditions where I would drop $400 to $500 with no problem.

We sold our business in 2005 and put the profits into an "untouchable" account. It is for the kids' college education. Right now DH and I both work at jobs that don't pay a spectacular amount. He was downsized in 2004 and makes less now. I enjoy my job for the most part but sure don't make much! The job hunt begins anew this week.

We live within our means right now and pay the bills with what we earn. That's just how it is.

DH and I have both talked to DD about how things are different now. She just can't seem to acknowledge that we're not willing or able to fund shopping trips, a car, money for the school yearbook ($75) $25 in lunch money every week, and on and on. When either of us brings this up she gets angry.

I told DH that we have to show some "tough love" and cut her off from any spending money. He agrees. We've been doing that for a while and she calls us mean. (Sigh)

I figure eventually the kid will get a job. Or, drive us crazy.

Online book sales

June 4th, 2006 at 05:09 pm

Here are some books that I have sold recently;

Candy - $6.57 profit

Death On The Installment Plan - $7.96 profit

I Know This Much Is True - $1.91 profit

Into Love And Out Again - $4.20

Ishmael - $2.71

Bird By Bird - $6.46

The Underpants - $1.98

One Continuous Mistake - $1.69

The Sweater Letter - $17.02

The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows Of Josephine B. - $1.57

I'll be right back - I think I'm burning dinner...

OK, I'm back, and the rice has been rescued. The book sales for this time came to $52.07, and my new challenge total amount is $707.33.

Time to change jobs

June 3rd, 2006 at 08:09 pm

I was just reading a blog by Money Talk$ and it inspired me to add this entry to MY blog. I work at a retail store right now. Lately I'm becoming more disenchanted with my job. Good points;

The people I work with are great. Everyone, from the store manager to the newest employees, work hard. We all pitch in to get the job done and I enjoy what I do for the most part.

We are recognized for our hard work. Verbally and in writing, as well as free food items and meals at least several times a month for everyone.

We work hard at giving the customers a good impression and are successful in doing so. Our feedback scores are the best in the district.

With that being said, I'm ready to job-hunt again now.

I'm not being paid what I'm worth, and it is hard work. The paychecks aren't great. I'm doing OK, but I could be doing a lot better!

Now that I've learned what I need to know boredom has set in. The learning process was challenging and exciting, but I'm confident in what to do now. No challenge. (Yawn)

Anyhow, one of the things that's been bothering me the most probably wouldn't even occur to most people.

We are encouraged every day to talk customers into applying for the store credit card. By the time I left today nine people had applied for the card. When there are meetings at work to congratulate us on our progress, I always feel like cringing. I don't like to celebrate the fact that people are going into debt.

Sometimes when extra help is needed, I help check people out. I can't tell you how many talk about hiding their purchases from their husbands because they overspent. People spend $200-$300 and more easily, charge it, and talk about getting home first so their husband won't notice. Most of the time it's decorative items for the house.

Anyhow, it helps keep me on track in a strange way. I can't very well disagree with something but do the same thing myself. Seeing this stuff happen every day gives me the motivation to not give in to temptation.

Free Coke coupons

June 2nd, 2006 at 07:19 pm

How are all of you doing in receiving the free Coke coupons? I played the game back in March and won 13 times. So far I have received 9 free coupons in the mail. DH is very happy! I'm going to start redeeming them next week. So far we can get 45 2-liter bottles of soda. Hopefully the other four coupons will arrive as well. One of the envelopes had TWO coupons in it - all of the rest had one each so I think I got lucky.

I don't drink much pop. DH and DD do, and the savings for our family because of this promotion will add up.

Bank deposit

May 24th, 2006 at 10:54 pm

Today while I was running errands I went to the bank to add to the $20 challenge savings account. I've been saving a percentage of my paycheck and today I added $60 to my saving account. I was delighted to see that the total is $715.26 saved.

This branch seems to always be slow. It's not the tellers, it's the customers. Today there was the woman, totally ignoring the fact that there were six people waiting in line, asking question after question about saving accounts, certificates of deposit, etc.

Let me tell you that the teller helping her is someone that I like. She said "Why don't you go over to the sit-down area, and someone is ready to help you there with your questions?" The woman said "No, I'm OK", and wanted more information. The teller said "You may be OK, but the people behind you are waiting for us to finish here. It would make more sense for me to assist them, and for someone to help you that can give you the detailed answers that you need."

It was so awesome. She said it in a nice but firm way. I know that anyone that has to deal with customers needs to keep them happy, but a little common sense is a good thing too. Luckily the woman took it the right way and went to be helped where she should have gone in the first place.

Books, books, books

May 24th, 2006 at 09:47 pm

I haven't updated the $20 challenge in a kazillion years. Well, a couple of weeks, anyhow. Here are the books that have sold;

Deerproofing Your Yard & Garden - $3.50

The Known World - $4.19

The Dirt On Breaking Up - $2.50

Women's Encyclopedia of Natural Healing - $10.49

Dark Nights of the Soul - $3.76

Night of the Mary-Kay Commandos - $1.91

Detours, Tow Trucks, and Angels in Disguise - $1.69

The Wedding - $2.18

The Unbearable Lightness of Being - $5.57

I Know This Much Is True - $3.07

Those Pearly Gates - $4.64

Scary Stories 3 - $1.33

That adds up to $44.83 to add to my $20 challenge savings account. I also received a reward for opening a checking account at TCF bank for $50.00. Pretty good incentive! $568.43 + $94.83 is $663.26. I wouldn't have believed it would add up so quickly. I went to the library Tuesday and bought some more books. The total was $8.00, again. So my new challenge total stands at $655.26.


May 24th, 2006 at 08:56 pm

I just noticed that the last few times I've gone to the library I've spent $8.00 on books. Maybe I should play 888 on the lottery.

Today the kids and I ran errands. I picked up a new flag and pole, a rug for inside the front door, and some impatients for the front porch. Tomorrow I'm going to pick up a small container of paint and do the wooden post on the front porch. It's peeling badly. We've lived here for 6 years and the paint the builder put on must have been the cheap stuff.

A couple of days ago I locked myself out of the house. In my pajamas. With the crippled dog and the excited puppy/dog. I had to go to the neighbors' house and call DH. He left work early to let me in. It was great! (NOT)

I told him this would happen! I've been working on the front porch/outside area, and bought a new lock set. It locks the opposite way of what I'm used to. I told DH this wasn't going to work, so when I locked myself out it was all his fault LOL. He just continued to laugh at me.

A beautiful day

May 24th, 2006 at 09:45 am

It's gorgeous outside today! We're off to run some errands and pick up a few things for the house. I need a new door mat, a flag, and some flowers. I've been meaning to take photos of the front - I'll try to do that today.

I really need to update the $20 saving account amount. I'll take care of that later. I went to the library and spent $8.00 on books. Several have sold lately.

SIL and I are planning a garage sale for the 2nd weekend in June. I've decided to put half of the money into the $20 savings/emergency fund account and spend half on things for the house. There are some areas that seriously need a new coat of paint around here.

Just a few minutes ago I caught the year old dog gnawing on the trim. We still need to work on that!

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