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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!

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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.