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Archive for September, 2010

Garage Sale Day One

September 30th, 2010 at 11:45 pm

Day one of our garage sale has been a success. We did get traffic, although it seems a little lighter than some years. We will be open tomorrow and possibly on Saturday, too. We really want to sell this stuff!!

The total for the group was $538. My total, which includes a few items from my sister and daughters, looks to be about $138. Maybe the next two days can bring me over $200! That would sure bring up my ebay challenge average. Smile

It's Packed

September 29th, 2010 at 12:35 am

OMG! My garage is packed with stuff. We are still in the organizing phase that we will finish up tomorrow. But, really it is packed and going to make for a great garage sale.

Besides the sale, I'm looking forward to payday on Friday (which means saving and debt paydown), free space in my basement, the ability to park my mower and my van in the garage again. Ah, it's the simple things really. Smile

Prepping

September 27th, 2010 at 12:27 pm

This is garage sale week at our house. We prepping to rake in the cash by disposing of our unwanted items. Yipee!!

Almost everything is priced. Today, I need to sweep out the garage and move things around. The tables may actually be put up today, too. I have two neighbors participating and they often bring over their stuff and price as they put stuff out. So, it is best to have the tables out early!

We will put out bright signs, and find online sites to post a free advertisement. I'm definitely doing craigslist. Any other good sites I should know about?

I might actually have to time to baked some cookies or banana bread to sell. But I'm recovering from a cold, so that is the last thing on my list.

I Have A Date

September 24th, 2010 at 01:48 pm

for the car sale. No. I'm not cheating on my husband! I expect my neice and her parents to come to get the car October 16th. That is only three weeks away. I'm excited. She's excited. I'm going to make her a key chain for her new key and give her a gift card for gas. That part is her birthday present. Smile

The car proceeds of $2500 will go to the emergency fund. I also realized that I can cancel the auto insurance on it also. I will have just paid the premium on it 12 days prior, so I will get most of that money, around $200, back.

Our car registrations are due in October also. I will only renew the van and save the money for the car registration, which is about $117. Actually, I'm allocating this money to the increase in home owner's insurance this year. Joy.

Made a Sale

September 22nd, 2010 at 04:36 pm

I sold an item on ebay for $8.95! I just put it up last night with a Buy It Now option...and sure enough it was sold when I looked this morning. Those are the kind of sales I like.

I will add this sale money to the ebay challenge. Look for an update on that soon.

I am having a garage sale at the end of this month. I have just about everything priced! I might go looking for more items, but I think I have found all I can part with for now.

$20 Rug

September 21st, 2010 at 01:20 pm

Well, I made a spontaneous purchase last night from a craigslist ad. I bought a rug for $20. It is 7.5 feet by about 9 feet. I picked it up less than 5 minutes away from my home!

I have put it in my unfinished basement. I was keeping my eye out for one, so it was a bit on my radar to be looking for.

One of my cats really likes it!

Soon I Hope

September 20th, 2010 at 05:04 pm

I think I mentioned this in a blog post awhile back: I cancelled the gap insurance on our van. The loan will be paid off shortly...so why keep paying for it. I was just informed my refund will be $258.47!! I think we paid $495, so half will be returned.

It does get sent to the lender, well after the dealership receives it and sends it to them! I will be checking that account everyday, since I know that it will lower our outstanding loan balance. You know I like anything that lowers our balance!

Weekend Spending

September 20th, 2010 at 01:45 am

I think we did pretty good this weekend spending wise. We stayed home primarily, so that helps. My mom was in town, so about half the spending is the result of her visit.

Total Friday through Sunday was about $90. Half was wants and the other half true needs. It's all good with me!

Two Free Oil Changes

September 18th, 2010 at 06:37 pm

Wow! My lucky day. I was able to use some rewards towards oil changes on each of our vehicles. I did pay about $8 for a battery corrosion package on the van. It feels good to pay so little!

Now Even Lower!!

September 17th, 2010 at 02:02 am

It is just that time of year where we have lots of expenses. Dance shoes, pictures, fund raisers, fall school clothes, just to name a few. As a result, I have less money to send to our van loan. Or I should say less money than I would prefer to send to our van loan.

Although less in this case is still significant. I made a nice even principal payment in the amount of $529 this evening. It will post tomorrow.

New (even lower) van balance: $10,600

Yipee!! We're under $11K.

Lower Van Loan Balance

September 16th, 2010 at 01:06 pm

Our regular payment on our van loan posted yesterday. The principal portion was $453!

New Balance = $11,129

I expect to make another principal payment very soon. I just need to figure out what the amount will be. I know I can get that loan under $11K though!

EF Goal Over $3K

September 15th, 2010 at 05:41 pm

I added $215 to our emergency fund goal today. Our balance is now over $3K! Yipee.

New Balance = $3,169.36

We are getting closer to the halfway point of the goal of $7,000.

On a side note, I did sell a pair of jazz shoes for $15 on Monday night to another dance mom. Easy!

Success!!

September 15th, 2010 at 01:50 am

I would like to thank all of you who have supported me in pursuing my new skill. Plumbing. I managed to unclogged one drain and install a new disposal on my kitchen sink today.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I have decided to wait to purchase a new sink and faucet. The disposal did need to be replaced since it completely stopped working today. It was the least inexpensive model. I spent $87.72 for the disposal and a new cord kit. Yes, I wired the disposal because I'm also an electrician.

It feels good to have spent less money than I originally thought I might have to. I don't plan on attempting a new sink and faucet install alone, but if I do I'll let you know.

Drain Discussion

September 14th, 2010 at 05:52 pm

Today, for the second time in my life, I unclogged a sink drain by disconnecting the drain underneath. This is not a fun job. But it is satisfying once complete. Honestly, it isn't that hard either, since our drains are PVC. Metal connections might be another story!!

Through the process of cleaning up, I ended up in the kitchen and flipped on my disposal. Umm...that humming sound was back. I attempted to dislodge the flywheel underneath but it did not seem stuck at all. Hmm. I know think my disposal is officially broken on top of having a leak.

My plans from yesterday's post have now been revised. I, yes me, will replace my kitchen sink disposal. What do you think of that? I will pay about $80 and have it installed for free with my own two hands. The new sink and faucet will wait another day. That saves me quite a bit of money right there. Smile

Now to Repair the Kitchen Sink

September 13th, 2010 at 01:54 pm

I discovered yesterday that our kitchen sink disposal is leaking from underneath. I wish is was at a connection point, but it is not. So, at some point in the near future, I will be buying a new one. I'll spend at least $80.

However, this discovery is likely going to make me spend more than $80. One of the things we want to do is update the sink and faucet, since they don't match the kitchen. It is good for resale which will likely happen in the next two years.

We have actually picked out our preferred sink and faucet in the past. These are priced at $158 for the sink, $108 for the faucet, $80 for the disposal. But then...the labor. If DH was home, he would handle this, but he is not. I need to call to get some estimates.

I sure wasn't planning on this expense right now. Luckily it isn't a huge emergency. A bucket under the disposal takes care of the little water that comes out each time I use it.

Anyone have guesses on a plumbers cost for this type of job?

More Spending

September 12th, 2010 at 05:13 pm

I thought this weekend would be full of spending. The girls do need several different types of clothes now that the weather is cooling a bit. However, we haven't had much luck finding what we need and some of it can wait. Whew! For now.

I did buy a new pair of fall pajamas for my oldest daughter. Spent less than $15. I also bought her a pair of Converse shoes. These were about $20 after I used a rain check for a half off pair!

Today we really need to find one decent top my youngest daughter is willing to wear for picture day. We are going to head to Old Navy where I have a $10 coupon to use. Fingers crossed!!

The groceries are bought. I have enough gas until payday and it looks like I might end up with around $50 left! Nice. Payday means more saving and debt payoff. I'll update you on those soon.

$15 Paint Rebate & A Gift Card

September 11th, 2010 at 05:38 pm

I've been in the middle of a master bedroom makeover. It's seems to be a tradition while DH is overseas! I picked up three gallons of paint from Lowe's this week to paint the bedroom and master bathroom. Each gallon is eligible for a $5 rebate. After the rebate and the 10% military discount, I paid about $17 per gallon. Right now, I don't know when I'm going to paint, but the weather is cooling down!

I already received the $25 Target gift card I requested with Best Western Rewards about a week ago. That was fast! I think I'm saving it to buy Christmas gifts, or to buy groceries when I'm spending money other places.

A No Spend Day

September 9th, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Yipee!! A no spend day here. I walked with a neighbor, fertilized the lawn, talked with a friend on the phone, watched a movie, unloaded the dishwasher, surfed the net for way too long! It all made for a day free of spending. It's all okay with me.

Today was not my most productive one as of late, but I think I needed a break from all the projects I've been working on. Now to see what tomorrow brings!

Mostly Free Landscaping

September 9th, 2010 at 12:01 am

This week I'm working on our landscaping. The primary motivation was to get three rose bushes that I bought for $5 each planted. I only bought them in June!! Time to get on it.

We also have five very large hostas in our front landscaping that were taking up way too much space. The previous owner planted them and they were much to large for the space. I dug them all out. They weigh at least 20 pounds each!! Right now they are waiting in my back yard to be split and replanted. I have to wait to dig back there. It is possible there are power lines of some sort. I want to make sure before I start digging. Smart of me, right?

Turns out my neighbor has some much smaller hostas she offered me for free!! These have now been planted in my front landscaping bed where I took out the large hostas. These look much much better. I now need to buy mulch for this bed. Darn, spending is involved. However, I'm not in a rush.

I did buy fertilizer today. I will put it down tomorrow. Can you believe I haven't put any fertilizer down all season? We had so much rain and the lawn stayed green all summer and had no trouble growing.

It's almost time to take down the garden fence and stakes. There are a couple of small pumpkins that need a little more time. Otherwise it's all done for the season. It wasn't the best season for our garden, but we enjoyed what we did get.

Minimal Spending Weekend!!

September 6th, 2010 at 11:30 pm

Yes! It was a very light spending weekend. Ran to the grocery store for a couple of things on Saturday and spent $7.48. On Sunday, I paid for some french fries to eat while we were treated to two games of bowling with my parents and spent about $4.50 with a tip. Today, I filled up my gas tank with about $28 in fuel for our return trip home. Not bad for a three day weekend with an overnight trip.

I do have a list of regular purchases to pick up this week to include cat food, kitty litter, fertilizer for the lawn and a furnace filter. I will try to hold out a couple of more days before I go to the grocery store.

I plan to do yard work outside this week and expect on spending my own energy on that! I will also work on cleaning out the garage in preparation for the garage sale sometime (still waiting on a date) in the next month.

Free Black Door

September 4th, 2010 at 12:24 pm

We had our house painted this spring, but I didn't have them paint the front door. I didn't know what color I wanted at the time. And it is pretty easy to paint a door.

I finally decided on black since our shutters and light fixtures are black. Turns out I already had the paint I needed! I had painted a dresser black about a year ago and had plenty of leftover paint for the front door.

The weather turned cool yesterday and I had a free day, so I tackled the front door. It turned out great and I didn't have to buy anything new!

Ah...another task accomplished on life's constant list!!

After the Van is Paid Off

September 3rd, 2010 at 12:48 pm

NJDebbie asked in the comments yesterday about our plans after we have paid off the van loan. I bet a few more of you want to know too.

My husband has been very patient in waiting to get a new (or newer) vehicle. He has driven our beater cars (okay they aren't quite beaters) for years. He works very hard to provide for our family, while allowing me to stay home. We will be then saving for a large downpayment on his next vehicle. There may be some financing, but we will get it paid off quickly, too. Our current van and the future vehicle will be in our lives for quite some time as we hope to cashflow a majority of college for our girls.

I just now have to convince hubby not to go overboard with his purchase of a new vehicle. He sure would love all the bells and whistles. Smile

Van Loan Now Under $12K

September 2nd, 2010 at 05:39 pm

I made a large principal payment to the van yesterday. Apparently, I checked way too early this morning because it was not showing up any where. Yikes! I sent $1011 in electronically, so you can imagine the little scare I put myself through. I decided to trust that it would appear. Sure enough, a few hours later it is recorded.

Our new van loan balance is now under $12K, with a balance of $11,582!!

Other exciting news: I was sent an email by Best Western Rewards that we have points to spend. I don't think we have stayed in one of their hotels for over 4 years. Because of the email, I decided to cash out some points for a $25 gift card to Target. Yipee! I will use the money for Christmas or groceries in December.

Adding to Emergency Fund!!

September 1st, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Today is payday, so I'm adding our regularly scheduled deposit of $215 to the emergency fund. We also earned $2.38 in our money market fund. A few rain drops in the bucket I guess!

New Balance on the Emergency Fund Goal: $2,954.36

By the end of the month will be over the $3K mark!!