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Archive for May, 2010

Spendy Weekend

May 29th, 2010 at 08:02 am

This weekend looks to be spendy. DH's home for the weekend and that means we'll be out doing more. We are going to dinner as a family tomorrow night.

Yesterday, he wanted to see Iron Man 2. Not too bad. The writing was a bit cheesey! We went to the early show while the girls were in school, and did buy popcorn and a drink. I brought my own water from home!We skipped lunch.

We also picked up a headset he can use when he calls us on Skype. Skype will be a lifesaver this deployment. And it's free!! He also needed a new cover for his Ipod.

We did take a free bike ride last night as a family and our plans are not really firmed up for the rest of the weekend. I just know the probability of spending is pretty high!

Update on the house painting: The house should be done today! I'm pretty picky, so I have had them go back and redo some areas. So far it is a great improvement. In the end, I think it will be money well spent.

Once a Month Fill Up

May 27th, 2010 at 08:36 am

With my husband away, I only filled up the gas tank once in 27 days! I didn't check how many miles that equated to, but it was between 200 and 300.

So it looks like we will be spending about $40-45 on fuel each month for the next year. That is nice!! We are probably saving around $100 each month because he isn't driving to work daily.

Miscellaneous Updates

May 26th, 2010 at 12:07 pm

1) DH will be home this weekend on a 4 day pass. It's likely the last time I'll see him before they fly out. It sounds nice, right? Well, it is an emotional mixed bag. With all the training, I've had too many goodbyes this year already.

2) I was able to reduce my gym membership while DH is away from $73 to $49. They offered to reduce it while he is away. Very nice!

3) I had to start on some prescription medications, which will cost $22 per month. Makes the gym membership savings about a wash. Frown

4) Our painters are finally prepping our house for painting. We had too much rain over the last couple weeks, so things have been delayed. Gives me more time to come up with cash!!

5) My youngest daughter is going to play flute next year in fifth grade. I will rent to own the instrument at about $35 per month. This will begin in September.

6) End of month payday arrives early on Friday! Of course, that just means that money has to last longer.

Another Ebay Challenge Update

May 25th, 2010 at 02:12 pm

My last post was about the ebay challenge, too. However, since that post I have sold an item on ebay and one book on half.com!!

New sales = $5.72

Not big bucks, but the little amounts do add up!

2010 Ebay Challenge Totals
January: $201.89
February: $46.40
March: $55.50
April: $4.74
May: $265.99

Monthly average: $114.90

Unless I make a sale on half.com, I expect that will be the final total for May. I'm only $25.48 away from meeting my minimum for June. I think I can do it!!

Update Ebay Challenge Totals

May 24th, 2010 at 03:30 pm

I added $14.72 this week for a sale made on half.com and a sale made on ebay (that I hope to be paid for soon). The new totals are below:

2010 Ebay Challenge Totals
January: $201.89
February: $46.40
March: $55.50
April: $4.74
May: $260.27

Monthly average: $113.76

I'm still meeting my monthly goal!

Reuse = Repurpose

May 23rd, 2010 at 05:16 pm

I did some sewing yesterday and today. I primarily made a couple of new things. However, the other one was a used item that I repurposed into something else. I made a tote bag or reusable shopping bag out of a t shirt!

The t shirt was a Life is Good shirt that unfortunately met it's match by my cat's claws. Yep, the one in the picture. She looks so innocent, too. She just doesn't like to be picked up. The claw holes just made it unwearable.

I turned the shirt outside in and stitched up the bottom of the shirt. Turned it right side out again. I cut the sleeves and the collar off. I also trimmed the back of the shirt down to match the front collar. I now have a new tote bag...for free!!

I also used an old gift card as a scrapper earlier today. What kinds of things have you repurposed?

Paid In Full

May 22nd, 2010 at 08:10 am

The dance and tumbling recital for the girls was last weekend. Today, it was time for preregistration. Yikes!

I paid in full for each of them to take a 30 minute class each week for the next school year. Only set me back $808. They waived the $90 recital fee with full payment. That is a 10% savings. And I don't have to think about money for that activity again for quite some time.

In other money news, I received my second Pinecone survey payment this week and made one small sale on half.com. I will net only $1.70 on the sale, but it is $0.70 more than if I had sold this item at the garage sale! I will add this to my ebay challenge totals at the end of the month.

Today is a mow and sew day here at my house. I'm only sharing because I really plan to do both of these things and they rhyme! Smile

An Allowance Really Helps

May 21st, 2010 at 05:45 am

In previous posts, I've mentioned that my husband will get a twice monthly allowance of $200. This has really worked out great from my perspective. I think this is primarily because his spending is a known quantity. I also do not need to track each receipt and record each purchase. What a relief!

I mentally set aside $200 on payday. So far he has pulled the money out in cash soon after. I record that transaction when I see it. After that it is our regular bills and any spending I need to do.

Honestly, $200 is likely way more than he needs. He did spend the full amount the first payday, however. I have to ask how he stands this time, next time I talk to him. I know he cut back on cigars and stopped drinking pop. That will help financially a bit.

The really great news...he's coming home on a four day pass next week! I can't wait. Of course, the time will go entirely too fast, but we'll enjoy every minute of it.

Selling Three Books

May 20th, 2010 at 05:52 am

I mentioned in my last post that I was looking to sell some books for cash. I found three that could be sold. The rest of the online companies were not buying what I had, so they are listed on half.com in hopes someone may want them.

I am selling each book to a different company! They are paying the shipping. I expect to receive a total of $6.29 in my paypal account once they are received and processed. It's not a lot, but it is something towards my ebay challenge goal. I will add it to my totals once the cash is received.

Here's are the companies I used this time:

http://www.powells.com/
http://www.bookbyte.com/
http://www.cash4books.net/

I have used all but bookbyte in the past with no problems. I will see how bookbyte does.

Do you have books around your house you could sell for cash? I encourage you to grab a stack and see what you might be offered.

Goodwill Donation

May 19th, 2010 at 12:29 pm

I made a Goodwill donation today of three boxes. Yes, primarily leftover garage sale items. I did keep some things for our fall sale. Probably too many things!

I did finish sorting the books and clothes from my sister. I kept a shirt and a pair of pants. I also pulled two books to read. I will attempt to sell them at the next sale.

While sorting books yesterday, I attempted to see if any could be sold on the cash for books websites. There seemed to be two or three that I could sell. I just need to decide if it is worth my time for $3.

Yesterday was a no spend day. Today I purchased a sympathy card and a couple of stamps. Money well spent.

Ebay Listing and More

May 18th, 2010 at 05:45 am

I put one item on ebay Sunday and it already has two bids. If it sells at its current price, I will be happy, but I expect it will go up a little bit. So...even happier!!

I received a $3 Pinecone Payment in my paypal account. I love how fast that is. There are no fees to receive the cash!!

My sister brought quite a few books to our garage sale. Some sold, but there are plenty left. I'm going to check today if any of them can be sold online for cash. I will also take them to the used book store if needed. She said I could have the money!!

My sister also had quite a few clothes that didn't sell, but are very nice. I'm going to try a few on. Maybe I'll get a new wardrobe! If they don't work for me, I will also consider putting them on ebay for some cash.

I'm Still Working on Goals

May 17th, 2010 at 06:16 am

I know it may not seem like it from my posts, but I am still working on our emergency fund goal. We are getting our house painted, which wasn't originally a 2010 goal! So, right now, I'm collecting funds for that project before focusing again on the emergency fund.

I would likely have at least $1000 to add, if it were not for the painting. Ah, wouldn't that be nice to add to my sidebar? But, the house painting comes first. If they ever get started! It has been power washed, but it has been raining off and on the last week, so they haven't shown up. Maybe this week!

I think once much of the extra deployment money starts flowing in we will see more progess on our goals!! I'm looking forward to that. Smile

Debt Reduced Again!

May 16th, 2010 at 01:13 pm

Our regular payment on our van loan was processed yesterday. We paid $439.26 towards principal reduction.

New Balance: $17,262.29

Next month we will be under $17,000!! I'm looking forward to that.

Garage Sale Results Are In!!!

May 14th, 2010 at 08:55 pm

I'm happy to report that our garage sale was a success. We did really, really well on the first day even though it was cold and rainy. We still had good traffic today as well, however, the sales were not as brisk!

I did this sale with two of my neighbors. They brought in more than I did. Our combined total for the two day sale was $914.80!

My sales, which will be added to by ebay challenge goal, equaled $245.55. I'm thrilled! I was hoping for over $200. I made that goal and then some. Smile

2010 Ebay Challenge Totals
January: $201.89
February: $46.40
March: $55.50
April: $4.74
May: $245.55

My average is now $110.82 per month. I'm exceeding my $100 average per month goal.

Garage Sale Photos

May 13th, 2010 at 04:36 pm

Okay...here are two photos of our garage sale set up. I took them pretty quickly, so they really may not do the sale and all my talk of organizing it justice.

Here they are:





We had lots of traffic. I'm not sure what our totals are yet and we have another day to go! I think we are suppose to have sun all day tomorrow...which should bring out some more people.

Sale is On: Rain or Shine

May 12th, 2010 at 07:38 pm

The garage sale begins tomorrow. We are all set. The three of us are almost pros at setting these things up!

It is raining like crazy here today. We will likely have rain in the morning, but it should clear off a couple hours into our sale. Somehow we packed it all into a three car garage. A few things can be pulled out into the rain if needed. Friday we expect a full day of sun!!

The free craigslist ad is up and running. Bring on the buyers!