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Archive for June, 2007

Rummage Update

June 30th, 2007 at 07:08 pm

Well, it wasn't what I was hoping for, but it was still a good rummage sale. My friend and our kids made a little, and my total profit for the day was $441.

We opted to not run an ad for the sale and run a one-day Sat sale. We basically got the people driving past our house, probably not anyone from the major intersections.

I was surprised that we didn't see more people interested in the baby girl clothes. We have some really nice stuff, even some new with tags.

All-in-all, I'm going to try to be content with what we made. We're thinking about putting out the signs on Wednesday (4th) since our town has hundreds that show up for the parade.

I'm also planning on selling several items on eBay in the near future (vintage 1/2 gallon aluminum cans, Leap Pads and accessories, and maybe even "lots" of the baby clothes).

Our trip next week is paid for, plus some to throw at debt. I'm thankful!

Day of our Rummage Sale

June 30th, 2007 at 03:45 am

I was going to sleep until 6 am, but dh got up at 5 am to finish and put out signs. I couldn't sleep anymore, so here I am. It promises to be a perfect day for the sale: sunny, high of 77 degrees. Right now, though, it's a chilly 47. Brrr!

I'm a little nervous, because I'm not perfectly ready: not everything is priced, we have to move everything onto the lawn and set it up, etc. Oh well, we'll just have to see how it goes.

I'm also stressing out about having a good showing. Man, there's so much to worry about, if one let's oneself! LOL

Will update later today as to selling totals.

Getting Ready for the Rummage Sale - OVERWHELMED

June 28th, 2007 at 12:42 pm

We decided on a one-day (Saturday) rummage sale and are having it this week. We must have it so that we can take our trip to see family next week, plus have more to put toward debt (or emergency savings). We're also planning on putting out the signs on the 4th, since our little town has a parade with MANY people that come.

I need to price items. I need to buy soda and water to sell. I need to make signs. I need to weed out more things in the attic. I need to make my lists of what to do Friday, Friday night, Sat AM . . .

So much that I need to do and I'm overwhelmed and tired. ~sigh~ Time to get a diet coke and get motivated. Maybe a little chocolate would be in order, too. Smile

Unexpected Trip - Unexpected Spending

June 27th, 2007 at 09:06 am

I rec'd a phone call early Monday morning that my great-grandmother was possibly dying (chest pains, kidneys failing). I made the decision to take a quick trip to see her, if I could make it in time. Fortunately, she has rallied for the time being and is doing much better.

Anyway, this has caused our finances to take a bit of a hit (could only pay the trip expenses plus $17 toward the credit card this time). Oh well, it's what would have been taken out of an emergency fund, had we had one. I'm just glad that we could pay back the trip expenses and that it didn't set us back any.

So, begs the questions once again: Do we fund an emergency fund or continue to work at the debt? My vote is the debt. What do you think?

Link to Cool Article - Basic Shopping Tips

June 24th, 2007 at 06:11 am

These are the basic, must-know shopping tips for saving money.

http://www.simplejoe.com/saving-money-33-smart-shipping-tips...

Enjoy!

Can You Sell on eBay with DSL?

June 22nd, 2007 at 03:48 pm

We have cable internet and I'm looking into switching to DSL to save $$. I'm wondering, though, if it would make selling on eBay (downloading pics, etc) hard to impossible.

The other thing that I need to consider is that we have all of our outgoing phone calls through an internet phone service (VOIP - Sunrocket - $17 per month). So, all that has to be calculated to see if it would really save us money or not.

Just checking to see if anyone sells on eBay with DSL . . . Thanks!

I hate going to the dentist

June 21st, 2007 at 06:26 am

But not for the reason you may think. I had to bring 2 daughters to the dentist yesterday for fillings. Frown They have really bad teeth, but we're still going to give a better effort at taking care of our teeth.

Total co-pays were ~$150. Totally wasn't expecting this to come out this month.

Time to go work on pricing for the rummage sale. Now the proceeds will have to go toward debt, trip to see family AND paying off the dentist work. ~sigh~

Our Kids Save Better Than We Do!

June 20th, 2007 at 07:32 am

Not sure how it happened, but our kids are better savers than their parents. I've never been good at saving money. I'm pretty good at buckling down and paying off debt, but not putting money away in a savings. It's like I only respond when I'm under pressure instead of planning ahead. Hubby isn't any better than I am.

Anyway, our oldest 3 have (on their own) saved over $2,000, $10,000 and $4,000, respectively. None of them are 18 yet. They will spend a little, but they have goals and are pretty good at not spending much on extras.

For example, our oldest (daughter) has a goal of having enough money to be able to purchase 2 plane tickets, in the event we do move to China. Our 2nd oldest (son) has been saving since he was 10 for a truck. He is very specific in what he wants in the truck, but is holding off purchasing a vehicle until we see if we're moving overseas or not. He also has an amount in mind that he wants to have added to his savings by the end of the year. Our 3rd oldest (son) doesn't really have a specific use for his money, just knows how much he wants in there by the end of the year.

Again, I don't know where they learned this, because we're terrible savers. Maybe they're learning from our mistakes. I'm just glad that they're doing better than we are!

Planning a Rummage - Is it worth it? Any advice??

June 18th, 2007 at 07:42 am

Ever since we found out that we *may* be making a move to China, we decided that we'd have a rummage sale this summer. We still don't know *for sure* about the move, but we're ready to get rid of stuff that we wouldn't miss if we moved or didn't. Then we'd have a 2nd sale in the fall if we were indeed going to move and sell off even more.

Back to the first sale - we're thinking of having it June 30th, but now I'm wondering if it's really worth it. I guess I'm also wondering if I can really pull it together. Something we'll have to decide, I guess, but I do have a few questions for you all:

1. Is a 1-day sale better than a 2-day sale? Everyone I talk to has almost NO business on the 2nd day, so we're wondering why even have a 2nd day?? Is there something we're missing where it would be good to have a 2-day sale?

2. Should we sell snacks and beverages? It seems like this would be a good idea, but what's your advice?

3. Should we take out an ad in the local paper? If so, how big should it be? It seems expensive to detail everything we'd be selling. However, if we only write 4 lines (the cheaper rate), it may not draw as many people as the larger ad.

4. Does it even pay to have clothing at the sale? We have lots of baby girl clothes and some maternity, but not much in the other sizes. I guess it probably wouldn't hurt to put it out, if we're doing the sale anyway . . .

5. I've read that we should do as many signs as we can. We have some major intersections that are 2 miles down the road (we're in a small town, but it's pretty rural). Does it pay to put signs that far away?

If you have any other thoughts at all, please share them. Thanks!

It really does pay to line-dry clothes . . .

June 14th, 2007 at 12:51 pm

We strung up some clotheslines (tree to tree) last month and have been line-drying everything we possibly can (when it's not raining). You wonder if it really makes a difference, so it was nice to see our latest electric bill.

We usually spend $100-120 per month, year-round on electric (remember: there are 9 of us home 24/7). Our current bill said that our latest month's electric charges were $75!! That was pretty exciting to see.

I really don't have extra time to devote to hanging out clothes, but I'm fortunate that all my girls LOVE to hang out the laundry. We put a few lines down low for the 9 and under crowd and they love it that they have their own lines. I love the lower bills. Smile

Paycheck - No Debt Pmt. :-(

June 13th, 2007 at 08:49 pm

Too many other bills due to make a pmt toward our credit card. Did pay off a medical and made a pmt toward pre-baby bills. I'll view that as progress and not stress about the credit card . . . this time.

"Slow and steady" has truly become my motto for paying off the last of the debt. There's only so much that we can do and we'll be diligent, but I need to quit stressing out about it. Remind me of this next paycheck. Smile

Does our Grocery/Household Budgeted Amount Seem High?

June 9th, 2007 at 10:30 pm

OK, I'm opening up a bit here, but I'm wondering if what we spend on groceries and household seems high or pretty good.

We allocate about $700 per month ($350 every two weeks) for all food, diapers, pet food, paper products, toiletries, etc. for a family of 10 (3 teens). Yes, we could eat more rice and beans, but haven't gone that far yet.

I guess I'm just wondering what you all think of the amount. If it seems like a lot, I may work harder at cutting back . . .

Thanks in advance!

DH got a raise - Then again, maybe not

June 8th, 2007 at 09:57 am

It's that time of the year for dh's annual raise, which amounts to around $50/month. THEN he found out that our charges for health insurance will be going up by about the same amount.

So, essentially no raise. Inflation, gas prices going up, kids getting bigger and needing/eating more, . . . wages are the same.

Hmmm, time for me to get more creative OR get a job. Really - time for me to get on my knees and pray for wisdom. Thanks for letting me vent.

In a slump . . . .

June 7th, 2007 at 08:57 am

I'm tired of watching/worrying about every bite I eat. I'm tired of watching/worrying about every dime I spend. Grrh! LOL I guess I'm in a mood today. Call it pregnancy hormones! My poor family. Smile

I want to eat what I want to eat and not worry so much about what the scale says. I have things I need to sell on eBay, yet am having the hardest time doing it.

How do you all get over times like this???

Unexpected Money in the Mail!

June 6th, 2007 at 02:14 pm

I love surprises - especially those that are monetary and in our favor. Today we received a health insurance rebate from dh's employer for the past year. We weren't sure when we'd be getting it, so it was a pleasant surprise to find nearly $500 in the mail today!

I'm anxious to get it in the bank so I can schedule another credit card pmt. This'll get our total debt under $5,000. Woo hoo!!

FREE Birthday Gifts

June 5th, 2007 at 05:36 pm

Our youngest dd turns 1 yr old next week and I wasn't really planning on getting her much for her birthday. I'm sorry if that seems mean, but they just don't remember at that age!

Anyway, at the end of the Used Book Sale last Friday, there was a lady who was *giving away* her leftover items that didn't sell. Among these items was a table of toys. Among the toys was a Little Tykes xylophone that I'd debated buying earlier in the day and a brand new cow puffalump. This one was really cool because my dh works on a dairy farm.

So, baby girl gets two birthday gifts after all and mom and dad don't spend a penny. It's so fun when stuff like that happens!

Negative-Spend Day

June 5th, 2007 at 07:54 am

I was thinking about counting my no-spend days for the month of June, but I find it too complicated for my little brain. Smile Do I count when dh puts gas in the truck? Or is a no-spend day just counting when I personally don't spend??

Anyway, yesterday ds and I stopped at WalMart (he wanted a sub from Subway) and I had a couple returns and nothing to buy. So, for the day I didn't spend, but received money back. Gotta love that!

Grocery Shopping - Almost 50% Saved!

June 3rd, 2007 at 06:18 pm

OK, so it was a small shopping trip to the grocery store. However, I'm at home entering the amount spent into my checkbook and notice that the amount spent was $20.29 (including tax) and the amount saved was $17.96.

It helped that the only items purchased were on sale. The toilet paper was on sale for a price cheaper than WalMart charges. Also the peaches were 1/3 of their normal list price.

Regardless of how big or small the purchase, it is still way cool to see a savings like this!!

Book Sale Update-Closing in on a Dream

June 2nd, 2007 at 11:51 am

Well, the book sale was yesterday afternoon. I worked for the sale, so the evening was spent sorting the remaining books and cleaning up the room where the sale was held. We started the calculating at about 11 pm last night and finished at 5 am. Long night!

Now for the exciting part: My sales totaled $732.95!! More than my total goal for all book selling. This brings my grand total (so far) to $816.93. I'm so excited to send the payment to our last remaining credit card!

I do have some books left and will continue to sell them via eBay, perhaps half.com, and on an email list I'm on. Maybe I'll see my DREAM amount of $1,000 total yet!

Used Book Sale TODAY!

June 1st, 2007 at 04:52 am

Getting ready to bring about 40 boxes (WOW) to today's homeschool used book sale. Dh keeps asking where we got all these books. ~smile~ I'm so excited to make some more $$ to apply to debt!

My goal is $500, which I don't think I'll have any problem reaching. Especially since I'm nearly 1/5 of the way there! (See sidebar.) My DREAM is $1,000 - that may be a reach. However, there's always eBay for whatever doesn't sell at the book sale.

I am also working the book sale from 11am - 11pm. Yikes! Hoping that I'll make it without collapsing (since I'm 6.5 months pg). Smile

Also had another paycheck to apply a little more toward debt. I just keep saying to myself, "Slow and steady wins the race." Helps a little to keep me patient while the debt slowly goes down.

Blessings!