Just made $20 selling my Cookie Lee Jewelry. I didn't have to do anything, just had a co-worker ask to look at the catalog and took an order. She said she may order more.
Just got a check for $120 ($60 profit) from another co-worker, but already counted that money in a blog last week - went to gymboree.
Anyway, my problem is I sell the CL just to get the discount and buy my own. I was thinking of quitting this year. I have to spend $300 (or sell $600 - I only pay 50% - annually). I just couldn't see forking the money this year. I think I only sold 1/2 what I need to. With holidays coming up I was invited to a group show so I think I will sell there - I can make $300/show. IT really isn't bad, just after working FT I feel time with my family is more important, so I generally don't do the show thing, though the money is pretty good. I also just don't have the personality for it. I can hand out a catalog and take orders but that's about it. & I think it's important to like your job. I don't like shows so I Won't suffer. I rather live on a shoestring. 1 show a year is fine. But try doing 1 show and not getting 100 referrals. Truth is it is a great way to make money. It just snowballed too much for me so I had to quit.
Anyway, if I do this particular show or push my wares a bit I may be able to get my minumum and sell another year. I do not think I have spent a dime this year on the jewlery. Yay me!!
Anyway this week: + $5 costume, +$20 jewelry + $90 anniversary gift = $115 this week thus far. The week isn't even over. If every week was like this hubby would not need a job in the least. ; )
Oh yeah - I forgot to mention at seminar yesterday was so funny. I totally wasted $4 on that puzzle book because I forgot I signed up for seminar with the comedian instructor. Funny funny class. But it was so ironic because he had a huge section on BUDGETING and personal finance. The class was "Tax Planning for Families." Did I learn much? Not really because guy jokes more than he teaches - LOL. But he does compile a huge list of useful websites. If savingadvice.com is not in the list I will e-mail him and have him add it. I have the feeling it is. He is sending us his updated sites in a month or so. We'll see.
I have been SO addicted to this site I was looking for a breath of fresh air and getting budgeting off my mind for a day - stuck in class. No such luck - LOL. Was just too funny...
Archive for September, 2006
Just made $20 selling my Cookie Lee Jewelry. I didn't have to do anything, just had a co-worker ask to look at the catalog and took an order. She said she may order more.
Alas, I said yesterday I never spend money. who me? But alas today is a bit of a big spend day. OR today and yesterday.
I have seminar today for my job. So will cost me some extra gas, and lunch, but luckily not parking today. On the days it costs me parking too, eh, it's for my job and my CPA license so what am I gonna do??? I know I do not have to eat out but I Decided to splurge. Don't worry I never eat at the $20 hotel lunches - my goodness! But I am looking forward to a little Round Table Pizza Buffet.
I also stopped for gas last night and decided to grab a puzzle book at the grocery store. $4 down the drain, but good for my sanity in case class is too boring, and to fill in the breaks. I bought one a few months back at seminar and my husband and I got completely addicted to fill-in puzzles aka griddlers. Unfortunately I could find none of those puzzles.
Oh yeah - but I filled my tank for $30 - WOOT!!!!!!!! Ever since we got the van I have been a little stressed not only in all its "newness" but I underestimated its gas guzzling ways. Plus gas has been sky high - I have filled the tank many a time for $50. Gas has dropped from $3/gallon to $2.50. It was pretty sweet... Plus it had been 10 days since last fill-up (instead of my usual 7 days) and my tank wasn't completely empty. I know my hubby's car can make the 400 miles to Disneyland on 1 tank so if we fill up here I know on this end will only be $25 instead of $30. I had no idea prices had dropped so much since I haven't gotten gas for 2-3 weeks myself. Yippee.
Then tonight it is bunco. I don't play for the money. I swear someone invesnted the game just so moms can escape for one night every month. ; ) & that is why I go. My old group I played 1 year and came out ahead, and this year I Was weary because buy-in is $11 instead of $7. BUT 2 nights already and I won upwards of $50 both times. So I made enough to play the rest of the year. I am feeling lucky tonight!
Instead of running to the store last minute I did buckle down and make brownies for tonight. I had to plan ahead and this week was not the best week - it has been a little crazy. But saved a little $$$. I did make pre-packaged brownies so wasn't as frugal as I could be, but they were already in the cupboard - a sunk cost.
The downside is someone is bringing a pony keg (football theme tonight) and announced she paid $60. I wish she had gone in with a few people. I thought if we all gave her a buck or 2 it would even out, but not everyone will so I'll probably give her $5. From my bunco winnings last 2 months so whatever. I may even spot her more. Oh well. I have only played with alcohol twice, I am not much of a drinker and neither are my friends. But it is a little more interesting with alcohol involved - LOL.
Anyway, if you don't know what bunco is, it's a dice game pretty much all luck (no strategy). So wish me luck tonight. I want to win BIG. ; )
***Three-year-old buys pink convertible on Internet***
Tue Sep 26, 7:31 AM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - Jack Neal briefly became the proud owner of a pink convertible car after he managed to buy it for 9,000 pounds ($17,000) on the Internet despite being only three years old.
Jack's mother told the BBC she had left her password for the eBay auction site in her computer and her son used the "buy it now" option to complete the purchase.
"Jack's a whizz on the PC and just pressed all the right buttons," Rachel Neal said.
The seller of the second-hand car, a dealer from Worcestershire, central England, was amused by the bid and agreed not to force the sale through.
"Luckily he saw the funny side and said he would re-advertise," Neal said.
Just saw this and had a laugh.
I just wanted to say it was funny because I do not know how many people have asked about our Disneyland trip this weekend and said, "How long are you going? What? Just ONE day????" I am trying to think back and I only ever remember going one day. In fact, I thought we were splurging, because with the toddler we figure we better stay 2 nights. Drive up, sleep, 1 day at DL, sleep, and all day Sunday to drive home. IT's about all we can squeeze in. & then the whole, with gas so insane, "Isn't it cheaper to fly????" I budgeted $60 for gas and that will do. Get me 3 airline tickets for $60 and you got me sold, I live down the street from the airport - LOL. & I think 1 day in DL is about all my son can handle. I know he will be EXHAUSTED. Even flying is such an ordeal I don't think it would save much time. We could fly down Friday afternoon, sleep, go to DL one day, and fly back Sunday. Doesn't really lend to more time at DL.
Granted, in all my one day trips to DL, we have never been to CA Adventure, or Legoland, or any of the new parks. Maybe sometime down the road - in years - we'll make a week of it with the kids. For now 1 day at DL is more than enough to entertain the 3 of us. & yeah I think we are going more for us than the kid - LOL. Baby gets to stay home with grandma. Phew...
The other night hubby was out and I gave the baby a wooden spoon to turn his buckets and tupperware into drums. He was having a blast, but my 3-year-old got a little jealous. HE wanted a spoon too! So I gave him one. I noticed it started splintering and told him to settle down with it. But he was beating the hell out of this spoon. It culminated with the spoon snapping in half. LOL. Okay, no more spoons for him.
The funniest part was the next morning my husband looked in the trash and could not fathom why there was a broken spoon on the top of the trash. HE approached me and was like, "What were you doing last night???" LOL.
My son was SO cute Friday too. Wednesday driving home from preschool we stopped by a used bookstore. I just heard a woman in my moms' group owns this store and it is right around the corner from his preschool. So we went in, it was a pretty nice store, bought a few books for ds - $5 maybe. So of course Friday he says he wants to go to the bookstore again. BEing very budget minded I told him we could not go. & mentioned his preschool is sucking me dry - LOL. I put it nicely because I do not want him to stress about it. But all the same I want him to know we can not do x and x because we are putting our effort into this one thing that he LOVES. & as a result we sacrifice other things.
Anyway, he was really cute because I started telling him about how cool libraries are and I Would take him to one soon. We used to go a bit, but since the baby, hasn't been very fun - LOL. But I am thinking we can start fitting in weekly library visits. I was telling him just how cool libraries were for letting you BORROW books, and you don't have to pay money. HE just got all excited and said "I want to go to the library NOW!!!" I did tell him that the library unfortunately did not have cats like the bookstore did, but at this point he was too excited to care. Was just cute how he got so excited. & glad I found an alternative to his beloved bookstore. ; )
This week stinks. Older son was sick (mild), then baby (worst). Then daddy, and today me. Plus side I didn't miss any work and hubby was well enough for me to sleep all day yesterday. Downside, weekend sucked. LOL.
Anyway, when I Was whining about my budget I didn't say the PLUS side. Unless I am missing something, which I may be, I found the $700 or so we need to set aside every month for insurance/property taxes. I had been settling on $300 and then I haven't even been able to do that for a while. The budget is a wonderful thing.
We also figured out a compromise on preschool. We are looking to switch ds to 2 full days a week. IT would save us $15/week, save money on gas (don't have to take him home at lunch) and goes to my other goal of focusing on maximizing money from my job. Right now I take him home at lunch 2 days a week and leave early one day since he has to be picked up by 5 on the full day. LEssening all of this nonsense to 2 days will be great, especially with crazy tax season coming up. 2 full days is just super cool enough it won't feel like less to him. HE LOVES the days he stays all day.
$60/month saved. + gas and time saved. (probably $10 gas per week).
We are clearing out the storage before we have to pay another month. $56/month saved.
Eating out - I am narrowing it down by $75/month for now. Not that we always spent $150. We never really eat out - don't even ask - it just seems to explode with a family of 4. Though I don't remember the last time we all 4 ate out together. ??? So I am not sure how it adds up so fast. I will be looking closer at it.
70 + 56 + 150 = $276/month saved.
I whittled down my misc. category to $200/month. It put our annual budget in to the positive numbers. Woot. Maybe +$100 for the year - LOL. But something. Implementing it will be another story. We'll see how it goes.
It seems silly for hubby to get a job when I can work overtime and get $33/hour. I am focusing on working OT 3 hours/week the rest of the year. That's $100/week. November is iffy but October & December the work wil be there. Downside is I get this paid randomly by bonuses, and if my boss feels I am just not productive he won't give it to me. For this part of the year though I should be working more, and I should get it in the form of Christmas bonus, which would be great.
Hubby is knee-deep in an unpaid video project right now, but he is looking into seasonal things all the same. Something temp to bring in a few bucks, help out the end of the year.
The downside of our budget is we really have no room for the unexpected. I guess that is why me working more and hubby working will pad our emergency fund a bit. I want to get that sucker UP.
I just did a quick annual budget and it was pretty depressing...
I put in everything month by month for the year, and I know Oct - Dec is off, because I pretty much went off my 9 months data in Quicken. I didn't even put in christmas - too depressing. IT is just possible christmas cash received will be greater than christmas purchases, so we'll wing it for now.
With that I had a $1k loss for the year, but lately the in-laws have been pretty generous and throwing $1k at us here and there. It will cover it.
It's super depressing because rates on everything seem to raise come January. Just hope I get a raise to cover inflation.
I didn't detail the clothes and DVDs, etc. we buy every year and just threw in $300/month. THat is just for everything I didn't have categorized really - probably more than sufficient. Throw in vacation to that category too. I put 0 on the vacation budget because this last year we went to Vegas and HAwaii (Hawaii was paid for but we still spent $500 - on food mostly). If we can't afford to go anywhere to stay in budget, so be it. We had a good run this year.
I skimmed through the budget and all I Saw was insurance and gas (to drive to work) and stuff that just can not be cut. I decided in the meantime we just can't save a dime. Yes, the gardener, the preschool, and the cable all stand out as not necessity. BUT they are necessities to our sanity. There is just no way. IF we couldn't pay the bills, fine, but for now it all has been working out.
On the flip side, we were looking to move this summer and we are paying $56/month to storage. That can go... So by the end of the year I Want to make it a priority to clear out the space. & give up on moving - we just can't afford it right now.
As far as eating out, we can scale back. Maybe go from $100/month budget to $50.
Looking at the budget those 2 things popped out. I hadn't even really thought about the storage until then...
Beyond that I am paying $215/month on that personal loan. When that is paid off it is $200/month to build up our emergency fund. & if I get a raise in January, the same. So there is some hope.
I didn't even include the extra money we receive here and there from other work and other windfalls, etc. So it probably isn't as dire as it seems. We usually save all of this above and beyond the norm.
That's about all I can see for now. Hubby has to get a job, plain and simple. Something steady. We'll give it a whirl next summer probably. Another $200/month steady income would be pretty sweet right now, doesn't have to be much...
So what happened here??? I can narrow it down to 1 thing - preschool. I looked into it last April and found something for about $300/month. Just M/W/F 4 hours each day. But in this area that is about as cheap as it gets. I had some money saved, and figured we'd give it a try. IT was a bad move - LOL. No, it was a great move for my family, but unfortunately we absolutely fell in love with the place and there is no going back. We are now paying closer to $365 so he can stay all day Wednesdays. HE just loves it so dang much ... Plus gives the baby some one-on-one time with daddy. When I look at the budget it glares at me, but it has crossed the line to necessity. My son has just blossomed there like you wouldn't believe in such a short time. & cutting back would no less than break his heart. So yeah, before this and the loan we were doing pretty good. & since then things have been pretty dang tight.
So what do we do, we will go find more income. & we are working on cutting little things as well. Every little bit helps...
I just wanted to clarify that this is a pretty temp budget. We are just trying to bide our time until the baby turns 2 next summer and childcare options are more abundant and cheap. Thus the reluctance for hubby to get a job before then. Work is crazy for me December - April because of tax season and with a sleepless teething baby I am not sure we can handle much more.
I realize I am pretty stubborn on a few things in our budget, but we have a lot of untapped earnings potential and I Want to tap those first before we start cutting out certain things.
I am working on saving $300/month on health insurance which would kind of wash out this preschool predicament we have gotten ourselves into.
Regardless of our savings my boss is adding 10% of my income to retirement. An extra bonus as the more overtime I work, the more goes in retirement. I really just need to work more...
A strategy I am looking into is a PT job for my hubby with full health benefits. There are a lot around (state jobs & healthcare jobs). Full benefits would save us upward $600/month. This is the worst part of our budget I Feel. It really bugs me - we are not even 30 yet and I shudder to think what our premiums will be next year when I hit 30. Imagine if any of us were actually sick or something!! : ( Oh well, we officially can no longer afford our healthcare...
Well, I could go on and on all day about the advantages of having a man who stays home while the woman works. (For 1 - maternity leave is pretty awesome - kind of like vacation with both of us home).
But I just found the big downside - vasectomy!!! It's like 5 days of no lifting - yeah right with a baby. I Am just hoping we can squeeze it in this year. I have 3 days vacation and we'll make it work. But I keep thinking to all the men I know who were back to work in 1 day. & then I think - duh - most office jobs don't require heavy lifting like my hubby's job does. Blech. Big baby boy is 25 pounds and not walking yet, so I got to stay home a few days with the kids.
We'll work it out. I just really wanted him to take care of this this year, because I wanted to switch to a high-deductible plan Jan. 1. We just can no longer afford our premiums. In the meantime, I will call and ask how much the procedure is. THey told him today it was only $250, but I find that hard to believe. IF that's it, piece of cake, we'll be saving $300/month with reduced premiums. I find it hard to believe because that is what they charge us NOW for any procedure. I think he was misinformed. ; ) Then again, as a preventive measure - maybe. Costs them a lot less than a pregnant woman I guess...
Oh anyway, he went to an info meeting on it tonight, since he finally called the hospital, etc. HE came home pretty whiny and I am afraid to say I Wasn't very sympathetic. After doing the birth control thing for many years and giving birth twice, eh, I think I have done my duty. I am actually just about doing the happy dance that the responsibility is shifting and I can throw the birth control out the window.
I am working on my budget and I am just planning for the worst when it comes to medical. Maybe we will be paying the big premiums another year. If he can't get the big snip now, it will be next summer earliest.
Anyway, I read on here about using Quicken and budgeting in Excel, but it just seemed kind of silly. Anyway, I was researching spreadsheets today for work and I started getting distraced by all these personal budgeting spreadsheets. After looking at them a little closer I started seeing the benefit. I think I Will give it a whirl. Dh is gonna go crazy because I started entering all of our grocery items more detailed, etc. I swear all I do in my spare time (what spare time?) these days is budget, invest, etc. Oh well, but I like it. I have done budgets in excel before, but I guess over the years our finances have just got so dang complicated. So I am working on a budget for next year - just putting something together, will be tweaked as we go for sure. In the past I just used round budgets, and I budget enough in my head that I always know where we're at, and we neevr spend more than we have. BUT, I need to get a "down to the penny" budget written down that we can stick to, and so we can work on our savings a little more.
Monthly budgets are nice, but I keep getting thrown off by the one-time expenses every year. So I am working out some all-inclusive monster budget. We'll see how it goes. ; ) Then I can track our progress each month. But I really look forward to seeing the big picture. (Or maybe not...).
Dh has been taking the grocery shopping thing pretty seriously. HE has been stocking a lot on sale, and though we rarely buy brand names, the few things we do, he is coming home with generic lately. Hope this helps the bottom line... I got a bunch of Target coupons and think I will go stock up on some things as well. A big investment this month, but worht it down the road.
LOL. I could not resist posting this.
To date these are the kids' favorite toys by far. I know I Said in an earlier post that most of the people I hang around of late do not get any concept other than spoiling their kids rotten. & I am always saying they don't need every little thing their heart desires. Anyway, their favorite toys are case in point I guess, that you don't need to spend a lot of money to keep your kids happy. ; )
I got the shovels and buckets (10 or so buckets in total) for $4 off of ebay. It was probably $12 once you consider shipping, but I needed a bunch of beachy stuff for a beach-themed party. I handed a couple to the kids because I didn't need them all, figuring we'd take them to the park in the future. I can not believe how much they play with those inside the house. My 15-month-old's favorite toys by far!
The tupperware are hand-me-downs from grandma (notice the 70s color scheme) and they are the nicest tupperware pieces I own by far. But this was always a favorite toy for my older son, and now baby is enjoying.
I kicked off my socks yesterday after a walk because it was so hot and baby played with them the rest of the evening.
Oh yeah, and when I was gathering toys for this picture I spotted his little credit card. It was one of those little paper ones you get with the credit card offers. For some reason baby claimed it and thinks it is the best toy ever. I don't know if this means I will have extra trouble teaching him about money, or he will be easy - LOL. It is kind of funny though the way he carries that thing around, almost like a security blanket. It's making me a little scared...
In short, a bucketload of fun for $12.
I also think it is kind of important for the kids to play with toys that are not flashy and electronic - not all the time (believe me they have PLENTY in that category). I don't think we have done as good screening with the baby, have gotten lazy, but it is nice he enjoys some of the non-flashy things. A lot of the time, he prefers them...
When I Tell people we have really had no debt, except our mortgage, they look at me like I am lying for the most part. LOL. I think the general concensus in mainstream society it just can not be done.
I have had people tell me that it is impossible and I can't have a decent credit score then. Well my credit score last I checked was 700/800. But that is another post for another day.
Anyway, as far as the school, people then say - well your parents paid for your school. Um, no. I went to public school & community college. IT so happens the college in my hometown had a pretty stellar accounting program, but I didn't even know what my major would be when I started. That was the point my parents said uh uh no way. I really wanted to go to UCSD, but wihtout a major in mind my parents said I could go to community college or State for a while, and live at home. I did State for 5 years actually, but supplemented with classes in the summer at community colleges.
I was pretty stubborn and moved out on my own pretty fast. I was frustrated my I was out on my own and my parents weren't paying, but that I could not get assistane due to their income. I just had to work a lot of jobs. THe last year I had a semester or 2 paid by sholarships though.
I probably learned how to survive overall from my dad who's parents were too poor, and so he did it on his own. So I followed his example essentially.
I am sure my parents helped a little, but it was not an expensive education overall. Nothing that would have left me in debt either way.
I have taken this philosophy and am not into college funds for my kids. My goal is to pay off our mortgage by then so the money is there if one of them decided to be a doctor or a lawyer. BUT beyond that I leave it up to them to work for it if they want it. I have been pleased after being told over and over this is dumb, that Suze Orman agrees. ; ) I know we can pull the money together if they need help, but they are going to public school, that I Can guarantee...
The other thing no can believe is I have never had a car loan. My philosophy has been to always drive old. Find a car with lo miles (30k at most) that is a 7-10 year old model - even older - and you get a new car that is pretty dang depreciated. The key here is to have a trusted mechanic to give you a thumbs up befoe you buy anything. Though I did look at plenty of cars that at a glance you could tell were not worth it - not maintained well, etc. Big red flag. IF you go for those well- maintained cars, guess what, they look as good as new too since they are so well cared for. I wouldn't say we have had junkers, we have had nice cars, they have just been old. We have 2 very nice cars today. We have probably saved 100k over the years in car payments and interest. I am even getting a cute (used) sports car just for fun in a year or 2. We'll have the money no sweat with all we have saved on cars. & mostly that has freed up a lot of money for other things.
But it is not just the big things. The furniture in our house and a lot of our clothes. IT is all used, used, used. At face value no one would know. We buy the things that people bought and turned around and sold the next day. You can get "new" things and take the benefit of depreciation. Washer and dryer - we have always gotten used ones from the paper. $50/each and we used for about 10 years. we just recently bought a new washer/dryer because we felt we had the money. BEfore then the used did us well. Honestly, I miss the old ones - I like them better - LOL.
Another one is we wanted a 2nd fridge so we got one out of the paper for $50 or so. Was a little ugly but just sat in the garage - what did I Care. ; )
I spend $100/year on my sons' wardrobes. USed/used/used. I mostly buy things neevr worn and with tags still attached.
I have hardly bought a baby item new - people use them for such a short time - there are a lot of nice things to be had used.
Look out for those used bargains and watch yourself bound ahead financially. & keep in mind that used does not always mean it was really, well, used. Take advantage of the things that other people regret buying. ; )
I do like to think that one day we will buy some more "new" stuff. But the more we have the means for the "new" stuff, the more I don't want to waste the money. It really feels like a waste. & Frankly we still can't afford it years later with substantially more income and assets. Maybe one of these days I Will have enough money that the idea of buying new won't feel so overwhelming. In the meantime, I keep buying used...