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Amazon & Other Updates

May 23rd, 2010 at 08:42 am

In the last couple of weeks, dh made $130 with Amazon.

Our disgrunteld ebay buyer (or scammer?) let his complaint expire, so that whole thing is over. We theorize he probably was a scammer, and gave up once we didn't roll over and give him a refund? Either way - he doesn't seem that concerned about it.

It's for the best - I think Amazon has been easier, and more profitable, for our purposes. Not sure we would have thought to try it, if not for bad e-bay experiences of late.

Dh also made a $70 craigslist sale, today.

It's not as grand as it sounds - he took $230 from our checking to buy some big game bundle thing, and gave me back about $250 in the end. HE did it more to keep some of the good stuff that came in the bundle, than for a profit. So, with the $70 sale, it's probably a rather average $100 profit month.

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In other news, we had a good month. I don't keep cash around, nor do I keep any money in my checking (just works best for us - we are aggressive on the savings), but BM needed $20 for a yearbook. I actually don't mind the yearbook purchase. We actually don't buy the school pics - could care less - but the yearbook is a nice way to get a picture of his class and all that. $20 is pretty reasonable, I think.

Anyway, it is no biggie, but it was going to be a pain to transfer $20 over, etc., etc.

Well, lo and behold, I got some random $21 refund in the mail yesterday. A RX refund from our HMO? No idea what the heck it is.

Well, that makes it easy! It's been a while since things have worked out like that. But often, they just do.

I was actually wary, because it was clearly some blue statement or notice, which I had never seen. "What the heck is this?" I thought. I was nervous. I actually thought it was a "late/overdue statement" because a $1500 payment I had made through the mail hadn't cleared yet.

Instead, it was a check. Yup - never got a refund from them before!

They have seemed to have lots of problems adjusting to their new deductible/out-of-pockets this year. I am sure it stems from that. Maybe a RX purchase that should have been reduced to a co-pay since we had used our deductible? I don't know. We generally do not have prescriptions, but we all had pink eye twice, BM got an inhaler, and dh got some pain meds after surgery. So lord knows which prescription this applies to. Any other time it would probably be obvious - but we are a mess this year! I presume the inhaler since it cost like 3 times as much as LM's had. I suppose that was a mistake.

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We decided to get a new computer monitor for Father's Day. We primarily use one computer, and 2 of our computers have monitors circa 1980.

This is something we have been meaning to purchase for a long time, and I see our window of opportunity closing, as our finances tighten a bit.

My idea was to just buy it because it would probably save energy. (Changing light bulbs was a bust because apparently we don't use them enough. That, and our non-CFLs were apparently quite energy efficient, as is). The computer monitor is something clearly heavily used and ancient. I think we have better odds to improve on it!

I think dh has a modern monitor in his office for video editing and such. (Now that I think about it - we only bought that one because one ancient monitor went dead after nursing it along for many years). When I brought up the idea to dh, he really liked it, since he plans to use the main computer for more editing. Basically, I didn't realize he was kind of thinking of getting a monitor anyway - for his own working purposes.

We will pay for it with the first month of "no preschool." He's already picked one out - I asked him to card it in June or after, is all. So I don't have to touch savings for it.

I think that will cool it on big purchases for us. Last year was really good financially, and this year has not been so good. We used last year's bounty to really catch up on some stuff around the house. So, it's been a really good run. But we are happy to cool it for while.

We also discussed keeping it a low key/close to home year. We re-instituted a vacation budget in the last couple of years (survived many years without one) and it's kind of the first thing to go. Last year we used it more for season pass/amusement park type stuff. Staycation. We didn't even go on a big trip. But, I was telling dh last night that maybe it's best his surgery used up so much of my vacation time - and this big Hawaii trip his mom has planned. Because, I think we should contract it in and be a little less spendy this year.

I can't even manage a day off for an amusement park (avoid places like that on the weekend - can't stand crowds). So, works out.

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We will survive just fine!

We already went to Monterey Bay Aquarium (which is quite a treat!).

We have memberships to the local parks/zoos, museums, and can spend our summer at the pool and bike riding by the lake. Cost is like $100 vs. $1500! (Our vacation budget is only $1500 - and we generally do the memberships on top of that, anyway).

It's fun to splurge once in a while, but it doesn't have to be all the time.

I think this is also an easy year to be low key. IT has more to do with my work situation than anything (which we haven't vocalized to anyone, so no one really knows our compensation has been hit. I might have talked about it to my mom, but that is it). That said, dh's surgery situation hasn't been that huge a hit, but people kind of expect us to be broke because of it. It's always easier to be frugal when people expect that you are broke. Wink So, phew.

2 Responses to “Amazon & Other Updates”

  1. frugaltexan75 Says:

    I don't know if you have anything like this in your area, but when I bought my computer monitor (15" flat screen) in 2002? there was this place that sold refurbished computers. The CPU I bought there has long since gone to computer heaven, but the monitor I bought - out of the box with a slight defect on the upper left corner - is still going strong. It was quite a bargain for a flat screen back then.

  2. monkeymama Says:

    Good idea! Or look for something used. We buy used or refurbished all the time... (But I hadn't thought of it - doh!)

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