So, I'm a bad "blogger". I tend to just live life and not document each day and then when I think about it, I'll come and update my journey here. So, yeah, bad blogger me but oh well. Haha.
So, it is now April 23, 2018.
Our oldest is almost finished with her first year of college. She is going to summer school and staying in her first apartment over the summer. She'll be going back to dorm life in August though. She is quite excited for the unpaid internship that she got at an animal sanctuary as well. We got her car all fixed up and it should be safe for her to have to drive around in this summer.
Our youngest has yet to get her drivers license. She doesn't need it and doesn't really have a huge desire to get it so I'm not rushing her at all.
We sold our beat up truck for $500 to the auto shop. It wasn't worth keeping any longer.
My first semester of teaching college has gone well. I spent a ton of hours on it though so spreading out the semester pay over each hour is a little sad... but they want me again next semester so it should go much smoother next time since I've done so much prep work already.
Reselling side gig is still trucking along. I just hired an assistant to help me photograph items because I just can't find the time to do it all. I pay $0.75 per item and we've only been doing it a week but so far so good.
I'm still frustrated with the hubby and his lack of motivation to self-improve. He's an enigma to me sometimes. We've been together for 27 years and it's just getting so tough to connect. I feel at a loss and am thinking about getting counseling for myself. I don't want to continually blame him for everything (which I do very internally). Sigh.
Viewing the 'Goals' Category
So, I'm a bad "blogger". I tend to just live life and not document each day and then when I think about it, I'll come and update my journey here. So, yeah, bad blogger me but oh well. Haha.
So, last I posted, we won our appeal for the airlift cost of $52K...
We just got word that the amount we now is just $1,708! I'm doing a happy dance!
So, we appealed the denial from our insurance company for the medial airlift that took our daughter to the hospital in July when she dislocated her hip. Just got the letter from them that said we won the appeal! They will "re-file" the bills and will pay their part towards the $52k bill. We will still have to pay a large amount, I would imagine, but no where close to $52k. Whew!
On a totally different subject, I am seriously contemplating finding an office space of about 300-500 sq ft to move my online reselling business into. We have a very large house and currently, all my inventory and setup is literally taking up 2 bedrooms. One of those bedrooms is what will eventually become our master bedroom (we have been using a guest room). It is in renovation status right now so I moved all my inventory into it which has been fine.... but, we want to move forward with finishing up the renovation so I have to get it all out of there. I found a space that is very near to the house. It is 329 sq ft and they want $350 rent per month. I've sent an email inquiry to find out more specifics so I'm waiting to hear back from them. I'm quite nervous about committing to a lease for this side business of mine. Eeek. We'll see though. I'm definitely not going to rush and jump into anything without thinking good and hard on it.
So, as a reminder for you, I started selling seriously online via eBay, Poshmark, etc. on Jan 1, 2017. All money earned from this side hustle is to go toward our daughter's college expenses. I just finished the bookkeeping on this effort thus far and.......... I ended the first 3 quarters of the year with a gross sales total of $28,913! After platform fees, shipping costs, and so forth, I've earned a net profit of $15,969 (before taxes)! I am looking forward to an exciting 4th quarter of sales. Maybe I can end the year with a net profit of $20k! That will be awesome.
In other great news, the local university that I applied to back in 2015 for a part-time teaching position contacted me and wants me to teach a class next semester! I'm excited and scared at the same time. This will be a new adventure and will be a great additional side hustle as well. One class on Tuesdays and Thursdays for one semester will earn me about $3,500! Wish me luck!
Lots of updates:
1) Portland vacation totals came in at $5,023 which is $977 under budget We had a great time! Our youngest daughter has already started planning for next year's vacation which she is determined will be overseas somewhere. I have to start saving my pennies!
2) A couple of weeks ago, our oldest daughter went tubing on the lake with her friends. Long story short, she ended up with a dislocated hip of all things! The medics had to air lift her to the nearest trauma hospital. We had quite a scare but everything turned out as best as possible. She is fine now with no broken bones/tendons or any permanent damage. I was warned by the hospital that the bills will be hefty though... will update you guys as I get those.
3) I had to make our first college payment the other day and it hurt! Between tuition and room/board, we had to shell out about $12K for the Fall semester. Ouch.
So, I started into reselling as a side hustle on Jan 1 to save money for our daughter's upcoming college expenses (she starts college in August) Here are my 6 month totals.
Jan 1 - June 30, 2017
Total Gross Sales = $18,697
Total Costs/Expenses = $8,256
Total Net Profit (before taxes) = $10,441
I'm setting aside 25% ($2,610) in my mind to cover income taxes. I have no idea if this is anywhere near accurate as I've never done this before but figured it was a safe estimate... so my grand net total after estimated taxes is $7,831 for the first 6 months of my reselling part-time business.
Now, let me just say that this took a lot of time and effort to earn this money. It wasn't easy but I enjoyed it and I am quite happy with the results. From my research, the 4th quarter is always the most profitable with holiday sales thrown in the mix, so I'm looking forward to what the next 6 months will bring.
Our DD's estimated college expenses for one year is $25K which includes room/board as she'll be living on campus. If I can keep this up and earn about $15-$20K a year reselling, the rest can be made up with our regular savings (I put aside $500 from our regular income each month).
My goal is that our children will leave college with no debt whatsoever and that is why I am hustling hard
So, we decided to venture out west this summer and visit Portland, Oregon. If anyone has any suggestions, tips, or advice about the area, please let me know! Our family of 4 (no little kids) would love to explore the area and maybe even take a drive to Seattle while we are out there. We'll be there the last 2 weeks of July
flights and hotel = $3,000
rental car = $500
food, park tickets, and incidentals = $2,500
Total = $6,000
We closed on the sale of our rental house today... finally!
For those not familiar with the situation, we purchased this house in 2006 and then tried to sell it in 2010 for the next two years. We finally decided to rent it out and found renters. These same renters stayed for over 4 years and they ended up buying the house from us today. We couldn't have asked for better renters or for a better outcome so we feel very fortunate and blessed. I am so looking forward to not having this mortgage on our books any longer
P.S. We left the closing table with a $25k check but we did take a loss on the house overall. DH and I are so okay with the loss. The feeling of not having to worry about it any longer is priceless.
Looking back to 2016:
Jan- Refinanced mortgage to a 15 year fixed and paid off remaining car loan balance of $17,210 to be debt free again except for the mortgage; DH had a medical scare
Feb- Had to pay the big and unexpected $1,145 hospital bill from last month
Mar- Joined gym which started $50 monthly bill; got into a multi-car accident over Spring Break; found out DD won a national $5k prom package contest!
Apr- Started vegan (vegetarian for the rest of the family) lifestyle; DH has to start getting a very *expensive* rabies treatment for trying to rescue our cat from a feral cat's death grip
May- major Prom festivities
June- kids wanted Spotify subscription and I caved... oh, well.
July- DH purchased a scooter for $1,500
Aug- DH sold the scooter he had just purchased last month... thank goodness!
Sept- first "manual" payment made for home insurance since we refinanced without an escrow account for the first time ever
Oct- spent lots of money for college applications and other senior student expenses; DH purchases a "new" car for $8,100 cash; our renters inform us of their interest in purchasing our home!
Nov- ramped up online selling activity big time with ebay, poshmark, mercari, etc
Dec- holiday craziness with an 18th year old birthday thrown in the mix that led to an impromptu trip to NYC to celebrate 2016
..... now onward and upwards to 2017 .....
-I've opened up an official eBay store on Jan 1 with plans on making lots of part-time moola!
-Our rental property will be sold (crossing fingers)
-Our oldest will graduate high school and start college... yikes!
-Our youngest will get her driver's license... yikes, again!
I look forward to a great 2017 and hope for much financial success for all of us!!
I purchased a $149 name brand, new with tags, ladies poncho sweater thing from Salvation Army a few months ago for $5. I listed it on eBay with a buy it now price of $100 and had several people offer me best offers on it but they were much too low and the interested buyers didn't want to accept my counter offers. I held out because I knew I had a lot of interest on it.
It sold last night for full asking price! After product and shipping costs and eBay fees, I made a $73.64 profit! Woo hoo! I can get used to making money while I sleep
1. It's FRIDAY. Enough said.
2. My oldest daughter turns 18 today. How can that be?!!
3. We have officially entered into a purchase contract with our renters for the house they've been renting these past 4.5 years! We agreed to a $255k price. I sure hope their financing goes through fine and we can close in January! We purchased the house in 2006 for $288k so yes, we are selling at a loss but that's OK. We'll pocket about $25k after the mortgage is paid off and most importantly, we will finally be done with that house so cross your fingers for us!
4. Our youngest daughter just finished with drivers ed yesterday and can now go get her permit. I'm cool with that. Haha.
5. I've been tracking my online sales accounts in detail since Nov 6. As of today, Dec. 2, my net PROFIT made is $725.94. This is after all fees, shipping costs, and product costs. I can get used to an extra $700 a month and hope this amount can be sustained. I plan to make this much more consistent into 2017.
I went to a charity auction last night and purchased a brand new with tags, Dooney & Bourke matching wallet and handbag set for just $55. Got home and I broke the set apart and listed the handbag and wallet separately on eBay.
Within an hour, the handbag sold for $215! If I say the $55 cost was on the handbag alone, after fees and shipping, my net profit is $117.49! Once I sell the wallet too, my net profit on this one $55 purchase will be even greater.
Anyway, I've been on and off ebay since 2000 but just ramped up my ebay activity over the last week and trying to make some money with that platform. I've made quite a few sales but nothing like this one in such a short time frame so I had to share
-- Our renters want to meet sometime soon to discuss possibly purchasing the house! Let's cross our fingers...they've rented the house since Aug 2012 and have been great renters but we would love to sell it to them instead.
-- I am to get a one-time $400 bonus this month. Woo Hoo! I wish it were more but I'll take it and will put it into our savings.
-- Hubby is itching to purchase a "new" car. He currently drives a very beat-up 1998 truck. We've agreed to stay in the $5k-$8k range if possible and will pay cash for it.
-- Just a quick financial snapshot of where we are right now.
*House mortgage = $273,486 (15 yr fixed @ 3.375%)
*Rental mortgage = $228,018 (ARM @ 4.75%)
*Retirement accounts = $106,778 (not including pension accounts)
*Mutual Fund savings = $9,585
*Bank account savings = $16,703
*Main house is worth about $450k
*Rental house is worth about $275k
*Our 3 cars are worth about $30k total
Definitely not where I want to be in regards to cash, but we are in a much better place right now than ever before. Slow and steady wins the race, right? We've made so many mistakes and have learned a lot so I'm not downgrading where we are right now. Our cash balance may not be as high as some of yours, but it's moving in the right direction for us.
Some meals lately...
Vegan bagels with peanut butter, bananas, and chia seeds. My favorite right now!
Simple penne pasta with spinach and marinara sauce. The family really liked this one.
Can't go wrong with fresh fruit!
Asian noodles with a variety of veggies... Simple!
These ingredients went into the making of Spring Rolls!
So, we had a yard sale on Saturday like many of you did, it looks like
We spent all day Friday pulling things out of closets, organizing, and pricing. Our sale ran on Saturday from 8am - 1pm.
We made $760!
Most items were really marked as $0.25, $0.50, or $1. Our most expensive item that we sold was just $25! So, yeah, we had a ton of stuff.
We received a lot of feedback from our customers throughout the day so I thought I would share the info as to how we had a successful yard sale.
1) We advertised on local facebook selling pages and on craigslist.
2) We put up very simple directional signs the evening before.
3) Location is key. We live in a great area to hold yard sales (great neighborhood, easy road access, lots of parking, etc).
4) We priced everything! Nothing was less than a quarter. Prices were easily visible on each item.
5) We priced everything at yard sale prices! Very important here... I even mentioned this in the ads that I placed because NO ONE wants to pay mall prices at a yard sale.
6) Know the goal of having the yard sale in the first place. Ours was to get rid of stuff in the house... not to make a ton of money for a summer vacation or anything like that. Because our goal was to get rid of stuff, we priced things low and accepted even lower offers... and because of #5 above, we had very little negotiations that we had to do on pricing. 90% of our customers paid the price we asked without any hesitation.
7) Our stuff was clean! Not dusty, not broken, not haphazardly thrown in boxes for customers to dig through. We displayed things on tables not on the ground.
8) Many, many of our customers told us how we had the best yard sale they had been to in years.
Hope that helps, guys. We really didn't have a figure in mind so when we counted at the end and had exactly $760 in our hands, we were ecstatic! This is only the second yard sale we've had and honestly, we didn't have anything but knick knacks at this one (the first one was 4 years ago where we netted $1200 because we had lots of furniture). It's amazing how a lot of quarter items can add up
So, I just gave away a dining table with 4 chairs to a coworker... and I feel good about it.
Life isn't just about making money at every turn. Sometimes you have to give back to the universe. My coworker is a secretary making about $25k a year. She supports herself and her elderly mother. They just rented a trailer and are moving in this weekend. I asked if she might need anything and to my surprise, she needs everything. Apparently, the small apartment they were living in had no furniture to speak of at all. Besides the beds, that was about all they had.
How could I not have realized this about a coworker? I knew she has tons of medical issues (we've had to call 911 before when she had a seizure at work)... but you know what, she's never complained. She's always positive and friendly and is always here for others.
But back to the table... my mother had found this table set at Goodwill and paid $35 for it. She bought it to resale on Craigslist. We had listed it for $50 but no bites... so I just said to my coworker that it was now hers. I will pay my mom the $50 for it. My coworker offered to pay for it but honestly, how can I take money from someone that has so little to begin with? I am always searching for ways to earn more snowflakes-- I sell on ebay and other online platforms all the freakin' time but sometimes giving is just better than receiving.
So, yes, I am feeling grateful for all that we have. DH and I have great paying jobs, we have nice things, we have good health.
I'm not posting this to brag or anything but to remind ourselves that sometimes it is good to just give out of kindness to others without expecting anything back in return.
Go watch Cowspiracy... today! Let's honor our beautiful planet by becoming more aware of how we are literally killing her each and every day
So, Murphy left our house and we finally got some great news.... my oldest daughter entered into a national magazine's giveaway/sweepstakes last month and she was chosen as the winner!! It a package value worth about $5k. I won't say what it is just yet as it won't come to fruition for another month but once we get it all, I'll let you guys know. Let's just say that any teenage girl would be tickled to have won this...
In other news, my DH bought us fitbits (he sold some stuff to purchase them so they didn't hit our budget because I told him we didn't need them). I am actually quite happy with this little gadget. I am a tracker by nature so keeping up with my activity levels all day has been great. We've gone to the gym very regularly, I'm pleased to report, so our new $50/month has been definitely worth it.
For the past 2 weeks, DH and I have decided to go vegan. We have never eaten a ton of meat but dairy/cheese products have always been in our diet. We decided to go all vegan and plant based and so far so good. It's actually been pretty easy. Our kids have asked us to allow them to try vegetarianism instead and we are happy to let them try that instead (they love cheese pizza haha). Anyway, we are attending a local vegan potluck meetup today and looking forward to meeting other like-minded folks. I know it's not for everyone but we have been enjoying this journey so far.
A big perk of DH and I working within our school system is that we get time off that coincides with our kids' school schedules. Our Spring Break is next week and I cannot wait! I have been in the thick of budget season and need some decompression time. We haven't made any plans to go anywhere though. We want to go somewhere but just can't decide on what to do. Sometimes being spontaneous is just what we end up being and it all works out
In a previous post, I had mentioned we would be joining a gym. Well, we did but on a different program than what I thought. So, the cost is $50/month for both DH and I to go to any handful of gyms in the area. We've been doing great so far and really enjoy getting out there and working out. DH has lost about 10 lbs just by cutting out sodas and working out. I've lost nothing but am feeling pretty good... I think I haven't lost any weight because I'm gaining muscle mass (I would've described myself as fluffy). Toning up is high on my priority list so I think I'm heading in the right direction.
On the financial front, we've operated on a very exact budget since Jan. 3 months in, I can say that it has been a game changer. I know some folks don't care for keeping up with every little detail but I would recommend it for everyone at least just once... a very eye-opening and realistic look. I love being able to know exactly where we stand with our budget each and every day.
Our goals lately are to save as much money as possible toward 2 things: 1) We have a kid going to college next year. 2) We have another kid driving next year. Both are big expenses and I just hope that we will be prepared enough.
So, I got an Old Navy credit card a while ago. I've only used it when there are special promos... During the month of January, they ran a promo that basically got me a free $20 to spend there. That plus what I already had in credits from prior promos that has been carrying over has put me to a credit balance of $65 to spend at Old Navy. I also have a $40 off $100 purchase coupon (SuperCash as they call it) that expires today. Basically, this means that if I can find $100 in items today, I could use the $40 SuperCash and $60 worth of my credits to get the entire order for free. Sounds great, right? So, why is it so hard to find anything?! I don't want to just waste the "money" so I only want to get things we need/want but there just isn't anything appealing for any of us. #beingfrugalandcheapproblems
Have to pay federal => $75
Getting a refund from state => $40
Net effect => $35 to pay
Not too shabby.
I could not wait for today! It's so much fun to play around with our budget and to plug in actual numbers when we get paid. Since both DH and I get paid at the end of each month, today's paychecks have now funded our Feb budget.
Because our refinance in Jan caused us not to have a mortgage payment due in Feb, we are able to push that payment into our savings account this month
I still have a buffer of $1200 that I need to find a "home" for. I like to keep a buffer for those unknown but expected expenses that will pop up during the month. For Feb, this will be for some medical bills that should be arriving anytime now (DH spent a week in the hospital in Jan). I have no idea how much of the $1200 will be needed for this or if I might need even more so we'll see. But, this works for now because I do mess with our budget everyday... always entering in adjustments and actual numbers. I guess it's just fun for me lol.
Hope everyone had a great fiscally fit January. I know we did in our household... I am looking forward to February 2016!
So, hubby and I know that we need to exercise. He was told by his doctor at the beginning of January that he is borderline diabetic if he isn't careful. He was addicted to Mt. Dew and sugary sweets and for the past month, he's done very well and has stayed away from the sodas. We've always known that diabetes would be a concern for him since he has a family history of it but it took the doctor finally telling him this before he would "believe" it... he also needs to participate in cardio workouts daily. Hubby is by no means obese but he is about 20 lbs overweight. We have a treadmill and lots of various exercise dvds BUT we have come to the realization that we must get out of the house with a structured routine. Some people can just work out at home.... We don't think we are those people.
So, after a bit of research, the option we are leaning toward is joining a club that is about a mile away from our house. It offers the typical gym environment with the machines, etc.... but what we are looking forward to are the classes that are offered. Yoga, Pilates, Boot Camp, etc. The classes are offered at 5:30 daily so we can go after work (we WILL NOT get up early in the morning to workout). And, then there is a 10:00 class on Saturdays that we will attend as well. For a family membership, it will cost $105 a month. That will allow all 4 of us to use the gym at any time and take advantage of all the classes that they offer.
We've never joined a gym before as we always thought we could take care of things at home on the treadmill or using our dvds. We've not stuck with it nor have been consistent. There are just too many distractions at home (i.e. the couch and tv).
So, we think we'll sign up starting Feb 1 and just incorporate the $105 monthly fee into our monthly budget. My allowance was $100 a month and if nothing else, I'll just use that money toward this now... as I am embracing minimalism anyway and not in the mood to purchase anything at all.
Hey, guys. So, I've done a ton of work on the financial front this month.
Since Christmas, I have been on a minimalist kick. I've cleaned out drawers, cupboards, closets, and more. Bags and bags and more bags of clutter have been donated to Goodwill. No more frivolous shopping in this household.
And, I've also cleaned up our finances at the same time In Dave Ramsey style......... WE ARE DEBT FREE except for the mortgage! The only debt we had was our car loan but I finally decided to pay that sucker off with our savings. We also refinanced our mortgage from an ARM to a 15 year fixed in January! The goal for us now is to save, save, save. We need to build back up our savings and to set aside funds for the upcoming college expenses (our oldest will be starting college in 2017).
So, January 2016 has been a busy month but a very fulfilling month. I have worked hard to rid our home of any clutter (physically and fiscally) and it feels awesome.
So, years and years ago, I worked for Wachovia Bank (which is now Wells Fargo). I forgot that I had bought a couple of shares at the time...
I just checked my account and I have a whopping 2.356 shares of Wells Fargo common stock! Woo Hoo! At the current market value of $54.61 / share, that means I have $128.66
So, what should I do with this newly discovered information? Should I just leave my measly 2 shares alone or should I cash it in?
Any stock people out there to help a girl out?
Thinking ahead to some big expenses forthcoming:
DD #1 will be going off to college in 2 years
DD #2 will be getting her drivers license in 2 years
Renters are still in our house and have asked to stay there through 2016. They really need to just buy the darn place
Financially, we are staying steady but I would love to push ahead somehow. I need to inherit some money from an unknown relative somewhere haha.
I have been selling a lot of clothing/accessories on instagram, poshmark, and mercari... haven't put too many things on ebay because the other platforms seem much easier.
Wish we would finish up renovating our house. But on the other hand, don't really have the extra funds to do so. Oh well.
Been walking on the treadmill daily for at least an hour at usually 3mph. Hoping to get rid of 15 lbs but doubt that will happen anytime soon.
So, lots of randomness around here lately.
So, I have been at my current job for over 9 years now. I am the CFO in our county public schools. I make a really, really good salary that I have quite honestly earned throughout the years. I have been content until recently so I started looking elsewhere. However, my options are quite limited because I need to stay within our state retirement system... this means that unless I plan on moving, which I do not, the only real option for me is to look at the local university here. So, I've been looking each week at their job postings. I sent in my resume a couple of weeks ago for a position teaching undergraduate business courses. I have been contacted that I am a serious candidate for them and they were going forward in checking my references. It would be a great opportunity and change for me... however, I am quite hesitant because of the salary difference. This teaching job would pay about $40k less than what I am currently making! I doubt I will take the job just because of this detail alone but it is still something I want to consider... any advice from anyone out there that may be teaching at the university level? Pros/cons?
** We picked up our check from the consignment sale... our final total was $349.80 which was awesome!
** My DD has been asking for a piano/keyboard for over a year now but we've been telling her that they are just too expensive. I went to a yard sale on Saturday and I'm so glad I did. The fellow had the nicest keyboard for sale! It is one of those really nice grand piano "dupes" that sits on a stand and has a bench and was hardly used at all. They retail for around $800 and I was able to talk him down from $250 to $200. My DH and I set it up in the house for DD and surprised her with it. I've never seen her more happy. She loves it!
** We are still figuring out details on our upcoming Hawaii trip. It's so exciting. Living on the east coast, this is a huge trip for us since it's so far away. I'm heading to the library today to see if they have any travel books on Hawaii...
So, I thought we would piggy back a family vacation with my conference in San Francisco... but we took it a step further and we are going all the way to Hawaii! We have already made the flight and hotel reservations. Now, we just need to look at what to do while there. We are going to be on Oahu. Visiting Pearl Harbor is a no brainer but what else do you guys recommend? We'll have our teenagers with us as well as my parents so we need to keep everyone happy. Suggestions on what we should do to ensure a great trip? This is a huge trip for us and a major expense so we want to make the most of it.
(This is a post that only purse lovers would understand)
So, Kate Spade sends me an email this morning about a purse that is $100 off today only. I looked, coveted, and drooled all day long.... but I have finally decided to just say NO because it's the right thing to do. I certainly love this bag but I certainly don't need it nor do I have an extra $200 to spend on it either. But, gosh darnit, I can't stop thinking about it.
As luck would have it though, I just sold one of my brand new Dooney and Bourke handbags that I bought for a steal (around $90) and got $160 for it which means a profit of $70. I've tried and tried to sell it over the course of the past year or so with no luck until today... the day that Kate Spade tempts me so. But, I'm holding strong and will save that $160 inflow of cash instead of spending it and then some on a new Kate bag.
The right decision is sometimes (always) the hardest decision.
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