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Archive for October, 2013

Really Loving the Weekends ...

October 26th, 2013 at 08:42 am

... because they mean eBay sales! I'm glad my Post Office is open on Saturday mornings. I have 5 items to ship.

DH has really started getting in to my eBay activities. He actually ferreted out an item on deep-deep-deep discount at a department store, bought a dozen of them, and it has been selling really well. I think it's a situation where a "preppy" item probably sold out on the coasts but didn't do as well here in Texas. All my shipments on that particular item have been to the East Coast or California.

And I must say thanks to the SA folks. One thing I've observed is that even the most frugal of folks spend quite a bit on their children's activities. So I bought multiples of a child-activity-related item very cheap that I've been able to sell for a small profit and the parents who buy from me are still saving money, so I think everyone is happy.

Whew!

October 19th, 2013 at 01:47 pm

The garage sale is OVER! I barely met my goal for the non-profit, with $51 in receipts. But I exceeded my goal for myself, with $77 in receipts. In addition, I got $40 from my neighbor. (I sold some of her things at my garage sale. I did not want to take any of it and tried to refuse, but she badly wanted to pay me back for petsitting I've done for her, so I relented and took it). I had $6 in expenses (Halloween candy).

3 things I'm going to keep for myself (things like towels that I already have plenty of but will eventually use), there is a small pile of things to list on eBay, the things that were in the "free" pile that were not taken have already been put in the trash or recycling bin, and the rest goes in the back of my car to be dropped off at the donation spot on my way to or from work. (I miss my old neighborhood where they ordered a donation truck to drive through the neighborhood the day after the garage sale ... all you had to do was leave things at the curb!)

It was fun, but I think tonight will be a good night for just curling up on the couch to watch a DVD - I am tired!

Garage Sale

October 17th, 2013 at 06:03 pm

I'm going to participate in my community garage sale this weekend. It's the first one since my move, and the first one that hasn't conflicted with my work schedule since we bought this house 4-1/2 years ago.

I have nothing big or valuable to sell, just some small things.

I'll put out shelves from the garage with my things, some things for my neighbor who will be at work (I figure the more things I have the more likely people will be to stop), plus a table with things for the non-profit I volunteer with (leftover inventory of donated items that haven't sold on eBay).

I have no big financial goals for this garage sale. I hope to bring in at least $50 for myself and at least $50 for the non-profit. I signed up for it because:

- I knew that having a deadline would be a good motivator for going through the house & garage and pulling together everything I don't use. I do mini-purges but haven't done a whole house/garage purge since we moved in. Oh so easy to put those off for "later." Now it's DONE! I even got DH to go through the shelves in the garage with me - yay!

- The non-profit can use every penny it gets, and in addition to some cash it will get some exposure.

- I don't know how it will be in this neighborhood, but in my old neighborhood the community garage sale was a fun social event.

- Hey, even $50 (or whatever I bring in) is better than a kick in the head.

Tomorrow I have to do the pricing. Ugh!! My very least favorite part. I may try to do an hour or so this evening to get a wee head start on it.

Ordering from Seafood/Meat/Deli Counter - Wish I'dThought of This Sooner

October 5th, 2013 at 12:05 pm

When I order something by weight from the seafood/meat/deli counter, the server ALWAYS goes over a little and asks if it's OK. While I KNOW that this is a way to increase their sales, most time I just say "OK" (unless it's a really expensive item in which case I ask them to put some back). Surely I'm not the only one who is a bit wimpy this way?

Well, today I decided to take a different approach when ordering some hamburger, because I really didn't want any extra. I asked for "$3 worth." Low & behold, just a tad under at $2.95!!! This will be my approach from now on. I know that for some items like a slice off of a fillet of fish, it is not possible to get it exactly right, but for something like hamburger or shrimp or deli meat, where they can just put a handful or slice back, it's easily doable.

Wish I had thought of this about 20 years sooner! Big Grin

Planning for Irregular Expenses - Just Do It!

October 2nd, 2013 at 12:12 pm

If you are responsible for a living being (yourself, spouse, children, pets, etc.) or a major asset (house, car, etc.) there WILL be irregular expenses.

I had to replace the tires on my car earlier than I had expected to. This hard on the heels of DH having a broken tooth extracted (we have dental insurance but still had out-of-pocket expenses) and replacing the batteries in our lawnmower.

The lawnmower battery actually lasted longer than average, thanks to living in a warm climate, so I can't complain about all of these irregular expenses.

But still ... 3 irregular expenses in 1-1/2 weeks!
1 earlier-than-expected (tires)
1 later-than-expected (batteries)
1 "expected" only in the sense that "life happens" to all of us ... otherwise, completely unexpected (tooth extraction)

Fortunately, we have the funds to pay for all of these irregular expenses. (And yet I still find myself feeling a bit down in the dumps about the tires ... what can I say, I'm human.)

I don't believe that there is any one "right" way to prepare for irregular expenses. You can build cushions in to your budget and absorb irregular expenses there (this is what we used to do). You can have a larger-than-otherwise-necessary emergency fund or general cash cushion and pay for irregular expenses out of that (this is what we do now). When you are just starting out on the path of financial responsibility and independence, you may have to dip in to your small EF to pay for irregular expenses and then build it back later.

It really doesn't matter what your plan is, as long as you have one!

P.S. - Food for thought for the younger folks. I think one thing that helped me stay out of total financial ruin when I was young and not-very-financially-savvy was that I did not own a car or home, so I faced irregular expenses less frequently.