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Archive for January, 2009

Thanks to BA for Technical Support

January 20th, 2009 at 04:19 am

So, BA posted a great song...with great guitar playing. And he unknowingly passed along info that I'd been looking for... how to post a song.

My daughter is 17 and loves to sing and dance and perform. She recorded a few songs with one of her teachers. She mostly does her own back up vocals...hoping to get into some great colleges as a fine arts major.

Anyway, here's the link to one of her songs.

http://www.esnips.com/web/atwirlgirl-Music

Maybe she'll become famous and rich and will pay off the mortgage for us! Not really counting on that...

Calling the tax/financial experts out there!

January 12th, 2009 at 03:05 am

So this is not an urgent "I'm-trying-to-file-taxes-and-need-to-know-now!" kind of question... more of a planning question.

We are planning to move in the next 6-8 months. It is CLEARLY a terrible time to try to sell our house.

So, we are thinking of renting our house in this town, and then leasing a place for us to live in the new town. Problem is, we probably can't charge enough rent for the house we own to make the mortgage payment.

So say it's something like this: Our mortgage is $2000 a month. We can collect probably $1000 a month in rent. We'll rent a house to live in (new city) for about $1400 a month. NOT REAL NUMBERS.

In the new town, I can make A LOT more money (like $1500 per month!), and husband's commuting costs will go down. Significantly. Like $360 a month.

Can we still write off all the mortgage interest on our house, even if we're not living in it? (it won't be like we'll own a second house right away... and given the current financial situation, it will likely be years!) Since we'll be renting, can we write off the new roof that we need?!

Any better ideas? It's the best we can come up with. Of course, if the market suddenly turns and we can sell our house for a reasonable price, we will. Right now the value is probably $30,000 below what we paid.

And we DO need to move. I don't want to give away too much, but there are lots of reasons. Because of the ages of the kids, it has to be this summer. Again, we do have several months to be planning.

Help, financial geniuses!

Vacation was better than working...

January 11th, 2009 at 07:02 pm

Whew! It's been a hectic week.

I've had more than usual to do for work, but hopefully it will slow down this week. I've had sick kids and sick hub. And it just seems like everything took longer than it should have, so I ended up a little behind. Today I'm making lists for the kids ...chores...so they can help get things pulled together around here. I need to make a quick run out for a couple of grocery items. But since I planned a month of menus, I just need lettuce and milk and a couple of other little things. Should be less than $20!

We watched "Run, Fat Boy, Run" last night. Loved it...set in London...funny...

Yesterday I finished reading "Three Cups of Tea," which I thought was so inspirational and amazing. I think I'm going to try to read a book every other week this year. 26 rather than 52.

Today I'm going to try to get some valences made for the family room and kitchen. I have the fabric ready to go. It will look better, and I will feel great when I cross that task off my list. And dare I say that I have a couple of Christmas projects to finish, as well. Aaaargh!

I'm going to keep my ebay/etsy/half.com sales separate from the $20 challenge. I've sold 4 books so far, but haven't been paid yet. It will be fun to watch these two accounts grow. Small, yes, but better than nothing!

For the $20 challenge.... I received a Fry's rebate in the mail for $15, and I saved another $4 on Walgreen's deals.

Previous balance: $36.92
New balance: $55.92

The Vacation is Over

January 5th, 2009 at 01:40 am

Yikes! My last day of vacation and what do I do? I planned to do a little organizing, but things got out of hand.

I took everything out of the china cabinet, and emptied a couple of other pieces of furniture, too. I rearranges and reorganized. It's definitely better, but it took all day. I found a few items to sell on ebay, though.

I made a fabulous dinner! It's Chicken Pot Pie with Sage Biscuit Topping. It's one of the kids' favorites, and it's in the oven now. They'll be thrilled to have dinner tonight.

I have already sold three items on half.com. I'm loving it. Tomorrow I will take them to the PO.

I went by Walgreens today for a few bargains. My favorite was Fructis shampoo for free. I will send my husband in to get another one tomorrow on his way to work. They had a coupon at WG, plus I had a manufacturer's coupon. What a deal!

I'm not normally too crazy with the coupons, but since I'm doing the $20 challenge, I think I'm going to include coupon savings. It will add up faster. Today I saved a total of $15.42 with coupons. The whole bill was $11.14 after that.

So I'm adding the $15.42 to my challenge account.
Previous balance: $21.50
New Total: $36.92

Walking and Half.com

January 4th, 2009 at 03:30 am

Well, it is a Happy New Year so far!

We've been doing MonkeyMama's idea(from a news story) of walking a MINIMUM of 15 minutes every day. The first day, I found nothing but this beautiful picture. It was a beautiful, sunny but cold day. Crisp, I would say. We walked for an hour.



Yesterday, January 2, we walked for about 20 minutes and found an aluminum can. Yep, I'd pick up a nickel on the sidewalk, so I took it home. I plan to take the cans and bottles for redemption on Monday. I've got a big pile of 'em!

Today, my husband and I each found a beer can. Mine was a Coors Light, and his was a Keystone. The Keystone can had a funny joke about going to a wedding and hitting on a bridesmaid, then discovering it was your cousin. We happily picked up the cans... although it might have looked like we'd taken a beer with us on our walk!

I already sold a book on half.com. I like how they just deposit your profits twice a month. And even better, it was a book I didn't like!

I went to Office Max this morning and got an expanding file thingy to get some paperwork organized. I have good "permanent" filing in a file cabinet, just needed something for the more "temporary" bits that come and go. I saved a couple of dollars, since the item was on sale. I'm putting that in my new $20 Challenge.

Beginning balance of challege: $6.00 (that's what was left in one of my little savings accounts after I transferred everything else) + $13.50 in rolled coins from the coin jar + $2.00 savings today at Office Max = $21.50

I'm going to set my goal at $2000 for this challenge. I have other money going elsewhere, but if I could just earn $2000 "extra" by the end of the year, that would be delightful!

I have a long list for tomorrow since it's my last day before going back to work!

Menu and Half.com

January 2nd, 2009 at 07:56 pm

I made up a menu for the entire month of January! I went through the freezer and cupboards and I am hoping to purchase as little as possible. I am partially motivated by the thought of saving a little money from the food category. But I'm also motivated by the "get things organized for the New Year" idea. I want to reorganize some kitchen cupboards, and getting extra food out of them is a start.

I'm not sure that I can stick to the plan for the whole month. I am going into it fully prepared to switch some days here and there, but I do hope to make all the meals on the list. I'm also hoping to cut my trips to the grocery store because they are a waste of time AND can be a waste of money (picking up extra items that aren't necessary!)

I listed some books on half.com for the first time. I've sold things on ebay before, but never half.com. Again, I'm happy to get a dollar or two for the books, but really, clearing some space on my shelves is also a motivating factor. I love books, and won't part with any book that I loved and might want to read again. But, I am happy to part with some that we read in my book club that I didn't love. I'll be looking over the shelves some more.

And I really liked the story that Monkey Mama posted about the family who walks for 15 minutes a day. We are going to try to do that, but we're not expecting to find much treasure. We walked with some friends at their house yesterday and found nothing. The weather was beautiful, though.

Happy New Year, everyone!