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Dragged myself to the post office and...

August 21st, 2008 at 10:58 am

Mailed the eBay stuff, so I'm adding $190.59 to the Challenge, which brings my total to $11,404.99.

Of that money, $158.14 is going to the Vespa fund, so I'm now up to $297.79 and think I might be able to buy a tire now.

I'm still feverish and generally yucky all over, but I'm struggling to get some work done for the booming business today so I can go back to bed.

The only reason I left the house today is because the lunch lady sent my daughter home from school with a stamp saying she only had one lunch left on her account. Since I just wrote a check for lunches Monday and she's only eaten one lunch at school since she went back Tuesday, I figured she either bought lunch for her whole class or there was a huge mistake.

Rather than try to deal with it over the phone, I drove The Midge to school this morning and paid a visit to the lunch lady, who explained she just hadn't entered the check I wrote Monday into my daughter's account. Kind of ticked me off since I was on the verge of passing out and a school cafeteria was last on my list of places I wanted to be....

If only I didn't feel so bad...

August 20th, 2008 at 01:35 pm

I would run the rest of my eBay stuff to the post office, but I'm coming down with a cold, the flu or ebola (not sure which, but it's not pretty....)

Since today is the first full day of school for my daughter, I decided it would be my work-at-home-all-day-without-passing-GO-and-spending-$200 day (i.e. I didn't have plans to go anywhere or spend money). However, tomorrow I was planning on volunteering at the school so I figured I would mail my eBay stuff on the way, but then I woke up feeling bad and decided I should probably stay home again.

So basically I'm sitting on almost $180 in challenge money that I can't claim until I mail the eBay stuff.


Hey, but on a good note, I pulled our credit reports today and despite my attempts to muck them up with all that debt over there on the left I somehow managed not to.

And, of course, I didn't drive or spend money today (and with any luck won't be for the duration of the day since I'm now going to lay down with a bottle of Nyquil...)

Sold more on eBay and got a check in the mail

August 18th, 2008 at 07:50 pm

Sold and shipped some more eBay stuff, and Pinecone sent me a check so I'm adding $22.60 to the challenge (but only $19.60 to the Vespa fund since I have other plans for that Pinecone check).

The new totals are:

Challenge: $11,214.40

Vespa fund: $139.65

The Midge heads back to school tomorrow. I'll be sad to see her go, but might be able to get more work for the booming business done with her gone most of the day.

I'm limiting my volunteering this year to Thursday afternoons, so hopefully that will save me time and money (in the form of gas).

I also discovered a store three doors down from the Midge's karate place sells my favorite tea, which I usually buy at Whole Foods every couple weeks. The price is comparable, but I'll be saving even more money on gas by eliminating the drive to Whole Foods.

Challenge addition

August 17th, 2008 at 02:18 pm

I shipped off three old phones that sold on eBay last week and after shipping and fees I made $109.74, which I'm adding to the challenge.

I'm only adding $87.14 of that money to the Vespa fund, though, because I put the rest into my general savings account. (Slowly, but surely, I'm going to build it back up after the huge vet bill....)

So my new totals are:

Challenge: $11,191.80

Vespa fund: $120.05

No-drive and no-spend day

August 16th, 2008 at 07:11 pm

Thanks to a rare rainy day, I didn't drive or spend money today.

All but one of my eBay customers has paid up after I sent them each an email reminder. (I'm giving the other person until the end of this week and then I'm relisting the item.)

I'll post the challenge additions tomorrow after I ship the stuff that did get paid for.

My general savings and money market account aren't looking too good this month because of the huge vet bill so I'd debating putting the eBay money toward that instead of into the Vespa fund, but I haven't made up my mind yet.

Show me the money!

August 15th, 2008 at 09:41 am

I'm slightly annoyed. Over the last two weeks, I've had numerous eBay auctions close and I've either not heard from the winners or they've said the money order is in the mail and I still have nothing to show for it a week later.

I try to be nice about it. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. But, my patience is running out.

Pay up people!

Oh, and as long as we're on the subject, a few clients of the booming side business are running behind on checks too.

What do I look like? Free-Work-Is-Us???? I don't think so. ...

Updated the numbers

August 14th, 2008 at 06:50 am

Finally got around to updating the debt and savings totals over there on the left. The debt is slooooowly going down, but then again so is the savings. The savings dropped a huge amount because I did take some money out to pay off my one-and-only credit card a while back, but also the stock market isn't helping me any these days (not to mention the $1,000-plus vet visit we had this month....)

Sad little addition to the challenge

August 11th, 2008 at 03:30 pm

I sold two shirts for 99 cents each on eBay today. After shipping and fees, I made $1.63, which I'll put toward the challenge and Vespa fund. The new totals are:

Challenge: $11,082.06

Vespa fund: $32.91

Challenge money and time for a clock

August 10th, 2008 at 03:37 pm

I gave in and bought an alarm clock to replace the one fried last week. I was holding out, but in reality it was driving me mad not being able to see what time it was from my side of the bed so I went to Best Buy and bought one for $24. Nothing fancy beyond REALLY BIG numbers.

I sold one of my daughter's sweaters on eBay today and after shipping and fees I made $9.55, so that brings my challenge total to $11,080.43 and the Vespa fund to $31.28. (I think I might have enough to buy a spark plug for the Vespa now....)

I have a bunch of other eBay auctions coming to a close this week, though, so those amounts should change quickly.

Bad day for gadgets

August 6th, 2008 at 08:32 pm

Today our DVD player broke along with my alarm clock.

Because we don't have cable and we get virtually no TV reception without it, I borrow DVDs from the library for The Midge so a DVD player is nice to have.(Not a need, though, since The Midge could be doing other things with her time.....)

Fortunately, I was able to salvage an old beat-up DVD player (read "on it's last legs too") from our basement. It was a remanant from our cable days when we had both TVs hooked up to everything under the sun. Now the giant TV in the basement isn't even used, so for the time being the basement DVD player will work perfectly upstairs.

I did go to Best Buy's site and priced new ones. I have a $20 gift card so I'm thinking I might budget for a cheapo replacement in the next few months -- plus I can buy it online and get MyPoint credits.

Awhile after the DVD episode, The Midge knocked a glass of water over on my nightstand and it fried my alarm clock. Because I'm blind without my glasses or contacts (seriously not kidding), I had a special alarm clock with super large numbers. I could replace it, but for the time being I'm going to try going without for the time being as well.

My husband has an alarm clock on his side of the bed, so if I really need to see the time I can put my glasses on and climb over him to see it. As far as the alarm goes, I can set my phone alarm to go off if I need to wake up at a particular time.

On another note, someone posted on here earlier about not buying things they didn't really need just because they were "good deals." I read it right before I headed to Walgreens to stock up on Kellogg's cereal and cash in on the $10 rebate Kellogg's is offering. After reading the post, I decided I didn't really need anymore cereal since we have 12 boxes down in the basement, so I stayed home instead.

Challenge addition, and other odds and ends

August 5th, 2008 at 11:43 am

I sold a pair of my daughter's shoes on eBay. After shipping and PayPal fees, I made $9.78 to put toward the challenge and the scooter fund. So:

Challenge Total: $11,070.88

Vespa Fund: $21.73


My dog came home from the vet today. She's incredibly perky considering she had major surgery yesterday. The vet showed me the stones they took out of her and it's amazing she didn't have symptoms earlier. All the stones combined were the size of my fist, which is the exact size of her little bladder.

She'll be on antibiotics for the next 2 weeks and is now on a special doggie diet, but otherwise seems just fine.

I transferred the money to cover the surgery this morning. It was money well spent as far as I'm concerned.


I'm still waiting for the gym manager to call me back to discuss why they haven't been debiting my checking account for my monthly membership fees. I called him again today and he was in, but his computer wasn't on to access my records so he was going to call me right back. That was three hours ago....

You would think that if someone is willingly calling you to give you money, then you'd call them back as soon as possible.

I'm think I'm about done with "doing the right thing" here.


I am now taking my daughter out to the garage to paint 18 birdhouses that we got for $20 from Oriental Trading Company. My plan is to let the little Picasso go at it using some old paint and brushes I have from various past projects. Then she's going to give each of her uncles and aunts a birdhouse for Christmas.

Dog update and no-spend day

August 4th, 2008 at 02:42 pm

The dog came through surgery just fine. Her bladder was almost completely full of stones, so the vet said he thinks we'll "be seeing a totally different dog soon." Since the only sign of illness was her incessant need to pee before, I'm hoping the big change will mean my carpet won't be stained anymore....

Because she'll be spending the night in the hospital, I haven't actually paid for the surgery yet and ended up with a no-spend day today. Kind of a nice little treat considering tomorrow I'll be shelling out $1,400 to the vet.

The "talk"

August 4th, 2008 at 09:59 am

I had to have the "talk" with my husband this morning. You know the one. ...

"Did you spend $50 at some place involving bikes?" (said as I was waving around his personal credit card statement)

"Yeah. I gave a donation to someone in a ride."

"Uh, yeah, and like how did you expect me to pay for that?"

"I guess out of my monthly expense account."

"You mean the monthly expense account that you already spent for August on an iPhone?"

"Ooops. Yeah. Guess that won't work will it?"

"Ooops. Guess not. So how do you think I'm going to balance the spending plan this month if you randomly spend $50 that you don't have and then conveniently forget to tell me about it?"


"Yeah, you'll be sorry when you're eating Alpo in your old age, pal!"

I'm thinking I'm not the only compulsive debtor in this household....

Free lunch in exchange for dinner and a dog sitter

August 3rd, 2008 at 12:21 pm

My mom met my sister and brother-in-law here this morning. They're going gambling for the day and then we're all meeting up later for my mom's birthday dinner at a local restaurant.

Aside from bringing Spud, her Shi Tzu over so I could watch it (and give it a bath since it managed to fall in the mud in the mess that is my garden...), my mom also brought over rice/fish cakes for lunch.


Tomorrow morning Beauty, the Bichon (still not her real name) is going to the vet for her surgery. She'll spend one night in the hospital and come home on a special diet so hopefully she won't develop any more stones in the future.

My husband was completely against getting Beauty at first. He didn't want another dog since we already had one, but now she is "his" dog.

I thought he'd not be happy about using the furniture fund for the surgery since we were saving to buy a new mattress at his request. Instead, he's fawning all over Beauty and keeps saying we should do whatever it takes to make her "all better."

Oh, and the gym guy did leave a message yesterday telling me to call him back to discuss why they haven't been charging me for membership, so I guess the free ride will be over soon....

There goes the furniture fund....

August 2nd, 2008 at 09:35 am

My little Bichon is riddled with kidney stones and has to have surgery Monday morning or risk going into kidney failure. To pay for the $1,400 surgery, I'm using the contingency to the contingency fund and furniture fund (no new mattress for me this year...).

Gym money

July 31st, 2008 at 06:12 pm

So I called my gym to see why the monthly payments haven't been coming out of my checking account and I got nowhere.

I first called the registration desk and was told I had to talk to the front desk. The woman who answered the phone said I better talk to the manager so she transferred me to him. He wasn't in, so I left a message explaining the situation and asked that he call me back.

Still no phone call, so I figure I've done my part and now the ball's in the gym's court.

Yes, I've been lax....

July 30th, 2008 at 08:47 pm

I haven't been posting much lately aside from the occasional notice saying I was adding the challenge or selling something on eBay. (Summer with a kid will do that to you....)

I'm going to try to be better about it, beginning with the results of a phone call to my gym tomorrow asking why they haven't been taking my monthly $65 payments out of my checking account for the last three months.

I noticed it back in May, but thought it was a fluke. But this week I realized they still haven't taken out any payments.

I could just let it slide and keep going to the gym for free, but then karma would probably come back to bite me in the butt in the form of some outlandish bill down the road so I'm going to fess up.

(By the way, that's $65 for a family membership, not an individual membership -- and we need it for swimming, which is big in our household.)

Made money on eBay

July 29th, 2008 at 06:10 pm

I sold one of my daughter's toys on eBay today and after shipping costs and fees, I made $11.95. I'm adding this to the challenge, so my new total is $11,061.10.

More importantly, this marks the beginning of my Vespa fund, which I'm now tracking over there on the left.

Another challenge addition

July 27th, 2008 at 02:38 pm

I got a booming business check in the mail yesterday and after paying taxes and setting some aside to cover my basic expenses, I have $126.29 to add to the challenge.

My new total is $11,049.15.

A double play day

July 25th, 2008 at 05:51 pm

A no-spend day and a no-drive day today! I got the floors cleaned, but still need to get some booming business work done tonight....

Can she do it again?

July 25th, 2008 at 08:33 am

My daughter is spending the day with my sister, so I'm thinking a no-spend -- AND no-drive -- day might be possible today.

I've got tons of work for the booming business that needs to be done (plus I need to clean the carpet). And, I've got the makings of a tuna fish sandwich for lunch. I see no need to leave the house today....

Free Starbucks

July 23rd, 2008 at 06:27 pm

The mailman brought a $10 Starbucks card today courtesy of MyPoints. Life is good....

I did it....

July 22nd, 2008 at 04:45 pm

Yes, I achieved a no-spend day. We did go to the library and tennis lessons, but didn't spend any money while we were out.

We had leftovers for lunch and I even made a special dessert involving peaches and ice cream so we won't be tempted to hit DQ tonight.

Trying for a no-spend day

July 22nd, 2008 at 08:51 am

It's going to be 95 degrees again today and we're all in need of some vegging out time here, so I'm going to try to limit our outings to the library and tennis today -- and hopefully create a no-spend day out of my self-imposed seclusion.

With any luck, I'll also get more stuff listed on eBay today for the Vespa fund. So far, I've listed two things and have no bids to show for it....

New savings goal

July 19th, 2008 at 07:17 pm

My husband and I have decided to invest in a Vespa for me to use for putting around in the 'hood. Although it's a rare day that I don't drive, it's rare that I drive more than a few miles away. (I would walk, but the Midget wouldn't put up with it for long....)

So to pay for the scooter, I've decided to save all my eBay money and put it toward the purchase, which we hope to make next April or May. (I'll probably also put money from the booming business toward the Vespa, which will cost about $7,000).

I'm also keeping track of all my trips and indicating whether they were potential Vespa trips or "car" trips. And I'm going to log my gas mileage. (I'm pretty sure this will all show that a Vespa will ultimately safe us big bucks.)

Off to post some stuff on eBay now....

Ummm.... might have to rethink the lawn service

July 10th, 2008 at 05:12 pm

My lawn service just sent me a notice saying they're adding a $3 gas surcharge. They only come out every few months to fertilize and/or aerate but suddenly doing those things myself isn't looking too bad....

Look what I did....

July 8th, 2008 at 06:56 pm

Without even trying, I managed a no-spend day. I don't know how it happened. The money's just been flying out of here like crazy lately, but today I must have done something right....

Back from my trip to the minors

July 6th, 2008 at 07:14 pm

In lieu of paying a couple hundred bucks to see our Major League team play baseball this weekend, we drove down south Friday and saw the minor league team an hour away. Tickets for the minor league game were $30 for all three of us, plus they put on a great fireworks display afterward.(I thought of you, Gamecock.)

We then spent the next two nights in a bed and breakfast in a nearby town. Thanks to the huge breakfast each morning and a late lunch (and some carefully thoughtout snacks of popcorn, cheese, crackers, pepperoni and fruit that we kept in our cottage), we spent very little on food so we were able to enjoy a trip to the local zoo and then took a cog railroad up a mountain peak today.

We packed the rest of the snacks from our cottage to eat on the train, but did treat my daughter to homemade doughnuts and hot chocolate at the mountaintop snackbar.

We, in turn, were then treated to a woman with four kids having a meltdown over the price of the two trays of junk food her family had loaded up on at the snack bar ($92 worth of pizzas and fries). I was terribly embarrassed for her kids, especially when their mom dumped everything on the counter after yelling at the teen cashier and turned around and left it all.

Overall, though, it was a very good -- and low cost -- weekend getaway.

A little for the challenge

June 30th, 2008 at 04:55 pm

I sold an old dog training apron on eBay yesterday, so I'm adding $4.25 to my challenge money. The new total is $10,922.86.

I only posted two things on eBay last week and one didn't sell. I'm taking this week off since I think a lot of people will be on vacation. In fact, I'm thinking of taking all of July off and starting back on eBay again in August when people will be home and gearing up for the start of school.

Movies on the cheap....

June 30th, 2008 at 07:43 am

I've been hoarding a movie gift certificate since my birthday in March. Today I'm going to use it to take the Midge to see Wall E. She's been walking around for the last few months doing the robot's voice, so I figure it's time to take her to the actual movie.

I hit Walgreens yesterday for some detergent and also picked up two kinds of candy to sneak into the theater. (I used a gift card I got from Walgreens' rebates on my purchases so I actually paid nothing out of pocket for the candy or detergent.)

After we buy the movie tickets, we should still have money left on the gift card for popcorn and drinks as well so with any luck today's outing should cost me very little -- if anything.

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