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Archive for May, 2008

The worst part of self-employment...

May 28th, 2008 at 03:56 pm

is collecting the checks! I love freelancing. I get to write different stories, I get to work in my pajamas, make my own schedule, and most important I can say "No" to projects I don't want to do. My last boss didn't afford me that option.

But the worst part is tracking down the cash once the project is done. Most companies pay Net 30, so you get your check 30 days after the end of the month in which you finished it. I have no beef with that.

However, a lot of times there's a hitch-- the editor loses my invoice or forgets to turn it in on time and I have to send the dreaded reminder email. The "could you please check the status of my invoice?" email.

I hate doing it. But, it happens a lot. Today, I had to send two reminders for March invoices totalling $4600 and change.
They checks should have arrived in May, but alas, May is almost over and no checks. so the emails go out. Then waiting another 30 days or so to get paid.

Boo. This is why I keep a pad in my checking account. So I'm not too dependent on any one check, because you never know when they are going to arrive!

That said... What to do with the $4,600 when it does arrive. I have toyed with the idea of opening a self directed 401k which would allow me to stash a lot more for retirement than an IRA. But, I may skip that this and put the money toward our last home improvement project-- a new roof. It's the last big cash outlay for a necessity for the house . Looks like I have a month to think about what to do with the cash!

May tiki challenge

May 27th, 2008 at 08:22 pm

May was an OK month for the tiki fund challenge. I guess I should be happy considering I didn't put any energy into it. Having a baby takes all of your energy the first few months, as I have discovered.

So, in May I managed to add $96.61 to the tiki fund, thanks to 3 sales on my Web site and a decent chunk of change from Google Adsense. (all of this comes from my Web magazine, PussycatMagazine.com).

I would like to reach my 2008 goal of $1500 by the end of summer.

I may take a page from another blogger here who concentrated on making $500 of extra money in one month, through various means. But, I think I'll wait until baby bean is sleeping through the night first...

No Drive Day and starting a car fund...

May 24th, 2008 at 09:49 am

My hubby and I actually had a day where neither of us drove. Add one to the No Drive Day tally. I am only counting days where neither of us drive, because we are already a one-car family and I usually don't drive on weekdays.

This also reminds me that it's time to start saving money for a new car. Our one car is a 1997 Honda civic hatchback. It's a great car, never breaks down (knock on wood), gets great gas mileage, etc. But it isn't going to last forever.

I've already picked out our next car: A Honda Fit. I think they are so cute.

I also just read yesterday that they are going to make a hybrid Fit, which is REALLY the car of my dreams. It'll be out after the next model change. (Sometime between 2009 and 2015). I hope our current car can make it that long.

But, since we know we will need it, I've decided to put a little bit away for a car every month, on top of other savings. I'm going to start with $35 a month to the ING direct account, which has about $300 in it.

It isn't much, but it's something to get me thinking ahead.

Plus any bonus or referral money that ends up in the ING account will automatically go to the car fund.

No Drive days?

May 19th, 2008 at 04:43 pm

Just putting this out there. With fuel prices where they are would anyone like to join me in tracking No Drive Days? Kind of like No Spend Days, but obviously, driving instead?

The rules: Count only the days where you do not drive. You can walk, take the bus/transit, bike, etc. But no driving your car!

I think it would be a fun exercise and might lead to some savings. I know I would think more about maximizing each trip I do take if I were trying to reach a no drive day goal...

The cost of baby bean, part 2

May 15th, 2008 at 07:50 pm

Beanie is officially 6 weeks old. Boy has it been exhausting! He's still not sleeping through the night. But I digress...

Before I had him I had a lot of anxiety about how much having a baby was really going to cost us.

So far, the answer is $385 a month. Of course this will change, but it's the first concrete figure I have.

It is as follows:
$200 to 529 college savings act
$60 in extra insurance premiums
$15 pediatrician copay for monthly visit
$50 in diapers and misc., but that is estimating high.
$60 for breast pump rental

It's not as bad as I had expected.

I suspect it is so low as well because he still eats 90 to 95 percent breast milk every day. we are supplementing with formula so I can get some sleep, but we received so many free samples that we could use the free stuff for months before having to buy any.

The diapers are hit or miss.I have reusable cloth diapers but we don't use them exclusively because in many situations, they leak. The last thing I need is to have him wake up too many times at night because his clothes are soaked through, so it's worth it to use some disposables. We pay probably $13 every 10 days or less for disposables. I also included odds and ends, like special baby laundry detergent in this total.

Not too shabby.

My first mother's day as a mom

May 10th, 2008 at 09:06 pm

Wow. Mother's day. It's weird that this year I too am actually a mom. I'm so used to being the kid doing things for my mom on Mother's Day.

The bean is six weeks old. It certainly has been rough. I knew it would be hard but not this hard! I thought he might at least be sleeping through the night by now, but no...

I haven't had more than 2 hours of sleep in a stretch for 6 weeks now, and frankly, it's starting to wear on me.

Having a life and working? Pretty much feels impossible right now. I was excited today because the hubby watched the bean so I could go to the grocery store. It felt nice to have 2 hours alone!

Boy, funny how life changes, isn't it?