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Archive for October, 2008

Upset my job is gone, but then again...

October 29th, 2008 at 06:06 pm

Well, I am a few days away from the end of my biggest and most lucrative freelance contract for the year, and I am a bit nervous that I don't have anything lined up. I have tried to put some ideas and feelers out there, but I don't have any bites yet. I was really upset about this over the weekend, but I think I have come to a sort of decision to help me work through the anxiety.

The last three years have been a whirlwind. After the hurricane we were on super auto pilot as far as getting jobs and a house and cleaning up our financial New Orleans mess. I guess you could say we were in financial survival mode. Then, in the past two years I had the long illnesses ad deaths of my grandmother, grandfather, and my own dad just this past July. Then, of course, the birth of our own baby Bean 6 months ago. it's been just a whirlwind for three straight years, and I've done everything I could for my family and to make sure we didn't go over a cliff financially.

The point? Well, I was stressing out about not having worked lined up and I started to think that maybe that was a blessing. Maybe it's time I had some down time, and started taking care of myself. Find a yoga class, do a juice cleanse to clear out any junk in my body, and maybe just BE, here and now.

So yes, Now I am finally looking forward to my time off and the end of this gig. The work will come. it will work out. But first, it's time I attended to some of my own needs for the first time in three years, and started tending to my health and well-being a bit.

National City stock

October 24th, 2008 at 01:55 pm

A while back I bought some National City stock because the price was too temptingly low to pass up. Now, they a being acquired by PNC bank and NCC shareholders will get 0.0392 shares of PNC common stock for each share of National City.

I sold 100 shares of National City last week, for a small profit of $75. I still own 100 shares, so it looks like I will be getting a paltry 3.92 shares of NCC, worth about $175. That's about half what I paid for the 100 shares. Oh well. You can't win them all.

Oct. has been so darned expensive

October 17th, 2008 at 01:35 pm

Geesh. Today was payday and all the money is gone already, sent to this or that bill. The checking account balance is much lower than I like it to be and we still have two MORE weeks til next payday!

This has been an expensive month. On top of normal bills, we have had my in-laws in town since Sept. 29, two more mouths to feed and entertain. I have had the added expense of lunch and parking so I can do a month-long freelance project, and, the county fair, the pumpkin show, and this weekend, my best friend is coming to town to visit.

We also had to pay $307 for tree trimming after a major storm, and $500 to paint the house (still under budget, but still).

I love October. It's my favorite month, but it leaves me feeling like my bank accounts are like a dish drainer.

One side income dried up

October 17th, 2008 at 09:16 am

Hubby just told me that the companies that we host back-up servers for in our basement have decided to stop paying. Great.

We pay $460 a month for the T-1 line to host the servers, and they paid us a total of $800/month for the service we provided.

Looks like it's done, but we still have to pay for the T-1 line until Feb., thanks to our contract. I'm pretty sour about it, as this figured into our monthly savings goals, and now I have an extra $460 a month in bills that won't be covered.

I may ask the company if we can terminate the T-1 contract early. If the fee is cheaper than carrying the line, it just makes more sense.

$300 check came today

October 15th, 2008 at 05:41 pm

My $300 check came today. $150 will go to savings and $75 will go to the student loan, and $75 to the tiki fund.

I added $10.84 in Web site sales profits to the tiki fund today, and I will post profits from an Amazon book sale tomorrow.

Also, I put $200 in Beaner's college fund, so I'm $100 away from the goal for the year.

Some freelance money coming soon (hopefully!)

October 14th, 2008 at 08:48 pm

I sent some invoices out for freelance work today, to the tune of about $2800. I also finished about $100 more of freelance work today. If all goes well, of that $2900:
$1450 will go to savings
$450 will go to the vacation fund
$500 will go to extra on the student loan
$500 will go to the tiki fund

I'm expecting the first check, for $300, sometime this week. The $100 check (it will likely be for more) in two weeks, and the $2500 check by mid-November.

I hate to count my eggs before they are in my bank account, but I want to have this on record so I don't forget what I am supposed to do with it when the check comes!

The house: Before and After

October 14th, 2008 at 08:36 am

I should have posted these with the entry about painting, but oh well. Here goes!

Before:


After:

Tiki update and stock profit

October 14th, 2008 at 07:54 am

I added $5.46 to the tiki fund today. I sold two toys on my web site and after costs, mailing, etc. that is the profit.

I also sold 100 shares of National City today for $3.00 a share. I profited $115 on that sale, after all brokerage fees are accounted for. Normally I don't hold short term, but I thought I would take a chance. And, because it was held in my IRA, I don't have to pay taxes on the profit. At least not yet. That's a wrap for today!

Hard work truly does pay off

October 13th, 2008 at 01:01 pm

Phew. It was a long hard weekend, but it's finished. the house is painted and it looks great. We primed (with rollers, because our free sprayer leaked) on Saturday, then got wise and rented a power sprayer and finished painting on Sunday. Mom came over and cooked cheeseburgers on the grill for my rag-tag painting crew ( a resigned hubby who hates painting, my sister, and my in-laws. I worked the sprayer.)

With tool rentals and paint, it still cost us only about $500 to paint the house, about $2,000 less than our cheapest professional bid.

I figure I'll use that $2,000 to build a beautiful patio next year.

Doing it yourself is so much more satisfying than paying a pro. I love my house even more after every project I do.

Painting the house this weekend

October 9th, 2008 at 06:19 pm

Yep, this is the big weekend. I am painting the outside of my house. yes, I am doing it myself because it's a one story ranch and I like to paint, so why not? It'll save me a lot of money to do it myself. I estimate in the neighborhood of $2,000 saved versus hiring someone.

I rented a power washer last weekend for $74, so the house is nice and clean and ready to go.

I'm excited. Of course, I am still a little sore from helping my sister paint her house two weeks ago! But, hers was a ranch but had higher gables than mine. Mine shouldn't require schlepping up and down a ladder.

I'm famous-- not really, but it's still nice!

October 8th, 2008 at 06:54 am

My Tiki Challenge got a mention on the TikiTalk blog. sniff. Makes me warm and fuzzy on the inside.

http://tikitalk.astropad.com/archives/former-bartender-savin...

reprioritized financial goals

October 7th, 2008 at 07:42 am

I readjusted some of the yearly savings goals. I am now diverting what should have gone into the stock brokerage account into the regular savings account. I have already put $2500 into the brokerage this year, so I m satisfied with that. And, seeing as I have already put another $11k into the market since all of is nonsense took root, I'm comfortable diverting funds to the EF for a while.

So, another $1,000 will hopefully be added to the savings account instead of the brokerage account this year.

All of this market nonsense also has me focused on our one debt: My student loan. We have viewed it basically as a nonentity, but now having that one debt and a $300 monthly payment for it is really bothering me, so I am planning to try extra hard to knock some principal off of that and come up with a pay-off plan.

I do have a $300 freelance check coming soon, and the plan now is to put 1/2 into savings and the other half toward the student loan. But we'll see. Plans change.

In-laws dropped the bomb

October 3rd, 2008 at 08:36 pm

Before the came to visit, the in-laws said they wanted to talk to us about their financial situation. Well, they did and it wasn't even close to what I expected.

They own a rental property right next door to their own house. It was my hubby's grandpa's house, and when he died, they had an emotional attachment to the house and didn't want to let it go. So... they turned it into a rental.

They told us they were done being landlords and they asked us to take over all the rental house responsibilities, repairs, tenant management. etc.

The rental house is 1000 miles from where we live, yet right next door to his parents.

I understand that they are not the right personality types to be landlords. They like to micromanage, and every small thing that happens in their life is considered a crisis. Not really conducive to letting other people live their lives the way they want in a house you own and live next door to.

We straight out told them Hell NO. With a new baby, and me not working full time. no way. We have no problems being a landlord, but we do have a problem being an absentee landlord, especially on a house we live so far from and that wasn't purchased based on its ability to make money, but only because of an emotional attachment.

If we had done it, it would have been a nightmare for us. Hiring and paying a property manager and paying the real estate taxes would have eaten up any money it made. Plus, his parents would constantly be calling us telling us to deal with this or that about the tenant or this or that should be done around the house, etc. and I really have a strained enough relationship with them without throwing that in.

I'm glad the hubby and I agree that this is a no go.

I'm going to quit looking at stocks for awhile

October 1st, 2008 at 11:21 am

I am just going to stop checking the market and my portfolio stock prices. It's just too stressful.

I'm just going to keep forging ahead on savings and wait for the upswing.