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Archive for April, 2015

Cleaning Up

April 30th, 2015 at 07:12 pm

I spent a long time today sorting through papers and getting unnecessary papers ready for the shredding fest on Saturday. Sorting papers always makes me evaluate our spending and saving, so I think there will be some changes in our accounts coming up.

Another splendid day with no spending--but with some small FB sales which I'll add to our totals.
Less clutter=more clarity

Sweating the Small Stuff

April 29th, 2015 at 06:40 pm

Well, maybe not that small. But I did spend about 35 minutes yesterday researching the price of children's Claritin at Target, Walgreens, CVS, Costco, and a couple other spots. DD has bad allergies and while we're trying local honey for her, right now she's a Claritin freak. The price varies widely; it's almost $1 a pill at Walgreen's when it's not on sale, but almost always cheaper at Target. After more math than I've done in a while, I found it at Costco for about 49cents/tablet, and very slightly cheaper at Target. But for that cheaper price, I had to use a Cartwheel coupon, a printable coupon, and my RedCard. That to save 30 cents over Costco. I think I need to think bigger.

In the meantime, I've sold, decluttered, and donated bags of stuff. Tomorrow has errands--and finally, some financial planning.

More Stuff Out, Some Cash In

April 27th, 2015 at 04:41 pm

I sold a few more things on FB, and donated others today. I'm happy to have all of them leave my house!

Since I've been home I've rather unconsciously changed how I do meals, buying fewer things, and making a more concerted effort to use things up. I honestly think it comes from having a smaller fridge in London. My DH loves a really full fridge, but I have a hard time finding things and like a more pared-down selection. I'm happy with it, and I've heard no complaints from the eaters in the household. We've slowly been working our way through our freezer stocks as well. I'd like to empty the fridge freezer and clean it and the chest freezer. On that note, we had Trader Joe's frozen croissants this morning! Not very punishing is it?

Because I went to the university to do a teaching observation this morning, I got a bunch of errands tackled on the way home. Tomorrow's tasks include starting a serious look at our net worth. That will help us talk more about a move.

Progress Made

April 24th, 2015 at 07:59 pm

We had (gasp) sleety snow here this afternoon, and it was a perfect day to stay in and clean. Not that I'm sure there ever is a perfect day to clean, but it had to be done.

I spent most of the day cleaning the guest room--and vowing to not buy a single gift for anyone until I work my way through my giant bag of gifts. I have far too much stuff. I tend to buy things on vacation or weekends away and forget about it, meaning to give it as birthday and Christmas gifts, then buy more. But I've put it all in one place, and virtually every gift for the next year is coming out of that bag.

I've also made a huge bag of things to sell---mostly books and odds and ends. And speaking of selling and decluttering, I offered up a box of Christmas crafts, and some of my mom's older Christmas stuff on FB, and sold it all to a woman who is " sick crazy about Christmas." I was very happy to get a grocery size bag out of my house. I also sold some books--and all of this has been picked up, so I easily made my goal of getting rid of ten things. It's not a lot of money, but I'm happy to have it and not have all that stuff. I didn't spend a dime, and actually made some money. Not a day full of rip-roaring fun, but very satisfying. If I could tackle a room a day--or at least a couple of them a week I'd be richer and less encumbered. It's worth a shot.

Not the best of days

April 23rd, 2015 at 08:56 pm

It's been kind of a frustrating day here in lots of ways, many of them vaguely financial. DH's car needs at least a new muffler if not a whole new exhaust system which they want $1500 for. Ugh. He likes this garage, but I think they're too expensive, so we went back and forth on that a bit. He doesn't drive much--some weekend errands and just to the bus in the morning, so that seems a lot to spend on that car. The A/C quit working last year, but they want $1000 for that, and we've mutually decided it's not worth it. Then, after much consultation about selling some patio chairs, my potential buyer found others. Now the dishwasher appears to have clogged or something and is leaving sediment all over the dishes. We've rinsed out the water jets and will wait to see how it behaves, but I ended up with three sinks full of dishes.

I still have a couple of FB sales pending, but am sort of frustrated with the process right now and will concentrate tomorrow on other things. I think the tree pollen must also be bad because I'm a bit thick.

But there have been good things--I read two capstone projects, made a good quiche and excellent pumpkin chocolate chip muffins--all from the freezer and pantry. Onward--




Spaghetti Night

April 22nd, 2015 at 07:16 pm

Fall and Winter-y Wednesdays are usually spaghetti nights for us, and it's the first one we've had since I've been back. And it certainly was a wintery day here in Cheeseland. We awoke to snow on the garage roof and on the sidewalk. Ugh.

But happily there were non-literal snowflakes as well. I sold some bowls on FB, got a free cupcake at the bank, cashed in $25 on Swagbucks, and just got a $5 Amazon credit for Harris Polls. Since I have a bit of time now, I've been doing more Swagbucks and other teeny money makers.

I also spent some time decluttering which is rewarding in its own way. I think I need a treat--which will be tomorrow's vist to a nearby estate sale. I don't plan on buying anything, but I always enjoy the experience. I used to be a regular with an old friend, but that was years ago.

Easy Cash

April 21st, 2015 at 07:01 pm

I sold some kid's clothes over the last week via a FB group, and today saw someone wanting to buy iron patio chairs. We replaced our patio chairs a couple years ago and have exactly the chairs she's seeking gathering dust in the garage. I'm going to inspect them tomorrow, and hopefully have them out the door by the end of the week.

More decluttering was done in the office and master bath. I listed a couple books on Amazon, but my ebay items failed to sell. I also have a box of postcards (gees, maybe I am a hoarder) that a co-worker's daughter would like, so I hope to get them out the door soon too.

We've just received the information about DD's school trip to Washington DC next year. It's a groaning $1200+, and of course, all her friends are going. So--in a burst of inspiration, we're doing the 52-week savings plan which will fund it nicely. There are also fundraisers along the way, but if we have overage, she can use it for spending money.

And today was a NS day!

Need Some Goals

April 20th, 2015 at 09:08 am

Over the weekend DH and I spent some serious time talking about if we should move to the UK. We both really long for it, and both waver a lot. He's going back in June to see his dad, and will get some ideas about jobs. Small exploratory steps are in order as we start to think more.

But no matter what, I need to set some goals. Today's goal is to clean my home office. It's pure awfulness, filled with leftover tax information, items to sell, lesson plans, and lots of crud. Lots of crud.

Following on the heels of the office cleaning and before our Brit friends arrive on 19 May, I'm going to declutter or sell 10 things a day.

I won't count myself done for the day yet, but the Easter Seals dude has just picked up a bag of clothes, and I evacuated a tub of ricotta with a sell-by date in February. DH never cleans the fridge while I'm gone. Another ancient jar of pickled beets also left the building. Let's say I have seven more to go today.

Please hold me accountable so I don't lapse back into wallowing in NW3 homesickness.

More goals to follow.

Two More Drips

April 17th, 2015 at 06:58 pm

I've sold two more things on the Kidscycle page today for $7. In a slightly larger drip, I've read a capstone project, reworked my syllabus, and am halfway through _Wild_ which I'm enjoying more than I thought I would.

About to start keeping track of my sales in the sidebar!

Bit by Bit

April 16th, 2015 at 12:36 pm

While I was in London, a friend here signed me up for a FB selling group list. They sell kids' stuff and home things locally in our Northshore area.

I've decided to give it a shot as we always have too many things. Since Tuesday I've listed six things, sold three, and have now listed another two on ebay. I love the system. You just leave it on your front steps, and people leave $ in an envelope. Perhaps not the most secure thing, but ok if people want to pick things up in a certain time frame.

Even better is you can list things you're looking for. I needed cheap copies of several books I'm using in my upcoming Bestsellers class--and while the library has them, it's SO much easier to have a personal copy you can mark up. I tried Amazon, but even $1 copies are $5 after shipping, and because these are not academic texts, publishers don't provide review copies. So yesterday I gave it a try on the FB list, and someone sold me a brand-new copy of _Wild_ for $2. In hardback! I'm still looking for Unbroken and Ruby,but I'm really trying to keep a lid on spending for a bit.

On the earning front, I did the taxes just in time and am happy to report we're getting a refund. And I read two capstone projects for more cash.

And look! I've gone through the whole blog post without mentioning London more than twice. It is NOT indicative of how I feel, but never mind.

Back Home

April 14th, 2015 at 08:58 pm

and trying desperately to find the nearest Underground station to take me back. But enough of my London-itis; let's get down to business.My long-awaited $2400 showed up and has been deposited along with a rum rebate. I made some cash today reading capstone projects, and am putting together a syllabus for my upcoming Bestsellers class.

DH has not unpacked yet, so tomorrow I'll unpack all three of us while weeping copiously. And do the taxes.

Three months after I filed it, the Sonicare toothbrush rebate arrived. That $50 will go into savings.

And I do promise photo highlights this week.