My spending today was all about necessity. My new phone was dead as dead can be, and although I tried to charge it for hours last night with the computer, it was still dead this morning.
I took my class to the Imperial War Museum today for a little lesson on WWI. My doctoral research was done there years ago, so it was sort of like coming home. After class I bought a wall plug with a USB slot as I'd read it charges about five times faster. And indeed, in an hour, my phone was up and working.
I got a free cup of coffee from a lovely lady in front of Le Pain Quotidien on Tottenham Court Road and headed home to work. Normally I'd go to the galleries or museums on these short days, but the wind has been awful, and I have a lot of prep for my new class. Horrible gales and slanty rain tonight; I'm happy to be inside.
But now that I have the photos going, how about one from the sunny day of our Parliament tour?
Viewing the 'Junk and more junk' Category
My spending today was all about necessity. My new phone was dead as dead can be, and although I tried to charge it for hours last night with the computer, it was still dead this morning.
I forgot how much work teaching on line is. It's always anxiety-provoking for me because it seems like it's never done. Everything takes twice as long to prep as in a traditional face-to-face, but I'm officially going to quit whining and keep grading.
My prospective dogsitter came over today to meet the dog. She's a trusted, much- liked former student, and she'll stay here with the dog while DD and DH are in the UK with me. Everything seems good on that front.
I've decluttered a bit in the past few days and (hooray) sold two books--one through my FB lists and the other on Amazon. They're the first sales of the year for a big $14. I've also started some London tasks like calling my bank and Credit card companies with travel alerts.
Lots to do!
I've spent about half the day working on house stuff--donate bags, listing some books on Amazon, laundry, cooking, etc. and the other half on school prep as that online class begins tomorrow. I'm hoping it won't take more than 3-4 hours a day with the grading averaged in, but we'll see how it goes.
Lots of administrative stuff around here--bills due, rebates to be mailed, papers sorted through but DD and DH are both back to regular schedules tomorrow, so I'm hoping to have a productive day. I'm also a bit antsy and could use a few hours out of the house.
I've finally ordered the blinds for my office, something I've been meaning to do for months, and my almost discarded old camera seems to be working again. Lots of odds and ends--obviously! But that's the way it always is on my term breaks. Things get put off and then picked up again finally.
I'm just happy as can be with these days off between semesters. I still have a load of prep to do for Monday's class, but I feel like I've accomplished so much in a few days.
I've scheduled the replacement of our 20+ year-old water heater, paid the property taxes, successfully used up all our flex spending, returned items to four stores and sent back another package. I'm catching up on household chores too. We all have flu shots.
Today I sold three books and took a bag of donations to the women's shelter collection. In something that makes me happier than it should, I called loft.com about exchanging some pants I'd purchased as they didn't have a tall in my size when I'd ordered the original pair, but now they do. I'd had them in my online cart for days--but they were $30 more expensive than my original pair, and I really didn't want to either miss them or spend that much. The loft.com folks gave me the cheaper price, and I'm tickled. I think I have all the clothes I need for London.
We're out to the movies tomorrow night for our usual NY Eve movie, casual dinner, and puzzle/game night. I only wish I had an additional week with such time and productivity.
I've been trying to balance minimal household chores, cooking, and family time with the mountain of grading that is staring at me. Despite some frustrations, it's going pretty well.
We spent some time over the holiday discussing whether we could afford French camp for DD again this year. Those numbers and our weakening water heater has brought on another round of belt tightening. Oh, and there's the plane tickets to the UK for my father-in law's 90th. I've reset the frugal daily spending, making an impromptu dinner at home after Saturday's post-holiday driving, parked in the free zone enabling a long walk to class today, and brought my own coffee. If I can make that work for the next few weeks, we'll call the water heater fund started. Maybe Swagbucks can kick in $100.
It's all about the balance.
After paying for parking yesterday, I had lunch with an old friend I haven't seen in over 20 years today. And I bought lunch for both of us. And then I went to the grocery store--but I did use lots of coupons on double coupon day. And since we had lunch at Milwaukee's gorgeous art museum, I renewed my membership. And I got a new watch battery. Someone please come lock my purse.
Tomorrow I need to pick up my Study Abroad rep for our annual SA Fair. Which may mean (ugh) paying for parking again. But maybe I can drop her off? Or let her pay? But I do get a free lunch?!
We've finished painting the office walls--two coats and while I may've chosen a darker shade of gray in hindsight, I think it will look really nice when the trim gets painted white and the desk goes in.
I've been using a rickety old computer desk for 16+ years, and I will NOT be sad to see it go. I'll advertise it as free, but will be happy to donate it to Goodwill. I still have one bin of books to shelve, and I hope they all fit since I'm down a large bookcase. I really wanted a lighter feel in there, but could possibly be swayed into using a black folding shorter bookcase we have in the basement if push come to shove.
I wanted to spray my file cabinets today but it poured all day, so they can wait for the morning. And I bought a vintage kitchen metal cart (love!) on a local FB list for $35 which will be sprayed the same turquoise and serve as my printer cart. It feels like it's all coming together though it's still a huge mess. But I'm finally excited about it.
Two of the books from my stash sold today on Amazon--one for $20 and the other for $5, so I'll add that to my totals.
The rest of the day was spent cleaning my daughter's room. Man, what a morass. But two big bags from her room and an old sleeping bag went to the charity shop already. I'm going to try to sell some shoes and other stuff I unearthed. We also bought her a new comforter--backordered--but a shout out to the lovely manager at Blood Bath and Beyond--he wangled us a great deal and it will arrive in a week.
I've got four (!) bags of books from my office makeover. I'm sure three of them are useless to anywhere except the Goodwill or library donation pile, but one has some more current stuff--albeit worthless on Amazon. So I'm debating the wisdom of a 15-minute drive to Half Price Books. I think I'll put it on my "maybe" list for the day while donations will be on the "definite" list.
My DH's tuition is due early next week. I hate paying $1500 for his class, but we're committed to his history degree. I just wish August had a bit more squoosh room. But always doing better than my university friends who are super super broke. I'll get a small check on September 1 from my adjunct work, but nothing from my primary employer until October 1. I finished up a textbook study for a publisher the other night which promises $125. I hope it comes soon!
And I bought a new carry-on bag last night at ebags. I've been looking for a wheeled bag that fits the new carry-on requirements and has a laptop compartment, and this Delsey fits the bill on all of those. It wasn't as cheap as I'd like, but I've had good experiences with my other Delsey luggage, and made Swagbucks rebates, ebags rebates, and will get some cash back. One of my biggest travel headaches of the past few years has been inadequate and nonwheeled carry-ons. So I'm excited. August cash flow be d---d.
Four more days of August, but an afternoon full of booooooooring meetings loom.
I've been feeling very off-track lately. It seems like I'm not getting much done and am behind in housework and self care too. The house needs a solid pick-up, and I find a very full fridge and freezer hard to deal with. I think I officially have August-itis.
Causes? Uncertainty about DH's job (always and again), impending semester with lots to do, August-afflicted child who sleeps too late and hates the heat, travel hangover, delays in bathroom remodel bids, massive canning days that put off everything else, horrible edits and capstone projects that frustrate me, too many social obligations. I feel stuck.
Plan? Tomorrow (heat and aforementioned social obligation today) must be devoted to catching up. I may have to build in a reward to the child for helping me. Maybe even build in a reward for myself.
It's time to get financially back on track too. Back-to-school shopping was expensive as child now requires adult sizes. Yesterday I spent (ouch)$250 on jeans, pants, and shoes for her. The only upside now is if she outgrows those three pairs of shoes, I can wear them.
Tomorrow demands a list. Getting on that today. Wish me luck to get unstuck.
The three big things on the to-do list for today all got done. I ordered the office carpet: Shaw's Functional in a grey called "Operative." https://shawfloors.com/flooring/carpet/details/functional-j0060/effective
I also made it to the peach truck where the growers from Georgia sell from the back of the truck, bought two crates of peaches, then into Menards for more jars (on sale). Friday I have two friends coming over to make peach jam. It should be a fun day.
The shipped package was a bit of good financial news. DH's professor gave him a bunch of things from his office as a gift including an unopened Woody Allen box set. I like Woody Allen films, but not enough to own a box set, so I sold them on Amazon trade-in for $37. I may have made more if I was willing to wait to sell them, but they're just taking up space so have been shipped already.
I'll add that to my totals when Amazon credits me. I did use the healthcare assessment Visa gift card for the carpet deposit, so it sort of seems free.
I had my London de-brief meeting yesterday, and they've asked me to do the program again. I'm undecided, but leaning that way. Lots of things to discuss with the family first.
My DD is still at French camp, and I'm missing her a lot. She's my partner in crime in the summer. But I'm getting a lot done. On the way home from yesterday's meeting I dropped a big bag at Goodwill. Then I stopped to deposit checks from a friend and for the root canal reimbursement. For the life of me I can't figure out what and how they're paying. It seems the endodontist has received half the amount, and I keep getting tiny check for other portions of it. I'll wait until next week for the endo to reimburse me, but I'm not sure what else they're actually paying me for. Honestly, it's like putting tiny shards of tile together to see what kind of sculpture they form.
I've been dragging my feet on closing my Wells Fargo checking. It means moving my paycheck direct deposit and my IRA direct debit, but I moved the direct debit a while back, and since I don't get paid again until October, it seemed like the ideal time. I figured it might take 15 minutes but 90(!!) minutes later, they finished it up, and I walked out with another check to deposit in our joint checking. Check that one off. Now to fix a few other direct debits.
I also need to spend some time on the phone setting up dental and doctor appointments. And some more decluttering--and a long walk. I've also blocked off a couple hours to write next fall's teaching materials.
Our CSA box had turnips this week. Anyone have fabulous (stop laughing) turnip recipes they'd like to share?
It's actually been a productive day, but such a drag. I packed up lots of the books we sold, an ebay sale, a book given to my husband by his history professor, and (the most exciting!) two boxes of Swiffer wet-jet pads from our busted Swiffer. Everything except the professor's book and the ebay sale was sold on FB, and the other two delivered to the post office.
But most of the day was spent reading truly horrible capstone projects, most of which I failed. They have a new advisor this term, and his students are not getting good advice from him. I failed more than half his projects. There's only so much bad prose a person can handle.
DD and I did take a little trip to Target for some camp essentials for her: stronger insect spray, a new flashlight, that kind of thing as well as some fill-in groceries. That was a swift $50, even with the Red card.
I need more fun! Perhaps tomorrow?
After a dozen calls, as many chat sessions, and one very angry session with the rep in the ATT store today, my Facebook connectivity came back for about 3-4 hours tonight. It had been completely out since Wednesday. I got nothing but the runaround from ATT including customer service reps who said everything from "reboot your computer," to " unplug your modem." But of course, it was not a hardware problem, and a few of them admitted it was their problem, not the FB problem that seems to be the party line.
Now the da*n thing is out again and now it will not even load Google, much less FB. Apparently this remains a widespread problem in the Midwest.
It's one thing to have this problem; it's completely another to have such horrible customer service.
I got my closet reorganized this weekend, and it's paid some dividends. Besides being much neater and more pleasant, I sold a shoe rack that I'd been using as a shelf in the closet, a bunch of scarves, and a shawl, as well as old shutters that have been sitting in the garage for years. That whopping total was $17, a large bag for the charity shop, and a much better closet arrangement.
Both my daughter and I had pedicures yesterday, a somewhat frivolous expense but totally mood lifting.
Now summer can officially begin. Rain, rain, go away!
It's been raining most of the day, and it's been one of those stop/start days. Example A: I sold a basket to a woman in a nearby suburb and offered to drop it off en route to another errand. When I got there, I could hear vacuuming but no answer to my repeated bell ringing and door pounding--in the rain. So off to Walgreen's and Goodwill. All good there. Then back home for lunch, found other FB sales had been picked up and paid, messaged first woman who apologized and wanted me to come back. Ugh. Example B: But then got a message from someone I've been trying to buy a chair from for weeks. Could I come this afternoon? Ok--arranged basket drop off, then got ANOTHER message from chair woman saying she was having an allergic reaction to a bee sting and couldn't make it. Sigh. But dropped off basket, picked up a few groceries, and came home wet and cold but $9 to the good.
I have now officially cancelled chair purchase after third missed meeting, and am again in that place where I'm tired of it all. But I found some old shutters in the garage last night and will try to sell them before I slack off on other FB sales for a bit.
Example C: I've wanted to close my Wells Fargo accounts for months but was waiting for the end of my university direct deposits for the academic year. But now that the university overpaid me by $4K and I wrote them a check to repay it, I have to wait for the check to clear. And this is the university--it could be weeks. Sigh.
Yep, I'm out the door running errands, delivering stuff to folks, dropping off checks, and going to Goodwill.
I listed four things on FB groups last night and two have sold. And had a fabulous e-mail from a London student who told me how I was like "la luna" in London shining on them, giving them so much to think about. I hope he didn't mean "La lunatic." But it made me almost cry.
Every day life can be so mundane; it's nice to hear from someone who appreciates things.
Adding $6 to my mundane selling list. More importantly, getting rid of extraneous junk clouding la luna's life!
I'm not quite sure what was going on with me yesterday, but all sorts of minor things just went wrong. DD and I heard a clunk yesterday morning, but I could find nothing that fell off anywhere. Later in the afternoon I went downstairs carrying too much--the bread machine and two laundry baskets, missed the bottom step and wrenched my ankle. Then I discovered what clunked--a brand new giant bottle of laundry detergent had fallen off the dryer top, split and spilled all over the floor.
After getting that cleaned up and muttering up soap dollars down the drain, I hobbled back upstairs and needed a shower to get all the soap residue off, promptly breaking off the shower head.
So--$25 for a new shower head, $20 worth of detergent gone, a slightly swollen ankle, and a really cranky self.
Thankfully my evening class went very well, DH got a new shower head, and things seem less precarious today.
In other financial news, I set up DD's Washington trip account and paid the first $99 on it.
Not a lot of exciting news today--no new folding flurries. But I did sell a shirt on FB for a stunning $5 and a textbook for $61. No spending but DD and DH went out for pizza while I taught my evening class. It's good bonding time for them.
I feel like I'm swamped--so much to do, but much of it is self-created work as I'm trying for more and more FB sales, so I'm finding, taking photos, listing, replying to inquiries, and packing things up. While the first round of this was mostly kid's stuff, this time lots of it is my clothes. I'm rarely a planner when it comes to clothes and when I find a style I like, I tend to stick with it. The last few years I've worn a lot of cardigans with camisoles to teach. So I've probably bought too many. Axe probably, I have too many.
Inspired by some of the Marie Kondo ideas, I went on a folding spree last night, fished five rarely worn tanks and camis out of the beautifully folded drawer--and was able to consolidate two heaping drawers of stuff into one gorgeous drawer of origami camis. I feel a little crazy just typing that. I washed them and took photos, listed, and have sold three of the five. Out also is going a rocking David Bowie tee, another cardigan, and a peach top that is more tent than top. All sold awaiting pick-up.
I Kondo-ed DD's horrible top and pants drawers this afternoon, switching their order, and I'm over-the- moon excited by how wonderful it is. And also very tired. I'm listing some of her outgrowns tonight.
In between this odd flurry of wackiness, I bought plants, spread mulch and compost, planted another crop of lettuce, tomatoes, and filled six planters.
Although I feel like going to bed at 8, I need to finish laundry and grade tomorrow's homework responses. And pull together a quick PowerPoint for our discussion. Hopefully I can stop folding for long enough to do that.
I've spent a fair part of past few weeks decluttering and while there is still far to go, I'm a bit weary of it. I went with a friend to a children's resale shop today and got $25 for a bunch of DD's clothes and more cash for some books which I'll add to the totals. But I need a break from all that for a bit--or at least to slow it down and focus on a few other things.
While I have university meetings all afternoon, I plan to divide the morning between basement cleaning and garden. That way I can see the fruits of some of my decluttering. And negotiating some bill reductions which will probably do more financial good than the decluttering.
Part of my real and financial housekeeping has been to look hard at all of our upcoming expenses. We both tend to just throw money in a pile, try not to overspend, and hope to find the money in the pile when we need it. Indeed if we want to use some of my nest egg for an English property, we're going to need to examine our domestic spending and goals. That means looking at our spending even more carefully.
My DH doesn't spend a lot on frivolous things, but also never compares prices or thinks about long-term planning. That's just not how he is. Our retirement planning has been my task, and I've done pretty well with it. We also have set aside some money for DD's college expenses, but not really enough. DH had the advantage of a free British university education (no longer the case there), so hasn't really thought through what DD will need. I spent some time running college calculators the past few days, and it's clear we need to save more. Although he fidgeted through the discussion this morning, he actually lasted through the whole thing--culminating in our increasing our 529 contribution significantly.
I'd still like to get a new water heater and a new bathroom in the next year, but I can see I'm going to have to find a bit more freelance editing work over the summer, be more vigilant about expenses, and keep selling clutter.
My current small steps have helped, but I'm committed to examining all our bills--from finding a better phone plan to increasing our insurance deductible on the older car.
Post-London-Syndrome is what I have. Watching the British elections just made me lonesome for every place
from Cumbria to Cornwall. Boo-hoo.
So, not much going on here. I spent $35 at the garden center yesterday--mostly buying small cheap plants that I hope will grow. And another $11 today on produce.
I proctored a writing competition this morning, but parked free and didn't even buy coffee. And I sold a skirt of DD's and an old purse. I'm rapidly becoming impatient with DH's clutter, so we're going to have a big conversation about it--and some may mysteriously disappear even before then. I'm hoping to avoid my frustrated teacher tone but still get some cooperation from him. But he is a sloooooooooooooooooooow mover. And I am not a patient soul.
I didn't realize quite how much I had lingering in Paypal until I bought some postage from that account the other day. I normally just dump Swagbucks cash into it as well as my ebay sales, but there was over $1700 (!) there, so I've transferred most of it out where it's headed for the new savings account.
I've sold a few more things and will add them to the total when I'm paid.
DH is also considering changing his UK visit dates as the airfare is pretty awful right now. We hope to still get him out of here in June.
Lots more decluttering done, but lots more to do. I'm thinking of taking a few things to a consignment place next week. Maybe?
It's a warm day today, so headed to the garden center, then the garden later.
And it looks like we'll have some whining issues. It must be awful to enroll in a literature class and find out you have to read some books. But we got through the first long sessions, and only have six left.
I spent only a bit this afternoon on my way to class--I needed to use an expiring Walgreen's voucher and bought some coffee with coupons.
I decluttered a bit, ridding myself of a big load of postcards for someone who collects them. I have lots to do tomorrow--some financial, some housekeeping.
I sold a few more things on FB yesterday, and the shoes no one wanted sold for $20 on ebay! All lovely, all paid for. My Half Price Book sales amounted to $9, but I've cut clutter and donated more things both yesterday and today.
We rented Unbroken from Redbox tonight, and although I liked the book a lot more, the movie was worth seeing.
All of that is little in scope, but this is slightly bigger: I play pub trivia with my office mate occasionally, and today was the regional finals. Their team is pretty good, but I was happy I could come up with a couple strong answers, and we won 5th of 30 meaning for no cash at all, I came home with a $75 gift certificate to a local restaurant. I'm pretty chuffed!
Bigger yet was opening a new savings account with much better interest. That should bring in more than a snowflake, a mini snowball perhaps?
On this Derby weekend, off to the errands isn't nearly as fun as off to the races, but needs be, as the Brits say.
My wagers are placed on the hardware store, Half Price Books, and Target. The library is also in the running as is the post office.
Our small yappy-type dog is prone to wander, and DH has temporarily stopped the situation by putting up a length of orange snow fence on her escape route. But I'm hoping Menard's sale fencing will solve the issue a little less garishly. Menard's (ugh) also has herbs cheap, so I may pick up some garden stock. Perhaps (ha) I can fund it with book sales? Not a chance, I bet. But good to get some of these extras off the shelf. It's a long shot whether I can jump the hurdles and get out of Targe with just the sale priced dishwasher tabs I need.
And wait, we have a dark horse--a nearby estate sale. Results will be posted later!
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
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.
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.
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.
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