Monday, November 10, 2008

Things are Getting Back to Normal so I am Getting Back to Goals

After a very busy week last week, things are getting back to normal. Not only did I work my regular day job and one of my second part time jobs, I also went on two mystery shopping trips! One was to a local hardware store that I had never been to. It isn't really in the direction I usually travel, so I had never stopped in; besides, I tend to be a Lowe's gal! But, I was really impressed with the store, the staff and the selection. In fact, it might become my next "go-to" place when I need something quick and don't want to go all the way out to Lowe's, which is a pretty healthy hike from my house.

The mystery shopping will pay in 30 days, so I will probably see that next month, but as you can see from the side bar, I am doing pretty good so far. That sum includes my part time job paycheck, lots of books sold through Amazon and Half, and the monthly savings I get each month from some big changes I made to my finances back in May when I started all this. For example, I worked with my brother-in-law on my insurance and was able to drop my rates considerably. I pay annually (which also helps), but I budget for it monthly since each month I have a set amount going to one of my online savings accounts specifically set up to hold my insurance money. When the bill comes, I just pay with that. It is a great plan - it not only lowers my rates, but I earn interest on the money in the meantime! I win all the way around! So, I have about $160.00 in savings from the insurance savings and several other monthly bills I was able to slash that I get to count towards my $900.

I worked quite a bit on my book sales this weekend too, organizing and inventorying. Slowly but surely I am working my way through the boxes and boxes and boxes of books I bought at a garage sale this summer. I won't be selling all of them, in fact, I have a fairly large box of books to be donated to my local library because they just aren't "selling material." By that I mean they are popular fiction titles that are in fairly rough shape - they would still be acceptable to someone to someone getting them at a deal at a library sale, but they won't sell for anything online. The good part about this is that by donating them to the library, I will be able to take advantage of the tax benefits. It won't be much - but hey, every penny counts!

I also worked on eBay listings for this month. I spent some time this weekend taking photos and jotting down descriptions so I can get a few more items up. I have a friend of mine that offered me several boxes of her things to sell awhile back. I've still been working through them. I'm planning on putting a number of her toys that are new and in boxes on Amazon for the holiday season. Since those listings are free until the item sells, I can have them up until Christmas if I want for no cost. If they don't sell that way I can also list them on eBay. I've sold quite a bit of her stuff over the past few months, so I am going to cut her a check this month for what has sold through October. (Some of the sales were under $3, so it just makes sense to total everything up, rather than write a $1.50 check every time something like that sells, you know?)

I am hoping that with the economy being what it is, a lot of people will be looking for gifts for less - books, dvds, things like that. I have quite a few waiting for the right buyer!

Now that I have a lot of things organized, this week I am going to try to concentrate on getting those listings up. I am working my day job and I have one mystery shopping gig, but other than that, it should be pretty quiet. I also have another friend who would like me to look into selling her furniture. She has some gorgeous pieces! So, my assignment for this week is researching them a bit, looking at placing Craig's List ads, and doing a "dry run" of going to where her furniture is stored (she gave me a key) and making sure I can get in easily. I would hate to meet someone out there and not be able to get in!

So, lots of goals on my to-do list, but nothing crazy. I do like to make sure that every weekday I am working towards hitting my $900 goal, but I also try to keep a good work/life balance. I enjoy working hard, but I refuse to make myself miserable, you know?

I will say that so far my goal of tracking spending everyday is working out great! I feel much more on top of it. The combination of updating my budget daily when I log onto my online banking account has been a really good fit for me. I also discovered today how looking at my monthly budgets regularly is making things "click" for me. For example, I get paid on the 7th and 21st of the month, so what I do is arrange my bills to be paid on or just after those dates. With my monthly tracking I am getting a much better feel for how much needs to be in my account each of those days (plus my paycheck) for all of the bills. Knowing that will definitely help me manage my money better!

Striking autumn photo by: Dr. DeNo.


Anonymous said...

After you do your "dry run" at that friends place for selling furniture, you should probably stop in to see her. I'm sure she would be happy to see you, and have a glass of wine for you...At least give me a call to see if I am at home. ;) We can talk about reserve prices to make it official.

Dawn said...

Ha! You crack me up! I will make sure to do my "dry run" then AFTER work, rather than before! I will be sure and give you call and let you know when I am heading your way.