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Archive for August, 2006

eBay is coming through stupendously

August 31st, 2006 at 08:20 am

I have these action figures that I originally bought off of eBay years ago. I finally decided to part with them so I put them back up on eBay to see if I could dispose of them easily. Especially since I never opened any of them so they're all New In Box. There wasn't much of a presence on eBay anymore but I had hopes that perhaps I could still get a nibble or two. There are seven action figures all together. My initial asking price is $3 and the shipping is the actual shipping costs so no money to be made there.

In actuality though, if I got 1 bid on each one I still wouldn't make $3 on it. If they pay by credit card, PayPal will take $0.50. Plus there's the $0.35 listing fee (I'm cheap and wouldn't spring for any extras to list it). So that makes the total profit on each, if each got one bid, $2.15. Multiply that by 7 and you get $15.05. Not much but it's something.

Last night, I had one bid on one (I'm putting them up one per night just to spread it out a little and not have all of them end at the same time) with 10 watchers and one watch on another out of the three I'd put up so far. Wake up this morning to find the one with a bid is now up to $41 with 2.5 days left to go! Umm. Ok so even if that was the only one that sold, taking out the fee for credit card on PayPal ($1.23) and the listing fees for all 7 ($2.45), I'd still make $37.32 on just one.

If that's the only one that sells, I'll be happy.

The people I babysat for last night said they'd write me a check later and I told them not to worry about it. They've got enough stuff to sort through right now with the house getting rebuilt and all. They protested saying they had every intention of paying me and I protested saying I had every intention of refusing payment. After all, they gave me dinner, and I had time to write the draft of a letter I want to send out in September. Something I've been meaning to do for a while. So in my mind it all evens out. I'm sure another time I babysit they'll try to make it up to me and I'll let that slide. But for right now, they have bigger fish to fry.

Babysitting and the possible return of the dollar jar.

August 30th, 2006 at 06:00 pm

I'm babysitting tonight, it was a last minute thing. The gal originally slotted to do it couldn't so I got the call. I really don't mind calls like that, I'd prefer not to be someone's primary sitter since my schedule is so crazy sometimes. Though it does mean that the paper monster will have to be dealt with another night.

Whatever I make from tonight, if anything, I will put in my dollar jar for emergencies. I say if anything because the couple I'm babysitting for lost their home to a fire a couple weeks ago, fortunately no one was injured. At any rate, I would gladly babysit for free but if they choose to pay me I'll take that too.

I've also offered to babysit for my church on Monday nights for a couple of months. They've got some classes that they need sitters for and they pay $20/night. Its only for a couple of hours and I can totally do that. Every little bit helps no?

My roomate left me with her bus pass when she went on vacation since she won't be back until the new month starts and therefore has no use for it. I was debating going home and getting my car, or just heading over from work via the bus. It would save on gas but then what about dinner? Well, my friends just called to say they were making extra mac n cheese so I can eat there tonight. So even though I don't really have anything with me to keep me occupied once the kids go down (no book, etc), I think I'm just going to hop the bus and save on gas. Might as well. Especially when the bus I take to their place is the same that goes by my place making the ride home simple.

Here we go again.

August 29th, 2006 at 03:10 pm

I had a feeling it would come up again this month. Simply because my brother's job started almost two weeks after he got informed that he was to be hired. Rent is due on Friday. He got money from doing some presentations at Costco a few weeks ago and got caught up on his phone and electric bill. That leaves him with some money but not enough for rent and definately not enough for rent and food for the three weeks or so between now and payday.

I know I can loan him $200. He needs $275. Once he starts getting paid regularly I know he'll start paying me back. He's pretty annoyed with his own situation (other brother taking his time paying him back for something) and I know how much he hates/dreads having to ask for help. I'm going to check and see if I have enough to give him when I get home. Actually, I know I do. I can pull from my regular savings account any difference. *sigh* I just didn't want to touch that if at all possible.

Everyone counsels me against helping him out. If I didn't have the money, I wouldn't. I do have it, it just means I don't have extra to throw at debt right away.

Ohhh! I finally thought of a good use for Google Spreadsheet! I just created a small spreadsheet of what he owes me so far and emailed him a link so he can view it. That way he doesn't have to ask me how much he owes me or when the last time he gave me money was.

Change in cashback and savings account

August 29th, 2006 at 10:48 am

I got a letter yesterday from Citibank stating that starting sometime in October they're changing the 5% cashback for grocery/gas purchases to 2% and the only 5% cashback will be at participating network stores. Which would be ok if I could buy food and gas at Target but I don't/can't. So starting in October I will go back to using cash for food/gas and leave my Citi Dividend card for playing Balance Transfer games to get things paid off sooner. At least in the mean time I should have enough to get a cashback payout before they switch. I think I'll wait to get the payout until I stop using it for food/gas purchases that way I don't have any potential reward just sitting there not able to be cashed out because it's not at least $50 yet.

I deposited another $5 check from Pinecone Research today into my local savings account which brings that account to just over $100! Yay! Unfortunately I really need new tires, at least two. I was hoping to get my savings up to $400 before the rainy season hit just in case I go in to buy two and they insist that I need four. *sigh* The downside of having specialty rims means specialty tires. The car came that way, it's not something I added. The last time I was at the tire store to get a flat fixed they said one of my tires really needed to be replaced and that for two it'd be $140. I will shop around once I have the money and try to find a good deal.

Just out of curiosity, since I can't view it, does my bio show up on the right? I was curious to see how it looked but even if I log out it doesn't display it. And I can see everyone else's.


ETA: Figured out the Bio thing. I didn't have anything in the Author Name field and once I put something in there it showed up.

Payment plan set up.

August 28th, 2006 at 02:31 pm

My step brother just called about setting up a payment plan for paying back the money I gave him so he could keep his truck. The absolute minimum he will be paying is $100. Chances are he'll be able to do more at some point but until then he will be setting up the following:

$50 from each check on the 1st and 15th set up as an allotment that way I always know when I'll have the money and don't have to worry about missing a payment (I borrowed the money as a balance transfer on one of my credit cards at 3.99% interest).

For now, since the 15th just passed, he will get me $50 from that check and another $50 from the 1st. Hopefully by October the allotment will automatically go through.

I considered telling him not to worry about it right away since my regular minimum payment is only a couple dollars less than what they increased it to with the balance transfer. But then remembered that Dad and StepMom had offered to also help him out with paying me back so I figured he could figure that part out on his own.

It's hard for me to not continue to 'help' but I need to step back and let him figure it all out on his own. At $100/mo it'll take almost two years to pay back. *sigh* So hopefully he will increase it when he can.

It's in the mail!

August 28th, 2006 at 11:28 am

Just got an email from the gal I'm transfering my timeshare ownership to. She mailed the paperwork today! It'll still be mid-September before I expect to hear from the company verifying that the transfer took place, but it makes me feel a little better that it's officially underway! Yipee!

Thursday summary

August 24th, 2006 at 10:24 pm

I talked to my friend with the car problems. Turns out the idiot who talked to her had turned in his 48 hour notice earlier in the week and that was his last day. They not only appologized profusely, but they offered to do the 60k mile checkup on her car for free, dropped the fee for checking out her car down to $25. She needed an oil change as well so since they needed to keep her car to do that, but she needed a car to get around in, they gave her a loaner car also for free. It's an '04 bright yellow mustang. There's some other things wrong with her car too, not sure if it's accident related or not. At any rate, it sounds like they got really screwed by that guy but are bound and determined to not let customers get away because of him.

I got a $10 check from NFO today. That'll go straight into savings tomorrow. Yay!

I tackled the paper monster sitting in my living room again tonight. I spent probably an hour or so sorting (recycling, shred, file). I have been working off and on on this for a while so it's not just tonight's work that caused this, but I did take out two full brown paper bags to the recycling bins. One full just of recycling and the other full of shreds. The file pile is staying relatively small. That's a good thing.

I talked to my current roomate about the potential move. L says I don't need to move in til November or December, if I'm going to move. So I let my current roomate know what my option was, and what I was thinking about it. The thing that it boils down to is, if my current roomate stays around town then I'm not going to move. Yes, it might save me a little every month but it's not worth it to me to just up and ditch my current roomate. If she happens to find a job that requires her to move (something she's anticipating but she hasn't actually started looking for work yet) then she knows I'm taken care of.

I've got this mildly awkward situation where my youngest brother's ex-fiance has asked me to be a bridesmaid. I haven't said yes, but I haven't said no yet. The wedding is not til Sept '07. But today she sent me a link to the dress. Honestly, I don't really care to be a part of her wedding. I'm not really a part of her life and I don't really see that changing. But I don't know how to let her down easy. *sigh* Part of me is hoping that the wedding will be canceled. But I should probably address this at some point soon so she can find a replacement. I really don't need to be spending $165 on a dress that I definately will not be wearing again. I already have a dress from my brother's wedding (different brother) and it is something that should the occasion arise, I would wear again.

*yawn*

Time for me to head to bed.

Please tell me I'm right...

August 23rd, 2006 at 04:49 pm

Ok senario. Friend (we'll call M) was involved in a car accident. Not her fault. She got her car back finally since it wasn't totaled and they fixed the damage done. Her cruise control was working before the accident, is not working now. Because of the long commute to work this is something she uses every day.

She took it back to the shop that originally fixed it from the accident, they couldn't figure out why it wasn't working. Said to take it to the dealership and if they determined that it was accident related then it would be covered under insurance.

She got a call today from the dealership where she was very rudely instructed on the way to engage her cruise control, as they found nothing wrong with it and it worked just fine (according to them). To top it all off, they're charging her $150 for two hours of labor.

Ok they're going to be condescending to M about the proper way to use cruise control (something she's been using in that car for four years) yet it took them two hours to figure out it was fine? That does not strike me as ok. I do understand paying for an hour of labor even if it only takes 10 minutes, because that's how the labor gets billed sometimes. But two hours?? I told her to call and complain and she will but she says there's nothing she can do about the payment since her sister will be picking it up for her.

I disagree. Since she can't have it picked up til tomorrow anyway, I think she should call and complain today and have them alter the bill accordingly. Or am I just getting riled up over something that can't be changed?

Just want it to be done!

August 23rd, 2006 at 03:07 pm

I realize that it'll take a couple weeks to process the paperwork. I told them I'd take care of September's payment for the timeshare. But they're waiting to send in the paperwork until the end of the month so they are certain they won't have to pay til October. She says they have the paperwork all notarized and ready to go. All I can do now is wait a week and hope she emails me when she mails it in like I asked her. It just makes me nervous that 'something' could happen in the interim and they decide not to go through with it.

Not much I can do about it between now and then though, except cross my fingers.

Edit: Ok so I've been emailing with the gal I'm going to transfer with all day. She's going to mail the paperwork in early next week since it'll take so long to process and by the time it does my payment will already have been made. We had an interesting exchange where she stated that she was really overly cautious about the process because doing things via mail is sort of scary. I replied that I understood what she meant since I've already paid for the transfer to take place. I think that little exchange helped both of us calm a little. She assured me that they aren't going to back out of it. That actually does make me feel better.

More possible moving news.

August 23rd, 2006 at 01:52 pm

I still haven't talked to my current roomate. I think I'll do that tonight since I plan on being home. Part of me doesn't want to move. I hate moving. But I really wouldn't mind helping out my friend with her mortgage payment.

Friend (I'll call her L) just texted me wondering if I was still interested. Now, I haven't seen the place yet. But I am still interested. I keep saying how I want to consolidate and get down to the point where I can exist in one room. This would be the perfect opportunity to do just that. She also changed her original rent statement. Before it was $200 for the room plus 1/3 of utilities (water/electric/cable/internet) and possibly 1/3 of home owners dues. With the inclusion of the dues I was looking at about what I was paying before. Now she's saying a flat $300/mo including my portion of utilities and other community stuff like dish/laundry soap, tp, etc. Which is fine by me, I'm currently buying all that stuff now usually out of habit.

It would mean a savings in rent/utilities of $50/mo. It would still mean (I think) that I'd use all of my gas budget ($80/mo) as opposed to now when I only use half of it but I still budget it all just in case. I might be able to get away with it being cheaper to take the bus and carpool. Just will have to see. One of the gals I'd be living with gets off work about 30 minutes before I do, and works near me. So it's possible an arrangement could be made where I catch a ride home with her some evenings.

L also says we can shoot for a move in date of November/December which would give me time to continue consolidating stuff. I am going to aim to not only not have my storage unit anymore (including what I'm stashing downstairs at my current apt that is included in my rent). That would mean another $60 saved a month.

I think I can pull this off. The hardest part will be leaving my current living situation. I love being able to walk to work and I have no issues with my current roommate. Plus I'd hate to put her in a bind to have to find another roommate. Guess I'll just broach the subject and see what her thoughts are. Since she was expecting to have to move out of the area at some point to get a job in the field she just got a degree in anyway.

Weekend fun

August 22nd, 2006 at 07:33 pm

The weekend was fun. Was rather annoyed by the rental company, they didn't have ANY cars even though I had a reservation. So I got a minivan instead. It was nice to have the room but the gas mileage sucked! I paid for half of the gas (because of how we figured out who would pay for what leg of the trip and I had one quarter leg all to myself) and my fellow travelers paid for the other half. My friend bought a ticket for the second show from me because she didn't have one yet. I thought she had two and was only using one so that worked out well. My uncle paid for the room. I paid for the minivan (at the car rate I had secured) because I hadn't paid my uncle back yet for the first show ticket. All in all after all the settling up was done I got about $50 cash. And had put $150 on my credit card. *sigh*

No more using the credit card! My time share transfer isn't going through until October so I don't have that money to throw at CC2 yet. It's supposed to be paid off but it now has a balance of over $500. I can account for all of it, me just thinking 'oh I'll pay it off really soon when my time share transfer goes through' for some of it, paying for the transfer for other of it. Argh!

Whoops. I guess I didn't click post this morning. Anyway. We'll see how well I do with the whole no more charging bit. I have $30 now in cashback dividends but I can't request a check til its at $50. I am still putting groceries and gas on it because I pay that off right away plus I'l l have extra to put on it on the 5th. The hope still is that when the dividend balance reaches $50 the card will already be paid off and I can use that check for savings or just something else in general.

Preparing for an expensive weekend.

August 19th, 2006 at 10:26 am

I love a particular band. I have gone to 24 shows (roughly) since the first time I saw them September '03. Usually I go to more than one at a time, making a roadtrip out of it. I've even traveled to the east coast for three shows, and flown down to San Diego to follow them back up to Portland. I finally toned things down. Decided that even though I split some costs with my uncle (who turned me onto the band) it was a little too much to be spending that sort of money on. So I stuck mainly to in the area shows (Oregon and Washington) and then dropped it to only Portland shows where I could work merch and get in for free plus get a free tshirt.

This weekend will be the first time since November I've seen them. They're playing a music festival in Seattle today with Shawn Mullins and the BoDeans. Tickets for reserved seats are $60. I didn't know what the cost was going to be when I originally said I wanted to go, just knew my uncle would pick up the tab and I could pay him back later. Tomorrow they're in Bend, tickets are a bit better there, only $17.50.

I'm renting a car (my uncle is paying me back for it) that'll cost $60 for two days including taxes but not gas. Since I haven't paid him back yet for my Seattle ticket I figure that will probably just balance out. I will be driving up to Seattle, picking up a friend there, driving back to Portland, then onto Bend with my uncle and friend and back to Portland. During various times there will be multiple people in the car. I'm expecting that they'll pick up some of the tab for gas.

I bought three tickets to the Bend show, one for me, one for my aunt, and one for my uncle. Now I'm working the merch table, so I don't need my ticket. My aunt's not coming after all so we don't need her ticket. Though my uncle did say he'd pay me back for both his and his wife's ticket even if she didn't go. The show in Bend is not sold out so the chances of our being able to sell the tickets we don't need are slim. Although, they are front row. We'll try but who knows. I didn't originally sign up to work merch because it's not a show in my immediate area. I try to not be totally gung ho about working merch in other cities because I want to let the local fans have the opportunity. But it got down to the wire and no one had volunteered so I picked it up.

The hope is that we can find a place to camp for the night. Bend is very limited in it's options for hotels so they aren't cheap. Worst case I think we might have to pay $80 for the night. Which my friend and I would split but my uncle would get his own room.

I pulled out $40 cash to have on hand as just in case money. I didn't spend all of my 'personal' money last payperiod so I'm taking from that and from some of my 'personal' money from this payperiod. Everything else will go on a card for now, to be paid back pretty much right away, at least from what my fellow roadtrippers donate.

We are driving back to Portland after the show tonight, my friend and I will crash at my place. So there's no potential hotel charge tonight. I don't really have food on hand for breakfast, at least not that anyone else would want. Plus I was expecting to be staying at my Uncle's tonight so hadn't planned on a guest. We'll probably hit McD's on the way out.

We're heading out early so we can go explore a volcano natural park before the show. I know it'll cost $5 for parking, but past that shouldn't be too bad.

I'm planning on eating out for at least one meal tonight (dinner, probably at the festival unless I stop at Subway or something and bring in my own food which is still eating out technically but it would be cheaper). Tomorrow I plan on eating out all three meals, but everyone's watching their pennies so it should be cheap.

I'm really excited about going. There's something about a road trip that makes me smile and think of all the fond memories of the past three years. The band members and crew recognize me now. They even expect me to 'follow' them when they get in this area and act sad when I tell them I can't (which has happened a couple of times).

They have a new cd coming out September 12th and I haven't even pre-ordered it yet. With this trip and all I just can't justify one more expense. If I come home with enough cash to pick it up then I'll order it. Otherwise, it will just have to wait til my next payday. There's an indie radio station (online) that has 7 songs off the new album though so it's not like I haven't heard any of them yet. Smile

And now I'm rambling. So I'll leave it at that. Smile

Oh and if you're curious...the name of the band is Carbon Leaf and they can be found at http://www.carbonleaf.com

Yet another reason I hate shopping.

August 17th, 2006 at 09:29 pm

I rarely buy new clothes. I wear the same thing over and over and over again until it totally gives out or it doesn't fit right. But even if it doesn't fit right chances are I'll keep it for when it does fit right again.

The last item of clothing I purchased new (not counting the shoes I bought recently as part of a mystery shop) was a pair of jeans from Old Navy last September. I needed a pair of lightweight jeans for a work trip to Kenya (we'd be working on an orphanage so I needed the protection of jeans but light weight enough to be worn in the heat). My brother and I just happened to be killing time before going to see a movie, there was an Old Navy so we wandered in and I found exactly what I wanted for only $20. They finally gave out on me in May. That was ok, summer was coming up and not really jeans weather.

This weekend I'm going on a road trip to see my favorite band. I'll be working the merchandise table for them at one of the shows even. So I decided a new pair of jeans was required since I don't really have any right now. What I've been wearing are convertable kakis (y'know the kind that you can unzip the legs and make them into shorts) and they aren't the most flattering but they work in a pinch.

Old Navy was having a sale, all adult jeans under $25 so I wander into the closest store tonight to find the 'highest' waist jean that they carry is just under at waist, that they only carry stretch jeans, and the boot cut is more like a taper to the knee then straight/slight flare at the bottom. Which looks absolutely horrible on me.

*sigh*

So I went to Ross and Marshalls. No dice. I'd also decided I was overdue for a fun tshirt, so I stopped in at Hot Topic because I knew they had Daria shirts and of course, they were all out. I popped in on Lane Bryant hoping they had stuff on sale. Well yes in a way, jeans were buy one get one half off. But that would mean spending $60 to get the deal ($40 for the first pair and $20 for the second) and I just can't justify that.

By this time I was really hungry and I didn't see any mall fare that looked good so went to a little pizza place nearby and just had a slice ($4) and stopped into Goodwill. Nothing. Not a blessed thing. ARGH!

Back to the mall, since I had to walk by there to get home, and made Sears my final stop. Finally found jeans my size, in my price range, that didn't have an elastic waistband, and they're all SHORT. I'm a tall gal (5'11") so short just doesn't do the trick.

I leave Saturday at noon. I don't know where else to go. I'm kinda depressed about this. Why is it so hard to find something I like that fits when I really need it?