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Archive for April, 2010

More Ramblings...

April 29th, 2010 at 11:25 pm

I mentioned in my last post that I was supposed to go apartment hunting with my potenial roommate today. Well, today did not go as planned. I had texted her yesterday. No answer. Texted her and called today. No answer. I started to get really worried. I spent the morning cleaning around the house and reading a book outside. I also talked to my roommate about giving me a ride to work tomorrow. I'm going to have to pay him like $5 but I'd rather do that than give my shift away. I'm trying to get more hours at work and I don't want my manager to look down on me. In fact, I'm probably going to talk to my manager tomorrow about switching positions. If I get my way, I'd get the amount of hours I want, the days I want off, and an easier job.

Getting back to my roommate... I finally got a call from her at around 12. Turns out, I had a reason to be worried. She had been drinking on Tuesday night (which was the last time I heard from her) and when she (or anyone, really) gets drunk, her mood changes. She was on the phone with her boyfriend and she threatened to kill herself. Her boyfriend called the police and the police came to take her to a rehab center. As I mentioned in my other post, she does have issues. My mom is so set against me moving in with her. I can see why she's concerned. However, she is also in the process of possibly getting a fulltime job an hour away from where I live so I know she wouldn't be home all the time.

I have a friend/coworker who is having problems with her children's father and she needs babysitters. At first, she was going to pay but she couldn't afford it and she became desperate so I offered to watch the kids once or twice a week. I'll be watching them from 10-7 on Tuesday. I don't like the idea of babysitting on my day off but I want to help her out and it's only temporary anyway.

The person who bought something from me on ebay hasn't paid yet. I'm definitely going to have to file a nonpaying buyer claim. Grrr!! Next time, when I list my items, I'll put it so that immediate payment is required. I'm going to have to relist that one in a few days. The other Xbox has one watcher which is great because I was afraid no one would buy it.

I am in a program called Amazon Vine where I get sent items every month for free that I test out and review. I usually get books because the other items sell out fast. I'm trying to get through some of the books I have. I'd like to read more for entertainment rather than go online all day. I read through one book today. I'd like to have a mini library in my new place with really cool books.

I also cashed in $20.50 from a survey site. I got an Amazon gift card. I bought 3 books and ended up paying $1.86 out of pocket. I could have bought stuff for my new place but I wanted to treat myself. I bought a self help book, a book about making extra money, and The Year of Living Biblically. Can't wait to read those.

I'm trying to figure out my money situation. If I get the hours I'd like at my part time job, I'd get around $840 a month. I calculated my bills and food and spending money and my total would come out to $802 which would leave me with around $35-40 leftover every month. This will be a little cushion if, say, a bill is a little higher than expected or I spent more than I budgeted on groceries. My paychecks from my part time job will be deposited into my checking account. Any bonuses will be added to my savings account. I get bonuses every 4 months and they are usually around $100. In addition, because I don't want to live paycheck to paycheck, I'm also selling on ebay. I'd like to make at least $500 every month however, if all my items sell at the price I'd like them to, it could be closer to $1600 a month. Smile

I did end up going to see apartments with my potential roommate. I really liked the first ones we saw. The price is great and it is literally down the street from my job. Also, there's a pool, a park, and other amenities. I just love the atmosphere. And the actual apartments are super cute too! We went to go see another apartment but they were closed. Those apartments were close to the cemetary where our coworker recently was buried. We stopped by the store to get some flowers (I paid with change so it didn't really cost me anything) and then we spent an hour or so walking around the cemetary. My coworker was 24 when he died. He was born with a disease that effected his liver. He died sometime last year and he still does't have a tombstone. His parents can't afford one. Too sad.

I got home not too long ago. I'm about to eat dinner and then I might go out with my potential rooommate to Target to look around for house stuff. Sorry this was so long. I just had a lot to talk about lol. Big Grin

A Lot to Talk About

April 29th, 2010 at 12:59 am

I'd like to post on here on a regular basis and I have a lot to talk about tonight so let me just jump right in.

First, I'm trying to sell some things on ebay that I have around the house. I listed 2 of the 5 Xboxes that I have. One sold yesterday but the buyer hasn't paid yet. I have a feeling he/she's going to be yet another nonpaying buyer. I don't know what the heck is going on with ebay lately. A lot of nonpaying buyers and the views are all out of whack. For example, I listed a broken Xbox for $20 and a working one for $115. Both are at really great prices. The broken one received 130 views and 3 watchers before someone bought it. The working one has received only 11 views since yesterday morning. Doesn't make sense to me. Oh well. As long as someone eventually buys it...

I had yesterday, today, and tomorrow off. That also means that I only have 21 hours this week. I like to stay around 27 hours a week. I guess it'll be a bit of a vacation for me. Smile Yesterday, I spent some time on ebay and cleaned around the house. I also spent way too much time on the computer. When I get my license, I'm going to spend less time on the computer. I just have nothing to do so my computer is my source of entertainment. Today, I spent some time with my sister and mom. We went to a few stores and then spent some time at my mom's house so I could play with my doggies that I miss so much. I spent $4 on a paper towel holder at Target. It was 75% off and it was red which is one of the main colors I'm going to decorate my house with. Other than that, I didn't spend anything. Yay!

Tomorrow, I had plans to go look for apartments with my potential roommate. I've been trying to contact her all day and she won't respond. I don't know if something is wrong with her or if she's at work or what. I know she got into an argument with a friend yesterday so she might be bummed and that's why she's not responding back. That's one thing I wanted to talk about. My potential roommate also has, well, issues. She was in rehab for 3-4 years of her 21 years of life for bulimia and eating disorder related issues. She's also majorly depressed and has a lot of anxiety. She's taking meds for everything but my mom thinks I'm going to regret living with her because of her issues. When I'm with her, she's happy and funny. But I know that when's smiling, deep down she's upset about something. I know I could get along with her and we'd have a good time living together. I just worry that she's a little untrustworthy with certain things. Hmmm...

I work 12-4:30 on Friday. And I have no way of getting to work. Lately I've been switching shifts every so often with my coworkers because I have no ride to work. I know I need to get my license. It's just harder for me to do things like that. I might have to give my roommate some money so he can bring me to work. I hope he says yes. I know he is having company over and I don't want to bother him.

Ok. So that's what's up with me currently. Hopefully I'll remember to update this tomorrow.

What I See For My Future

April 27th, 2010 at 08:20 pm

I was talking to my twin sister yesterday about renting vs. buying. It's amazing how quickly my views changed after I realized how much more money I could save if I were to rent. I used to be dead set on buying a house. Now? Not so much. Even looking at houses in the $1000/month range I'm AMAZED at how nice these houses are! Hardwood floors, NICE kitchens, HUGE bathrooms, and a pool. All for $1000! It's tempting, man. I know I could never in my lifetime (because I don't have a college degree) afford to buy a house like this. But renting? If I could get a better job, I so could afford it.

So my sister and I were talking and I was telling her that if I could save at least $500 a month (which is actually extremely doable) and still rent, I could take all that money I have and actually live a really comfortable life. Imagine me. A 22 year old who works in a grocery store part time. Living on my own (well, with a roommate). Paying all of my own bills. And I'm going on a 15 day cruise to Europe next summer. Paid for all by myself. That's what I want. I want to be able to live in a house that I really like, have a job that I don't mind doing, and have extra money to just enjoy life. And by renting (at least for a few more years), I can do that. If I were to buy a house, I couldn't.

I want to enjoy life. That's all. Some people spend too much time working or worrying about money. I don't want to be like that. I know to many of you it might sound like I'm living in a dream world. But I believe 100% that if you have the right mindset, and the right knowledge, and the right resources, it's not so hard to live comfortably. I hope I can do it.

The little things add up... Work Freebies

April 27th, 2010 at 08:04 pm

Working at a grocery store definitely has its perks. I'm talking about free food. In my breakroom, people leave food that they don't want on top of the microwave. This food is free for anyone to take. And you best believe I take whatever I can use.

Just the other day someone left one of those Crystal Light packets. I love those things. Lately I've been drinking a lot of Kool Aid to use up a 5 lb. bag of sugar I have. Kool Aid also makes me more thirsty so I go through a pitcher faster that I'd like to. Sooo I took home the Crystal Light packet and mixed it with some water to take to work with me the next day. I had some juice leftover for dinner that night and it was yummy!

We have a little basket in our breakroom that people put extra condiment packets from the McDonald's that is close to our store. Because of this, I rarely buy ketchup or mustard or any dipping sauces. Yay for free condiments!

One time, a coworker left a bag of those cup of noodle things. It sat in the breakroom for a week before I decided to take them home. I know, they are not healthy. But I like to eat them every once in a while because they are cheap and I actually like them.

Reading over these things I realized that I sound really cheap. Oh well. It works for me. Big Grin

The little things add up...

April 26th, 2010 at 05:01 pm

This is the first post in a series I'm calling "The little things add up..." where I talk about little frugal things I do.

I'm a cashier at my job. If a customer's total is, say, $5.90 and they hand me $6, it's not uncommon for people to tell me to "keep the change". And keep the change I do. If you see me picking up a penny off the floor, laugh at me if you wish. I don't know if not so frugal people understand the value of a penny. Every month or so, the newspapers put out coupons for $1 off a roll of Marcal paper towel. One grocery store in my city carries this brand. So every month, I take my coupons and buy a few rolls of paper towel. After the coupon is subtracted and taxes are added, I pay 19 cents per roll. I then pull out my change and pay my bill. So those rolls of paper towel end up being free for me.

I just looked in my wallet and I have $1.19 in change. That would get me 6 rolls of paper towel for free!

Let me give another example of why I love change. I bring my own lunch/dinner to work with me. When I'm not scheduled a break, I don't bring anything with me and I'll just wait to eat when I get home. Sometimes, my manager asks me to stay a few hours longer and then I end up getting a break. Of course, longer hours means I'm hungry and then I have to buy something to eat. I can buy a 30 cent bottle of water and a banana for 25 cents using my spare change and I am content.

The best part? At the end of every month, I go to all 9 registers my store has and lift the printer where people seem to accidentally drop coins. I can easily make $1 this way. I'm cheap, I know. But I can get a lot of free things out of it. Smile

The Problem with "Rich" People...

April 26th, 2010 at 02:46 pm

...is that they live at or above their means.

I make just around $860 every month at my part time job. I also make at least $500 every month on ebay (although if I have a particularly amazing month, it's closer to $1600 ). The paychecks from my part time job go to bills and I always have a little left over (around $160 but I allot $100 for spending money). The income from ebay goes directly into savings.

I have a roommate who makes $500 a week. He also blows through his paycheck in one week. The rent and a couple of other bills are due and he doesn't have the money for it. I said to him yesterday "Do you know what I could do with $2000 every month?! I'd be rich!". It's true. I'd be able to put more than $1000 in savings every month! The problem with people who make more money is that they also spend more. People who make $50,000+ a year also will buy a bigger and more expensive house than they really need. They buy more extravagant things. It is way too easy to spend your entire $2000 biweekly paycheck on things that you don't need.

This is all coming back to what my older sister said about me not being able to afford a house. Her and her husband live comfortably. For a Valentine's Day gift for her husband, my sister bought a $1300 TV. They easily spend $200 EVERY WEEK on groceries for just the two of them. I don't even spend $100 every MONTH! They go out to eat and order soda and steak. I go out to eat and order water and one of the cheapest things on the menu. And the thing is, I'm still happy.

The problem with "rich" people is that they don't know how to manage their money. With the way the job market is right now, it is way too common to hear about people losing their jobs and not being able to pay $1000 or $2000 worth of bills every month. The problem with "rich" people is that if they lived below their means, they would have been able to save thousands of dollars a month that could be put towards the bills if someone in their household were to lose their job. The problem with "rich" people is that many of them have trouble paying their bills even though they make 4 times more than I do. I know a grocery store manager who tells me all the time that she wishes she could manage her money the way I do.

If I made just $2000 every month, I'd be rich, man.

My To Do List

April 20th, 2010 at 03:07 pm

1. Get my license. Long story, don't ask. I have a car. I just don't have my license.
Step 1: Practice as much as possible.
Step 2. Possibly obtain a book that explains laws and stuff like that.
Step 3: Call the DMV and setup an appointment.
Step 4: Get my license.
Step 5: Get tags and insurance on my car.

2. Sell no longer needed items for extra cash. I have a list on the left side of my blog of things I need to sell.
Step 1: Sell 20 or so items on ebay.
Step 2: Sell Rock Band instruments on Craigslist.
Step 3: Organize and get rid of stuff I don't need.

3. Figure out roommate situation. I need to have a roommate because I can't afford living by myself. I have one person in mind but she might be moving to Alabama instead. We will find out within a week or so if the school she applied to accepted her. If she isn't accepted, I have a roommate. If she is accepted, I have to find someone else.

4. Figure out money situation. I have a parttime job but would like to sell regularly on ebay. I have an idea for a product to sell. After I sell my own junk, I'm going to have to do a test to see how well this item sells. If all goes well, I need to set up a seperate checking account for my ebay funds.

5. Figure out job situation. I'm going to ask my boss to demote myself to a different position. If things go my way, I'd still get the amount of hours I wanted but I'd be doing an easier job and I'd have 3 days off a week instead of the 2 I have right now.

6. Cancel cell phone in June and switch to Boost.

7. Start looking for houses.

Rent vs. Buy

April 20th, 2010 at 01:35 pm

So I've been thinking a lot lately. Growing up, my parents had money. They had a good amount in savings. Never had to worry about money. I guess I sort of picked up on that because me and my sisters have a good chunk of money (at least for people our age) in our savings accounts.

So yesterday I was doing some calculations. If I bought a house and deducted the amount of money I'd use for the down payment was well as a couple grand for some things I would need for the house, I'd be left with almost nothing (at least to my standards) in my savings account. That terrifies me! And then when I started to think about the real reason why I wanted to BUY a house, buying didn't seem so ideal to me. I want to buy a house for pretty much 3 reasons:

1. I'm not happy living in my current rental house with my roommates. I can't live with people who just want to party and who have no goals in life. I want a roommate who has goals, is fun to hang out with, but at the same time have their own thing going on, and someone who is clean.

2. I want to be able to decorate my own way. My current landlords let us paint the walls. The floors need some work though. All I really want in a house is hardwood floors, being able to decorate my own way, and I'd like it to be somewhat bright in the house. My current roommates love to close the blinds and it just puts a damper on my mood.

3. I want to grow up! I don't want to be a kid anymore. I want to have my own house that I love coming home to.

I realized that I could do all those things renting a house and I'd still have a cushion in my savings account. What do you guys think? What are the pros and cons of both renting and buying?

I think I've figured it out...

April 7th, 2010 at 03:13 pm

My Easter was good. I went over to my older sister's house where we made turkey with a ton of side dishes. I had a strawberry daquiri and sipped it by the pool. It was a nice day out. Man, I love the summer.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I've had some problems with ebay lately. I've had 3 disputes and 2 of them ended in my favor and the other is still ongoing. I have 5 Xboxes to sell, an old cell phone, and a couple of random things around the house. I'm going to be selling them slowly though so I don't get too frustrated and overwhelmed.

In terms of making extra money, I think I've found something that just might work. It's going to take some time and some research but I think I can make a good amount of money off of it. I won't say what it is for now but if it fails, I'll let you guys know. Btw, the last thing I tried, I failed at. I was trying to buy broken Xboxes that needed replacement dvd drives. The time it took to receive all the parts I needed was too much so I had to put a stop to that business venture. I'm crossing fingers that my new plan works out.

So about that trip to Europe... I'm thinking a 14 day cruise. I have one picked out. It'll cost about $3500 for everything if I plan it right. Is that too much, you think? I still have to talk about the details with the friend I'll be going with.

So that's my brief update. I haven't been spending a lot lately. My friend's 21st birthday is tomorrow. I'm probably going to get her a card, a balloon, and some flowers. I also need to go grocery shopping soon but it should be no more than $20 spent. I'm also going to a friend's house tomorrow. She is redoing her house and she has some kitchen items she wants to get rid of so she's giving them to me! Smile Yay for free stuff!

Ebay Update

April 3rd, 2010 at 01:44 pm

So I think I'm pretty much done with ebay in terms of seriously making some good money with it. Over the past week I've had problems with 4 different buyers. Two of them bought high priced items and never paid. One bought something from me on half.com (ebay's media site) and wants a refund because she bought the wrong book. And another person bought something from me, paid, and then wants a refund because he never intended to bid so high. Buyer's remorse I guess.

I recently sold one xbox which the buyer never paid for. I opened a dispute so I should be getting my fees back for that. Then I sold 2 broken xboxes a couple of days ago. One of them, the buyer hasn't paid yet. Yay for that. Then I'm trying to fix two more and then I'll be trying to resell those. I also have a couple of other things around the house I'd like to sell but then I'm done with ebay for a while.

I will continue to sell things here and there but it's too much work to try to make some good money on it. I'm trying to come up with other ideas to make money. I really don't want to have to get another job.

I spent about $10 yesterday on food. My sister is having Easter lunch over her house on Sunday and I asked her if she wanted me to bring anything. She asked if I could bring an appetizer. I bought stuff to make queso dip and chips. And then I bought stuff to make a pound cake with strawberries and whipped cream.

I'm a bit stressed lately. I just wish everything will resolve itself quickly. My head hurts.