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Thinking Out Loud

August 30th, 2010 at 09:05 am

Here's the plan I've come up with...

I'm not sure if the condo situation is going to work. I don't want to rush into things just for the sake of moving out. The current plan is to save up cash to buy a condo within the next year. I think I can easily save $1000 a month for a year. If I can do that, that's $12,000 on top of the $14,000 I already have in savings which is $26,000 total. I'm hoping that in a year from now, I can find a condo in a surrounding city for about $20,000 with a maximum of $400 condo fee (which I think is doable). If I can get a mortgage another way and my business is doing well, even better. I just don't think I can get one on my own. So the only other option is to borrow money from someone or see if someone can cosign for me. I'm not holding my breath though.

Here's my estimated budget for when I do move out. Mind you, I budgeted high for some categories because I'm not entirely sure what my costs will be...
Mortgage/Condo Fees-400
Electric-150
Water-50
Trash-10
Internet-50
Car Insurance-100
Gas-80
Cell-60
Food-80
Necessities (HBC, cleaning, paper)-20
Entertainment/Blow/Extra-100
Retirement-100

The total is $1200. I'd like to also contribute at least $200/month to my savings account. Obviously, more is better. However, that's the minimum amount I'd feel comfortable saving. So, the total income I'd like to have is $1400/month.

I'm going to open up a retirement account when I turn 24 and contribute $100/month to it. If I calculate things correctly, I think I'll have enough income to last until my last day on earth. Hopefully. Wink

Now, in terms of my business... I think I've finally decided what sort of items I'm going to sell. I'll be starting with ebay, then gradually adding some inventory to etsy, and then eventually starting my own website if things go well. I've done my research and I think I can easily make my $1400/month income. In fact, my lowball estimate is more like $2100/month post taxes.

In order to make $1400/month post taxes, I would have to sell 133 items on ebay. There are about 5 or so other sellers on ebay that sell the same sort of item I sell. I checked on goofbay.com and the lowest amount one of these sellers has sold in one month is 204. Mind you, this person had about 400 items listed. I'll have 1000 items listed. I've noticed that the more items you list, the more items you sell. Still, if I sold only 200 items per month, I'd be making almost double my needed income. Score!

So here's the current plan. I'm going to the other house (the one I am renting with my ex roommates) next weekend to bring my stuff to my parent's garage. I have my computer and desk there. The laptop I'm currently using is so darn slow. There is no way I could keep up with my business on this laptop so I need my other computer. I will start listing some items I have around the house as well as some things I bought a couple months ago that I planned on reselling for profit. I will need to buy a high quality printer as well as some other startup supplies in order to start my "real" business. Then I have to make some selling templates, setup my ebay store, and I have to do some research and figure out a few things before I actually get things going.

I plan on having 4 accounts, 2 checking and 2 savings. One checking will be my spending account. The other will be my business account. I will have a buffer of $500 in each of these accounts just to be safe. My savings accounts will be used to hold my estimated taxes and the other will be used to hold my savings. I signed up for a program that will calculate my profits and such as well as my estimated taxes. For those who don't know, people who are self employed must pay their taxes quarterly. This program even tells you when you should send in your tax payments. It's great! I will be using my business account to buy supplies, to pay for shipping, and to hold all profits made. At the end of every month, I will see how much profit I made. I will then take the amount of money I owe in taxes for that month and transfer it to my taxes savings account. I will also transfer $1200 (which is my bill amount) to my spending savings account and any extra money I have leftover will go to savings. If I need extra money for some reason, I will just transfer that amount from my savings to my spending checking account.

Now, I'm not naive. I have thought about what would happen if in 5 years, ebay doesn't exist anymore. Or what if in 5 years, ebay is saturated with the type of item I'm selling and I can longer make as much as I need. If that were to happen, I would need to get a "regular" job. Although I wouldn't be as happy as I would like to be, I'd have to suck it up because I would have no choice.

Thanks for letting me think out loud. Wink

Condos?

August 25th, 2010 at 01:44 pm

It's time for my monthly check in. Not much has been going on lately. I have been sort of dealing with a bit of depression lately. I just don't know what I want to do with my life. I went on vacation from August 12-22 to Massachusetts and New Hampshire to visit family for 10 days. I really want to move there. But I also know that it's more expensive. I love the community feeling of living in a small town. And I don't know if it's the depression or something else but I really want to get out of the current city I'm living in.

So I've been looking at condos for sale in Florida. There are many for $20-30,000 which I think is great. Not only would the payments be affordable, but I could also pay it off sooner than 30 years. Of course with condos you also have HOA fees which are OK with me because many condo communities have pools and activity centers and I wouldn't have to worry about taking care of the yard work.

So a couple questions. First, if anyone has had experience with condos, what are the pros and cons? I have a cousin who has lived in apartments and condos and he just has problems with noise. Anything else besides noise issues?

Also, I still work at my part time job but it's only once a week if that. I was just miserable there and I'm trying to focus on getting my ebay business growing. The problem with being self-employed is that it's nearly impossible to get a mortgage. So, I would probably have to have my parents cosign with me if I wanted a condo in the next few months. Here's my other question. When you obtain a mortgage, do they ask you for your tax returns from previous years' or do they ask for pay stubs? I ask this because I think I would have a better shot getting a mortgage if they asked for tax returns instead of pay stubs.

July Update

July 13th, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Starting next week, I'll be working one day a week at my parttime job. I'm planning on really getting my butt in gear with the whole ebay thing and getting my license.

I'm in a weird situation where sometimes I focus too much on trying to make xx amount of money in order to buy my own house and other times I think, it's ok if I'm only making xx amount of money. I need to enjoy life right now and eventually work my way up to getting the amount of money I need to live comfortably on my own.

I'm planning a couple of vacations. First, in the beginning of August I'm going to Orlando for a few days with some friends and my sister. Then in the middle of August, I'll be going to Massachusetts for 10 days. In September, there's a concert in Atlanta we may or may not go to. ANNNNND my parents and older sister had already booked a cruise in November and they asked me to go with them. I'm still on the fence about that one.

Soooo lot's of good things going on during the next few months. I've been spending money slightly more freely than I used to but nothing too crazy. Crossing my fingers that everything works out for me.

June Update

June 26th, 2010 at 09:14 am

I know I haven't posted in a while. Not much has been going on really. I'm still living with my parents. My hours at work are right around 22-23 a week (although next week I have 30). I know I need to find another job. I'm still doing some research on ebay selling. I think I can at least make enough on there every month so that I can still keep my part time job but not have to work too many hours. Ideally, I'd like to leave my part time job and just "work" on ebay but that might take some time.

I have a friend/coworker who is looking for a house to buy with her boyfriend. She told me that her real estate agent said that if you buy a foreclosure, you don't have to put down 20%. Not only that, but if I qualify for a mortgage with a certain bank, they will take your down payment, multiply it by 5, and give you that money to fix up the house. So if I put down $2000, they would give me $10,000 to fix the house. I just have to stay in the house for 5 years. I know another friend of mine did this exact program so I know it exists. I just don't know all of the details yet. If I qualify for this program, that would mean that I wouldn't have to spend $6000 that I was planning on spending. Woot!

I'll keep you guys updated on ebay and things like that. Within the next week I'll have a better idea of how much I can make. I really want this to work. My cousin once told me that I'm too smart to work for other people. We had briefly talked about starting our own business. One thing that he mentioned that really stuck with me is that he hates waking up in the morning on a beautiful sunny day knowing that he has to be inside a building all day, working for hardly anything. Wouldn't it be nice to make a decent amount of money and being able to wake up on those beautiful mornings and say "Instead of working, let's go to the beach today!". Sounds good, doesn't it?

It's Been a While.

May 29th, 2010 at 07:29 am

It has been a while since my last post. Quite a lot has happened since then.

First, I sold some things on ebay and made about $160 on it all.

I left the house I was renting and moved in with my parents.

My hours at my current job have dropped. A LOT.

I need a new plan. Here's what I'm thinking.

I need to get my license first (obviously). Then, I need a better job. All I need is a job where I net $300 a week which is really doable. If I can do that, I'll be able to pay all of my bills and still have some fun money leftover AS WELL AS about $100 to put into my savings account every month. I'll also be doing some selling on ebay and I think I can safely net $250 a month from that. I need to stay in my parent's house at least until November because that is when my lease ends. I plan on saving as much money as I can. Once I get a better job, I'm going to look at houses. If I can find a house in the price range that I want, I will buy it. It will probably need some work. Soooo I will be staying with my parents and using the money I saved up to fix the house while I'm living with my parents to save some money. Once everything is fixed, I will move into the house.

I think all of this is doable and I'm soooo excited! What do you guys think about my savings though? My bills (sans entertainment money) come out to $970 a month. I know you're supposed to have 6 months worth of savings in your account but I'd like to stay at right around $5000. If I don't go under that amount, I'd feel comfortable. I'm going to need some money for a down payment (I'm thinking about $5000 even though I might qualify for that program that pays the down payment for you... anyone know what I'm talking about?), maybe a couple thousand for closing costs, and a few thousand for fixing up the house as well as a few pieces of furniture I'm going to need (which will be right around $1000). I think I'll have enough to cover it all and I still won't go under the $5000 amount. Do you think putting $350 away a month into savings is too little?

What A Mess

May 19th, 2010 at 07:40 am

So yesterday I get home after running some errands. My roommate's parents are there. They want to talk. LOOOOONG story short, they can't find replacements for me and my sister so we have to continue to pay rent until November. We are beyond pissed. There was lots of yelling involved. The worst part for my roommate is that he just lost 2 friends. And he doesn't have many to begin with. My sister and I are going to look at the lease and see how long we have to pay the rent until we are charged a late fee. My roommate is in charge of the bills and my sister and I are going to pay him our share of the bills as late as we can. Give him some anxiety. That'll piss him off.

I wonder if he thinks we're going to end things on good terms. Well, I have a few tricks up my sleeves. My sister and I are going to continue to find people to replace us. Only problem is my roommate is not going to be happy with anyone we pick because he's spiteful. I'm going to continue to move out. I've packed a good majority of my things. The future roomie and I are going to fill out our applications today and hopefully turn them in with our holding and application fees tomorrow. From there, we wait to see if our application is accepted. This will take at least 5 days. I don't see why we wouldn't be accepted. After that, we rent a moving truck, pack our stuff, and leave. Can't wait to get out of this mess!

Pooped!

May 16th, 2010 at 09:16 am

I had soooo much fun yesterday! We got up at 6:30 and were on the road by 7:45. We met with a couple of other friends and then headed to Disney. Although I had a lot of fun, I don't think it's worth the price of the ticket. We waited in line for far too long and it was unbearably hot outside. I'm burnt on my shoulders, back, and my nose. We were at Animal Kingdom until 6ish then went back to my sister's hotel room to freshen up. From there, we went to dinner at the House of Blues. Pretty expensive if you ask me. Then we went shopping at Downtown Disney and headed back home. We got home at 12 o'clock and I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Breakdown of what I spent:
$5 for gas
$84.14 for Animal Kingdom ticket
$5.32 for lunch (I got the kid's meal... keeping it cheap lol)
$13.68 for dinner

Total spent was right around $108. I budgeted $10 so I'm happy. Smile

The landlord for the house I'm currently in had to come by today to fix the stove. As I mentioned before, I'm dogsitting and dogs aren't allowed in the house. Soooo I had to take her for a walk while they fixed the stove. I've had too much sun the past couple of days lol!

I think I'm going to stick to selling some of my stuff on Craigslist. I don't know what the heck is going on with ebay lately but it's a mess! I'll sell my remaining Xboxes, my broken Blackberry, my broken PSP, my Wii, and my rock band instruments on Craigslist. I'll sell my books, movies and video games on half.com. Everything else I will donate.

I work today 3:30-9:30. I really want another job. Not another as in 2 jobs. Another as in a new position or a new job entirely. I know I'd be so much happier. My future roommate got a call back from a place she applied to. If she gets that job, we'll be moving sooner than June 1st. Can't wait!

Nothing new, really.

May 14th, 2010 at 07:16 am

Yesterday was an easy day. I didn't have to work until 5 so I just hung out around the house. Then I worked 5-9:30. Found out that my assistant store manager is leaving today. Frown Hopefully her replacement is someone nice.

Then I went with the future roomie to get a movie. We have those Blockbuster Kiosks where the movies are $1 per day. I rented one the other day and I got it for free using a code. Yay for free entertainment! We watched Paranormal Activity. Kinda weird and I actually was scared watching it. I love horror movies!

Today I work 3:30-10:30. And tomorrow I go to Disney for the day! Yay!!

Crazy Change of Plans

May 13th, 2010 at 06:13 am

Wow. What a hectic day I had yesterday.

First, I began my week of dogsitting. She's a really great dog and I see no worries for the rest of the week. The muscles in my body are just killing me so I can't really play with her all that much. I feel like an old lady. :/

THEN I get a message from my future roomie. She got kicked out of her parent's house. She wants to get a place with me ASAP. I tell her to come over. We talk and figure out her money situation. She needs to get another job to cover some of her bills. And she needs her own car insurance and cell phone plan because her dad was charging her way too much. So she got on her own insurance with Geico. MUUUUCH cheaper rate. We then went to 2 places to see if they were hiring. She'll be getting a phone call within the next couple of days from both places so that's really great news.

We then went to her house to gather some of her things and print out the temporary car insurance card. The current plan is she is going to stay here for a week until we figure everything out. Once I feel secure with how things are going, I might be leaving this house a little early to get an apartment with her. I'm excited but nervous at the same time!

ANNNNND I got an offer on one of my Xboxes on ebay. It's $45 lower than I wanted but at this point, I really don't care. I just want it out of my house. So that's the current update. I'll let you guys know how things go. Smile

Problems.

May 11th, 2010 at 06:54 am

Ugh. So I came across a couple of problems yesterday. And I'm just irritated today.

First, the person who bought my broken Xbox wants a refund because it wasn't broken the way he expected it to be. Grrrr!!!

Second, my future roomie has been hinting a lot lately that she wants to move back to Alabama. I can't depend on her for anything!! Looks like I'm going to have to find someone else.

I picked up a shift today and Thursday so I went from 15 hours to around 26. Yay! I'm going to talk to my boss about an idea I have. We changed the hours of a certain position we have and it's messing things up. So I have an idea about how to fix it. Doubt he'll listen but I'm going to try anyway.

So I'm a little frustrated right now. Ebay is giving me headaches. And I don't know where I'll be living in a couple of months. Yay.

VACATION!

May 10th, 2010 at 10:04 am

I looooove going on vacation!! I have 3 planned so far for this year. I'm going on Saturday to Animal Kingdom for the day. I'm going to a concert in June in Jacksonville and staying for a couple of days. In October, I'm planning on going on a 4 day cruise to the Bahamas!!

And next year, I'm going on a 2 week cruise to Europe!! So excited! I really want to buy a camera to take pictures but I already have one. The problem with my camera is that it eats through batteries like crazy. Even the camera specific batteries and the rechargeable batteries don't work that long on my camera. I'm going to have to do some research...

Started thinking more about staying in this house. I think I'm leaning towards no. I'd like to leave in June, get my stuff together, and get my roommate's stuff together, and then move out.

I only worked 4 hours yesterday but felt like crying the entire time. I really don't like my job. The good thing is that they are creating some positions and one of my managers said he wants to get rid of a stock clerk so I want to stay a little longer to see if they have any opportunities for me. We'll see. I work 5:30-10:30 tonight and then I'm off the next two days. AND I have to dogsit my friend's dog for a week. Exciting lol. She's making me food though so I can't complain. Ok that's the current update. Toodles!

Got Some Thinking To Do

May 9th, 2010 at 05:28 am

I was off again yesterday. In the morning I went grocery shopping with my roommate. I spent $2.08 and saved $23+ using coupons and sales. Here's what I bought:

2 John Frieda Conditioners (I have a lot of shampoo, just not a lot of conditioner)
4 Chow Mein Noodle Bowls (LOVE these and they're so easy to make... I don't care if their unhealthy lol)
2 boxes of Pop Tarts (for breakfast)
1 box of CapriSun

Then I went grocery shopping with my older sister. We spent a couple of hours going from store to store. I love going shopping with her Smile. Then we went back to her house where she went swimming and I sat by the pool, reading a book.

From there, we went to my mom's house to pick her up for dinner. My sister was going to pay for my mom's dinner for her mother's day gift. We ended up going to Chili's. With tip, I spent $10.80. I HATE spending money but I was hungry and it was a special occassion.

I came home and my roommate wanted to talk to me. Long story short, he asked me if I'd consider staying in the house we're at now if we kick out my other roommate. This other roommate has always been the problem from the beginning. I can't STAND him. It's ackward when we're both home and when he tries to talk to me, I cringe. He asked if my future roommate would just want to move in with us. Now, we sat down and did some math and it would cost right around the same amount to stay here as it would if we rented the apartment I wanted. I definitely have some thinking to do...

Fun Day Off

May 7th, 2010 at 06:22 pm

So I had today off. Woohoo! It was a fun-filled day with a little bit of spending.

First of all, I mentioned yesterday that I went out to lunch with some friends. I actually ate at home so I didn't spend any money. I also mentioned that I had work 4-8:30 but I was asked to stay until 10 and I didn't take my half hour break so I actually gained 2 hours.

Today, I went out to lunch with my mom and sister. My mom paid. We went to Panera. I could eat there everyday, I swear. Then we went to buy my mom her mother's day gift. She really wanted a (expensive) bottle of perfume so my sister and I split the cost and I ended up paying $40. We also went to several other stores but I didn't spend anything at the other stores. AND my mom bought me a cute pair of flip flops!

As for ebay, I finally sold one of my Xboxes last night. It was a broken one so I profited about $17 on it but at least it's something and it's one less thing I need to get rid of.

I'm also off tomorrow so the plan is to go grocery shopping with my older sister in the morning (I may or may not buy a few things) and then out with my older sister and mom for lunch. I have been spending more money this week going out to eat than I have spent this whole year (although that's not saying much)! I'm going to try to eat at home or if I do order something, it's going to be cheap. Ugh. I hate spending money!

I've also been asking my coworkers if they want to give up their shifts next week. My goal is to get at least 26 hours a week. I was only scheduled 15 (grrr) so I need 11 more to get to 26. Doubt that will happen but I will try.

One Last Try

May 5th, 2010 at 09:29 am

Sooo I was content with how things were going. I was getting my hours, I had an idea of how to make extra money on ebay. All was well. Until last night when the schedule was posted at my job. I had changed my availability so that I would be off on Wednesdays and Saturdays so that I could plan things on these days. I had a bad feeling that this would also mean less hours for me. HOWEVER, I usually get 2 days off a week and I just figured my manager would make it so that Wednesdays and Saturdays would be my days off and I'd still work the other 5 days. Wrong. Got my schedule. Not only did I have Wednesday and Saturday off, but I also had Tuesday and Thursday off. 15 hours. Ergh.

So I have a new plan. This is my last time trying. I'm going to talk to either the assistant store manager or the store manager today. I'm going to ask for longer shifts over 3 or 4 days rather than 5. I'm not asking for more hours. I'm just asking for the amount of hours I usually get (usually around 25) over a period of 3 days rather than 5. We'll see what they say. If they don't give me a good answer, I'm going to have to find another job. I've been at this job for close to 3 years. It would really stink if I had to leave. Frown

I hung out with my future roommate yesterday. We babysat my coworker's kids. It was easy but I probably would not do it on a regular basis. 9 hours of "work" with no pay is sort of sucky. Anyway, we went over her expenses and it was right around $1250. Way too high for my liking. I want to be able to know that I can depend on her to give me the rent money on time. We put in a couple of applications last night at some restaurants because we like the idea of getting tips. Right now our goal is to get her a full time job in Tampa working in a medical office. My older sister told me about the position and asked if I wanted to do it but it's too far for my liking. Then, if she gets this job, she can go to school a couple of days a week and her medical insurance bill goes away (don't know why... that's what she said though). And then she can work at a parttime job on the weekends. I'm hoping things work out. I told her I wouldn't move out until I felt I was in a good position and she was in a good position as well.

I'm hoping today goes well at work. Crossing my fingers.

Job Update

May 2nd, 2010 at 06:12 pm

So I talked to 2 of my managers today. Basically, they told me that they don't have extra hours to give me. I figured. I changed my availability so that I'm off on Saturdays and Wednesdays. I'd like to get it so that I'm off Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays but I need to make sure I can get my hours first. I don't want to give up on my job because I get paid better than I would if I worked at another retail job. There's something I've been thinking about. Instead of relying on my managers to give me more hours, I can always count on my coworkers. Just today my shift was 12-7:30 and I had 3 people asking me to stay a couple of hours to cover their shifts. Almost everyday you get even one person who wants to go home early. My current roommate used to be scheduled 25 or so hours a week and he'd end up with almost 35 every week because of call outs and such. I don't like the idea of depending on others for my hours but it just might work. Starting next week I'm going to test it out to see how many extra hours I get per week just from call outs and covering shifts for a couple of hours for my coworkers.

If things don't work out, I'm probably just going to end up getting a second job. I'm planning still on applying at at least 2 places next to where my apartment will be.

As for ebay, I filed a nonpaying buyer claim today and I've been getting more views and questions on my other item. I'm hoping to make some extra money this month. And I'm going to have to start making a spreadsheet to record all my income and expenses so I can see where my money goes.

Just Frustrated

May 1st, 2010 at 06:07 pm

I have a heck of a lot to do before I can even think about getting a new place. I'm trying to do things slowly so that I don't get frustrated. But I am. I'm incredibly frustrated. And it's only the beginning.

I'm having trouble getting hours at work. I've been getting 21-27 hours a week the past few months. According to my calculations, I need 27 hours a week to pay my bills. I've talked to a few of my managers and I was basically told that there are no hours to give out. So what the heck do I do? Do I just get a second job?

I had plans of talking to 2 different managers today about other positions. One wasn't there and the other was in a bad mood. You know what I need? I need a job where I know I can get my hours. When I first started working at this place, I was getting 32 hours a week. And that was guaranteed. I had a job where I worked 3-close 5 days a week. I got that job because no one else wanted to do it. Eventually, I got sick of it and I realized that I was starting to become miserable everytime I walked into work. I switched positions and I was happy again. Only thing is that my hours are not stable. I need stability! My plan is to try (yet again) to talk to my managers tomorrow about getting more hours. If I'm told that they have no positions for me, I'm going to get a second job. Hate to do it but I have to. Grrr!!!

Taking Care of (Some) Business

May 1st, 2010 at 06:56 am

So yesterday I worked 12-4:30. Really easy shift. Roommate brought me to work and I had mentioned that I'd pay him but he never asked about it so I'm going to keep my mouth shut lol. I had every intention of talking to my manager about getting more hours but it was way too busy so I couldn't get off of my register.

However, I did talk to another manager last night. After work, I came home and ate dinner. Then I went out with my future roommate. We went to another grocery store where she used to work to see if they were hiring. Talked to the assistant store manager and she said to come back on Sunday to talk to the store manager. Then, we went to my store and I talked to my assistant grocery manager about bcoming a stock clerk. He told me to talk to his boss so I'm planning on talking to him today. I'm going to ask him if he has enough hours to schedule me 2 days a week. If not, I'm going to talk to my other manager about demoting myself to a bagger so I can do something we call "jobs". Jobs is like janitorial work. But it's super easy and no one bothers you. A coworker does it 2 days a week where she comes in at 2:30, bags for a few hours, and then does jobs. And she closes. If I could do that 4 days a week, I'd get my hours and I'd be extremely happy.

We then went to Walgreens where my roommate filled out an application. She is planning on either getting 3 jobs or getting 2 jobs and going to school. She likes being busy like that. I, on the other hand, would rather play then work all the time lol. I'm trying to help her out with jobs because I know she has more bills than I do. We're going to have to sit down to figure out her bills and everything. And I told her I would not move into the apartments until we both figured things out. I like stability.

After that, we were both hungry and ate at Steak N Shake. Spent $7 there. I hate spending money but I haven't done it in a while so I figured I'd treat myself. I also bought my mom a coffee cake for $5 because she's my main ride to work and sometimes I feel bad about it. I also pay for her gas sometimes. Well, that's it for now. Adios!

More Ramblings...

April 29th, 2010 at 04:25 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 28th, 2010 at 05:59 pm

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 01:20 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 01:04 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 10:01 am

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 07:46 am

...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 08:07 am

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 06:35 am

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 08:13 am

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 06:44 am

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.

What I've Sold on ebay Recently

March 29th, 2010 at 04:40 pm

I wanted to figure out how much profit I've made over the past few weeks on ebay. Here's what I sold and how much profit I made on each item. Some items I actually made a dollar or two more on because I seem to make my shipping a little higher than necessary but I'm not including that in my totals. The text books I actually bought a month ago on ebay in hopes to make a few extra dollars reselling them. I bought about 6 of them and have sold 4 already.

Rock Band-17.60
Mario Party 8-20.07
Legend of Spyro-7.76
A book, cd, and 2 dvds that I made about 50 cents on each-2.00
Thrillville-4.19
Grand Theft Auto-6.11
Physics Textbook-3.86
Business Textbook-23.46
Management Textbook-11.34
Accounting Textbook-27.44
Rollercoaster Tycoon-3.65
Xbox 360 Hard Drive-11.86
Estee Lauder Cream Samples Lot of 2-6.93
Exorcism of Emily Rose UMD-1.18
Estee Lauder Cream Sample-1.05
Evanescence Anywhere But Home DVD-2.00

That comes out to 150.50. I know I said in my last post that I've made close to $300 but I remembered I had to refund an $130 item. Also, I sold an Xbox 360 but I highly doubt the buyer is going to actually pay for it so I'm not counting it yet. We'll see what happens with that one.


Currently I have two broken Xbox 360s listed, a broken cell phone, and a Playstation game up for auction. I have a couple of other things I'd like to sell but I need to borrow my sister's camera to take some pictures. Honestly, I just want to make a few extra bucks, get rid of some of the junk I'm not using, and get some more positive feedback. I've ordered a couple of items that I'll be testing to see if I can make a good profit on within the next couple of weeks. I'll keep this updated when I find out how well these items sell. Crossing my fingers!

I'm just a kid with a lot of goals.

March 29th, 2010 at 03:46 pm

I've never been like other people my age. I got my first job at age 14. I worked in a small coffee shop 2 days a week. I would spend my tip money (which was a measly $10-15 a week) usually on school lunches. I never let my parents buy anything for me. My parents were certainly not poor. But I never did understand kids who expected so much from their parents. Luckily for my parents, my sisters and I were appreciative of every little thing they did for us. I have friends and coworkers who depend on mommy and daddy for so much when it comes to money. I have a friend whose parents have put a certain amount of money in her bank account every week since she was born so that she could buy her own house. I have multiple friends whose parents bought them their first car. What?! I saved every single dollar from my $60 paycheck when I had my first job. And up until a few months ago, I saved probably 75% of my paychecks.

In November, I moved out of my parent's house and in with 2 friends and my sister. Long story short, it's really not working out with my roommates and they have agreed to let me and my sister off of the lease on June 1st. I want my own house. Not to rent. To buy. I have enough money for a down payment and then some. I really want to do this on my own however I'm hoping to rent out one room to a carefully chosen friend so that I will be able to save some money every month.

I also really, really love to travel. I'm currently planning a European vacation with a friend next summer. It's going to be expensive but it'll be well worth it.

I am on a quest to make more money. I tried college for two semesters and I didn't like it. Truthfully, I couldn't qualify for financial help and I don't feel like paying school debt for the next few years of my life in hopes of getting an extra $10,000 a year. So I work in a grocery store. I don't get paid much but I am able to currently save half of my paychecks and even when I get my own place, I'll be able to save about $100. I'm not OK with living paycheck to paycheck. So to add to my income, I'm trying my hand on ebay. I've been selling some things around the house and I've made about $300 over the past couple weeks. When I've run out of things to sell, I have an idea of a couple things I can sell to make at least $200 extra per week. Adding that to my paychecks from my regular job, I'll be able to save at least $500 a month. I'll have to decide what to do with that extra money. I'd like to build up my emergency fund because the deposit will take up a lot of it. And then I'd like to add to my vacation fund. I'd like to have about $3500 in there by next summer.

We'll see how things go. Wish me luck!