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Archive for January, 2009

Checked my bank account

January 30th, 2009 at 07:54 am

And found that my pension check was not deposited. So I will have two more days of no spending, no driving. Oh well. I'm up to the task.

I did my taxes yesterday, as soon as my 1099-R arrived in the mail. I just got an email that it's been accepted, and I'll get the money deposited sometime around Feb. 13. The really great news is, between my federal and state refund, I'll have almost enough to pay off my credit card debt. Whew! I still have to do the state -- I will do it on paper, not pay to have TurboTax do it.

I have sold 5, count 'em, 5 books this week on half.com. So this morning I went through my bookshelves and found a few more to add. I have gotten adept at printing out mailing labels via PayPal, and my sister has been carting the packages to the post office.

Yesterday my sister brought over a casserole of pork chops, peppers, mushrooms and rice. It was really good. I insisted she take the leftovers home. I really have plenty of food, though I can't seem to get her to believe that!

Today I Frontlined the cats. There is only one tube left for next month, so that is another expense to think about.

My cousin suggested that I come down to Florida mid-month. I am thinking February 11 is a good day -- and I would stay until the 24th. A cousin on the other side of the family will visit her on the 28th, and March is covered by her friend.

I really don't have the money to make the trip, but I don't want to tell her that. She has done so much for me already, and she has her own money worries now. She depends on renting office space for her living -- well, in this economy, all her tenants are floundering. It's sad, and scary.

So I guess the money will come out of my emergency fund, as well as the dentist appointment -- when I get it scheduled.

Drizzle, drizzle, drizzle

January 27th, 2009 at 09:11 am

I look out my window and the rain just keeps coming down. We're getting the warmer edge of the ice storm that's inching across the country. I'm thinking it's a good day to stay inside and spend nothing!

However, once again, I sold a book on half.com (I'm not complaining!) and I had to spend some money to print a postage label. This box is a bit too big to put in a mailbox, so I guess I will ask the carrier to pick it up tomorrow. I've never done that before; this will be a first.

Yesterday I baked some cookies from dough I had made. I essentially skipped dinner (too much snacking on cookies!) I am determined to go back to my 3 squares today. But since I slept late, my breakfast was actually lunch -- a romaine salad.

I am keeping a grocery list of things I run out of, but when I get paid I will be making decisions about which of them is really important. I won't get everything.

My sister dropped by yesterday and we priced and labeled most of the items we bought in Florida. However, they won't go in the booth quite yet. It is fully stocked, and if we add more, it might start to look junky.

When we have our garage sale in the spring, we will be going through the booth and pulling out the things that have sat the longest and are not really antiques. They will go in the garage sale. We need to do an inventory, too. I know a few things have been stolen. Such are the risks.

Last night my son called me on Skype. He gave me a LifeCam for Christmas so I could see my little grandson while we talk. He was entranced with a ViewMaster so didn't have much time for Grandma, but it was wonderful just to be able to see him. I am very grateful for all these little pleasures.

No-spend week

January 26th, 2009 at 07:57 am

Well, I'm determined to spend nothing and go nowhere till I get paid. Which I think will be next Monday (since the 31st falls on a Saturday).

As I planned, I called the dentist's office early this morning and left a message on their machine saying that I wouldn't be able to make it in. I hope they won't charge me for a cancelled appointment. We'll see.

When I opened my e-mail, I found that I sold TWO books on half.com. Well, there goes no spending. I had to print mailing labels via PayPal: $4.82 total. I had just barely enough in my checking account, but I also transferred $5 from savings just to be safe. I will walk the packages to the nearest post office, which is about a 15-minute walk each way. I can use the exercise. Exciting to know I will get a little deposit soon from the sales.

Yesterday my sister and her husband came over for cards, and they brought a tin of cookies, some cheese dip and crackers, and a banana nut muffin for my breakfast this morning. Guess they are worried about me! I was grateful, but I want them to worry about themselves, too.

Lean times

January 24th, 2009 at 12:25 pm

So I have practically no money at all till I get paid on the first. Two big looming problems:

My son's birthday. It's on the sixth, but he lives in Chicago so I have to ship soon.

Here's what I've done: I went "shopping" in my basement, where I store my finds for the booth and stuff designated for a garage sale. In the garage sale stuff, there was a a nice set of barbecue equipment -- tongs, spatula, brush etc. -- all with bamboo handles and still in the box. They were my sister's. I asked her if it was okay for me to give to B as a gift, and she was fine with it.

Now, to wrap. I had a roll of plain red Christmas paper which is fine for a guy's birthday. And I already had the card, which I bought last fall because I recognized it as the perfect card for him. So no cost to wrap.

I found a box that neatly fits the wrapped package, so all I have to do now is label and send it. My kitchen scale says the package is 3 lbs. 3 oz., but I don't know how accurate it is. I will take it to the auto center at the post office and see what it weighs there. I'm estimating it will cost around $8 to send. Which is about what I have.

My other big problem: A dentist appointment on Monday. I think I will be highly unethical and plead sickness on Monday morning, since it is too late to cancel now. I hate to do that, but a visit to the dentist, however important, is just not something I can do right now.

I am also very low on gas, so I can't do any running around. Which means I won't mail the package until I get paid either.

At least I have plenty of food in stock. I will just hunker down for a week.

I'm hanging in there

January 22nd, 2009 at 06:43 am

Since my last entry, I've gone to Florida and come back, only to have to quickly turn around and drive to Indiana for a funeral. My friend with brain cancer, whom I have mentioned before, passed away just after New Year's.

Travel, Christmas, and car repairs have played havoc with my finances. I have credit card debt again for the first time since I've retired, and it's depressing. I do hope to cover a good chunk of it with my tax refund.

For the time being, I am in NC while my cousin is in Florida. A friend of hers is taking over her care until some time in February. While it is good to have some time to myself, I don't have the luxury of my cousin providing my board. My income doesn't go far. After I pay my medical premium, I have only $180 for the month. This is a major challenge.

I've been looking for a job, but finding nothing I can even apply for. I have not yet put in my application for temp work -- that will probably be my best bet. But I procrastinate. I have gotten used to not working, and I just hate the idea of it! I would really rather stretch that $180 and make it work. Since the house is well-stocked with food, it's doable -- except for expenses like the dentist, vet etc. What to do, what to do.

A bit of good news. At a garage sale in Florida I bought a porcelain mantel clock for $10. After a little research, I found it may be worth $1000! Of course, I can't just cash it in like coins at CoinStar. My sister and I will have to get it appraised and find a buyer. But it's exciting! We've already put in our bid for tickets to Antiques Roadshow, which will be in Raleigh in June.

And my sister had some good news as well. Some Oriental items she had consigned to a specialty store sold for more than $660. So that give her a much-needed buffer for her tight budget.

I don't know what the future will bring, but I WAS glad to hear this morning that stocks are rebounding after yesterday. I'll cherish ANY scrap of good financial news!