Saturday, June 28, 2008

Adsense Check!

Yeay! Finally got my first check from Google Adsense! $103.00.

Okay, yes, it took me many months to earn that, but hey, I enjoy blogging and would do it anyway - so, it's a good thing! (think Martha Stewart) :)

Anway, money is flowing in in dribs and drabs between blogging, my two jewelry shops, and today I just opened an Ebay store. Okay, I only have 2 items listed so far, but I figured I already have the products and the photos, so why not give it a try. Well see how it goes.

I also applied for a local juried Craft Show for the fall - and I got in! I'm so excited! The booth space was very expensive ($145!) but it is a very busy Fair and I think my new pendants will do well there (at least I hope so!). So, keeping fingers crossed!

I also just finished my first wedding jewelry order! I'm so excited that someone will actually be wearing my jewelry (4 bridesmaids,with matching earrings and necklaces) in a wedding. Such an honor!

Now I just need to get my act together TRACKING all the spending and earning in relations to all these projects!! (same old same old . . .)

Monday, June 23, 2008


Things have been going pretty well. This is the month that my husband will get his largest commission check of the year, so we are excited about that. We are expecting about $9,000 and it has all been allocated in the budget, but it is exciting never the less.

A large portion ($5,000) has been planned to pay for our new boiler (heating system) but now it looks like it might not cost us that much. At a get together over the weekend, we had mentioned that we would be doing that this summer and one of our neighbors who works in hvac said he has a buddy he uses for boilers and they can get us a great deal. So, that sounds promising. I'd love to have extra money to add to the debt snowball.

Things have also been going really well with my jewelry business. I have actually just opened up a second shop! The first shop features fine sterling silver and gemstone jewelry ( and the second shop features these really fun and inexpensive pendants made from Scrabble tiles. These endeavors have been taking a lot of my attention and energy.

In my fine jewelry shop I have had 24 sales over the last 2 1/2 months including one wedding order that I'm working on right now of 5 earrings and 5 matching necklaces. I'm very excited doing my first wedding party! I am also doing a sample for another wedding, and if she likes how it looks with the bridesmaid dresses she will be ordering 10 of them! So, I'm pretty psyched about that. I have already sold items to London, Autralia, and Norway! I'm making some decent extra money to add to the snowball (though I haven't been too good about tracking exactly how much), but even besides the money, it feels really good to be creating items that people are actually buying!

In my new pendant shop I have had more than 20 sales just in my first week alone! I'm so so so excited! This shop is currently my passion! It is so fun to make these cute pendants. And they are relatively inexpensive to make and sell so I can really create until my heart's content. I am planning to bring these pendants to the local craft fairs this fall and think they will do really well there.

So, I have been busy, both creating and earning. I do need to get my booking in order and make sure these extra funds make their way to our debts. But I feel a renewed sense of purpose and accomplishment. I think there is even hope that these extra funds may help us become debt free by the end of 2008!

I'll keep you posted. And thanks for continuing to stop by and check on my progress even though my posting has not been as steady as it was in the past. I feel very lucky to have my on line - blogging - buddies! Your support has helped so much during this journey! :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bounced Check

Well, had a check bounce twice last week! Ugh! Stupid tax!!

Got hit with two $27 fees from the bank and a $10 fee from the Garage where we wrote the check. Not paying attention to your finances is expensive! (Silently vows -again- to do better . . . )

Things have been so busy, but I clearly need to make more time for the finances. Strangely, I feel calm about it though. We actually ARE getting the debt paid off. I was hoping it would be by the end of this year, 2008. But it might take a little longer, and for now, that's okay with me.

It'd be nice if we could have it paid off by February 2009 - that would be exactly 2 years from when we started.

But the truth is, we are getting there. We are not incurring any more debt. We have actually made a lifestyle change - and that feels good! No new debts, living on less than we earn, doing a budget every single month, using the cash envelope system - even when things get busy, these things are in place in our life.

I feel a nice sense of calm. :)

Monday, June 16, 2008


I'm still around!

Hubby came back from his week long business trip to Las Vegas. He will get reimbursed for all the money he spent for business stuff, and won a little cash at blackjack that covered all his non business spending. So that was good.

We have been following along with our budget this month for the most part. I still have a good amount of cash in our Grocery envelope which I'm very happy about. I haven't made our "snowball payment" to our Equity Loan (last debt) yet, but I plan to do it this week. I just need to "balance" our checking account and make sure everything is on track. I checked last week and for some reason it seemed we had more money in there than I had expected. Not sure why that would be. I had figured out last week that we would need to transfer about $1000 from our savings account (vacation fund) in order to make our "regular" snowball payment of $1,800. But when I checked our account last it seemed that we had enough to make the payment without the transfer. So, need to do a little investigating.

Another item on the agenda this week is to straighten out my business checking account. I don't have on line access to that account or a debit card to that account and I really need both. Because of not having those things I have been using our regular checking account for my jewelry business. This is not good. Makes for very difficult accounting.

On the jewelry front things have been going well. My Etsy site has been really good. I've had 21 sales including the last one which was a big order of 10 pieces of jewelry for a wedding! Yeay! I'm happy with how that's been going.

I am even working on opening a second Etsy jewelry shop for an inexpensive line of pendants that I'm really excited about. I'll let you know when that shop opens. And I think this line is going to do really well at the Craft Fairs this year. So, this has been taking a lot of my focus. I need to remember to keep a balance between everything in my life.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Looking For The Track

Wanted to post this "back on track", but that may be a bit of an exaggeration. While the spending spree seems to be over, I am not where I would like to be in terms of tracking expenses and general monitoring of finances.

One reason is certainly because I have been spending a lot of time managing my new jewelry website. While I have been enjoying it, and I have been earning some money through jewelry sales, I need to find a balance.

I have not yet made out debt snowball payment for this month, but I think I have decided to make the regular budgeted payment using extra funds from out savings (that was previously earmarked for vacation/sister's destination wedding). As it seems the destination wedding may not happen and a wedding of any kind is not planned for the immediate future, I feel we should be putting this money towards debt. Vacations should come after debt has been paid off.

My husband and I are lucky that he has earned a paid reward trip through work. We will be going to Canada for 5 days with the other sales people who exceeded their goals. It will be a great trip, staying at a 5 star hotel, fancy dining, fun excursions. All expenses paid. So I am very excited about this!

Hoping to get back a little gazelle intensity soon! :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


The shopping continues . . .

I can't seem to stop. It's like getting a small taste of an old addiction has brought the addiction back. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating - but not by much.

For some reason I keep buying clothes, mostly for myself. I did need some new stuff, but I have most definitely moved beyond need.

I think I have been feeling a bit down lately, and like it or not, buying the new clothes cheers me up when I buy them, and cheers me up again when I wear them.

Then add to that that we just got my van out of the shop and the bill came to $850. I'm trying to decide if this money will come out of our debt snowball (again, as $1,000 came out of it to pay for my husband's car repairs last month) or if I should take it out of our savings account.

We currently have $10,600 in our savings account. That money has been earmarked for 1.) a new heating system - $5,000, 2.) braces for my DD - $2,000, and 3.) money to cover regular expenses during the months my husband gets low/no commission.

According to our current budget, here is how we hoped our savings would be at the end of 2008 and how we currently forecast it will be:

emergency fund: $1,000/$1,000
braces: $1,200/$1,200
future expenses: $2,000/$2000
vacation/sisters wedding: $4,000/$1,500
total: $8,200/$5,700

So, we already predict that our end of the year savings will be $2,500 less than we would like it to be. I've selected to say the shortfall will be in the vacation/sisters wedding category. Originally this category was for my sisters destination wedding this summer. Well the wedding is not likely to be this summer as they are not even officially engaged yet and they are having second thoughts about whether or not they want to make it a destination wedding. But it would be nice to have vacation money saved for next year.

Now that I have just written that all out is becoming pretty clear to me that the money for the car repair should probably come from savings and not our snowball. I guess it doesn't make much sense to save for some vague possible vacation when we are trying to get out of debt.

Well, this little bit of clarity has made me feel a little better. Maybe tomorrow I won't need to go shopping!