Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Craft Shows

I signed up for 19 Craft shows between now and the end of 2009!! (This is a photo of my booth.)

I paid a lot to be in these shows and hope that I get a really good return on my investment.

I better get really busy getting enough product ready for these shows.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New York Times Magazine Article

Check out this very interesting article about credit card companies.


Definitely have my mind focused on money this week!

DH has been having a rough week at work it is end of quarter/end of fiscal year. He is under a lot of pressure to bring a lot of deals in by the end of the month, and a lot of them are just falling apart. He is very stressed. It's not good to have a really bad Q4, and if it really turns out that bad I'm not sure if his actual job would be in jeopardy. He says stuff like "if I still have a job". I'm pretty sure he's just blowing off steam, but it does stress me out . . .

I have been looking far and wide for Craft Fairs to sign up for, and then yesterday I saw a sign for a Craft Show in my own town this weekend! I called and was able to get a booth for Saturday. So, I will spend the next 2 days prepping for that.

I called on the Checking Account with the 4.44% interest rate, and I think I'm going to do it once we have saved $25,000. We are at $17,000 right now and should hopefully be up to the $25,000 when (if) my husband gets his big end of the fiscal year commission check (of course, now that Q4 is not looking so good, the commission could be much smaller than expected) - but we'll see.

I asked every question I could think of about the checking account and it seems do-able. Basically I'll need to make 15 debit card transactions each month (atm withdrawals don't count), and make one direct deposit each month (any electronic deposit of money counts). So, I think I can handle that - though it does messy up our accounts a little bit.

Here's how I think I will do it:

- 1st of the month - instead of withdrawing our "cash" for the envelopes at the beginning of each month, I will instead electronically transfer (deposit) funds from our regular checking account to this new account.

- I will then use the new debit card (instead of cash) to pay for what used to be our cash categories: Groceries, Gifts, Clothing, Dining Out, Auto Gas. (I think we'll still use cash for "Blow".) I will try to do as many transactions at the beginning of the month to be sure to fulfill the 15 transactions requirement. I plan to stop for gas a bunch of times and just add $5 each time and then to do a few transactions at the grocery store each time.

The 15 transactions part is a bit of a pain, but if we put in $25,000 of our FFEF, 4.44% interest on that will be over $90 a month! That's worth a bit of inconvenience to me. I'm looking at it like another part time job. I make $32/hour at the church nursery, so this should take less than 3 hours and earn me the same.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Hello! I don't know why but lately I feel like I don't have much to blog about.

We have increased our Emergency fund to $17,000 - so we are on our way to our goal of $30,000.

I spent the day filling out applications for craft fairs. I hope to do about a dozen of them by the end of the year. It's a bit hard committing to dates this far in advance, and to shell out the booth fees (usually around $100) - but every show I've done so far has been worth it, so I'm hopeful.

I received a payment from Associated Content this week. It was for $6 and some change I think. I really do like getting that passive income, even if it is small. I have been thinking about starting to write a little for them again. I also noticed that several people signed up using my referral link (thanks to anyone who did!) - but many of those people haven't written any content yet (start writing! lol!), although one person has written 39 articles - wow!

I had some fun playing around with this calculator:

You can play with the numbers and figure out hold old you will be when your income from investments will be greater than your income from your job. It's kinda cool.

That's about it. I'll try to update my totals and post some more this week.

Hope you all are well!

P.S. I have been going on the llnoe.com forums a lot lately. Gets addictive!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Is This Worth It? 4.44% APY

I saw an ad on t.v. today for a local bank that is offering an on line savings account that pays 4.44% APY (on balances up to $25,000).

Here are the stipulations:
Sign up to receive monthly e-Statements
Receive at least one direct deposit per statement
Make at least 15 debit card purchase transactions per statement
Use Home Banking and Bill Pay at least once per statement

I was thinking of maybe keeping my FFEF in here. My FFEF goal is $30,000.

The hard part of those requirements are making 15 debit card purchase transactions per statement. It seems (though I'm not sure) that just withdrawing the money from an ATM wouldn't count. (Although they do offer free ATM withdraws from their banks and refund up to $10 per month of any ATM fees that other banks charge.)

Anyway - it's not like I want to make 15 purchases every month - but 4.44% interest on $25,000 is like $94 a month.

Do you think it's worth it? Any suggestions on fulfillling the purchase requirements easily?

Thanks for any input!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Daily Progress

The Good:
- I cut coupons for groceries today. It's been a while since I did this. I used to really be good about scouring the flyers for coupons and sales and combining them to get the best deals. I used to really enjoy it and want to get back into it again.
- I had a good jewelry order for 10 pendants today. Yeay!
- I packed a lunch for my two daughters to bring to school today. Much more economical than paying $5.25 (for the 2) for lunch.

The Bad:
- I threw out some spoiled food from the refrigerator. A reminder that I need to do a better job at
managing our food consumption and plan the meals around leftovers and food that will expire soon.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Just wanted to wish all my blogging friends a Hapy Mother's Day!

We just got back from spending the weekend in Newport, RI. My mother in law has a time share there. She was planning to go but couldn't at the last minute, so she asked us if we would like to us it. I wasn't about to pass up a "free" weekend in Newport.

Well, it's true that we didn't have to pay for the hotel (time share condo), but the weekend certainly was not free. We let my daughter invite one of her friends, so it was me, my husband, our three daughters, and one friend. We brought food for breakfast and snacks but did eat out one meal each day - and it adds up fast! Then we took my Mom out for dinner for Mother's Day today. So, between Friday and tonight (Sunday) we spent $400!! Yikes!!

Also spent a little time discussing money with the hubby over the weekend. I reminded him that we are doing so great and that in another couple of months we will have our 6 month emergency fund fully in place. He said that's fine, but we NEED to replace the windows in our house and "we are doing it this summer!". Um, we can do it once we save up for it I said. Why can't we just finance it he said? UGH!!!

Over two years we have been doing this and he still doesn't see why we shouldn't finance the new windows. sigh.

I can probably stall him on the windows until we have the cash, but it is so frustrating that I can't seem to get him fully on board. Now that we are finally debt free (except for the house) - I never want to get in debt again.

Do any of you have a spouse that is concerned less about being debt free than you are? Any advice for how to convince a reluctant husband?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

February 2009 Extra Earnings

Catching up with more updates . . .

February 2009 Extra Earnings:

Jewelry Sales: $336
Assoc. Content: $4.89
Cash4Books: $9.86
Blog Ads: $10
Savings Interest: $4.18
Church Nursery: $120
TOTAL: $484.93

March 2009 Extra Earnings

More catching up with updates . . .

March 2009 Extra Earnings:

Jewelry Sales: $275
Savings Interest: $5.66
Blog Ads: $10
Church Nursery: $160
TOTAL: $440.66

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

April 2009 Extra Earnings Update

Well, I did get paid for the blog ads, so that bumps my April extra earnings income up to $774.16! Yeay!!!

Jewelry Sales: $403.17
Savings Interest: $4.18
Babysitting: $85.00
Church Nursery: $64.00
Cash4Books.net: $5.15
Assoc. Content: $12.66
Blog Ad Income: $200.00
TOTAL: $774.16

Saturday, May 2, 2009

May 2009 Budget

(Well, I'm trying out a new background that I got from thecutestblogontheblock.com after seeing the cute one over at Won't Go Down Without A Fight. Let me know what you think!)

Here is our budget for May.

The expenses are pretty normal except for the closing costs for our refinance and the final payoff of our Florida trip and the large amount we are able to "pay" to savings (because of high income this month).

Our income this month is nothing like normal due to our very high tax refund and my husband's very large commission check this month.


AUTO-Excise Tax $0
AUTO GAS - BR $200
AUTO-Insurance $120
AUTO-Maintenance $0
CASH-Auto Gas JR $100
CASH-Clothing $0
CASH-Dining Out $120
CASH-Gifts $65
CASH-Grocery $400
CASH-Kids Allownce $50
CASH-Parties $0
CASH-School Lunch $45
CASH-Spending $160
DEBT-Equity Loan $0
DEBT-Visa $0
HOME-Cable/Phone $181
HOME-Electric $180
HOME-Water $0
HOME-Furnace $0
HOME-Mortgage $0
HOME-Oil $300
HOME-Trash $0
KIDS-Bball $0
KIDS-Misc. $0
KIDS-Piano $0
KIDS-Preschool $0
PERS-Contacts $99
PERS-Life Ins. $0
PERSONAL-Braces $200
PERS-BR Sports $0
PERS-Vacation $0
TO SAVINGS $15,300

TOTAL $20,698

1st Paycheck $2,239
1st Commission $6,908
15th Paycheck $2,220
Church Pay $120
Jewelry Pay $470
Other (TAX REF)
Transfer fr Savings $0
TOTAL $20,457

Beginning Balance $400
'+ Income $20,457
Subtotal $20,857
'- Expenses $20,698
Subtotal $159
Save For Next Mnth $159
Ending Balance $0

I have updated all my sidebars to reflect our current actual debt and savings balances.

I'm feeling pretty good!