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Archive for January, 2009

Another $8.95

January 31st, 2009 at 08:05 am

Sold another book on half.com for $6.45. It was a book by my favorite author, but this book sucked. I have kept all of her other books cause I'll read them over, but as a small protest against this sorry excuse for a story, I sold it. It is wrapped and ready for the post office.

Also sold a game for $2.50. You make out great for games...they reimburse you $2.89 for postage, but first class only costs $2.02, so add another $.87 to the $2.50!

I had someone ask about the computer and asked if I would deliver it to a town 50 miles away. I said I drive through that town every Thursday so I could drop it off. Haven't heard anything else from her yet.

Had someone call and ask if it was a laptop (?) Um, no, I would have said it was a laptop if it was a laptop.

I had another guy mentioned he might want a laptop so I told him I can probably get one for him for $225. (I should be able to get one for $200, but I'm done doing this for charity). My mom works with his wife, so I'll ask mom to ask her later this week if he really wants me to get one for him. If so, I'll have to pay with cash and then he'll have to pay me back.

You know, I put on my sidebar when I got paid for those books, but I think I'll put down when I sold them instead. This book and game should count for January, but I'll get paid for it in February.

I'm just getting around to putting that Polaroid portable DVD player on the local web site. Hoping for $50 for it. New, they cost $200 on amazon.com. Of course, I had it given to me, so anything I sell it for will be pure profit. It will also fit in the smallest flat rate box, so I'll ship it USPS for less than $9 (I put "plus shipping and handling" on my add).

Had other bad news today about the cattle loan that makes abso-fuckin-lutely no sense, but I don't want to expound on that until we have a different plan.

Oh, and about those no spend weeks you guys talk about. Good for you, really! That can never happen for me. I have to fill up with gas twice a week just for my commute, so unless I get laid off and stay home for a week nursing my hangovers, that won't happen. But, if I get drunk for a week to drown my sorrows I'll have to buy liquor, or at least beer, so there you go. I can't have a NSW.

My best friend is pregnant. Awesome! She is a good mom (already has one). It also gives me hope for us because her husband travels all the time too, so it must be possible for the timing to work out.

half.com money and taxes

January 29th, 2009 at 07:21 am

Got the deposit from half.com for $36.32, and sent it to the card. CC down to $8413.26. I pulled money out of my kickin-around checkbook to pay my rent tomorrow ($50) instead of the account it is supposed to come out of, so when I balance my checkbook this weekend, I'll have to add $50 to the CC from the bills checkbook to be fair, in addition to anything left...though I don't know if there will be much left. Anniversary was nice but a bit expensive.

Found out this weekend that DH's dad took our calves he has in to the sale this week. 8 calves, but don't know the weights or the price, and we only get 1/3 of it. But, I wasn't counting on this money, and it should be more than $1000 for our cut! So, I think that will either go to the credit card or the line of credit. I'm leaning credit card, but I'll have to ask DH what he thinks.

I had been buying computers from a guy that refurbishes them and just selling them for my cost ($75) or giving them as gifts. And they have been flying off the shelves...sister, mom, mom-in-law, grocery store, and sister-in-law's mom all have one now. But, I bought one for $75 and I put it on our local web site and I'm trying to sell it for $115. We'll see. I could make $40 profit for doing nothing other than picking it up and driving it home. And if it doesn't sell, I'll drop the price. It is a very good computer, so it should sell just fine.

Also, this guy I buy them from had someone give him a box of "computer crap" that he didn't want, and I looked through it and there was a Polaroid DVD player in there. He just gave it to me. We didn't know if it worked, but I tried it out, and it did, even though the battery ran out at just the very end of the movie. Picture was crystal clear...perfect! It has a wall plug in battery charger, but not a car charger. I was thinking of buying a car charger for it and then trying to sell that for around $35-$40. Or maybe just say in my ad they might think about getting one? Or not say anything? I don't know. I don't know how much the car charger costs, so I would probably add that on to the cost I'm thinking of.

I looked through the wanted section of this same website and someone wanted a hammock. I don't see myself laying around on my hammock at any point in the future, so I offered it to them. They want me to measure it and then put a price on it, but they seem interested.

Someone else wanted a wedding dress, so I sent a picture of mine, but they didn't write back. I was going to sell it for $100. I might go to woreitonce.com; I've heard good things about that site.

Got most of the stuff done for taxes. Waiting on a tax statement from my mutual fund and a W2 form from the guy who has been help us. And I need to get a print out from the Co-op to make sure that we have all the receipts that we can write off. I taped every receipt to a piece of paper (as many as could fit on one page), scanned them all in and then hole punched them and put them in a three-ring binder. All the papers we need to keep for taxes fill two 1" three ring binders! An impressive pile, there.

I need something else, and I don't remember what, but it is in my little file cabinet here, so I'll just take the entire file cabinet home so I can look for it when I get back to my list of things I need. I think it had to do with selling the house, but I don't remember. (after 15 minutes of typing below...)Oh yeah, how much of the taxes I paid at closing when I sold the house. I will probably just take the box home anyway...no need for it here.

Layoffs are coming to our company in a few short weeks. No one knows (or they aren't talking) how many people it will be, but I think it will be deep. A very, very, very deep gash. I just pray it isn't me. We have a very visible project coming up and three of us are supposed to be working on it. It is converting an access database to a .net program, which none of us have ever done, but we are supposed to get our feet wet here...another group is helping get us set up and already has all the templates, so we are going to have a good start. I already designed the database portion (at least we have a good start on that) and now we need to start laying out the screens...I'll do that tomorrow. One of the guys is really too busy to work on this and the other guy, well, let's just say, I think this project is going to fall on me. Yeah! I get to learn something new, program a simple program in a new language that I want to learn anyway, and provide huge value to the company. This is perfect!

The kid we sold the pickup to is having a ball fixing it up. He sent us some pictures, and a couple emails already. He said he has worked on it every day since he got it, and his dad is helping and his Grandpa is coming over this weekend. That's cool.

Good thing we sold the pickup ($700)! The half.com sales have dried up, and I've only made $37.18 in profit for the month (after commissions, postage, etc.) That isn't $100 for January! I'll see how the above goes, though.

shipped books today and big plans

January 22nd, 2009 at 07:06 am

Game:
$ 3.00 - Sale price
+$2.89 - Postage reimbursement
-$0.45 - Commission
-$2.02 - Actual postage
------
$ 3.42 - TOTAL

Book:
$ 3.15 - Sale price
+$2.64 - Postage reimbursement
-$0.47 - Commission
-$2.23 - Actual postage
------
$ 3.09 - TOTAL

Book:
$ 2.50 - Sale price
+$2.64 - Postage reimbursement
-$0.38 - Commission
-$2.23 - Actual postage
------
$ 2.53 - TOTAL

Book:
$ 0.75 - Sale price
+$2.64 - Postage reimbursement
-$0.11 - Commission
-$2.23 - Actual postage
------
$ 2.53 - TOTAL

I'll get $36.32 sometime next week for the first ones I sold. That goes to CC.

Checked on some balance transfers. I have an offer for 0% until 9/13/09 with a 3% fee, and an offer of 4.99%. Still figuring out how to best do it to get the most bang for my buck. Of course, just frickin paying them would be best, but can't do that immediately.

Yeah internet!

January 21st, 2009 at 05:21 am

I just watched the first episode of this season's Big Love on the internet. Yeah! I didn't have to subscribe to HBO to see it.

Sold another book: The Rules (you know, the one that was supposed to teach us how to date). An ancient book (I got it in 1997) I've carried through 10 moves in the past 12 years and I'm finally getting rid of it. Only $0.75, though, but the shipping should go in my favor.

Went to Dillard's today to get some more lipstick and eyeliner, and got the free item they were giving away because of the class action law suit they lost over price collusion. I got some lotion I'm going to give to my cousin next year for Christmas...it is a full sized bottle (not a sample) and I'm sure she'll love it.

Ate left over jambalaya for lunch (yummy! The Zatarain's one in a box with little smokies added in) and then a $5 footlong from subway for supper.

Going to the doctor tomorrow to get more Metformin. Hoping to get the PCOS under control and on to baby town.

Called about life insurance for DH a few weeks ago and he has to go get the physical and I have to finish the paperwork. I left it up north, so I can't do that until Friday...but I have to remember to do it this week! If the quote was accurate, it will triple our coverage for him (up to $300,000) AND lower the premium by $30 a month.

Beans went up to $9.26 at our Co-op last Friday, but were back down to $8.98 today. We are waiting for $10 to sell (if we can) so every time it gets close, I watch it like a hawk. I keep thinking about writing a program to download that web page and scrape the price and send myself a text message or an email if it goes over $10. And then I think I should contact that Co-op to see if they would want a service like that so people could subscribe to it and they could get text messages at their own particular price points. That would be an easy little java program to write...I've written programs like that before to tell me if something funky is going on on my computer, so expanding it to have a few database tables to hold email or text addresses would be cake. I know the KCBT prices are on the radio all day so most farmers hear that, but that price is different than what we actually sell it for because the shipping price is built in (I think that is called basis?) AND if you aren't listening to the radio, you could miss it. Just an idea I've been tossing around. I don't know who to approach about it, though.

--------------------

Grr, I thought of something slick I could have done in December, but since it is January, it is too late. What with all the expenses and depreciation this year I bet we don't have to pay much, if any at all, in income taxes this year. I should have done a better estimate of the taxes in December (like actually doing them with the best numbers I could get ahold of) and see if we had to pay any. If not, I should have recharacterized some of the IRA to a Roth IRA, just enough to get up to the point where we would have to pay taxes.

For instance, if our tax rate was 0% because we had, say $4000 more in expenses, depreciation, standard deduction, etc than total income, we would have been able to recharacterize $4000 and pay 0% on the conversion. That would have been sweet! But, alas, if I do it now, it will be for 2009 instead of 2008.

BUT, I read that you can recharacterize your IRA to a Roth IRA (say in 2009) and then you can undo it and THEN you can redo it (in 2010, before April 15). So you get three chances to make up your mind. I might do that this year towards the end of the year just to give myself that option when the taxes are figured.

That was just me piecing together information from different web sites. I think it would work, but didn't find any examples where it was ok to do it that way. I did find out you can do a portion of the IRA instead of the whole thing, which puts things in a new perspective.

I HAVE to figure out how depreciation schedules work. If I could do that, I would have figured out my taxes at the end of the year and we could have done some better planning. Need to talk to the CPA about that.

Is it time to give up?

January 20th, 2009 at 05:12 am

Next Monday is DH and my first anniversary. He is planning on coming down Sunday and staying that night and Monday night and leaving Tuesday morning. I'm going to work on Monday and then we'll go out to eat that night. We'll be staying at a hotel, because even though he can stay where I stay, I don't think he is comfortable with it.

So, we've been married a year. That means for a whole year now, we've been living together for half the week. I keep looking for jobs by where I live, but inevitably they pay half (or less!) of what I make now. I haven't gotten any hits on virtual work from Monster or any of the specific companies I am subscribed to. I have one company interested in me, but they can't hire me until the economy turns around. But I talk to that manager every few months...

I was talking to my sister this morning on the way to work and she pretty much told me she thought I was being selfish and a bad wife for keeping my job this far away from home. That we really aren't experiencing being married because we aren't together every night. And that I might just have to suck it up and take a job for half pay up there. And what if we have kids? Where will day care be? Who will take care of the kid? etc., etc., etc...

I told her, if I get a job paying half, I'll just work half time down here (2 10 hr days) and then I'll have the other 5 days with DH. She told me it would be better to work full time for half the pay so I wouldn't be gone for one night.

I don't think she understands how much we rely on my income. I am floating the farm right now, and to be honest, if I lose my job, we will have to sell everything. Like, within a month or two. My bank hasn't even approved us for a cattle loan for this year. When I told my dad that, he was very surprised and started to worry if we couldn't get a loan then the bank must really be tightening the screws. If we lose my income, we definitely won't be expanding, and paying off what we have now wouldn't be possible. If we go down to half of my income, we'd probably have to sell alot of what we have now.

Eventually the farm should pay for itself...it just takes time and expanding hurts the pocketbook.

I am hurt that she thinks I am selfishly keeping my corporate job for glamor or something. It is IT for God's sake. Not a lot of glamor there! I am sacrificing a lot to keep this job. I actually hate it. I like the work, and if I could work at home it would be great. I would love to be home every night. But how the hell would we do that?

If I was selfish and only wanting money and glamor because of my job, I would make DH sell the farm and we would move back to my old job in Texas, and then get a TDY to Washington DC or something. That really brings in the money. But he would hate that (and so would I) and he has said if disaster strikes and we have to sell the farm, he would be a long haul trucker again, and I wouldn't see him any more than now anyway!

I just feel like I am (we are) sacrificing a lot and it hurts me when my family thinks I am doing something wrong and for selfish reasons. It is totally NOT for selfish reasons!

So, give up? Take a job with a $40,000 - $50,000 paycut? Work half time? Or suck it up and keep the same schedule until the farm gets rolling?

More books / games sold

January 19th, 2009 at 03:20 am

Sent off some books on Friday, as shown below, and got three more sales this weekend. I'll send those off on Monday and get the actual postage in a future post.

Book:
$16.00 - Sale price
+$3.07 - Postage reimbursement
-$2.40 - Commission
-$2.58 - Actual postage
------
$14.09 - TOTAL

Game:
$9.00 - Sale price
+$2.89 - Postage reimbursement
-$1.35 - Commission
-$2.19 - Actual postage
------
$8.35 - TOTAL

Got the rebate info ready for the 16GB thumb drive, and that is going to be sent tomorrow as well. That will be $10 at some not too distant future.

I had $363.89 left in my checking account at payday, so all that went to the credit card. Down to $8449.58 on this card (without figuring interest from the ending of the last payment cycle to today).

I also transferred $2000 from one CC to another because I had $2000 open and it was a 0%, 0% transfer fee for 12 months. I'll keep transferring over to that as I free up room due to the monthly payments.

More books sold on half.com

January 13th, 2009 at 04:54 am

Got the two books from last week to the post office today, and I'll only be making $2.96 on one and $1.69 on the other. I'll put this as pending on my side bar because I haven't gotten the money yet.

$3.00 - Sale price
+$2.64 - Postage reimbursement (paperback)
------
$5.64
-$0.45 - Commission
-$2.23 - Actual postage
------
$2.96 - TOTAL

$1.00 - Sale price
+$3.07 - Postage reimbursement (hardback)
------
$3.64
-$0.15 - Commission
-$2.23 - Actual postage
------
$1.69 - TOTAL

I sold two items today. One book for $16 and a video game for $9. I bought an X-box from a friend of mine years ago for $200, including 20 games and 4 controllers. We play Halo (and sometimes Halo 2) all the time, and I play Buffy the Vampire Slayer and X-Men and another called Prince of Persia, but there were some games I have never played, so I put those on half.com. This one was Deathrow: Underground Team Combat. Never played it.

I won't be back home until Thursday night, so I can't send them until Friday. Should I mark them mailed before I mail them? Like tomorrow? Or wait? If I was the buyer, at least I would know that the seller got my order. But would the buyer check the post office timestamp to see when it was actually sent and complain on my feedback?

Extra payment to credit card

January 12th, 2009 at 02:29 am

Sending the $21.05 I got for exchanging DH's hat and re-buying it with the 33% coupon.

Also, I bought more ink and a thumb drive using that card, so I am paying that right now as well. $26.49 for the thumb drive and $38.83 for the ink. Haven't got either of them yet, but should be coming in the mail. Will get $10 rebate for the thumb drive and I'll send that in when I get that.

Total: $86.37. Rounding up to $100 just because.

$8743.68 left. Die, Chase Visa #1, Die.

Just posted on half.com

January 9th, 2009 at 05:49 pm

Well, I just put 10 books on half.com. We'll see how that goes. I tried it one time before I moved from TX and was disgusted by the low prices, then I sold all of those books to Half Price Books and only got $.25 each for 100 books (mostly only-read-once books). Barf. Now, I'm just giving them away on paperbackswap.com, so even $1 is better than that.

And remind me...next time I go to a bookstore...DO NOT BUY ANYTHING! Look for books you want and then buy them on half.com. I am such an idiot when it comes to that!

I put "the rules", "he's just not that into you" and "the 5 love languages". Hmm, looks like someone had romance problems sometime in the past...

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Just talked to the lady at the company in Iowa that is looking for a job for me at her company. She said that now is not a good time to be changing jobs, as they have had to lay off about 300 people. She said keep my current job and when things start swinging up, or they lose a key person and need someone right away, I'm first on the list. She wants to talk to me in a few months again. But, if I get laid off at my current job, call her right away, because that is a different situation...

---------------------

Still trying to get the loan for the cows. Our banker is going over everything with a fine toothed comb. I have to get him the expenses we had on the farm this year, so good thing I went through all that at the end of last year.