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Overwhelmed, but happy! :)

March 16th, 2006 at 08:38 am

Oh my goodness! I am so in over my head right now! I passed my training for the at-home call center gig and start working my first shift tomorrow. I also got approved to start training for another line within the company to take calls for a well known known shopping channel. I have to complete that training within the next 10 days. THEN, I was just notified that I also got accepted at the other company I applied for (same type stuff - at home call center job). I start that training this weekend. Holy cow! When it rains, IT POURS!!!! I am definitely going to work for both companies. I'd like to keep my options open for now. Once I see how much I can make and can compare the pros/cons of each, I may drop one. We'll see. For now it is all about the hours. On days I can't get any with one, I may be able to get some with the other and vice versa.

Whew! Suffice it say, I am not going to be blogging much until I get the hang of things. I'm going to be a very busy girl until I can learn everything and get into a comfort zone. But, I am very excited and very happy. It's up to me how much I work and how much I make, but I am going to go for it! The great part about it is that if I get burnt out, I can take time off whenever I want. Oh the beauty of being an independent contractor!

On another note -- good news! The sharebuilder bonuses finally showed up! Yay! I transferred that $100 to my bank account. I'll post it to my challenge once I get it into ING. I do have a challenge update though. Added $31.72 from ebay profits. That makes my Current $20 Challenge Savings $298.18.

That's all for now. Gotta get some sleep for my "real" job, lol!.

Another Day!

March 13th, 2006 at 10:45 pm

Ug! I feel ill. Hubby went and got dinner tonight (yes, we splurged a little, but had a coupon). I got chicken wings and asked for hot. He took that to mean the hottest they have and he came home with NUCLEAR! OMG - never again! My lips and mouth were on fire and I had to keep ice cubes in my mouth for about a half an hour after I ate, lol! Angry Smiley 005 Now my stomach is not happy....

Finally got to add some cash to my challenge. I got my Ebay and half.com profits transferred to ING - 89.63. That brings my Current Challenge Savings to $266.46. I'm still well behind my goal, BUT I am really hoping I can play catch up now that I'll have extra income.

The training for the new job is going very well. I studied today and will probably take the final exam tomorrow. The phone company is coming to put in my business line tomorrow too. I am getting very excited!

I do have one concern -- upsells, yuck! Next time you call to order something and the phone rep tries to sell you a bunch of extra crap, please be nice. We don't want to do it, but we don't have a choice if we want to keep our job! Ok, got that out. Some of the products have 5 or 6 upsells! And, we have to get two no's (a yes would be nice too!) from the customer before we can move on. Yikes! But, I am going to remember why I am doing this! Some of the other lines I get to train for later don't have upsells, so that will be nice!

Things have been slow with my challenge. I've been concentrating so much on the job that I haven't gotten much of a chance to read other blogs and surf the net looking for ideas and deals. I miss all that! I'll get back into the swing of it soon. I did have two Ebay auctions end for gift cards I got from trial offers. I made $32. I'll add that to my challenge when I get it transferred to my challenge account. I'm still waiting on a couple more GC's that I will post on Ebay as well.

That's all for now - have a great day everyone!

A Free Car (without the *)

March 12th, 2006 at 09:54 pm

I am just in total shock. My parents are giving us their minivan. No strings attached, no ifs ands or buts, just giving it to us! I am torn between feeling extremely fortunate, extremely grateful, extremely spoiled, and most of all extremely GUILTY! We need a second vehicle and have for a while but we were basically holding out because we didn't want a car payment while we try to pay down debt. And now today, they say they're giving us the van! This is a nice van -- only 45,000 miles! How do you even accept a gift like that? (not that they're giving us a choice...) Wow! I am truly humbled and truly overwhelmed. I feel blessed beyond belief. I know I have said this here before, but if I can even do HALF of the stuff for my kids that my parents have done for us it'll be incredible. Wow. I don't even know what else to say!

Had a good weekend. Got a lot of training done for the new job. I am almost ready to take the last test. Then I have to do a one on one session with a trainer to make sure I have everything down pat. Then, I can schedule hours and start making money! Yea!

It's FRIDAY!!!!

March 9th, 2006 at 10:43 pm

Happy Friday everyone! This week has flown so far!

Not much to report in regards to my challenge. I do need to transfer some Ebay money to my ING account - then I will update my challenge amount. I haven't had a chance to get it to it yet! No sign of my sharebuilder bonuses. Frown I've read that it takes a month but it's been a little longer. I will try to be patient!

I tried to log into the training site today to start training for my new job and I got hung up on some technical issues. I had to run a program on my computer to make sure it has the proper requirements. But, it took me forever to get it to work because my firewall and antivirus kept interfering. I couldn't proceed with the training until I did this, so I got behind. Got it straightened out but it was already late and I just had to get to bed (I work nights for my regular full time job). So, I will work on the training in the morning. I can do it at my own pace, but I do have to complete it and take the test by Monday. I have no idea how long or involved it is....but I guess I know what I'll be doing this weekend!

I'm really happy about this job and the money that it will being in, but, I hate to spend money to make money (I know you have to....but I just feeling I'm going backwards instead of forwards)! I have to pay for the installation of a 2nd phone line, and a headset.

In all, I am excited about this venture. It's not a lot of money up front (not much more than min wage) but I know it's enough to bring in my $400 a month to meet my challenge goal so I can get my parents paid off. Once I get trained on more lines for different things, I'll be able to get more hours if I want them. The worst part about this is that you get paid for the amount of time you're actually on calls, not the number of hours you work. So a lot of it depends on how busy it is at the time. Some of the lines I'll get to work later do have a guaranteed $8 an hour, so that will be a little better. But, I keep looking at it this way -- I do not have to depend on this money to live -- it is all extra to pay off debt. And, that is a good thing!!!!

Anyway, this whole entry is one big huge ramble, so I'd better get going. Depending on how involved my training is, I may not blog much for a couple days.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Holy Cow - I got a second job!

March 8th, 2006 at 06:01 pm

Wow! I am so excited! Did the phone interview this morning for the at home call center job and heard back later that I got it! I start online training in the morning!

I am psyched! Not only can I do it from the comfort of my own home, but I can work as little or as much as I please! The first line I'm training on is taking calls from people ordering things from infomercials, lol! That should be interesting... I have to call to get a second phone line put in. You gotta spend money to make money I guess, but at least I can deduct it on my taxes next year. I'll have to take it from my savings challenge money which means I probably definitely won't make my $800 goal this month. But, hopefully I'll be able to make up for it quickly with this job. Smile

If it works out, I hope to do the at home thing full time when we have kids. I'm doing a happy dance!

Thanks to everyone here, because I don't think I would have been motivated enough to do this without this challenge!

Coming Clean....

March 7th, 2006 at 05:11 pm

Time to post about a cool website I found called inboxdollars.com. I admit, I've been holding out on all of you! (sorry...) I have been signing up for all my trial offers through it for a cash bonus. I was holding out because I can earn money for referring people, but who knows when we'll be allowed to do that here. So, out of the goodness of my heart, I am sharing my little secret. I have signed up for offers and received my gift cards, but I have not received any cash yet so I can't personally vouch for it. You have to earn at least $30 before you can request a payout (easy to do), but then it takes about 2 months to process. But, people on a freebie board I visit have gotten paid, so I am pretty confident it's for real. Also, when you sign up, you can get a $5 bonus for completing an offer. I didn't because I didn't want to pay for anything, but I got credited for the $5 anyway! So, don't complete the offer unless you really want to (I think they are all things you have to pay for). So, there you go! Sorry I held out for so long. This does seem like a cool site. I should be receiving my first check from them in April, so I will definitely post if/when I get it.

Got great news today!!! A few posts back I mentioned that I applied for two work at home call center type opportunities. Just got word that I have an interview with one of them! I hope it pans out! I've heard that it's hard to get hours because everybody scrambles to get them (you schedule your own through their website) but even if I can get a little extra money, I'll be thrilled. Heck, if I can work a couple hours a week I'll be thrilled! There are several products you can take calls for, so the more I get trained on, the more hours that will be available to me. Sounds cool - I hope I can get it! Smile

My challenge is making me lose sleep - literally! I laid awake today thinking about how I am going to come up with that $800 by the end of the month. I had a zillion thoughts running through my head and couldn't stop. Frustrating! But, I do think I'm a little better off than I thought. I have some things pending that will come through this month that I haven't accounted for:

- $100 in sharebuilder bonuses
- 82.87 from Ebay sales that I've transferred from Paypal
- Hopefully $20 on an ebay item that ends tonight
- At least $50 for the GCs I'm listing on Ebay
- Approx $60 for 7 things I am going to list on Ebay very soon
- $20 from gas GCs that I am going to "buy" from myself

Those things would bring my total up to about $509... That means I would only need to make $291 more (an average of $12.12 a day from now til the end of the month). Hmm.... It could be possible. If I get that work at home job and actually get to start working this month, that will help. Still need to figure out what else I can do. But, it is looking a little brighter. We'll see what I can do!

24 days left...

March 7th, 2006 at 07:33 am

Only 24 full days left this month to reach my $800 goal. I am not throwing in the towel yet, but man, this is NOT going to be easy! Argh! I am scared, lol!

Speaking of 24 - did anyone watch that last night? OMG - I cried at the end. SO SAD! Anyway....

Checked sharebuilder today - still no sign of our two $50 bonuses. Will check again tomorrow.... Also checked Providian for our FICOs - not posted yet! I am so impatient, lol!

Got the Purina Challenge free cat food coupon in the mail yesterday, so that's a good thing. That will save us on our grocery bill this week. I also got my Barnes & Noble and Bed Bath & Beyond GC's for the trials I signed up for. Posted those on Ebay just now. I was shocked to see that someone is charging $3.99 for the INFORMATION on how to get a $20 GC for only $1. I hope no one falls for that. That is just so wrong!

I read on the boards that you can open 4 bank accounts per quarter, so that means I need to open 3 more (for bonuses, of course) before the end of March. I need to talk to hubby about it, but I'm hoping he'll ok me opening them up in his name as well - double bonuses! You could make quite a bit of money that way! Too bad it won't help my totals this month. Sigh....

I did add some money to my challenge today - $25.97 for Ebay profits. That brings my Current Challenge Savings to $176.83. That means I need to make an average of $26 a day for the rest of the month to reach my goal. Not quite sure how I am going to pull that off! If anyone has any ideas, please leave me a comment. I REALLY REALLY want to get to that $800 mark. Speechless Smiley 03920: If I was single I would get a second job in a heartbeat, but hubby's not keen on the idea (unless it's something I can do at home).

Got some things accomplished!

March 6th, 2006 at 07:28 am

I've had a very productive morning!

- mailed my taxes (can't wait to get that $300 refund!)
- used the concert money to almost pay off one of our smaller balance CC's (rest will be paid off on Friday)
- Signed up for a MyAccess checking account through Bank of America for a $50 bonus (won't get it til end of April though)
- Signed up for three $1 trials (in exchange for $20 Exxon GC, $20 Circuit City GC, and $20 Lowe's GC....gas card we'll spend and the other 2 will get listed on Ebay)

Also, my two Ebay auctions just ended and I made 57.05! I will add the money to my challenge total when it gets into my account. Tomorrow I will look around the house and see if there's anything else I can sell.

I'm eagerly awaiting my Fico score (and hubby's too!). I've been obsessively checking our providian accounts but they're not showing yet. The site says it can take up to 4 weeks for new customers. Shouldn't be too much longer. I am NERVOUS! I have never known my Fico score in my life. I don't know what to expect!

That's about it for now! I'm glad I finally got some things accomplished towards my challenge!

Monday again!

March 5th, 2006 at 10:04 pm

Gosh - Monday AGAIN! Where does the weekend go?

Our weekend was ok, with the exception of the concert being cancelled. I found out that they are definitely not rescheduling, so now I'm actually kind of excited to use the money as an extra CC payment. They say every cloud has a silver lining, so I guess that's it. Plus, I still get brownie points from hubby for buying the tickets in the first place (he didn't know about it right away -- it was a surprise). I am proud to do something responsible with the money, because in the past we would have just felt sorry for ourselves and blown it on something else. Not this time! Smile

Today my goal is to do something to make money! I haven't been putting that much effort into my challenge so far this month. I guess it's because I am sort of lost as to what to do next. Today I will do something -- probably a bank offer or something to that extent. When I get home from work I'll look into it. I gotta get moving on my challenge! I have a long way to go to meet my March goal. Tomorrow is one month to the day that I opened the sharebuilder accounts, so hopefully our bonuses will be available to move into savings. Also, received an Ebay payment over the weekend. I will add that to my challenge once it posts. I have two auctions that end today, and I am up to about $45, so that's a good thing. I only have one more auction listed after that...it ends tomorrow. I will have to check around the house and see if there's anything else worth selling.

I haven't really mentioned it much here, but I am absolutely DYING to get into a house of our own. We've been renting and it's definitely time to get a place we can call our own. Our lease ends August 10th and I am secretly praying that we can get a place by then. Of course, if we do, it will have to be through creative financing because we don't have the cash for a down payment. I don't even know if that's a smart financial decision. I have a lot of researching to do, which I plan to start immediately. Fortunately houses where we live aren't that expensive. We can easily find a place that meets our needs for $120-150K. I find that amazing, because where I moved from you couldn't get anything decent for under 200K. So, we'll see. I think about it constantly, especially since I don't really want to start a family until we have a house of our own. I hate throwing our money away on rent as well. It seems so pointless.

Forgot to mention that dad finished our taxes over the weekend and we are getting about $300. I thought it was going to be more, but we forgot about a 1099 for some freelance work that hubby did. Still, $300 is GREAT! Last year we had to pay a lot (as a matter of fact, we had to make payments and just finished paying that off). Of course, when that money comes, it is going to the CC debt! The way things have been going, I think we're going to be out of CC debt a lot faster than I thought. Dare I dream by the end of '06? Anyway, I am putting the taxes in the mail today!

Well, I'd better wrap this up. Happy Monday, everyone!


March 4th, 2006 at 08:09 pm

Wasted 3 and a half hours and a half tank of gas to get the Aerosmith concert only to find it was CANCELLED!!! And, we got lost on the way back... Angry Smiley 005

Section TWO floor seats, people!!!! SECTION TWO!!!! What are the chances of that ever happening again? Angry Smiley 001

I guess I should look on the bright side. If they don't reschedule (which I doubt they will), that's $250 I can put towards CC debt. But still - that was supposed to be our last big splurge. Oh well. Time to put on the jammies and watch a movie. Might as well try to make the most of our night!

Amy's Tip 'O the Day

March 3rd, 2006 at 10:43 pm

Hey all -- ran across two companies that monitor U.S. mail. Things are sent to you from different locations and you have to log them daily (online). From what I understand, it's to make sure mail is moving smoothly and quickly. You get paid, but not a whole bunch. Someone on another board said they do it for both companies and make $150 a month. Not bad! I applied for both, but they only accept one person per zip code. My zip code was already taken for one, but the other one said my application is pending. Hey, worth a shot!



Hope this helps someone!

$30.75 of my Ebay money showed up in my account today. So...
Current Challenge Savings - $150.86
Goal is $800 by the end of March and $4000 by the end of the year!

Friday at last

March 3rd, 2006 at 06:24 am

I love Fridays! I live for the weekend... My job is ok, but I badly want a new one. Mainly because I know I'm worth more money, plus I HATE working holidays and through hurricanes. Being in the news business is cool (I love telling people I'm a news producer!), but in reality it's not that great. If you work in a small market like I do, you don't make squat for money and you don't get a day off for anything. If I could have seen into a crystal ball, I would not have chosen this as a career. Most days I wish I could be a stay at home mom. Too bad I don't have kids, lol! Anyway, I am sticking with the job for now because I keep hearing the length of time you've worked somewhere has a positive influence on your mortgage/borrowing rate when you buy a home. And, since we hope to buy a house in the not too distant future, it's just something I plan to stick with for now. But I am praying for no more Ivan's, Dennis', or Katrina's this year. Puh-lease! I just want to evacuate like everybody else (and get free paid days off!!!).

Anyway, sorry for the vent. I guess I am not over my "funk" yet. Sold a DVD on half.com overnight so that is good. Also had an ebay auction end last night for 5 bucks. Not much, but not bad for something I got for free. I'll update my challenge total when the money comes.

There is absolutely nothing going on today. I do have to pay some bills and clean house but that's about it. Tomorrow night is the concert, so that's something to look forward to.

Have a great Friday everyone!

In a Funk...

March 2nd, 2006 at 09:05 am

I seem to be in a funk today. Probably because I played hooky and didn't work last night. So, instead of working, I slept, which I needed, but now my sleep schedule is all messed up. Oh well, only one more work day til the weekend.

Also feeling a little down and out about money. I just don't know how to make $400 a month! I applied to another "at home" call center job but from what I'm hearing it takes quite a while to hear back from these places. It really would be perfect for me. I could work a couple hours a day when I get home from my overnight job and it would be great. Plus, I hope to be a stay at home mom when we have kids in the next year or so, so this would be a great way to bring in money then, as well. But, time will tell!

Made a whopping $20.08 on my auctions that ended last night. I only have one that ends today. Got lots of stuff out in the mail so that's at least taken care of. Also got my dad's gift done and shipped out. I thought I was being frugal by baking him cookies, but after buying ingredients for 4 kinds, plus shipping, I spent $32.

So, I dunno... Just feeling down and wondering how I can boost my challenge. For those who don't know, I am using the money to pay back my parents for a very large debt. So, it's really REALLY important to me that I make good progress. I love and appreciate what they did for me and I need to repay them. There has to be a way, but I just haven't figured it out yet.

Here's a mini-boost for myself, lol!

Took the plunge

March 1st, 2006 at 07:26 am

Well, I've been worried about how I am going to make my challenge goals and decided that a second job (work at home) is the best way to go. I just applied for a call center job and am crossing my fingers... I would work from home and could work as few or as many hours as I want. I've done that type of work before (not at home though) and it was ok. I wouldn't want it to be my fulltime job, but I really need something that can bring the money in. So, cross your fingers for me! I hope to hear back SOON!!!

Also, sold a book and a DVD on half.com - YIPPEE!!!

And, yes, I know this is BAD, but I am planning to call in sick tonight. I've worked there well over a year and only ever called in sick once. I am ACHING for a mental health day! My sanity demands it, lol!

Trudging into a new month

February 28th, 2006 at 10:35 pm

So, it's March. At least here in Alabama it is... 12:18am. I am at work gearing up to put my show together but thought I'd check in.

Today will be a BUSY day! I need to sit down and write a very long and thoughtful letter to my dad for his 60th birthday. I've been jotting down ideas of memories I want to recount and things I admire him for, etc, but actually writing it is going to be the hard part. I have so much to say and putting it into words that I feel express my feelings properly is not going to be easy. And yes, I am a procrastinator. This has to go in the mail tomorrow (Thursday). Did I mention I am also making 4 different kinds of cookies to send with it? AARRGGHHH! I'll be lucky if I get any sleep at all. Sigh!

So, I listed another Ebay auction yesterday and have 3 that are ending today. My total is only about 14 bucks for all three. Not great, but something, right? Also added a few books and movies to half.com.

Thanks to the inspiration of others here, I am going to do something I have never done. I am going to write down every penny I spend all month long. I already do that in a sense - I know how much comes in and how much goes out, but I want to see where the money is going exactly and if I can cut anything. I need to know categorically where the money goes. I feel like we've cut everything we can cut, but I'm sure there is more we can do.

My biggest concern this month is figuring out where I am going to come up with the money to meet my challenge goals. My rule is that has to be all "outside money", meaning none of it comes from our regular income. Right now we live pretty much paycheck to paycheck and any extra goes to pay off CC debt. I want to make it to the $800 level by the end of the month but I need a plan in order to make that happen. I will keep selling on Ebay, but eventually I am going to run out of stuff. I'll keep doing surveys, bank deals, and whatever online things I can find to make some extra cash, but I don't think those things alone are going to cut it. It has to be something I can do from home, in my spare time, on my schedule. I am out of ideas. If anyone has any, please share!

Last Big Purchase

February 28th, 2006 at 06:52 pm

Ok, I am bad. Right before I started blogging and made the committment to save and pay stuff off, I made one final purchase. Aersomith concert tickets because hubby REALLY loves that band. Total spent (cough, cough) $270... Fun 84 That's the cost of the two tickets plus the cost of joining the fan club (so we could get good seats!). I don't know what I was thinking...but at the same time I am kind of excited. We got the tix in the mail today and we got FLOOR seats!!! I have never had great seats for a concert of this scale. So, I am kicking myself for spending the $$, but jumping up and down at the same time. We are going to have a great time. I don't think I would spend that much money on concert tix again, unless it was Garth Brooks. Good thing he's retired, because that man is my hero! Wub Anyway....as far as last big purchases go, I'd say that was a pretty good one. The concert is on Saturday - can't wait. I'm not even a big Aerosmith fan, but I know hubby is freaking out!

Added more money to my challenge today! $14.11 from that phone survey/voice recognition thing and 2 cents from ING interest.
Current Challenge Savings - $120.04
Goal is $800 by the end of March and $4000 by the end of the year!

My three Ebay auctions ended tonight and I made $69! Yay! The one with all the watchers ended at $46 - not bad! I'll add the money to my challenge total once I get paid and it gets into my ING account.

More later!


Controlling the money, so IT doesn't control ME!

February 27th, 2006 at 11:10 pm

Well, it's the last day of February and I didn't reach my goal of $400 in my savings challenge for the month. Frown But, I feel really good about things anyway! First, it's a short month, plus I have a lot of things out there that are pending that would get me pretty close. It's coming - I just have to be patient! So now, I move forward! The pressure is on for March, because I plan to make up for where I fell short this month, plus save another $400. So, yes, by the end of March I plan to have $800 in my savings challenge. I know that's a lofty goal for me, but you have to shoot high!

What I've learned after one month of doing this is how freeing it is to control our money! We always let our money control us in the past, but that is OVER! I'm really excited about how things are going so far!

I got two more auctions listed on Ebay yesterday and found out from Jeffrey's blog that today you can post fixed price autions on Ebay for 10 cents. I'm debating posting some of my items this way... We'll see... My three auctions that end tonight are doing ok. Right now I'm making $25 (every bit helps!) but I know they'll go up. Especially the one that now has 28 watchers! Wow!

I've decided not to include Canadian bidders in my auctions anymore. Shipping is too expensive so people don't bid on my stuff for that reason. It's a pain to field all the emails about how much shipping will be when I know they're not going to bid anyway. If I was posting more expensive or rare items, I think people would be happy to pay the cost of shipping, but for the things I'm selling now, it's just not worth it.

Not much more going on really. I love coming here and reading all the blogs. I read all new entries daily. It's cool to see what other people are up to and get more money making ideas. It keeps me motivated, plus by posting here I feel accountable - which is something I really need.

Well, better sign off for now... Happy Fat Tuesday everyone! Costumed Smiley 034:

I owe, I owe, so off to work I go!

February 26th, 2006 at 09:56 pm

Well, it's Monday, again! Ok, so technically it's still Sunday night for most, but I'm at work, so it's Monday for me! A lot of people have a light work week because of Mardi Gras (even the kids around here get ALL week off school!!). Unbelievable! Of course, being that I work in the media, there's really no such thing as a day off for things like that.

Yep, Mardi Gras is here again! A lot of people think of New Orleans when they hear about Mardi Gras, but actually New Orleans is NOT the birthplace of Mardi Gras. Would you believe that Mobile, Alabama is?! Yep! It's true. I didn't believe it either until I moved here 2 years ago. I think the only reason you don't hear about it as much is because it's not a drunken flash fest like it is in other places.... Smile It's much more family oriented. But it's huge! We've been having parades for weeks, Mardi Gras balls, moonpies and beads galore. I was just reading a press release on the parade Friday night and an estimated 90-THOUSAND people showed up!!! Hubby and I haven't gone to anything this year. It's fun, but just haven't gotten around to it. Probably won't since tomorrow is the big finale - Fat Tuesday. There is SO much history behind Mardi Gras and I truly don't understand all of it, but I highly recommend a trip to Mobile if you ever want to check it out. It's TONS of fun, and much safer than in New Orleans.

Anyway.........I can't believe it's Monday already! The weekend flew by and I didn't accomplish much. Didn't do anything to earn any extra money for my challenge, but luckily I didn't spend over budget either. We spent $65 on groceries, $20 on cat and dog food, and our normal $35 of weekend eat out money. I am very proud of us -- we've really been sticking to the budget rather well!

The upcoming week will probably be a busy one... I have a bunch more things to list on Ebay and I really need to work on dad's B-day present which needs to be mailed by Thursday.

Tomorrow is my payday, so I'm happy about that. Rent and car insurance will be paid and then that about does it for that check! I can't wait until my recent CC payments show up on the high interest card because then it will show a zero balance! That is good news for a couple reasons. Obviously, no more paying that high interest, but it also gives us an outlet to pay our bills on time. Because we are going paycheck to paycheck right now, it's really hard to get stuff paid on time. It gets paid within the month, but not always on time. I only do that with things that don't charge fees or fines, but I hate it! So, I'm going to start putting that stuff on the card and then pay the card in total every month. It's going to feel SO good!

I was just looking in on my Ebay auctions. I thought I had a couple that end tomorrow, but I was mistaken. I do have a couple that end on Tuesday. I'm really anxious to see what happens with one of them. Right now bidding is only at $6 but it has 24 people watching! I think that's the most I've had on a single auction. The auction is for 2 corsets, lol! I got them from a friend at my wedding shower almost 4 years ago and never wore them.

Well, I really should get to work. Mondays are often slow news days, so it could be a tough night. We'll see!

Have a great Monday everyone!

$20 Challenge Recap

February 25th, 2006 at 11:37 pm

I was thinking it would be nice to have one entry in my blog that I can come back to and update whenever I add money to my challenge. That way, at the end of the year I'll know exactly where every penny came from.

Amount I started with - ZERO DOLLARS!!!
So....here we go!

Current Challenge Savings - $176.83


- $10 (got a $10 Walmart GC from mypoints -- used it to replace $10 in my grocery budget and moved that money to my challenge)

- 17 cents (interest that was already sitting in my ING account)

- $20 (got 2 $10 Gas GCs from a $1 trial offer -- used it to replace $20 in my gas budget and moved that money to my challenge. Spent the original $1 from my own fun money)

- $55.94 (profits from selling stuff around the house on ebay)

- $19.80 (profits from selling stuff around the house on ebay)

- 2 cents interest in ING account

- $14.11 (phone survey for voice recognition product)


- $30.75 (profits from selling stuff around the house on ebay)

- 7 cents (ING interest)

- $25.97 (Ebay profits from selling my junk! Smile)

I will continue to update as I go! My goal - $4000 by the end of 2006....

The Wheels are Turning...

February 25th, 2006 at 06:49 am

So yesterday when I signed up for that Barnes and Noble GC I hesitated, thinking it's not something I really "need" (yes, I know it only cost a $1, but still!). What would I do with it? I was determined not to spend it on myself... Maybe I would use it for a gift. But, then out of curiousity I checked Ebay. Did you know that people there sell gift cards for most of their value (minus 2 to five dollars)? Ok, so I think I know what I'll do with it when it comes! I spent one dollar, it'll sell for at least $15 and I still profit in the end after Ebay takes their little chunk. Woo Hoo! Time to go sign up for that Bed Bath & Beyond GC I read about. I'm loving this!

Challenge Update

February 24th, 2006 at 10:57 pm

Some of my Paypal money for Ebay sales showed up in my account today - $19.80.

So....Current Challenge Savings - $105.91
Goal is $4000 by the end of the year!

I broke the $100 mark - YEA!

Signed up for a $1 trial today to get a $20 Barnes and Noble GC. It was for signing up for a progrram called Shoppers Advantage. Here is the link if anyone is interested:

shopping advantage

I can't vouch for it just yet... I'll let you know if my GC comes!

That's about it for my Friday. My current Ebay sales are up to about $25 so I'm happy about that. None of them end until Monday, so it'll be fun to keep an eye on the total over the weekend.

Wow - what an inspiration!

February 24th, 2006 at 06:47 am

This has zero to do with money, but I am so inspired by this story! It brought tears to my eyes! I saw the story on tv (we ran it on our newscast today) but it's almost as good in print. It's long, but I promise it's worth it. Enjoy...

[quote]Four glorious minutes of basketball they'll never forget at Greece Athena.
February 24, 2006

My son called me not long after the game ended. He sounded out of breath, and I soon understood why. After witnessing perhaps the most compelling sports performance he will ever see at any level, he and scores of other Greece Athena students flooded the basketball court and hoisted Jason McElwain onto their shoulders.

"Dad, you wouldn't believe what happened," he shouted into his cell phone. "J-Mac got into the game and hit six 3-pointers. It was wild. It was like a scene out of a movie."

My son couldn't have been more excited if he had drained those 3's himself. He was hardly alone in his joy and incredulity. All it took was four minutes and change for one of the most popular kids in the school to shoot himself into our hearts and onto ESPN's SportsCenter.

In the nine days that have followed, the national media (ESPN, CNN Headline News' Prime News Tonight, Paul Harvey, Inside Edition, Good Morning America and the CBS Early Show, among others) have picked up on the story of J-Mac a story that could travel from a little gymnasium to the big screen.

Disney officials called Jason's parents, Dave and Debbie McElwain, on Thursday afternoon to inquire about the possibility of doing a movie.

And why not?

When it comes to drama and inspiration, Rudy has nothing on J-Mac. This is Rocky times six.

Hey, it isn't every day when a student manager with autism suits up for his first varsity game and scores 20 points.

It isn't every day when a school rallies around a special education student the way Athena has.

"I thought it might be a hard sell (with Hollywood) because people would think it was embellished," says Jim Johnson, the big-hearted Athena basketball coach who decided to give Jason a chance. "I'm glad I was wrong."

As Johnson prepares his team to host crosstown rival Arcadia in its Section V tournament opener tomorrow, he's still shaking his head in wonderment.

"I wake up each morning, asking myself, 'Did that really happen?'" he says. "'Did I really witness that?'"

They are questions many continue to ask. Even Jason, the engaging 17-year-old senior who hasn't allowed autism to undercut his dreams, is having a difficult time grasping the impact of his inspiring performance.

"That game went beyond what I ever expected," he says. "I felt like I had just won the national championship."

He may not have won a national championship, but he did win our hearts.

"I would have been happy with one point," he says. "I didn't expect to get hotter than a pistol."

A high-functioning autistic student, Jason has been forced to deal with the ostracism that special-needs children often face. There have even been road games this season when ignorant students have heckled him and made fun of him.

But students, teachers and administrators at Athena have come to love him. Jason has galvanized the student body. He has achieved almost cult-hero status at his school.

That love for him was never more obvious than during his shining basketball moment. The Athena cheering section, known as The Sixth Man, held up pictures of Jason that parent Jay Shelofsky had distributed before the game.

When Jason entered with 4:02 left, the students put the photos, which were affixed to paint-stirring sticks, in front of their faces and began chanting his name.

"I never sit during a game," Johnson says. "But when I saw that scene, I had to sit down because I was overcome with emotion. The tears were welling up big-time."

He was hardly alone.

After Jason hit the last of his 3's with two seconds to go, the students streamed onto the court and hoisted their improbable hero onto their shoulders.

"It was crazy, man," says Athena junior guard Terrance McCutchen. "Everybody wanted a piece of J-Mac."

They eventually carried him over to the stands, where he signed autographs for several minutes.

No one was more moved than Jason's mom, who with a minute remaining came down from the stands and planted a kiss on Johnson's tear-streaked cheek.

"Thank you," she told him.

Later, McElwain told reporters that the barriers her son faced had been torn down.

"This was his Berlin Wall tumbling to the ground," she says. "For the first time in his life he got an opportunity to be in the spotlight, and it couldn't have been brighter."

The seed for this unforgettable night was planted three years ago, when, as a sophomore, Jason dressed for a junior varsity game. He was fouled on a 3-point attempt and wound up sinking all three free throws.

At the banquet after that season, Jason received a plaque acknowledging him as the most accurate free-throw shooter in school history.

"He ate that up," says Johnson.

After cutting Jason before the season, Johnson asked the young man to stay on as manager and hinted that he might get an opportunity to suit up for a game. Before the Athena home finale on Feb. 15, Johnson told Spencerport coach Josh Harter that he might try to get "a special ed kid" some playing time on Senior Night, and Harter was all for it.

Jason was so excited when Johnson motioned for him to enter the game that the manager-turned-player had to be reminded to report to the scorer's table.

His varsity debut did not begin auspiciously. He tossed up an airball from the corner on his first shot, then barely missed a running one-hander.

"I groaned and put my head in my hands," Johnson recalls. "I said, 'Please, God, let him score.'" The next time Athena brought the ball down the floor, Johnson's prayers were answered. Swish. Nothing but net. The crowd went wild.

Little did anyone know that Jason was merely warming up.

"He turned into a machine," says reserve center Brian Benson, who was on the floor for Jason's heroics. "It wasn't just one. It wasn't just two. It wasn't just three ... he was on fire."

And his teammates were only too pleased to keep feeding him the ball.

"We weren't even looking to shoot," says McCutchen, who assisted on five of Jason's baskets. "Jason had sacrificed so much for us as a manager. We wanted him to have a night where he could shine."

It should be noted that, unlike other publicized incidents involving special-needs athletes playing varsity sports, Spencerport did not sit back and allow Jason to score.

"They may not have been all over him on defense, but for the most part they tried to keep him outside," says Devin DePoint, a junior forward for Athena who also was out there during Jason's scoring barrage. "The bottom line is that he still had to put the ball through the basket from beyond the arc."

DePoint says he could sense something special was unfolding as soon as they took the court for warm-ups.

"I knew he could shoot, but wow," he says. "We did whatever we could to get him the ball. We knew it was his one chance. We wanted him to have a good memory that he could carry for the rest of his life. We wanted to make it something he would remember."

As he returns to his role as student manager, Jason will remember this game, all right. And so will his teammates, his coaches and the student cheering section that has embraced him.

"It just goes to show that if you keep working hard, good things will happen to you," Benson says. "J-Mac works his butt off every day in practice, every game. It was nice to see him get a night where he could be a hero." His coaches, teammates and fans gave him a present, and he reciprocated.

"Those are four minutes," McCutchen says, "that I'll never, ever forget." Four minutes that one day may be immortalized by Disney. [/quote]

credit - written by Scott Pitoniak and printed in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Friday for Me!

February 23rd, 2006 at 06:50 pm

I work nights, so it's my Friday! I go to work in about 2 and a half hours and then, it's the weekend! Smile

Had a decent day today -- good and bad. I'll start with the bad. I've decided not to switch to cheaper car insurance (boo!). I was misreading the value of my car. It's still valued at $2300, which would come in handy if I got into an accident. If I had a savings, I'd go for it, but it's too big a risk to go without coverage right now. I'm sad, because I really wanted to cut my payment by more than half. Sigh.... Once I get a savings going I'll be in a better position to take that risk.

Accomplished a few things today -- added another item to Ebay. I have 7 auctions going on right now. 3 already have bids, 2 have watchers, and the one I just added has seen no action yet. None of them end until Monday (at the soonest) so there's still time. If anyone here is interested in buying my junk, my ebay username is garth2gal. It's not really junk, of course -- it's all decent stuff and could go cheap. We'll see.... I do have at least 5 more things to sell. I'm going to work on those next week.

Sent in a rebate today. It was for a Healthy Choice meal I tried. It's only $3.69, but I'm not really a rebate person. I won't do any free after rebates unless I absolutely would have bought the item anyway (without any rebate). Otherwise I'm just spending money on stuff to spend it. Not good.

Also got my tranfers taken care of for my new 0% CC. Yay! My high interest card has been obliterated! I love it!

Did not feel like cooking tonight so we had Taco Bell. We do not spend any extra money outside of our budget so I'm taking this out of our grocery budget (only spent $5 anyways). We do have an eat out budget but we like to save that soley for the weekend. The service at Taco Bell was HORRID! Took over a half hour to get our food and the employees were screwing around, so I wrote a complaint when we got back. Don't know if anything will come out of it, but it's worth a shot.

The only other thing going on is trying to come up with something special for my dad's birthday. It's on March 6th and it's a big one - he turns 60. I wish I could show up because I know that would be the best gift (they live in another state) but obviously that's out of the question due to money. I keep asking him what he wants and he always says nothing. I've been telling him about how I've been baking lately and today he said he wants cookies. I can do that, but I just feel like I need to do something more! He's done so much for me, and he's turning 60!!! I don't have long to come up with any brilliant ideas....

That's all for now! Happy (almost) Friday everyone!

Eating out for FREE!

February 23rd, 2006 at 06:50 am

Found out about a new company (new to me) that will pay for you to eat out. Basically they're a mystery shopping place, but just deal with restaurants. The website is mysteryguestinc.com. I read about it on another message board and based on posts there feel that it's legit (FYI, I would never post anything here if I had any inkling it was some kind of scam or not for real). Several people there signed up and have already gotten to go to restaurants and received their $$. Hope someone can make use of it. We can't right now, because they don't give $$ up front (you get reimbursed). Our money right now is too tight to even do that.

Nothing much else, other than $14.11 that I get to add to my savings challenge. Just transferred it from Paypal. I will officially add it to my total when it shows up in my bank account. It was for this phone survey/voice recognition testing thing that I did a couple weeks ago.

More later! Smile

Bye bye overtime....

February 22nd, 2006 at 10:35 pm

Bummer! What a way to start off my work day. Got to work and the first thing I see is an email from my supervisor that I can no longer skip my lunch break and collect overtime. Well, it was good while it lasted. Guess they are starting to crack down now. It only ended up amounting to 2.5 hours of overtime a week, but still! I need all the money I can get, lol! It all started when I was new to this position and needed that extra time to get my show done. I guess they figure I should be up to speed by now. I am, but that overtime sure was nice....

Had a fairly productive evening before work. I got 3 more things listed on Ebay. Plus, it's my co-worker's birthday today so I made him cookies with ingredients I already had at home (it was great not to have to spend any extra $$). Doesn't sound like much, but those 2 ventures seemed to take forever! Tomorrow evening I have a few more things to post on Ebay then I think I'm done for a while. Maybe I'll take another peek around the house and see if there's anything I missed. There probably is!

I'm almost up to $100 in my savings challenge (in hand anyway - I have quite a few things pending). Once I do reach that $100 mark I will probably do one of those bank deals (seems like most require a $100 deposit). We'll see...

Ooh - one cool thing did happen today! I got a brochure in the mail from my health insurance company. They're offering a deal where you take a free online health assessment and they send you a $50 gift card! Um, ok! Don't have to ask me twice! I did it and chose an Olive Garden GC. I already got an email confirmation that it's on the way! Hubby and I are going to use it on our anniversary in April. I wonder what my dad meant when he always used to say "There's no such thing as a free lunch." Hmmmmm....that may be the only thing my dad was ever wrong about, lol!

Is it Friday Yet? :)

February 21st, 2006 at 07:08 pm

Just sitting here watching the Olympics (women's ice skating)and thought I'd add a quick entry.

Made $19.80 on two ebay sales so I'll add that to my challenge once the Paypal transfer goes through. Added 3 more items tonight and have 4 more to add (hopefully tomorrow). I've gotta say, I am loving stamps.com. I'm taking full advantage of my free trial, but I don't think it will be worth keeping since I don't really ship that much. It so nice not to have to go to the post office though! I print my labels right here and my hubby ships everything from work. It couldn't be more convenient, lol!

Not too much else going on. Got a free coupon in the mail for a "Hungry Man" tv dinner today. This after writing a complaint letter a couple weeks weeks ago. Hubby got a dud.... It was my first time writing a complaint and it's really cool that they try to make it right. I will definitely continue to this in the future if I'm unhappy with anything. Heck - I might try it on products I love! I've heard praise can get you coupons and freebies as well.

The only other thing new in my financial life is my student loan. Its been deferred for quite some time because hubby was unemployed for much of last year. Now it's starting up again - boo! Another bill to pay. Frown Hubby's will start up again soon too and his payment is much larger than mine. No fun. No fun at all!

Overall though, I'm in a great mood! I think my co-worker is finally coming back to work so my workload should be MUCH easier tonight.

That's all for now!

Have you hugged a PUG today?

February 20th, 2006 at 10:45 pm

These are my babies - just thought I'd share! Smile

We're getting a tax return!

February 20th, 2006 at 10:39 pm

I am so SO SO SO SO HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!! I found out tonight that we are getting a tax return! My financial advisor (aka, dad!) is doing our taxes for us. He's not done but said we'll probably get at least $700! Last year we owed money, so I am thrilled to be getting something back this year. I might add some of it to my savings challenge (I really need the help to reach my goal) but we plan to put most of it towards CC debt. Yippee!

Your opinions can make you $$!

February 20th, 2006 at 07:58 am

A lot of people may already know this, but it's new to me. You can make $$ by writing reviews for epinions.com. Quite frankly I don't exactly understand their criteria for how you get paid and how much (it's some secret formula that has something to do with how many hits your review gets) but one person on another message board I visit said they made $25 for 19 reviews. Hey, it's free for me, and doesn't take much time so I'll try it! My goal is to write one review per day. Today I reviewed Kashi GoLean Crunch cereal. Yum!

Late Night Musings...

February 19th, 2006 at 10:48 pm

So, I am at work and REALLY should be working, (especially since I'm on my own, AGAIN!!!). I just thought I'd make a quick post.

Had a good Sunday - made it to church and then went to breakfast and the grocery store. Stuck to our budget for everything, but had a rough time at the grocery store. I had some new recipes I wanted to try but ended up not being to afford the dang ingredients, lol!. After buying a huge bag of cat food, tp, laundry detergent, and hubby's allergy meds, there wasn't much of the $70 left. Boo! Had to get our normal lunch stuff too.... So, we're eating on the cheap for dinners this week. 50 cent pot pies, anyone? Smile Luckily I do have stuff in the cupboards already to have at least 2 or 3 nice meals this week. Oh well. This debt game is all about sacrafice, right?

Not much else going on, really. I'm stressing out about my savings goal right now because I don't know if I'm going to be able to do it. I'm so determined, yet I don't know if I'm being realistic. Today is February 20th and I wanted $400 by the end of the month. I'm not sure how I can make that happen. If some of my pending $ would show up I'd be a lot closer, but so far, no luck. I have to, HAVE TO get the rest of my junk posted on ebay. That will help a lot. Must work on that today!!!!

Well, better get back to work. I have a long night ahead of me. I am really worried about my co-worker. He was out sick all last week and now again today. I keep thinking - what if he doesn't come back? I don't know what's wrong with him, but I do know that he has a lot of weight associated health problems. I feel terrible about it, plus it's also very stressful for me to do all this work by myself. I don't know how long I can hold out before I get to my breaking point.

Alrighty, really really need to get back to work. I just feel chatty tonight and needed to do a little venting. Here's to a new week!

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