I haven’t written in over a month. For those that wrote to me in my silence, thank you so much. Your words really meant a lot me and helped me feel like people really care.
As I described in my last post, financial struggles have been getting me down. Unfortunately, they haven’t let up either. Mr. Tech’s business is still slow. He’s got some new projects in the works, and the summer job should still be happening. He assessed a house this week that was recently built, of which the owner wants some high-tech A/V equipment. But in the meantime, we are still waiting for him to get paid for a couple smaller projects. Once that money comes through we’ll be able to get caught up, but as of right now, we are late on February’s bills.
Despite the financial struggles, I do know that the state of money is only temporary. The amount of money coming in and out constantly ebbs and flows. Sometimes we have more, sometimes we have less. What makes it hard are all the debts that take away our earnings. But I know that I can attract more money, and pay off these debts. In February, I made some strides in helping me to reach these goals. Here are some of these successes.
The Debt Movement
Around the time of my last post, I joined the program, The Debt Movement. Besides helping to motivate me in my debt payoff journey, I hope to receive one of the scholarships they are offering. I’ve been putting all my accounts into Ready For Zero to help me keep track of my debts. Unfortunately, many of my lenders won’t let me sign in through a secondary server, but I keep trying. I still have my Excel Spreadsheet too. Since joining The Debt Movement, I haven’t paid off a lot of debt, since there isn’t a lot of extra income to go towards debt. But I am working towards bringing home more extra income.
I started walking a puppy. I’ve had my information listed on Care.com for a year and a half. Admittedly, I never finished my profile, but I did list myself as a tutor and a dog walker. I was contacted by a young woman who lives only a one-minute drive from my apartment. She needed someone to walk her puppy three times a week. I go afterschool on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, for a half-hour each. So far I’ve earned an extra $70 of cash! With this money I was able to buy some Girl Scout Cookies I had committed to a few months ago, and a much needed hair cut! I earn $35 a week, and my hope is this money can go to my Macys bill. I accrued a $250 debt from Christmas. So far I’ve only paid it down to $179, but my hope is to have this gone by the end of the March.
Selling My Crap
So far, I’ve listed a dozen items on Craigslist, of which I sold a camera backpack for $25. This money helped me buy some much needed skin-care products from the Body Shop. This was a few weeks ago now. The Body Shop products are the only face products I can use, and I was out of everything. With coupons, my rewards card, free products, and promotional sales, I was able to stock up $150 of products for about $40 out of pocket ($25 from the bag and $15 from my checking account). I was very pleased with my deal.
I also listed a tv mount and white paint on Craigslist. I had a couple potential takers, which proves to me that people really do want the crap you think no one would want.
Besides Craigslist, I also listed my first item on E-bay! It’s a more specific A/V product that Mr. Tech had. It hasn’t sold yet, but it’s a start!
And, I also listed over 60 books on half.com. To date, I’ve sold 7 books, and just today I received emails of two more sales! Some of the books are only selling for 75 cents, but a couple others have sold for $4, $5, and $15! After shipping, my lowest profit is about $1.50. But for the higher-priced sales, I’ll be bringing home more moula!
My hope is that extra money from selling books will also go to the Macys debt, but I may need to use it for groceries and gasoline.
In addition to my teaching/education related jobs, I also started working for Mr. Tech’s father! This opportunity has been in the works for a while – well, really over three years. He’s wanted to hire me as a document writer, but the job he initially thought he would hire me for hasn’t worked out yet. Instead, he’s now working as a software developer on another project, and hence is able to hire me for this! Right now, I’m just beginning the position, but it could become quite lucrative. By summer, he hopes to hire me full-time. If this happens, I may postpone teaching for a year, so I can pay off debt and establish my art history consulting business.
Besides bills, the other stress in my life right now is saving for vacations. I have a few trips coming up soon, so with the extra money I hope to make with Mr. Tech’s father, I’ll be able to save for these trips. On June 1st, my cousin is getting married in Tennessee. I’ll be sharing a hotel room with my mother, so I’ll need for money is the plane ticket, a dress, a present, and some spending money. I hope I can make it. Then for the weekend of June 8th, Mr. Tech and I will be traveling to DC for the One Million Bones exhibit. Two weeks later, we usually go on a camping trip for my birthday and Older Stepson’s birthday. And lastly… in July we are going to Disney World! My father-in-law is treating the family to a vacation to Disney! I’m really excited, but stressed about it too. We’ll need at least $2,000 for my family of four. Comparatively this is a great price for a trip to Disney, since my father-in-law is gifting so much of the trip, but still $2,000 is a lot of money when we are challenged right now just to pay the bills.
How was your February? Do you have tips for traveling on a budget?
More to come soon!