iowenomore

Working towards financial freedom in 19 months

Laundry Day & Coupons

Today is the first day it was warm enough to hang dry clothes. I already have 3 loads hanging up and 1 in the washer. The metal clips are working, but they really grab tight onto the clothes. That’s no big deal, but the thing that got me was how HOT the clips were! I didn’t think about that before I hung them up. Plastic and metal in 90 degree heat is not good. So I’m going to splurge today and spend a buck on a package of clothespins. 

I have to go grocery shopping today and I have my coupons ready. Here are a few tips:

Never ever copy a coupon on a printer. It’s against the law.

Look in your cabinets and see what products you buy. Then email those companies and tell them how much you like their products. They will send you coupons for those products as well as other coupons for whatever else they may make.

Today some of my coupons are for juice, toilet paper, paper towels, milk, bread, butter, chicken and ham. All of these items have coupons that are for free! That’s because I had emailed these companies like stated above.

Yesterday was Sunday. So every Monday morning I drive to the only 3 places in town that sell the Sunday newspaper and they give me whatever papers they didn’t sell. Before I leave town, I take the coupons out and then drop the rest of the newspapers off at the local dog shelter. It’s a win win situation all the way around. The store doesn’t have to just throw those papers away, I get coupons, and the dog shelter puts those papers to use every day.

I also do this every Friday as well. On Thursday, the grocery stores put their store specials in the newspaper, so on Friday I pick up whatever papers haven’t sold the day before. In these newspapers, you will find items on sale throughout each store in your area. So let’s say you see that a box of Raisin Bran for example, is on sale for $2.00. Then as you go through the Sunday paper, you see a coupon for $1.00 or more off of any box of Kellogg’s cereal, you save! In those Thursday papers, you will come across “double off coupons”. So you go to your grocery store and pick up a box of Kellogg’s Raisin Bran which is on sale for $2.00. You then take your $1.00 off coupon from the Sunday paper and add to it the store’s own “double off coupon” and it will double the $1.00 coupon you brought in. So that box of cereal is now FREE!

You can find coupons:

In the newspapers

In magazines

On the internet by googling “coupons” but make sure your grocery store accepts those kinds.

Some stores have a coupon bin in which you can take whatever is there.

Ask people that you know to save their coupons out of their Sunday paper for you

And by emailing the companies that you buy from.

Some people buy coupons from ebay, I’ve never done that, but I’ve heard that people with babies like it because they can get a lot of diaper and formula coupons all at once. Paying for coupons is something I’ll never do because for me and what I buy, it would defeat the purpose. Most of my groceries are free anyways, it just takes time to get to that point.

Well, I’m off to do some grocery shopping and clothespins will be first on my list.

I wasn’t going…

I wasn’t going to list anything on here that I am selling on ebay, but I’ve changed for mind, and not for selling reasons. The other day I was outside and discovered my soon to be ex husband’s workshop unlocked. I was in there looking around, not knowing what most of the tools are called or what the powered tools even do. Also, I was looking at these items through the eyes of a very pissed off woman. For any guys that might read this, you know this can’t be good.

This workshop is filled with things. There are cork board walls with all kinds of stuff hanging off of them. There are powered tools and big saws connected to motors. There are 8 different sizes of big red tool boxes filled with tools in every drawer and cabinet. I don’t know anything about this stuff and don’t care to. What I’m interested in is doing something fun with it all. I have a lot of crafting items. I thought it would be fun to use those crafting items with these tools. So I made a couple of things to start with. I’m sure one day he will be pleased. Probably about as pleased as he was when a tree fell on his pickup.

I have my own workshop too. It has a few steps leading up to it. I thought it might be kind of cool to line those steps with tools. You know, attach them to the outside of the steps for a different look. But then I thought it might look trashy so I haven’t done it. My main goal here is not to redecorate anyways. I want to get rid of everything meaningless in my life, including his tools. My main goal is to do what I need to do to be financially free from any and all debt. I can’t possibly make enough things out of all of these tools and one day this summer I will have a huge workshop sale. But these past few days have been fun using a few of them to make some crafty items.

Have a look if you like.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140763435917#ht_500wt_965

and here is the other one..

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140763445157#ht_500wt_965

As for selling other items on ebay, I have sold 2 so far. Today I have to ship them out before I go to work. I need to get a lot more listed if I’m going to make any kind of dent in this project. I’m also thinking about selling on amazon as well to see how that works out.

I’ve been searching for titles to the 2 vehicles so I can sell them. I don’t know where else to look for them so I have sent off for them through the DMV. They’re in my name so all will be good as soon as I have those titles. I have a list going, starting with the land and school payments that I want paid off. Then I have a list of how I’m getting there.  I like crossing things off of that list.

Before I started this project I was invited to go on a trip that is mostly paid for, at the end of the year. It’s a trip requiring me a passport, which I’ve never had. I was able to invite my son on this trip and he is really excited. When I first decided to do this project my first thought was to cancel this trip because even though all I have to pay for are the airline tickets, they’re pretty expensive. But then I remembered how excited my son was about it. So I’ve opted to go because of the memories he will have when I’m gone. I’m no spring chicken.

The other day when I ran around unplugging things I don’t use every day I then went back to going through things to sell. I was filling up bags of stuff to go in the trash and before I knew it I had 6 bags full. I sound like a hoarder but I’m really not. A lot of it isn’t mine but I have it due to family death. Anyways, after going outside to put these bags into the trash cans I saw that the cans were full and I had all these extra garbage bags filled. The trash guy wouldn’t be here for another 4 days and I didn’t want this stuff hanging around. So I threw all the garbage in the back of a pickup and drove it all out to the dump. It took all of 30 minutes round trip. As soon as I got home, I called the garbage company that comes out here once a week. I cancelled their service. I can take my own trash out to the dump whenever I want to. It’s not much, but I will save $264.00 a year. I didn’t include what the gas will cost me but I have a choice. I can either take it to the dump myself or I can burn it myself. It’s allowed where I live and I do have burn barrels.

So the saving continues!

 

Changing My Attitude

Yesterday I think I was exhausted, hence the whole ebay thing. Today I feel much better and have taken a break from these last few days. I still went through a bunch of things but I haven’t listed them yet. My camera battery is charging.

I was thinking about Joe and the sacrifices he made to get where he is now. School loan free! I saw his video where his friend asked if it was anti~climatic. I bet every month from now on he will be happier and happier that he no longer has to write that check.

Just for fun I was looking at flasks. I was thinking…if Joe were to go after his house like he did the school loan, I’d love to get him a monogrammed flask. I found this one…

Image

And then I thought…how funny would this be…

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With the flask in his pocket and the beer belt, he’d be a conversation starter for sure!

Maybe for Halloween or something. Maybe add a tee shirt that says “Joe’s bar.”

If I were younger..it’s something I would do.

Anyways…I decided to try to save some money on my electricity as well as everything else. I have these fences that nobody can see so I started hanging up clothes after I washed them, to dry. I didn’t have any clothes pins, but I do have a ton of those binder clips so I am using those instead. Works like a charm! I can do this for the summer months at least. I’ll see if my power bill goes down any. I also pulled out the BBQ to cook with instead of using the stove. The stove and clothes dryer are both electric, we’ll see what happens.

Wanting To Smack A Few On Ebay!

So I’ve been busy listing items on ebay for a few days now. Today I’d like to get a bunch of items listed as I have to work tomorrow, my fun filled 12 hour shifts. (boring!). Last night I had found an item that I had never used. I had bought quite a few of these items as part of a gift idea for kids that I never got around to doing. Well I bought this item at the dollar store along with others just like it. I was looking at the page where this item would be listed and what do I see? The exact same item being sold anywhere from $4.00 to $12.00!! For a Dollar Store item!

Maybe I was just tired, and the few pennies this item might have brought in certainly wouldn’t make a dent but it made me mad to see it listed for so much! And like I said, maybe I was just tired but I listed the item for practically nothing. Then I went off on a mini rampage about it being a dollar store item and how could these people try to see the exact same item for so much more. I put all that in my description. Of course today I don’t really care about it either way. But I’m keeping the price at the low cost I put it at. Ok, I lied. It does still bother me and this is for an item that is already soo cheap! Have I lost my mind over this trivial thing?!

Ebay used to be fun to buy and sell from. I once sold a boat for someone on my account and that was exciting! The couple that bought it drove 1200 miles to pick it up and they were really excited. The person selling the boat added brand new seats to the boat but didn’t tell the buyers. They sure noticed the minute they saw the boat. It was all very sweet as this couple had just retired. But ebays not fun anymore. Once they raised their prices to sell, it became a drag to sell there when you had to figure in all of their new fees.

The item I put up for next to nothing is the only one that came from a dollar store. I think for now on if I come across anymore cheapie items like that I’ll just take them to a donation place. But I’m sure I won’t find anything else like that. I think I’m just tired and will laugh at myself later on. But for now, I have to get back to listing. I won’t be looking at anymore pages to see what anyone else is selling their stuff for. I have sooo much stuff to list and in 3 days time feel like I have gotten nowhere. Mike told me to pace myself. I really need to go slower and do just that. It also doesn’t help that these auctions take a week to get through. I think for now on I’ll list everything as Buy Now. 

Selling this stuff is something that needed to be done anyways but I just kept putting it off. Now that I have a goal in mind I’ll keep at it. I’ve sent quite a few friends to Joe’s page and they think he is as great as I do. Now some of them are going to do the same thing. A couple of them with their school loans and a few with their mortgages. I hope Joe decides to do his mortgage. He’s fun to read.

One more thing, if I ever find my wedding rings I’ll be selling those too. I threw them somewhere outside. I just hope the lawnmower doesn’t find them first!

I owe more than I thought!

Yesterday was very productive. I got up at 4:30am and started pulling things out to sell on ebay. I spent 9 nine hours cleaning, photographing and listing more items. I was going to do more but I decided I had better start making phone calls to see exactly what I owe. I didn’t get through to everyone yet because I called too late. But I think this is pretty close.

Land: $33,226.00

School loan: $49,000.00

Another school loan: $11,000.00

I’m not including what I owe on the house because it’s going up for sale soon. Until then, I am still making payments. I also won’t make near enough off of it to pay all of this off. But at least once it’s sold I will be out from under that payment and I’ll be able to add that payment amount to these loans. I remember a few months ago when I called the mortgage company on my house and I told them that I’d be refinancing soon. The woman on the phone said, “Oh well, you know it’s going to cost you a ton of money to do that, right?” I asked her, “Will that ton be anywhere near the billion dollar interest YOU charge?” She coughed and asked if I had any other questions.

I will need $93,226.00 by Xmas of 2013 to pay off the land and the school loans. The mortgage holder on the land said for me to call them a couple of weeks before I pay if off so that they can give me exactly what I owe in interest. All of this together, I don’t make that much in a year, at all, so this will be an interesting challenge for sure!

I still need to call back the higher school loan debt owed and get the interest on that. Not looking forward to it at all!

Today I got up at the same time and spent 7 hours going through things to sell. I was able to get a hold of my car insurance people. I had been insuring 2 vehicles that nobody drives. I thought I had stopped insuring them 5 months ago! They get started up weekly but nobody drives them. I’ll be putting those up for sale this week too! I look around here and I am overwhelmed at all the things that I can sell. Besides the cars and some furniture, nothing else is really big, size wise. There is a ton of regular household stuff. I still have a 2nd storage area, besides my Mother’s, that I haven’t even looked at yet. Yep, looks like selling all of this stuff has turned into my part time job just like Liz suggested. Thanks Liz!

I’m trying not to freak out about my house being sold even though it’s in another state. It’s been security for me as far as…when I can’t stand it here anymore I have a house to go to. I don’t know if this is stupid to do this payoff the way I’m thinking about, but I think I want to pay off the land first so I always have it and it’s a done deal. Plus, it also has the highest interest rate, so the sooner it’s paid off the better.

One day soon I’ll put up a couponing list of tips and also links that are really helpful for saving money on groceries.

One more thing..I have some “watchers” on quite a few of my ebay items.

 

 

Listing On Ebay And All The Work It Takes!

The first thing I did was clean out a closet so that it was empty of everything in order to have a place to start storing things I’m going to sell. There is soo much to sell that I was afraid I’d list it then forget where I put it! 

I now have 12 items up on ebay! It’s a long process with making sure everything works, it looks nice, taking pictures, making up a description and then listing it. I wanted to do a lot more but the sun went down and I prefer to take pictures outside whenever I can. I haven’t even gone out to the storage shed yet. I kept finding things in the house that were still in it’s original packaging! This could possibly take months to go through but I’m working it one step at a time so as not to get overwhelmed.

Right now ebay is doing a deal where the first 50 items are a free listing! I’m sure I’ll be up to 50 by tomorrow. I have some furniture that needs to go as well. Looks like I’ll be checking out Craigslist after all. Even though I just finished listing a few minutes ago I already feel lighter in possessions. I’m excited to see if anything sells.When I found those brand new items I wondered why I had even bought them! 

I can’t wait until the sun comes up tomorrow. I’ll be busy with this all day I’m sure. Now that those items are listed, I’m going back to Joe’s site to finish reading his blog. I started from the beginning and I left off at Hodge Podge.

I’ve been inspired by a college kid

My hero!

http://nomoreharvarddebt.com/

This is my hero and that link is to his blog. He paid down his Harvard debt in less than a year!

I call him kid because..well..to me..he is. There is no disrespect there at all. I actually have 2 sons older than him and 1 son that is his age. So Joe, if you happen to see this, I applaud ya kid!

Joe has inspired me to get off my ass and pay off what I owe. Mainly, a house that I don’t live in that is out of state, which I am going through the motions of refinancing so I can finally let go of the emotional strings tied to it and sell it, and I also want to pay off the land I’m living on.

I’ve never owned a credit card believe it or not and only one time did that hamper me. It was when I tried to rent a car at an airport. Apparently rental car places don’t like ATM cards. But that was the only time.

I’m writing this blog to keep myself motivated to do what I need to do. I’m 3 years out from retirement and my life is going in directions that I’m not sure about yet. I do not make near whatever Joe makes. I work for the State and we keep getting paycuts.

I have a husband that I need to divorce because he thought it was ok to kiss a skank and text her for a 6 month period. Somehow I thought I heard him say, “Will you marry me?” to me one day and that he meant it. Chalk me up as an old fool. That’s what I get for choosing somebody 7 years younger. But there are many things I need to clean out of my life besides him. The rest are material and I want to be debt free. Soon.

I’m a state worker and they will fire me if I have another job besides them. I live in a small town where everybody knows each other so a 2nd job here is out of the question. The next closest town is an hour away but a lot of people I work with live there and I’d be seen. I need to get creative in making extra money on the sly.

I already do the coupon clipping and I am able to buy my groceries for under $100.00 a month and that’s buying name brand foods only for 3 of us. There’s a little more to it than just clipping coupons and I have the time. I work 12 hour shifts so one week I have 3 days off and the next week I have 4 days off. I do not spend more than 2 hours a week on couponing. But I will say this, I’ve seen the extreme couponing show and I put them to shame.

So, here I am in my early 50’s, just 3 years away from retirement because of the specific field I’m in and everything that I thought was what I wanted in life has come to a crashing halt. I already went through the tears and disappointment so this blog will not focus on that at all. I will spare you of the gory details. But I will say this… my 4 year degree in Criminal Justice did not, in any way, prepare me for the BS that life can and will throw at you.

I am ready for this challenge I have given myself.

As soon as my out of state house gets refinanced, I will hopefully sell it quickly. The land I live on, I owe $36,000. My college loan, which I received late in life, I owe $49,000. I want both of these paid off by Christmas of 2013. Today is Sunday, so tomorrow will be an eye opener day for sure when I call and find out exactly what I owe on both of these with the interest included.

My mother passed away not too long ago so now I have a 4 bedroom house full of everything she had sitting in storage that I will begin selling on ebay. Craigslist scares me. That’s the first thing I’ll be doing. I also have a ton of stuff that I now want to get rid of.

When I pay this land off, I’ll be giving it to my son and I haven’t figured out if I’ll put my own little house on it or just go live somewhere else. I need to figure out what my remaining years will consist of since my original plans have changed. In the last 5 months of this year I have already made some changes. We no longer have cable tv. I was spending $150.00 a month of cable that nobody watched. I now have Hulu and Netflix for a total of $16.00 a month and everybody is very happy with that. I changed my internet from Hughes Net which was costing $80.00 a month since I live in the sticks, with the worst service ever. Now I’m with our local cable guy with wireless internet for $25.00 and it’s really fast compared to what I had.  I’ve only had to call them once when the wind blew my dish off of my roof and I was able to understand them perfectly! An hour later my internet was back up and running. That was nice! I no longer use propane for heating which during winter was costing me $500.00 a month and winter is 6 months long here. I went out and bought a pellet stove. Best purchase ever in my life! It cost me $1,500. and the pellets are $200.00 a ton. There are 49 bags in each ton and I use 1 bag every 3 days. I have never used 2 tons for any winter and since this past winter was so mild, I used 10 bags all winter long. I still have propane which is only used for hot water, but I will be purchasing a tankless electric water heater so that I never have to bother with propane again. Propane is ridiculously high! So these are some of the things that I have started doing to save money. With the savings, I have been making double land payments and seeing it go down has been fun to watch! But I need to make more than double payments to get to my goal.

I’ll be back on here tomorrow, hopefully with news of some sales from all the stuff I need to sell. Right now I’m going to go out to the storage and start taking pictures of what I want to sell. I won’t be giving out the links to these as this is not why I started this blog. I want to hold myself accountable, in writing, for getting out of debt and starting my life over.

I’m sure you’ll never see this, but thank you Joe for the inspiration I needed!

And hopefully I’ll learn how to use this blog properly.