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More to add to my $20 challenge

September 9th, 2006 at 07:21 am

Well I sold two more textbooks over at Half.com. So that will be another $96.61 to add to my balance.

I can't wait to see how much I have at the end of the year.

So that will bring my balance to $694.53.

Has it been that long?

August 9th, 2006 at 05:44 am

Ok.. I know I haven't posted here since May, but I really have been busy. :-) School is out for two weeks, so I have a little break before I begin my last semester... YEAH! Lately I've been so excited about finally graduating, getting that little expensive piece of paper called a degree.
But then I feel upset, because I've realized that that small piece of paper now comes with a very big bill. Oh I know its nothing compared to those bills from Harvard, but none the less its huge to me.
See, over the past couple of years we've been able to pay off all the credit cards, save six months salary for a emergency fund, paid off the vehicles (even the 2005), and leaving us only with our mortgage. Now once I finish school I'll be hit with an new payment... so it's only $289 a month, but it's for 300 months! Yeah yeah... I know we'll be paying it off ahead of time..saving a boat load of interest, but the thought of it is scary! It's like a mini mortgage on its own! Ok...I regress. I've very proud of my degree, and I've already been hit with a couple of job prospects. Right now I'm very confident we'll be able to "knock this baby out" in no time, even if I have to take most of my first years salary to do it. Who knows...maybe I'll land that dream job! As of now any job is better than no job...right? :-)

To Post or Not To Post...

May 3rd, 2006 at 02:01 pm

Well that was the question. Everyday this past weekend I sat down to type a post, and then didn't. Getting lazy in my old age.. aren't I?

Two final exams finished and the last one will be tonight. Even though finals aren't officially over until next Thursday, its nice having a professor who gets things done early since we finished the material ahead of schedule. Tonights final will be to finish up our Blackjack game in C++... once finished I'll have a game I can play afterwards or at least that's the plan.

Well we should have enough tomatoes this year to keep everyone happy. The topsy turvy ones are getting huge, and I have three larger ones in the back yard. I also have about 50 volunteer tomato plants coming up from seed left over from tomatoes that dropped to the ground last year. Several of those I've moved to pots, or to different places in the yard. One came up in the flower bed last year and did well, so I moved a couple small plants back out there. Then I moved four over by the retaining wall in the back, and thinned the rest that came up with the strawberry plants. I have no clue as to what type tomato plants these are.. they could be cherry or they could be better boy. We'll just have to wait and see.

Oh did I mention that I've also got pumpkins coming up from the seeds that came out of the pumpkin we had for halloween last year??? Maybe I should check the compost pile.. there's no telling whats growing over there!

Ok.. it's 4pm and time to go do a little watering... I wouldn't want all those tomato plants to die. Did I mention that I even put some out by the back door! Who needs flowers when you have a surplus of tomato plants!??

Another $10 Bonus!

April 30th, 2006 at 05:16 pm

Thanks to everyone who's signed up with INGDirect via one of my bonus links! I just earned another $10 to add to my $20 challenge balance! We just might make that trip at the end of the semester.. still a ways to go!

Check in the mail!

April 25th, 2006 at 07:23 am

Received payment in the mail yesterday for a shop that I submitted a few weeks ago. (I 'shop' businesses and file reports to management on what I see or experience). Not a bad job, but it only comes around every 90 days, but free dinner and a small check is pretty good after all. So... I'll add $17 to my Challenge balance, bringing my total up to $576.22. Then I'll add the interest that the account made this past month bringing my grand total up to $577.92.

More to Add

April 18th, 2006 at 09:01 am

Well we finally cleared more stuff from the garage. Hey.. maybe one day I'll be able to park in there too! We had a extra lawnmower that was left by the previous owner of our home... a nice touch and it did last another two years. After thinking about it, and the fact that we did not need two mowers (it was 15 yrs old) I listed it forsale in a local paper that comes out once a week. Listing was free, and someone bought it and got it out of our way.

Hmmm... I wonder what else I can list to sell!?

$100 to add to my $20 Challenge account!

Finally done it!

April 5th, 2006 at 06:56 am

As of this past month we've paid off everything except the house, the truck (that one we're hitting next), and my student loan. It's amazing how much interest one saves by paying more to the principle each month. On my truck ('03 Hyundai Santa Fe) each month we paid the due payment, then sent the same amount towards the principle. Doing this we were able to pay it off after only 2 1/2 years instead of the 6 years we had on the loan. Plus it ended up saving us $5000 in interest alone!
As for the credit cards.. those are all paid off and in the process of being cancelled. YEAH!! I do plan on keeping one card (no annual fee) just for emergency situations. We've also been listening to Dave Ramsey alot, and have completed most of his steps to financial freedom.

We're on a roll... a snowball roll that is!

Text is http://www.daveramsey.com/etc/cms/index.cfm?intContentID=4055 and Link is

Next we're going to put what was my truck payment towards the principle on hubbys truck. As for what to do with all those credit card payments that we don't have anymore... most will go to the INGdirect or Emigrant high yield savings account, and some will go towards my student loan.

Currently I have about eight months until graduation and hopefully back into full-time employment after being a student since 2001. (prior to quitting work I worked for 14 years in the IS field). There are employers in our area that offer tuition reimbursement and/or help in paying off your student loans, in return for working X number of years with them. I'm really looking into this situation..and have a friend who just completed his term, and stayed with the firm. Who knows...maybe I'll luck out and hit that jackpot too.

More long range savings...

February 28th, 2006 at 05:18 am

Well we've finally jumped on the VoIP wagon and are in the process of changing our home telephone. I did a little research and calculated that our local and long distance cost over the last 12 months was $541. That does not include the $50 calling card that I used while out of town, or the $25 we spent for long distance with OneSuite. So... taking all that in to account we've switched to a unlimited calling plan that's a flat $199 for a year. Plus we even get to keep our same phone number, and will get an additional 'Anywhere' number. I'm sure that one will come in handy when I graduate and start my own business.

So.... will it be for the best? Only time will tell. But saving $400 right off the bat doesn't hurt one bit.

While I've been on the 'money saving' binge several other ways of saving money have come to mind.
1. Made an appointment to have our attic re-insulated since the insulation up there has settled, and is less than 12 inches thick.

2. Make plans to finish weather stripping around doors until they can be replaced. Our French doors leak so much that its actually harder to heat the den than any other part of the house.

3. Buy pipe insulation and a water heater wrap. Insulate exposed pipes running from the hotwater heater. Even though they are inside the basement, they are still losing heat.

Thats all for now... so maybe by this time next year our heating bill will be a lot less. Yes... these are things that should have been done before winter, but since we've only been in the house for 2 years we weren't sure of the actual energy costs until now. (two years to compare)

A little more to add....

February 27th, 2006 at 05:53 am

I woke up this morning to two sales on things I'd listed online. One item was a book that I had to read for class called Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell, and the other two items purchased were Laroma Espresso makers (new). So I have an additional $32.74 to add to my $20 Challenge balance.
Since those funds are automatically deposited into my checking account I'll just transfer them directly into my special ING account.

Yeah!! It's nice waking up to three sales!!!

Hmmm.... speaking of espresso. I think I'll go make myself a nice cappuccino.

Unexpected Funds!

February 21st, 2006 at 06:02 am

Have you ever received a piece of mail and just assumed it was another regular mailing... not bothering to look at it good before putting it into the keep pile on the kitchen bar? Well while going through tax forms and getting ready to file our taxes, hubby found a check we didn't know we had received. So I'll be adding that little divident check to my $20 Challenge.

I'll be going through all the mail and paying more attention to what comes in. For some reason I just thought this money was reinvested, but for some reason they sent it to us... I'll have to check in to the reason behind that one.

On to other things.. I answered a few questionaires for $1 and as soon as they are processed I'll add those to the Challenge pot too.

Added to Challenge Account: $299.28
New Total: $354.61

One more to add...

February 20th, 2006 at 02:56 pm

I sold another book over on Half.com so I now have another $7.49 (after shipping) to add to my $20 challenge. Just when I thought I was at a stand still...

Balance: $55.33

Call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT

February 19th, 2006 at 02:27 pm

On Friday I logged in to view my free credit report and found a new section of information. It's a listing of all the people/credit card companies that my information had been given out to. Well once they have your info, they check your credit then send out a application. One company has inquired into my credit history once a month for the past year! (A total of 12 companies were looking into my credit too) It's not supposed to hurt your credit with these types of inquires since they only see your Name, Address, Employment, etc, but I just don't like it at all! Well... no more of that.

I finally decided to Opt Out. I know this will cull some of them, but I hope it helps if only a little.

ClarkHoward.com has a little more info about the service if you want to research it yourself.

Turned in to the cable company the second Dvr we had which will save us $7.99/month = $95.88 a year (before taxes), and I cancelled my Stamps.com account that I haven't used much because I'm not a "selling fool" over on eBay like I used to be.. saving us $15.99/month = $191.88 for the year.
(I won't add this to my $20 challenge since it's not actual cash flow coming in.)
Not much going on this weekend... I think Nascar is on tv, but I haven't been watching. Ok.. off to see what I can find to list on eBay.

New Savings - Get a $25 Bonus from ING

February 13th, 2006 at 08:22 am

This morning I set up my new savings account over at ING so that I'm able to keep up with my $20 Challenge money. My local banks interest rate is awful, so at %3.80 its a little better deal. To move my challenge money I'll just transfer it over as it comes in from my current checking account.

Plus "If your friend opens an account with at least $250, we will also deposit a $25 bonus in their new account and a $10 thank you bonus in your Orange Savings Account."

So... if anyone is interested just leave a message and I'll send you the link to get the $25 bonus. Plus they have a special going on right now that will pay %4.75 on new deposits.

Challenge Balance



February 12th, 2006 at 06:21 am

I sold a book on half.com yesterday, so that's another $6.35 added to the total. Not too bad for just a weeks work, eh?

New total: $47.84

Adding a little more to the pot!

February 10th, 2006 at 01:29 pm

Well I went by Platos Closet and sold a few items this morning. Even though they only bought a few shirts, I still came home with $14.90 to add to my Challenge.

I also listed some things for sale over on Amazon

Text is http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000EAEF8O and Link is
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000EAEF8O and I have started to list some books I have over on Half.com
Text is http://shops.half.ebay.com/kickchk_W0QQ and Link is
http://shops.half.ebay.com/kickchk_W0QQ too.
I also run two of my textbooks that I had from last semester that I couldn't sell back to the bookstore through ebookdrop.com and I shipped those off yesterday. (pending $26.59)

Soooo... my new total is:

Cleaning out the closets

February 9th, 2006 at 02:04 pm

A couple weeks ago I cleaned out some clothes that I rarely if ever wear and boxed them up. Not knowing what to do with them they have just been sitting in the closet. Well I saw a commercial on tv for a new store in town called Platos Closet. They buy gently used name brand clothing thats currently popular with teen and college aged kids.

Well... I went through that box and picked out all the Tommy, Mudd, Sak, Gap, and AE clothing that was in there. (Most I'd purchased via yard sales.. so that makes this even better.) My plan is to drop everything by there sometime tommorrow and see how much they pay. I know it won't be a whole lot.. but who knows. I used to sell stuff like this on eBay, but since clothing is so heavy, its just not practical for folks to buy it.

I'll keep you posted!

New here!

February 9th, 2006 at 01:53 pm

Hi All!
I'm new here, but wanted to jump into the challenge. Better late than never eh?
A little about myself: I'm a 40 yr old full-time college student working on my BS/BA in Information Systems and Network Security (currently a senior). I'm currently unemployed, by choice, and love coming up with ideas on how to save a little extra money. I'm also married to a wonderful guy who supports me in all I do.

Hmmm... my challenge to myself is to take $20 and save it into a nice graduation trip for hubby and myself next year.

I'll update soon!

Current balance: $0