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Selling gift cards on raise.com and other good things

March 20th, 2015 at 07:04 pm

Thank you creditcardfree!!! After seeing your post, I went on that site and listed a Macys gift card that had about $7 left on it, and 3 Starbucks gift cards that would have taken me years to go through. All in all, I made almost $30!

In other news, I had a set of my boys' Geotrax train tracks that I had been trying to sell for almost a year with no luck. Through a fitness group I belong to, I heard about a family whose mom just walked out on them and left the dad with 3 kids, 2 of which are boys who are 2 and 4 years old. he dad doesn't have a lot of money to buy any extras for them, and the mom has more or less disappeared. I arranged a drop off of clothes, diapers (don't know why they were still in the closet, my youngest has been potty trained for over a year!), and the set of train tracks to be brought to them. Giving those train tracks to kids who are going through what they've been through was far more satisfying than selling them for cash. I had never met this woman (a neighbor) in my life, and she cried and hugged me when she saw all the stuff I had for them. Sometimes money isn't everything!

Frugal date day with my 7 year old :)

January 10th, 2015 at 08:17 pm

I haven't had a day alone with my 7 year old son in a while, and the 3 year old had a birthday party to go to today, so hubby took the 3 year old to his party and I spent the day with my first baby Smile We went out to Chili's for lunch, and we have the Kids Dine Free membership (which you typically can get for about $10-15 for a 3 month membership) so his meal was free. They have tablets at all the tables now, and so being the technologically savvy child that he is, he grabbed it and started playing games. Well, apparently, they charge you $1.99 for playing games. We're used to going to Buffalo Wild Wings where their games are all free. He swears that there was nothing that told him it was going to cost money, and he is pretty responsible with those things (he learned his lesson after he charged up $45 in movies at a hotel a couple of years ago, which they graciously took off of our bill because they could see that we didn't actually watch the movies.) Anyway, I protested the charge and they took it off our bill.

So lunch cost us $14, then I had 2 free movie tickets from my MIL so we saw Annie, which didn't cost us a thing. I promised him that we could go to Sweet Frog for frozen yogurt after the movie if we didn't buy any popcorn or candy at the theater (their prices are nuts!) So movie cost nothing.

Then we went to Sweet Frog, for which he had a $5 gift certificate for some contest that his 2nd grade class won, so that cost us $0.67.

So 5 hours of fun with my sweet baby for $15 - I was pretty proud!

And my husband was left with the 3 year old who threw a temper tantrum at his friend's karate birthday party, wouldn't do any karate at the party place, and wouldn't even let go of his leg to go eat cake. I think I got the good child today Wink

Off to a good start!!

January 1st, 2015 at 06:53 pm

I did a lot of frugal things today that I am proud of! We had several varieties of "past their prime bread" - parts of 2 different loaves of bread and half a bag of hot dog rolls, so I made my own bread crumbs! Never did that before but read about it on a Dave Ramsey grocery budgeting FB page I am on, so I figured I'd give it a whirl. I got about 4 cups of bread crumbs out of it and it was so easy!

One of my Christmas presents from DH was a special pan where you can make different "pockets". You use pizza dough or pie crust dough for the top and bottom, and then you can fill it with whatever you want, and bake in the oven. So I made a batch of pizza dough in my breadmaker instead of buying store-bought dough.

I also got a mini-loaf pan for Christmas, and made 6 mini loaves of raisin bread.

I organized and took inventory of my kitchen freezer and the deep freezer in the garage, and I have quite a bit of stuff that I had forgotten about. Tomorrow I will make my meal plan for the next week and a half or so, trying to use a lot of that food. I don't think I should need to buy anything next week other than milk, produce, and maybe some lunch meat. I have a huge stock of homemade and frozen muffins, pancake, and egg muffins for the kids for their breakfasts. I can't believe I forked out the money for those pre-packaged muffins and frozen pancakes for so long!

I have gotten so into making food from scratch, eating less processed foods (although we still eat our fair share, but every little decrease helps!) Not only does it save me money, but it's healthier too!

Feel like I'm hemorrhaging money this weekend!

August 10th, 2014 at 06:22 pm

Everything was needed, and everything was a great deal, but it's still more spending than I have done in a LONG time.

In addition to the 3 tops I got at JCP Saturday for $15, I ordered 2 pairs of shoes for myself last night - I needed a new pair of crosstrainers and also a new pair of black work shoes. If the work shoes fit, I'll buy another pair in brown. The shoes I have for work now I bought 2 years ago and they are pretty beaten up.

Today we went to Kohl's - spent another $116 but got 3 pairs of pants for me (I have lost a lot of weight and my old clothes were falling off of me), 4 tops for me, 2 shirts for hubby, and 2 pairs of pajamas and first day of school shirt for my 7 year old. Everything was on sale, plus we had a $10 off coupon and a 30% off coupon. And I got $20 Kohl's cash to use in a couple of weeks.

Then I came home and ordered 3 more pairs of shoes online - sneakers and casual brown shoes for my 7 year old who has outgrown his, and sneakers for my 3 year old who got a hole through his because he "likes to be able to touch his sock".

None of the shoes for the kids were more than $25, which is pretty darn good for shoes! Everything in the stores was $45 and up - I got their 3 pairs on Amazon and 6pm.com. Great places to shoe shop!

Clarinet sold on Ebay for....

July 31st, 2014 at 06:08 pm

$711!! Holy crap! Pardon my French Smile I'm unbelievably excited. I was already going to have the Chase card paid off in the next 2 or 3 weeks thanks to the insurance payment for the camper, and now this extra $600ish (after Ebay fees) will be a great start paying down the Discover card!

Ebay-ers - need advice!

July 30th, 2014 at 09:15 am

Okay, I know it's a gamble, but the current bid on my clarinet is $405. Auction ends tomorrow and I have 15 watchers. I have someone offering me $450 if I do a "buy it now" price. I would think with that many watchers, the final bid could very well go higher than $450. I'm thinking that even if it doesn't, and $405 is the final bid, it's already double what I thought I would get for it, so I should just ride it out. I'd be thrilled with $405 and over the moon if it goes even higher!

I have a lot more buying experience than selling, and it seems like in the lat hour or two the prices always start to jump... has that been other's experienes too?

Was so proud of my cheap date day with my son... and then...

July 22nd, 2014 at 06:56 pm

So my have my 7 year old out of summer camp this week to spend some time with him on his birthday week (he'll be 7 Thursday). One of the things he wanted to do was go to work with me, so that was great - took him with my yesterday and saved a vacation day! Today we went to our city's botanical gardens, bowling, and for ice cream.

I was really proud of how frugally I planned this day. We did buy the season pass for the botanical gardens - $60 using my husband's old military ID, and the place is awesome! Great place for my husband to bring the kids on the weekends I work as well. Otherwise he would easily spend $60 in one single day taking them out.

We packed lunch from home and ate it on the way to the bowling alley. I signed him up for a kids bowl free program on weekdays all summer long. So it only cost us $11 for shoes and for me to bowl. Then we went to get ice cream, had a buy one get one free coupon and used a gift card for the balance.

So I got home and checked my credit card statement. $60 for the garden membership, a $55 EZ Pass charge hit today, and then we also went back to school shopping which cost $100 at Target (that's just school supplies, no clothes). So much for a cheap day...

That said, all of those things were going to happen anyway, so I guess my date day with my son still only cost $11. But I was still disappointed to see all that on my credit card. I'm so close to paying it off, this will just be more motivation!

First UPromise payment to studen loans!

June 19th, 2014 at 07:53 am

it's was only $23, and it's taken me like 7 years to get that much, but hey, it's something!!

Any advice on how to maximize the UPromise program? I had looked at their credit card but it didn't seem like the rewards were worth opening another line of credit when I'm trying to hard to get my credit cards paid off. Thanks!

It's the little things...

May 17th, 2014 at 07:18 pm

So I've taken control of both my weight and my finances... somehow, taking control of one area of your life makes you realize you can control a lot of it, and all good things spiral from there! So my co-workers at my 2nd job ordered out lunch today to celebrate the graduation of one of our students. Instead of joining them, I stuck to what I brought from home (a chicken lasagna that I had thrown together from leftovers and frozen) and saved myself both money and calories. I've lost a pound in 3 days and paid off another $1200 in debt with Friday's paycheck Smile Can't get better motivation than that!

First blog ever - thanks for joining me!

May 14th, 2014 at 09:04 am

So about 4 months ago I added up al of my credit card balances (5 of them) and the number was SOOO much bigger than I thought it was - to the tune of nearly $75,000. I don't even know how it got that bad. DH and I have great jobs, a nice house, drive nice cars, and have 2 beautiful little boys. We never had any problem paying the minimum payments on our credit cards and still covering the rest of our bills. Until one month my daycare payment didn't go through because I didn't have enough credit available (it gets charged to one of my cards so I can get the cash back). For several months I had to ask our daycare provider to wait a week to charge me, or to lower the amount and only pay what I could. Luckily for me the woman is an angel and has no problem that I am $3500 behind on payments now. She told me to pay everyone who is charging me interest first and worry about her later.

So after I added up my credit card debt and picked myself up off the floor, I knew things had to change. I got a 2nd job where I bring in an extra $700 a month on average. I have started couponing like crazy and have drastically cut our grocery bill (almost in half!) I lowered our cell phone plan, saving $20 a month. I have sold tons of stuff on mom's groups on Facebook and on Ebay.

I am doing the "debt avalanche" with the extra money and have paid off nearly $5000 of credit card debt in 4 months. I finally feel like this isn't hopeless and there is an end in sight. Estimated payoff date for all my credit debt is fall of 2017, which doesn't seem so far away!

Of note, this is just the credit card debt! I still have a pop-up camper payment, student loans (at extremely low interest rates, thank goodness), 2 car payments, and a mortgage. But by the time I have the credit cards paid off, I will have so much "extra" money that the camper will be paid off in a matter of a couple of months, and the cars will be almost paid off by then as well.

So I am here to be an example to any of you who have debt above and beyond what most people consider a "huge" amount of debt. So welcome and thanks for joining me as I chronicle my progress!