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Archive for October, 2004

Making Christmas gifts "count"

October 29th, 2004 at 07:28 pm

Vanessa asked me today "What do you want for Christmas?"

Yes, it's a bit early, but she's hoping to beat the rush because she's expecting in mid-January, and doesn't want to waddle much around the mall looking for gifts.

"I don't know," I responded.

I'm just not a big gift person, I guess. I also don't view the holidays as a big excuse to spend a lot of money on things we don't really need.

But, I wouldn't mind spending money for things I know that I could use or need, or things that my daughter will definitely need in just a month or so after Christmas.

That's making the Christmas gifts "count."

Green eBay business

October 27th, 2004 at 10:16 pm

Some people toss their magazines after they read them, or recycle them. I resell back issues of magazines on eBay to people who collect them or are interested in them.

I also have never paid for a box to ship the magazines in. Used boxes that are of an appropriate size work great. Ones that are too big work to make shipping envelopes rigid to protect the magazines during shipping. Also, I use plastic grocery bags to make the packaging more water-resistant.

And a lot of my customers are happy with how carefully I pack their items! What's more, I give some materials one more use before they're recycled.

Keeping track of what you spend

October 20th, 2004 at 08:45 pm

It's hard to track everything.

We started at the beginning of this month. I was good for a few days in organizing our receipts and such. Then I fell lazy. Yesterday I watched Vanessa sort all of the receipts from the last couple of weeks. They were just piling up.

In any case, it can be a good learning experience to track what you spend. It's probably more in some areas (like trips to the coffee shop) than you imagine.

If you run into the same problem that we did, just spot-check a few areas each week or month.

Auction find

October 17th, 2004 at 06:01 pm

Estate auctions are great. Often you can go to the auction and find something that you want or need. When the bidding comes around, you can usually get the item you want (sometime plus a lot of other stuff) for well under the cost of the item new.

Case in point: We have wanted a port-a-potty. (Sorry for the potty humor here.) New at Wal-Mart: up to $65 for a flushable model. We found one (clean) at the auction. Our final bid was $25, and we got twelve other boxes of stuff along with the port-a-potty. We may be able to sell off the other stuff that we don't want to further reduce the price of the port-a-potty.

Does your vet have wellness clinics?

October 14th, 2004 at 10:25 pm

Vanessa took one of our dogs for his shots during the "wellness clinic" that our vet provides. It's given every week. Going in during the clinic saves us the vet's office fee, and we only pay for the shots. At $28 a pop this adds up. The main drawbacks are the limited hours and the possibility of a longer wait, since appointments take precedence. But Vanessa got in without a wait this time.

Mad money for college students

October 12th, 2004 at 09:24 pm

I went home for my sister's wedding this weekend, and it reminded me of something that my mom used to do for me when I came home from college.

She used to put change (coins) from her groceries/shopping into a piggy bank. When I came home from college every few months, she'd let me empty the pig. Wink It was good for a few pizzas when I went back, and I knew that my mom was thinking of me when I was up at college.

Sappy, but true Smile