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It's been awhile ...

April 16th, 2009 at 11:47 pm

... since I last posted! My gosh, time flies!

I got moved into my apartment a month ago, and I LOVE IT! Moving was the best thing I have done for myself and my kids in a long long time. We purged big-time, and got rid of years worth of JUNK. (I gave a LOT of stuff away at the end just to get rid of it!) The apartment is so much nicer than the house we were renting (which seemed to be falling down around us) -- it's light, bright, and CLEAN, and it's amazing how much lighter I actually feel!! I am really happy to have the move over and done -- it was a HUGE hurdle for me.

Even though I haven't posted in awhile, I did update my sidebar and my debt payoff pie chart at the end of March. My savings have taken a hit (don't people always have to buy some new things when they move?) ... but I've got transfers set up so that money moves from my checking account into three different savings accounts (ING, Venture, and Smarty Pig) every month, so I think I'll build those back up again fairly quickly (barring any visits from Murphy). Now that the move is out of the way, I have returned my focus to finances!

On the credit card debt front, my higher-limit Capital One card sent me a 0% balance transfer deal up to my credit limit, which enabled me to transfer the entire balance (close to $700) of a card with an APR of 27.24% ... so, while my total amount of CC debt won't change much at first with that consolidation, I will be able to pay down the principal on the transferred amount much quicker! (Capital One is the card that's lowered my APR from 24.4% to 12.9% over the past few months.)

I saw Suze Orman on Oprah recently, and she said she's now advising people who think there is a possibility they could lose their jobs to make minimum payments on credit cards and save all they possibly can. I really think my job is stable ... of course, I could be wrong ... but I wonder if I should follow that advice. Actually, I can't nail down my "new" budget yet, since I haven't gotten an electric bill or a water bill in my apartment so I have no idea what those expenses will run. I am really going to miss having my electricity on an averaging plan like I had in my house! (I do plan to get that established once I build up the history required.) I am a bit nervous about how much my monthly bills will run here, especially the electricity (since my apartment is upstairs and the temps climb into the 100s here during the summer months)!

It feels good to post again! Smile

Something Weird, and Motivation to Declutter (Finally!)

February 25th, 2009 at 02:32 am

What finally gave me the motivation to declutter? I'm moving!! I am SO excited ... I hate moving, but I am sick to death of the place I've been living in because the landlord does LESS than the bare minimum as far as maintenance and repairs go and the place has become such a dump over the past 6 years. I've had my sights set on an apartment complex less than a mile from where I currently live for over 6 months now, and I've been not-so-patiently waiting for a 3-bedroom apartment WITH a garage to become available ... and one finally did! I haven't lived in an apartment since college, and I'm sure there will be things I don't like about it ... but it's a fairly new complex, the apartments themselves are very nice and modern, and I won't have to deal with maintenance issues, yard work, OR a landlord I cannot reach! I'm THRILLED!!

SO. I've been working at cleaning out the garage, closets, etc., all of which are packed to the rafters. I moved into this house from a much larger place following a divorce 6 years ago, and told myself at that time that I'd have a garage sale "someday" but that day hasn't come until NOW! Garage sale day is March 7, and moving day is March 14. I am really CLEANING OUT and getting rid of a LOT of stuff. I am being relentless, because I am SO tired of being surrounded by so much clutter! I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to living more simply. AND, I can't tell you how much I look forward to making money by selling my stuff! Here's hoping March 7 is a beautiful day and I have a successful garage sale!

From a money-saving standpoint, the move isn't going to make much difference in my monthly bills. My rent will actually be about 10% more in the apartment, but I am hoping there will be a substantial decrease in my utilities (primarily electricity) to offset that. I really think there will be, because this house is in such poor shape that there is NO energy efficiency whatsoever. I'm sure the apartment won't be the best, but it's got to be better than this house. We shall see!

As for the something weird, it's about my Capital One cards again (I have two of them). Last month I blogged about how the APR had been lowered ... well, it's been lowered again, on BOTH cards! I accessed the accounts online last night, and pulled up the statements for each of the past four months. For the period ending Oct. 28, the APR on both cards was 24.9%. For the period ending Nov. 28, the APR on both cards was lowered to 24.4%. For the period ending Dec. 29, the APR on the higher-limit card was lowered to 14.65% and the APR on the lower-limit card was lowered to 14.4%. And, most recently, for the period ending Jan. 28, the APR on the higher-limit card has been lowered to 12.9% and the APR on the lower-limit card has been lowered to 12.65%!!! LOVE IT, and would love to see this trend continue!! Smile

Selling Stuff

July 19th, 2008 at 08:48 pm

I listed about a dozen books on half.com earlier this week, and sold two right away! Nothing since then, though. I should make about $13 profit from those two sales.

This afternoon I listed two things on Craigslist. The first was a very large guinea pig cage. We haven't had guinea pigs for quite awhile, and I had listed the cage on Craigslist before, but had no luck. This time, I got a hit 5 minutes after the listing posted. Just before our last guinea pig died, I had stocked up on supplies, so I threw the rest of those in the deal along with the cage. The people that are buying it all are getting a great deal for $30, but I'm getting rid of "clutter"!! They're supposed to be here any minute to pick the stuff up.

I also listed a couple of Raggedy Ann & Andy dolls on Craigslist ... these dolls are 4 feet tall and are called "dancing" dolls because they have wide elastic straps sewn to their hands/feet, and kids can strap 'em on and dance with 'em! (At least, that's what I was told when I originally bought them 18+ years ago as nursery decorating items when I was pregnant with my son.) I listed them for $75 neg. and I doubt I'll get any bites, but who knows? Now I'm looking around the house trying to find something else I think might go quickly on Craigslist!

I updated my sidebar to show the $150 deducted from my Challenge money for the refrigerator I bought last weekend off Craigslist. I think I'll leave my EF untouched in ING.