Sunday, April 28, 2013

Mini Goals

Since I know that 2 hours is pretty much the maximum time that I can spend out at my property without getting overwhelmed, I had one goal in mind for Saturday.  Take down the dog runs and bring them back to the house to sell.  Turns out that even that was too much.  After taking down one dog run, I was hot, sweaty and tired.  It is getting too hot to work outside.  I am going to have to start getting up early on Saturday.  How I wish I had 3 day weekend again like at my old job.  Well, my goal is to have a more flexible part time job so if I just hang in there, I will have more days to sleep in.

The dog run came down without too much problem.  The big problem was the dead rat in the storage space of my RV.  I should have expected it really,   After all, I did put poison out for it.  It was quite stinky and gross to clean up.  The smell should go away soon.  That's one good thing about the dry heat.  It will bake it until there is no smell left.  The other dog run will have to wait a couple of weeks. I listed the first dog run on craig's list and immediately got 3 people who wanted to pay less and one person who offered payments.  Good thing I listed it for more than I expected to get.  I'm sure I will settle for one of their offers in the next few days.

My goal is to use this money to sign up for an online course on how to set up an online store/business.  I need help with all of the details.  I feel like my progress is going painfully slow but any progress is good so I will just keep making mini-goals and completing them and I will get closer to my giant goal.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Inching Through Another Week

This has been such a wild week with all of the news from across the country.  It is amazing how quickly we get information now with the internet.  Still, my nephew rarely hears about current events since we don't have network TV and I guess none of his teachers or classmates mentioned anything.  He starts high school next year.  Maybe he will start to care about things that go on in the world.

Last week I got a few things accomplished.  I made a simple business plan for my business and I set up a spreadsheet for expenses.  I decided to go with BigCommerce for my online shopping cart.  I tried hosting my own shopping cart but it was too confusing.  My free trial with BigCommerce will be over after this week but I am not ready to sign up yet.  I'm planning the shopping cart set-up when school gets out at the end of May.

My nephew and I went to the eye doctor on Friday.  I took a half day, went home and took a nap before the appointment.  The doctor said that my nephew is near-sighted and needs glasses and I can get reading glasses if I want them.  My insurance pays for glasses so I ordered reading glasses.  I haven't noticed a problem.  I am worried that my nephew is going to lose his glasses.  My benefits only pay for one pair a year.  He hasn't lost his cell phone yet (just misplaced it a couple of times) so maybe there is hope.  I must factor in the cost of the eye exam and glasses for my nephew for when I quit my job and get my own insurance.  I don't believe it covers vision.

After the eye doctor, we spent the evening at a school function for science, math and engineering.  He spent the whole time on the inflatable jousting, obstacle course and jumping castle.  At least he got some exercise.

Yesterday I took the puppies for their first shots.  A couple of them got car sick on the way so they were a mess by the time I got them to the vet.  Only 3 more weeks and they should be ready to go to new homes.  One of them is already pre-adopted.

I am trying to figure out when to go to the fair.  It is going on all this week.  I'd probably have to take another half day off to go though.  The weekend crowds are too much for me.  So far, I don't think I have anything else scheduled for this week except taking my truck in for an inspection.  I mustn't forget that or the registration will expire.

This evening we will be finishing up his book report project.  He read one of the Redwall books and we built this scene.  He just needs to add mice, rats, badgers, etc...and some explanation.  I think it is coming along quite nicely.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Jigsaw Puzzles

I was out at my property last Saturday and as I was looking around at all the stuff, a thought came to me.  All the stuff at my house and at my property is like a jigsaw puzzle.  Except it isn't just one puzzle, it's like 2 or 3 puzzles all thrown in together.  No wonder I feel overwhelmed.

Every time I go out there I take my list with me but after I gather those things I don't know what else to bring.  This time I decided to group the stuff by category.  I brought all of my sewing stuff and started to bring my craft things.  Next time I should gather all of my old documents to shred.  I have a lot of those.  Then books and old Mother Earth News magazines.  I have 3 boxes of magazines.

I am starting to have more room out there in the mobile home.  I can actually see progress.  It is starting to get hot here so I will probably only go get a couple more loads before Summer and then get to work sorting the stuff at my house.  I also brought the gutters with me and a piece of lattice to shade my garden.  Maybe I'll have better luck growing things at my house.

Oh, and I got $250 for rent this month after all of the expenses were deducted.  That's encouraging.  I cut my expected savings for this month from $2,000 to $1,000.  It didn't make any difference on my savings spreadsheet.  I still need to save until April of next year in order to have a big enough emergency fund so that I feel comfortable going down to a part time job.    

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Progress for March

How is my savings plan going?  Well, last month was tough with the rental house expenses but I managed to save $400 which was $100 less than my estimate.  April is going to be tough too because although I have a new tenant (yay!).  Since they moved in after the 1st, they only paid partial rent.  I was notified that they paid $750 today.  Take out 10% for the management company and subtract $780 for the eviction fiasco and I still owe the management company.  There is also the lingering matter of the last renter's deposit verses the "imaginary" rent that my management company paid me for November when the check bounced.  I probably still owe a couple hundred dollars difference.  In May I expect to be in the positive range again.
My online business idea is creeping along at a snail's pace.  Once my nephew came back from his grandparents my mind became cluttered with school routines and homework again.  My next step is to take photos and write descriptions for my products and then I must pick an online shopping cart and start putting the store together.  I must admit it is scary to think about launching a store.  I might not get any orders or I might get a lot of orders.  Either way, it means more responsibility for me.
This weekend I plan to go out to my property again and retrieve more boxes and my gutters.  I must get those gutters up before it gets too hot.  But first I have to finish painting the fascia boards.  One step at a time.  I can't imagine ever running out of things to do on my weekends.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Wheels on the Bus

Since the boy doesn't want to do track this quarter (that is the only sport offered), his after school options are school tutoring or take the bus to the bus stop and walk an hour and a half home.  At the end of last quarter, when soccer practice was over, I often received panicked text messages that tutoring was cancelled and how was he getting home???  It dawned on my that the city bus is just around the corner from his school bus stop and a 10 minute ride for a dollar fifty will get him within a 15 minute walk from home.  This gets him home around 4pm and he gets some exercise in exchange for an hour and a half of free time before I get home from work.  I'm ok with that because I have security software on my computer and so far he sticks to the free games or cartoons on TV which I can monitor with the Netflix's Recently Watched page.
On Monday we tried the city bus.  He was apprehensive but got to the bus stop and then started the text messages, "What time does the bus come?"  "Can you pick me up if I miss the bus?".  The bus comes every 30 minutes so I told him I could pick him up at 5 but three buses will have passed by then.  The next text said he made it off the bus and was headed home.
Today, he had a doctor's appointment for a sports and camp physical.  I gave him $5.50 and told him he could buy a snack at school but to keep $1.50 for the bus.  When school was out, I got another panicked text, "Does the city bus give change?".  Nope.  I guess he didn't have time to buy a snack.  I told him to either stay for tutoring or try the front office for change.  He was able to get change and off he went.  
I am thrilled that this has worked out and he now has another option to get home.  I expect the panicked emails to subside after awhile.  This will relieve some of the work pressure I have since I won't have to leave early to get him at the bus stop if my boss needs something at the last minute.  Oh and I ordered a bus pass today so that he doesn't have to have correct change in the future.  Now, if he can just keep track of the bus pass...