Friday, August 11, 2006

So glad it's Friday!

I'm very glad today is Friday. This morning was a drama-filled fiesta - J howled when it was time to turn the TV off, howled when we were in the car and I told him no, I wasn't going back into the house to get candy. (Candy! For breakfast? As if.) I don't understand the dramatics, especially since 1) he's not consistent with what he's dramatic over, and 2) he's dramatic over things that aren't new concepts to him. He knows we turn the TV off every morning to go to school, he knows I'm not going back to the house to get something unless it's vital (and he knows candy for breakfast does not fall in that vital category). It's not like this is something newly sprung upon him - they're things we've discussed numerous times. I was never overly dramatic as a child, and this just wears me out.

On the bright side, he was very good about not taking a toy to school (we found out the pre-K teacher doesn't allow that, and as he'll be starting pre-K in about a week and a half, I figured it was a good time to start getting used to that concept), and he was very good about drop-off. So those were pleasant surprises.

Work. Eh, work is work. I'm just hoping to make it through the day with a minimum of fuss and excitement. My mother always told me not to wish my life away, but sometimes it's hard not to wish that bits of it would pass just a tiny bit faster. But only if the parts you're wanting to fast-forward to could last proportionately longer, of course.

I'm contemplating ways to raise a little extra cash. I've applied for proofreading jobs. No guarantee that I'll get any or that I'll get a specific amount of work, but if I do, it could be $25-40 an hour. Hey, enough money for a tank of gas is nothing to sneeze at. I can sell my Bowflex. It was $1500 new if I remember correctly. Think I could get $500 for it used? I've had it for several years. I could sell my wedding dress. I'm not sure how much that would bring, but I don't need it. It's boxed up and hermetically sealed in the top of J's closet, and I'm not going to wear it again. Should I ever get remarried, I don't think I'll be doing the whole giant foofy dress/big church wedding/huge production thing, and I don't have a daughter to pass it on to. Yeah, I may have a granddaughter someday, but what are the odds she'll be short and fat like me, and would I really want to keep a dress for the next 30 or 40 years waiting for a theoretical granddaughter to be old enough to wear it? Um, no. I have pictures of it, I don't need to keep the actual dress. So that might bring in a few bucks. Take clothes to the resale shop, that might bring in the odd bit of cash here and there. They only pay once a month, but it's a nice surprise to get a little check in the mail. I wish I could find more time to devote to Pampered Chef - maybe that could bring in some money, but I can't ever seem to make time to really drum up business, and I suck at that anyway. Think, think, think.

Surely there's something good out there somewhere. I just have to hang on long enough to find it.


Kay said...

Check going prices on ebay or craigslist before fixing a price on an item.

Could consumer credit counseling type agencies help you figure out how to pare down expenses? Would selling the house help?

Why doesn't K take J more of the time so that you can take a second job? It seems to me that it doesn't matter if you bring in more if you need to send it right back out again to daycare. I don't understand why men are not expected to do at least HALF the time in hands-on childcare.

Lisa said...

Kayten, I have very little credit card debt since I filed bankruptcy a couple of years ago - probably about $500 total, and the payments on that are minimal. It's just the cost of everything goes up (with gas prices being the biggest culprit), and my salary doesn't - no raise or bonus in the two years I've been here. Reason #4,785 why I'm desperately seeking a new and better job.

And selling the house might or might not help much - we took a home equity loan, and by the time I paid that off from the sale proceeds, I don't know if I'd clear enough to pay for something decent outright. And the budget certainly won't support a house payment, assuming I could even qualify for a loan with the past bankruptcy. Well, if it were smaller than the payment on the equity loan, maybe, but still. If I'm making a house payment, I'd just as soon stay where I am. I like my house.

In fairness to K, I haven't asked him about the possibility of taking J more often so I could have a second job because I hadn't really considered that to date. But it may be something I have to look into, at least until I can find a better permanent job. Hmm. If I worked part-time at Target, do you think I'd get an employee discount? :-D

And even if I did get a second job, J would still go to daycare - that's not a cost I could reduce or get rid of. Well, preschool in a couple of weeks. K still has his job, and J has to go to daycare during the day.

JamDaddy said...

Don't be too quick to sell things for a short term fix. Sit down with all your expenses and income for the year and figure out where your money is coming from and going. Try to figure out where you can cut costs over the long haul. Small changes can add up over time. Things like how you shop for groceries and what you buy can really make a difference. Whay you do and how you do it, cable television, movies, everything. What do you need and what can you do different? Go to the library and get some books and really see what long term changes you can make in your financial life. Remember selling something will give you cash for today or this week. What will you do next week?
As far as a part time job I have gotten two or three over the last 20 years. I always put at least 50% of my paycheck into a stock plan and work somewhere I get a discount I can use. Last time I worked at Wal-mart in the garden center. I got to take home broken bags of mulch for my yard every once in a while, sometimes half dead plants (saved a lot of money there). I got to buy company stock at a 15% discount being an employee. Made enough money to pay off short term bills. Now the stock has paid for my daughter's first car since I held it for 10 years. A nice short and long term solution.

Lisa said...

Oh, I wouldn't sell anything I didn't want to part with anyway. :-) I know that's just a very short-term fix.

As for a discount I can use, that's why I thought about Target. I do most of our shopping there, and I figured a discount on groceries and prescription meds could only help if I go the part-time job route. Sure, it would be fun to work at Starbucks, but a discount on coffee won't do me much good in the grand scheme of things.

Lisa said...

Oh, and I haven't had cable for years, and I very seldom go to movies. Once in a while I'll rent one for J. So there's not much to cut there. Probably the biggest thing I could cut, and I'd have to figure out how, is groceries/household supplies. Other than that, my expenses are pretty well fixed (or at least not something I can get rid of). House, gas, electric, phone, water, daycare, insurance, student loan. I'm kind of glad to have the house payment, though, because at least homeowners' insurance and property taxes are taken care of through that.