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Archive for November, 2009

Need money - Clean your house

November 29th, 2009 at 03:28 pm

All 3 of us got on a cleaning binge this weekend. As has happened before, that has resulted in me listing some items on ebay. Yesterday, my wife came across a book/CD set from a work seminar. An identical set sold last week for $22.50 so I listed her set.

Today, my daughter unearthed her Game Boy Advance. I searched and they have been selling for $20-$30 for the player alone and DD also has a lighted grip thing that should add a few dollars to the value, so I listed that.

In the process, I also listed 5 other items that I didn't find due to cleaning but it put me in the mood to unload some things.

So I've listed 7 items in 2 days. Three items already have bids and I know from experience that most bids happen on the final day so I'm sure some of the others will sell, too. So cleaning the house may bring in $50-$100 in sales if we're lucky.

Back on ebay

November 28th, 2009 at 08:23 am

I haven't listed anything on ebay for months, despite my own ebay challenge for the year. As the sidebar shows, I made nothing in July or August. September was great with book sale on Half.com and a little came in in October and November.

My wife actually spurred me to get back on ebay. We've been doing some housecleaning this weekend and she handed me a book/CD set she got at a work seminar last year and asked if I could sell it on ebay. I just listed it and found that an identical set sold last week for $22.50. I've be happy to get even my starting bid of $14.99.

Now I'm going to go down to my stock area and prepare some listings for Christmas collectible items. This week is prime time for selling that stuff.

Right now, my monthly average is only just over $70, not nearly the $100 goal I set for myself, but it's my own fault. Without this self-imposed challenge, though, I doubt I would have done anywhere near that much in sales so it certainly wasn't a failure.

I'll post a year-end summary at the end of next month. If anyone else took on this challenge, make sure you post your final numbers, too.

Thinking about paying the mortgage

November 6th, 2009 at 12:38 pm

I'm typically one of the regulars on the forums who advises investing first, pre-paying the mortgage second (if at all). I find that my view is slowly changing. I think it is partly due to my mortgage balance shrinking and partly due to my getting ever closer to retirement. I've still got about 17 years before my goal of retiring at 62, but that is close enough that some planning needs to be done.

Last year, I started adding $100/month to the mortgage payment for extra principal. That was done after we made the last payment for our daughter's braces. That payment was $150/month. I figured we were living fine without that money for 18 months. We could keep living fine without it, so I put most of it toward the mortgage. Our regular payment (principal and interest) is just under $700, so that means almost 2 extra payments per year. Also, a couple of times when some other extra money came in, I added more to that month's payment.

There is a medical survey program that I do. It is an ongoing study and I do data entry almost daily. Unlike the other survey programs I do, this one doesn't pay each time I do it or even monthly but just one payment per year of $1,000. I've decided that when that payment comes in (I'm not exactly sure when my year is up) I will send that $1,000 all to the mortgage. It is totally found money and isn't needed in any other area of our budget or savings plan.

I have not sat down and run numbers to see when we could be mortgage free but I see no reason why we can't knock off at least 3 years. That would have us paid off when I'm about 60, though I know that as the balance gets smaller, I'll want to just write one big check and get rid of it, so we'll probably be done before that. That would give us a solid 2-3 years (or more) to sock away cash in anticipation of retirement.