I sold 2 items on ebay yesterday. Unfortunately, I discovered this morning that I undercharged for shipping so my profit will be very small. I have 8 similar items currently listed so I went in and revised them all to bump up the shipping charge so that I don't have the same problem again. Oh well, not a huge deal.
My 6th and final lot of old baseball cards ended tonight for $109.50!
Total sale price for the 6 lots came to $355.11, way more than I expected.
These cards have been packed away in our garage for 25 years. The fact that I was able to easily get that kind of money for them is fantastic.
We recently had our gas meter replaced. We got a letter from the gas company today saying that they routinely test all removed meters for accuracy. They found that ours was registering usage faster than our actual consumption. As a result, they've issued us a credit for $423.61. That's a nice chunk of change and came totally unexpected. I'll take it.
I've now had 4 auctions end for a total of $164.
2 more have bids totaling $71 so at least $235 all together and possibly more if some last minute bidding happens, as it usually does.
I'm quite happy with that. I really didn't know how much the sports cards would bring. It just this moment occurred to me that I also have a binder of somewhat newer cards in the basement that I need to sell. I think those are from the 80s or maybe 90s as opposed to the current ones I'm selling which are late 60s and early 70s but I'm sure they'll still attract buyers. I have to get them out and list them. They're actually in much better condition as I believe whoever owned them (I bought them as part of an auction lot) stored them in protective sleeves. They weren't played with like mine were.
I haven't listed anything new yet. I did get some items out last night and spent some time cleaning them up but didn't actually get to the listing part. Maybe Wednesday as I work all day tomorrow.
My first successful auction ended last night for $22.50. I have 3 more ending today that all have bids and one ending in 3 days that has a bid.
Five items didn't sell and I relisted at a slightly lower price. I have one other active auction that has no bids and I just dropped the price.
I haven't gotten around to listing anything new the past few days. Tonight, I'll pack the things that sold last night and today. Maybe tomorrow I'll start a new item or two.
Back in the spring when I did some serious cleaning in the garage and basement, I realized I really need to start selling on ebay again. We have a lot of stuff that is too good to just give to Goodwill, and, in some cases, isn't even stuff a thrift shop would want. But it's stuff that sells well on ebay. I didn't want to start over the summer because we had various travel planned and I didn't want to have to worry about timing things around all of that.
Now that summer is over, it was time to get down to business. I started listing things last weekend. I don't want to go too crazy at one time because I know I sometimes get overwhelmed when auctions start ending and I have to pack and ship everything so I'm trying to just do an item or two a day. As of now, I've listed 11 items. Three have bids so far.
The main things I'm selling currently are my old sports cards (mostly baseball) that I found while working in the garage. I gathered 2 shoebox-sized containers of cards. I sorted them all by year and listed them in lots by year with anywhere from 200+ to 500+ per lot. Based on 3 lots already having bids, I'm hopeful that all will ultimately sell so that will be 2 shoeboxes worth of stuff that will get out of here.
For the longest time, my wife has complained about the siding being dirty. A couple of years ago I bought some cleaning stuff that you connected to the hose and sprayed on and rinsed off. I did that and also used a brush to work on a few dirtier areas that I could reach safely. It helped some but not a great deal. So we finally hired a pro. It was someone a neighbor had used recently.
They came on Wednesday. The whole process only took about an hour. They washed the whole house and our garage roof. We didn't bother with the house roof as you really can't see that, plus the garage roof had a lot of moss growing on it being lower and under a tree.
I have to admit the house looks great. As for the roof, the treatment they do kills the moss but doesn't remove it (as that could damage the shingles). They said that over the next several weeks the moss will die and fall off. A couple of good rains should help the process.
All together, the job cost $400. We had gotten a few quotes and they were the most reasonable. They said the cleaning should last a couple of years and the roof treatment should last longer. We'll see how true that turns out to be. At least for however long it lasts, we have a nice clean house (on the outside at least LOL).
August was the 2nd month of 2019 when I got 3 paychecks. Although we don't do any sort of strict budgeting, our monthly spending and saving is still built around 2 checks per month.
On top of the extra check, I also worked 8 hours per diem for the pay period in addition to my regular hours so my take home was about $1,000 higher than usual. And due to paying off our mortgage from funds in our escrow account, we didn't make a regular mortgage payment this month which would have been just over $1,700.
Add it all up and we suddenly had about $8,200 extra in our checking account. There's also another $500 that was left in the escrow account after the payoff that we'll get back in a week or so.
I transferred $8,000 to our Ally account and $500 to our taxable Vanguard account. I'm probably going to take $5,000 in the Ally account and buy another CD to bump up the interest some. I do want to keep a nice cash balance in case I need to replace my car sooner than expected. It is almost 14 years old and I'm having an issue that I'm hoping doesn't turn out to be expensive to fix, but if it is, I may just get rid of it and replace it. It's not worth spending a bunch of money on the car at this point. It's only worth a couple thousand dollars.
I posted this on the boards but thought I'd share here, too.
We just paid off our mortgage. For the first time in our adult lives, we are completely debt-free.
The financial impact of not having that payment anymore will take a month or so to really kick in, but our scheduled P&I was about $700 and I've been paying an extra $1,000/month or more so it really frees up $1,700/month.
The plan right now is to mostly add it to savings. We may start seriously talking about increasing our presence in Florida somehow. DW and I haven't discussed it in great detail but I'm thinking we might think about doing a "snow bird rental" for a month or two during the winter. She could spend time down there and I could travel back and forth arranging my time off to get down as much as I can without using up too much PTO. We'll see. If not this winter, probably next winter. It might be a bit late to plan it for this year.
So that's our big news.
Our daughter graduated college in 2018. Last fall, she got a job as a preschool teacher. She liked the work itself but there were some problems with the overall situation. She stuck it out until the end of the school year but let them know she wouldn't be continuing on with their summer program or returning in the fall.
We had a family vacation planned in June and another in August so we had all agreed that she didn't need to look for something new right away as the travel plans might have been an issue.
She did recently apply for an online position that wouldn't have been impacted by the travel. She hasn't heard anything about that yet. But the other day she applied for a position at a local swim school teaching little ones to swim. They called her for a phone interview and then asked her to come for an in-person interview yesterday. She did that and they called today to offer her a position!
I'm not sure when she starts (I'm at work so don't know the details yet) but I'm guessing it's after we get back from vacation. There is about 40 hours of training she needs to do first. She will get paid for that but at a reduced rate. Once she actually starts working, her salary will be a few dollars/hour higher. It will be a bit less than she made at the preschool but that job was actually paying an unusually high wage for the area so she wasn't expecting to match that.
I'm just proud of the fact that so far she has stayed employed since shortly after graduating except for a couple of brief periods where she was purposely not working. And she found this new job entirely on her own (we pointed her toward the last one as we had a connection). I know this won't be "the" job for her long term but that's okay. It's good work experience and builds more connections. And since starting the last job, she has been adding to her savings and contributing to her Roth from each paycheck.
I made our August 1st mortgage payment today (well, scheduled it today to process on Monday). I paid an extra $1,725 principal. Next month, we should be all set to make the final payment of approximately the same amount and we will be done!
Once we do that, we will be debt-free for the first time in our adult lives. No mortgage. No credit cards (never had that debt). No student loans. No car loans. Nothing.
Our mortgage P&I is about $700 and we've been paying at least an extra $1,000 every month for the past year. Once that final payment is made, that frees ups about $1,700/month in our budget.
Yes, we are planning to celebrate. Also today, I booked a 4-day/3-night getaway for my wife and I in early November. I splurged for a premium room at one of our favorite resorts. That'll run about $1,500 plus some spending money, so basically one month's worth of savings from not having a mortgage anymore.
After that, the bulk of that money will go into additional savings every month. My car is getting up there (it's a 2006) so that will need replacing in the relatively near future like the next 1-2 years, so I want to be sure money is set aside for that. There's also some house stuff that needs to get done.
So we're not debt-free quite yet, but we're very close. One more month if all goes as planned.
Yesterday was our 27th anniversary. A couple of weeks ago, my wife had asked if we could go to The Capital Grille to celebrate. She had never been there and I've mentioned it a few times, so I made a reservation.
For those unfamiliar with the place, it is a high end chain steakhouse. Top notch food and service all around. And they really do a nice job with special occasions.
When we arrived and were taken to our table, there was a single long stem red rose on the table and a pre-printed card wishing us a happy anniversary and thanking us for choosing to celebrate it there.
Our server was fantastic, wished us a happy anniversary as soon as he came over, and reviewed all of the menu details. He happily took a photo of us after we got our drinks and then again later when dessert came.
Our meals were excellent. Every single item we ordered was cooked to perfection from my wife's steak, my scallops, all of the sides, and dessert.
Speaking of dessert, my wife ordered from the Restaurant Week menu which included dessert, but our server also came over with a special celebration plate. Happy Anniversary was painted on the plate in chocolate and there were 2 mini desserts to either side of that along with berries and fresh whipped cream.
At one point, the manager also came by to check on us and wish us a happy anniversary.
The topic of dining out, and the associated cost, comes up from time to time on the forums and many say they can't even imagine spending $100 or more on a meal but I have to say, if you've never had a meal like that, you don't know what you're missing. With tax and tip, our dinner came to about $210 and it was worth every penny. Sure there are lots of places we could have gone for less but they wouldn't be nearly the same. It's certainly not something we would do regularly but for a special occasion, you can't beat it.
It's been almost a month since my last post so I thought I'd update.
We got back from a week in Dallas the other night. First time in Texas for my wife and I. Our daughter had been there once before for a youth group convention in high school. We had a great time and did some fun and interesting things like visiting the 6th Floor Museum from which Oswald shot JFK, the Dallas World Aquarium, the Reunion Tower observation deck, the National Video Game Museum, and more.
Next up is our Disney World trip in less than 5 weeks.
Need to get my wife's van in for routine service. There was also a recall for the airbag. I have to get that done soon as that's the car we drive to Florida.
I had originally thought we'd pay off our mortgage with the August payment but the past couple of months were particularly expensive due mostly to travel-related expenses so I didn't pay as much extra as I had thought I would. I'm pretty sure now we can make the final payment in September. That will drop our monthly expenses by about $700 going forward which will be very nice. It will mostly go to pad the retirement savings but I'm sure we'll spend some too.
Nothing else major going on that I can think of at the moment.
My trunk started leaking a while ago. Honestly, I should have gotten it taken care of sooner but I tend to procrastinate about stuff like that. It wasn't a bad leak but it was definitely coming in at times.
Anyway, it finally started smelling musty in the car and that was the breaking point. I took it to the body shop on Tuesday. They were able to find the source of the leak - the rear window had been replaced in the past and apparently wasn't sealed well when they did that. They removed the window, cleaned up some rust, and reset the window with proper (I hope) sealing.
I got the car back yesterday and went over to a local car wash/detailer and made an appointment to have it cleaned on Wednesday. They will shampoo the carpets and mats and spray an odor eliminator on everything they can't shampoo.
All together, the repair, the detailing, and the rental car I had while it was in the shop ran a little over $600. Not a huge deal. Just one of those things that tends to come along unexpectedly from time to time. Thankfully, we can comfortably afford things like that.