Category Archives: Our $ Story

Goodbye Frenemy, Hello New Venture

It has been a while since I posted. I’ve just been busy and usually if I’m tired I don’t want to sit down and type. At least this month I have been listing. Not as much as I use to but at least it’s something. I’m still trying to get my my days to run as efficient as possible. It worries but that I’m still not able to. When we have children I know I have to balance my time and my sanity. Aside from not managing my time efficiently, I lost a frenemy and have been discussing a new small venture with my husband.

Oh frenemies. Sometimes they are easy to spot. Sometimes not. Mine started out as a co-worker friend who eventually became a frenemy. I should have seen the signs but I do feel that this person did care for me in her own way. She’s actually one of the reasons how I got my part time job. I know this person more of a casual acquaintance. How did it end? Let’s just say sometimes friends make horrible co-workers ( we worked in the same company but different boutiques in the past). I’m glad though it is over. I kept many parts of my life a secret from this person. That’s usually a sign a you have a frenemy right? I also stopped telling her when I was “lucky” to come across a financial windfall. Because when she found out she would always try to borrow. Even though she paid me back, it’s always uncomfortable to lend money. The silly thing about this “friendship” was that she was jealous the company we worked for always gave me hours and more training. I don’t understand why she would be. Face value I have a more flexible schedule, she does not. Oh well I hate to admit not having her in my store has made me happier.

I think last year I mentioned I wanted to try Etsy. It was just a matter of finding what type of store to open. I’m excited to tell you all that my husband and I will be opening an etsy store. We will be selling seasonings, and easy to ship hand made goods. Basically my husband will be handling the “production” aspect of this venture. I will be handling the business and marketing of the store. We haven’t set up shop yet as he is still producing stock. We actually have a few flavored extracts “curing”  on the rack. I will still be doing eBay. Hopefully though I can eventually leave my part time job as a merchandiser. I will leave when we have 6 months living expenses saved up plus some more ( we want to get the floors done this year).

eBay, Etsy, Part-time job, Keeping a home, I’m pretty busy. I don’t handle everything by myself. My husband is sweet enough to take over if he notices me anxious or tired. When I’m stressed out I remind myself I don’t do these things just for me but for him too. I’m glad he understands me.

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New Year, New Goals, New Changes

2014 definitely was a year of finding out what works for us. In 2013 I left my “stable” job for numerous reasons. I left it because the stress, lack of family time, and I was tired of commission sales politics. It wasn’t easy leaving. After 5 years I was considered a “lifer” and many people didn’t think I wasn’t able to do it because I needed the money to pay for a wedding and such (student loans, my townhome mortgage, etc). Of course I needed the money but I didn’t have any credit card debt, my car (from college btw) was paid off, and my townhome had a good renter. I left with a plan. I was going to pay my side of my bills with my online business (mainly eBay).

Luckily before I left we saved enough money to pay for our wedding and received money from family to help with the honeymoon. At least we didn’t start our marriage with debt but we did spend most of our savings. No regrets as that was the plan. We overspent our wedding budget only by a few thousand. With our nonexistent savings we had to buckle down and I had to tweak my somewhat questionable online business plan. In general our goal was to:

Save 6 months of living expenses which is  $12,000

Become a silver power seller

We didn’t achieve either but we did at least left 2014 with $2,000 in savings. I sold roughly $21,000 on eBay for 2014 (Keep in mind I do offer free shipping on my items). This year we basically have those two goals again but now we have better reasons why.

Why is $12,000 our magic number for our savings? $12,000 also includes our unexpected emergencies (car repairs, vet bills, doctor visits, house repairs, etc). Is our expenses really for 6 months rough $2,000? To be honest, no. It’s probably more so  $1,500. This amount is also a stepping stone in our plans to eventually move. I know moving is definitely costly. After saving that amount we will work on saving for our move. We both have moved before but we have never had to move a whole house full of stuff.

Why is becoming a Silver Power Seller important for us? Besides the fact that it means I’m making more money, It means I could eventually have the cushion to get off eBay and open an online business from my website. That is a whole series that will have to wait. To simply just go off eBay is like biting the hand that feeds you. I have an idea what kind of shop I want yet I need more than just an “idea”.

So in 2015 Here is our goals:

Save 6 months of living expenses which is  $12,000

Become a silver power seller

Pay off more of my student loans (Roughly $24,000)

Donate “dead” inventory MONTHLY (Stuff that isn’t moving)

So it begins…

It’s almost a week into February and we started our savings with $10 (Whomp Whoooomp). I already talked to the hubs about our financial situation. He took it better than I thought he would. I went over with him with a budget plan. With fixed expenses, online selling fees, utilities, etc. we can definitely live on his income.

Saving? It’s hard to say what we can save because that would depend on my profit from my online store. We decided that whatever profit I can make is what we can save. I just need to stop spending money on inventory that sits for months and focus on inventory that has a high turnover. Last month may have really sucked but I still made a profit of $400(after taxes). Considering it was a slow month that’s not so bad. Except I spent it on inventory (double Whomp Whooomp).

Sure I could just stop buying inventory for a while but the lack of new products would be detrimental to my store traffic. My traffic highly depends on brand names and fresh “New” products. Realizing that I spent all my profits, I decided to be picky with items I buy. No more items that sell for $10-$15 (Unless I put my store on sale). Now I’m scrutinizing each item I buy and will only buy it if I can sell it for $30+.

I’m not sure what I can expect for the beginning of March. To be honest we still owe a little bit more for the next credit card billing cycle. I’m happy though sales have started to pick up and I started this month much better than the last. Since I’m being pickier on my inventory sourcing I decided to start a new category in my “Online Selling” page. It will be “Thrift Finds”.

Dropping the budget bomb

My husband was so sweet during his days off. He spent the weekend cooking wonderful meals AND actually pick up after himself. So I felt horrible when I dropped the b-bomb. You know the budget bomb. The “Hey, we can’t afford things we want” bomb. I tried to gently tell him we are ok but you know how money is to a man’s ego. They don’t want to hear they’re not bringing home enough bacon. It had to be done and honestly when is the best time to talk about these things? So I did and I wasn’t surprised he freaked out when he saw my spreadsheets. So after a day of worrying he finally listen to my budget plan.

I told him we have to plan a budget. We are making enough to live within our means, but if we really want to have kids, buy a new car for him eventually, and move we really need to see where our money was going. In a way we weren’t frequently spending on frivolous things here and there but after our wedding, honeymoon, car repairs, holidays, my birthday trip, it started to worry me. Our savings is nearly depleted. Then he started to worry. I gently remind him that as a married couple we now have to look at our budgets TOGETHER. No more “Don’t worry about it, we have the money (His frequent response when I wanted to buy something).” I understand why he would feel as if he’s not making enough ( He is in my opinion). He comes from a family where his father provided financially and his mother was a homemaker.

Since I told him I’m still tracking our January spending, we will discuss in February where to cut down, and how to bring more money in. I feel we need a month of general spending to figure out a sensible plan. For now “wants” will have to be put aside for a while. Overall we have some things going for us:

1.We don’t have credit card debt and we ALWAYS pay in full.
2.We don’t eat fast food very often or eat out more than twice a week.
3.Our grocery bill is ok since we don’t purchase red meat, and microwavable or junk food very often.
4.My online selling business is at least making enough profit to pay my bills.
5.Both our cars are paid off (Still driving the cars we had in college).
6.My townhome is making some profit at least.
7.My couponing saves us at least $100 a month on groceries, and household things.
8.He generally doesn’t spend much without informing me first.
9.We have a good health insurance from his company.
10.We both have similar money goals.

So stay tune to find out our budget plan!

Once upon a time…

Once upon a time there lived this couple (us) who were planning a wedding. Something small ( less than 100 guests) and perhaps that reflected their style. Oh style you say? What style is that? AFFORDABLE AND DEBT FREE (okay I admit there was no particular style other than the colors to match the current season).  To have this wedding they planned to DIY a majority of their decors and favors, cut the guests list, and held their reception at a beautiful restaurant. In addition to that they saved and worked hellish long hours for two years. It also helped that their parents gifted half of the funds.

Then they went to have an amazing honeymoon. You know what happens at the honeymoon? You throw your budget in the air and drink and shop and forget about the budget and constantly remind yourself “This is a special moment. We are not going to worry about money.” Worry about money we didn’t and hey next time were on a cruise we are going to have to lay off the alcohol and smoothies. Not so fun getting off the boat fatter and realized you blowed your wedding money gifts on booze.

After the wedding and honeymoon this couple came home realizing parts of their home needed an upgrade. So they bought a few things here and there. De-cluttered here and there. Bought even MORE things here and there.  Then some emergencies came long. Luckily it was just car related and not health related. Then the holidays came along and that bled them dry by the time January 2014 rolled along.

So here we are. At least the wife (me). Just realized our savings is a little sad and needs friends. For the past few weeks of January I’ve been keeping track where our money was going. It’s definitely going somewhere but no where in our savings.  My baker man is the sole earner of this family and I left my job to manage my online store on eBay. With that in mind we are not bringing home as much as we use to. We are happier though with me working from home.  It’s both our decision for me to be the stay at home parent when that times comes. Right now we are trying to get use to the idea.