As many of you know I have a custom coasters business since last December. Wow, that seems like a long time when I write it out like that. Many of you know I was a vendor at some craft shows last spring, and for the most part it went very well. I met some nice people, made some sales, had a god time.

Well since late spring and into the summer I’ve applied to some shows for the fall. Oh, some of you live where you have a mild summer and probably have craft shows throughout the summer. Around here, the summers can be brutally hot and humid so IF they occur you might be lucky to find one indoors. However they are few and far between in the summer. Anyway, I am now officially in the two biggest craft shows in the area … one in the parish where I reside and one in a neighboring parish. Yeah! I am so happy! At both of the big shows they get 1000’s through their gates every year. One is held 2x/year. One is held annually, I think. I am also in a smaller one that is just having their 2nd craft show and it’s held at a church as a fundraiser for their women’s ministry.

The dates are Oct. 19, Nov. 2, and Nov. 9. That is 3 shows w/a short turn around. I told dh last night that I know what I’ll be doing the last 1/2 of October through the middle of November! Actually I cannot wait till the middle of October to get ready. I already had over 80 sets of coasters. Since I have nothing to judge my sales for the 2 big shows, having not attended before, it is pure speculation on what to bring. If I bring my typical 100 sets of coasters, I could be sold out by noon and still have to remain at my booth till it’s over. I am thinking I need to double what I normally bring to a small craft show, so that would be 200 sets of coasters (4/set).

For trivets, I have never really had more than 3 or 4 to pick from. dh suggested 25 coasters. So that is my goal to have on hand, at least at the 2 big shows.

I have had success in the most unlikely places it seems. The man who did our kitchen cabinets brought a guy with him a few weeks ago to finish the last little part. They employee realized I was “the lady who does coasters.” So he ordered a set for his mom. I went by to delver the set and collect payment. Another employee came out and said he bought a set from the display I had left and paid me for it. Another employee is in Ducks Unlimited and ordered 2 sets of coasters and 2 trivets to auction at their banquet in September! When I went by to show a sample of coasters to the DU guy, the first guy who ordered for his mom came rushing in, he says, “Hey, my old lady saw the set I got my mom and says, ‘And where’s my set?!’ So he ordered another set which I’ll deliver next week! To myself I am saying like, “WOW” I have not tried to sell a single thing here and they come in here to the show room, almost running … a bunch of cabinet builders, one of the least likely groups of people I’d expect to buy my coasters! Really LOL Rolling on the floor laughing

A friend and I made an antique-ing trip today to Breaux Bridge, LA. We planned it last week. You know, it is fun to take a trip like this and KNOW you are going to be able to pay the utilities, mortgage, gas in the car, and put food on the table …. AND still be able to buy something you like that’s in a store. Today I was looking specifically for stained glass windows, yes still in the window frame. No we are not replacing any windows. These are used to decorate in the sun room. we also have a place to hang them for decoration over the kitchen sink. Well, I did find one with a some stained glass. The jewel of the day was one made with slag glass. Here is a pick of what that kind of glass looks like, though it’s the one I purchased. if I can, I’ll get my purchased uploaded.

Dh and dd will be with me at the craft shows

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dh is taking a 2 hour shift at the rotary club booth then coming to help at mine. dd will be wmysideith me the whole time. One is very close to my house and one is too far away for that. It would easily take 30 minutes plus just one way. Even at the close one, once the show starts no one can pull up close to booths to unload anyway. They might as well be in my car … at least that save the trip home. Parking is a premium too so once we “lose” a space by leaving, we probably won’t get a close one again.

I am planning on bringing double my usual 100 sets. If I almost sell out at the first one, that is a good thing. But…. I’ll have lots to replenish that week before the next one!

This is going back more than a week

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A few months ago, we bought my son a car. He finally turned 16 last week, but he still can’t get his driver license until mid-Sept., because there’s a 8-9 week waiting list that I was unaware of! Anyway, when we bought the car we took advantage of the special offer from gshloans company ($700 payday loans), it had some damage on the passenger side that we were aware of and some damage under the car that we weren’t aware of. Well, we got everything except the cosmetic stuff taken care of and the only thing we need to get done is the passenger side-mirror. It slowed my snowball down about 8 weeks. I’m gazelle again, and getting it paid off either the last week of December or the first week of Jan., depending on which spreadsheet I use!

We have decided to stay in our house for at least 2 years. However, it needs some work done to it. I need Jan and her enthusiasm and her family’s “get ‘er done!” attitude! I’m currently working on stuff that only cost elbow-grease and Old-School Engineering to improve the place. I covered a “Pain in my you-know-where” area in my yard with mulch and gravel, but the dogs started digging into it, so I gave up on that.

We switched cell phone plans. With my son driving (in theory, at least), he went from a $15/month text-only plan to a $29/month unlimited everything plan. My husband went from a $30 to $29 plan, no big savings, but he’s unlimited now. I still have my minutes until Feb. 2017 plan, but if I run out of minutes, I’ll upgrade to the same deal.
ingodwetrust
We covered the kitchen chairs the other day. I got the chairs for $5 each 7-8 years ago, and the frames (metal) are still in really good shape, but the vinyl was shredded. I purchased a cloth/canvas table cloth for $1 and it covered them all. I hope I can get my $5.25 worth out of them some day!! I am working on making new covers for the couch cushions and possibly a slip cover (if I have enough fabric left) out of a sheet set I got for $3. Again, good bones… bad fabric!

A co-worker has commissioned me to make a baby quilt for her. A little extra money for me! Yay! Quilting is a terribly expensive habit, but it’s the only bad one I have teeheehee. I need to make some money back on it. Right now, I should be making her quilt top or my cushion covers, but for now, I’m typing. Ok, maybe I have 2 bad habits 🙂

So that’s all that’s going on around here. Dealing with the car and fixing up the house is taken up all my free time! But it’s all good.

First, I’ve continued to send out resumes and applications, and I have yet to receive a single phone call from any of them. That’s an entire month lost to looking for suitable jobs and sending in applications. I’m continuing in that effort, but I can’t afford (literally and figuratively) to waste another month on this kind of effort, with nothing to show for it. So as of this week, I’m laying out how many hours I’m going to spend on that, vs how many hours I’m going to apply towards continuing to build farm income. I may not hit my earnings targets with farm production but at least I get SOMETHING coming in. With this job search, I’ve had all the same monthly costs, and zilch for income. We can’t keep doing that. So I’ll be something of a split personality in September – looking for work while continuing to build the business here. I need to just clone myself and get it over with.
The good news is we’ve got to unexpected but large sales suddenly on our planning horizon. We were asked just a few hours ago if we had any extra hogs that had not yet gone to slaughter, because a fellow hog producer is sold out and still getting inquiries. So we may get some sales from that. Also, we’ve decided to retire our two mature sows this fall; they’re getting on eight years old, which is ancient in hog years, and their careers are basically over. That’ll be lots and LOTS of sausage to be sold, which I’m just starting to tackle. But it’s a nice logistical problem to have. As I described before, it’s already paid for and it’s a high-value item. Now I just have to go sell it. If anyone on the list is in the western WA area, or would want it frozen and drop-shipped to them, let me know off list and I’ll set you up with the best sausage you’ve ever had.
So I’m discouraged with the job search, but maybe it’s just as well that I turn my attention back to the farm business. That’s what has the potential to really earn money for me. So that’s where I’m going to focus now.

Remember how I was lamenting last week how I didn’t have a grasp on where my money was going? Well, not now 🙂

Seriously, I redid our expenses in order of what HAS to be paid to keep us going (i.e., rent, utilities etc.) I took cash in hand, apportioned it, and literally every dollar coming in after that (which isn’t much), has a name.

I’m going to call the car loan company today and see if I can reapportion two or three payments to the end of the loan. I’m hoping that will buy us some time. I’m going to turn in resumes at temp agencies today as well.

It’s funny, but DH’s first reaction when he came home was “don’t tell the kids, I’ll just tell them I’m working from home on Monday.” I’m like REALLY???? It’s kind of a metaphor for his view on money– just ignore reality, pretend everything is ok, blah blah. I’m not complaining about him, even though it sounds like I am. I am just amazed at the whole ostrich syndrome.

Oh, and ironically the job he turned down to take the own he did? He called them this morning to see if it was still open. Yeah, that guy starts TODAY.

I’ve been trying to declutter, which is a Herculean task at the moment. I’m hoping my budget survives this bowling season. I’ve agreed to be a regular member on a 2nd bowling league. So that’s more money going out, unless I can somehow WIN a bunch.

I have a calendar page. (Can print free from computer, if you don’t have a very basic planner).
As bills come in, I write them on the calendar.
Say my electric is due Sept 12 —-on the square for the 12th… I write electric $150.
Then, when a payday comes—I do the following steps in order:

1. pay all bills due for the next 2 weeks out of that check (2 weeks as we get paid every 2 weeks)—-first thing—before anything else is spent !!

2. I transfer any contingency fund items to my ING account (house repair fund, etc—we are living in a fixer upper house—this is necessary).

3. fill up the vehicles with gas. (this lasts us until the next payday).

4. then and only after 1-3 are done do I allow myself to go grocery shopping, buy things that come up, etc. (and trust me—things will always come up).

I find this method works best for me. I have tried numerous other methods and always did best with this one—so now just stick with it.

I have also found that I tend to get ahead more using the calendar method. Say there is a small bill due later in the month—but I have room for it out of this check. I just go ahead and pay it now.

Then, next check I have one less bill to pay and can pay the next bill a little earlier. Eventually, you get to the point where you can pay a bill as it comes in— a very awesome feeling.

Hope that helps a little—but like I always say—you have to find what works for YOU!

but I’ve made $60 over the last couple of months — it can get frustrating because you’ll get part way into a survey and find out you don’t qualify — but if you’re fortunate enough to get a follow-up survey, you can make more money off of those.

I figure it’s $60 I make while relaxing and watching tv, so can’t hurt!

They have the fast payment to paypal I’ve every seen, so there’s that.

we just learned that my son now needs spearing gear for Tae Kwon Do. I took 80 dollars from my PayPal so that it did not need to be budgeted. I keep the money in PayPal until I need it. It is also time to sign up for dance, which is 100 for the whole year. I have enough to cover that. Then, my daughter has outgrown her dance shoes so I will pay for those grom eBay as well. I may even be able to find a good used pair. I made over 200 this month so far and I am hoping to bring in another hundred before the end of the month. Last year, I also used those funds for stocking stuffers at Christmas.

We sell some things on ebay, but lately it’s mostly used for me earning money from opinionoutpost.com — they’ll transfer $10 at a time – and each time, I transfer any money in the account over $10 to our checking account.

I’ll admit that that money isn’t more than $20-30 per month, and I use it as a buffer — it’s the one piece of our budget that doesn’t have a home, and I’ll admit, it often goes to something small – eating out, picking up some food, etc. It’s probably one of those things that keeps my husband sane through this debt re-payment period. 🙂

1. Paying my monthly ebay fees automatically out of may paypal account.
2. If I see anything on ebay (or any other auction/sale site) that I can buy and resell I will already have money in my paypal account to pay for it.

When I was unemployed, once every two weeks I would transfer any excess funds in my paypal account into our checking account.

My guess at their reasoning is: if a loan is potentially going bad, granting a deferment for a couple of months just delays their ability to take action on it, while it sits on the books going bad. And if you don’t have a job, they don’t have any reason to know whether your circumstances are going to improve. (on the plus side, from their point of view, it does accrue more interest, but I suspect that interest on overdue accounts isn’t money they think they’re quite likely to see)

So I called Wells Fargo. Boy, what a flashback as to WHY I don’t bank with them any more.

I called to find out if we could take 2 or 3 payments and tack them to the end of our loan. I figured given our sterling payment history (not kidding, even these last 6 months, they have been the people we have paid ON TIME), it would be a no-brainer.

NOPE. Reason? WE ARE UNEMPLOYED. They will only defer it once we are back employed.

I said, so let me see if I get this straight. If I don’t pay you for 60 days, and then we are re-employed, you will take those 2 payments and tack them to the end of our loan. (yep). But you won’t do it proactively? (yep)

I said, WHAT KIND OF IDIOCY (quote BTW) is that? He goes, “well that’s our guidelines.”

I said, well, then our conversation is over, and I guess you don’t need to call me in 45 days to find out when I’m going to pay you.

He goes, w-e-l-l-….I guess what I could do is change your payment date, so instead of being due on the 6th, it would be due on the 21st. But that’s the best I can do.

I’m like, fine.

Then I told DH, so I guess Wells Fargo just went below the line. I will make sure they never get to “was 30 days” status (he is so freaked out that our “credit rating” (puh leaze) will be damaged) but I’m no longer going to worry about them being paid on time ever again.

When DH broke his back years ago and was out of work for 9 months, I had enough $ to pay rent and the car pmt or rent and utilties etc (we didn’t have any real debt way back then), but not both.

So that’s what I’m going to do now. Pay Rent & 4 walls one month, pay rent and car pmt the next.

Just sheer lunacy on the WF’s part. And they can’t figure out why people hate big banks.