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Scheming, Saving and Cancelling

December 19th, 2010 at 09:23 am

This christmas my husband and I decided that we would get one joint present to cut down on expenses. We are trying to build our cash savings for the next few months as we both have some questions about the stability of our jobs and basically do not want to be caught with our pants down if anything were to happen. So we decided that we were going to get a playstation 3 with 2 games. To keep the cost as low as possible and because after some discussion we realized that it is entirely unnecessary for us to have them all, we have decided to exchange our Wii and all the games we have with it for store credit, which will results in us paying a little under half the original price tag of the PS3 and the 2 games. On a side note, I think the PS3 is a much more attractive looking console to have sitting in our living room than a Wii and it has the buildt in blu-ray player. We have never had one before but our TV is blu-ray ready. I know renting blu-ray movies is more expensive, but we can also play non-blu-ray, so we will not go razy on the blu-ray movies, but it is nice to know we have the option.

We have not gone crazy on spending on our credit cards, just as an update to my last post. Infact as I obtained it with the goal of building credit history in mind, my problem is if I don't use it at all, I am not sure I build any credit history. So I am desperately trying to remember to use it at least once a month to buy something small, like a small grocery shop or a lunch if I happen to need to eat out instead of eating lunch brought from home. It is a good problem.

The idea of exchanging the Wii for the PS3 got me thinking about other things I could be getting rid of to help us shore up our savings the next few months. I am selling my old cellphone to usell dot com, it will not bring in much but more than if I just let it sit around the house gathering dust (I am a recovering hoarder - not as bad as what you see on Buried Alive but enough that we felt like we were living in a warehouse instead of an appartment for many years - so getting rid of old stuff is quite a novel concept for me). When we moved to Florida, I took the oportunity to clear out all my old stuff with a rule that if I had not used it in the last year it was out. It was a good cleaning of the soul as I had kept things from since I was old enough to remember - first book I ever read, all my school reports, stones picked up from different hikes we had been on, de-merit cards form school, every single letter I had ever received addressed to me, etc. It is scary how those things can build up and just take over your life. Yes it was lovely to be able to look through them and remember things long forgotten, however I realise now that the only thing that really matters is the present. Do you know why it is called the present? Because every moment is a present from God which we should enjoy and then move on to the next moment. :-)

So I am now looking thorugh our stuff to see if there is anything to which I can apply the "I have not used it in the last year, so it must go" rule, not that there is much. But I have found a very small amount of gold jewelry that I have not used in years and which carries no significant emotional importance to me which I am going to try and sell. I have heard that the price of gold is doing well lately. It is a very small amount so I do not expect much for it. I have requested a packet from cash 4 gold dot com and will see what they offer me.

I still have an iron I need to sell. I have posted it on craigslist but there were no interest shown. I do not want to post it on ebay simply because I refuse to pay to sell something when I could probably find a free way of selling it.

I also have started reviewing our bills again and am calling to cut some of them. Because I was not sure how a credit score worked, I had signed both my husband and myself up for the experian credit score service, where we paid a monthly fee of around $14. Well a while ago we had tried to cancel my husbands service over the phone (the only way they allow you to cancel) and rather than lose his business they had offered to half the monthly charge. So we agreed to keep it on. Well I had signed up 2 months ago and when I called yesterday to cancel they offered the same deal, however I have checked our the credit karma website mentioned on Monkey Mama's blog and I feel comfortable using that free service moving forward. So I cancelled my service and will get my husband to call to cancel his service saving us about $21 a month ( $252 a year wow).

Well that's all for now folk's! Hope you are all having a good holiday season!

Baby steps

November 3rd, 2010 at 07:12 pm

I am now eligible for my companies 401K plan, so I signed up this month to start contributing. I have started off with a 10% contribution and will get the full 4% match offered by my employee. We have not made any contributions to retirement in a year, so we need to catch up as much as possible. I will monitor our finances closely the next few months to see if we can up our contributions.

Both my husband and I received our first credit cards this month and will start building credit history finally.