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This and That

June 8th, 2019 at 05:10 am

I have the best/most generous aunts and uncles. My uncle(dad's brother) is in town from Florida. He, my cousin, her boyfriend and I went to the casino in Windsor, Ontario (for us that is only 20 miles) Thursday. I allowed myself $25 to gamble. I lost it, but my uncle had a $75 credit and my cousin and I shared a machine to use it. We got his money back, and we were up another $100, which he let us split and keep.

I helped an aunt at her garage sale yesterday morning. It was a gorgeous day, so I didn't mind at all. She insisted on giving me $10 for gas.

I am up $35 and recouped my original money I lost gambling.

I am going to use that money for entertaining my grandkids. I have them tomorrow until about noon on Tuesday. I am taking them to a birthday party on Sunday afternoon. On Monday, I will take them bowling (Most bowling alleys offer free bowling in the summer for kids) and to my gym for swimming (lot of kids features including a water slide). I will need to pay for them to rent bowling shoes (if they can't get away with just socks), and it is $5 each for them to join me at the gym. I will not have food costs, as I plan to cook at home. I am sure my dad will take them to McDonald's once though. The rest of the $35 I have will go toward gas. I am meeting my son and daughter-in-law halfway tomorrow, but I am driving them home to Lansing on Tuesday. I do have two mystery shops up there, so that will make the trip even more worthwhile.

The rest of the month is also busy. My cousin and I are going to Indiana on the 19th for three days to visit another cousin. I am allowing a $100 dollar limit. Gas will not be much with two of us splitting it (four hour drive). We will stay at my cousin's house, so no money there. We are going to the zoo and one meal out, so that should be my only additional costs.

On the 27th, my dad and I are driving to NC to see my daughter and her family. My dad and I have a deal that he is paying for this trip. We are going back in October, and I will pay for that trip.

The move is done, and I am settling into my new routine. I have ramped up the mystery shops. My goal is $1000 a month in the summer. I should be able to do about $750 during the school year. I will also sub three days a week. Of course, my main gig is still the editing. I also revived my Fiverr account. I made $20 this week.

Anyhow, that is what is going on around here. I need to get moving. I have two mystery shops to complete before noon (lunch and a hardware store). Have a great weekend everyone!

Busy Week

May 14th, 2019 at 05:01 am

I got moved over the weekend, for the most part anyhow. My friends had a trailer, and we got most of my boxes and the big stuff. I will be back and forth cleaning and getting a few small things. I also plan to list a few more things on Facebook Marketplace when I get back from Florida.

I am heading up to the apartment after getting my hair done this morning. It will just be overnight. The main purpose is taking my daughter-in-law to pick up their rental car, as they are going to NJ for a few days. I will grab a carload and come home after rush hour tomorrow morning. If I am lucky, I can make a Goodwill run too.

Other than driving home, Wednesday will be spent working, doing laundry and packing. I head to my aunt's house Thursday morning and my uncle will take us to the airport that afternoon. I will be in Florida Thursday night through Tuesday. I am so excited about this new chapter and meeting long lost family members!

When I get back, it will be all about finishing things up at the apartment. My goal is to be out of there by the 30th. My son has the 29th off and we are moving over a love seat I am giving him that day. Next month, the major focus will be getting back on track and making more money. I cut way back on mystery shops the last month.

Not sure how to handle this ...

May 6th, 2019 at 07:41 am

I started a second editing job about six weeks ago. It is not going as well as planned. There are things that are not explained well and I often wait days for clarification. I have made mistakes too, but in my defense, the ambiguity is most of the issue. I am also finding it is not worth the money I am paid. I am listening to calls that are very long. In the end, I am making about minimum wage.

I am an independent contractor and not tied to this. I can easily make up the money with shopping and/or my other editing job (and subbing in season). The issue is, the woman in charge works for other companies. I am afraid of being blackballed. However, I have lost subbing and shopping because of the time involved.

I want to give two weeks notice, so I can finish everything up. The issue is it will never get finished because things sit unanswered and/or have issues. It is stressing me out which is not good as I am also trying to pack up to move to my dad's.

If anyone has any input, it would certainly be appreciated.

Life Update

April 16th, 2019 at 07:49 am

Life has been busy! I was at my daughter's in NC the 4th through 9th visiting. Before I left, I helped the family clear out grandma's house so we could get it on the market. It sold within 24 hours!

After I got back, I cleaned out the room I am taking at my dad's after my lease is up. I hired my BFF daughters to paint it. I will also get new carpet before I move in (paint and carpet were at least 20 years old). I finally came back to my place this past Sunday after being gone 11 days.

My aunt booked her and me a ticket to Florida for mid-May. We are going to stay at my cousin's (her daughter) house. We will be meeting my uncle/her half brother. If you have read previously, I did a lot of research and found this portion of the family in the last year. My cousin met him last week and loved his family.

My goal in the next couple weeks is to finish packing. I am doing the big part of the move on the 11th. After I get back from Florida, I will finish it up.

Come June 1st, I will do a new long-term budget and settle into a routine. =

Another new job

March 22nd, 2019 at 08:09 am

I took on another editing job. The first two days I really wondered if it was going to work out. This is more independent contracting work. However, the main company I edit for is more structured. I have a lot less guidance with the new company. I like the fact I have more flexibility, but it is quite a learning curve when you have little input. I think it will work out fine now that I have figured out a few things.

Based on the initial interview call, I thought I might only end up with $200-$500 more a month. However, it appears they gave me many more clients than we talked about. It looks like I may be giving up subbing. I only need to sub once a month to keep the insurance.

I will update again when I know more firm numbers.


March 8th, 2019 at 05:27 pm

I am so grateful to my generous family. My daughter brought my new baby granddaughter for a visit last weekend from NC. My dad knew I was sad the day they were leaving and bought me a ticket to go see her over spring break. It was a great deal at $125 round trip. He said it was a thank you for driving back and forth to take him on his trips so much lately.

Tonight my uncle officially booked my trip to Germany this fall to see my son. That was also a great deal through WOW Air. I head there in September.

I am not sure if I mentioned we did the car deal last week too. I sold mine to the dealer, and my dad used that money down on his new car. He gave me his 2013 Chevy Impala (with only 36500 miles). I offered to pay a few thousand since his was worth quite a bit more than my car, but he said we were even!

Another aunt of mine gave my daughter a belated baby shower last weekend too. We sure are lucky to have such great relatives!

Need Advice on Germany/Europe

February 23rd, 2019 at 09:49 am

I know several of you fly to Europe fairly regularly. My generous aunt and uncle want to fly me to see my son in Germany this year. I am looking to go in September. I found a flight for $780 round trip including taxes and checked bags (From DTW). Is this a decent price?

I am only going for a week, so if I only can get to one other country, what would your recommend other than France (son and I have no interest)?

Thanks in advance!

"Free" Car!

February 13th, 2019 at 02:59 am

It feels like there will be school all summer at this point. Out of the last 13 school days, there has been school for 3 of those days. Needless to say my subbing income has been nearly non-existent. Thank goodness for increased editing and shopping.

On another note, my dad wants a new car. He has agreed to sell me his car for half of what its worth! It is a 2013 Chevy Impala with 36,500 miles. I am going to get it (after he buys the new car) for 3k! I should be able to sell mine for right around that, so in the end basically a new, free to me car! He also said I could wait to pay him until I move in with him in June so things are less tight for me with the lost income lately. I figure I will give him 1k up front anyhow and hang on to the rest of the sale of my car as a buffer until June.

I have some other potentially good money news, but I was sworn to secrecy. I am also not counting my chickens until they hatch!

Mystery Shopping Income Update

February 3rd, 2019 at 05:10 am

I have been upping my game and doing more mystery shopping. I had really slowed down since late summer. I earned $413.50 in fees and $47 in reimbursements for January. This was for 41 shops. This is low because 70% of the shops were phone calls that were $7 each. They took 12 minutes on average, including the call and report. This money was earned in January, but much of it will be paid out in late February. I only worked for 7 companies. There are about 200 companies (not all have work in all areas), so there definitely is potential for a lot of income. I only traveled more than 3 miles for one shop (15 miles and that was because it brought on potential for more work in the future closer to home). Only two of the shops had bonuses.

For February, I have 13 shops scheduled so far with an income of $147 and $18 in reimbursements. I am not doing restaurant shops. My reimbursements are groceries, and one is for hardware. I hope to do about 50 shops total. Of course with winter, I don't schedule too far ahead. I will be working near home and by my dad's in the Detroit area. He is going to Florida and told me I could use his car while he is gone. So, I will watch the house and be able to do a lot of shopping in an area with more work (and little travel).

New Year's Etc.

January 4th, 2019 at 05:56 am

My cousin and her son came up and spent three days with me at New Year's. It was fun, and I love her dearly. She has a heart of gold. However, she has zero control over money. She "tries" to be frugal. In the end whatever she saves on one thing, she spends on another. I bought pizza as planned and a "retirement fund" cute bank at the antique store which was a whole $2.12 after discounts. She bought doughnuts, Chinese, Chick Fil A, and something for her son and herself at the three antique stores we went to. She also bought a few items at Meijer. Mind you, we had planned the pizza and Chinese. It was plenty for all three days (and I offered to cook). However, she won't eat leftovers. Oh well, it's her business I guess. It's sad though because she makes very little money.

I am doing fairly well on my track to stay healthy. I did get beef and broccoli when we ordered Chinese. I got a small order and did not get rice with it. I only had two small pieces of pizza over two days. I sent almost half it home with my grandkids.

I set up mystery shops nearly every day to make more money and stay a little more active as well. I did two Goodwill shops this week and managed to get rid of some stuff as well as make money off the shops. I got rid of a bag of my mom's clothes and a bag full of freebies I never used.

Today I am doing a bank mystery shop and going to the state library to do some family history research. I have some editing work to do this evening when I get back.

2018 Financial Wins and Fails

December 29th, 2018 at 03:54 am

Here is my list to sum up the year:


-Cash flowed Christmas

-Cash flowed Vegas trip

-Added to the Emergency fund regularly


-Did not put enough in my IRA

-Did not pay off personal loan 2

-Did not use coupons as much as I should have

Sweet End to a Terrible Year

December 28th, 2018 at 05:10 am

Just few days left of the year. Good riddance. I would love to burn the calendar on this one. However, it is ending on a sweet note. My granddaughter was born yesterday morning. This is my daughter's first (and she says last) baby. She was in labor for 31 hours all for it to end in a c-section. Mom and baby E are healthy though.

I can't wait to see the baby in person (daughter is in NC). I got plenty of pics, a video and a video chat yesterday though!


2019 Goals

December 13th, 2018 at 04:32 am

I am working on my 2019 goals. I may end up adding or tweaking, so I am not putting this on the sidebar yet. Here is what I have so far:

1. ) Sugar intake (processed)
Creamer only for sugar 6 days a week (I drink one cup of coffee a day). I am allowing myself one cheat day a week within reason.

2.) Minimum 20 minutes of exercise per day

3.) Read two books a month

4.) Limit Facebook to 15 minutes a day and YouTube to an hour a day (This has replaced some TV time. I watch financial videos for the most part.)

5.) Get rid of 150 items by May 15 (before I move)

6.) Buy an item, get rid of an item

7.) Save $100 per month through May in EF

8.) Add $150 per month to sinking funds

My financial situation will completely change after May. My lease is up at the end of May, and I will move in with my dad. He wants the company, and I would be crazy not to take him up on a $100 rent offer. Also, my grandmother's house is going up for sale on April 1st. At some point, I know I am getting some money. I just don't know how that is going to be distributed or how much. I will write up a more solid financial goal for the second half of the year when I have more info.

Christmas Shopping and Raises

December 4th, 2018 at 02:57 am

I am done Christmas shopping. I didn't have much to do since I did the Toys R Us haul this summer for the kids. I bought Alexa and a Fire Stick combo for my dad (my son is splitting this with me) and ornaments for my kids. We don't really do gifts for the adults generally, but I cheated a bit.

My bff does a LOT for me, so I wanted to do a gift for her family. I went to the local farmer's type market here (It is HUGE and has everything you can think of including a very large beer and wine selection). I got $40 worth of stuff (German beer and hard cider, cookies, salsa, bbq sauce) and put it in a wastebasket. Yes, a wastebasket. My bff loves A Christmas Story and I saw a leg lamp wastebasket, so I got it. I also included A Christmas Story Fudge in the basket.

All in all, I am not much into the holidays this year with my mom and grandma gone, but I am doing my best for the grandkids sake.

Other news on the financial front: I got a 4% raise for editing (yearly raise). I also just found out starting tomorrow the district I sub in the most raised the pay by $25 a day! That being said, the pay was pretty low before for regular day-to-day subbing. It is now a good rate (after all they require a degree).