bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Archive for January, 2010

Going Postal

As part of our Dave Ramsey money-makeover, I searched the house for items to sell on eBay.  It hasn’t been a huge money-maker for us, but every little bit helps.  Plus, I’m getting this stuff outta here!

One of the items we sold was a video game.  The buyer had asked what the shipping would be to Canada.  I looked it up online and replied that I would mail it there for $5.  While I was at Dierberg’s today, I realized there was a UPS store inside.  So, I took my package in there, and asked the guy how much it would cost.  He measured it, typed in all sorts of data, and replied, “$18.56.”  WHAT!?!??!  I said, “Seriously?  That’s the cheapest?”  “Yep.”  I grabbed the box and said, “Uh, no way.  I’m not paying that.  I’ll come up with some other way.”  He gave me such a funny look.  I said, “That’s more than the item is worth!”  And, then I left.

I headed over to the good ol’ Post Office and took a deep breath.  Did I plug in the wrong numbers online?  Was this eBay deal going to end up costing me money?

The woman behind the counter told me I’d have to fill out a customs form.  I said, “Before I do that, can you tell me how much it is going to be?”  She put it on the scale and said, “$5.01.”  YES!  I said, “I went to that other store and it was going to cost me $18!”  Her eyes got really big and she just shook her head.  I said, “I KNOW!”  🙂

So, “What can Brown do for you?”  Charge you up the wazoo!

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Surfing Monday

I’ve got to come up with a better title than this.  My brain is mush today, so I’ll work on that later.

And, maybe my mushy brain explains why this site  fascinated me so much.  I won’t even tell you how long I played with it.  You click on a corner or side and flip the pages.

Bad Rap (no not Vanilla Ice)

I think the Dept. of Motor Vehicles gets a bad rap.  I went in yesterday to renew both licenses for the cars.  The woman that assisted me was super nice, smiled, and was just generally happy.  We even chatted a bit.  (’cause, you know, that’s what I do.)  I looked around and everyone that was working there had the same attitude. 

So, back off, people.  There a nice people and there are mean people at the DMV, just like everywhere else. 

And, if you are in the West County area, I suggest you go to the office on Clarkson behind McDonald’s in that Toys R Us strip mall.  No waiting and as nice as can be!

What a Waste! (Or is it?)

Thanks to my buddy Liz, I spent about an hour with my kids looking at this web site about baaaad cake decorating.  We laughed until we couldn’t laugh any longer. 

So, since Mondays are usually my “day off,”  I thought I would give you a good way to waste time each week.  I’m willing to give of my time to provide you entertainment.

Oh Deer!

Driving down the highway the other night, I saw some “stuff” in the road.  Just as I thought, “Ewww…what’s that?”  WHAM!  I ran over a large deer carcass.  I was very fortunate that I didn’t hit a live deer.  I’ve done that, and they can do a LOT of damage.

But, in case you were wondering, deer guts do not come off in your basic car wash.  ugh.

Cutting up the Credit Cards

Yep.  We’re actually doing this.  The credit cards are paid off, now we need to cancel them.

I was hoping cutting them up would be enough, but then the accounts are still out there, and so is your risk of identity theft, etc.  So, your best bet is to cancel them.

My first call was yesterday, and it was such an interesting experience, that I figured I would share my progress.  Let me preface this report by saying that I think it would be easier to ask these people for a kidney than to close my account.

HOME DEPOT

“I want to close my account.”

  1. Oh, if you don’t have any questions about your account, then let me transfer you to someone who can help you with that.
  2. (5 full minutes on hold)
  3. Michelle, this is Angel and he will be taking care of you.  (Angel?  okaaay.)  Angel:  Why do you want to close your account?  Me:  Paying off all debt, going cash only.
  4. I see you’ve had the account for several years.  We can lower the maximum on your card, and that would help you not spend too much.  We would make a note on your account that it was at your request so that it wouldn’t affect your credit.  Me:  No.  But, thanks.  We don’t even want it out there.  Identity theft and all.
  5. Oh, but Mrs. Farmer, this card is very safe.  You have zero liability. We can add a photo id and a pin number and that would be free of charge.    Me:  No.  Thank you.
  6. Well, Mrs. Farmer, I can offer you one more thing.  (!!!!!)  Ten percent off your next purchase up to $200.  This would not be off just one item but off your ENTIRE purchase.  Me:  No.

Then, I was finally told that my account was closed.  During the course of the conversation I was reminded of the six month free financing and other benefits of the glorious HD card.  Yeah.  Yeah.  Believe me.  I know.  That’s why I got the card in the first place.

I almost laughed out loud when he offered me 10% off.  I told Tom that we should try to cancel everything we have, even if we aren’t wanting to close it.  The deals are out there, people! 

So, if you are still doing that credit card thing, and you want to buy something big at Home Depot, just call and you’ll end up with 10% off! 

But, you will have to endure 30 minutes of Angel telling you how great the card is.  I think I’ll just pull my fingernails out.

Penny Pinching in 2010

Tom and I decided it was time to tune-up our finances.  So, starting in December (and, yes, BEFORE Christmas) we began our trek to financial well-being. 

A shout-0ut to Dave Ramsey and his book The Total Money Makeover.  Thanks to that book we have a good game-plan.  And we are actually excited about it! 

So, as I was grocery shopping today, I was very careful about what I bought.  I learned a lesson, though.   Apparently, you not only have to clip the coupons, but remember to give them to the checker as well.  They don’t just give you $5 because you have those coupons.  In your binder.  That you’ve carted all over the store and carefully chosen your items to coincide with said coupons.  Nope.  You have to actually GIVE them to the checker.  Ugh.

Oh, well.  Maybe I’ll need 3 boxes of Kleenex next week.  And 3 cans of Progresso soup.  And egg noodles.

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