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Archive for May, 2007

Paperback Swap

May 30th, 2007 at 08:02 pm

I forgot where I first heard about the paperback swap website, but I decided to give it a shot. My sister passed along 3 dozen paperbacks...the kind of quick-read mysteries that I used to enjoy. But I find I have so little spare time now, and when I have time to read, I'd rather read different types of books. So I posted them all, along with old books of mine.

The company gives you 3 free credits (each credit allows you to "buy" a book) when you post your first 9 books. Thereafter, you get 1 credit for each book that you swap. The only cost is for you to mail a book if someone else wants it.

So I ordered 2 finance books that I haven't read, as well as a diet book that I had many moons ago but have since gotten rid of. Even better, 3 of the books that I posted were on other members' wish lists, so if they confirm that they want them, I mail them out and get 3 more credits. Cool find. Can't wait for my "new" books.

MIL Finances

May 19th, 2007 at 01:25 pm

MIL is thinking of maybe moving up by us in a year or two when she retires (or not). There is a brand new townhouse community that would be perfect for her. We went to the open house today (with her) and she liked it, but I think she got cold feet about actually moving.

Our original plan was to buy it now and rent it for the year or two until she gets here. Now we want to see if we could rent it indefinitely and more or less breakeven, so if she never decides to move we wouldn't be taking a loss.

Unfortunately, I have absolutely no experience as a landlord/second property owner, so I have my work cut out for me. I need to run the combination of numbers (down payment/mortgage/term), and research expected rents. I also need to read up on the accounting/tax issues surrounding owning a second property. The fun never ends...

Super productive day

May 10th, 2007 at 01:05 pm

This is the best one I've had in a while, though it definitely cost me. Dropped the car off for an oil change and other regular maintenance (should be about $200). Got my passport renewed (a whopping $107). It expires in June, so I had to do it. I've been thinking of getting the kids passports just so they have them, but it would be $92 each for them, so I'm going to wait on that for a while. Went to Walgreens and picked up a bunch of their free after rebate items. No $ out of pocket as I used a WAG giftcard. Went to Eckerds for 2 FAR items and to use a raincheck. Went to the post office to mail a half.com book, and went grocery shopping. Paid the town taxes, and went to the bank. Phew, I'm tired just writing about it.

So I think I'm pretty much caught up with life. DD needs to write thank-yous for her Communion gifts, and I need to figure out how to upload the pictures from my digital camera to the computer. I'm assuming it shouldn't be that tough. Wish me luck...

18 states...

May 9th, 2007 at 05:56 pm

Inspired by Kashi, here's my US map. I hope the link works. Only 18 states (35%). There are a few that I'd still like to hit, but I just don't see most of them happening until retirement...


create your own personalized map of the USA

So the Communion was a success. Everything went well, DD was a bit nervous but did great. The party was followed by a 3-day business trip which is now over so I can relax a bit.

I'm working from home tomorrow and plan to get back on track. Property taxes are due and need to be dropped off, the car needs to go for an oil change, and I need to renew my passport. Looking forward to a productive day...

A good thing comes to an end...

May 4th, 2007 at 01:26 pm

A few years back, I opened up savings accounts for my kids at Affinity Bank in California. They had a special program where the first $500 earned 10%. I received a letter in the mail today stating that they've changed the program requirements and, in order to keep that rate, the custodian of the account (me) needs to have a "Gold Checking Account". Minimum balance is $500 and there's an $8 fee per quarter if you don't meet it.

I suppose if I lived in California and needed a regular checking account, this might be a good deal, but given that I'm in NJ, it's not that hot. So I'm going to write them a letter asking them to close the accounts and forward me the money. Bummer. At least it was good while it lasted.

I see that I haven't posted for a while. The Communion is Sunday, so I've spent most of my spare time taking care of the last minute details associated with that. Hoping to be more in the swing of things in the middle of next week.

In the meantime, we did pay off the HELOC with Hubby's bonus ($6300+), so that's cool. Still waiting for my NYS tax return to come in. I asked for it to be sent electronically. I'm assuming that since I waited to the last minute with everyone else, they're running a bit behind.