Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Extremely Thankful this Holiday

I received the worst phone call this morning. In fact, it was the worst phone call I've had since they called saying that my father had passed away, back in December of 1996.

My mother called to say she was in the hospital, after suffering a heart attack late last evening as she was getting ready for bed. She was in great spirits when she called (she had to leave a message, as my phone was out in the living room and I couldn't get to it in time to pick it up). In fact, she seemed rather annoyed that this threw a monkey wrench into her schedule, and she was concerned that she wouldn't be able to travel to visit us for Christmas like she planned. It was good to hear that Mom sounded like Mom.

For those who don't know, my mother lives in Florida - I live in South Carolina. We have no vehicle that can make the trip down to visit her, as both my husband's car and my van have some maintenance issues that need to be addressed ASAP. There's no $$ in savings to get the cars fixed or to rent a car - so here I sit, monitoring things from afar, hoping and praying that they don't get worse.

When I look back at this year, I realized just how much time I have squandered. IF I had gotten out and went looking for a deal, IF I had gone to the courthouse to look for probate leads earlier in the year, I might have earned enough to make up an emergency fund for a situation just like this. Even if it was only $1k, it still would have been enough just to travel back and forth.

What a wake up call.

I am so DONE with this paycheck-to-paycheck, hand to mouth, BS life. IT WILL change in 2010, so I can serve my family and my mother better than I can now.

God Bless everyone and enjoy your Thanksgiving! And please pray for my Mom!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Not so fast!! :)

Ok, I know in my last post I said it would probably be my last update for the year, but today I did something (GASP!) REI related, so I just had to share. :)


and I didn't get lost. Hee Hee.

Toy sales are pretty slow right now, and really won't pick up until mid December. So I figured I would make hay while the sun shines and head to the courthouse to pick up some probate leads.

The probate recording system in my county is incredibly straight forward. There is a questionnaire that the potential personal representative has to fill out, and I basically got all my info from that. My county has them in PDF format, but it's not available online, so I do have to make a trip to do my research. I was able to take down 4 leads in total. I would have taken more, but I got a late start and had to make it back in time to pick up the girls from school.

When I got home, I checked on the assessors website in an attempt to cross reference and determine what real estate might be available. Two names didn't show up on the records, so when I go back on Tuesday I'll double check to see what other info I can glean to determine if there are any real estate holdings.

I've decided that my research days will be Tuesdays and Thursdays. When I go back on Tuesday I'm going to see what the lag time is between when the info is recorded and when it's scanned as a PDF file, so I can see where I can get info that is most up to date. I also found out from the files I looked at that the paper where most of the Notice to Creditors notices are published is the Spartan Weekly, which I can get for $20 a year. I'll probably get a subscription to that, but I want to go to the courthouse so I can practice my research.

I may not make as much as I wanted to with toy sales this year - I realized my window of opportunity is closing fast, due to cash flow issues, so I'm shifting gears a bit and will work the probate leads, get my private money website up and functional, and work on the business plan.

If I do more REI related stuff before the end of the year, I'll be sure to update! :)

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Last update for the year, maybe

Lots going on, again, none of it REI related, but I figured I'd update anyway.

First and foremost, this will probably be the last blog entry of the year. I will be selling toys on Amazon for the holiday season this year, with the goal of having enough saved up for EMD money, things that need to get done around the house, etc. This is very time consuming, so my REI activity will be put on hold until the new year. While I'm disappointed that I didn't get my REI work in gear for 2009, the bright side is that selling on Amazon should (and WILL - have to have more confidence) net me roughly what I could have gotten from a wholesale deal.

And shhh....don't tell my family this, but I have decided that with the proceeds I get from my toy selling season I am going to hire a professional organizer to help me get this house in order. I am tired of spinning my wheels constantly in trying to get some sort of organization going, so I think it will help to outsource this to a professional. LOL I am confident that it will be money well spent.

So there you have it. I'm thankful for those who have followed my journey so far - let's make 2010 an absolutely rockin', kickin' year!!!!!