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My First Estate Sale – HELP ME!!!

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Hi guys!

I gotta pop in for a super quick post today because stuff is crazy right now!

My family (hubs, me, and the 4-year-old twins) drove up to Utah on Wednesday. We usually split the 12-hour drive into 2 days but pushed through and did the whole thing in one day.

The purpose of our trip was to finish clearing out my Dad’s house. I came here in November when my Dad officially moved, but he’d used a POD and a lot of stuff got left behind. My brother came back with my Dad again a couple months ago and, from all reports, the house was nearly ready to go. There were still a few boxes of paperwork and miscellaneous odds and ends. The big things were that there are still 2 vehicles here. Those were my marching orders.

SOOOOoooooo imagine my surprise when I get here and it seems like the house is still fully furnished. I mean…kitchen still has everything in it, there’s a full bedroom set,  lots of household and holiday decorations, multiple televisions, accent tables, garage is still fully stuffed, and on and on and on.

Guess how many days we’d planned to be here! Two. Yep. The plan was to get here Wednesday night (as we did), get a dumpster, and throw the remaining stuff out, then head back to Tucson early on Saturday (another 1-day trip).

But the overwhelming amount of items coupled with the fact that there are still so many items of VALUE meant that I couldn’t just throw stuff in the dumpster (which I’d called and had placed at the residence before getting to town). The only solution I could see was to have an estate sale.

Here’s the deal. I’ve never done an estate sale before. And I’ve now been warned by 2 separate people that these things can be brutal – people fighting each other for items, shoulder-to-shoulder people bustling throughout the house, etc. Just chaos. And remember….we’ve only got 2 adults to manage the situation (plus 2 toddlers to still watch and take care of!!!) Gulp!

To try to help things a bit, I decided to split the sale into 2 days. We’re prepping things today by separating items (we’ll take some things with us to Tucson so there’s a “not for sale” pile), shredding old documents with identifying information, and generally trying to organize things and sort through to see what’s here. I’ll also be taking care of some business things today (meeting with property management company, etc.). Then the first “preview sale” will be tonight from 5-8:30pm. The remaining items will be sold on Friday from 7am-gone. I posted to a local Facebook garage sale site, stating that all items are first come, first served and there are NO HOLDS!

I’m hoping that (1) the fact that the estate sale is being held on weekdays and (2) the fact that we’re splitting it into two days will help in reducing the craziness since we’ll likely have fewer people than we would on a Saturday. By Friday afternoon, everything will turn to FREE (with associated posting on the local Facebook site) and we’ll start trashing any remaining items in the dumpster.

Other tips or ideas? Are we absolutely insane for attempting to do this ourselves while we still have kids here? I’m really nervous about things getting wild! If they do, the plan is for me to stand at the front door (with kids playing in front yard), and hubs to be inside doing the negotiating about item prices. I’ll be paid on the way out (standing at the door ensures no one just walks away with items without paying).

I’ve literally NEVER done this before and this shiz is getting down TONIGHT so I could really use any helpful ideas or tips that you might have! Help meeeee!!!!

Thank you!


April Budget Update

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Yikes! With how overdue this budget update is, I did consider just skipping it entirely. I forgot to post December’s budget and it was my first time to ever miss a month! I don’t want it to start becoming a pattern. So, instead of pushing it off any longer, here’s the extremely overdue budget:

Place Amount Spent
Rent 1200
Down Payment Savings 2000
Electricity 88
Water 55
Natural gas 60
Cell Phones (2 lines) 89
Cable/Internet 100
Trash 35
Preschool 1075
Restaurants 249
Entertainment 1
Kids Activities 82
Groceries 582
Gasoline 99
Household Goods 9
Clothing 75
Toddler Stuff 5
Work Expenses 50
Rainy Day Savings 2142 (minus deductions, see below)
Savings Goals 424 (minus deductions, see below)
Debt Payments 1521
Total Budgeted $9,941

 

Comments:

Down Payment Savings ($2000): This is right on track.” The goal is to get to $10,000 by mid-summer. That being said, I already know we won’t have the full $2,000 for this month (May). Initially, we were hoping to start house-hunting this month but we thought better and have pushed it back a bit. We are really hoping to have a closing in August/September, so we didn’t want to see something and fall in love too early when we really aren’t ready to be making offers and negotiating yet. Womp, womp! It’ll be here soon, though, and I’m still doing Zillow searches just-for-fun. 

Electricity ($88): Our electric bill has never been lower! But we’ve already been flirting with triple-digit temperatures and our A/C is back in the ON position! I already received the bill for May and, although it hasn’t jumped way high yet, it’s certainly higher than April’s bill.

Restaurants ($249) + Groceries ($582): I feel like you can’t consider one without knowledge of the other. Our grocery bill was pretty low this month (remember in months’ past where I was nearing the $700-mark for groceries!?), but the grocery bill is low because (1) we were on the cruise for one week of the months, and (2) our eating out budget was HUGE! Remember my post about blowing the restaurant/eating out budget early in the month? We aim to have this expense around $200 or less for our family of four. We blew this budget category early in the month and, honestly, the only reason it didn’t surpass $300+ is because we were gone the last full week of the month (longer, really, since hubs and the girls drove they added an extra week to their trip). All expenses while traveling were filed away in the “cruise” category, so they weren’t accounted for here.

Entertainment ($1): 99 cent song on iTunes.

Kids’ Activities ($82): This was our last month paying for the girls’ swim lessons. It was prorated since we only went for half the month. That being said, the girls did INCREDIBLE on our cruise! We spent a TON of time in the water (both in the pools on the ship and in the ocean at our docking places). I was so impressed with how their skills have improved and they seemed like little fishes splashing around in the water. It really made me want to re-start their swimming lessons so they can keep learning and improving. I’m waiting until the semester is over at school because the end-of-year time is crazy and our Saturday-midday swim class was far from ideal. When we start back again I’ll be looking for a weekday afternoon class time.

Household Goods ($9): I don’t remember if I mentioned it already, but I’ve deemed this year the year of buying holiday decorations on clearance to save for next year. In December/January I bought a bunch of Christmas decorations and in April I bought some Easter decorations. I go literally the day after the holiday, first thing in the morning, so I can try to find the best stock for cheapest. I know there can be great finds at garage sales, too, but those are so hit-and-miss that I’ve mostly relied on buying store stuff on clearance after the holiday has passed. The plan is to do this all year for all of the holidays. I’m pretty excited to finally start accumulating some holiday stuff here and there. We’ve always been very minimalistic when it comes to holiday decorations since we have typically moved every year (our current rental house is the longest we’ve ever stayed in a single place!!) I look forward to decorating for holidays with the girls as they grow!

Rainy Day Savings ($2142): I’d deposited $2142 into my various rainy day funds (though some money was also withdrawn from these accounts.) See below:

  • 3-6 Month EF: $1,000. The goal is to get to $5,000 and we currently have $3063.
  • Birthdays: $400. The girls’ birthday is on the horizon in June. To date, we’ve never had an actual birthday party for them, but we want to this year for the first time. It will still be simple (at our house, not another venue), but we’re going to start throwing a couple hundred a month toward this savings so we don’t get caught by surprise in June. This month I’ve over-saved because I’m anticipating that May will be a lower month.
  • Car Repairs: $50. I also withdrew $182 to finally fix the car part that broke 2 weeks after I paid it off. This leaves $73 still in the car repair account. I’ll need to pad it pretty heavily in the next couple of months, as we know we’ve got some routine maintenance stuff coming up on our vehicles and it feels like every time we go to the shop its at least a thousand dollars! Cringe! At least we have time to anticipate and save for it instead of being caught by surprise.
  • Health/Dental/Vision: $542. This gets auto-deducted from my paychecks so we can pay for healthcare out of pre-tax money. It’s sitting in a flexible spending account earmarked for health-care related expenses.
  • Annual Fees: $100. Need to slowly start building this back up. The total current balance is $250 but we have a few annual (or semi-annual) fees coming up within the next couple months (e.g., Costco membership and county pet registration are two that come immediately to mind).
  • Girls’ College Savings: $50. We save $25/each (x 2 girls) for college that’s automatically transferred monthly to designated 529 accounts.

Savings Goals ($424): $424 was deposited but there were also withdrawals. See below:

  • Savings for 2015 Roth IRA: $424. I also cleared out this savings in its entirety prior to filing taxes so I could make a contribution crediting tax year 2015.
  • No other savings this month, but I wanted to report that I also withdrew all of the cruise money from its account (and have subsequently closed the Capital One 360 savings account). At the end of the trip, we were left with an extra $800 over and above what we’d spent. I ended up re-categorizing this money as income for May. That way it’s put in with our normal income rather than being viewed as a separate pot of money. This will be particularly helpful because I don’t get paid from my part-time job this month.

Debt:  I gave a full debt update here.

 

Final Thoughts:

We put a little less toward debt this month than I’d hoped (I’d originally planned to put $2,000 toward debt). Instead, we put a bit more toward savings, particularly in some categories where we know upcoming spending is imminent (e.g., birthdays, annual fees). In May, I’ll kind of trade-off. Our savings will probably be a little lower and our debt payments will be a little higher. One big thing to note:  I don’t get paid in the months of May or August from my part-time job. Instead, my summer pay is split into two lump sums arriving in June and July. I’m trying to anticipate the lower income months and to spread the pay out when we have the higher income months. Also, I haven’t commented on our tax return yet. We had a return of $540 that hit my bank account just in the last week or so. Like our unspent cruise savings, I’ve simply categorized this as “Income for May” in our YNAB budget. Again – May will be a bit lower income month (given that I don’t get my part-time pay), so I’m hoping this will help pad our income a bit so we can keep up with the hefty debt payments that are planned this month.

Have a great month, all!


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