Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Eager Beaver!

Uggh I wish I had signed up to take the appraiser courses a bit sooner because I am so eager to be able to get out there and make more money right away! I have got to pay down my debt so I can afford things that I haven't been able to in years such as getting my hair cut regularly and a new article of clothing more often than once every 6 months! I am sick of feeling ratty and poor! 'Oh we ain't got a barrel of money, maybe we're ragged and funny' I wish I knew where that song lyric was from.

Right now I am just trying to set in stone who my mentor(s) will be for after the classes. I don't have anything definitive yet.

I am a little nervous because I am going to have to layout some money for setting up a home office to do the appraisals. I will need a Windows computer and a door for a desk, and some other officey type things.

I have been typing for my appraiser friend and learning the business so I guess thats all I can do for now. Sigh!


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Credit Cards Crept into Wallet again!

Tonite when I go to a family members for dinner and to help them with some paperwork they need doing (which relates to appraising so helping me in numerous ways), I am actually handing over my credit cards to a third party. I don't want them in my possession anymore! I just got my weekly "allowance" I give myself according to my budget so I have no excuses.

Also from now on when I type for my family member they are going to pay me by making a payment directly towards one of my credit cards, that way I won't have to just be self-disciplined about having money in my wallet!

Ya gotta do what ya gotta do, right? Its a shame I have no self-discipline at all and need to take these measures but I am just trying to make my situation better.


Friday, February 23, 2007

More Classes and Education

I signed up for my Appraiser courses today. I also shadowed my appraiser 'friend' on one of her appraisals. She knows someone else who might be willing to sponsor me, so now I have three potential supervisors! Yay! I will be rolling in it soon enough. I can't help but envision the things I will buy once my debt is paid off. Bad idea, I know, cause then there will be culinary school and a new car that needs buying. But let me just indulge myself with what I would buy:
- a massage chair
- mani's and pedi's every week
- my hair done every 6 weeks
- new clothes that fit nice and aren't faded
- a new sofa for my living room
- a kitchen table

I am not materialistic, really I am not. I haven't bought a new article of clothing for myself in years! The only thing I can remember buying, the entire year, were 2 shirts at Target, one shirt for my Christmas party, and a pair of gym shoes. Not that horrible, right?

So anyway, I also had my substitute teaching interview today and that went great also. My interviewer was sooo nice and encouraging about trying different careers out in life. I loved her. I am going to try being a teacher's aide next week! Woo hoo I am going to be trying so many different things!


Thursday, February 22, 2007

High Cell Phone Bills

Well I just received one of those $130 phone bills from Verizon. Seriously, I have paid them so, so much over the years. What is wrong with me. Why do I do everything to excess? Can I take a crash course on self-discipline somewhere? Maybe that way I won't buy a cell phone game or new ring tones anymore. Plus you know, I think I used some of that for directions to job interviews and stuff so thats not that bad now that I think about it. You have to pay like $3.00 to use their Verizon Navigation System and once in a while I will need to use it for something. Maybe when I am an appraiser I should subscribe to it actually so I can find my way places. Or learn to use a map hardy-har!

This bill was also high because I went over my 400 minutes by 100. Sigh. I just hope cell phones don't cause cancer. There should have been a cell phone rep in the movie "Thank You For Smoking".

I can't wait to take these classes though. I am gonna sign up for them tomorrow, I am also shadowing my appraiser person that I know on an appraisal appointment tomorrow so that will be a learning experience. I hope I can find some people who will let me be their apprentice! I already have one part-time offer so thats great. They will probably only be able to throw me a few once in a while, though, which is still very much appreciated!

I also have an interview scheduled for 9 am tomorrow morning to become a substitute teacher. This was something I was thinking about doing in the Fall but they finally got my papers from the state that I submitted in November! I am not sure if I want to do that anymore but it is worth going to the interview I suppose, I don't want to burn my bridges.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Appraising Houses

I have decided I am going to start the process of becoming an Appraiser. It won't take too long to at least become an Apprentice and it will really help with my financial situation. The reason I picked Real Estate appraising of all things is because my mother has been an appraiser for the past 10 years. I see what she does and it doesn't seem so bad. You just take some pictures and find comps and it does take a while for the paperwork but the pay is good. It was also recently named one of the Top 10 Jobs on Forbes or Fortune or somewhere. Also I will have loads of flexibility, so that is great. So hopefully I will find someone who will let me be their Apprentice and I start the classes in March. Actually I have to call the school today at lunch to see about the next class schedule. It shouldn't be so bad, actually I never mentioned this but I have an inactive Real Estate license so that may help.


Monday, February 19, 2007

Great Career Ideas!

Well I have known I am due for a new job venture very soon as I have been getting impatient with the progress in paying my debt down. While I will still focus on smaller internet ventures, I have been thinking of taking on a 2nd job. I went out to lunch with my mother the other day, who has a really good financial situation lets just say (I am definetly one of those kids who grew up accustomed to a certain lifestyle and this is partly what led me to having a lot of debt). Anyway she knew of someone who does title work in Texas. Apparently you can make tons of money by doing title and mineral searches for the Big Oil companies. It is not a stable field but it is very highly paying while it lasts! Also you have to do a lot of drudge work of going to municipal courts and looking up records from many generations ago, to find out who has title to other aspects of the land besides just the dirt on top. Like oil rights and mineral and well rights. I spoke with a woman who does this currently and she really likes her job. She warned there are a lot of upfront costs that you will only get reimbursed for later, like hotel fees when you are traveling around Texas for these records. I decided this is not for me because I am not in the position to pay a lot of upfront costs like that, nor am I to pick up and leave to Texas. I wouldn't have posted it here if I had decided to pursue it because the jobs are not plentiful right now, it is a down period for the oil companies apparently. I did think about it for a while though.

I am not going to include any links about this type of job because I was given inside information by a friend of the family and I do not want to disrespect her by giving any more information than I already have. Maybe someone can find this info on this blog, and do more legwork for themselves. If you do, good luck and please post back your findings!


Friday, February 16, 2007

Career Decisions Related to Debt

Well, one of the reasons I got into my debt is a serious of foolish career decisions and spending on things I didn't need, like going out to dinner and takeout (not to mention this contributed to my weight problems). So, since I only make $10 an hour right now you may think I am nuts that I haven't been looking for a second job. Or another main job. I kind of think I am nuts too, which is why I periodically grapple with what to do. I like my current job, what I do all day long, which is a lot more than I can say for other jobs I have had. The time flies by. Unfortunately, my company cannot afford to pay me more right now. I am scared to get another job because I don't know what kind to get. All the admin jobs I have had have been so horrible, I felt really negative emotions all day long and would cry sitting at my desk at work. I am not qualified for anything else. Also, I worry cause my pets are getting older now and if they got sick I would need to be able to nurse them back to health. I don't think a boss would understand if I needed to take off for a week or more cause I need to feed my pet every 3 hours or something.

So this is where I am today. I have strongly considered filing bankruptcy. I need help. More than just financially.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

My Only Great Credit Card Deal

Well last year I stumbled upon a really fantastic deal from Discover Card. As a matter of fact, it is such a good deal I will give them a shout-out in this entry, although I like to avoid mentioning names of financial institutions I belong to, as a general rule for this blog. Anyway, I received an offer in the mail for 0% interest for a year on transferred and regular balances, and after the year was up I would continue to receive 0% as long as my account stayed in good standing and I made 3 purchases a month on the card.

So it has been over a year now and I have continued to enjoy 0% interest on this card, which really helped because I had transferred $5,000 from my card that had 30% interest on it. What a godsend! The only problem now is I kind of haven't been diligent with this card and put more than 3 purchases, like McDonald's and a few iTunes song. I guess it was more than just a few things here and there cause I went over my balance last week! I really hope this won't make my interest rate start to kick in. I will cry. Seriously. I made a payment immediately so hopefully I should be okay. And the credit card has gone back into my filing cabinet, only to come out for my original plan which was to use it every Sunday to fill up my gas tank and thats it (to meet the 3 purchases requirement). Also I would pay more than what the gas cost every month so I could pay this debt down slowly. I am working on cards with higher interests at the moment.

Here is an interesting forum discussion on this offer.

In other news I have an interview to start substitute teaching next week at a local elementary school. I am going to probably do this sometimes during the day and come into my present job in the evenings, just for extra money. Hopefully I am getting there!


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Pet-Sitting and Other Odd Jobs

I have been thinking about putting an ad on Craigslist offering to pet-sit for people while they are away. I have a lot of experience with different animals and I think I could take care of them pretty well. Also, I may put up some fliers offering to walk smaller dogs (I don't think I can control a big dog on a leash, I am too small). The only problem is that I am a little worried about going into people's homes. What if some creep just calls me to come over to get me into his house or something. Am I being paranoid? Also, what if I see a pet that is not being taken care of appropriately. How would I handle that I don't know. It would make me so extremely sad. I don't know if it is a good idea.

I have been tempted lately to just give up on all this and look for a higher paying job or maybe a second job. When I start to get serious about that I start getting anxiety and I talk myself out of it. I like the flexibility of my current job. I am afraid of hating what I do all day at a new job, and also of not being able to take off in case one of my pets gets sick or I get sick. I hate disappointing people or inconveniencing an employer so this really effects my motivation to get a better job. I feel like I am only screwing myself though, and I have the bad feeling I am not making the right choices.

Have you ever stayed in a job that you weren't sure was the right place for you, and it may have been affecting your life in a negative way? What made you stay? I would love to hear others' experiences with this sort of situation and any advice you might have. Please leave a comment!


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Stick to your budget even on v-Day!

As the whole world knows tommorrow is Valentine's Day- how to keep V-Day simple and affordable? Please, listen to me cause I have the advice for you! Do not listen to Hallmark or Godiva or that stupid Teddy bear Company (although I have never gotten a Vermont Teddy Bear I would kind of like to if it was really personalized and thoughtful)!

For any guy or girl out there still lost as to what to get someone this year for Valentine's Day, you don't have to go out and spend a lot. Try making things! I can't tell you how many friends of mine say they wish their boyfriend or girlfriend would cook them a meal from start to finish for Valentine's Day. Make cookies, brownies, chocolate lollipops, chocolate-covered strawberries (or buy them hehe). It is so easy to make chocolate-dipped strawberries yourself!

Also, you can make a Valentine or at the very least, spend at least 30 minutes at the card store looking for a card that your beau would really enjoy. There a ton of do-it-yourself Valentine's Day gift ideas at this site.

In sum, please, please, please, don't break your budget on a Valentine's Day present for your partner. It is just not worth it, especially when a home made gift is more appreciated than a store-bought one anyway!


Monetizing my blog

Well I posted on the Digital Points forum on how to get money from blogging, because you know that would help with my debt. I have heard of bloggers making a lot of money from their blogs! I want to remain really useful for my readers, so I will never take it to the extreme, but an extra $100 a month would really help me right now.

Judging from my responses, there are a lot of conflicting opinions out there!

Here are some of the replies I received to my question of "Where to start for getting PR and money?"

"Start with claiming your blog in Technorati. That'll get them crawling it. Go ahead and ad adsense and any other ad stuff you want as most will tell you that doing it from the get go is better than dropping it in after you've been blogging for a year.
Try and get your site added to as many directories as you can. is the most popular, but be careful to not spam it and put your blog in a fitting category.
Use a service like to ping as many services as you can each time you do a post. If you are posting more than once a day, only use the service once per day, so use it after your last post of the day.
Most of all, be patient. Unless you're the next Mike Arrington, you probably will be a little guy for quite a while. Don't expect 1000's of visits anytime soon, but the more you post and the better you get at it, the more hits you will get and the more returning readers you will have." (link to his profile:

"I have the opposite strategy. Don't monetize early on if you're seriously interested in making your blog popular and familiar with many. If you're getting less than 1000+ uniques a day, you won't make much from Adsense anyway.

Try buying links to build up your PR. Sell text links for money. I think sponsored posts won't look good on your blog if you're aiming for the very top too. Text link sales should be fine though." (link to their profile:

"Just keep creating quality post, build links and don't worry about making money right away. Success will come as you page rank and popularity grow." (link to their profile:

I hope maybe these responses will help you too, if you are trying to make your blog the best it can be in order to make a little extra money off of it.

I would like to ask for your tips, and also how you feel about making money off your blog, even if you feel negatively about it I would like to hear why! Thanks!


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Weekend Update

Well I am really starting to get a hang of not using my credit cards. They have been in my filing cabinet all weekend, except for a little field trip this afternoon I have done a great job.

Here are some tips I have for not spending money on the weekends:
- have someone else treat!
- drink your alcohol at home by buying wine at Trader Joe's (Two-Buck Chuck for $2.99!!!) or by the case so you don't spend as much. Think about it, for one glass at a restaurant you can sometimes buy a whole bottle of something!
- go to restaurants that have a BYOB policy to save lots of money! Check out this BYOB Dining Guide.
- hang out at home and play board games, invite some friends over for a make-shift dance party or board game night with popcorn (Popcorn recipes)!
- split a meal with a friend (this will help your diet too!)

Do you have any other tips for saving money on the weekends? Please post them here so they can be useful to someone else!


Friday, February 9, 2007

Where to start with monetizing a blog?

This isn't exactly related to reducing my debt, but I am sure a lot of readers (and I, for that matter!) would like to feel less confused about all the things one can do with their blog to make money. I would like to keep my blog useful to many, many readers, but yes I would also like it to help me reduce my debt in any way. There are so many different things you can do with your blog, it can easily become overwhelming as to what will give you the best results all around.

Should I put Google Adsense on my blog(s)?

Should I concentrate on putting all the little buttons on each entry like "Digg this" and Technorati and Del.i.cious (or however its spelled)? And how do I do this anyway??

Should I just worry about readers?

Should I join all the paid for blogging sites like Blogsvertise (which I did join cause it accepts newer blogs) and ReviewMe (like a reader suggested)?

Should I buy my own domains?

I will probably eventually do all of these things in time but I wish I knew how to prioritize what to do.

I am going to be doing some research on what experts have to say about this topic and follow up with an update on this subject. If you are reading this and you have your own suggestions, please comment so I can include them in my article with a credit to you. Thanks!


Thursday, February 8, 2007

Getting Paid for Writing Posts?

I have been continuing to brainstorm for ways to make extra money in my spare time. I have been hearing a lot about getting paid to write sponsored blog entries on your blogs. It doesn't seem like a bad idea to me, as long as you say it is a sponsored post. This way everyone wins- the advertiser gets some publicity and feedback, you get introduced to an interesting product, and I can tell you what I think of the product in my opinion.

I am wondering which is the best one to use? I don't even know if I am eligible cause my blog is not that old.

If you have experience with any of the companies please post here and give your feedback, thanks!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Taking cards out of wallet

Well I was able to put my credit cards away like I had planned to. My paycheck was so small this last week that I could not take out any extra money to have spending money for this week. This presents a problem cause I have no money! At least I am pretty sure I will be able to pay all my bills this month according to the budget I planned out for repaying my debts.

Also I cancelled my trip to the Open House program I wanted to attend. I did not have the money for parking and could not afford to miss any more work. I feel good about that because I made the responsible decision.

I am continuing my efforts to brainstorm for odd-jobs and ways of making extra money. I have to develop a better plan for more diligently looking for extra work.

Since I have nothing particularly helpful to say in this entry, here is a link that may be more helpful. This article lists 5 ways to make extra money.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Due for a flogging!

Well I went out and bought a sandwich at Wawa tonite. Uggh!! I have to make do with eating what I have around the house! I cannot keep messing up like this, it is bad for my health and bad for my wallet.

Also, I do not know if I can put my credit cards away just yet. This is because I am probably going to this Open House tommorrow in NYC for a program I am thinking of attending. I need to pay for gas and parking. I may go next week though, cause otherwise I am really having a hard time paying all my bills right now (paying them according to the payment plan me and my mother have worked out). Its not a good time for me to spend the extra money. I can always go in March when maybe my bills will be a little better.

I was out with some friends tonite and kept noticing everyone's shoes. I am a girl, and typically they wear a lot of different shoes. Would you believe I have one pair of sneakers, one pair of work shoes (actually the same shoe but in brown and black depending on my outfit) and a few pairs of sandals? I felt like such a poor loser. But I guess I have to pay down my current debt before I can buy anything new. It makes me bitter cause I haven't had a new pair of shoes in maybe 3 or 4 years. They are Aerosoles if you are wondering which shoes hold up so well. It would all seem a lot more worth it if I was poor but content with my life, like people you sometimes hear about.

So, I will probably not go to NYC tommorrow to save money. In that case, I will put my credit cards away this very second. Also I have been doing some more marketing so that is good.

Hold on.

Okay I am back and the credit cards are away. Its off to bed, adios amigos!

My progress as of 2/5/07

Well actually I haven't made much progress. At all, in fact I probably am in more debt than I was on Friday. This are some mistakes I have recently made:
1. Not remembering to get my paycheck on Friday so I could deposit it asap
2. Taking money out of my savings to go out to a bar on Saturday night.
3. Taking money out of my checking account on Sunday to treat my boyfriend and sister to lunch.

These were extremely poor decisions.
Also I had to buy gas for my car which I couldn't really afford but I took it out of my checking account anyway. Now I am not sure where the money is going to come from for my next two bills, two credit cards. Discover card is due 2/24 and I need $150 for that. Also I am not sure when my Juniper will be due, I haven't gotten my next due date assigned yet.

Do you believe I was tempted to buy one of those massage chairs from Brookstones? I was almost-seriously thinking I would just establish a payment plan for it. Its like I can't find happiness through myself or my relationships. I was looking for something that would help me be happier and feel better.

Today is kind of shot cause I have a funeral to attend this evening but I can do two small things. Here they are, I will report back tommorrow.

1. Put my credit cards back in my filing cabinet (and out of my wallet!).
2. Spend 30 minutes marketing my blogs so I can eventually make money off of them.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

More readers = ?

I am putting a link to this neat site I found which helps you find readers for your blog. I need readers here if I ever expect to get lots of tips on ways to make extra money! So hopefully lots more people will see this blog and other blogs in my profile cause I am really trying to make my blogs useful to other people.

Free Furniture, Oh My!

Having a dirty, undecorated house can easily make you feel depressed. Coming home to a clean house you are proud of can really set the stage for improvements and standards in the rest of your life. However, if you are broke like me you do not have the money to go out and buy new stuff, even to somewhere inexpensive like Target or Ikea. When I get to feeling down about my surroundings it is easy to go out and buy something new, even to think of which credit card you can put it on. You think this thing you will buy will make you feel better about your life and will help you in other areas. For example, thinking if only I had some exercise equipment I would exercise and finally be able to make my life better. That is the wrong way to think although it is natural to fall into that trap, especially the way that advertising is designed to make you think you need something in order to make your life better. So anyway, change actually comes from inside you. You can exercise just by walking around the block or walking up and down your stairs twenty times. You have to make do with what you have. When you have proven you can stick to your goals, for instance after you have walked every day for 6 months, then maybe you can get that piece of equipment. If you have the money.

So anyway, today a friend of the family offered to give me couch they no longer wanted. The 3-seater couch was not the style or color I would have chosen for myself but it was neat and presentable, and it would look a lot better than the sofa I have now which has holes in the cushions. So I brought it back to my place. As soon as I give the room a good cleaning I will be bringing it into the house. Hopefully I will learn to love this sofa but if I don't, I still truely appreciate having a newer, free sofa and it just gives me more incentive to structure my life in a way that I can afford an actual new couch sooner.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Article on Credit Cards

I stumbled across a good website for learning about the dangers of credit card debt and debt in general. In particular, this person had some really eye-opening figures on how long it will take you to pay off a certain amount of debt- 10 years! Particularly when the author said, "If you find yourself with high credit card debt, cut up all but one of your cards." this inspired me to actually go home and do this today. I swore I was not going to carry plastic around at all once I set up the debt-repayment plan with my mother (who is extremely financially-savvy) and I have used it here and there for stupid stuff like a McDonald's breakfast. Its hard to not carry them cause there are times I have a doctor's appointment or something and I will say, Oh I have the credit card today! What an idiot I am.

I may just go home today, clean out my pocketbook, put my loose change in my jar and at the very least put all my credit cards in my filing cabinet and get them out of my wallet. I don't know if I have the strength to actually cut them in half, after-all...

How Much time for Debt?

I am wondering how much time is realistic to spend working on procuring and doing jobs that will help me pay my debt. I already have a ton of stuff on my plate, goals that I am in the middle of and wouldn't want to give up in order to focus on one thing at a time.

Here are other things I need time for:
  • friends
  • pets
  • exercising
  • showering
  • cleaning
  • recreation
  • education
Hrmmm. I already work 40 hours a week but I have some down-time at work so I may even be able to fit certain things in. Here are some things I can do to use time wisely:

  • browse Craigslist for jobs while eating breakfast
  • browse newspaper for jobs after work
  • call about odd-jobs at lunch
Uh-oh, thats all I have so far! This brainstorming session did not accomplish much!

Brainstorming Money-Making Ideas

Well so I recently turned down a job offer where I would have made 50% more money at. What? you may say... how could I be so stupid? I let this stupid factor get in the way called my sanity. If there is one type of work that drives me crazy and makes my life a living hell in no time it is administrative work. Oh how I hate filing, taking messages and making copies. I would rather declare bankruptcy, I think.

Turning down this job got my entrepreneur juices flowing, however. I am really going to try and brainstorm different ways of making extra money here and there and try my damned hardest to pay down my debt quick anyway, despite turning down that job.

So here are my ideas:
  1. Put an ad in the paper offering to walk small dogs (I don't want to be responsible for walking a stronger breed).
  2. Put an ad in the paper offering to clean houses
  3. Start an organic cleaning business (using green cleaners)
  4. Look for people who need help organizing their homes (I am pretty good at it and enjoy it)
  5. Sell something on e-bay
  6. Post ads and sponsored entries in my blogs
  7. Look for other small jobs in the paper and Craigslist
  8. Call catering companies and offer to help serve at banquets or something
  9. Continue looking for a better part and full-time job

Good Article

I was looking for a debt-o-meter and found this great article on financial freedom. What this guy says is really true. I want to get out of debt also really bad and I am ready to work hard at it. There are some things I just won't give up, like time with friends and loved pets and such, but I could certainly stand to pick up some odd jobs and cook at home more. One way of saving money that I thought of immediately, is that I can drink wine at home instead of paying per glass at the restaurants I go to. Trader Joe's has really, really cheap wine and it is pretty darn good.