Friday, August 29, 2008

Craig's List and Black Widow Spiders

Wednesday I took on a new venture. Mine started off as the 'uncertain outcome' kind. However, it turned out to be, "An undertaking that is dangerous, daring, or of uncertain outcome. A business enterprise involving some risk in expectation of gain," as well.

What could I do that was so dangerous, you ask? Well, I decided to sell some things on Craig's List. OK, 'decided' is a loose word for what I was trying to do.... Just hear me out.

First, a little background for you: Husband and I went through
FINANCIAL PEACE UNIVERSITY several years ago to help us not only get out of debt, but to attack the root of why were were in debt in the first place. (Well, I can tell you that! All you have to do is max out (my bad) 13 department store credit cards while making about $400 a month. Seriously, I was am an impulse buyer...still am at times.) I did this before we were married.

This $100 Financial Peace program we did at our church really tackles the habits people create and myths people buy into concerning money. Financial peace is 20% head knowledge and 80% behavior. That is so true, because most of what we learned we knew, but didn't have the personal skills to execute it.

We paid off about $4700 in the 13 weeks we were attending the class. Now that's REAL peace-giving! Besides, the class was so much fun! Dave Ramsey is hysterical and I really felt proud of myself rather than condemned. We had finished paying off all of our credit card debt in 4 more months (about $15,000 in 7 months). We were ecstatic...and still married (an important fact)!

So, now we're on the cash-flow (notice I refuse to say 'budget') system where you take out an allotted amount of money at the beginning of the month and put it in corresponding envelopes (i.e. $200 for Groceries, $30 for Cosmetics, $20 for Toiletries, $30 in individual Blow money (spend on whatever you want) , etc.)

Well, we are still trying to get the grocery envelope figured out now that Ham is eating more solids and prices have sky-rocketed. Here's where pawning selling stuff comes in for me.

I had finished off all the money in the grocery envelope the week before. Well, we still needed bread, milk, Gerber Graduates meals, and eggs. Basic stuff. So, I had a dilemma, right?

I got my wheels turning and began thinking about how to make some extra money. (BTW, this is cheating on the envelope system. It's supposed to be that when you run out of money, you're out. And no 'borrowing' from other envelopes. It creates accountability.) The up side is that we need to talk about putting a little more money in the Grocery envelope next time so this doesn't happen again.

ANYWAY, I thought about this Dogloo dog house the previous home owners left two years ago that's just been sitting in our back yard. It was in perfect condition, but just dirty (I had no idea). I went online and researched the price of these things. OK, for a large one like we had? Over $100. Sometimes more. So, I listed it for $50. I didn't really know if anyone would buy it, but hey, worth a shot, right?

Within 45 minutes, I received an e-mail asking if the Dogloo was still for sale. STILL? I had barely enough time to get ready for the day after I had listed the thing! I'm not complaining. I was elated. She said she didn't want to pay $50, though. I asked her how much. She said $35. I asked, "If I cleaned it really well, would you pay $50?" Ahh, just what she wanted to hear. It was sold in under an hour.

Unfortunately, this was also the day I had a doctor's appointment with a new doctor and it took 2 hours! Ham and I got back with only an hour to spare before the lady was going to show up. Ham was asleep in the car, so I left it running with the A/C on (haha...inside joke) and after detaching the base, proceeded to roll this MASSIVE and heavy thing out of the backyard and into the driveway.

Here I am, rolling it, and every time I can see inside, I think,
"Was that..." roll, "Did I just see..." roll, "OK...great."

Halfway, I realized there were spiders inside the dog house. Lots of them. I gingerly finished rolling it and then turned it over to look inside. My stomach kind of knotted up. I counted eight spiders. Not to mention the 4 inch long, 1/2 inch wide millipede...I'm not kidding. GAAA-ROSS! (That's Southern-speak for 'gross.')

The reason my stomach knotted up was because I thought the spiders looked familiar, but I had never seen one in person. I went inside and looked up 'poisonous spiders' and yep...they were black widows. Eight of 'em.

I debated on whether or not to finish the job, but I bucked up, rolled up my sleeves, and grabbed three different bottles of cleanser.

The Mister Clean just made them mad. The Scrubbing Bubbles didn't phase them...they would just crawl lazily out of the foam. However, the Fantastik w/ Oxy Power did the job...sorta. They were at least immobilized.

I then stood back and blasted them with the hose. It took thirty minutes to get those suckers to stop clinging to the side or racing back up to the top when they would break free from the streaming water. I finally had to get a sponge and wipe out the webs. They were really strong!

After all was said and done (Ham woke up crying just as I finished), the Dogloo looked like new and I thought, "This was SOOO not worth $50. I should have asked for $75." ;) I mean, I could have been killed! Next time, I'll sell it 'as-is' and not run out of money in the Grocery envelope!

Well...I couldn't have let someone ride home with a dog house full of Black Widows, right?

BTW, yes, I did frantically change out of my wet and sudsy jeans, brush my hair a million times (and wash it) and continue to swipe at my skin the rest of the day thinking there might be a spider on me!


Jennifer and Michael said...

All I have to say is "Hurray or Craigslist"!!! I don't call that "cheating", I call that "creatively staying in budget"! And $12,000 in 3 months, holy cow! This is our last week and we still don't have all of our emergency fund. What's up with that? I am proud of you for being brave and waging war with the widows. Love, Sis

FreeSpirit said...
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