I’ve been reading through all the stuff I can find on marketing, and let’s just say it’s been a learning curve. I’ve got the Kindle version marked down right now to $2.99 in exchange for folks leaving reviews about it on Amazon.com. Getting those reviews is a huge boost to the marketing because no one wants to be the first one to buy something. I wasn’t really thinking to market it here much, since I sorta doubt that DR fans are automatically poultry fans too. But if anyone is interested, I’ll keep the price down for another day or so. Just please leave a review if you do read it.
This whole book-writing thing has really given us an exciting new product line to consider. It’s one of the few things we sell that has a nice long shelf life, and isn’t just slathered in regulatory oversight. So one of this year’s plans is to really hammer on selling this book and writing one or two more of ’em. A nice task when the outside weather is crummy like it is at the moment. If anyone on the list is interested in pursuing this as a “second job” type income stream, I’d be happy to share what I’ve learned so far. Won’t make folks rich, but it can definitely add to the snowball.
Glad we finally got that resolved – it’s been hanging over us since Thanksgiving. Jan, thanks for the suggestion to get him to write stuff down. He loves his Excel spreadsheets but isn’t much of a “write out plans or goals” sort of guy. We actually are supposed to go through an exercise where we each write out goals for 2014 so that we can work on them, and mine is just about done but he said he hasn’t started his. Not sure how to gently encourage him to do that without it sounding like nagging. The written payment plan sure seemed to make a difference over the weekend, so maybe I’ll nudge a little harder on the 2014 plans topic.
I guess in other “homework” news I’m pleased to say that book sales are starting to roll, even before the print version is ready for prime time. Two of my priorities this week are to a) finish the print version so it goes up for sale, and b) to formally launch the book’s marketing plan. That will entail a lot of letters to various agricultural organizations and magazines, to make them aware of the book, ask them to review it and/or list it amongst their resources for new poultry owners. Getting that marketing plan finalized and launched will be about as much work as writing the book was, but it will mostly be one large up-front effort then ease off. So I’m looking forward to getting that done this week.
Thanks again, all, for your encouragement over the weekend. We haven’t had a big blow-out fight like that one in a long time. Hope we don’t have another one for a long time. “Never” works for me.
1. Goal: Pay off Credit Union loan ($7500) and a total of $13,700 (principle for all loans) for the year
Status: Paid off almost $800 on the loan, and a total of $1300 (principal for all loans) for the month.
2. Goal: Crochet 50 scarves to donate — 1 per week.
Status: Donated three scarves in four weeks.
3. Goal: Weigh less at the end of the year than I did at the beginning.
Status: Lost two pounds in January, for a total of 10 pounds since early December.
4. Goal: Finish reading the Bible.
Status: To be perfectly honest, I didn’t open my Bible (except on Sunday) all month. But we’re starting a group at church to keep help hold each other accountable to their goal, and hopefully that will help.
5. Goal: Master level 86 of Candy Crush.
Status: After working at it for another three week, I finally passed!
we’d hit a Murphy week (sort of) when we went out shopping last weekend and did a major grocery shopping to the tune of over $400. That of course included pet food and all the basics like flour and sugar—but we forgot the toilet paper. What were we thinking? It was even on both the Sam’s and the Wal-Mart list and yet all 3 of us missed it. Even worse, we have been to the store since then and forgot it AGAIN! Luckily I had a back up supply in the camper. LOL!
Monday ds truck died in rush hour traffic in the middle of an intersection. Dh got it started again before they got hit, but he and ds have been having this problem on and off for a few months now. So Friday it went into the shop. Some of the repairs the guys can and will do, but most would require more expertise than they have. Luckily ds had his emergency fund well funded because all the work is going to come to around $1,200. He said it actually felt pretty good to be able to tell them without hesitation to repair it at that price, and know he could pay for it with cash from the truck repair fund he had established.
Tuesday night I went to make a middle of the night call to the bathroom and stepped in the middle of a cold water puddle. At first I thought “blank cats”, but then realized that both our cats in the bedroom suite never go in the floor. Started checking and the water was from the bathroom sink. We put a bucket under the drain and dh tore it apart Friday afternoon. We got the parts today and my bathroom should be back to normal by tonight. We too were happy to have a household repair emergency fund, although the parts weren’t that much five years ago it would have had me very upset and using a charge card for payday loans for bad credit. Sunday evening we were watching tv as a family, each of us with a cat in our lap, well ds had one in his lap and one on his shoulder. Jellybean, our 11 year old tabby grey was in my lap, he started slipping and I automatically grabbed his hind quarters to scoot him back up. The scream of pain he let out terrified everyone, both human and animal, in the room.
He immediately found all 3 of us pouring over him trying to figure out what happened. It was then we noticed the tip of his tail was missing. I immediately got very upset because I knew exactly when it had happened. Wednesday! I had been carrying a heavy bundle in through the back door and he scooted past me. The screen closed strangely and he whirled around to look at it. Never made a sound. I looked at his tail then and it looked fine. But I just glanced at it. We later discovered what I had been seeing was the long fur from further up his tail hanging down.
Even worse, we’ve been seeing that little black tuff on the back stairs and wondering what it was, but since we have outdoor farm dogs we all thought rabbit or something similar. It was his tail tip.
Not once until Sunday when I bumped it had he indicated anything was wrong. Ds checked the tail closely and discovered under the long tail fur that was hanging down over it there were two segments of bone showing. Jellybean is scheduled for surgery in about 2 hours to get that removed. Murphy will get between $200 and $300 on that, but again we have it in the pet emergency fund.
Our biggest concern on Jellybean right now is his age, he’s 11 and they are going to have to knock him out to do the surgery. Doc says for 11 Jelly is in very good physical shape, although he is nearly blind, and he thinks he will do fine. Anyway we go the exposed bone has to be removed and we don’t want it done with him awake! Prayers for my old boy would be appreciated. His Mama Amy Jo is wandering around looking for him. Those two are very co-dependent.
Ds did his taxes on Sunday and discovered he owes around $120 all total to state and Fed. Not bad considering the vast jump in his income. Wish we’d get off that easily, but I don’t think we will. Dh has mentioned doing ours this week.
Snow hit on Saturday night, and ds is telecommuting today while dh takes one of the vacation days he must take by 3/31 or lose it. With the trip to the vet, and the plumbing parts needed it seemed like a good day for him to “vacation”.
The car repair place just called and the mechanic that was suppose to do ds’ truck took a snow day, so it will be tomorrow before it will be ready. That complicates matters a bit because ds has class tomorrow night and I won’t have a way to go get the truck, or Jellybean if he has to stay overnight at Doc B’s. We’ll work it all out, it’s just Murphy trying to get us.
Millie moments were small this week, but they were there and that is all that counts.
so other than the snowball payments I didn’t make much progress on advancing our cc payoff (just $70 extra). February should be considerably better, but a lot of that will depend on how Jellybean fairs after his surgery. I don’t keep a whole lot in our vet emergency fund, so I may end up hitting some of the money earmarked for payoff for the Little Chase bill in Feb, here’s hoping all goes well.
On the vacation planning front we have ordered in our state travel brochures from the various states we plan on visiting and they have started rolling in. We’ll order the ones from AAA later this month when they have the 2014 ones in hand.
We also decided to go the northern route to WDW and the southern route coming home. Believe it or not that is a major decision where campgrounds and such are considered.
No extra paid on the mortgage yet because we are still working on the cc debt.
That’s how we are doing so far on our 3 annual goals
Things have definitely improved. DH reviewed the payment plans I came up with, and I guess he just really hadn’t thought about how long we’d be making payments, if we went with the minimal payments he’d originally preferred. Sometimes having stuff laid out on paper can be a reality check, even though we think we’ve done the math in our head. So we’re going with a middle-of-the-road approach, working with a three-month payback plan. That was faster/more than he wanted, slower/less than I wanted, so it was a pretty good compromise. And I think the landlord will go for it. That’s a big chunk of change to come in each month for the next three months as far as the landlord is concerned, and then we’ll be square again.
A lot of stuff went sorta wrong in 2013, even though we had more farm sales than any previous year. We missed several important harvest dates such that our costs went way up. Some of that was lack of planning, some was lack of follow-through, some just Murphy. So we also talked about how to ensure that we didn’t make those mistakes again, and/or how to apply some Murphy repellent to our operation. We’re scaling back a little bit so that we can do what we’re already doing, better. We’re also focusing on what we know will bring in money, or save money, rather than trying a spattering of things which sound good but don’t pay off. We’ve got some solid product streams figured out and now we really need to hammer on the marketing end to ensure we sell everything we produce. So now I feel like we’re on a constructive path again, figuring out how to make things work better in 2015, rather than harping on each other for mistakes made in the past. That’s definitely an improvement.
Today also happened to start the 2015 kidding season, with the arrival of a nice healthy little goat kid, after an easy delivery. That always helps my mood. Maybe I should name her Millie. Maybe tonight I’ll finally be able to sleep without having bad/disturbing dreams about all this stuff.
Praying it has smoothed out for you. I would feel as you do, the landlord is a personal as well as business relationship so that would have gotten money out of savings faster than the utilities for me. But, you’ve made a lot of progress with being on the same page and talking about all this stuff so hopefullu this is just a blip, hoping it’s all better by now.
I probably was crankier and snippier yesterday than I needed to be, with the whole vehicle abandonment thing. Life here has not been going well in January. DH and I are back to arguing about fundamental financial stuff. He took over the farm accounting in December and has done a fantastic job of getting those records cleaned up and organized. Then he said he wanted to start taking care of paying our utilities, which was another burden off my shoulders, so I agreed. Then he set up a very aggressive utilities payment schedule, dipping into savings to get all those accounts current and keep them there. So far so good, and I was frankly very surprised he was willing to go into savings to do that. But we had our primary land rental renewal payment due as of yesterday, and he’s refusing to pay it. We also have a hay balance due to our landlord (same individual as the land rent) and DH has been saying for three months that he’ll figure out a way to pay him back but so far hasn’t done so. Which means that we are in debt to our primary business vendor, a man I consider a mentor and even a grandfather figure, to the tune of $4100 with no set schedule for paying him back. Keep in mind that as of November 1st, we owed this man zero. All that debt has been acquired, either through hay purchases or land rental, in the last three months. Neither of those costs were a surprise – we’ve been renting land and buying hay from him for years. Yet all of a sudden it’s this big scary thing that (supposedly) came out of nowhere. And as of this morning we’re dead in the water for conversations between us about how to rectify that. Paying this bill in full, today, would use less than 1/10 what we have in savings. Not paying it means we’ll be paying 5x more for hay this year, because we’ll lose our pasture AND our hayfield. If we lose that land, and/or if our landlord decides he doesn’t want to deal with us anymore, this farm business as such is a big flaming train wreck. All that was coming to a head yesterday.
I sat down last night and wrote out a bunch of different options for the payback schedule, ranging from paying it all now out of savings like DH did with the utilities, to paying it out in ridiculously small increments which would have us making payments well into 2015. I have no idea if we’re going to be able to choose one or not this weekend. I also have no idea if our landlord will accept whatever payment plan we come up with, since he’s already within his rights to cancel our land rental and rent to someone else. Stuff here is really tense at the moment and I can’t believe after all this time, we’re still arguing about this crap. The farm business might very well be decided this weekend. Just please send us prayers or warm fuzzies or something so that we can chart a reasonable and constructive course through this latest crisis. A course which doesn’t have one or the other of us moving out. Yes, it’s that bad.
I’m a newbie and I’m happy to finally see some chatter here. I’m new to Dave Ramsey’s system and loving it! We’ve been using the snowball effect to pay down some silly debt we have (credit cards- ugh!) and it’s working wonderfully! We’ve paid off 4 in the last few months and it feels great. I haven’t actually started the envelope system yet – but I plan to. I have however developed a budget, etc.
Look forward to talking with you more