Making Changes: It Ain't Easy

Talk is cheap.
Talking about changing our expenses and our income was easy. Implementing some of those changes? Well, that is much harder, but the changes are coming along slowly.
On the expense side, we did cancel our trash service. My husband called to cancel the XM, and they offered him three months free with no strings attached. So, we still have the XM for another three months. We have not gotten the cell service switched over. That involves my mom and I both being available during the cell service business hours. We plan to take care of this expense tomorrow.
The huge burden is our rental house. We've wanted to sell that house since we moved out of state. We did have it on the market when we moved. It didn't sell. Shortly after that the economic troubles started in that area. Keeping it as a rental has been a huge drain on our time and finances.
We contacted a realtor and friend to see about putting it on the market again. He looked up the recent sales in a one mile radius. Our house is not in the best neighborhood. A one mile radius from it would cover some much nicer neighborhoods, and some worse neighborhoods. The top selling price in that area was less than we still owe on our house. The average selling price was 60% less than what we refinanced for almost five years ago. I knew that market was bad, but did not grasp the extent of it.
The realtor suggested considering a Deed in lieu of foreclosure in addition to the short sale that has already been suggested. The next step is to call the bank, explain our situation, and see if they are willing to work with us. We wonder if they will be willing to work with us since we are current on the mortgage, but we will not be able to stay current when we start paying on our student loans. I guess we just call, and see what happens.
On the income side, my head was spinning after all the discussion on that post. The ideas and possibilities were swirling in my head, but I was not making progress on any of them. I finally had to sit down and put it on paper. I listed and prioritized the ideas.
I would love to pull many of those ideas together into an educational consulting business. I would mainly work with homeschoolers I think, but I could also offer support and tutoring for other families. Getting something like this started would require a lot of time and energy. I just do not think I am up to right now. This has become more of a long term goal, and is at the bottom of the list.
In the short term, we need to generate some cash. I'm keeping my eyes open for part time jobs, and getting the word out that I'm available for child care and tutoring. I went and took the Census Jobs Test. It should be only a matter of time until I get a phone call for that job. The pay is good for part time, twelve to fourteen dollars an hour in my area, and the hours are fairly flexible.
I have also signed up to take tester training with a local home schooling group. This does involve a little time and a little money, but is a piece of my long term goal that may bring some profit this spring. The hours would be completly flexible, and the pay is good.
In the meantime, preparing my tax return, getting clothing ready for a local consignment sale, and selling my cloth diapers are at the top of my list of income generating activities. An acquaintance also approached me about teaching her some gardening and cooking skills. She also offered to watch my children any time I needed. I was very touched by her offer, and can't wait to get started.
Then at the bottom of the list is pursuing writing opportunities, beyond what I am already committed to. I would love to just earn a living by writing, but the pay for beginners just isn't enough.
Talk comes easy, but implenting change is a harder, slower process. It is coming though. I know it will pay off.

Image Credit: Darren Hester

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