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Rental Property Series: Renovating Our Rental Property

For the past two and a half weeks, we have been working double duty, doing renovations to get our first rental property ready for a tenant. If you missed the first post in this series, check it out here. Brief Recap We purchased this property on August 24, 2012 for $63,000, with 25% down. We didn’t get to take possession until the following Monday because the seller lived out of town and papers couldn’t be filed until then (lost weekend, bummer). We plan on spending $3000-$5000 on renovations. We hope to be done and have a renter by October 1. We are using a property management company and are asking $750/mo for rent. What We’ve Done So Far The day after closing, we made a Herculean trip to Home Depot. It is an hour drive from where we live. We hoped to get almost everything at once to avoid a second trip. My husband and I both work full time, making us weekend warriors on this project. He is a teacher, and it would have been a little too easy if we’d been able to close during the summer when he had every day off. We really like challenges! Weekend #1 Labor ...

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The Low Income Clinic Experiment

Working as an optometrist, I see the realities of people who are uninsured or under insured. Most people wouldn’t consider eyecare in the top categories as far as need. Obviously if you have cancer or need a heart transplant, that would take presidence, but eye care can be quite complex as well. If you are diabetic, have high blood pressure, or take a number of high risk medications, eye health can be severely impacted with few symptoms until the condition is advanced. If you can’t see, it is very hard to perform at your full capacity at work or school. I run a for profit business. If you don’t have insurance or the ability to self pay, you don’t get an examination. My thoughts on this issue began to change a few years back when I received a letter from a patient. She had a friend who had very poor vision. He worked construction for a roofing company. After falling off a couple of roofs, his employer realized he couldn’t see and had to let him go. She explained that he had made some poor life choices, but was trying to do better when he lost this job and had no insurance or extra money to ...

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Can’t Take My Eyes Off These Blogs #4

As you are reading this, husband and I are in Las Vegas for Vision Expo West AND our tenth wedding anniversary. It’s great that they happened on the same weekend. We can take a mini-vacation and write it off as a business expense. Conferences are a great way to get fired up about what you are doing. Hopefully, I will be able to attend Fincon next year for that same reason. If you don’t hear from me for a few days, I must have hit it big and am counting my money. Eyes on the dollar continues to grow, in spite of my inadequacies, because of all the selfless bloggers out there who continue to support me. This week I was featured on several sites. Love back to all you guys. I am doing the list a little early this week, so PLEASE let me know if I missed someone. Andrea gave me the opportunity to go a guest post, In Search of Perfect  at So Over This. It drove up some controversy, so check it out and see what you think. Quick Hits and Weekend Reading-Young Adult Money (I’m glad DC could still do a round up after all he ate ...

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Use Credit Cards to Get Free Clothes

There seem to always be numerous posts about credit cards with all sorts of varied opinions.  You can look at the facts posted by Kurt at Money Counselor. Some think all credit is evil, and we should burst into flames if we apply for a card. Some feel we should make all purchases with a credit card for ease of tracking finances and rewards. I fall somewhere in the middle. If you are smart and disciplined, you can make the best use of credit cards and take advantage of cash or merchandise rewards. I personally hate to spend money on clothes for myself. For the past couple of years, I have gotten almost all my clothes for free.  All I had to do was pay my bills on time. Back in the day, our household did not have a healthy credit card relationship. At our lowest (or highest) point, we owed over $30,000 to Visa, Mastercard, AmEx , and Discover. Since then, we have seen the error of our ways and do not use credit for things we don’t have the money to purchase. When we used to apply for any credit card that was available, I signed up for an Old Navy Visa card.  ...

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September 2012 Goals

September looks to be a very busy month. We are working like mad to get our rental property ready for by October 1. Vision Expo West is being held the same weekend as FinCon. It is the optometrist equivalent of the blogger conference, a bunch of nerdy professional eyeball people looking to possibly learn something and party like the age they think wish they still were. I also remembered that I have scheduled a yard sale later this month, mostly to sell old office furniture before the sale of my business.  I have a couple of other people joining me, so I can’t cancel. I usually do my best work when I’m severely overscheduled. We’ll see if I can keep all the plates spinning. Let’s take a look back at last month’s goals. Blog Goals 1. Publish content at least four times a week until I have 30 posts done. Pass. I’ll keep this goal the same, but it will get harder because of the other things going on. Wish me luck. 2.Comment on at least five blogs each day, with three new ones per week. Blew it out of the water. I love doing this. I’ll also keep this one the same with the above caveats. 3.Learn ...

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