Wednesday, September 10, 2008

when in rome...

Nettie, as you know, Wayne and I have been trying to be more money-concious the past year or so. We have our money envelopes, our retirement funds, and we'll soon have insurance through his new job. Just when I got all the money figured out, along comes Murphy.

Although this time we seem to have gotten Murphy's successful cousin. Or maybe Mrs. Murphy. Wayne's college is sponsoring a trip to Rome in 2010 (which sounds so science-fictiony--oooh, flying cars and living on the moon!). They are actually going to Greece on a ten-day cruise next summer, but ain't no way we can get the money together that quickly. Which would be really cool because we would fly out the day before my 30th birthday, which means I could conceiveably be on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean for my big 3-0. Dammit.

Anyway--ROME! And Florence and Venice, oh my! Museums and cathedrals and guided tours amongst people who don't speak English! I know that might sound like hell on earth to some people, but it's my vision of a rewarding afterlife. The best part is that Wayne can get college credit for the tours, etc. (Tuition is included, as is airfare, hotels, and most meals.) That nine hours of credit would actually work out to be the last nine hours he needs, as he is scheduled to graduate in May of 2010. He could do the whole graduation thing, then we could fly off to Rome, where we would celebrate his degree and my birthday....My birthday in Rome, holy crap!

So now we have to figure out how to pay for all of this. I could work more... Nah. I don't want to kill myself slowly for the next 18 months to enjoy myself for 10 days. That would be way too much pressure on the trip. I would be walking along some plaza and be thinking 'For this I worked all those extra shifts?!?'. Nope.

Just gonna squeeze a penny til it screams. (Not pinch, because that seems like harassment. Just a loving bear hug-like squeeze.) So here's the plan:

1) Statia and I were already planning a garage sale at the end of September, so those funds will go toward Rome.

2) I just received the check for consigning my wedding dress (a whopping $30!).

3) The savings bonds my Mema bought for me in 1979 and 1987. The '79 ones will be fully mature next July (like me, hopefully :), and all together will be ~$600. As we have to make payments in $500 increments to the tour company, that will be just dandy. Plus, my Mema would have loved to go to Rome.

4) Selling my used books at the bookstore instead of trading them for credit. My favorite local bookstore offers a 25% credit for trading in books, or 10% cash. I've always taken the credit, and now I have the highest credit of all her customers. Hm. Maybe it's time to winnow down the bookshelves and make some cash.

5) And I'm spent. Now for the edge-of-reason ideas like selling plasma or hocking my class ring. (It was really cool in 1995, but now notsomuch. Faux emerald and cubic zirconia, anyone?) Any ideas?

I've thought about selling our aluminum cans for cash, but the nearest pay-to-recycle place is all the way across the city, and our tiny amount of cans wouldn't justify the gas out there. Besides the above ideas, I've thought about selling some of my vintage clothes/accessories on Etsy. I even have a stamp collection from my childhood that I've been ripping apart to trade books on Paperbackswap. Hm, sell my stamp collection AND the books instead of mailing them out....

If anyone has anything to add, please let me know. I'll even consider medical testing at this point. I'm going to Rome!!

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