I’ve been slowly trying to clean out my apartment of all the various excesses that I have accumulated. When my last roommate moved in, it was sort of a last minute thing, so anything I had stored in the spare bedroom closet got crammed into any space I could possibly find. When she left, I pulled a bunch of that stuff out and put it back into the spare bedroom. Now it looks like I might be getting another roommate this summer, so not only do I need to clean out that room again, this time I actually have time to go through things.
I’m not a fan of throwing away things that are usable, so I’ve been putting stuff up onto eBay. Usually, I just agree to ship to the U.S., but since I work by a post office, I figured it wasn’t too hard to ship out of the country. So I recently listed something worldwide. I used eBay’s shipping calculator to figure out how much it would cost to ship and didn’t worry about it. According to eBay, it would cost $18 to ship to the international buyer.
When bidding ended and the purchase was paid for, I took the item to the post office to ship. And it cost $32 to ship. Nowhere near the $18 that I was told. Thankfully, the final bid was high enough that I didn’t lose money, but when it was all said and done, I really didn’t make much money on the sale either.
So now I know better. If I ship internationally, I’m adding a $20 fee to the eBay calculated shipping rate. I don’t like to overcharge for shipping, but I don’t want to take a huge hit either!
(Really? You don’t want to win a book?)
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.