What? Prepping for What??


I’m going to depart from my usual “Prep Monday” post and dedicate this week to our efforts to stop the closing of our bookstore, All on the Same Page. You’ll be seeing a lot of posts, here, there, and everywhere, simply because I have a hard time giving up! Besides, this is it – we’ve raised about one-tenth of the cash needed to keep going, and our decision deadline is Sunday, January 26.

So. In light of that, below is a repeat of last week’s “Bookstore Wednesday” post. Damn. I hate the “F” word: failure. And I hate to lose.

It’s come down to this: IF All on the Same Page Bookstore is to remain open, we need to get some cash. So we’ve come up with a novel (ahem) approach:

PATRON – $500 annually  

One new book each month, in-store or special order

Four used books each month, in-store

Free coffee or tea each visit

Choice of one ARC per visit

VIP – $350 annually 

One new book each month, in-store or special order

Free coffee or tea each visit

Choice of one ARC per visit

GOLD – $250 annually                                                                      

Four used books each month, in-store

Free coffee or tea each visit

SILVER – $175 for six months                                                           

One new book each month, in-store or special order

Free coffee or tea each visit

BRONZE – $150 for six months                                                        

Four used books each month, in-store

Free coffee or tea each visit

*THIS JUST IN – we have options, too, for those of you who live out-of-town – or even outside the US!

It’s simple, really: you purchase one of these memberships, avail yourself of all the perks, and we get to stay open! In effect, you’re paying for your books in advance.

Like I said before, crowd funding websites and their programs have been done to death around here this year, but this is something a bit different. You’re getting actual value for your money, besides the helping out part, instead of just a t-shirt or a coffee mug or whatnot.

See, every small business has its ups and downs, and most end up closing because of cash flow problems – if they could hang on a bit longer, and/or have more operating capital to continue and to grow, they could last long enough to develop a real following, a larger customer base.

And that’s our plan. We can do it, with your assistance – and how cool would it be to say, “Yeah, I belong to a bookstore!”

Buying a House


One word: don’t. Not until you can pay cash.

Disclaimer: this may not be sound advice, as I’m far, far from being financially savvy. It will, however, save you lots of time and trouble and, quite probably, help preserve your sanity!

Here are a few nuggets from our recent experience – we’re closing Wednesday, so I feel pretty safe in saying that’s all over but the shouting….

First, if your credit score is below, oh, 1,000,000 or so, don’t even make the attempt. Ours was pretty bad, but better than most – however, as we set about making changes and raising that score, the powers-that-be kept raising the numbers for the “best deal.” We’d be SO close, then hear: I’m sorry, it might take a bit longer; you’re not quite “there”. Which is pretty subjective, after all.

Next, there are copies. Everyone involved wants a copy of everything: your realtor, the seller’s agent, the mortgage broker, the closers, the title company, all the admin assistants involved with everyone, the insurance guys, the half-brother’s cousin’s sister’s husband…oh wait, maybe that last one was a mistake. Oops. Who was that guy anyway??

Invest in a very good scanner, lots of ink, a PC able to handle multi-tasking without melting into a puddle, and reams of paper, including the legal size. You’ll need it all, because at some point you’re going to run out of something that you.must.have.right.now.

Phone calls. Upgrade your cell plan immediately. You will get texts and calls at all hours, even if you “don’t text;” sometimes you’ll get calls to confirm that you received an email that was sent approximately 5.7 seconds prior to the call. And don’t think you can shut that baby off at 5pm – nope, better leave it on and attached to your body by your method of choice until at least 9pm. At least.

And I’m sure you’ve heard that the money folks will be looking up your behind with a magnifying glass. It’s true. Be prepared. Any deposit over $100 that shows on your bank statement will be questioned. And you better have proof of its origins. And copies of the check deposited; and the deposit slip; and the source. On one memorable occasion last week, we had to provide a copy of a 401k statement; then a copy of the statement showing the withdrawal, a copy of the transaction itself, a copy of the statement AFTER the withdrawal, a copy of the check, and a copy of the deposit slip. Kid you not.

It was brutal.

We’ve been living in this house for 8 months. Not common, but certainly not unheard of – a few days ago, I received correspondence from the title company. Sent on July 6. To my old address. From last FALL. This is the same title company who is supposed to be checking on liens, judgments, title transfers, etc. for the house that we’re buying – and in which we live. I’m supposed to trust their research? My address is, literally, on every.single.piece.of.paper we have thus far signed, provided, faxed, emailed, copies, etc., etc. And they DON’T KNOW IT?

Oy. Thank goodness it’s almost over. I can’t imagine doing this again. Ever. Unless I somehow acquire oodles of cash. Which, of course, I will have to document like crazy!