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Friday, December 29, 2023

Do you need a custom contacts database?

This holiday season will be memorable because in the week before Christmas, I was at the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) center in Columbia, MD on the Wednesday and Thursday leading up to the 25th, and on Tuesday, December 26, 2023. Why? Legal issues with transferring an automobile title.

A week prior to all of that, the automobile in question had to have emergency repairs. I thought the repairs were going to be about $1000. The repairs came to $250 plus my very first Uber ride to pick up the car for about $11.00.

Needless to say, along with preparations for the holidays and other business projects, I have been very busy.

Another successful project related to the holidays- getting my mother's holiday cards out the door.

Last year, I gave my mother a new HP Laptop for Christmas. In April 2023, I installed a new version of Microsoft 365 on the laptop. The version of the software I installed on her laptop did not include Microsoft Access, so in November (2023) I installed the Microsoft Access Engine (currently a free program) which allows users to run MS Access applications without the full MS Access installation. Now her contacts database is accessible from her new laptop.

This year, I convinced her to let my program print the recipient addresses on Avery labels I keep in my business stash.

Below, photos of the Avery labels I had on hand and the holiday cards in the mail box ready for pickup.

In November 2022, I ordered 100 USPS Forever postal stamps for about $48. I used 21 of the stamps for this mailing- costing about $10 for postage. The cards were cards she had on hand from earlier years, so the cost of each card was negligible. The return address labels were also free because various charities provide them without charge.

Research provided the following estimates for sending the 21 cards my mother sent out and that of a 200 count order using an outside professional service.

In 2024, I am going to be looking into any number of ways to cut costs. I decided to get started right away.

Hope you are enjoying the holidays.

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