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Popping In With An Update

February 20th, 2016 at 11:50 am

One of these days I'll be back more regularly.
I have certainly missed you all and want to catch up on everyone's blogs.

The kids and I are doing well. Naturally emotional ups and downs. Financially I have been in a very solid and comfortable position. I'm beyond thankful for that since dealing with everything would be 100 times more difficult if I couldn't make ends meet.

Certainly the children and I would have been better off if there had been some life insurance, but that was not in place. Giving us a financial foothold is the children's monthly death benefits from Social Security.

No benefits for me because I make too much. However, if I ever made less due to reduced hours or job loss I would be able to receive money then.

In other financial news I decided to refinance my house. Refinancing to a conventional loan saves me $114/mo in PMI (FHA loan). I also consolidated the HELOC and my cc debt which saves me several hundred a month in minimum payments.

I was initially resisting the idea of paying off my cc's with my house. But, reducing my amount of outflow every month was the deciding factor.
My new mortgage payment will be $280 more per month than it is currently. I have been paying $315/mo just for the HELOC payment and several hundred more to credit card payoff.

The amount that we receive from SS each month is enough to cover the mortgage and utilities.

My future is a huge question mark.
Who knows how long I'll be living in my current home.
Being able to save a large amount of cash to an EF seems to be the best plan for me right now.

As part of the refi I had to have an appraisal. Housing is ON FIRE here.. It's crazy.
Anyhow, house appraised for $455k!
We purchased it for $265k seven years ago.
It boggles my mind.

Next up working on my taxes...

Y'all take care. I'm looking forward to catching up more soon.

Merry Christmas 2015

December 25th, 2015 at 09:18 am

Merry Christmas to my SA friends!

We are doing probably better than expected. Especially considering the holiday season.

I will be back on more regularly in the New Year...
Smile

November 4, 2015

November 10th, 2015 at 09:11 pm

Thank You to everyone here on SA for the support and kind comments.

DH passed in his parent's home last Wednesday evening.

The kids and I are doing as well as can be expected. Taking comfort from our routine and lots of support from family and friends.

November 1, 2015

November 1st, 2015 at 11:06 am

Life has been turned upside down..

In my last post, several months ago, DH was heading back to work.
He did for two days.. Then quit/went back on disability due to anxiety.
He started drinking more.
The end of August I asked him to visit his parents for a trial separation.
After a few days it was clear to me that I didn't want to live with him anymore and I was going to start the divorce paperwork.
October 4th he was hospitalized with liver failure.
October 6th he had his 40th birthday.. Clinging to life in the ICU.
Kidney failure soon followed.
For a short period it looked like he might pull through.. There was some improvement.. But then a rapid decline. Now his body cannot handle anymore dialysis.
Today he goes home to his parent's house for hospice care.
He does not have long.
It is all so surreal to me..

DH Heading Back to Work (& Other Stuff)

July 5th, 2015 at 09:52 pm

Okay, "Other Stuff" first.

Been super busy at work.

The new co-worker is doing fine and we get along well.

My boss gave me a $1/hour raise! Big Grin

Our local fair was in town recently. I entered a table setting again.
It was set for the fair's theme and won a first place - $15 prize.

Our friend took us into the fair again for free this year.
I went three times.. once was girl's night. Big Grin

DH and I did make it to the gym *almost* every day since my last post. Smile
(Between work, gym, fair and home I had very little down time lately.)

The kids and I bought DH a Fit Bit for Father's Day.
He has really liked it and using it seems to help him motivate.

DH's stress test for his heart function was all completely normal and is regular physician cleared him to return to work.

His doctor did refill the anxiety medication.
DH has started talking to me more about what causes him anxiety. Some of it is from his crazy mom - her guilt trips and passive aggressive bulls**t. Angry

And he is nervous about returning to work tomorrow.

DH Health Update & Feeling Motivated

June 18th, 2015 at 01:14 pm

DH had an appointment this morning with the pulmonologist. Just a routine recheck. Everything has checked out normally thus far - Good!
His blood pressure is still slightly high.
The doctor wants one more test - a stress test. DH is already scheduled for this Monday. I am so glad we don't have to wait weeks to get that done like we did for the two echocardiograms.
Fingers Crossed it turns out normal.
That should then mean his heart is totally normal & in good working order. Big Grin

I've put my head in the sand as far as medical related costs. DH and I are going to sit down together soon and see what needs to be paid. We will ask to be put on a payment plan. The last statement we received showed our amount due was near the $4k mark.

In related news. We started going to the gym together and made the goal of going every day until the end of June.

I kept suggesting he go to the gym while I was gone at work. Pretty quickly realized he didn't want to go alone. Fine, I'll go too - it's not like I don't need to go to the gym also! Wink

I have also been encouraging him to join me when I walk the little path by our house in the mornings. I just do 8 to 10 minutes before I get ready for work. It is so lovely and smells so good in the mornings it gets the day started off on the right foot so to speak.

What I realized recently is that as much as I love my DH I cannot MAKE HIM improve his health. Sure I can support him and make suggestions, but otherwise I cannot change HIM. So let me shift my focus - I CAN change ME. Big Grin
That said, I am concentrating on working out, avoiding to much junk food and de-stressing.

(Sounds corny) But I can be the best me I can be!

Update III: May Spending

June 17th, 2015 at 07:06 am

I have been waiting to post because I have pictures to share and the site has been having issues.
Finally, here it is. Smile


We celebrated DS' 5th birthday with a party at a local park. This park has pony rides, train rides and a bouncy house on the weekends. It was a big hit. We invited 24 kids and had 17 attend. Smile

It was race car themed.
I saw this cute idea to put yellow lines on black tablecloths so they looked like a road. Dollar store plastic tablecloths and a roll of yellow tape = easy.

I set out snack food so everyone could just graze as they wanted since the kids were on the move all over the park.
Including a make-your-own trail mix set-up that I named "Nuts and Bolts".
Carrots & celery sticks with hummus I called "Dipsticks". Big Grin

I baked the cupcakes and my sister decorated them into this cute pull-apart cake.
(The road is shaped into a 5.)



Total spent for the picnic area rental, activity passes, food and decor came to $278.
We had a lot of leftover food. In fact we are still munching on trail mix goodies.

-----

My birthday was celebrated with a semi-surprise trip to Vegas.



**Bellagio fountain

I say semi because my parents knew my BFF had invited us to join her and her hubby for a weekend trip, but we had declined due to cost. So my parents surprised me by paying for our hotel and tickets to the Cirque show "O" I've been wanting to see for years.
I made the reservations and we paid for transportation and food.

Our airfare was $69/pp/each way with Southwest.
(My mom just told me about $39 fare to Vegas in August!)

We had two vouchers for BOGO 1/2 priced to the hotel's buffet. To save money we'd have a large breakfast and that would keep us going until dinner.

We bought passes for the bus that runs up and down the strip (The Deuce) for $16.
DH picked up a new ball cap at the M&M store that ended up being 50% off, so we paid $12.
We bought my sister a souvenir ($9) because she was watching our house and kids.
We each had $50 to gamble with.
Airport parking was $42.
Our total spent was $562.



**Mirage volcano & Venetian canals

Update II: DH

June 4th, 2015 at 06:39 pm

Thankfully, (**knocking wood** here) DH has not had to go into the ER anymore. Smile
He had his sleep test and has been using a CPAP machine every time he sleeps. It is making a big improvement in his quality and quantity of sleep - just as everyone said it would. The machine he has been using is a loaner from the doctor. Today he finally got the paperwork through and ordered a machine of his very own. He will pick it up tomorrow. No insurance coverage on it, so we paid $465 out of pocket for it.

He had a second echocardiogram on June 1st. It was one with a contrast medium. They are specifically looking at how the pulmonary veins are functioning. This is what supplies the oxygen to the heart muscle. The heart itself looks to be in good working order.
I am of the opinion that the times he was having chest tightness/pain it was from panic attacks and not from heart issues. None of the tests ever confirmed a heart attack or any heart disease. The ER doctor who said "mild heart attack" also told him his cholesterol was "sky-high" when the truth was that it hadn't even been checked. When DH's regular doctor did do the test a few days later it was normal - actually quite good considering the crap he eats. So it seems to me that the ER doctor was going for the shock & awe, scare you straight route. I REALLY don't like that style of doctoring, however I think my DH needed to be scared a little bit so he would get serious about changing things.

Currently, he is off work. His doctor has him off until July 1st.
His boss is having to do a lot more of the "real" work. I hope this will teach him to appreciate DH more!

I have told him this will be a great opportunity for him to spend time with the kids (school ends this week). Beach, pool, lake, discovery museum, mini golf, etc.. Free or very low cost, low stress fun outside of the house.

Update I: Work Related

May 31st, 2015 at 03:30 pm

It has been a busy May. I have been wanting to blog, but have been feeling overwhelmed and unmotivated.

Unfortunately, my boss' wife was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer mid-way through the month. Frown
It really came out of nowhere. She had some mild pain in March, but that had resolved. Then she was having shortness of breath at the end of April and the doctors saw some fluid accumulation in her chest. They started the string of diagnostics to rule things in or out (heart, lungs, infection etc..). When they drained the fluid and analyzed it it was full of cancer cells.

Naturally my boss has been a mess. To make it worse they are totally f***ked in the financial department.
(You might recall previous posts about poor money management and being in bankruptcy for the second time.)
He had to keep coming in to work, even while she was hospitalized, because he doesn't have enough reserve to even miss more than one day of income.
Really bad. And sad, sad, sad.


Due to these circumstances he didn't pay close attention to his bank account and bounced almost every check/charge that week - including paychecks...
Yeah. Frown

By the time I see that my paycheck bounced it was two days until payday again. Deposited that check and naturally my bank puts a hold on the funds until they know the check will clear. Arrgg!!

Received our third, post-diagnosis, paycheck this last Friday. It is in my purse right now.. I have decided to cash it (well, try to) tomorrow.

So yeah, as it stands he paid me cash for the bounced check and my fees associated with it.
The following check is tied up in Hold limbo until later this week.
The current check might get cashed tomorrow.. hopefully.
This is especially inconvenient since my income is the only income for my family right now.
(DH has applied for his disability and we are waiting for the first check.)

My co-worker, N, as had enough. She feels like now is the right time to move on - I think she is making the right move.
She has been thinking of moving to a lower cost of living area. She found a place this last week.
(A place where she will be renting *a house* for the same cost as she had been renting *a room* from her friend.)

I am very sad she is going. We have worked together for 13 years.
She is leaving pronto - tomorrow is the last day we will work together! Frown

Things are not feeling so great, or hopeful, at work right now.

Save $100 with Ting! Great Grad (or Dad) Gift!

May 31st, 2015 at 01:49 pm

I have been using Ting mobile service for almost three years now. Can't say enough about how much I've loved the *big* money savings from Ting. Or the excellent Ting customer service!

For our DD's 8th grade graduation gift we are upgrading her phone to a Samsung SG3. It is a refurbished one we purchased from the Ting store.

Her current phone was a refurb from the Ting store and it has served her well these last two years.
I really like that we can buy used and save some big money - since most teens are going to abuse their phone right away anyway - *almost* new is good enough. Smile

So, if you are looking for a sensible grad gift, or maybe Father's Day gift, check out Ting right now and save $100 smack-a-roos! Big Grin

Details directly from Ting:

From now until 11:59pm ET on June 8, the Ting Refer a Friend program is offering you $100 to try Ting mobile phone service. If you sign up and activate a phone, I'll also receive a $50 credit.
Once you join Ting, you'll be able to refer your friends too.

https://zlibcgmej.ting.com

That's my unique referral URL and the key to this offer. Click it or copy & paste.
You must use this to receive $100 off select phones in the Ting shop or a $100 service credit if you bring your own phone to Ting.

Speaking of which, the phone you already own will probably work with Ting. Go to the Ting compatibility checker to find out for sure.



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DS is FIVE! (and Five Years Blogging Here)

May 5th, 2015 at 11:26 am

Today our DS turns five years old! Wow, has the time flown!

We are going to have a party this weekend in one of the city parks. We haven't had a big party for any of his birthdays, so he is very excited. Smile

DH is doing well. I'll update more later.

I missed my blogoversary which was a week ago - Five years certainly goes by fast.
I have been too busy at work and at home to make time for any well thought posts. (Right now I'm at work on hold waiting to place an order for medications.)

Thank you to all my SA friends here for reading and supporting me. It is a pleasure to visit here and share about our lives - financial & otherwise.
Smile

Moving Along

April 27th, 2015 at 08:30 pm

DH is slowly working on repairing his health. He had some chest tightness on Friday and rushed to the hospital, but everything was fine. His anxiety working him into a panic attack.

His breathing is so much better. Back to normal. I think it took him this long to completely recover from the pneumonia.

His sleep test / cpap machine test is supposed to happen this Friday.

I am proud of him so far. He is really being serious about talking with his doctor, eating better and researching information. He has cut his drinking down to a single beer per day. Of course no alcohol would be better. But this is a man who used to drink a tumbler of whiskey almost every evening, so I'll accept this as moving in the right direction.

Another Trip to the ER

April 21st, 2015 at 10:19 pm

DH was having burning chest pain early this morning. His chest was also really tight and he was feeling dizzy. So after tossing and turning for a little bit he asked me to take him to the ER.

We checked into the ER at 2:45am.
He had an EKG, blood work, a chest x-ray, nebulizer treatment and also a chest CT scan.
They did a second EKG because there was a slight irregularity in the first one. It was still there in the second one. From that the doctors concluded it is very likely he had a mild heart attack recently!
OMG! Frown
The cardiologist didn't seem too concerned at this point. He said DH can turn this around by getting healthy.
As I've said before, he has really packed on the weight - the bad belly fat type. And he drinks way too much alcohol.
It is a "wake-up call" and so far DH is taking it seriously.

They discharged him from the ER at 8:15am this morning right after seeing the cardiologist. He has been feeling fine since.

This morning we paid $176 at the ER. Which is a weird amount.. our ER co pay is supposed to be $250 so I don't know where that amount came from?

Friday he has an echocardiogram (ultrasound of his heart). Positive thoughts please!

*Had* to Update Quicken

April 17th, 2015 at 09:34 pm

I bought Quicken Deluxe in 2012 at Costco for $20.
I had never used Quicken before and quickly fell in love with using it. Honestly, I open and update our accounts in Quicken probably three to four times each week. I love the colored charts and how easy it is to track every penny. I also use it to plan my bill paying a month ahead of time.
It's like a game for me when I'm on Quicken. Smile
(My DH has even referred to me paying bills/accounting as "playing on the computer"!)

About two months ago I started getting messages about how if I didn't update to the latest edition I would lose the ability to download transactions directly into the program. This is a big deal for me. It saves mucho time to just click a button and have all my financial accounts updated. Oh sure the program would still work after May 1st; I'd just be manually entering all transactions.

Had I known at the beginning of the year they would shut off the auto downloading I might have bought it at Costco again. They have Quicken on special every January. I checked the price now - $49.99.

The biggest rip-off is the maker of Quicken - Intuit - says "upgrade now and we will give you $10 off". The cost on their website is $74.99, so $64.99 for all the loyal current customers. The highest price out of anywhere I checked.

Last night I broke down and purchased the 2015 version through Amazon - downloaded and installed it with about three clicks. That process was very easy and smooth.

So far the new version works the same as the old one that I was quite happy with, plus these "improvements".
* The chart and graph colors are in a new color scheme - whatever. Rolleyes
* Some things have been moved from one side of the screen to the other - I find that annoying.
* I get my credit score listed in the side bar - wow (not).
* You can access your account from your phone - I opted out of that for now as I want to try to limit exposure to sensitive account info.

It cost $39.99 on Amazon. BUT, I still had gift card money from the CC rewards so it cost $0!
*Silver Lining* Big Grin

And honestly, $40 every three years for something I use so often is a good deal. I just hate being pushed into it.

Spoke Too Soon? .. Hubby Still Not Well.

April 11th, 2015 at 03:23 pm

DH was having more burning chest pain on Wednesday morning, so back in to see the doctor. This doctor took more time with DH than the three previous doctors did. He spent time explaining things to DH. Ordered lab tests and referred him to a pulmonologist.

DH saw the pulmonary specialist on Friday. That doctor was good because he was brutally honest about DH needing to lose weight, eat healthier and cut out the excessive drinking. He did say he thought DH could completely get better and this wouldn't be a long term issue (as long as DH takes care of himself) and nothing serious cropped up in the testing.

So far this month we have spent $180 to see doctors and $177 at the pharmacy. Ouch.
The *little* silver lining is that we finally opened our HSA on March 15th. (Just in time I guess.)
Now I'm replacing money as fast as I'm drawing it out. Hope my effort will pay off at tax time.

DH has to take a short class in order to get the equipment to do the sleep apnea test at home. That class has been scheduled and I don't *think* there is any fees, but I don't know.
It seems certain that he will need one of those CPAP machines. I have no guess on how much that will cost. But, everyone we know who has experience in the sleep apnea area says this little machine makes a world of difference.

All of this is throwing a wrench into the life insurance works. I'm going to keep pushing towards getting that finalized and just hope like crazy nothing turns up that will cause DH to be unqualified for coverage.

Bottom line is I want my hubby to be healthy and happy. The sooner the better!

Where Did March Go? Tahoe Trip. DH had Pneumonia.

April 7th, 2015 at 10:25 pm

I can't believe we are a week into April already! What?!

Catching up here..

In the last half of March we took a four-day family getaway with another family to Lake Tahoe. We rented a house. Which sounds so fancy, but in reality is a reasonably frugal way to vacation. This was the first time we have ever stayed in a vacation rental, but I will definitely do it again.

We split the rental 50/50 with our friends. They have three young kids. We invited a friend for DD to hang out with. That made 10 people total. We paid $100/night ($200/night total) and $75 cleaning fee. The house was plenty spacious for everyone to spread out (four bedrooms & three full baths). The pool table kept the teen girls entertained and actually off their cell phones for a little bit! Big Grin

We ate in the whole time and cooked in the large kitchen; which was nicer than mine at home.
That kept our food spending equal to staying home.

We visited the Discovery museum in Reno at $8/per person. Such a fun place!

The other mom and I had a champagne and goat cheese binge one night in front of the gas fireplace. Glorious. Big Grin

We picnicked at one of the Lake's beaches. No park fees because it was "off-season".




Took the all the kids tubing on the last patch of snow we could find nearby. Splurged $30 for tube rental.

Woke up to a dusting of snow one morning to everyone's delight - especially the four youngsters. Smile




Then when we got home DH started saying how much his chest was hurting. We thought that his asthma was flaring up. But, by the next day he was really hurting. A trip to the ER confirmed pneumonia. Frown
(Is this year going to be the year of medical expenses?? I sure hope not!)

He was pretty sick for about a week. Breathless and tired. And coughing of course.

Doing much better now, but not 100% yet. Did go back to work last Thursday on limited duties.
No sick leave pay for the days he was out. Frown

One good thing is that he is getting a sleep test for his sleep apnea. Something I've been saying for several years he should do...

Updates - Painting Rant. Binge Watching TV.

March 8th, 2015 at 09:18 am

Work, home projects and binge watching the past seasons of Downton Abbey and Mad Men have kept me from posting recently.

Work:
On the work front things are going well. It's been pretty busy most days. I've been going through the database deleting old product codes and changing prices.
I told my boss that I'm increasing prices so he can afford to give me a raise. Smile

Home:
I finished painting the pine bookcase for DS's room a few weekends ago. I bought a "tester" quart of blue paint (matching the bunkbed color) for $5 for the outside and used leftover yellow to paint the inside of it. It's colorful. I am pleased with how it turned out. It is great having appropriate storage for the books!

However, it's not all sunshine and puppy kisses here.
I am beyond frustrated with painting the interior doors! I think I am learning more about paint and technique then I ever cared to know.

They are smooth doors with a decorative molded panel. They look like this:



I am too much of a perfectionist to stand any brush marks.

A firm foam roller gave a nice finish to the doors. But I got some areas of "flashing" (That's where the sheen of the paint looks shiner on one roller pass vs. the one next to it).

A professional painting contractor lives around the corner. He recommended Sherwin-Williams paint and a high quality brush.
Tried that yesterday - terrible!
Talked to the Sherwin-Williams guy - we might need a "latex extender" because the paint is drying too fast it's not spreading out to cover the brush strokes.

I think the ideal way would be to use a paint sprayer. But, we don't have one and the cost to buy one is too high. The cheap ones don't have good reviews. We could rent one. It's an option.

Today I am going to try the SW paint with a 4" mohair roller based on some tips I read online.

*SO* frustrating because it is a relatively simple task I'd like to do myself, but we keep spending more money and time and not getting it right.
OK - End Rant.

Binge Watching:
I signed up for the Free 30 day trial of Prime in order to get the quilts for DS's room in two days.

Now I'm using the Prime to watch Downton Abbey seasons 1 thru 3. I started watching last year (season 4) so it has been a treat to binge on all the episodes I haven't seen.

Mad Men I've been DVRing on cable. They have been airing four episodes on Sunday mornings. During the week after everyone has gone to bed I'll watch two episodes one night and two on another. There have been a few nights I watched all four and didn't go to bed until 1:30am! Big Grin

Prepared & E-Filed Our Taxes for $12

February 26th, 2015 at 03:53 pm

Actually it cost us $11.66. Big Grin

I use FreeTaxUSA.com. I have been using it since 2006 and keep coming back. Very easy to use. Super affordable. No hidden fees!

If you haven't done your taxes yet and want to give this site a try. Here is a coupon code to save 10% - FREETAXUSA10

Third Time a Charm

February 22nd, 2015 at 08:53 am

Friday I applied for the Costco AmEx card again.
(You all may recall I have applied for this card twice before and been rejected - not because of bad credit either.)
It has been almost a year since I last applied.

When I didn't get this card last year I got the WF Propel AmEx. That worked out great because it had a big bonus. Smile
But, the Propel card has an annual fee and I will need to cancel it soon.

This year I was approved for the Costco AmEx!
(Hence the "Third Time a Charm" title.) I think I was approved this time because the Southwest card I just closed had such a large credit line that it made the credit:debt ratio much "better" looking.

This card has no annual fee and 3% back on gas, 2% on travel & restaurants, 1% on all else.
I like having an AmEx to use at Costco since that is the only CC they accept... for now.
I read they are going to take other cards in the near future. Having this card might be a moot point there, but 3% on gas purchases is nice.

Fist Full of Gift Cards (CC Rewards)

February 19th, 2015 at 01:57 pm

Still busy painting here... Now I'm doing a bookcase for DS's room.

I did get my Chase Southwest points redeemed for $600 in gift cards. When I took them all out of the shipping envelope it really was a fist full of cards. Big Grin

I was able to purchase the new bedding for DS's bunk bed almost completely with some of those CC reward gift cards.

I spent just under $10 to cover what the gift cards didn't. Such a sweet feeling!

And, earlier this week I cancelled the card and had the $99 annual fee refunded. So all is good.

Catching Up - Been Busy with Bedroom Makeover!!

February 12th, 2015 at 02:18 pm

The past few weeks have been so busy for me. Any time I had for the computer was spent updating Quicken, paying bills, shopping for said bedroom or checking email. I did stop in here at SA to read blogs, but I was too tired or pressed for time to post anything.

The project has been clearing out DS's bedroom.
It started with needing to get him a new bed.
He has been sleeping in his crib - converted to toddler daybed, and he is getting too big for that. So I spent a chunk of time shopping for bedroom furniture. After some debate we decided to go the bunk bed route to give us an extra bed for guests. (Visitors currently have the choice of couch or cot.)

I had been searching Craigslist every few days since before Christmas. Saw a few serviceable beds and a whole lot of beds I didn't want. Some beds I saw in stores were so flimsy I was afraid to climb up on them. And some beds I liked were nearly $1800!
Anyway, it was a process. I ended up buying a sturdy bed from a local chain store that cost more than a flimsy bed, but half the price of the Pottery Barn bed that it looks exactly like.
I asked for an early President's Day weekend discount. That saved me the sales tax.
And asked for a discount on the matching chest dresser, which they gave me $50 off. That made me happy I was pushy and asked for a discount.

BUT, before I could have this lovely new big-boy bunk bed delivered I wanted to clean up DS's room.
That morphed into painting a wall yellow (his choice), touching up paint on the other walls, FINALLY painting the room doors, FINALLY painting and installing baseboard and door trim.
I've been doing a lot of painting... darn yellow wall took three coats before it looked right!

But the mess and aching back have been worth it - I am so pleased that one room in my house is 100% trimmed out and clean! Big Grin

The baseboards especially are my favorite. DH's too. We are actually chomping at the bit to do the hallway which has un-painted, un-calked baseboard right now.

I have been using gift cards from the Southwest bonus to purchase the new bedding for the room. That has meant more of my time spent shopping online for just the right things. Smile

There is a light at the end of the tunnel.. the bunk bed is being assembled by the deliveryman right now as I type this!!

Side Money & More CC Cashback

January 24th, 2015 at 12:44 pm

I took on a last minute cat sitting job twelve days ago. The owners are clients where I work and one of their cats was diagnosed with diabetes three days before they were headed to Hawaii. I agreed to make twice daily visits to their house to give insulin injections since the house sitter was not comfortable medicating the cat. It has been a big time commitment and extra driving, but I am happy to report that the kitty is doing very well on his insulin injections. Smile

I will make $520 gross. I haven't looked at my gas expenses yet. Their house is 19 miles one-way from my house, but only 2 miles from my office.
I'm so glad the gas prices have come down recently!

On Thursday I cashed in $25.54 points for account credit on a Chase account.

And $125 worth of account credit to a Wells Fargo account.

Next, I need to gift card shop ($600+) with my Southwest points. I don't think there is a cash option there.. I didn't see one.

2014 Recap

January 24th, 2015 at 12:18 pm

I have been so busy with work, side work and family activities. So, before January ends I'd like to quickly recap 2014 and lay down loose plans for this year.

2014 GOALS

$6k EF [X]
- $6500 on 12/31/14

$2k Car Savings
- No Change. Still $1k.

CC Balance to $8k or less
- Balances total $10,170 on 12/31/14

Replace Roof [X]
- Took on nearly $15k HELOC to do it. BUT, so glad it's done.

Increase ROTH contributions
- Have not made an increase in the monthly auto withdrawal.

Lose 20lbs
- Lost 8lbs. (And gained it back.. Ugh!)


2015 Goals in side bar.


Cashed in CC Reward

January 10th, 2015 at 08:40 pm



Big Grin
This was our reward from DH's Sapphire Preferred card that we opened for the bonus and charged a portion of the new roof to.

Soon I will be paying off and cashing out the bonus from the Southwest card I opened.

New Insurance & My Trip to the ER

January 7th, 2015 at 07:33 am

Last month I changed the coverage the kids and I had to DH's plan through work. This amounted to a $23/month savings. And, one deductible to meet as a family, rather than two when we had two separate plans. The other change was moving from PPO coverage to HMO coverage. We have used doctors from both "sides" over the years, so I am comfortable with the care we will get.

Yesterday afternoon DS fell on the playground and split his chin open. About an inch long cut. Frown
I thought I might be able to use some surgical glue at work to close it. But, there was too much tension and it looked like it would just pull apart. Unfortunately, pediatrics doesn't suture and all facial lacerations get sent to the ER.

90 minutes, five sutures and $250 later and DS nearly good as new. Smile

How's your 2015 starting out?

Auto Insurance Paid for the Year

January 3rd, 2015 at 03:14 pm

I paid our car insurance for the year in a single payment. It was $579.

This is the third year I've been able to pay it in a single payment using savings. Boy, is it a good feeling. Smile

It's nice that it saves me a little time because I don't have to make the monthly payments. But, I do it because it saves us money.

The insurance company charges a $7/month billing fee. They split the bill into 11 payments, so we save $77 dollars for the year by paying all at once.

I can't think of another bill where we could save by paying all at once.
Do you have any bills that save you money by paying all at once?

Happy New Year!

January 1st, 2015 at 09:13 pm

Wishing everyone a joyful and prosperous 2015.

Had a lot going on here the last few weeks.
Most good, but some a little sad...
My grandpa passed away suddenly and his funeral was a week before Christmas. I was so thankful we had a good visit with him at Thanksgiving. Got some nice pictures with him and the kids too.
He would have been 91 on his birthday this month.

Christmas preparations went smoothly and I finished shopping well before Christmas.

Mailed, or handed out, nearly all of the 50 photo cards I had made from Costco this year. We received about 30 cards. I love getting Christmas cards, especially ones with photos.

Many of the gifts we gave included DD's honey which only cost us the price of the jar it was in. Oh, and the cost of the custom sticker we put on the jars - $0.17/each. Smile

Today I spent some time updating Quicken and scheduling upcoming payments.
I will be firming up goals soon.

New Roof Just In Time For Rain

December 9th, 2014 at 07:20 am

Our new roof was completed the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. And, as it happens, that was also the last stretch of really dry weather. It has been raining on and off since.
Some of the rain was really heavy (so great for us in parched Cali!) and our new roof is keeping us good and dry.

It has been such a HUGE relief to get this big project done, even though we will have more debt, it feels so good to not worry.

I did end up getting two spending bonus reward cards to charge the work to and rake in some quick rewards - I'll post details later.

I did have some concern about the sun tubes after the cautionary comments on my post. I discussed with DH, who had zero concern. Also having them covered in the warranty made me feel more comfortable, so we went ahead.

The tubes have made the hallway so much brighter and larger feeling. Before it was like a long, dark cave. Even with all the overcast days the hallway is brighter then if the light was on, so I am very pleased.




There is a really large storm coming in late Wednesday night and through Thursday. High winds and a predicted 3-5 inches of rain in 24 hours.
Another good "test" for the new roof.

Get $100 Credit from Ting Until December 1st!!

November 28th, 2014 at 08:20 am

WOW!

If you are thinking about signing up for Ting cell phone service NOW is the time!

https://zlibcgmej.ting.com/
By using my referral code (or another SAer's link) you will get $100 towards a phone and / or service.

To sweeten the deal just a bit more, many of the high end smartphones are on Black Friday sales.

Happy Saving to you all!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

November 27th, 2014 at 09:21 am

Happy Thanksgiving to my SA friends!

I am watching the Macy's parade with DS right now.
He was excited to see the Thomas the Tank balloon - so cute. Smile

Have a wonderful day everyone!


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