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Archive for April, 2014

Sales Job???

April 29th, 2014 at 07:13 pm

There is an opening for an outside sales rep in our area. This is selling veterinary drugs and supplies.

Lots more money. There is base salary plus bonuses and commission. Potentially triple (or more) than what I make now.

Way more traveling. Sales meetings in other areas, or states. Staffing vendor booths at large conferences.

I know - nothing ventured; nothing gained.

I am actually kind of scared to think about such a change.

Sunday Shopping. Birthday Gifts.

April 27th, 2014 at 06:17 pm

Went to Target this morning.
I rarely shop there, but the new one is so close to the house it is so easy to get in and out.

I went for shampoo, laundry soap, fabric softener, sliced bread and a gift for a birthday party DS went to this afternoon.

For the first time EVER I texted a number to get a coupon.
It was text TARGET the promo text LAUNDRY1 and get $5 off a $20 purchase of laundry related items. The coupon then came online on my smartphone with a barcode that the cashier scanned.
I like the savings, but what about folks without smartphones? I don't like that sort of exclusion.
**ETA: CCF commented that this coupon was online and in their ad. So I feel better about that. **

For the birthday gift - a giant bubble wand in a tube of bubble soap. I bought five at $1.99/each. DS has two parties next weekend, as well as one at the end of the month, AND his own birthday.
I felt like this is something that is high fun value, but easy on the pocketbook. Plus you can refill the tube all summer long. Smile

DH made homemade Alfredo sauce for dinner tonight. He and DD took most of it over to his boss' house for a birthday party there. DS and I opted to stay home. We are using up some old, opened pasta to have our sauce with. DH bought the cheese and cream for about $8 (butter and garlic we already had on hand) - so this was also an inexpensive gift.

*Void After 90 Days* Checks

April 26th, 2014 at 06:59 pm

Friday morning my boss hands me an envelope from one of the monthly inventory "surveys" I do. Inside was the worksheet and the usual $15 check.

Then that afternoon he hands me another envelope from the same company. Now I'm confused 'cause this one had a worksheet and another check.

Looking more closely I see the first envelope was from January. I can only figure it was in an old pile of mail that the boss finally went through? Or hopelessly lost in the mail?

The check was dated January 15 and it had one of those *Void After 90 Days* statements on it.

I went ahead and deposited it in our checking account - hopefully everything will be fine. Once I'm certain it won't be returned I will transfer the money to savings.

The other $15 I am going to use on the "Special Focus".

Getting More Serious About Side Money

April 24th, 2014 at 07:40 pm

Putting a lot more thought into doing more pet sitting. Like actually signing up with professional associations, getting insurance & bonded and creating business cards, maybe a website.

KiKi here on SA has been giving me lots of good info via email - Thank You KiKi! Smile

Brainstorming some business names right now...
Any clever ideas? I want something that reflects caring and professional service.
(Leaning toward - Pawsitively Professional Pet Care)

In other news:

DH had a short day yesterday and a short day today. Frown

I had a survey come into work this morning. It was online and I earned a $20 Amazon gift card. The company is supposed to mail it and it could take up to 10 weeks!
It will be a nice surprise when it does show up.

Treading Water

April 23rd, 2014 at 03:44 pm

Last Friday our paychecks managed to meet our budgeted amount, so that was a good thing.

Need more though..

Easter weekend was very nice. We visited my sister, her DH and their baby. The money we spent was on gas (about $80) to drive there and back. To save money we slept on her living room floor in our sleeping bags instead of getting a hotel room. And we didn't buy any candy or any Easter treats this year - not even one. (My sis did get the kids a few little candies - I was glad for that.) My mom and dad came and brought my Grandpa with them. That was extra nice because we rarely get to see him as he lives so far from us. It was really special.

Yesterday I transferred $5 to the "special focus" just to feel like I was making progress *somewhere*.
I'm only kidding myself because in reality the "special focus" now is just getting enough into the checking account to cover regular bills.

Not going to be able to swing much extra to any of the cc debt for the next few months. Hopefully there will be money to put back into savings starting in June or July.

Some of the savings that I used recently I had earmarked for new tires. The current set we purchased in May 2011 and they are worn. I think I can get by for a few more months without any trouble.

Truck still needs a water pump...

Car Repairs. Two More Short Paydays.

April 13th, 2014 at 06:21 pm

My car was repaired last Sunday.. sort of..

I took it for a little test drive just to be sure it didn't give me any trouble before my commute Monday morning. It was a beautiful late Sunday afternoon. I cruised just out of town and through rolling green hills with houses, gardens and animals. I was really enjoying my drive and then the car started running badly again..

Even worse, actually, because it had no power whatsoever. I was glad I was on a quiet country road with nobody behind me. I puttered for a few miles, pulled into a school parking lot and had to call for a tow home.

I was glad it was only me stranded and that I was in a safe place and not on the side of the highway.
I passed the time by watching baby goats playing in the field next to the parking lot and catching up with games on my phone.

Unfortunately, I was 9 miles from home and we just have basic roadside service that covers up to 5 miles of towing (or to closest repair garage), so we had to pay the 4 mile overage. Frown

Turns out there was a second sensor that needed replacement. The car would run fine until it got hot then it would crap out. Our mechanic neighbor finished that replacement early Tuesday afternoon (and the car has been running great since *KNOCK on WOOD*). We returned the rental car that night - we had it for five days.

$542 - repair
$ 82 - car rental
$ 40 - tow

AND as if that isn't financial headache enough, we had two more paydays short of the weekly income I budget for.

On 4/4 we came up short by $240.
On 4/11 short by $318.

The costs for the repairs and the funds to balance the budget have come out of the now pitifully depleted EF.


Recent Home Sales in My Neighborhood

April 6th, 2014 at 09:29 am

Two houses very near us both went on the market within a few days of each other. These houses are the same size as ours; 1144 sf. Our lot is larger and, in my opinion, a better location at the end of the street.

It is interesting how these homes were presented. Home #1 was polished and had much nicer pictures taken. The listing stated it had been owned by the same family for 30 or so years. The kitchen needs an update - I'm pretty sure that brown & yellow went out in the 70s. Wink

I think the owner of Home #2 needed to get out from under the house quick. The house could've been presented much better. Clutter and fuzzy, dim pictures.

Still, both houses sold in less than 30 days.

House #1:
Sold for $380k (listed at $395k)

Front room looking into kitchen.

** See that big sliding glass door? In our house it's just a big window. Changing the window to French doors is on our home improvement To Do list. **

ETA: I just noticed the color of the paint in this room looks like the exact same as I painted ours!


House #2:
Sold for $365k (listed at $350k)

Front room looking toward kitchen.

A Bathroom (The photo makes the grout look dirty to me, does it to you?)

I am going to update our home's value to $350k. This is conservative, but if we had to sell right away I feel we would easily get at least that amount. (Our house is much prettier than #2 and we could stage for pics as nice as #1.)

IF I value the house at $350k that gives us just over $100k in equity! Big Grin

Do you like looking at pictures of homes for sale?
Have you been looking at sales in your neighborhood or town?

Rented a Car for $10/Day

April 4th, 2014 at 08:45 pm

This morning my car really started coughing and surging. It died twice on the way back home from taking DD to school. Ugh!

DH drove DS to preschool and he drove me to work. I ended up getting there 30 minutes late, but at least I got there.

Without knowing what the problem with the car was or how long it would be out of service I rented a car. I used Costco travel again. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that it was $9.99/day for the weekend - Compact car category. I went to pick it up on my lunch time so I had something to get me and DS home in this evening.

The rental office gave me a Honda Fit. Very peppy!

Anyhow, our mechanic neighbor got my car to do it's "thing" for him and it is a cam shaft sensor that went/going out. He ordered the part and should have it fixed tomorrow.

*fingers crossed* it's quick and somewhat cheap! Smile

I'll address some of the comments from my last post re: my boss ..

First, I have been working with him for nearly 14 years. And he is a nice person. Awful with his finances! Not much business savvy. BUT, really calm and kind. Very good at doctor-ing.

Our clients are wonderful. I am close with many of them and their pets.

Second, this is the way he has run this business for many, many years - maybe even since the start! And so far it is still sputtering along.. He robs Peter to pay Paul and then robs Bob to pay Peter and Jill to pay Bob and so on and so on..

I am VERY well aware that at some point his business could fail. I am not ignorant to that fact at all. (All the more reason to have some of my own income producing options firmly in place.) I also have contacts all over, so I am not overly worried about finding new employment. I am comfortable finding work in various areas, not just veterinary medicine.

The Good & The Bad

April 3rd, 2014 at 03:58 pm

First, can't believe it is April!

The Good:

- My cat care client gave me a bonus gift - $20 Starbucks card.

- My coworker gave me a code to get five stars on my Starbucks account (Free drink every 12 stars).

- A client gave me and my coworker a $100 bill each! Big Grin

- Trees are cut down and all cut up.

The Bad:

- DH hurt his knee playing racquetball with his boss last week. It seems pretty bad to me, but naturally DH doesn't want to see a doctor. He has injured this same knee before and it takes weeks to feel better. I am of the mind that it might need surgery. If that is what it needs to "fix" it, well we'd have to do it, but oh man could that create some financial bumps.

- Water pump went out in our truck. FUDGE! I wanted to get a load of garden soil/amendment this weekend so we could get started with our boxes. That didn't happen. Frown And the repair will have to wait. Quoted $750 and I don't want to take any more from savings.

- My car has had a few weird episodes where it seemed like it wasn't getting fuel. Was okay last night and this morning. Our mechanic neighbor looked at it this morning and of course it didn't do it for him.
Going to change the fuel filter wait and see if it does it again. Might be the fuel pump..

- Disgust is at an all time high for me at work.
My boss owes money to almost, strike that, *every* vendor we use. Some have stopped accepting orders from us until they get paid.

I haven't gotten one cent toward my health insurance yet; although the boss says that is coming.

Sore subject for me.
At first it was, "pick a plan you like."
Then it was, "choose a few you like and we'll discuss."
Then he was, "I'll need to limit the amount I pay to $300/month."
That meant not getting a plan I "liked"; just a plan that was cheap.

Tuesday I asked what the status of reimbursement was because I paid the April premium two weeks ago and just received the May bill. He asks me how much the premium is. And I'm thinking - "look you pledged $300 so don't you dare think of shorting me now."
I told him just under $300 because I can't afford to pay anything beyond what he is offering.
SO he was like "Oh, okay, so you'll need $280 to $290 then?"

I am not trying to sound ungrateful. I am thankful that I have had 100% employer paid coverage and hopefully still will. But I feel pretty unappreciated with the way he is handling all this.

By the way, I have the day off today because he and his wife went to Tahoe to ski ... Heaven forbid he say "No" to the family.

Ting Cell Service Saves Us $80 (or more) per Month

April 3rd, 2014 at 01:03 pm

As most of you know we use Ting here and LOVE it.

Recently we were able to switch DH and his beloved iPhone over to Ting. That simple change has saved us $60/month. Which came at just the right time because we ended up needing $60 more per month to cover the new health plan for the children.

As stated in the title Ting service actually saves us more than $60 each month.
Here is how I am basing that statement:

Sprint (network Ting uses) is now offering it's "Framily" plan. So assuming all three of us phone users in our family used that plan it would be $45/pp/mo. That is $135 per month. And say another $6 for taxes and fees, so $141 total per month.

Here is our Ting bill from February 18 to March 18.
(so you all don't think I made up numbers!)

(Our texting is high due to DD. She pays difference between the $5 Medium level and whatever level her texting lands us.)

Yes, that total is $61.97 for three smart phones. Really it could be much lower if we tried harder to limit some of the usage.

AND the amount I actually *paid* last month was $36.97 because I had a $25 referral credit (THANK YOU dear person!).

I think the savings are even greater if you compare plans from AT&T or Verizon. One of them is offering a "special deal" - a four line plan for $180/mo.

SO, if changing your cell service to Ting sounds like something you'd like to do you can save $25 right away by using my referral code:

Text is https://zlibcgmej.ting.com/ and Link is

MonkeyMama and Ceejay are also using Ting. I know MM likes it. I am interested to hear if Ting is saving CeeJay money and if she likes her new phone.

UPDATE: CeeJay was the first one to comment! Big Grin