Well, its true, Summers officially over. Know how I can tell? I took the window air conditioner out last night. I don't think that we used it more than 5 or 6 nights thru the whole Summer anyway, its been an unusually cool and rainy Summer in Michigan. I started putting some of the laundry in the dryer again. The last few loads don't have enough time to dry anymore, so the electric bill will be going up a little. I am siiting in the sewing/computer room looking around for something that I can throw/give away to clear out some of the clutter, and not having much luck. I pronised myself that I would try to find 2 things every day to relocate, hopefully out of the house. I have dabbled with the flylady on occasion. But, unless I empty the wastebasket, and relocate a couple of things upstairs, I'm pretty much at the saturation point. I need less stuff or more house, and I don't want more house. Hubby laughs at me. When we pass beautifull, brand new, big as a barn houses, all I can think of is "who is going to clean them?" Not me thanks!
Archive for September, 2009
A little alliteration anyone? I'ts the end of the financial quarter, and budget revue time. I kind of like going over the numbers from the past quarter, but Hubby hates to go over the "waste". The totals of what it costs to live, always blow his mind. It actually wasn't all that bad, we didn't get much extra saving done, managed to keep ahead of the payments on everything, even tho he has been on sick pay for almost 6 months now. Now, I need to get the dentist paid off, $450, and the primary Dr., almost $900, and we will be debt free! Oh, almost forgot the car, $150/mo. for about the next year. Shh, say that quietly, Murphy is probably listening. I would really like to be able to revisit retirement issues before the first of 2010, but we probably won't. Right now, all we have is Hubbys 401K from work, and we are only contributing enough to get the matching funds. I want to open a Roth IRA for both of us, and take another look at the 401K plan that my employer offers. I really have been thinking about our retirement (both in late 40's), but with one child still at home, and two others who seem to come and go with the economy, (it's BAD in Michigan)there are just no more pennies to go around. I keep telling the kids to keep a broomcloset open for Mom, I may need it someday. (only half kidding!) I work at an assisted care facility, like a step up froma nursing home, for people who don't need real nursing care, only some help with basic things, or just don't want to shovel a driveway anymore. Anyway, there are a certain number of residents who end up moving on, because they can't afford to stay anymore. They usually go to one of two places, in with a family member/friend, or on to the county nursing home. The county home here must take you if you have no where else to go, whatever you can pay, I think its the same everywhere. But, oh the long faces when they must leave, then their choices are over. Some days that broomcloset doesn't look half bad!
Oh man, what a week! Remember that old game where you went around the circle and everyone added a good and bad thing to the story? That's been my week. Worked a couple of extra shifts, extra money? always a good thing...forgot to get the oil changed in the car, 1500 miles ago!, bad thing...Baby GD stopped to visit 2x this week, good thing...paycheck was short, didn't get paid for my vacation days for some reason, bad thing...picked up meat from the packing house, cheap meat? GOOD thing...Hubby had Dr. checkup for shoulder surgery, another 4 weeks off work, OMG I can hear my checkbook screaming already, definately bad thing...almost done with veg garden, only a few tomatoes and winter squash left to pick, good (garden this year) thing...decided to make some scrubs, gotta be cheaper than buying, right? priced fabric at Joanns, serious sticker shock is a BAD thing...got rid of some stuff from the messy basement thru the freecycle, good thing...just got the dryer running good again, and now the washer is making a funny (not in a good way, funny) noise, (heavy sigh) Bad thing...had a big (basketball sized) paper wasp nest on the side of the barn, waaay up, hadn't figured out how to get it down yet, but we had a hard rain this week, and washed it down! (I took care of the rest) Good! Good! Good! thing...auto insurance on all three trucks went up, an Oh Come On! kind of bad thing...it's Saturday, I have nowhere that i have to go, its raining, can't work outside, and I'm taking a nap! Oh what a Good Thing.
I am trying to make some homemade hot sauce. The hot peppers went just plumb crazy this year. So I washed and stemmed them, put them thru the food processor, and cooked them down in the crockpot, with a little salt, vinegar and water. OMG! It's a good thing that the weather is nice, cause I opened all of the windows in the kitchen, and turned on a fan! I am standing as far away as I can reach every time I lift the lid! My Hubby will love it! If I live long enough to can it. I did let it cool overnight, and then food process it again, so it would be nice and smooth. Now its just reheating, and then into 1/2 pint jars. If I survive, I will make another batch, (sucker)! I hate to throw anything away, even hot peppers. So, I won't have to make more for a decade, that's planning ahead, right? As long as it doesn't eat thru the lids, I can't imagine a bug or bacteria brave enough to break into THOSE jars.
I have been getting mysterious packages in the mail the last few days, and they were all completely free. I got a $50 gift cert. to Paypal from one of my survey companies. So I ordered myself some corelle dishes to match my pattern from Ebay. I have 3 companies that I do surveys, and product testing for, one of them for more than 20 years. It's been fun over the years to see some of the things that I tried out finally come out on the market, or not. I know that this has become a big scam lately, my best advice to you is that I have never paid a single dime to any of these companies ever. If they ask you for money, delete them. (or throw away, I started these all thru mail before the web) But I just love a bargain!
Hubby and I went out to eat tonight, it cost $17.70 for the two of us, plus $2 for the tip. We went to the Chinese buffet. We don't go out very often, because I am a hard to please eater outer. I always moan and groan about how much it costs, and how I could make something just as good, and cheaper, at home. But I do admit that I couldn't cook all of the things on the buffet, and don't really want to. So I just have to make up my mind to enjoy, which I did, and I certainly ate enough to get my moneys worth. I freely admit that I am sometimes a whiner, especially about money. And the more nervous I get about money, the tighter I hang onto it. A knee-jerk reaction to too many years being flat broke, I'm sure. Well, time to toddle off to work. TTFN.
I noticed something in the grocery store today. Potatoes were on sale $2.59 a bag, whites or bakers. So I picked up a bag of white potatoes, and it felt a little lite. The white potatoes were only 8# to a bag, and the bakers were 10#. Now they usually come in standard sizes, 5#, 10# sometimes you can find 20# bags. I wonder how many shoppers didn't realize until later, if ever, that the whites were a smaller bag. They were both in the same display, although I did notice that someone had crossed off the line on the sale tag that gave the weight. I know that many other products have downsized the amount of product, while still keeping the same packaging and price, but these are locally grown potatoes, so they had to have come right from the grower like that. Good Grief!
Sorry, I didn't realize until just now, that Sundays offering didn't make it into the airwaves. So enjoy it a little late. Not much going on here, I AM getting some gardning done! (hooray) And not doing much of my usual lurking about here and elsewhere. Something about keeping a different schedule for these days off, I just don't think of going to the computer like I usually do. But one good thing, haven't been anywhere...haven't spent any money! So, gotta go while the sun shines!
I hope that "serendipity" is spelled correctly, no dictionaries today. Just our usual free association.....went to a local festival today, had a great time, completely forgot sunblock (ouch)..... got an unexpected bonus this week, recieved an item that I bought from ebay more than a year ago, seller disappeared right after my purchase, went thru the whole grievance process, ebay got me a refund, now 16 mos later, here it is in the mail, no note and no bill (yet anyway).....I save empty boxes for ??????, it always sounds so thrifty, and most of the time I end up throwing them away in the end..... I have a few vacation days coming up, and a LONG list of projects, hope to get a few of them done anyway..... the seasons are rolling along, it's dark when I leave for work AND when I come home now (work nights).....I have a recipe jotted on my blotter that's been there for???, I need to give it a try.....the dog needs a bath BAD, I had to wash the door that she rubs against when she lays on the rug, yuck..... I am no longer smart enough to do high school english, DD#3 has been having me check her Eng11 homework, and I think we both need homework help..... so on that depressing note... TTFN
It must be the day for checking chit-chat, I saw discussions on at least a couple of my other regular reads about the pros and cons of checking accounts. But it did bring something cute to mind. When DD#3 and I were opening her checking acct a while ago, the very kind clerk (whom I've know for 10 years) was explaining to her about making sure that the money is already in your account when you write a check, because many places have the auto check readers that debit it immediately out of your account. I laughed and told her that I think shes (DD#3) too young to remember post dated checks. Remember when you could send a check to whomever and the bank was supposed to hold it to cash until the date on the check? OMG I know that at least 20 years ago, one of the big news shows had a feature on banking where they presented checks, or sent them thru the system to see if the bank would catch them, dated decades earlier, written to Mickey Mouse, with two or three different handwriting styles on the same check, obviously tampered with, and the banks cashed them all!! That reminds me of an old Roseanne Barr schtick where she can't afford to pay the bills, so she sends the phone co check to the electric co, and the electic co check to the garbage man, etc. and then they would send them back to her, giving her another week or so to get the money. I must confess here that (cringe) I have actually done that a time or two, many years past. I don't think it would even work anymore, they would just deposit your check anyway, and the friendly bank would, of course, cash it! So, anyway DD#3 didn't order any checks, just got a debit card. Actually, come to think of it, DD#2 has a checking account, and I don't think that she has ever gotten any checks in 4 years or so. Oh, the times they are a-changing.
Today I found myself doing something that I don't do very often anymore, writing checks! I pay most all of our bills online, but there are still a few things that you can't pay that way. Life Insurance! Every couple of years I forget this, and end up calling the company, asking why I can't set up online payments, and the secretary very kindly reminds me that we've gone thru this a time or two already. Something about anonymous parties not being able to take out a policy on you without your knowledge, or something... My property taxes! Our rural county isn't set up for this. My appliance repair buddy (dryer is definately fixed!) Local newspaper subscription, maybe they have a website, but I only pay once a year, and just haven't bothered to check and set it up. I have to say, online paying is quick and easy, but I don't get that same rush of satisfaction that I do when I write that check, stick it in the envelope, and mail it. (stamps, OUCH) It's like tangible proof, in a little pile of envelopes, that I am succeeding! I am making my way in the world, and being a contributing member of society! And sadly, my cell phone bill. (heavy sigh) I have finally given up on the beast. I just CANNOT navigate their site without freezing up my computer at least once, and lets not mention the 10 minute waits for the bill to download! And I have a very speedy DSL connection. I don't know what it is about that one site, I have never had that problem with any other. I ended up on the phone to customer service,almost every month for the last six, because I would get part way thru the payment process, and the pages would just not load, or I would get popups about technical difficulties, or only part of the bill could be viewed, etc. etc. So, 2 months ago, I went off the paperless billing, so I could actually READ the bill (I don't pay what I don't read) and then this month, I just wrote a check. It was worth the 44cents to avoid the hassle. And this is a major, national company --&-. Great sevice, crappy website. Well, I'm sure that their website is fine, my computer just won't talk to it, like neighbors who smile and give a little wave, but never have anything to say to each other. My computer is the Gladys Kravitz of the neighborhood, always peeking in the windows, but never really knowing what's going on. (that's a Bewitched ref for U youngsters) So with a twitch of my nose (or mouse)..............
I saw that on an old movie last night, and it's been floating around in my head ever since. I was just clicking thru a few other finance related blogs that I check most every day, and I relaized that I think about money all of the time, and very seldom write about it. I don't come here and list all of my expenses for the day, or how much I still owe to whom, but I think those things are always lurking around in my brain. And, I know for sure that they effect every decision that I make, and most conversations that I have with you all, and myself. I don't know how NOT to think about money. I believe that everyone must think about money all of the time, unless you happen to come from a fabulously wealthy family. And the few wealthy people that I've known, probably thought about money even more than I do. So, whatever my silly topic of the day is, see those dollar signs floating around it. Sure, the cattle will eat old zucchini, but only after I can't face another mouthfull, and everyone at work is tired of seeing me walk in with my pail 4 nights a week, at least it's still benfitting me somehow. I draw the line at massaging the cattle for more tender steaks like they do for the Kobe beef! A girl has to have standards you know! TTFN
Just a few musings from the couch...worked last night, came home this AM fully intending to go to church, but at time to get ready I was so tired that I couldn't keep my eyes open, went to sleep, sorry Lord.....having a few of Hubby's family over tomorrow, and we're going to grill, so had to get the cylinder filled, $19 this Summer, it was only $13 last year.....only 2 rows of sweet corn left to pick, it goes so fast.....saw on offer on the freecycle lately, "free: large bag of dog food, and the dog that goes with it" HaHa.....I always laugh when we pass a sign on a yard "free kittens" I wonder if that ever works?.....I took a couple of vacation days towards the middle of the month, I had more than 70 hours banked, and you can only have 80, and then they stop accruing, so I'm hoping the weather will be nice and I can do some major yard work.....I have to remember to get the cell phone bill out tomorrow, and have everybody chip in their share while they're here to eat, I need to pay it ASAP, I carry the main contract, and Hubby and the 3 girls are partners, so they pay their own portion,then we split the basic pkg cost, and everyone has a cheap phone.....the window is open, and i can hear geese flying over, they must have gotten chased out of somewhere, it's been dark for over an hour..... so me and the geese (the geese and I?) are all heading for bed, nighty night!
My DD#3 (the car shopper) is opening a checking account, but she is only 17. And apparently there is no such thing as a student checking account, at least not like there used to be. She can't open any kind of account on her own until she is 18, I have to open the account and put her on as a co-signer. It seems that if a minor goofs around and costs the bank a bunch of money for NSF or other charges, they have no way to legally collect from a minor. (heavy sigh) What happened to the part where the parents lifted your loafers if you did something stupid with your bank account, or anything else? Well, at least she can get a good deal, every bank in town (that's 3) has totally free checking now. She also has a small savings account, but if you access it more than 5 or 6 times a month, then you pay a fee. Her employer is going to direct deposit only for their payroll, saves them money I'm sure. More paperwork for me tho.
The handy dandy dryer repairman has been here twice now, and we may have the problem fixed. We think it was the vent on the outside of the house. Now this is strange. I check it every so often to clean the lint out, and this was a new vent @ 3 years ago, to match the siding. (we were doing a little sprucing up) Well it's plastic or vinyl or something nonmetallic, and it seems like after you do a couple of loads in a row, that it gets warm and soft, and the little flapper that is supposed to be pushed out by the force of the air blowing thru, just kind of melts back down, and closes up the vent more than halfway. Causing backpressure. Then the thermostat won't let the dryer heat back up etc. etc. and my clothes don't get dry! So he replaced the vent, and we'll see if that helps. Boy, if there is a dumb thing that can go wrong with anything, it will happen here! And it only cost me $91 and three visits to figure this out! So cross your fingers.