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Old Farmers Of...Raccoons?

November 5th, 2009 at 11:18 pm

Sometimes trying to be frugal is confusing, or maybe it's just me,(being confused), read on and you tell me.
My Hubby loves the Farmers Almanac! When to plant, where to fish, it's kind of like the local entertainment guide for rural folk. I picked it up tonight, because I was going to be sitting for just a moment, and I hate idle hands. Anyway, inside the cover, on the title page is all of the usual info, and a lovely woodcut style print of sheep and...raccoons? I wasn't aware that coons (as we call them) had become a farm commodity! See what happens when you don't keep up with the local news? I am in the know on fish farming, and we do have several more exotic farms in my homestate, (elk, buffalo, deer), but somehow I missed the scoop on coon farming? Most farmers I know have dealt with their share of coons, mostly trying to get them to vacate the barn, and quit sponging a free meal. (boy can a coon make a huge mess in the feed room!) What frugal endeavor could a coon be involved in? Could they be trained to do something? although they are mostly nocturnal. (night shift workers?) They are good climbers. (linemen, tree trimmers?) Security? They can be sassy! (try chasing one out of the cat food dish!) I didn't read far enough to get the whole story, If I find out something interesting, I will let you all know. Although, I think that Daniel Boone did have some success in this field............ Coonskin cap anyone?

My True (Credit) Confession

October 19th, 2009 at 09:44 pm

Remember those old 60's mags True Confessions, where readers would write in about things that they would never tell the neighbors? Well, I have skimmed thru several blogs lately where intelligent advisors have told people NOT to go thru a credit counseling service, they are not a good bargain. We dealt with a credit counseling service for several years, and they SAVED MY LIFE. Our youngest child spent almost 6 months in the hospital after she was born, and we were almost $100,000 in debt. We actually ended up at the credit counselors thru the hospital mediation service. There was NO WAY that we could make even the most minimum payment on a bill that large, so we went to mediation with the hospital. The final deal that we ended up with was that we would meet with the credit counseling service, they would set up a budget with us, and recommend to the mediator how much we could reasonably afford to pay. The bonus was that they also took charge of all of our other bills at the time, and that helped hugely by stopping any shutoffs or penalties for the first years that I had to stay home with an ill child. We stayed with them for 14 years, but after the first 2 or 3, I took back paying most things, all of our utilities, and the credit counseling service dealt with the hospital and the one credit card we had. I could have handled the credit card, but as long as they did it, the interest rate stayed at 0%. The fee was based on your income, for a long time it was $25 month, then the last few years it was $50 monthly, but I am sure that we saved that many times over. Our income flucuated monthly because of the work that my Hubby was doing, they renegotiated every month if necessary, and I didn't have to do a thing. I never felt that the payments we made were unreasonable. We actually ended up paying less than 1/4 of the total balance, and in the end the hospital was sold to another corporation, and forgave a lot of old outstanding debts,"as a service to the community" Any action that they took that would have showed on our credit report (they closed the cc acct)was done right at first, so by the time the 7 years were up, our credit report was clean and shiny, and those payments just showed up as billing payed on time. So, I can tell you from firsthand knowledge that I would recommend a reputable credit counseling service to anyone, THEY WORK.

Women Are From Venus (Flytraps)

October 17th, 2009 at 06:12 pm

This post is financial only in the sense that sometimes being frugal is learning to be happy with what you have, and it was so cute I couldn't resist. Today is Sweetest Day and DD#3, who is 17, is, of course, expecting some well thought out, sweet little gift from boyfriend. He didn't forget, but his sense of a cute little something for the sweetheart obviously differs from hers. He brought her a ....Venus Flytrap. For the horiculturally challenged, this is a small, carnivorous plant that eats insects, certainly the hearts delight of any 18 year old boy, but the girls? not so much. She rolled her eyes, and did try to be politely thankfull, but this was obviously going nowhere fast. So I smiled behind my hand (more or less) and told her very excitedly that my sis had one when we were growing up (very true) and it was cool to catch flies and watch it catch and digest them. Then boyfriend chimes in with how great that would be, and is looking around for flies. (I wasn't sure if I should be flattered that he thought flies would be in my dining room) Any way, she put on the good face, and they wandered outside to find a fly or two, and hubby and I went out to supper(or so I thought, but that's another story) We came home about 90 minutes later, boyfriend was getting ready to leave, and they are standing , looking at the flytrap, and I asked, did you find any flies, but they couldn't catch any. So I told them that we used to feed my sisters a tiny bit of raw hamburg, when insects weren't around, and boyfriend says, no, the label says no meat. So I asked what are you supposed to do then, and DD#3 replies it doesn't matter her, sister gave it a piece of SUMMER SAUSAGE! Cooked meat with a load of spices and smoked!? The poor little thing will either have a plant heart attack, or ask for cheese next week. Anybody seen The Little Shop of Horrors?

Here I Come?, No There I Go!

October 13th, 2009 at 06:00 pm

I read an article in The Mother Earth News (I think), several years ago about small town living in New England. The gist of it was that folks in that small town all wore several "hats" job wise, in an effort to make a living. I don't remember the specifics but the author delivered newspapers, fixed chainsaws and something else, in addition to his regular job, to make end meet, so he could stay in this lovely rural town. I was reminded of this when I was clicking thru some financial blogs, and noticed that many of them advocate taking on a part time job to pay off debt. I know that Dave Ramsey is big on this. I can comment on this first hand, I once had 4 (count'em 4) part time jobs simultaneously, for about 2 years. I kept hoping that one of them would turn into a full time job, I would have liked any of them, but no luck. I finally thought that I was meeting myself coming and going, and my blood pressure was killing me, and dropped 2 of them. This was a good solution for the short term, but it gets to be very exausting! And, to be truthful, they all were only minimum wage jobs, so even if one of them had been full time, I likely would have been looking for something else anyway. I do still dabble with one, I have a small home based business, I do sewing and alterations. I would love to do this full time, and have several times over the years, but it's just not steady enough income in this area. I like to know that we can pay the bills every week, not just the week when everybody needs a zipper in their jacket. Maybe I should learn to fix chainsaws?

Deja Vu All Over Again

October 11th, 2009 at 06:33 am

Stop me if you've heard this one before... I did write about this, or maybe It's just that I told so many people. I was just reading about a gal who turned the house over to the bank, rather than wait for a foreclosure. The economy here in Michigan is in the toilet (excuse the language), with lots of foreclosed houses, houses for sale, empty houses, etc. In fact, a plumbing and heating guy we know put on a whole crew that does nothing but rehab forclosed homes that were abandoned, for the banks and realty companies. If you leave a house in the North country here with no heat, the pipes burst, ruins the fixtures, and sometimes the whole heating system, depending on what you have. Anyway, I digress (a lot). The story that came to mind was, my DD#2 had a girlfriend whose Mother passed away. Mom and her boyfriend had been living in a house that Mom owned, well, she and the bank owned. Anyway after she was gone, the children came and took the things that they wanted out of the house, told the boyfriend that he could do whatever he wanted with the rest, and left it. They didn't try to sell, find a renter, or anything,(I do not understand that), just left it for the bank to take back. Well, the boyfriend stayed on, said he wasn't going anywhere until the sheriff came and booted him out (do they actually do that?). He ended up staying 2 1/2 years! The foreclosure notice came out in the paper, the mortgage was owned by a bank in CA by that time. They tried to sell the property on the courthouse steps, no sale. If it was ever listed for sale, it wasn't with any of the local realty companies. So he just stayed there, paid the utilities, which were still in her name (that's a whole other story), and claimed that no one had ever contacted him, or come by the property as far as he knew. They would easily have known that someone was living there, the lawn was mowed, there was a dog in the yard, etc. etc. Finally, he just moved, got a job that was further away and moved to be closer to work. I am still astonished every time I think about it. I wonder if the bank ever knew what condition the house was in, apparently they didn't care. So anyway, when a girlfriend of mine lost their house, she was all in a tizzy wondering where they would go, and I told her not to worry so much, it might take years! They did move because she wanted to be settled before school started this Fall, she has 5 kids in school, and they didn't want to end up switching schools in the middle of the year. I wonder if the house is still empty, maybe one of the neighbors needed a place???

My Kingdom for a Horse!

October 6th, 2009 at 05:46 pm

So was that Shakespeare or Hollywood? Well, either way I'd be OK as long as the horse only cost $1. That's how much I have left in my wallet until Friday. Actually, it hasn't worked out badly, so far. Every time someone wants money, or me to buy something, I have the pat reply, "sorry, I only have a buck left until payday". I don't have to argue, rationalize, or ignore, the one buck stops the conversation cold! I may just try this again, not the spending all the money thing, but the leaving only $1 in my wallet. Sometimes you just fall into the best stuff, whoda thunk?

Summers Officially Over

September 30th, 2009 at 12:08 pm

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!

Move Over Mops

September 28th, 2009 at 05:59 pm

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!

Saturday, Sleep Finally!

September 26th, 2009 at 07:40 am

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.

Free Is Free!

September 19th, 2009 at 01:12 pm

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!

What a Treat!?!?

September 18th, 2009 at 06:17 pm

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.

We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties

September 15th, 2009 at 04:08 pm

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!

Sunday Serendipity

September 15th, 2009 at 04:01 pm

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

ChChChCh Checking......

September 12th, 2009 at 02:53 pm

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.

Blast From the Past

September 11th, 2009 at 09:57 pm

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)..............

Peanut, Peanut, Whose Got The Peanut?

September 10th, 2009 at 06:14 pm

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

Sunday Sunshine

September 6th, 2009 at 06:59 pm

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!

No More Student Checking????

September 3rd, 2009 at 12:12 pm

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.

Dryer Fixed! (Hopefully)

September 1st, 2009 at 04:43 pm

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.

Sunday, On the Couch Again

August 30th, 2009 at 11:26 am

Sunday is my laid back, random thoughts session. Hmmm....I am overwhelmed with zucchini, good thing cattle like to eat them.....I have been promising myself that I would get to cleaning the sewing room for a month, I did rearrange a couple of spots, but it's staying on the list for now.....I am a big list maker, I have actually made a list of the lists that I had at one time(now that's strange).....I might have the chance to switch from night shift to day shift, I have been kind of mulling it over in my mind, no decisions yet.....It is cool here today (Michigan)makes me think of Fall.....I still have a phone # on my desk for the U-pick strawberry farm, I think that I can safely toss that now.....I am still finding stuff that belongs to DD#1, she and fiancee bought a house and she moved about 6 weeks ago, that is one of the piles in the sewing room.....I just realized that I still have a snowman cookie jar sitting on the shelf, from when I decorated for Christmas last year, maybe I'll stick a punkin on his head and ignore him until it's the proper season again.....I have been considering an indoor clothesline in the sewing room (also known as the downstairs bedroom of our old farmhouse), just a single line, the girls have alot of drip dry clothes (their purchase, not mine)and with the 8ft. cielings, there would be room..... my GF gave me a big stack of books that last time we had brunch, I have been saving them for when the outside stuff (garden, yard work) is done, but they are tempting me.....I did start knitting a hat the other night, I have to have something in my hands when we sit down to watch the local and national news in the evening, the only time I get to pick the channel, there is a group from church that makes hats/scarves/mittens for local charities..... local charities sounds so snooty, make me think of Little Orphan Annie, course, she could have used a hat.....Well, I feel much more relaxed now, better get back to the real world, the dishes are waiting.

Charge It!!!

August 29th, 2009 at 11:35 am

I remember an old episode of the Flintstones, where Wilma and Betty have gotten the charge cards from Fred and Barney, and they go running out the door hollering "Charge It!" They didn't get ahold of the charge cards very often (nobody called them credit cards then), and they were the key to beautiful, wonderful things that you would never have gotten otherwise. That was probably my first introduction to credit cards. My parents never had any. We were farmers living in a rural area, and even if they had been qualified to get one, there was no place to use one within maybe a 2 hour drive. I don't think that they ever had one until I was grown up and gone. (early 80's) If you needed something, you paid cash, and when you ran out of cash, you quit buying. I have to give many thanks to my parents for that early financial training, I have followed it as faithfully as I could for many years, (ok, not THAT many). So to the real topic of my lament today, Medical Bills. I capitalize because they are a constant source of frustration to me. For years, we didn't have any health insurance, so we were very carefull about Doctor visits, only when we really needed them, and asking about the lowest cost prescriptions, when we just had to have them. And of course, we did have plenty of them with 4 kids. Now we have been covered by Hubbys comapany medical plan for maybe 5 years now, and I know that we pay more now for copays etc. than we ever did before. When we had no insurance, many places would give you a break, now it's like open season. I am always making payments to the dentist, family Dr., hospital for lab stuff, script copays, etc. Just when you get one paid and out of the way, something else crops up. And this is all over and above what they get from the insurance company. Plus, you still have to pay for the insurance itself. OK, enough venting. Back to credit cards, we don't have any. We used to have a Discover card, but we maxed it out at $2500 and it took seven years to pay it off, so we closed it in the middle of all that, and I don't really miss it. We do have a debit card that draws off the checking account, so that works just fine for anyplace that wants a major credit card. BONUS: I get to laugh as I hang up on the all of the telemarketers who call to offer to help you pay off your credit debt. We do have an emergency fund, not 6 months worth of expenses, or even 3, but we have managed to get by so far. So heres hoping that nothing major comes along, and that we have a nice, warm Fall so we don't have to start the furnace anytime soon.

Friday Funk

August 28th, 2009 at 08:37 am

I am tired today. Worked last night, no sleep yet. Well, at least the bill paying went fast (irony there). In went the money, and one check later, it was gone...... auto insurance. Only one mole this week, but he was a porker. Hubby had his Dr. appt. yesterday, 6 more weeks off work. He had a rotator cuff fixed on May 15th. Therapy is going well, just not very quickly. Somewhere I saw a download of 150 things to do with Ramen Soup, I think I might just look around again for that. Summer hasn't been our season lately. Last Summer I was off work for 6 months, this Summer it's Hubby's turn. Well, at least the string beans are done. I froze a 5gal pail of them every day for about 10 days. It's great to have them, but I didn't get much else done between the picking, snapping, blanching, bagging, you get the idea. Now the sweet corn is starting, but I have 35 tomato plants out there, and not a red one yet. I can see it now, if they ripen at all, it will all be at the same time, and I will go down in a river of tomato sauce. There are worse ways to go, I just can't think of any right now. I'm off to suck down some caffeine and do some housework. Toodles...

The New Financial Reality

August 22nd, 2009 at 04:05 am

I just had to post a quickie this morning. The new financial reality is.... that A girl I work with is getting married next month, and mentioned this morning that she and the fiancee had their engagement party at MCDONALDS! She proudly confided that everyone paid for their own meal, and it was cheap enough all of their friends could come. I didn't know whether to laugh, or feel sorry for her. She seems perfectly happy with the whole deal, so I will go with the chuckles, and a disbelieving little shake of the head. I didn't ask her where the reception was going to be, but just think, they could go really high class, like maybe KFC! In the interest of fairness, I should mention that I eat at both of those establishments on a regular basis, and enjoy them more than I should, as my waistline and cholesterol numbers will attest.

Loan to the kid? Or not?

August 20th, 2009 at 06:39 pm

Big financial crisis in my house. My youngest girl got a Summer job to save money for a car. She has been a great saver, but doesn't have quite the amount that she wants to spend. So she would like to borrow a few hundred dollars to get the used car that shes been shopping for. So, do we lend to her, or should she have to deal with the budget that she already has. Hubby is on the No side, we didnt lend to any of the other kids, I am leaning towards Yes, I would rather that she had the best car possible. And to be truthfull, we didn't have the money to lend to the other kids, even if they had asked for it. So I don't know which way we will go. Decisions, Decisions!

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