Monday, March 27, 2017

Marriage and Money

DH spent the day with his friend on Saturday. He said they really didn't discuss friends problem(s) with the wife and kids not helping with the house and yard.......until the end of the day when they stopped somewhere to get some dinner. Then DH kind of got the even bigger picture. Not good. Sounds like friend is leaning towards a divorce, which is sad. I know there's two sides to every story, but I can sure kind of see his point as to why even be married.

Money, of course, is always a problem for most. What is the best way for a married couple to handle their money? For us, it has always been "jointly". We have one bank account. Our paychecks always went into the same account and bills were paid (by me, because that's just my accountant nature). There's never been a your money and my money. (other then a couple of bonus checks I received that I didn't tell DH about because I didn't want him to just blow and I put in savings. I didn't spend it on me).

Friend has been married 20 years now. In their relationship her money is her money. Though he knows how much she makes (quite a bit more than him) he never sees her paycheck or her money. He doesn't even have access to her checking account. Now, this might be a good thing if he were a spender, but  he is not, he's a saver and she's apparently the spender.  Again, this might work for some married people, but get this.....his bank account is joint with her! I don't get it. Her money is her money, but his money is her money too. How does that work? Obviously, it's not or it wouldn't be an issue for him.

He never knows what she has for credit cards. When they applied for the loan to build their house, he found out she had $20k in credit card debt he didn't know about, so because of that debt to income ratio hit, they had to wait 6 months for her to get it paid down to qualify. She has a car payment. He drives an old truck because that's all he can afford. He pays the majority of the house payment (she give him some towards it) and pays some other household bills. She pays a couple bills, her car payment and some of the food, kids clothes and stuff.

I could get handling money this way if both people make a LOT of money and have a LOT of money. But between the two of them, they make about what I make a year. Nothing extraordinary.

I guess I just don't get the being married and keeping money separate and splitting up bills. Especially when one makes more than the other - doing it that way would make the one who makes/has less always feel like they were broke. Let alone, there isn't much discussion on what purchases they make, because they don't do it as a couple.

Add in that kids are allowed to be mouthy and disrespectful to him and no wonder he doesn't want to be there anymore. Wife allows this disrespect and when he gets upset about it they all act like he's the one with the problem.  He does the grocery shopping and usually makes dinner. DH told him that he really didn't know what to tell him. He said if my wife had a husband who does all that you do, she'd be in heaven. If I had a wife like yours I'd probably be divorced. He did tell friend he needs to back up the OCD a knotch (this coming from someone is same way LOL) - that the carpet doesn't need to be vacuumed EVERY day just because he likes to see the line marks from the vacuum! But, on the flip side - yes they all need to pick up the damn dog poop that is everywhere: lawn, driveway, sidewalks, even inside garage!

I'm sure they will work it out and are just going through a rough patch, like we all do at times. I just found their money situation to be very strange, especially when they've been married for 20 years and have two kids. It might be a perfectly good way to do it, for some, but obviously it's not working for them, because friend is feeling resentful about it.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A good Saturday

Thursday night was my second book club meeting. Very fun. There were 6 of us again, all the same, except one didn't show up and a different one did. She was also very nice. Another beautiful home (though not near as big as our property neighbors house) on the river. Our property neighbor picked up myself and another in town and we rode together, which was nice because I'm not sure I could have found that house without some difficulty!

The ladies names are starting to sink in now and I was able to better figure out who they are/what they do type of thing. I already knew my neighbor works at the bank. One works at the high school, one is a retired nurse. The others are retired, I think.

None of us cared for this book. One of the ladies didn't even finish it. But, the discussion questions were pretty good, so at least we had good discussions about the topics of the book. Sisters and family relationships, etc. Again, we all brought something to the potluck. Pizza, chili, macaroni salad (mine), green salad, deviled eggs and cider.

I've already finished the April book. It was a quick read and I liked the book and one other lady already finished it and said she really liked it. Plus, I now know the books for the next few months. Two I have on reserve with the library for an e-book and I'm sure they'll become available by the time I need them read. If not, the book for July (a non-fiction history book) is available for download for $2.99, so I think I can manage that :)  Since it's non-fiction DH might be interested in reading it, too.

I'm also now on the book club email and one of the members just emailed a couple of book suggestions based on things we discussed last night. One was reading a "classic" and also a suggestion to read another non-fiction book. Another, who hasn't been to the meetings, emailed that she's been missing because her mom passed away and she's been taking care of that. She mentioned they are having a garage sale for her mom's house next weekend. It's just down the road from where we live, so I might go take a look around.

Upcoming book for April (that I finished a few weeks ago) is called Wonder, about a boy born with a disfigured face, told from his 10 year old perspective. A good book and I loved his sense of humor about life.

DH is out of the house today! His friend (the one who's can't get his family to help) and him are going "exploring". Since DH grew up in this area and spent a lot of time in all the forests (cutting firewood for their family business) they've been wanting to just drive around and hang out.

I stayed home and cleaned house. Stripped my bedding off and washed. My mattress cover pretty much disintegrated in the washing (or dryer). It's almost like the elastic part around the edges just melted. It is kind of old, but never had it do that before from washing. Time for a new one :/

I was inspired by Debt Girl to do a little video tape tour of my house. But now I have to figure out how to upload it. LOL. I tried to send it to myself via messenger, but says it's too big of file.  So, since I'm not that tech savvy, it might just end up getting canned. No body's missing much LOL.

House is clean, laundry is done. I think I'm going to have some lunch and just relax and enjoy the peace and quiet :)

Friday, March 24, 2017

Other people's problems

DH has a good friend who lives about a half hour away. They met years ago when they both worked for the same company and friend then moved to this area to settle, marry, have a family. He and his wife built a very nice house a little over 2 years ago. They have a nice big shop and it's all very nicely landscaped. All work that friend did himself. He's a hard worker and likes things to look nice.

He complains a lot to DH - his wife and 2 teenage kids are no help at all. Both he and his wife work full time. The kids are very able bodied teenagers (boy and girl) but they have never been required to do any chores. They have a dog about 2 or 3 years old. He's pretty well mannered and not a problem (other than of course he poops). They also have a 9 month old or so puppy who is a complete terror. The kids and wife just had to have him, but of course they do nothing to help train and take care of him. They now have 2 dogs pooping in the yard and no one wants to scoop poop. They didn't worry about it when it snowed and now of course see their nice yard is covered (they have a huge yard front and back) in poop everywhere. Friend will just end up cleaning it all up himself, rather than keep fighting with wife and kids over getting some help.  One time friend got home from work and told the girl to go pick up the poop in the dog kennel. She didn't do it and her reply was "no, you just asked if I would do didn't say I had to". And wife backs up the daughter about it. If they are home the kids just play video games and watch tv.

DH tries to "suggest" solutions. Have the kids take turns every day scooping up poop. It's about a 10 minute job. That's what our kids did! It was one of their jobs, as well as DD emptied the dishwasher and DS took out the garbage.

Friend also likes a clean house inside, which isn't happening whatsoever. They have this beautiful custom home and no one wants to pick up after themselves, so friend is crabby and grumpy and the wife and kids complain that he's angry and in a bad mood, so they make him take an antidepressant. I'm not sure he's the one with the problem!

Again, DH tries to suggest "what is so bad about having the kids help out and have some regular chores?" Friend makes excuses for the kids and wife isn't on board, so of course there is your problem right there. They have school and the boy has sports (always) so they shouldn't have to "work" too. I don't get it. No matter what, our kids had to help when told/asked. If there was a one time yard project or clean up, they were expected to help, in addition to their regular chores. And we were busy with kids activities too.

I will say it is much easier to keep up a clean house when you don't have kids around! It's made a world of difference in how I am able to keep up now. But, the friends still have a few years before that happens. Their girl is 16 and sounds like she can't wait to "be gone" at 18 but the boy is only 13. I have to laugh at someone like their daughter, who thinks she'll have life easier when she's on her own. LOL.Who then does she think is going to do all the stuff her dad does? (Plus he's the one who usually cooks their dinners)

They are always out and about going to sports, camping summer weekends, bbq's, etc. which makes it pretty hard to do housework or keep up with yard maintenance when you are never home. I think friend (and wife) wanted this nice home and yard, but really had no idea what it takes to keep it up, so now they are having strife and unhappiness.  You can't have it all. If you want a nice house (and can't afford to hire someone else to take care of it) then you'll have to give up some other activities. That's just the way it is.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Just this and that

With having Monday off, this week has gone by quickly. DH got a hold of the company he ordered the trailer tarp and parts from. I guess one of the poles was not broken, as he first thought. They are sending him the correct tarp and another part he needs that goes with that tarp. He asked how they wanted him to send back the wrong tarp and they said just keep it.  So, I suggested selling it on Ebay! of course that will not happen. It'll get hoarded with all the other stuff he never uses....sigh....

The weather was dry (though overcast) and in the low 50's yesterday so DH went out and did some yard work. There is a "dirt area" a couple of feet wide all along the back of the house, but it was up against the siding of the house in one area and too low in another so he shoveled into a wheel barrow and moved it and raked it. We'll probably put some shrubs in. Of course now he's totally sore and tired and will have to take a couple of days to rest.

I haven't been able to get him going on my building projects yet. He did go talk to a guy down the road who has some lumber laying out (covered sorta) that he apparently sells, but it's kinda wet and DH decided it wouldn't be good for what he is building. He really needs a table for his saw in order to make all these upcoming projects easier and I don't think he's figured out which one he wants yet.

For the past week or so he's taken up reading, which he has never/rarely done. Non-fiction and history type books. He's on his second book now, a historical account of a local guy from our area back in the late 1800's. A friend of DH's now owns the ranch that this "mountain man" settled, so he was interested in reading the book. 

I love that he is reading (not sure how long that will last) but of course he wants to buy the books. Even though I'm always reading something, I rarely buy books. It would just be too expensive. When we were at DD's this past weekend he picked up my ipad mini (which I use for social media and reading borrowed from the library e-books) and saw how big the Facebook posts and pictures were to read and look at compared to him always using his tiny iphone. DD has decided to get him an ipad mini for combo birthday/Father's Day gift. I'm hoping that way I can download for him books he might want to read, rather than purchasing them. I don't mind buying some books, but usually it's after I've read it and know it's something I just loved and would like to have. I do want to start up a library of sorts when we have our new house (and bookcases!) but plan to try to find used copies of the books I want, for the most part. At least now I can add a book or two as a Christmas gift idea for him. The funny part is he has to turn the tv down when he's reading, yet all these years I've had to read with him having the tv on. LOL. At least he's taking a break from watching the political news all day.

Tonight is book club and I read the book a few weeks ago and haven't even really looked at the questions. Guess that is what I will be doing for a lunch break today.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A good book and disaster prep

I just finished a good book that sure brought on the "what if's" thought process. It's a young adult book, which I didn't realize until I started it, but I've read lots of them that I've enjoyed and liked this one too. This book is called "Life as We Knew It" by Susan Beth Pfeffer. Written in diary style by a 16 year old girl and life on earth suddenly changes by a huge meteor crashing into the moon and sending it off kilter and closer to earth - thereby changing the tides, weather, etc. Suddenly they had to be prepared, very prepared.

So, in general, it really gets one to thinking, how prepared are we if something were to happen where we didn't have electricity, food at the stores, water even?

In the book the mother had enough forethought to get as much money as she could out of the cash machine, filled up with gas and had her 3 kids go to the grocery store with her to get all they could (as was everyone else) as soon as it happened (this was before the weather catastrophes hit), plus she already had a fairly well stocked pantry.

Are we prepared and for how long? I know we bought some emergency food (and some long lasting candles) a couple years ago. Honestly, now I can't even remember how many days it was supposed to last us. It's in a bin in the garage. I think it was like a 30 day supply. So for a short term emergency it would be fine, but not for months and months. What would we do for heat if there was no electricity? We have propane heat, but it needs electricity to actually run the furnace. We have city water (will have well water when we build our house) - would that still be coming through? We don't have a wood stove (the characters in the book did). We do have a generator, but that would only last as long as gas was available (in the book, what gas was available early on went up to $12 a gallon or more and could only buy 3 gallons limit at a time)

I know DH and I have discussed prepping to some degree, but that was back when we bought the emergency food and with moving being our focus the past year we haven't really thought about it any more. Our old "good neighbor" was quite the prepper. He will be very prepared, that's for sure and honestly, living there we kinda knew if a disaster hit for long term, we'd have him - cuz he's like family and he's got enough for us too.

So, if something happened right now -what do we have? Let's see... The 30 day (I think) emergency food stuff. Probably enough food in the house for maybe a few weeks, but not much fresh stuff, like milk, eggs and bread. Gas in our vehicles and I know DH keeps a 5 gallon can full, but I don't think he has more. Dog food for about 3 1/2 months (that's good). Enough toilet paper and detergent for a couple of months.

As I was reading the book, one of the thoughts I had was "why don't they make some bread?" Apparently they didn't think to buy yeast in their big shopping trip, but later found some the mom didn't remember buying earlier, so they did have some bread for awhile.

So, just off the top of my head, here are a few things I know we should buy/stock up on that I either don't have at all or have very little of:

Yeast and flour
powdered milk
more canned goods
a good first aid kit
a lantern or two

How about you? how prepared are you if stores were closed or out of food long term?

It is a book series and I just started the second book last night, just to see how it's all turning out for them.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tuesday that feels like Monday

It was nice having yesterday off work. I think I needed another day LOL. Plus, I slept on my shoulder wrong or something and have a little pinched nerve going on up in my left shoulder. Blah!

We didn't do a whole lot yesterday. It's DH's laundry day, so he worked on that. I cleaned the bathrooms, then we drove out to our property to look around and let the dogs run around. DH has been wondering if a low area near the road along our property (it has a drainage thing) would be filled with water from the snow melt, but it was all dry.

Got back and read a book awhile and then got sleepy, so I took a nap on the couch. I think I was catching up from the busy weekend. Then I tried out my new vacuum (woohoo!) and made dinner.

I got a text from the neighbor lady at our property that she is planning to go to book club on Thursday and did I want her to pick me up and ride with her. It's being held at another's house in the next town over, so I'm glad she offered, since I would probably get lost.  Can't believe it's been a month already. I still need to figure out what I'm taking, but I think I'll try a pasta salad. I'll need to get to the store today or early tomorrow, then, and get ingredients.  And find a recipe!

I have been putting money aside the past few months into a "travel" savings sub account in my Capital One savings. I got that transferred over to my checking to cover our little trip (that's what it was for!). Now, back to adding to it again! My next trip over should be July for a mid year company  meeting, but I'm sure my boss will cover my plane ticket again. DD and her BF are coming over for 4 days in June.

Our silly older dog hasn't wanted to eat since we got back home. Usually it would be the other way around. He wouldn't have wanted to eat at DD's house, but he had no problem there. Get home and he doesn't want to eat. He ate part of it Sunday evening. Took a few bites yesterday morning. Finally ate his dinner last night, after I threw a few green beans in there. Is ignoring it this morning. He's a little bit of a worry wart, so he's probably just trying to decompress from the trip.

DH had ordered a tarp for his little dump trailer. Apparently the company had two different kinds. He decided to spend the extra $70 and get the better one. It arrived yesterday. It was the cheaper one he didn't want, plus it's broken! Bummer. He wasn't very happy and then he just tried to call them this morning to straighten it out and has to leave a voicemail. Now he's leaving an email for them.

Monday, March 20, 2017

I'm sold!

Tried out my new Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy today. OMG! I love it. First I vacuumed my living room with my old vacuum. I know it picks up stuff because obviously the bag gets full (but I can vacuum the house twice before it's full and have to change the bag). Then I used my new Dyson.

This is from my living room after already vacuuming it with my old vacuum! Yikes. I did the rest of the house. Had to empty it several times, but it's easy to do. And second best of all is that it is sooo much easier to push/pull then my old vacuum. With my bad back, when I was done vacuuming the house my back always hurt and I'd have to rest it a good half hour or so to get the pain to stop. My back doesn't hurt one bit right now. I am really, really happy with this purchase.