Thursday, December 18, 2014

What's wi-fi?

Oh gee! My mom has been saying for the past year she wants a laptop or a tablet, so she can look at her emails and Facebook while she is at her boyfriends (or at his vacation cabin) or even just sitting in her recliner at home. I have tried to explain to her that using it at his house (or even her own) she will need to know the login password info to the wi-fi of wherever she is. I knew she didn't quite understand and was thinking I meant the password to her email :)

But, she called DD the other day and asked her to go with her to buy an ipad mini (like DD and I have). I told DD to make sure she didn't buy the more expensive one that uses data (I knew she wouldn't want to buy a monthly data plan) and just the one (like we have) that can access wi-fi, where available.

So, of course I get a text yesterday from DD as soon as they are back at mom's house. "Do you know Grandma's wi-fi password?"  LOL. Oh goodness!  Who is her internet carrier? "Umm...she doesn't know".  Ask her who she pays her internet bill to...."oh, ok it's the phone company".

I had no idea how to figure this out, but I did some googling on my end, called DD back and asked her to find the model of the modem. Finally found a link on the phone company's webite on how to get into the router administration and find the password.  Gave DD the instructions and Voila! Her ipad mini now had internet access.  DD was trying to show her how to access some of her favorite things using apps, rather than trying to go through the Safari web browser. She just kept saying "oh, I don't need to do that right now". I know she won't figure it out and using the apps are what make the ipad such a better experience.  DD showed her how to access her email, but not before I got another text "do you know Grandma's AOL password?" LOL  As a matter of fact I do! - I wrote it down on my password list the last time I had to go through getting her set back up on AOL, when she lost her password and I knew she wouldn't remember it the next time she needed it.

And then she's going to get down to her boyfriends tomorrow and they will have no clue what his wi-fi password is..........:)  We'll be over at her house for Christmas day, so I'll make sure to get her set up with all her favorite stuff on it.  I know she'll enjoy it much more if she can access her email and Facebook using the apps, rather than the web browser.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A nice thing

A couple of days ago I saw a news story about a local teenage girl trying to raise some money for a local charity.  What they were looking to use that money for is something the company I work for sells. I told my boss about it and between us and one of our customers we are now supplying the charity with what they need, at no charge! So awesome. That made my day :-) 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

What's my obligation post bankruptcy?

An anonymous commenter posted a good food for thought question to me last night, regarding my post yesterday where I said that I was letting DH spend up to $1500 for the gun components to put together a rifle he has been wanting to have and also learn how to assemble.

Instead of spending your money on "stuff", have you ever considered going back to make amends to the people and businesses that were affected when you declared bankruptcy and didn't pay what you rightfully owed them?

What do you all think? I'd imagine there are lots of different views on this, though I doubt many who have gone through a bankruptcy would feel too much differently then me. Do I spend the next 16 years, until I (hopefully get to) retire, trying to pay off two large pieces of construction equipment (one that originally cost over $200k and another that was almost $200k) that were discharged in our bankruptcy?

Do people in general, who have gone through bankruptcy, need to then spend the rest of their life and money paying back what was discharged?

I guess this would be my response to Anonymous:

If we are supposed to go back and pay then I'm not sure what the point of going through filing and being discharged in bankruptcy was. My understanding and view is that it is a fresh start in life. Did we want DH to get sick and the economy crash at the same time and lose his business and half our income? Nope. But I also know that the 2 finance companies were able to recoup quite a bit of the money by selling the equipment they repossessed. Both companies repossessed equipment that even though 4-7 years old, was in like new condition, due to how my DH cares for "stuff" and they did get top dollar for them.

We don't smoke, drink, go out or take vacations. We stay home and hang out with our two dogs and try to keep our 26 year old manufactured home from falling apart. I'm sorry that our purchase of "stuff" offends you, but in my finances it is a good investment of my money. $1500 for something that will be worth $2500-$3000 once DH puts some time into it. That's a much better return on my money than what it's getting sitting in savings or than I've gotten on my 401k. It's something we will own and have equity in...and spending $1500 a year for an asset and DH to have some hobby fun is ok in my book. 

Between my 2 bonus's I grossed $8250 and spending 18% of that money on an asset that will be worth more than we spent and hold it's value isn't too dumb of decision. A dumb decision would have been to go blow $1500 on clothes and tv's and a vacation, where we would have had nothing for the money. We are staying out of debt and paying cash for our purchases (other than the few things I have charged to no interest promotions, in order to try and rebuild our credit ratings) and hopefully by the time I have to retire we will be able to support ourselves and not be a burden on society.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Big Spender

Oh boy! I went all out and splurged big time with my bonus money!!! Are you ready for this?? I'm sure you are just on the edge of your seat wondering what I bought!

Four Christmas chair pads for $1 each from the Dollar Store!  Wooohooo!  Aren't they cute,    though? :)

The Christmas bedding I ordered a couple of weeks ago arrived. I'm not so thrilled with the duvet cover. It's a big small for king size. More like Queen, in my estimation. My comforter has to squish in it and barely hangs over the edge of the bed ( pulled it from the other side so it looks in this pic like it comes down the sides more than it really does) , so not quite the "look" I had envisioned my Christmas sleigh bed to be :(.  I do LOVE the sherpa throw blanket I got for the end of the bed. Perfect size and sooo soft and warm. I'll make do with the duvet cover - it came from England (ebay purchase) and not worth the cost to send back.

I do want to find a couple of Christmas throw pillows to add, but I'll look for those on clearance after Christmas.

And for those of you wondering - I did tell DH about the bonus. I debated all the way home from work but decided to share in this and see what happens! I know he has gotten much better the past several years about spending and when he does spend he now tries to find deals or buy used. I walked in the house and as soon as he was done with his rant about the neighbor drug dealers and the cops, I handed him my check. His eyes got a bit big and he was like "wow!".  I can tell that in a way it also kind of makes him feel bad......because he can't contribute to our family like that. He gave me a hug and said good job, you earned it, and I gave him a hug and told him he helped earn it too by supporting my job and doing all the home stuff I can't do.

On Saturday I decided to tell him he could use some of the money to get a gun safe that he has wanted/needed for over a year, as long as it was in the $1000-$1500 range. I said the rest is going into savings. He said what he really wanted was to get the rest of the parts to finish a rifle he is putting together himself. He bought the lower part (I had forgotten about this) a year ago, but hasn't done anything to get the rest of the parts. He figures he'll end up with 2 things - he'll have learned how to put together a rifle and he'll have another gun.  I think all this will come in the $1000 range, maybe $1500, so if that's what he wants to do with it, that is ok with me.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The college girl is home

or maybe should be titled "Lessons learned the first quarter of college"

1.  She doesn't need the mid-level meal plan she signed up for. The lowest level will be adequate. She has like 67 meals left that she didn't use and ended up even guest comping meals this last week of classes for some friends that ran out of meals.

She always eats breakfast, but having 8am classes each morning, she didn't want to go to the cafeteria, so she would have cereal or oatmeal in her room. Sometimes she ate lunch at the cafeteria, but she didn't have much time between classes and it was always so crowded. So, about the only meals she ate there on a regular basis was dinner.  The microwave and fridge/freezer they have in their room has been adequate to have some meals from, too. One night she even went to the big kitchen in their dorm and made a bunch of quesadillas for herself and others.

2. She likes her private space more than she realized. Only having a brother and not having to share a bedroom growing up, it has been an adjustment learning to live with a roommate. While she really likes her roommate, she likes her own space even more :)

She's trying to decide what to do for next year.  She can live off campus if she wants and is considering trying to find an apartment to rent with another person, so then she at least has a bedroom to go off to study and sleep in.

3. She missed home (and her momma) more than she thought she would. She made 3 trips home. The first one a couple weeks after school started, then over Veteran's Day long weekend and then at Thanksgiving. Now she is home until Jan 5th. She was packed and ready to go, finished her last final at 4pm yesterday and was in her car and heading home by 4:15 :-)

4. It's easy to spend money to do stuff with friends. She found she was spending more money to go out and do stuff (dinner out, a movie, bowling, etc) than she thought she would. A couple of times she decided to pass on the activities, because it wasn't something she really cared to do one way or the other and didn't want to spend the money on it. (Even though I give her $100 a month specifically to have extra to go out and "do stuff")

Other than that, I think it was all pretty much what she expected. She loves the university and the town. Her classes are tough (since she's already in the upper level classes) but she got A's and B's. She's starting to have some guy friends from her dorm, but so far nothing in the "dating" interest. She has apparently been texting/messaging quite a bit with a guy her brother went to high school with. I guess after she started school he sent her a message asking how she liked college.  He lives in our town and has a good job with a big company in our metro area and is going back to school next month to get his degree (while working). I had met him once about a year and a half ago and thought he was such a friendly young guy. So then I asked her if they are texting so much why aren't they going out while she is at home on break and she said "ya, he mentioned about getting together....but Mom, he's like 24!" I was like " you are like 19 going on 30, so no big deal".

She also just heard from a guy she dated when she was 15 (that she had known since she was a little kid). They are meeting up halfway (he lives over an hour away) to have dinner tonight. Now this was a nice boy! I've known him since he was 8 years old and he is still as sweet as ever.

Just glad to have her home and I am enjoying the time with her.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The first credit card

DD has been approved for her very first credit card! Yay!  Eeek!  She has tried a couple of times over the past year (after she turned 18) to apply for a couple of store cards (Target and Kohls) but got denied due to no credit history.  While she was home over Thanksgiving she got an offer in the mail from Discover geared toward college students, so she decided to go online and apply and was approved. She now has a card with a $500 limit and earns cash back.

I think she will be very responsible with it. We've talked about it enough for her to know she needs to pay it off in full every month, if she uses it, and wants to avoid paying the high interest like the plague. I think it will be a good money management lesson for her. The card came in the mail last week, while she was at school, but she got home last night and activated it and walks out into the living room and says "let's go shopping, I have a credit card to charge up!.......oh wait? that's not what I'm supposed to do?!"  Smart aleck!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Another good news Monday

My boss tries her best to keep me out of the loop on surprises, but since I have to take care of the bank accounts and the money needed to be transferred around, etc to cover stuff, she usually has to tell me.

We are getting our 10% of annual salary bonus on Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's $7500 to me and after the dang 25% federal tax on bonus and then social security taxes, I will end up with $5051.  I am so happy to be getting this bonus.  No plans for it yet, other than just sticking it in savings for the time being.

With that bonus on top of my regular salary and my side job I will have grossed almost $93,000 this year.  Not bad for a one income family, in my book :-)