A friend of DH's called the other night, with exciting news that they have listed their home for sale and will be getting out of that $%#*hole neighborhood area we used to live in. They don't have it quite as bad as we did - at least in the sense that they do not have direct neighbors who are dealing drugs, as we did. They have some nearby, and their street/neighborhood is filled with the traffic/homeless, etc, but not right in their face. They live in the next neighborhood over from where we used to live and we met them, as he was trying to fight the drug issue, too. He and DH became fast friends. They have 5 acres, and are willing to wait it out a bit to sell, so they are listing their property only, to developers, rather than trying to sell as the home, with land. If nothing pans out with a developer grabbing it, then I know they will have no problem selling as the home on 5 acres (they just won't get near as much as money). Their plan is to move to Tennessee, live in a more rural area, on some acreage, and with their horses. He doesn't work due to disability and I'm not sure what his wife's work plan is - probably remotely, like I do. They also foster their 6 year old niece. I'm not sure how that all works if they want to move out of state and take her.
We've had quite a few friends leave our old area in the past few years. It's been interesting to see where everyone has chosen to go. We've had one friend couple retire and move to the big island of Hawaii! Another went to Idaho. One to Texas. We have another friend, (single guy) who's plan it is to move to our area, at some point. Just about all of them cite the extreme liberalism, crime and drugs, and decline in living, as their reason for leaving.
I just finished next month's book for book club. Finally, a book I really liked! It's called Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly. Definitely a book I would recommend. I had to reserve the e-book thru my library and it finally was available, so I had to read it while I could get it.
I started tracking my groceries/misc/pet costs mid January, because I thought I was going way over my budget amount of $650 month. The next 30 days were better, but still over $23. Since March 15th, I've spent $586 and I have one more week, before I get paid on the 13th. I went to the store yesterday for a few things, spent $21 and am hoping that is all I need to spend for the next week, and then my 30 day tracking will be up. Then I will have actually came in under budget $64. So, all in all, my budget of $650 a month is pretty close to what we are averaging. This is all our food, cleaning, health/beauty, pet food/snacks/supplies, medicines and fast food (I didn't include the nice dinner out we did in March - that is "entertainment" for us). Quite awhile ago we stopped going to Walmart for all our shopping and started going to a grocery store. It just wasn't so "huge" to shop around in the regular grocery store and not so crowded either. Well, I told DH the other day we really should be going to Walmart again - even if the only thing I do is run in there and get our steaks! I usually buy packs with 2 thin rib eye steaks. They are double the price for same thing at the grocery store! I usually buy 3 packs (3 steak dinners per month) and I ran into Walmart last time and just doing that saved $30 on meat!
Our new phone system at work is going pretty well. Starting to figure it out. The calls are coming thru my cell phone, but there's a delay from when I answer and say hello, to the caller hearing me. I usually have to say "hello, this is....." twice before they hear me. Then I got a call today that I needed to transfer to another employee. I was not able to do that from my cell phone before this new system. BUT, I couldn't remember how to do it. It was my first call needing that. I had the telephone system screen open on my computer and could see the "call" I was on and I just clicked on it and drug it to the coworker's name. Her phone rang, she answered (and she can tell it's me) and I said "hey...I have a call for you!". It worked. LOL. Technology!
So, back many weeks, when I started my tax return, just to get all the basic numbers entered and kind of a ballpark of what I would owe....I thought I tentatively owed around $1000.........oh no. Apparently I did not enter my side job income! how in the world I didn't get that number in there, I have no idea. I got my few expense write off's related to the self employment income listed, but not the income. Well, now I owe like $2000. GRRRR!! I didn't need that unexpected surprise.
Like 2 inches of snow this morning! But it didn't stick on the roads, due to all the rain before it. Supposedly excavating starting today - guy said rain, snow or sun. He was supposed to start yesterday and be done with it today.