Wednesday, September 28, 2011

$25 to my name

I'm am totally broke until payday on Friday.  I have $25 in my account and that is it. I've spent this week hoping and praying nothing comes up.  I started out with like $75 but then I forgot my $20 copay check had to clear and then I had to pay our electric company a $30 fee because I was totally stupid last month.  We used to have 2 checking accounts and I had them both set up with my electric company's online bill paying.  But I had one labeled checking and one labeled debit card.  I've been using debit for a long time now, due to having debit rewards, but Chase no longer offers debit card rewards so I thought "oh, I'll just use "checking" when I was paying my electric bill and forgot this was linked to the old checking account no longer open.  Ooops! My payment didn't go through and the electric company dinged me with a $30 fee.  I thought I could just pay it with my bill I will be paying on this Friday, but no.....they send me a disconnect notice! OMG! I have been a customer for 22 years with never a problem.  So I went online yesterday and paid the $ leaving me with $25.

Yikes! I hate being this close to no money.  I do get a small $112 check tomorrow, from a side job I do, that I can get deposited, so then I will feel relieved.  I went with Dh this morning to his doctor's appointment.  We have a $30 bill with them (that again, I plan to pay on Friday) and of course she asks if I'd like to pay today.  Sigh...can I pay on Friday when I get paid?  Sure no problem.  Then the doctor wants dh to go on cholesterol medicine and I have no idea how much that will cost - hopefully just the $15 copay, but I don't want to go in this afternoon and find out it's more and I can't cover it.  I'm just going to tell dh the doctor just sent it over and it won't be ready until tomorrow. I can get my small check deposited and then pick it up.

Seriously - I just have to make it 24 more hours!  I hate this!  Then I'll probably go through it all again until next payday because we have to pay the painter the remaining $900 and that will take most all of my extra.  I'm liking the fact that I've had $900 extra each of the past 2 months, but boy is it sure wiping me out having to spend it ALL.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Another week gone by

The week went pretty well, other than I can't seem to find many good coupon deals lately and the one's I try end up getting messed up.  I went to Safeway for a few things they had store coupons for, one being MD bath tissue (dh is picky about this, as he is most things he eats or uses, sigh...). The store coupon was for $1.50 off.  Well, after I got home and was looking at my receipt I noticed the cashier somehow missed that coupon.  I tried to stop in the store the next morning on my way to work, but the customer service counter didn't open until 9am and then I was even more frustrated and just said forget it - $1.50 is not worth anymore of my time to try and get a refund.

I did great on making dinners at home this past week.  Only got fast food twice and the total for the week was only $18, once for dh and dd and then once for dh.  Ds was in school all week, so not home for dinner.  Then Friday I made french dip sandwiches, Saturday was a chicken sandwich ring and tonight was tuna casserole.  Tomorrow we will have french dip again (just 3 of us for dinner) to use up the roast beef.

The painters finished the house and garage so that project is complete.  The painter had agreed for us to pay him half of the $1800 now and the balance this coming Friday.  Then I will be broke again!  And I have about $800-900 in doctor bills coming due for dh's visits and surgery.  Guess those won't be able to be paid until the end of October paycheck, but I haven't receive the doctors statements yet, just saw the insurance eob's, so hopefully they will be due then anyway.  I have worked at doctors offices in the billing departments in the past and we were more than willing to work out a 2 or 3 month payment plan with patients, so if worse comes to worse, budget wise, I'll make the call and see if they will do that for me.

Dd and I went to the state fair on Saturday morning.  She had a free ticket from school and I bought a discounted ticket ($9) at Walgreens.  We took the bus from the mall, so saved $4 over parking costs at the fair parking lots.  Other than that we only spent a few dollars on scones.  The rest of the time we just walked around and looked at all the animals and exhibits.  After 3 hours we were both getting tired and my legs and hips were worn out so we headed home.

Other things we had hoped to happen this week seem to have fallen through.  We thought we had a serious buyer for my 2004 car we have for sale and that fell through and then thought we might sell it today to another party but they decided to keep looking.  Seems everyone has this "$5000" price in their head, probably their own ceiling of spending, but we just aren't willing to go down that low.  Ds had a job interview that seemed to go pretty well and they are hiring for 3 positions, so thought he had a good shot.  They sounded like they would let him know Thurs or Friday but no call, so he probably didn't get it :-(  Disappointing as it was only a few miles from home and would've been a great part time job for him to get some IT experience in.

Ds had a bit of a sore throat and cold last week and now dd seems to have come down with it today.  Typical start of school sick germs, I guess.  Hopefully, I don't catch it!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The week in review

It was kind of a bad week.  No real reason, other than I think I only cooked dinner one night! The rest were take out nights.  Ugh!  Nothing at all sounded good to eat and I just didn't feel like cooking.  Plus, I was all "off" all week on what day it was as Tuesday I had to work from home because dh had his cyst removed and then I went into the office on Wednesday, plus I was there most all day instead of my usual hours, so I was extra tired when I got home (and the 1 1/2 hour commute that morning didn't help).  I've just felt "off" all week.  I guess the extra I spent on take out all week was offset by the $90 planned spending I didn't end up spending this weekend, due to the rainy weather canceling our plans.  I tried to do a few coupon deals today at Target and even that was a partial fail.  My brain just doesn't seem to be in it - that and I had both kids with me and ds's girlfriend as distractions.  The young cashier kid was running my coupons thru so fast I think he missed one of them and I missed giving him the 2 coupons to make the cat treats free.

I did make dinner last night and tonight's dinner is meatloaf.  Now if I can just keep it up after getting home from work the rest of the week. 

Oh, and the house finally got painted! Well, at least most if it painted.  They tried to come yesterday morning to finish up all the trim but it was pouring rain so now they are trying for tomorrow, which is supposed to be dry for a few days.  This painter is so flakey, I'll be surprised if he comes back this week :-(  But, it looks really nice so far and I really like the new color.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A possible job...

Ds has a possible job in the works.  He applied for a part time entry level IT position with company right here in our town.  He got called today for a phone interview, which he thought went well and the guy said he would get with his boss to schedule an in-person interview.  Hours would be anywhere from 20-40 per week and they would work around Ds's school schedule (which is usually night classes, sometimes a late afternoon class).

It would be so helpful if he could get a part-time job!  He could start paying his own car insurance, all his gas and maybe even his health insurance.  Minimum savings of $130 per month to me for the insurances and whatever I end up chipping in for his gas if he is short.

At the same time he was telling me all about his phone interview his phone rang and it was another company calling that he had responded to their ad for someone to design their website for their restaurant.  He will meet with them next Monday, so sounds like he will make a little from that side job.  Hopefully, things are looking up around here - I sure could use the help to my monthly expense budget!

Friday, September 9, 2011

At least it's Friday

that's about all today seems to have going for it.  Our flakey painter of course blew us off for painting our house today...."maybe next week".  We sure can pick em, huh?  But, since this guy came recommended by a good friend we thought maybe we'd get lucky for a change.  Our friend was so mad when he found out last night that the painter blew us off that I guess he called him and gave him a piece of his mind.  I sure was looking forward to staring at my newly painted house all weekend....and my neck still hurts from all the work I helped on getting the house ready for the painter.

I did get my desk finally cleaned up (though todays papers and work seem to be taking over!). I came home the other day to everything on my desk in about 3 stacks.  It seems Ds was working on the router and decided to move it away from the Comcast modem (suggested by Comcast) so just took everything on my desk and put it into 3 piles! I went through them all and filed what needed to be filed, put all my loose coupons in a pretty box.  Much improved :-)

If I can make it through fixing dinner at home tonight I will have made it the whole week with last night being the only take out dinner! (It was only for dh - the rest of us ate at home).  I think that's a first for me.  Dd wants to go to the high school football came this evening and we'll probably have to leave about 5:30 to pick up her friends first.  Not sure what to make for dinner that we can make and eat quickly before she goes.  I have made up my grocery shopping list for tomorrow and planned out 6 dinner meals, so hopefully I can stick with it again next week. I also listed what items I'm price matching at Walmart. It's gotta help the budget.  These next few months always seem extra tight with both kids birthdays and Christmas.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I hate our new health insurance

GRRR! I'm in a grumbly mood today.  This new health insurance through work (United Healthcare) just keeps getting worse and worse.  First my chiropractor, who I've been seeing for over 4 years, isn't contracted with them.  He agrees to take the $20 copay and reduced out of network reimbursement.  Then I get the EOB from my visit with him and come to find out there is no $20 copay for out of network - it's a $1000 deductible to be met first before they'd start reimbursing him at out of network rates.  So, he'd get nothing from them for seeing me.

Then I just saw the online EOB for the labwork my IN-network doctor sent to the lab they use (Quest - a lab I think every doctor I have ever seen in the past 25 years has used and it has never been a problem with any insurance I have had).  Turns out this lab is not contacted with UHC, so now I owe them $87!  Who thinks to ask their doctor who they are sending the labwork out to? Do we even get a choice in who they use?  Supposedly we have this "middle man" type of company to use as the go between for us and UHC, and I have a call into them, but I'm not seeing a resolution in my favor.  I want Premera back!!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Homemade dinners this week

I'm really going to try and make dinner at home each night this week (except Thursdays, Dh's burger joint night). Saturday we went to a potluck BBQ. It was kind of a last minute decision, since we never know how Dh is feeling.  So, I had to run over to Walmart and buy something to take, rather than planning ahead to make something to take.  I ended up getting some fried chicken and macaroni salad for about $14 total.  Kind of spendy, but the friend having the BBQ is a recent widow with a daughter to support and figured it would help and she'd have some leftovers for next week if it didn't get all eaten :-)

Last night I made 4 cheese and bacon macaroni and cheese. YUM!  I made half a batch so there is enough leftover for me to take to work for lunch tomorrow.  Dinner tonight was just a double cheeseburger and a salad for Dh.  I made myself some french toast, Ds went to his girlfriend's for dinner and I don't even think Dd has eaten dinner! just snacking, I guess.

Tomorrow I plan to do a casserole and then Wednesday I'll throw a pork roast and veggies into the crockpot.

Today's good deals

Got a few things today with coupons, sales and Register Rewards:

(2) Free Whiska's cat treats - on sale for .99 ea and used (2) $1 Target coupons.

1st transaction:
(3) Soup at Hand .99 ea (I take these for lunch all the time and usually pay $1.50 at Walmart)
(1) Mitchum Deodorant 2.99
 less .75 manuf. coupon
used $5 RR to pay.  Paid .49 out of pocket and received $2 RR

2nd transaction:
(2) Aussie hair products $3.00 ea
less (2) $1 manuf. coupons
used $2 RR from above to pay.  $3.25 out of pocket and received $2 RR.

There hasn't been much of anything in the way of good deals to me at Rite Aid lately.  Haven't found anything there worth my time and trouble in about 3 weeks.  So, the above was all I managed to find this week.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Painting prep

We're getting closer!  This morning 2 of Dh's best friends came over and washed the house and cleaned with a bleach solution to prep it for painting.  They were here about 3 hours, so I fed 'em lunch.  At first I was just thinking "well, I guess I'll go get Subway - it's the least I could do to repay them".  Then Dh suggested that I just make my club sandwiches that everyone loves.  Why didn't I think of that?! Subway would've cost me about $35 and this way I probably spent $5.  Sometimes Dh has a frugal moment or two.

The rest of the day we have spent pulling off old trim that is rotting on the backside of our house.  Unfortunately, when we pulled some away from the kitchen window we found the siding rotted through all the way.  So, off to Home Depot went the kids and I.  $75 later we had some new siding boards, some caulk and some z-flashing (ok, now I know what that is, LOL).  Sounds like the painter guy will be here sometime next week, as the weather is supposed to stay nice and sunny for a good week.  I can't wait to have a newly painted house! We are going from a blue house (and garage and shed) with white trim to a "Mocha Suede" color and off white and "potting soil" for the trim areas.  I think it sure will spruce up the place and is long overdue.

Auto Insurance savings

Woohoo!  Thanks to Ds's good grades I was able to get our auto insurance reduced by $210 per year!  Too bad I didn't check on it sooner, though.  I thought it had to be a 3.0 GPA overall and after summer quarter he still has only a close.  But, it's only his most recent quarter they use for their criteria.  He got his bad grades that killed his GPA while he was trying to take high school and hard college math and english at the same time.  Since he's started his major last fall he has gotten 7 classes with a 4.0, 3 classes above a 3.0 and one class a 2.0., so he's doing great now.   

$17.50 a month doesn't seem like a lot, but when you are counting every dollar it sure helps.  Now, I need to call Comcast and see if there is a lower option for our TriplePlay we are on. It just went up like $20 a month, I think because the plan they put us on last summer went of the "1 year introductory offer".  This plan we got put on has Starz and Encore, so I'm hoping there is a cheaper plan, maybe, without those channels (I can live without them).  I've just been putting off the call since I saw my August bill.  I just hate talking on the phone!