Saturday, March 31, 2012

Don't do math when you are tired

It must have been lack of sleep yesterday when I was figuring out my March totals and not understanding why I didn't have more than $35 left, since 2 of my main spending categories went down. Well, I totally forgot that I have $300 in cash sitting in my desk drawer! I was backing out the $1500 in checking still set aside for the landscape project (still in limbo) but I forgot it's really $1200 sitting in checking and $300 cash sitting in my drawer (we had taken out the cash when we thought the surveyor was going to find our property corners) and  in my calculations, I had deducted the full $1500 from checking balance.  So I really had $335 left over at the end of March. Woohoo! That makes me feel so much better and I will go deposit that back in the bank today.

Well, all of it except a little bit for some new bath towels. It's really time to start replacing most all of them. We have like only 2 nice newer towels and I really noticed yesterday how terrible and thin the rest have become. I think we'll head over to Kohl's (the closest store - 1 mile away - without having to drive all the way to the mall) and pick up 2 or 3 and I'll try to replace a couple each month until the old ones are all shop rags!

Friday, March 30, 2012

March numbers

Today was payday, so officially the end of March for me.  Some calculating and I see that I ended up with a whopping $35 to transfer to savings this month. I look at the totals and charts in Mint and see some good news compared to last month.  Groceries/household supplies totaled $835 - down $111 from February.  Take out food was $146 - down $92 from February.  Gas was the same, which I guess is saying something considering how much it's gone up in the last 30 days.  Since my main expense categories were down, I'm not sure how I only ended up with $35 leftover.  I still have some digging though the details to do to figure that out. 

I may get an extra hour or two a month now for one of my part-time bookkeeping jobs. Not much, but a little will help.  We had a property management company handling some of the business bills and rent and we've fired them due to complete inadequacy, so I will be back to handling it. Seriously, how hard is it to put bills in folder once a week, review them for accuracy, and then give to me to pay?  I am glad to be rid of the company and the guy I had to deal with and it's easier to just do it myself.

I am depositing a $120 check from this side job (it's only 4 hrs a month on average) today and I will put that in savings to replace the $240 I have taken out for Dh's chiropractic visits, so then I will just have 6 more visits at $20 each to replace the savings withdrawal.  Dh had ordered a piece of equipment for the shop that was damaged so he sent it back to Amazon ($147). He said it looked like it had already been returned to them once and they just reshipped it out to him and didn't even package it well. He ended up calling the actual company who distributes this via Amazon and they were very helpful and he sent them pictures of it, etc. They turned around and sent him a new one for half the price.  I'm out that $75 right now too, but I should be getting the $147 credit next week, so all in all it ended up a better deal.  Guess it pays to complain.

Dh has been sick with a bad cold all week, which sure doesn't help how he feels one bit, nor help his mood. I slept terrible last night, with his snoring and restlessness. I finally went out on the couch about 4:30, hoping to at least get a couple of uninterrupted hours of sleep.  But, of course Dh wakes up around 5:30 or 6, walks out into the living room to ask me what I'm doing - waking me up - again! Hello! If I'm out on the couch it's because I needed some sleep, so how stupid is it to wake me up?! Some days I just don't get his thinking.  He does that all the time. If, on the weekends or on occasional evening I'm laying down on the bed, eyes closed, napping, he'll walk into the room and say "what are you doing?" I'm trying to sleep! "Here's your sign" - good grief - LOL.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


I'm not a big fan of doctor's right now.  First, I spoke with someone at the University Hospital almost 2 weeks ago about Dh's appointment and was told either May 14 or possibly April 21st (she had to check and see if the doctor was going to a conference or not) and she would get back to me. The neurologist only sees patients on Mondays. So I wait almost a week and call her back to find out which day and what time the appointment is. I had to leave a message - twice - and no return call.  Yesterday I get a call from someone else wanting to set up his appointment, as they had processed his referral.  June 11 is the first opening. I asked what happened to the May 14 appointment that was supposed to be made by the first person I had talked to.  Apparently she never booked the date (or checked with the doctor to see if the earlier date was open) so now we wait another month longer.  Now I remember why I hated going up there so much.  It always seems such a big waste of time for no results.

Then, my mom had been considering finding a new physician for my grandma. She's been seeing the same guy for over 20 years. I think he's an ok doctor, but it is ALWAYS an hours wait in the waiting room and then more in the exam room.  I used to see a different doctor in the same clinic and it was always a long wait, no matter what - even if you were the first appointment in the morning. Plus the office is old and dingy.  The walls are thin and you can hear what's going on in the next room.  I finally found a new doctor a few years ago, where I have never waited more than 10 minutes, the office is new and comfortable.  Try having a 93 year old have to sit for over an hour waiting for a doctor - no fun.  It was hard enough just getting her ready to take to the doctor.  Then my mom found out grandma's doctor will be leaving this clinic.  I have been recommending the doctor office where I go - they have several MD's to choose from and the one Dh has been seeing seems pretty good and very nice.  My mom took Grandma in yesterday to see this Doctor my Dh has been seeing for her first visit. He gets into the room and hasn't even taken one look at her history or anything sent by the old doctor office or what meds she is on, etc.  He was even having trouble looking up her med list on his computer when my mom started to pull it out of her purse, he found it.  He listens to her heart, says she has an irregular beat, which may be causing her extra fatigue.  Then tells them that he thinks she should just stay with her previous doctor - he has all her records and knows her history and that it would just take him too long to learn her history, etc! Seriously?  Why would they even book an almost 94 year old patient if they had no intention of taking her on as a patient? Obviously a 94 year old is going to have a lot of health issues and history! I am so mad right now.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A savings withdrawal

I decided to use some of my savings in order to prepay for Dh's 12 chiropractor visits copays and get a 20% discount.  His copay is $25 per visit and the chiropractor office offered a $60 discount if we paid in full in advance, so I decided that would be a smart move with the savings. I sure couldn't earn $60 in interest over the next month! Now, I just have to really try to put $20 back in savings each time he has an appointment, to refund the savings account the $240 taken out.

I splurged $8 on myself the other day and bought a book for my Nook reader.  I've really been wanting to read The Hunger Games and it's not available to borrow from my library as an e-book.  I finished it in like 3 days and now of course I want to read the second book!  I am so tempted to just touch that little "buy" button - LOL.  But, spending another $20 right now to get the 2 sequels, isn't in my budget, so I reserved the next one at the library as a book on CD and looks like I will be waiting awhile. I did find The Help was a borrowable e-book and am reading that one now.  I'm also working on getting enough points through Swagbucks and MyPoints to earn some Barnes and Noble gift cards, which I will use to purchase the next Hunger Games books, if I haven't already gotten the CD book from the library.  Reading on the Nook is so much easier on my eyes, since I can adjust the font a bit bigger.

Oh my goodness - I was just looking at how many Swagbucks points I need for a $5 Barnes and Noble gift card and noticed I have a referral that joined from my Swagbucks link and I am earning some points from now!!  A big thank you to whoever "Becbrennan" is!  That is awesome :)

Friday, March 23, 2012


Dh had his follow up chiropractor visit yesterday.  Bad news - (I am not proficient in medical terms) - the spine at the top of his neck (the axis?) is really messed up. Dr has no idea what would've caused it or if it could be related to any of the problems he has.  And, unfortunately, the Dr does not know if he can fix it. At least he was honest and up front about that, but he said he would really like to try - that maybe Dh will be his "miracle patient".  He did get an adjustment yesterday and then will go back 3 times a week for the next month.  Dh said the Dr. almost had tears in his eyes when he was telling him he really wants to try, but he just doesn't know if it will help.  He's such a sweet doctor and has really helped my neck and back from my car accident 5 years ago. Dh is now the 3rd person I have referred to him and the other 2 still go see him.

I took off work a half hour early yesterday to go watch Dd play tennis. She and her partner won again, 6-2, 6-1. In fact, all the varsity girls won their matches, so they are doing really well.  We're a little scared for next season though - all the girls this year are seniors, except Dd and 2 other girls (who are below her on the ladder). Hopefully coach has some good JV girls that can move up.  Dd is only a sophomore but has already been told by the coach that she will be the top girl next year and have her choice of singles or doubles. The other girls have told her she'll most likely be team captain. Looks like we'll have to really get Dd into a summer tennis camp this year. We didn't last summer because there was just no way to get her back and forth every day, but now that she can drive herself it will be no problem. Her coach is always telling us she can really tell the girls who have played over the summer versus the girls who didn't pick up a racquet. Dd played a lot on her own last summer, with her brother or friends and I'd go with her too, but a tennis camp with someone teaching her more skills would be great.

Dh is getting along ok and trying to keep his mind off the pain. He has 2 buddies coming over today to take him out to lunch, so that will be good for him. One of his friends is already retired at age 53. He was smart, stayed in the teamsters his whole working life and was able to retire last year (well, that helped and the fact that his wife has a big high paying executive job!). The other buddy works 4-10's so has today off. It will be good for Dh to spend the afternoon with them - they will make him laugh a lot.

It's my 2 week grocery trip (either this afternoon or tomorrow morning) so I need to finish planning my dinner meals and my grocery list. I need to find some new dinner ideas. We actually had leftovers one night this week! Sadly, it wasn't from anything I cooked LOL. It was the great mexi-chili our friend gave us.

And lastly, one of our neighbors is moving out today. She is a single mom of 3 boys and got a scholarship to the University and is getting student housing for herself and her family, so she won't have to commute an hour and a half each way on the train anymore. We've been neighbors a long time and for the most part she has been a good neighbor - once she got her life straightened out and went back to school. Turns out she's super smart in science and graduated from the community college last year and got the full scholarship to the University. I hope she does well. She's a renter so we were a little nervous about who will end up living in her place, but she just told me it will be her mom living there now, so that sounds good!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Yesterday's stuff

I took Dh to see my chiropractor yesterday for a first visit.  He walked into the room and had Dh stand up.  The first thing he said was "is your head/neck always that crooked?"  They also did a test (it must be newer, he didn't have this when I first started going to him 5 years ago- OMG- it's been 5 years!) that is a surface EMG scan that scanned each vertebrae in his neck and some on his back...all showed in the red.  Not good, but Dh said he finally felt validated that some test he had finally showed something.  They also took x-rays.  He goes back today for results and treatment plan.  And guess, what? He's actually going by himself.  I have to work up at the office today and just said, sorry I can't change my work schedule for today. The chiropractor office is literally a 1 mile drive from our house, so I think he can manage :)  Though I would have liked to be there to hear all what the chiropractor has to say of what he found, I told Dh to just pay good attention so he can fill me in. If nothing else, next time I go for my appointment I can have the doctor quickly fill me in.  This is all going to probably cost me at least $800 over the course of the treatment, but if it helps any will be so worth it.

Dd had her first league tennis match yesterday and she and her doubles partner won 6-0, 6-1!  They did awesome and have another match this afternoon.  My boss is great about me leaving early (I just make up my time at home) so I can go to her matches and it's only for a couple of months.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March so far

I thought I'd do a financial check-up on Mint to see how I'm doing so far with March.  9 days left until I get paid again on the 30th.  It's not looking to promising to be able to put much into savings, if any at all.  I have $363 left until I get paid again. I have grocery shopping to do at the end of this week, and it's a "2-week" shopping trip, so the total will probably be at least $175.  Dd will probably need gas in her car before the end of the month (though she has done well and her last tank has lasted her a month).

It does look like my food/household supplies and take out food will be lower, finally.  January's totals were $1184 for all combined and February was $1095.  March, I am estimating to be $950 - so at least I am seeing some progress in that area. Take out total is currently sitting at $107, with about $16 more in the budget to spend and last month I spent $238. Almost a 50% reduction in this category is awesome.

We've spent $87 in home repair stuff and $147 on a air compressor hose reel Dh wanted. He is sending it back though, as the quality was crap, but I'm sure he'll be finding a replacement to use the money on, once we get credited.  Tracking my spending with Mint now has really opened my eyes to the fact that my small, if oftentimes non-existent, monthly budget amount for home repairs/improvement really needs to be higher.

I had a few non-monthly items this month. $67 in car registration for Dd's car and $64 for her tennis team clothes. Last night I had to give her a check for $87 so she can take her AP test and get college credit for the class.  Considering gas is over $4 a gallon, we've done well to keep the trips to a minimum and so far I've only spent $174.

I might eke out $50 to put in savings this month, but probably not, as Dh starts seeing the chiropractor today and that is going to cost co-pays.  I knew savings was going to be slow going, now that the bonus and tax return months are past. The other day my mom offered if I wanted to reduce my car payment to her from $250 a month to $200, just to help with the rising gas costs.  As she always tells me, she is in no hurry to get paid back.  I might take her up on it, at least for the next few months, especially with more doctor bills coming soon. My budget should get a breather as the next months go on, with weather warming and electricity bills going down quite a bit. Last month was $325 (exactly what I budgeted) and the bill I just got (due with next paycheck) was down to $254.  It will keep going down through spring and summer, which will free up some money for the doctor bills.

I hate to wish time away, but a part of me does just want to get this month over with, since it's pretty much a savings failure and try again next month.  I wish I could figure out a way to add to savings more than once a month. I mentally need to feel like I am increasing savings more than once a month. It's a long time in between and then to have a month where I can't add anything makes it seem even longer until the end of April, when hopefully, I'll be able to add some again.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tightwad Tuesday

It's Tightwad Tuesday again. I missed last week somehow!

I shop around once a year for auto and health insurance to make sure I am getting the best prices. I do not have Dh and the kids on my health insurance through work as it is morethan twice as expensive as I can get on my own for them, though I am considering now putting Dh on my plan at work, due to all the doctors appointments he will probably be having this year.  I have an email into our benefits provider to find out when I could add him.

I pay my bills online, so no postage costs plus it has helped me be more organized and I no longer have late payments. I don't know how many times I have paid late fees over the years, just because I was disorganized (and we had too many credit cards to keep track of!) not because we didn't have the money to send.  I'm still working on my late charges for library books!! I have $1.75 due now.  Every few months I seem to slip and forget to return books for a couple of days.  Maybe now that I have a Nook and use that as my main reading source, I'll have less books to forget to return to the library.

I get my magazine subscriptions free using MyCokeRewards points.  I enjoy flipping through a magazine to sit and relax but I wouldn't pay for them, so it's a nice way to use my points up. I usually get about 3 subscriptions a year for free.

Monday, March 19, 2012

I'd like a vacation, too

Trying to advise and guide our 20 year old son, rather than just telling him how it's going to be. It's hard to steer them in the direction of keeping their priorities straight when they see so much frivolous spending going on around them. It's hard to tell them what to do at that age without coming across as killjoy's and controlling.

We've been getting some hints that Ds's girlfriend wants to go on a spring break vacation...a drive south to somewhere warmer and sunshine and of course she's doing everything she can to talk Ds into doing it.  At first I thought it was a weeklong trip with her family, so it wouldn't cost him too much (but still money he should not spend) but I'm learning more it would just be the two of them..and get this...they thought they could take MY car! Ummm, how do I say this? NO, big fat NO! I don't even get to take my 1.5 year old car on a vacation, they sure aren't.

There are lots of negatives, in my opinion, to this idea of a vacation.  One, he has a part time job that does not pay when he is not working, so he'll be giving up a weeks pay of probably $400. Two, he has a responsibility to his job and this is their busy time. Three, it's going to cost him for the trip and any activities they want to do, so what he has saved up will be used up.

The main reason is he is one quarter away from getting his IT degree and it's unknown how long it will take him to find a full time job and his current part-time job is seasonal for only another 6-8 weeks. He may have to go awhile without a job, who knows, and cover his gas and insurance with that money saved. Spending what money he has saved on a vacation is just not responsible.

Dh had a talk with him on their drive home from our friends Saturday (we ended up with 2 cars there because Ds came from his friends house, so he had his car) and basically said all this, without trying to alienate him and make him feel like Dad is controlling his life. I think he must have went over to his girlfriends that night and told her he wasn't going to go on the trip, because her mom made a facebook comment on a post my dh made (about something totally unrelated) that they "are trying to talk Ds into going to the sunshine".  This morning I told my Dh that I was so close to adding a comment that "I would love to go on a vacation, but all my vacation money is out in our shop (son's race equipment)". I didn't, but boy it was tempting.  Later we found out that they were having a St. Patrick's Day party at their house and she'd had a few Irish Whiskey's, so that's where the post came from, so I'm glad I kept my lips zipped.

I know he's going to have to learn on his own what to spend his money on and unfortunately, I think it's going to be a struggle for him to prioritize it all.  Especially with the lifestyle his girlfriend wants to have....she has a part time job, still has 2 years or more of college and she wants to buy a brand new car.  She spends more in a month on clothes and accessories than I spend in a year.  I'm not sure how she's going to support her wants on a teacher's salary, with lots of credit cards most likely. Her parents are super nice, but they have different priorities with their money than we do.  They like to buy stuff - lots of stuff.  At some point, I know we will have to let go and let him do his own thing with his money and life, but while I'm still supporting 95% of his life, he's going to have to live by our rules and expectations.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Saturday night

Well, I didn't get to about half my list (surprise!) but it was for a better reason than just being lazy. Dh was feeling a bit better today so this afternoon we all went to visit some family friends for a few hours.  I didn't get to make the fish dinner I had planned (and it sounded so good!) since we got home late and our friend sent us home with a huge container yummy homemade mexi-chili so we just decided to have that. But tomorrow will be the baked cod, rice, salad and rolls.  I guess there's still tomorrow for the rest of the list:

clean bathrooms
clean birdcage
go to library and pick up some books on CD - I didn't have anything to listen to all last week while commuting and it was BORING! I can only take so much of talk radio ~
stop at a couple of nearby stores while I am out - Target has soda on sale, cheapest around and I want to get some fresh fish for dinner at a grocery store (NOT something I can find at Walmart grocery, LOL)
get online and refill Dh's cholesterol prescription

work on checking out the coupon deals online - I've been kind of lax on this lately, plus the past couple of weeks there didn't seem to be much offered that got my interest at Rite Aid or Walgreens.
Read some more of the book I started

Snow and tennis?

Woke up this morning and it is snowing outside! We hardly even get snow in the winter, so what's it doing snowing on March 17th? Crazy.  I'm pretty darn sure Dd's tennis matches will be canceled, so now I guess I get to make other plans for the day.  So here's what I'm hoping to get done, though knowing me I'll get about half of it done:

clean bathrooms
clean birdcage
go to library and pick up some books on CD - I didn't have anything to listen to all last week while commuting and it was BORING! I can only take so much of talk radio ~
stop at a couple of nearby stores while I am out - Target has soda on sale, cheapest around and I want to get some fresh fish for dinner at a grocery store (NOT something I can find at Walmart grocery, LOL)
get online and refill Dh's cholesterol prescription
work on checking out the coupon deals online - I've been kind of lax on this lately, plus the past couple of weeks there didn't seem to be much offered that got my interest at Rite Aid or Walgreens.
Read some more of the book I started - it's an 800 pager and I'm only on page 15 so far.  It's a real book, not on my Nook, so I tend to read slower because I discovered with the Nook I can make the font bigger and it's easier on my eyes, so I can read for longer periods. I've been devouring books now that I have my Nook, but this "real" book I got for Christmas and have been wanting to read it, so it will probably take me awhile with my old eyes. It's probably time for some new tri-focals :)

Hope it's warm and spring-like where you are! We'll get it someday around here....

Friday, March 16, 2012

hey, that works

I went to fill Dh's new prescription at Walmart (where they have him on file and we get all our prescriptions) and they were out of morphine and wouldn't have any until next week. Oh, ok - so I had to go back home to get Dh's insurance card from his wallet so I could go to a different pharmacy.  Once I got home I remembered I had a Target coupon for a $15 gift card with any new or transferred prescription. Sweet!  While I waited for the prescription to be filled I filled up my little basket with some groceries they had on sale that came to $16, so using the $15 giftcard I just got I basically got the groceries for almost nothing.  Plus, it only took them 10 minutes to fill the prescription - Walmart is always like 40 minutes. I just might start going to Target Pharmacy from now on.  I'll have to watch for more of those coupons and do some transferring :-)

Dh cannot get into the Neurologist for 8 weeks! It's going to be a long 8 weeks if his pain level keeps at what it has been the past couple of weeks. No fun.  He's also going to try going to my chiropractor just to see if that helps any. His insurance covers 12 visits a year with a $25 copay. I'll be calling on Monday to get him a consultation appointment. Regardless of his muscle condition, I'm sure his neck, back and spine are out alignment for sure. He's been in a couple of motorcycle accidents, car accident, etc in his early years and used to see a chiropractor in his early 20's.

On a fun note, Dd had her first tennis match this afternoon, so we are officially back in tennis season.  They lost, but did a lot better the second set. It's been rainy all week, but the sun broke out just long enough this afternoon so they could play.  She is supposed to play tomorrow in a "just for fun" match against a couple of other schools but rain looks to be the forecast.  Hopefully, it will be ok out - I really enjoy watching her play and she's moved up this year to "2nd doubles" team from "3rd doubles" team last year. Still varsity, which is great for her only being a sophomore.

Feeling lost

Wednesday Dh had another doctor's appointment to follow up on the pain med he had been trying the past 2 weeks. It worked awesome the first 2 1/2 days and then he was right back pain, if not more pain. We were supposed to wait until today to go in to the doctor to follow up about it, but since it wasn't working I got him in Wednesday morning. The doctor is at a complete loss what to do now, so we are back to being referred to the Neurology Clinic at our state university hospital.  We've been that route, 8 years ago, with no results.  But, this time Dh is willing to try medicines to help, so I guess that is our main reason we will be going there - for pain management.  I think the thought of having to make trips there again and deal with this big clinical setting is depressing Dh even more. I don't even want to go up there - the drive is terrible and takes 90 minutes each way.  I think we are both just remembering how stressed we both were when having to go there 8 years ago and neither of us are excited about doing it all again.  In fact it's just giving me a big old stomach ache and wouldn't surprise me if it's causing Dh to be more in pain because he's stressing about it too.  He's never been able to get a definitive diagnosis, but his symptoms are similar to MS - he just never tested positive for it 10 years ago, when this all started.

His doctor told him to stop taking the pain med he was trying (low dose of morphine twice a day) since it didn't seem to be helping. Well, since stopping it Wednesday he has felt even worse pain - constant all over his body.  We have no idea how long it will take to get an appointment at the University - they are supposed to call us for an appointment and nothing yet. I have a message into Dh's doctor to ask him if maybe he should just continue on with the morphine until he can be seen at the University, as it must have been helping a little bit.  It could be a month before we get in to see the "experts".

I wish I knew what to do for him.  He gets upset and says "well, it must all just be in my head".  He spent most of yesterday sleeping because he doesn't know how else do deal with the pain.  We're all getting to the point that we don't even want to tell him about anything (like Ds having that job interview and the low salary deal) because he just gets all bent out of shape about the littlest things.  I get frustrated that he can't even seem to handle anything related to his own life. He can't make a doctor appointment, he can't go to his appointments by himself (a 2 mile drive), he can't contact his doctor himself if he has a question, he can't take care of talking to the University Neurology to find out when then will schedule him in. I have to do it all and it's not like he's incapable of doing it. I even had to be the one to deal with our recent water crisis, where in the past he would've dealt with it. He won't take charge of his own diet or even when to take his various pills. I finally got one of those pill boxes with morning, noon, night, bedtime boxes for a weeks worth and yet I still have to constantly remind him to take them. The box is out in plain sight on the counter and he will forget to take and then it's my fault because I didn't remind him. If I am not home he seems to remember ok, but when I am home it suddenly becomes my responsibility. He can talk, think, even drive but he will take no responsibility for any of this and trying to get him to just makes the situation worse. It ends up being easier to just do it myself.  I'm just feeling sorry for myself today...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

No job

Ahh well, the job Ds has been interviewing for didn’t pan out.   They were only willing to pay out a max of $38k a year – a far cry from what Ds is looking for (at least $45k). I told him it’s his very first interview, in looking for a full time position utilizing his IT degree, and he can certainly afford to wait a bit and see what else might turn up.  He also spoke with the IT guy where I work, after he declined their offer, and he also felt that was way too low, especially given the job duties and told him to definitely keep looking and hold out for more. He also said Ds should be able to find something in the $45k range, so I don't think Ds is being unrealistic at all.  Ds could probably pretty easily find a $38k job close to home that would be “easy and less responsibility” compared to IT work.

Something will turn up, I know, just disappointing to get our hopes up for him.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

One step closer

My son is one step closer to getting hired for that job he interviewed for yesterday! He called me when it was over and felt it went really well and said he felt really comfortable with the 2 interviewers.  He just called me now and said they called him back and want him to come back tomorrow for an interview with the company president. They said his salary range is a bit higher than they wanted to pay, but they liked him best out of all they interviewed and hoped they could work something out agreeable, after he interviews with the president.  I know he'll do great for whoever ends up hiring him. He's smart and very personable and gets along with people easily.

She gets it!

A couple of recent conversations has made me realize my daughter grasps the concept of being frugal and not always needing pricey things.  After getting the nice gift of the Keurig coffee maker, I was cleaning off our old little 4 cup Coffee Mate pot (we aren't big coffee drinkers) to put into the cupboard for storage. Dd wanted to make sure I was keeping it and not getting rid of it because when she goes to college in a couple of years she will need a coffee pot.  A few days later, the 2 of us are making some Keurig coffee, along with Ds's girlfriend, and GF makes a comment "ya, I told my mom I'm going to need a Keurig for my dorm room next fall".  I saw my Dd give me a "look", LOL.

Last Fall we took Dd off of my mom's family cell phone plan (she wanted to go to a single plan, since she didn't need a family plan with my dad now passed on) and Dd bought a smart phone for $100 and went on a prepaid plan with Virgin Mobile for $35 a month unlimited. I agreed to pay $15 and Dd would pay $20 (from her allowance) Well....that has not been the best deal.  Her phone spends so much time searching for a signal that her battery is dead by the middle of the day and half the time she isn't getting the texts her coach is sending during the school day regarding practice updates, etc. Ds thought it was her phone causing the problem and they went to buy her a new phone weekend before last. They came home with a $300 phone!! (Dd only had $100 and her brother paid the rest for her) I was none to pleased about them spending $300 on a phone.  But the phone also ended up running the battery down in less than a day, just like her first phone. In short, Virgin Mobile is not a good plan in our area.  They returned the phone and got their money back the next evening.

Dd spent the evening being pissy because she wanted an iPhone like her brother has. I told her he has an iPhone because he has a job and because he was able to get on his GF family plan for $45 a month. The next day the 2 came to me and said they had figured out a new plan that I would be pleased with. They would put Dd on a T-Mobile (like I am on) prepaid plan that is $30/month with only 100 min talk (she rarely uses talk) and unlimited text/data. She would just buy a cheap phone to use for awhile and later get a smart phone (maybe even an iPhone) that she could just swap her sim card into. So, we went to Walmart and bought a $50 phone and a $30 card and so far so good. (though it was a MAJOR hassle getting T-mobile to port her phone # over so she could keep her same #).  Battery has lasted all week so far and she gets good service at school and she is saving $5 bucks a month.  I'm glad they came to their senses about the $300 phone without me having to throw a fit about. it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

2 week grocery shopping

The 2 weeks grocery shopping is going well, though I'm still trying to adjust for how much I need to get to last 2 weeks for miscellaneous items - mostly snack type stuff.  I also kind of like having to figure out 2 weeks worth of dinners, rather than one.  That way, if something doesn't sound good one night, I have a bit more options to choose from to change to one of the other dinners on the list.  At this point I am budgeting 2 take-outs per week, so 10 cook at home meals out of 14.

I don't know that it is helping me save any money, I doubt it, but I guess I will see when I look at my numbers at the end of the month.  I have been trying to bake something to have on hand for snacking the past couple of weekends, hopefully being a little cheaper than pricier pre-made snacks. I made cookies week before last and last weekend I made a cake.  This morning I made some cupcakes - low fat, zero cholesterol version.

I sure did enjoy not going to the grocery store for a big trip last weekend and I kind of lucked out at got to do this 2-week shopping trip early Friday afternoon. The power went out for a big area of the city my office is at, so I had no remote connection into the office and estimates from the power company were 5pm, so our office got closed early for the day.  I got my shopping done and was able to spend time yesterday showering at my mom's and visiting with her awhile, rather than grocery shopping.

Here's my 10 dinner plans:
Chicken Marsala
Club Sandwiches
Chicken Sandwich Ring
Cheesy Bacon Hashbrown Casserole
Pork Roast
Chicken and Rice
Chili Dogs
and Chicken Marsala again - my dh loves this and wants it often

Monday, March 12, 2012

My trip to the big city

Well, the dreaded trip into downtown I got to avoid last month (my boss went instead) caught up with me today.  No warning, "can you go down to the the city municipal building and try to find records of environmental studies done when we built this building?"  Oooohkaay, sure.  I actually found the building and parking easily, in the pouring rain and heavy winds.  My umbrella about got blow inside out but I made it into the block long building to find I had to go from the 6th floor entrance I was on back down to the 4th floor main lobby in order to find the bank of elevators that went from the 5-30th floors (there was another bank for 31-62) and then back up to the 20th floor.

Luckily there was absolutely no line at the check in desk and she took my information and sent me back to wait at the microfilm department for my name to be called. I was then handed two stacks of micofilm (or maybe it was fiche? I don't know, but I haven't used the stuff in 30 years back in the old days of libraries!) and told to help myself to a micofilm machine. I started searching through pages of documents.  Do you know what a Phase 1 Environmental study/report looks like? Me neither. I wasn't really finding anything that much resembled what I was told I needed (we were told to go here by the building architect), so I went back to the desk to ask if they had any additional fiche to look at. Nope. So I tried to call the architect on his cell, no answer.  I tried to call our company owner on his cell, no answer. So I went back up to the desk and asked the guy again if there were any other fiche that they might have on our building relating to environmental reports and he said no. I went back and looked through it all again and decided to request to print the pages that "might" have something to do with it.  While I was waiting for the guy to print those I tried calling the architect again. He was really no help as I tried to explain to him what pages I was finding on the fiche. Then he called it a "Level One" instead of a "phase one", so I asked the counter guy for a 3rd time, if there were any fiche with this name. Nope, I had all the fiche related to our building.

So, went to the cashier and paid the $30 for the copies I got, found my way back to my car, paid the $9 parking fee and went back to the office. Oh and did I mention that when the architect was telling my company owner where to go to get these reports he said "just get any of your lackey's to do it, it's easy". So when I handed my owner the copies I told him I don't think I was a very good "lackey", because I don't think I got what he needed!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ds and job search

Ds has a job interview on Tuesday for a full-time IT position.  It would be a bit of a commute (but there's no getting around that in this area, if you want a decent paying job) not so much in miles, but in time. It's about 23 miles from home, but a good hour or more each way during rush hour.  Ds said he sent out about 25 resume's in response to IT jobs listed on craigslist in the past week or so and this is the bite he got.  They were asking him for his salary expectations in their email, that they wanted to know this so they could set up an interview.  In the short time he was contemplating what answer to email them back with, they sent another email stating they wanted to set up an interview for Tuesday.  He's a little unsure of what salary to tell them, since he's just getting his Associates Degree and starting out.  And like I told him he doesn't want to underprice himself and he doesn't want to overprice himself out of a job!

Ds was thinking around $50k a year to start. I did a little research online about this company, not much out there, but did find a salary range for 2 of their non-IT positions and they were in the $45-55k and $55-65k range, so I don't think his entry level, starting out IT salary expectation is out of line.  He just needs to get his foot in the door somewhere and get some good experience and he can quickly go up from there, especially being in the IT field.  The IT guy where I work started out at $60k (he's in his late 20's and just got his 4 yr degree when we hired him) and less than 2 yrs later he is now making $70k. His job has a little more responsibility than I think the IT job my son is applying for, so I think $50k is reasonable.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for him and I'm dreaming of the day he has a real full time job!  I can drop him from my medical and dental...he can pay all his own car insurance and expenses...ahhhh, that will be a nice day for me :-)

Saturday, March 10, 2012


We have water flowing through our faucets again! No thanks to our well owner or her family.  All the kudos go to the 2 neighbors on each side of me.  After a trip to the hardware store this morning they fixed and replaced and got it all going again. Not one finger was raised to help by any of her adult sons or adult grandsons who also use the well. Amazing that 2 guys who are not plumbers for a living were able to fix it all in a matter of hours and a professional needed 6 days! The one neighbor who did most of the work was pretty disgusted with the well owner and her lack of responsibility with the well and the managing of it..and he said there was no way he was going to work on Monday without a shower! I did call the county employee on his cell phone, as he requested, to update him that we had water again and he reiterated that he would be visiting our well owner next week to educate her on proper well management and maintenance, so hopefully she will make some changes.

and the water story goes on....

WARNING: This post contains me complaining some more today! I figure this is MY blog about MY life, so if I want to complain a bit I have that right :)

The water saga continues.  We may end up with water today, we may not. If we do, it's only because the two neighbors who live on either side of us have also stepped in (once they got home from work), also feeling it's not acceptable to go 6 days without water.  When told what the part was that is on order from Timbuktu, both neighbors said either she or her repairman are full of *&#@, it's a common part that can be bought at HomeDepot for $17! They and my dh went and looked at the well themselves.  The plan now is they are just going to try and fix it themselves today. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Earlier yesterday I had received a call from the well owner's daughter. They were leaving the water on at a reduced flow until the well could be repaired. I told her we had basically fast drip coming out of our faucets, no way enough to take a shower or fill our toilets, so it wasn't really helping any. Oh, she was surprised, they had a good flow. I explained to her that's because they all live downhill from the well, the rest of us live uphill.  A working pump is needed to pump the water at a reasonable flow. Dh has turned off our hot water heater.  He felt the small amount of water that is filling back up isn't enough and is worried our water heater will burn out an element or something.  I was then told by the daughter that we could just take sponge baths for the next 5 days. I seriously did not even bother responding to that!  Sure, I'll go into work Mon and Tues with hair that hasn't been able to be washed since I took a shower Thursday morning. Ewww. Good grief.  After the county guy talked to the well owner and found out they were leaving the well on just a little he told her she had to shut it off completely so as not to keep bringing up silt and such into the well.

I got up early this morning and went over and borrowed my mom's shower, so at least I feel clean again. But, I still feel yucky at my house - I guess I don't like washing my hands with cold water from a jug!  Dd got home from tennis practice yesterday, of course all sweaty and in need of a shower. She can't use the school locker room, because they do their practice out at the tennis courts (of course) and the gym and locker rooms are locked up by the time she gets done with practice at 5pm.  She took the drive over to Grandma's last night to use her shower. Ds will probably just go over to his girlfriends house, as it's alot closer than driving to my mom's.

This is our ONLY water source option. I doubt there is much we can do to prevent this type of situation from happening in the future. There hasn't been anything we've been able to do for the past 22 years about it. She doesn't want to listen to any of our suggestions. Or she'll act like she agrees with us and will change but the next time there is a problem she acts like she has never heard our suggestions before. The well owner won't make 5 of the 9 well users pay (herself and her family).  Of the other 4 lots, 2 of us pay regularly and a year in advance.  The other guy owns 2 lots.  Sometimes he pays her money, other times he trades her for firewood or does repairs at her house/property in exchange (we found this out last night). All well and good for our neighbor, but that doesn't get money into the well maintenance account. Basically the only money she is getting is from 2 of us and she doesn't keep it separate for the well. So, every time there is a problem she has no money for it.  The county guy told me he has now offered her some well management education and he will follow up with her on it.  She does need to be charging us more, but like our other neighbor who pays yearly said - not at the expense of the rest not paying their fair share. If she had been collecting $10 a month from 8 of the users (not including herself) since the last repair expense in 2006 she would have had $3000 in the account (after paying electric and annual inspection fee). More than enough to cover this repair expense and have it done in a timely fashion by a qualified well repair company.

It was good to get info from the county as to what her responsibilities to us users are and what she can and can't do.  I felt better, knowing our expectation that she shouldn't be allowed to take 6 or more days to get us water again was also adamantly supported by the county.  While our water has been dirt cheap all these years, we've also personally spent way more money on improving our neighborhood than the value of the water she has supplied, so I don't feel like we have taken advantage of her in anyway by her pricing her water at $10 a month.  The road into our properties was originally a gravel road - complete with all the problems all gravel roads have - dust and pot holes! 17 years ago we personally spent $13,000 and my Dh's time and equipment prepping the road, to have the private road paved. Something she and her family (and all the other neighbors) use every day to get to their properties and have benefited from all these years, not having to drive 1/4 of a mile on dust and potholes and it increased everyone's property values. And we continue to maintain it at our expense.

I'm hoping for water today! Keep your fingers crossed.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Water update

After being told by our water well owner it will probably be at least Wednesday before we have water again, we went into "flip out" mode.  I called her back and spoke with her daughter (an adult in her 50's) and asked if they have ever heard of overnight UPS or FedEx.  She proceeded to tell me her mom is doing her best and doesn't have a lot of money to spend on repairs.  According to the owner and another neighbor I just spoke on the phone with, the last time she had to pay for a major repair was 2006, so she's had about 5 years of everyone's water payments she could have been building up - that's over $5k, less monthly electric (which is minimal).  She wants to use a well repair person who does this as a side job, so he is not available during normal work hours. There's half the problem right there!

I took Quest's advice and contacted our county health dept and spoke with a helpful gentleman who took our well owner's name and phone number so he could call and tell her her timeline for repair is unacceptable and put a little pressure on her.  She didn't answer his call, so he left a message, along with his cell phone # (it's getting close to 5pm now) for her to call after hours. He will call me back this evening if he hears back from her.  A county worker who works after hours? I'm impressed!

Got water?

We are on a private community water well that one of our neighbors owns.  I think there are 8 or 9 homes on this well.  About the only advantage of this is the fact that we have super cheap water.  We have been paying $10 a month for over 20 years, but there are sure a lot of disadvantages and right now, after now going on our 16th hour without water, I'd jump at the chance to have city water and gladly pay for it!

The lady that owns the well drives me nuts.  She is elderly and retired but always plays dumb about anything to do with well problems. She is supposed to take the monthly payments and put in an account just for well maintenance, but obviously she does not.  The well seems to break down every few years, so here's my math: 9 homes x $10 a month is $1080 a year x 3 years between problems = $3240.  The well runs on electricity, so when the power goes out, so does our water.  Apparently, it would be too much to take some of the water payments and invest in a small generator.  Currently, something in the pump is broken, since yesterday afternoon.  She doesn't want to pay for an "emergency" call so told us she couldn't get someone out here until 5:30 Friday afternoon. My dh blew a cork (well he was nice to her on the phone, but still mad) and told her that isn't acceptable when she's responsible for 8 -9 families water. It will most likely need a part replaced and of course at 5:30 on a Friday afternoon, we'd be looking at Monday most likely to finally have water!

She then wanted to start complaining that $10 a month isn't enough.  My dh told her that MANY times over the years HE has told her she needs to raise her rates.  We'd be more than happy to pay $20 a month.  I either pay our water every 6 months or 12 months in advance. One of our other neighbors pays yearly in advance. The rest of the neighbors, other than 2, are all related to her and none of them pay regularly.  Our neighbor that pays yearly told her he wouldn't have a problem paying more either, but he's not going to pay more just because she can't get the others to pay her at all!

Supposedly, she did get the repair guy to come out late last night, but obviously he couldn't fix it and we have no water still.  Honestly, if it wasn't for my dh bitching at her every time (seems to be every few years) something breaks on the well, she and her family would be totally content to go a week without water. None of them have jobs or school to get ready for.  Her grandson's that live next door to her deal drugs all day.

Can you tell I'm in a grumpy mood?!  Well, at least I had some water stored up in the cupboard and got my coffee this morning, even if I can't take a shower...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Debit rewards

I bank through Chase Bank.  A few years ago they offered a rewards Debit card.  I would earn points for non-pin charges to my debit card, which I could then redeem for cash deposited to my account, gift cards to various stores or some travel options.  I took the cash deposited to my account and put everything I could onto my debit card to earn the points. I was charged a $25 yearly fee for the card, but I was earning about $225 a year in cash back, so it was very worth it and sure was a nice little perk.  Last summer Chase discontinued offering this, much to my dismay.  I tried to search and see if any other banks offer this reward type of Debit card but was unable to find anything.

I just came across an online bank called Perkstreet that offers online banking and a rewards debit card. I have done some checking into it and it does sound legit and something to consider.  I can direct deposit my paycheck and pay bills via the debit card (same way I do now with my current debit card) and use the card at all the stores and gas stations.  ATM's are all over the place, if needed.  There is no fee for the card as long as you are making a transaction each month.  At my rate of debit spending, I would earn about $300 a year in cash back rewards.  I could also earn higher rewards if my checking balance is at $5000.  While that is not possible right now, with my nearly $3000 savings balance added to it, it could be possible down the road, as I get it built up.  Has anyone had any experience with this bank?  I think my main concern is I would change over to it and a year from now they'd cut back or drop the rewards program.  If I did open a checking account with them I'd still leave my Chase account open and have just have the amount of my mortgage still direct deposited into my Chase account, so I could transfer easily online to my loan, like I do now each month.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

On a roll...

I'm on a bit of a roll this week with some deals at Safeway.  I got everything mentioned the other day and along with that received a $10 off your next order and also $5 off "new" frozen items. I went back on my way home from work today to get 2 more of the frozen Bertolli meals that are $7.49.  I found out they qualified for the "new" frozen items, so I was able to use both my coupons towards it. I was .02 cents short so I threw in a candy bar.  This whole purchase qualified for another $5 off "new" frozen items on a future order.  I saw they had frozen hashbrowns that were "new" at 2/$5, so I think I will use my new coupon and get some free bags of hashbrowns. I have a recipe I make that uses them.  Free is good :)

Tightwad Tuesday

No expensive designer label clothes at this house…the most expensive labels we end up with are the kids clothes, like Levi’s or American Eagle, but Dd would rather shop at Ross and get more for her (or my!) money.

Dd and I use drugstore priced makeup and shampoo/conditioner – usually with a sale and coupon. I do buy a couple of things from Avon but I always wait until it's on sale.  We just got 3 eyebrow pencils and one eyeliner pencil for $10, regular price was $7 each.

We don’t get our nails done –  dd would like to, but that’s going to have to come out of her money if she still wants to fork it over when she starts making her own money.  I used to paint my own nails regularly, but have been too lazy to do that lately.  I have long, pretty nails, so I don’t need fake ones.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Cookies, Cake and Pain

I've been in a baking mood lately. I made peanut butter cookies Friday afternoon and a chocolate cake Saturday night.  Sunday morning I made blueberry muffins for breakfast - yum!  All these goodies I made cholesterol free, using liquid egg whites.  After our late breakfast yesterday morning Dd and I took the dog over to a park with walking trails and walked 2.4 miles.  My legs hurt and towards the end of the walk my back started hurting.  We got back home and that was pretty much the end of my energy for the day.  The pooch and I took a nap and I got nothing accomplished the rest of the day.  But, at least I did make dinner at home last night.

I'd love to start exercising more.  I need to start exercising more.  I have never been an exerciser.  And I sure don't want to go out in it today in the pouring rain.  The rest of the week is supposed to be better and warmer, though.  Hopefully I'll feel motivated to get out there and walk some more.  I see my chiropractor on Wednesday, so that should help my back.

While I've been in self-induced pain the past 2 days, Dh, for the first time in years, has had a few days of being very close to pain free!  After 6 months of doctor visits and trying non-narcotic pain relievers, the doctor finally put him on the strong stuff.  He is trying a low dose of morphine, which is working very well.  It has been years since he has not felt pain and it's finally a relief to get him some relief.  It's making him a tad bit goofy but we'll take it.  And he says he feels more focused, can concentrate and read easier.  An acquaintance of his that deals with a lot of pain too, said it's the pain that has caused him to feel unfocused the last couple of years. He also prescribed a different type of anti-inflammatory drug to try (was on 800 mg of ibuprofen 3x a day) that he only has to take once a day (and that prescription is only $4).  Hopefully, Dh will be able to start feeling a bit more like a normal person now.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Today's spending and whatnot

I guess ya gotta spend to save, but today was a bit spendy to stock up on some regularly used items.   At Safeway I bought:

(4) Bertolli Meal Starter frozen meals (add pasta) Chicken Marsala. Dh LOVES this stuff and we've been having it every week. Walmart's regular price is $9.49 and Safeway had them for $7.49 each, so I stocked up a bit.
(2) Surf Laundry detergent - 8.99 ea when you buy 2.  I think the normal price I pay is $10.99 or more
(1) Purina One Dog Food 18 lb bag - $17.99.  I usually pay $20-21 if not on sales - not a stock up, but a good price and we are low on dog food. Hopefully another sale and some coupons will come out soon
(2) Lady Speedstick deodorant for Dd at $1.49 ea.
(2) Special K "crisps" boxes - $3.39 ea - more than I spend at Walmart or Target for them, but Walmart was out of them yesterday and I didn't want to go to another store just for them, so we just purchased them at Safeway --- and I needed to get over the $75 total anyway.
Total with tax came to $80.45.  I got a $10 off your next order coupon for spending $75 and also a $5 off your next "new" frozen (whatever that means) purchases. I guess I can use it on stuff marked "new" in the frozen section, so I'm not sure what I'll end up getting, but I'm sure I can find something to use it on.  I think I'll take the $10 off and go back and purchase 2 more of the Bertolli frozen meals and I will get another $5 off frozen items coupon to use later.  If I had gotten my mail yesterday I probably would have found the $10 off $50 coupon that was in my mailbox! That would have been nice to use with  my order today ~ oh well.

I had 2 $10 off a $20 purchase coupons to use at Office Max and decided to use them on some of the coffee K-cups.  We got 3 boxes of K-cups, 2 composition notebooks and pencil lead refills for $25 out of pocket. I figured a $20 savings on the K-cups is a good deal and we are pretty well stocked up on those things for awhile now.

I have only gotten fast food one night out of the last 9 so far! I was SO tempted to last night as I just did not feel like cooking, but I used my willpower and made dinner.  I plan to make dinner at home tonight (use up some of that Chicken Marsala!). I don't think we've ever gone 10 nights with only one night of fast food in forever.  

I had to do a little bit of grocery shopping yesterday - mostly for milk, bread, eggs and fruit - to fill in for my attempt at 2 week shopping from last week.  I only spent 15 minutes in the store and I was done! It was so nice and it was so nice not to have to get out of the house early this morning to get grocery shopping done (anything after 10 am on Saturday and the streets and stores are so crowded and takes twice as long to get it all done, so I always try to go pretty early).  I think this 2 week shopping and menu planning will work out well, once I get it dialed in on how much to buy of the snacks and miscellaneous stuff.  I have been trying to make up some homemade snacks from stuff in my pantry the past couple of weeks.  Hopefully that will give the snackers in this house another choice and maybe cut down a bit on pre-packaged snack costs.  Last weekend I made brownies and they lasted until Wednesday and yesterday afternoon I made some peanut butter cookies (from some Betty Crocker pouches I had gotten on a good sale some time back)

We only put 10 miles on the car today, which is good in keeping with my goal to cut down on using gas.

Dh went to the doctor again yesterday and the doctor finally agreed he needs some stronger pain meds.  After reading and signing about 5 pages of paperwork he was given a prescription to try for 2 weeks and then go back for another appointment to see how it's working.  He started it last night and said it is helping a bit more, so that is good. Just have to see if the side effects are tolerable. Luckily it's a generic type of drug, so I only have to pay the $15 copay amount. He also prescribed a different type of anit-inflammatory drug, and that ended up being part of the $4 drugs at Walmart.  If these new meds don't help his pain management, then it sounds like we will be referred to a specialist. 

UPDATE confession: I ended up ordering pizza carryout for dinner tonight...Ds's girlfriend showed up this afternoon and the Bertolli meal isn't really enough for 5 people.  At least the pizza was on a coupon for $10 plus we got cheesesticks.  Total was $17.48.  I saved the delivery fee and tip ($4 total) by driving the mile there and back to pick it up.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday thoughts

My thoughts seem to be all over the place this morning!  Here's what's happening in my neck of the woods:

Dh sold the excess racking shelves to one of our neighbors for $100, so the net cost to put in the ceiling high racking unit along the back wall of our shop/garage was $25! Nicely done!

Dh sold several things on ebay, netting $158 after paypal and ebay fees. $67 of that will be reimbursed to me for the item he purchased on ebay a week or two ago. Sweet!

Dd made the varsity tennis team again this year.  I'll have a little extra cost than budgeted. Usually they just have to buy a team t-shirt to wear at $10, but the girls decided they'd like tennis dresses this year at $35.  Still a very reasonable price for a tennis dress and they will look so cute ;)

I just bought the shoes I've been wanting on Amazon and only had to pay $2 out of pocket! I still had my $25 Amazon gift card from my birthday I had not used yet and also $10 in Amazon giftcards I had earned from Swagbucks.  I checked for the shoes on Amazon last weekend and they were $42, plus they offered narrow width that I cannot get at the local store they carry these shoes at. I was waiting for the second of my $5 Swagbucks Amazon giftcard to hit my account and it did today.  I jumped on Amazon to make my purchase and the shoes had gone down to $37!  I love these shoes.  They are so comfortable to wear to work, with jeans, yet look nicer than a tennis shoe. I've had a navy blue pair and now am getting black.
Dh has another appointment with his doctor today.  The added prescription strength ibuprofen to his medicine did not help at all.  Dh really needs to get through to the doctor that he is in constant daily pain and what he has him on his not working enough. 

What are those sidebar gadgets called that many of you have on your blogs where you track your debt and such? I want to add one for how much my EF/savings is growing but can't find them in blogger gadgets.

I'm looking forward to the weekend, but I haven't really made any plans yet on what I am doing. Probably try to stay home as much as possible to avoid using up now $4.05 gas (my car uses mid-grade). I heard on the radio driving home yesterday that gas has gone up almost .50 a gallon in the past month.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

How Hubby saved us $800

Ok, so that's a little misleading - we weren't planning on spending $1100.......or even $800 but hey, I got your attention right?!

A recent request for a couple of quotes on what it would cost to have our property corners re-located has been interesting.  We (and our neighbors on all sides) have lived here for over 20 years. Dh said said there is one marker on the far back corner left, the other 3 corner markers are either buried or got dug up over the years.  One one side of our property is a fence along the property line, our neighbor put up 20 some years ago.  The front of our property has a private road easement, so everyone can get to their properties.  Dh was kind of curious as to exactly where our front corners are, just to make sure, when he starts his landscape project, that he is not cutting into the road easement.  Not that any of our neighbors would give a hoot, but Dh likes to do things right. (I think "Right" is is middle name)

Dh sent out a couple of emails requesting a price from surveyor ads he found on Craigslist. The first estimate was $1100.  Seriously?! We were thinking maybe it would cost $400? The next quote came in at over $1200.  Dh emailed both back and said, sorry - way more than what we hoped to spend just to find 3 corner markers.  The second guy came back with "if you pay cash I will charge $450, plus there is a $128 fee to the county for recording".  Hmm...we still decided to pass as that would take up over a quarter of what we budgeted for our landscape project.  Dh just told him it was still out of the price range we were hoping to find and we also did not care about recording it with the county, we just wanted a simple locate of our corners.  I'm sure a recording fee was done almost 25 years ago when the property was short-platted and someone paid to have it recorded - and it does us absolutely no good to find our corners now - county said we'd have to have a survey - so what's the point of paying them another $128 to record it?

Now, the surveyor has come back with a 3rd quote.  He'll do it for $300 cash and no county recording or drawing of the property lines! Now that's more like it.  We don't care about the drawings, either. Dh just wants to make sure he's staying off the road easement when we put in our landscape block retaining wall along the front of our property. Obviously, if they guy can do it for $300 he sure is overpricing to begin with.  He'll be here on Saturday :)