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It's Snowing Again--Bah!

March 6th, 2019 at 06:58 pm

I'd say bah humbug, but that seems particularly a Christmas season thing, although quite frankly it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in this winter not so wonderland. It's not snowing as hard as last time yet, but it is sticking and there is about an inch and a half and no sign of stopping.

Most of the last batch of snow had melted a couple of days ago except for the huge piles that were plowed in grocery store parking lots. Now it starts all over again. I really dislike snow. I am not one of those people that looks out the window and thinks oh, how pretty. No, I am one of those people who looks out the window and says, crud (or something slightly, but not significantly, stronger), this is going to be a pain in the butt.

DH has been home sick for the past two days and even my mom is sick. Those two never get sick. I'm glad DH has sick time accrued and that things are not particularly hectic at work right now. The rest of us are sick, too. I had two days of feeling better and then went right into this runny nose thing with a voice that sounds like James Earl Jones is using me as a ventriloquist's puppet. I don't feel like death, I just sound like it. I think I am actually the least sick of everyone today.

I am more than ready for spring, but I don't think spring is ready for Washington state. Getting snow in March is a rarity, but we have gotten it as late as early April twice in my lifetime. I am so done with this. I want spring and I want it now, please and thank you.

We can't pick up the truck until tomorrow. All the work was done, but then a recalled part came in so they asked if they could keep it and do it in the morning so that we don't have to bring it in again. I just hope the snow isn't so bad tomorrow that we can't retrieve it.

We just got a notice on a recall for our 2011 Toyota Sienna on the propellant for the airbag, so we are going to have that done when we get the oil change for the van as well. Might as well do both at the same time. Apparently when the propellant gets old it can explode on impact and shoot metal fragments out through the air bag, causing injury and death. So apparently this has happened. Yikes. Weather permitting, we'll get this done next week.

MIL is Generous

March 3rd, 2019 at 12:48 am

So DH was out at MIL's on Friday helping her with some banking stuff in her city and he spent a bunch of time out there talking to her. I guess he brought up all the stuff we are going to have to do with the truck and MIL offered to pay for it. She said that FIL had been planning to have all that stuff done and just not ever gotten around to it. I guess she felt bad because we inherited a truck that has turned out to have all these issues.

So she says she wants to pay for not only all the things that have to get done when DH takes it in next week, but to have the paint issue fixed as well. Which means we actually get to use our tax refund for something else and not truck repairs.

MIL doesn't have to worry about money at all anymore and she has been so generous to us. This is why I want to work so hard to get us out of debt and on our way to financial security. So we don't have to worry in the future and can afford to be generous in our old age.

I am feeling a little better now. I came down with a virus that had me throwing up for two days straight, which was probably why I was dragging so hard this week. Everything has stayed down today, though, and I'm not nearly as exhausted. Still tired, but normal tired. Which for me is still probably more tired than 80% of the population, but any improvement is better than none. Tomorrow I might even be able to eat a vegetable.

It's Official

February 27th, 2019 at 08:39 pm

I should have posted this the other day, but I have been dragging and the extent of my online activity has been on the level of watching videos of a cat singing the Game of Thrones theme song on youtube or the like. Yeah, that's where my intellectual capacity has been at. So not a lot of brain power going on.

Anyway, the raise for DH is official and all of the paperwork has now been signed. It won't be on the next paycheck, but will be on the last one of March. He's officially told the other place he won't be working for them.

On the bad side, the alternator is going out in the truck so we are going to have to get that fixed to the tune of around $600. I have $250 in the car maintenance fund. They had said it was going at the oil change DH had last week and today when DH pulled in the driveway it was really straining. Hopefully we can get it to the dealership without having to call a tow truck.

They made it sound like it would probably last six months, but we don't think so after today. It also needs the air filter, the cabin filter, the spark plugs, and the brake fluid replaced and we have decided to do all of that. So we will dip into the EF for this for the rest of the money. I had been planning to use the tax refund when it came, but I don't think it will be here in time now. But we will reimburse the EF when the tax refund comes. Sadly, it will probably use up the entire tax refund. But at least we will break even.

I will start saving $100 a month instead of $50 a month to the car maintenance fund for the next two months, just to build that back up again. Or maybe keep it at that level. The truck is a 2007 and there may be some other issues coming up. A belt or a fuel pump or something, though as of now those things are fine according to the mechanic.

I worry less about the van. It is a 2011 and we haven't hit 45,000 miles on it yet, but it will be needing an oil change shortly and I would like to eventually get the dent pulled out that DH put in it a couple years ago.

Not Quite Every Day

January 10th, 2019 at 09:30 pm

I had hoped to be blogging every day this month, but that's a little harder than I thought it was going to be. Most of the time I forget until after midnight, but today I remembered.

Tomorrow is payday and so today I sat down with the grocery ads and went through to see what the sales were. They have been awful for the last 3 weeks, but redeemed themselves this week. I was pleasantly surprised by the meat sales. Boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs are both on sale for $2.99 a pound. New York Strip Steaks are on sale for $5.99 a pound. We usually get the sirloin ones, because they go on sale at $4.99, but when strip steak is just $1 more per pound for a far superior cut, I will go for it. They also have grass fed beef on sale for $4.99 a pound so I am going to stock up.

They have a couple of pork sales going on as well, but I need to see how big they are, whether or not they have bones, and figure out what they mean by half cut chops. I have never seen that term before. They are both really cheap, one was $1.69 a pound and the other was $2.49 a pound, but those prices may even out depending on bones and I'd rather have boneless if it is a roast. If there is bone in a chop it needs to be on the edge. So we'll see on that one.

They have a pasta sauce I like but don't usually buy because of price on sale for 3 for $5, so I am going to check out the ingredients and see whether or not it has soy in it. If it doesn't, than I will go ahead and get some tomato based ones and some Alfredo ones. While I can make Alfredo sauce, it requires having cream on hand, and it is just easier to have jars on hand.

My son's special peanut butter is on a very cheap Friday only sale, so I will probably get four jars of that, too.

We are very low on cheese, so I will have to go to Winco. They have the best cheese prices in town. Since I'll be over there I'll stop at the Dollar Tree and stock up on soup, too. Fortunately all the grocery stores I shop at are on a pretty close loop. Two miles unless I include Costco and the Food Co-op, which is an additional mile, but still easily on that loop.

DH is taking the truck over to get an estimate on repairs tomorrow. They are a body shop that will bill my mother's insurance directly, but also one that is highly recommended in this town. He'll get an estimate on how much it would cost to paint the whole truck, too, since I want to start saving for that and I have not got a clue on how much that will cost. He also has a dentist appointment tomorrow for a cleaning. Good thing he only has to work until 11 a.m.

Still sticking to the meal plan really well. I don't really like the tater tot casserole my family loves, though, so I had tuna fish spread (no bread), a big salad, and finished off the canned pineapple from earlier in the week. Normally I'll make myself fish and chips on a night like this, but I didn't want to put forth the effort after all the cleaning I did today.

I'll clean out the fridge tomorrow before I go shopping. It's not bad, but someone spilled something in there that looks like juice and didn't tell me and it will need a bit of scrubbing and it is easier to do that before all the new stuff goes in and gets in the way.

I'm not sure if I'll do a one day shop or a two day shop. It really just depends on how well my body is doing. My joints have been hurting the last two days so I may not be able to do it all in one go.

Car Accident

January 8th, 2019 at 02:08 am

Don't worry, no one was hurt. We weren't even in the truck when my mother backed her SUV into it. She knew it was there. She saw it when she got in, but she had forgotten about it when she went to back out, which makes me think she didn't even look behind her as she backed up, and she must have really hit the gas because the amount of damage done to both vehicles was pretty bad. It put a six inch crack in our bumper and bowed it. It put a massive dent in the license plate, and it scratched big chunks of paint off the front of the truck.

The rear of her SUV actually fared worse. I am surprised that she is actually taking responsibility for it. She said she would call her insurance company. The last time she backed into one of our vehicles and left a big dent, she tried to play it off as nothing. At least the one time DH Scraped her old truck with the van, we offered to pay for it, but they popped the dent out for free. But this time she is going to pay for it. I just hope she doesn't have a super high deductible.

I hate to think what is going to happen to her insurance rates after this, though. True, it is her first accident in years (that I know of), but still she is 79 years old.

And that's another thing. Is it time to be thinking about taking the car keys away? I mean if you notice there is a vehicle parked behind you as you get into the car, but then forget about it by the time you back out, does that mean you shouldn't be behind the wheel anymore, or that you just spaced it.

Sometimes I think the driveway is cursed. This is the fifth accident in it during the last 30 years. I know they say most accidents happen close to home, but this is ridiculous.

When we take the truck in to be fixed we're going to get an estimate on how much it would cost to get the whole thing painted as well. The roof and the hood are both in pretty bad shape with flaking paint and rust starting. It was a bad paint year for Toyota Tacoma's that year. Body shops and mechanics can tell how old the vehicle is just by looking at the mess the paint is.

I had thought about not running it through the insurance to make it so her rates wouldn't go up, but you know, if she isn't driving safely than maybe her rates should go up, and it'll be a reminder to her to literally watch where she is going. I hope she just doesn't blame us for when it inevitably does go up. We had nothing to do with it. We were both in the house.

Car Insurance Due and How We Pay it in Full

September 21st, 2018 at 02:39 pm

I got my bill recently for the next six months of car insurance. I have been setting aside $100 a month every month in the Car Insurance Fund. The bill is $567.14 if paid in full. I save $67.66 by not paying it month to month, because they charge a convenience fee each month to do it that way.

Now, it still feels like I am paying month to month, because I have a line item on the budget for it each month and it still disappears from my checking account, but I would much rather do it like this and save that extra money. In order to get ahead like this, a couple of years ago we used some money from our tax return to pay the six months in full and then started saving each month after that. I know some budgets are tight so it would be hard to pay each month and save for the fund, but by doing it like this we didn't have to. We were able to immediately start saving into the fund that month.

So not only do I save that $67.66 off my bill, I also end up with a cushion of $32.86 sitting in the fund to start off with since I am slightly oversaving. Of course I don't know what the six months after this will cost, so if it goes up, we have that cushion, plus the next one if necessary to add to our in full payment. A little insurance on our insurance, if you will.

I do the same thing with other funds. Like right now I am saving $100 a month in the Computer Fund. I could get 12 months same as cash or I could save for several months ahead of time and have the money sitting there ready to go when the next computer or camera or phone other electronic device goes belly up. If the money is there, I can still choose to do the same as cash option, knowing I can pay it off at any time, or I can just pay it off.

Some people aren't so good at paying it off in the allotted time, but we have always been. I figure we might need it to jolly our credit report along at some point, since we are using so little credit these days. If we ever finish the debt payoff and save up enough to put a down payment on a house again, we will need a good credit score. So even if we do the deal and pay it off after three months, it activates the credit report. But the point is, I don't want to have to do it that way. I want to use it as a tool, not have it use me.

I think it is good to have sinking funds like this. It keeps you from being walloped by an unexpected, but really what should be expected, expense. We all know our cars will have insurance due every six months, but to many it is just a big surprise every time it happens because they don't budget for it. We all know computers break down, that Christmas comes every year, that the kids will need clothes and shoes. Budgeting as we go, so we don't get smacked with the expense, just makes sense. And it helps prevent using credit cards and getting further into debt, which is the most important thing, at least for us.

Payday Report for 5/4/18 + Truck + MIL Finances

May 5th, 2018 at 02:51 pm

I am finding a need to more closely track our spending again. We overspent in April by a huge margin, mostly due to me feeling really cruddy for most of the month and not wanting to cook. We had a take out bill to end all take out bills, so now I am determined that 1.) we are going to cook all our meals this month, and 2.) I am not going to let money fritter away and slip through our fingers like that again.

$500.00 for Mom's Utilities
__56.83 DH Life Insurance
__46.30 Me Life Insurance
_122.47 Tithe
__90.82 Internet
_100.00 Emergency Fund
_100.00 Insurance Sinking Fund
-------------
$1016.42

I have two doctor's appointments next week, one with the rheumatologist and one with the eye doctor to check to see whether or not the hydroxychloroquine is turning my retinas yellow or not. I sincerely hope not as it is the one medicine I've been able to use without side effects. It improves my symptoms by about 50%. So I left some money in checking to pay the co-pays.

I am happy to finally be able to put something into the emergency fund again, even if it is only $100. It is necessary for us to rebuild this fund and if I don't waste money on takeaways, than it is available for savings.

I have increased the amount I send to the sinking fund for insurance. We will be taking over insurance on the truck soon. It has been paid off, so we are just waiting for MIL to get the title mailed to her and then we can transfer ownership to our name. I hope we won't be charged taxes so we didn't buy it but inherited it. We will have the death certificate and the will with us for proof we didn't pay, but you know the government, always having to have their hand in your pocket taking money out. But MIL might pay it if there is. I hope so, because we can't afford to. Well, we could, but it will make things super tight in whatever month we have to do it. Things are already tight, though apparently not so tight we didn't waste a bunch of money last month. I will be kicking myself for that for a while.

MIL is really sitting pretty. She got the insurance money and has paid off every credit card bill, the vehicles, and the mortgage. She gets $3000 a month in pension payments, plus her social security. She inherited the 401K and has enough in there to last 25 years at $16,000 withdrawn per year. She's not going to be in any kind of trouble. I am glad, because we all thought it was going to bad for her, but it turns out she's doing better than anyone else. She's set, barring a medical emergency. That can eat up money fast, but aside from her obesity, she's in very good health.

Payday Report for 3/16/18

March 20th, 2018 at 07:55 pm

I have been sick and not really staying on top of blogging, but I have been staying on top of bills. I got my Thrive Life commission check of $59.68 and DH's pay with overtime was $1685.22. I am still waiting on my Google/Youtube check to be deposited, but it should be in there soon. Usually it goes in on the 15th, but not always.

$1000.00 to Citi Visa
__174.52 tithe
__110.54 Medical
__452.88 Car Insurance (6 months)
--------------
$1737.94 Money Out

I had a little money left from before so that was really what was used for the medical bill. This leaves me with $68.52 in checking until Friday. No bills are due, so that is fine. I transferred my wages to savings. I am not really sure what will end up happening there. I am not really specifying savings until after DD's surgery. After that gets paid for, then I'll go back to specifying EF and sinking funds, but for now there is really no point. It is pretty much all medical until it isn't.