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Viewing the 'Work' Category: LuckyRobin's Personal Finance Blog
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Snowy and Cold and a General Mishmash

January 17th, 2020 at 04:11 am

It has been snowing for the past 4 days and it has been bitter cold. Today is a little warmer, but we got down to 17 degrees F, which is darn cold for here. We've had the furnace at 75 just to feel like it is 68 at the far end of the house from the furnace. We are all wearing layers inside. I have on a long-sleeved shirt with a short sleeved shirt on over it and then a long sweater over that, heavy sweats and heavy socks. I just think about how much it would be if we hadn't had the insulation replaced under our part of the house last month. I wish we'd put plastic on the windows when I wanted to, but it got put off.

The gas bill will be high this month. Electric will be a little higher, too, because we are using the space heater in the rabbit shed to keep the water bottles from freezing. And I know my mom has been using her space heater, too. And we did have Christmas lights on for 3 weeks.

DH has been able to get out and go to work. We had about 8 to 10 inches of snow and they haven't done a great job about plowing the roads. But he is used to driving in the snow due to all the years of working in Alaska. DH has been authorized to do 10 hours of overtime a week for next week and the week after that. He could have some this week, but he has a cold and isn't sure he is up for it. He's barely managing to get in his 8 hours a day at the moment. Hopefully next week he will be better and he can take full advantage of it.

The extra money would come in handy because I would like to get an electric grain mill and the one I am looking at costs $263 if I want the attachment for small grains like millet, and I do. It's a big upfront investment, but it is a whole lot cheaper to buy rice and grind it into flour than to continue to buy rice flour at high prices. Even with a bulk source it still isn't anywhere as cheap as just buying the different rices to make sweet rice flour, white rice flour, and brown rice flour, so it will eventually pay for itself. Pretty quickly, too, within the year. And as far as I can tell millet only comes in grain form, not flour form so if I want millet flour I have to grind it myself. Sorghum flour I will still have to buy in bulk unless I can find a source of the grain itself, but I can deal with that.

Also both the husband the son need new belts and the son needs new farm boots. There should be some overtime money after that to throw at the mom loan or at the EF. I haven't decided quite yet. Of course, I won't count on it until he's worked it, but tentatively that's the plan.

On my weight loss goal I have lost 5.4 pounds since starting to eat right again. Today is day 4. I am tracking my calories and food with my fitbit. I am doing about 20 minutes of exercise a day. I will be working up to 30. I lost all of my stamina when I was in bed for 3 weeks and have been working at getting it back for the last week. They are careful exercises from my physical therapy time, ones that work with my rheumatoid arthritis and not against it.

DH said the IRA went over $10K today, so that was a nice milestone that happened. I have been anxiously awaiting that moment so I am glad it finally got here.

I've been kind of lazy about planning my meals out this week. Mostly I've just been taking meat out of the freezer to thaw in the fridge and then deciding what I am going to cook based on what has thawed out and then figuring out what is going to go with it. I usually like to plan better than that, but I'm still not up to snuff after being so sick for so long. I guess whatever gets homemade food on the table instead of takeout works, right?

Tonight I made meatloaf for dinner and roasted potatoes, bell peppers, and onions, with a bag of steamed broccoli on the side. It was my first time using gluten free bread crumbs. I didn't notice any difference in flavor at all, so that is nice. It didn't quite hold together as well as usual, but that might be down to the fact I only used 3 eggs instead of 4 and had an extra pound of meat in the mix, so I probably should have actually used five eggs for a five pound meatloaf (leftovers for lunches). Everything tasted great, though, even if it was a little messy to eat.

Well, I think that about wraps it up for today. If you all could pray for me that I start sleeping better, I'd appreciate it. Too many restless nights are running me down.

NaNo Progress (Not Finance Related)

November 4th, 2019 at 11:34 pm

So I started the month at 44,270 words on my novel. The goal this month is to write 50,000 words and hopefully finish or come close to finishing this book. I got off to a slow start but am picking up speed. I did do some plotting and figuring out that I needed to insert a scene to make something make more sense and add a few sentences here and there for an additional character who hadn't been in an early scene. So that took a lot of skimming around the first day and I wrote it the second. The second day was a bad rheumatoid day, but after that I am doing mostly fine.

Word counts so far:
11/1 = 0
11/2 = 266
11/3 = 2037
11/4 = 1624

I am behind schedule by 2745 words, but I think I will be able to catch up, maybe even tonight, but definitely between now and the 7nth, while staying on track daily. I did a one hour writing sprint today already, I think I probably have another one in me. If so I will update the list.

Total word count so far is 3923 and I need to be at 6668. I can catch up now that I am in the flow again, although I will probably have to ice my hands tonight.

Sore Today and Working on My Novel Again for NaNoWriMo

October 27th, 2019 at 12:20 am

Yesterday and today were rough days physically. I had my last physical therapy session yesterday and they really put me through the ringer. They had me fill out a form at the end which was the same form and I filled out in the beginning and then compared them and the changes have been dramatic.

Things I didn't even realize had changed, like being able to pick up a grocery bag from the floor instead of having to have it put on the counter for me or standing at the sink for fifteen minutes, that kind of thing. A lot of other things have gotten easier, too. My core strength, my leg strength, my range of motion. I am walking further distances unaided. Not to say that I don't use my cane at all, I do on a particularly bad day, but for the majority of the time, I haven't had to in weeks.

I'm pretty sore today, but I also took my shot yesterday which tends to exhaust me, so I just stayed in bed for most of the day and spent some time writing.

I have set a goal to try to finish the first draft of my novel in November. I've never done NaNoWriMo before because for the last several Novembers things went to heck in a handbasket. This is the first time I don't think it is going to. I don't know if I will do it officially or unofficially. I mean, there is all the stuff with my daughter's liver, but the appointments for that will be limited and then if we have to stay a few days after surgery that is a ton of writing time for me that will be pretty much uninterrupted. But mostly I am just back in the mood to work on it again.

I am halfway through seventeen chapters and 44,270 words in and I am aiming for 100,000 to 115,000, so under halfway. The goal in NaNo is 50,000 in 30 days or 1666.67 words per day. I tend to write 4000 to 5000 every other day when I am motivated. I usually need a day off in between due to my hands not being able to handle that kind of typing daily. Maybe I won't finish, but I will get a lot closer to the end and if I finish in December I will be happy.

Then I will edit the second half (the first half has been edited a lot already) and then set it aside for a few months before reading through it again, editing again, and then have a couple of beta readers go over it before figuring out the next step. I don't know if I will try the traditional publishing route or just get an editor to go through it and help me improve it and then self-publish. I am investigating both ways.

Then there is the issue of I think what I have written might really be the second book in a trilogy and not the first, so I might have to figure out if that is true or not and write the first one before deciding on publishing.

I also have to decide if this is a YA novel or not. I don't want it to be, but many of the characters are under 18. More of the characters are adults and have as big of a role as the children, though, but it does revolve around the teens and kids and their power as they grow up. But in the sequel most of them will be adults. Ah, it's a boggle. I'll just have to finish it first, and go from there.

It's Official

February 28th, 2019 at 04:39 am

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.

Work Stuff

February 20th, 2019 at 02:06 am

The reimbursement check for DH's jaunt to the other office finally came through today. It was supposed to only take one week. It took over two. The bill is due in two days. I have not been happy with this and told him in no uncertain terms that if they send him off like that again, there is no way he is using our credit card for it.

They have company credit cards for exactly this sort of thing. I don't care how much easier it was to use ours, if they want him to go again, they give him one of theirs. They would have if it hadn't been so last minute and they still could have, it would have just been more effort on their part. DH has agreed.

DH's raise has been approved as of his last text message to me, but he is still waiting on the paperwork to sign. I told him to double check before he signs anything that it is the amount it is supposed to be and not some lesser amount. While this job has given us no reason to doubt them, there have been other companies that have pulled fast ones and said one thing but the paperwork did not match. Not on wages, but on length of contract. I trust no one in these situations until it is in writing.

I hope it gets signed soon. I don't want this to remain unsettled. He does need to give the other place a decent amount of time to try to find someone else, being as the job was supposed to start in 4 weeks. We don't want him to burn bridges by waiting until the last minute. Even if the way he was initially treated by that company was very sketchy, it was one employee, and they turned out to be a decent employer for the short time he was with them.

Taxes, Work, Goals, and Dreams

February 19th, 2019 at 12:05 am

DH got the taxes done and submitted and we will be getting back a little over $1300. I don't know the exact amount since Dh did the final bit. We did do deductions because it meant a slightly higher return, but this will probably be the last year we have such major medical expenses as to put us high enough to do that with the new taxing structure. If DH gets the raise to stay here, we will be upping our 401K percentage to 7% so that our higher tax bracket will not mess things up for next year. I don't want to end up paying ever. I'd rather just a small refund.

I do have my total out of pocket medical expenses for last year and it is $28,248.75. I believe that is more than in 2017. If things go the way they are looking our medical spending should be greatly reduced this year. Our charitable giving (tithing) was only $5800, but we didn't start doing that until about mid-year, when DH got hired on permanently instead of through the temp company.

So DH's work is just waiting on a signature or two to get him that raise if they want to keep him here. If they do get it, it will be a raise in net income of $15,700 a year. It is not as much as up there is offering, but after air fare and having to pay Cobra for two months, the difference would only be $3000 to $4000, because a lot more would be lost to taxes from being in a higher tax bracket. That is an awfully big change in our lives for only $3 to $4K. Without the raise it is worth it. With it? Not so much. The second year it would be $6K extra because it would be without the Cobra.

Current job has better insurance and better 401K matching, which makes the trade off for up there less appealing. I am hoping they come through for him. They need to do it soon though as DH would need to make the decision and let them know up there if he's not coming so they can get someone else in place.

Current job implied they are planning to move him up into a better position when someone retires in December, also. So...there is potential for advancement, which there never was up there. And with that movement would come another raise, it is assumed, since there would be more responsibilities and a change in title.

With the raise it would take us 13 months to pay off the loan and we could still get our gym membership back. Then it would take us 8 months after that to get our 3 months expenses emergency fund. After that I want to take a small break and go on a vacation with my husband, no kids. We would take one month's worth of what we would have been putting into the EF and go on a short cruise, 3 to 4 days, booking last minute for a deal. We can plan our time for when work is at a lull. We don't care to where as long as it is on the west coast out of Seattle. We likely won't even leave the ship. It has been 8 years since we have been on a vacation and we've never been on a cruise.

Then we would start saving towards the 6 months emergency fund and a down payment on a house at the same time, with an uptick in our 401K percentage.

But until there is signed paperwork in his hands, there is no decision to be made and all of the above is simple dreaming. Except the taxes part.

The Plot Thickens

February 14th, 2019 at 09:56 pm

DH's current job has offered him more money and a more secure position to stay. He'll have to run the numbers tonight when he gets home from work. It isn't as much pay as what the other job is offering, but current job matches 5% in the 401K, not just 3%, has a Christmas cash bonus, a Christmas 401K bonus contribution, company stock, and the insurance is better. Plus he'd be home. This just got interesting.