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Crab Boil--Work Event Year 2

July 21st, 2019 at 09:57 pm

The crab boil for DH's group at work was yesterday. I had some anxiety about going as I always worry that either DH will abandon me or I won't find someone to talk to or I will find someone to talk to but will have to do all the conversational work, which is hard for me because I am an introvert. But I sucked it up for DH and we went.

I didn't have anything to worry about. His direct boss's mother, wife, and daughter sat with us and talked extensively. It was really easy and I enjoyed their company a lot. The boss is the one who took him out fishing and crabbing. The boss and his wife are our age, and DH and the boss have a lot in common. I teased him about having a bromance going on, but I am glad they are becoming good friends.

They want us to come out on the boat for prawns. I don't know if I am capable, but maybe. I miss being out on the ocean. I used to go sailing with my best friend and her dad when we were kids. He had the nicest little sailboat. A big old motor boat will be a different experience, but I used to go out on the Snake River in one of those with my cousins when I was younger, too, for waterskiing. If you've never waterskied on a river, it's quite different from doing it on a lake. But I digress.

The place they had it at the year was gorgeous. They have an extensive garden, both flower and vegetable. It actually gave me some ideas for the future. What I really loved about it is it reminded me of the Storybook ride at Disneyland. It wasn't Disney oriented, but there were all these miniature figures and houses and things scattered throughout the garden. It was very magical and harmonious and perfectly groomed.

They also had an outdoor billiards room and an above ground pool and I think it was on 5 acres or thereabouts. The inside of the house was pretty nice, too, but the outside was the main jewel. I am glad I went if for no other reason than seeing these gardens.

But I actually feel like I could be friends with these people. They seem to hold similar values. I wish we had the sort of set up where we could entertain, but I know my mother would just embarrass my husband and probably them, too. She has no filters and I don't want to put anyone through that. She always horns in on things and we have no privacy to have guests over. One day we will be out of here and I cannot wait.

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.

Work Stuff

February 19th, 2019 at 06:06 pm

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 18th, 2019 at 04:05 pm

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 01:56 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.

Life Changing News

February 9th, 2019 at 06:21 pm

DH took a new job today. It's back on the slope. After taxes and after airfare, we'd be bringing home $30K more a year. Yes, that's net. The 401K is not as good a match (but we'll contribute 7% instead of 5% to make up for it) and the insurance costs more (but pretax), but the difference in income more than makes up for that.

DH and I talked it over for several hours yesterday. His current job is getting iffy, because after the election last year one of the refineries pulled out of a couple of jobs and that means less work for his company. We feared this was going to happen because it does every time democrats get control of either the Senate or the House, and it is even worse when they also have the presidency, which they may again in two years.

I think it is a little ridiculous though, because they don't have control of both, so they'll never pass anything in the next two years, but the oil companies always seem to get fearful when the dems start getting any control. Usually because they raise taxes on the industry, already the highest taxed industry in America AND all developing nations, and try to shut down new exploration the second they get full control and put in all sorts of punitive regulations. They don't want to invest only for it to be shelved in a couple of years and have it taxed so much the project is no longer tenable.

But anyway, because the current job is getting iffy on work, and because this job pays so much more, we decided he would take it. It is a two year contract. We'll be out of debt in a year and have our six month emergency fund in place by the end of the second year and maybe some saved for a down payment.

He starts on March 18th. I told him to at least wait until March before he lets his current work know and I hope he listens to me. I'd really like him to wait until two weeks before to give notice as I don't want to try to go without pay for more than 2 weeks if they decide to let him go early. My hope is he can work right on up to the 15th. We only have $3000 in the EF, so it would be very tight. I am going to go down to a bare bones budget between now and when the new job starts and save as much as I can. We will have to pay for a Cobra for the month of April, but I believe the new insurance should start in May.

The first pay cycle will be larger because he will have 3 days of training on it before he starts his 3 and 3 hitch. I hate 3 and 3 so much as compared to 2 and 2, but it means less airline tickets a year.

It will be hard to go back to this again, but it puts our future back on track. It will be annoying to have to do a 6 week budget cycle instead of a 4 week budget cycle, but I managed before and I can manage again. And it is worth it for the amount we'll be able to speed ahead on our goals.

I just hope that after the two years are over there will be work that is easy to find, hopefully slope work. If not, I guess we'll have the fully funded EF and unemployment again (which is enough to cover insurance premiums, but that's it).

DH is Off

January 27th, 2019 at 07:06 pm

Here's something I never thought I'd see myself write again. DH is off to Alaska. He'll be back Tuesday morning, though, and this isn't a permanent thing. They just needed someone with up there experience to check something out in Kenai, take a bunch of photographs, and come back with the info. It was all very last minute. They asked him to go on Thursday.

I'm not particularly thrilled about it. I thought my days of worrying while DH flew were over. It was weird to go back to the airport again. I haven't been out there in two years. Things have changed quite a bit.

There is so much going on here with DD's health and my own that I would never want to have him going up there permanently. I have gotten used to us being together every evening. I went through twenty years of us being apart so much and we were used to it and it didn't bother me very much, but now it is feeling like a whole other ball game. Maybe because I'm not steeled against it anymore.

I don't even know if he is going to get paid extra for it. They didn't discuss it. AK is usually hazard pay, but who knows? He doesn't even know if he is going to get paid for travel time, which annoys me, because if he doesn't, it means he'll lose a day's pay. They are paying for the hotel and airplane tickets outright, but he'll have to be reimbursed for food, taxi, etc. It's not a per diem, they just said be reasonable about it and submit receipts.

If it hadn't been so last minute, they would have given him a company credit card and there wouldn't have been any of this use your own card and get reimbursed later nonsense that I dislike so. DH says they are fast about reimbursing though, like a week. Some of the companies he has worked for took six weeks, which is what turned me off on the whole thing. Plus DH has a tendency to lose receipts.

Today has been pretty laid back, otherwise. I am a little tired from all the cleaning so I am taking it a little easier today. DS still needs to do the kitchen floor and we have two drawers left to wipe out and to organize and if that is all that gets done I am happy with that.