Slacker Redeemed at the Ninth Hour
Whhheeeeeeweeeee! (barely ducking in under the wire!)
I freely admit with all the family bickering, holidays, mom-taxi-ing, home remodel projects, Hubster vacationing at home, and all the other life stuff that's been going on this month I have slacked on my $20 Challenge.
However, luck would have it that FrugalSon came up with about $50 in Christmas cash that he gave to me yesterday afternoon to prepay on his truck loan that he owes Mom & Dad.
Well, I'm appropriating $25.00 of it (yes he gets credited w/all $50.00 on his payment schedule) to add to my $20 Challenge and adding the remaining .37 cents from a wallet clean-out to get to the fatter $30+ I said early in the month that I wanted to meet on this month's challenge.
So...to wrap up the year on a good note...
+25.37 last minute save
$30.01 Dec MTD
Cummulative Total $123.00
The Thrill of Victory!! Off to a rocky start, but I'm hot on your heels Ima!!!
Will definitely try to get my mind back in the game now that most of the house stuff is done!
Archive for December, 2006
Slacker Redeemed at the Ninth Hour
Big Orange Can Kiss My Rosy!
Well, one of the reason's besides the holidays that I haven't blogged on is that I've been having a whoo-ha fest with the savings account people who like to throw the color orange about - (NOPE, I'm not even giving them free advertising while I gripe about them.)
I was locked out of my accounts for many days as I was later told we had 'too many' accounts (see unlimited doesn't really mean unlimited number of accounts - they do have their limits). It took them about five or six days to figure out the problem and only after I'd made about three phone calls.
I was told "You NEED to consolidate." No, I don't NEED to, you NEED me too. There is no beneficiary contigent to their accounts. It was a pissing contest of sorts because I was named as joint owner on all The Hubster's accounts and both of the kids at home numerous accounts, as well as my own. Good thing I waited to open the ones I was going to for the nine grandkids and one great-grand-kid heh?
I was also VERY RUDELY told that I "should talk it over with my husband". Now, I don't know about you girls, but at my house I make 99% of all the financial decisions and to be told in the year of our Lord 2006 that I need to discuss it with the man of the house just ripped it for me.
I had been hanging mostly with the orange people because of having all my accounts set up there - savings and CDs and even their IRAs, but let me tell you I couldn't move OUR money fast enough after that little statement. OMGosh that did it -- hello orange people -- there are plenty of others out there who pay better interest and happen to live in THIS CENTURY -- not the dark ages.
So, goodbye orange. Take your men CSR's and give them a little sensitivity training, would ya? No, we are not high-rollers and you probably won't miss our money too much, but I'll be happier with it somewhere that knows that a majority of all household financial decisions are made by the lady of the house THESE DAYS.
So, yes, I've been gone celebrating the holidays AND though time consuming also liberating my family's dollars from the female-bashers and putting it somewhere else where they appreciate those of the fairer sex.
Kiss Off Big Orange! Why Yes,YES you CAN kiss my rosy!
That sounds fair doesn't it?
Auto Insurance Unexpected DISCOUNT
Earlier in the month when I paid my auto insurance for the year which is a big ole whopping amount I was trying to do it by phone and the girl told me that since I was paying the entire coming year's premium that I would get a $43.69 discount! YEAH!!! That was certainly a nice surprise!!
I'll take it!!
(...but it makes me wonder that if I'd just sent the check in the mail if they would have refunded anything, you know what I mean????)
Anyway, an unexpected little gift from good old Santer' Clause!!
Best of Craigslist 2006 - Shout Out To Broken Arrow
Are You An Actuary???
Broken Arrow this one's for you.
WARNING: The Best of Craigslist is not for everyone. It does contain some posts that are rank and not for the weak of heart or those who are on the prudish high-road, but it is hilarious what some of these posts say! Some are touching, some are just down right informative.
But to find one that is a single's ad looking for an actuary? Priceless!!
Enter at your own risk!
Pamper Me Pamplona
Okay - Between Flylady's posting about pampering ourselves and my extended family acting all crappy about Christmas I decided that the last two days was a PAMPER MYSELF necessity!
FrugalSon and I went to see 'The Holiday' with Cameron Diaz and Jude Law! A very nice movie that I would watch again and again.
Watching that reminded me that I'd been wanting a haircut and I'd had mine styled similarly to Cameron's before so I went for it -- a cross between Diaz
and Sandra Bullock's.
While at the Supercuts (I wanted to go to a nicer place where the stylist takes more individual time with you - but the budget did not allow PLUS I had a Supercuts coupon!) ...anywazsoz' I decided while there I should do something else for myself that I've been wanting to try. I was up until yesterday an eyebrow virgin. Meaning I never pluck, shape, sugar or do that weird thing with floss.
I had my eyebrows waxed for an expenditure of about 12.50 or so. It was good. The shop was virtually empty so all three of the girls 'did me!' One cut my hair and the other two did the eyebrows. Fortunately both eyebrows match!!
THEN, I went further and went to Cato Fashions. I had been reading my MissusSmartyPants stuff and thinking I needed a fresh look. So while there I got myself a new pair of basic black pants that actually fit me perfectly. As you ladies know that is a Major FEAT unto it's own. There is usually always something a bit off. These were regularly priced at 19.99. And I got a very cute and flattering top to wear to Christmas at my Mom's and will work well with the pants and also go with a long black skirt for church later. My color, a flattering blue/green that makes me ol' hazel eyes blue for the duration. Daring decollatouge' and all. Woo-hoo it was on the clearance rack for $5.99 velvet bodice ribbon and all! A SCORE!
Next up was a trip next door to the Payless Shoe store where I was able to purchase at the BOGO sale and got myself a very nice black flat everyday type (working world) dress shoe and a pair of black tennis shoes.
I know I know I said I wasn't going to buy any more shoes this year so I've blown my Vow (See Thrifty Ray's Vow post). I needed new walking shoes in the worst way. I've had three foot surgeries and shoes that fit and are on sale are hard to run into in the same breath. I promise to only wear them once this year to Mom's (it's an outfit) and then will put them away till January 1, Thrifty Ray!!
Okay, so I went a little wild. But hey, I look hot, and my feet will thank me later!
So a day of pamper me luxury - a very rare thing - and if my internal adding machine is working I'm somewhere in the $99 dollar range. Not too bad - but I don't make a habit of this kinda thing. Matter of fact I can't even remember the last time I did such a thing (maybe four or five years ago) which tells you it was long over due!
Wow -- Broken Arrow - it really does feel good to confess our indulgences! BTW, I love the tea-light lamp!!
Like the 'new and improved' me!
The challenge seems to be flagging out on me as Christmas plans take center stage. Or should I say I'm the one flagging out on the challenge?!
Here's adding .57 cents to try and fan the flames into life again!
+.57 fan the flames
4.37 Dec MTD
Cummulative Total $97.36
Twenty Four and Counting
The Hubster and I celebrated our twenty-fourth anniversary on Sunday - well, we actually had it on Sunday and went to celebrate last night. Pizza at Mazzios, for which I had a free mini pizza coupon w/a $5.00 purchase - I had him use our Discover card so we could get their current 5% cashback on restaruants.
We should have been charged 14.49 plus tax and when The Hubster reached the table w/a ticket for 19.53 I sent him back for a refund of 3.53. Left a tip of 1.50, so we're ahead of our Discover bill by 2.03 at this point. Instead of adding it back to checking I'm taking it to the challenge. Hubster took leftover pizza slice, garlic bread and the mini pizza for lunch today. Happy Anniversary to Us!!
$2.89 Dec MTD
Cummulative Total $95.88
Adding $0.36 to the $20 Challenge
Here we go, watch me now!
+00.36 watch her go
$00.86 Dec MTD
Cummulative Total $93.85
It took me an hour this morning to slide FrugalSon to work - even with my truck loaded down with snow in the backend. It took 45 minutes to get back home as some of the traffic had cleared out.
The truck even had frost on the inside of the windows which is a new one on me as I've lived here ALOT OF YEARS (I almost slipped and told you how old I am!) and have never seen it do that before!
I did pass a place this morning on the way home, not in my normal track, but they had a Wanted: shop helper sign up and I called and I'm going to take FrugalSon by there on our way home this afternoon to see if he can get that job and do away with the burgercentral position.
They've got decent pay at this place - hope he gets the job then he could go to having one full time position instead of the way we've been doing it! Send up your prayers if you're the praying kind! Thanks!
Perhaps we can go sledding this afternoon once he's through with the interview.
Past Belated Birthday - Yah Yah Me!
"There was a star danced, and under that was I born." - William Shakespeare
One day during the past three weeks I celebrated the day of my birth!
"Friday's child - loving and giving [Friday (vendredi in French) is ruled by Venus. "Friday's child is loving and giving" might refer to the Venus nature, that is, a person who is loving and receptive to love.]"
"Who keeps an arrow in his bow,
And if you prod, he lets it go?
A fervent friend, a subtle foe-
Scorpio! -author unknown"
"Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words." - Plautus
Although it was a long day that day and my extended-peeps weren't acting their very best and I was near tears The Hubster did manage to take me out to the local rib place and bought me a nice dinner with just us two! Yeah Hubster!!
We celebrated w/a bit of inbibing - something we normally never do - I was just in that 'I need a good stiff drink' mode so I ordered a glass of wine, he a bottle of brew. I ordered a three-meat salad thingy which was jumbo and about $8.00. Sorry, but my Frugaliscious Gene (TM) kicked into gear when I found FIVE - count them 5 - large chunks of browned lettuce stem in my salad.
The Hubster hates it when I complain in restaraunts but after I pulled the fifth one out and set it aside on a napkin even he agreed that we needed to talk to the manager. For eight smackers you can buy more than one or two heads of lettuce and throw in the meat and cheese and still turn a profit. The manager was very nice and comped my dinner! SWEET! Dinner 17.47 on the CC - yes, already deducted from the checkbook!
"We are all born naked and screaming and if you're lucky that sort of thing won't stop there." - Unknown
Cracks me up!!! Loved this story - hope my future 'old age home' is as much fun! All ya'll aging rocksters give me a shout so we can coordinate our first annual blow-out!! Of course, my birthday is in November so socks & bowties for men and socks & earmuffs for women will be the appropriate attire. Maybe a nipple cozy should go on my 120th birthday wish list?? I mean, really, a birthday girl has got to have some way to differientiate herself at her own birthday bash!!
"Your future goes beyond the wooden floor of third dimension.
It goes beyond the endless sands of time that sift in the wind.
It stretches beyond the seas and the flow of creation.
It reaches above the sky, the stars, and the universe.
It is endless. Always look ahead, your lessons learned.
If you 'look' within your soul, you will see your future." ~Ellie Crystal
I'm learning from a dear soul-friend the art of looking ahead instead of behind me. Hoping to have our family foundation funded and fully going by the time I hit my 50s. A little legacy to hopefully benefit mankind.
"From birth to age eighteen, a girl needs good parents. From eighteen to thirty-five, she needs good looks. From thirty-five to fifty-five, she needs a good personality. From fifty-five on, she needs good cash." - Sophie Tucker
So, I'm here between thirty-five and fifty-five and hoping my personality is at least somewhat pleasing as I'm getting a head start on looking for some good cash in the future!! A nice roll of cash would not be an inappropriate gift in my humble estimation!
Happy Belated Birthday to Me!
While my brother was in the hospital we got a call that FrugalSon's morning job will be downsized out of existence as of the end of the year. Budget constraints due entirely to the fact that one man on staff could not control himself morally and left the place in a financial shambles as a result. ARRRGHHH.
FrugalSon still has his afternoon / evening job at burgercentral, but we are on the lookout for one full time job that will pay him enough so that he can quit job 2 as well.
Mom doesn't mind the not having to drive 20 minutes each way to drop off and pick-up, but I was hoping that he'd be able to keep that job for a long time!! Nice benefits and a 403b. Oh well. He would have been there 2 years this coming February.
Have to keep stepping up that stairway of success and try not to trip on the broken rungs, eh? This has resulted in FrugalSon learning that our moral /social behaviours often affect others whether we mean for it to or not. He has learned a life lesson here and is confused/saddened/angered all at the same time by the resulting loss of respect he felt for the man along with the financial repurcussions to his own concerns!
I'm hoping that this all leads FrugalSon along a better path and an even brighter future.
Does anybody know if FrugalSon would qualify for unemployment if he still has some compensation from the second job??
Miss Carmel 'Carmie' Corn is sick w/diareaha. We took her to the vet today and he told us to dose her with Pepto (two tablespoons) at noon and two more before bed this evening and again 3 times tomorrow. If she is still sick on Monday morning we are to bring her back in. Hope this helps the poor little thing. She has been out having the best time running joyfully thru the snow & ice!
Vet Visit - No Charge
Pepto at the Dollar General - $2.18
CashHappySon reimbursing me - PRICELESS!!
Laundry List of Ailments
Finally have enough time and a cable connection that I can post about my brother's hospital stay. He was admitted to the Indian Hospital even though he had lost his CDIB card in a fire about 4 or 5 years ago. This not having it when he needed it now is typical of his lifestyle. He could have gotten it replaced many times but never did.
He had NO Identification on him except a receipt from a state trooper that had collected his license when stopping him and finding him driving w/an expired license. Another case of not bothering to take care of the bare necessities in life.
My Dad had picked him up that day to get his help on a farm project when he sees that he has swollen up by about 40 pounds. Can you say Congestive Heart Failure? Yes.
He was shipped out of the Indian Hospital by ambulance to a metro area public hospital. After a long litany of tests we have a laundry list of multiple diagnosis - (diagnosises???).
COPD - Emphyasema (sp?)
PAD - Periphial Artery Disease (legs & feet were purple/black-OH MY!!)
Congestive Heart Failure
His heart is very damaged and enlarged and operating at about 20% of normal. His breathing on a scale of 1-10 (10 being normal) was running about 2 at the highest and about 1 1/2 sustained.
Lucky him - no blockages. Luckier him my Dad was an emergency room/intensive care nurse & nursing professor for years and could see his critical state. They took 20 pounds of fluid off of him in one day's time!
He has worked very intermittently throughout his life and we are hoping that he has enough work credits to enable him to begin collecting SS disability. Our tribe will be paying for the majority if not all of his hospital care.
He's 54 years old. He has always pushed the family away. He has five children and only one of them came to see him in the hospital as the mother of the child brought him as he's still a teen. The other grown kids didn't bother. None of his "friends" came to see him.
Sadly, these friends have always been more important to him than family. BUT, he was surrounded by his sisters, parents, nieces and nephews. Hopefully through this he will see that we really do love and care for him. Even when it's hard and for many years it has been next to impossible to get close without getting screamed at and pushed away. This is my brother whom I believe is undiagnosed bipolar.
The medical team at the hospital were all very nice except for the one lady who kept trying to treat him for diabetes and wouldn't believe any of us when we kept denying that he had it! They tag-team doctor at this particular hospital and I can't say that I cared for it - we never saw the same doctor twice and we were there for 8 days!!
Anyway, they released him right before Thanksgiving and he went home on oxygen and is currently staying at my Dad's house. No telling how long he'll willingly submit to that.
That's all for now - I just wanted to record some of it here for my own memory's sake and to thank all of you who prayed while we were there! The prayers were needed and are much appreciated.
To make this financial in nature - I had to raid the petty cash here at the house to the tune of about $60.00 in order to keep running up to the hospital and feeding myself while I was there on 'my watch'. Now will have to resupply that money from somewhere in the budget.
Piggy Starts A New Gain Weight Challenge
Piggy is just not getting fat enough. We start a new month and plan to reach a total of $30 for the month of December. Adding 50 cents that SOMEBODY put in my coaster yesterday.
Love that somebody whomever he is!!
$00.00 beginning balance
$00.50 Dec MTD
Cummulative Total $93.49
Little House So Very Small
Just Room Enough For Love That's All
Somehow the LOVE is missing this weekend. At least for my mortgage holder.
Okay - we are blanketed with the blizzard this past week and this weekend and Wednesday night the cable line snapped in the onslaught. Today they finally came to fix it. Because I sometimes pay more than the set amount on my mortgage I don't have it set on automatic, but just log on at the end of the month and make the next month's payment.
Yesterday comes and STILL no cable. No logging on. Nope - no can do. How to make payment - I get on the horn and think I'll just phone in my payment and they can take a check over the phone like so many others do. Yes, I can do that but it's a $15.00 fee to do so....augh!!! I'm halfway thru the AUTOMATED payment process before they finally tell me there is this DUMB fee!!! Can I talk to a HUMAN BEING with feelings please???
Oh well, I went ahead and did it rather than be late on my payment. I tried to call them today and ask to have the fee removed or payment cancelled or something because of the blizzard - so I could log on and make the payment at no charge but there are no service reps there today. I will try again on Monday.
SHEESH - $15.00 bucks! Oh yes, did I mention that they also have stopped sending statements so there is some little bit of difficulty in even trying to mail them a payment and getting it accounted for correctly. Go ahead - ask me how I know!! I dare ya!
No really - You probably don't wanna ask as I don't think it would be pretty! Did I mention that I hate Countrywide?
I hate Countrywide.
You can't tell I'm disgusted, can you????
$15.00 bucks to take my payment - AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUGGGHHHHHHH!
Updating the Mortgage Info:
New Balance as of 12/01/06 $23,674.36
Contractual Payoff 7 years 5 months
Actual Payoff 7 years 1 month