Sorry it has been so long since I last posted. I have had so many things going on. Here's just a short list:
1) My nearly 20 year old car is in bad need of being replaced. I have spent several hundred dollars in the last 6 months just to keep it running.
2) The total amount of money I have gathered to replace the car is $2151.52.
3) I have some snowflakes arriving soon, $5.00 from epoll and $3.00 from Pinecone. That will add another $8.00 to the car fund.
4) The credit card #1 is down to $5753.94. Last March, when we had to replace the hvac, cc #1 went from approximately $2960 to about $7700 over night.
This last year has been REALLY hard, but I have gotten through that and I will get through this, too!
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Sorry it has been so long since I last posted. I have had so many things going on. Here's just a short list:
I decided to take a cue from Dido and find out my money scripts. What do we have to lose, as we learn more about ourselves, right? Here are my money scripts. I am very surprised, as I did not expect to do as well as this.
To find out about your money scripts, take this test: http://app.keysurvey.com/f/989930/d74e/
Money Avoidance = 2.00
Your score on the money avoidance scale suggests that you do not exhibit significant money avoidance beliefs. In fact, research has shown that your score on this scale is similar to those who have been identified as wealthier, wiser, and more highly educated.
Money avoiders believe that money is bad or that they do not deserve it. They believe that wealthy people are greedy or corrupt, and that there is virtue in living with less money. Because of their negative associations with money and wealth, money avoiders may sabotage their financial success and/or give money away in an unconscious effort to have as little as possible. Research has shown that money avoidance scripts can be associated with ignoring bank statements, increased risk of overspending, enabling others financially, financial dependence, hoarding, and having difficulty sticking to a budget.
Money Worship = 3.14
Your money worship score suggests that you do not endorse significant levels of money worship beliefs.
At their core, money worshipers are convinced that the key to happiness and the solution to all of their problems is to have more money. At the same time, they believe that one can never have enough money. Individuals who score high on the in the area of money worship are more likely to have lower income, lower net worth, and credit card debt. They are also more likely to spend compulsively, hoard possessions, and put work ahead of family. They may give money to others even though they can’t afford it and are more likely to be financially dependent on others.
Money Status = 1.43
Your score on the money status scale shows that you do not hold money status beliefs.
Money status seekers see net-worth and self-worth as synonymous. They may pretend to have more money than they do, and as a result are at risk of overspending. They often believe that if they live a virtuous life, the universe will take care of their financial needs. They may have grown up in a household that prioritized the financial aspects of social standing. Research has shown that people with money status beliefs are at greater risk of overspending, gambling excessively, financial dependence on others, and hiding expenditures from their spouses.
*Money Vigilance = 4.00
Your money vigilance score indicates that you endorse money vigilance beliefs.
The money vigilant are alert, watchful, and concerned about their financial welfare. They believe it is important to save and for people to work for their money and not be given financial handouts. Research has found that higher money vigilance scores are positively associated with higher levels of financial health. The money vigilant are less likely to buy on credit. They also have a tendency to be somewhat anxious about their financial futures, inspiring them to save. While they have a tendency to be secretive about their financial status with others, they are less likely to keep financial secrets from their partners. While money vigilance encourages saving and frugality, excessive wariness or anxiety could keep someone from enjoying the benefits and sense of security that money can provide.
I got another Pinecone deposit today, so I sent that $3.00 directly to cc #1. My husband also made his payment to cc #1 today.
Prior 52 Week Challenge Balance: $598.44
Pinecone Deposit $3.00
DH's payment to cc #1 $66.70
New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $668.14
I just got some great news yesterday and I thought I would tell you all about it as a caution to be aware and ask questions. I recently had some lab work done. I have health insurance that comes with a "lab card" that is supposed to insure, in most cases, that I don't have to pay a bill. There were a large number of tests run, but I was still surprised to get a bill of $107.00. I called the lab testing company to inquire if they had a list of tests that are covered so that I would know in the future if a certain test was run, I would have to pay for it. The person said they do not have a list, but asked what the problem was. So, I told her about the lab work and my lab card, which she asked me to send to her, which I did. One clue is that the name of insurance company listed on the bill was not mine. That was forwarded to billing and they fixed it straight away and said they had gotten incorrect billing information from the collection facility. Anyway, this is just a note to all of you that if you get a bill that does not seem right, ask questions. Woo-Hoo! I feel fantastic.
We have been waiting for awhile for a contractor to get back to us about 2 jobs we need him to do, installing a doorball and an outdoor light. We already had $300.00 set aside for paying for it. We got a curveball today when we realized our A/C was not working right and so had an A/C contractor come in to repair it. The repair cost $251.18 out of the $300.00 we had set aside. Arrgh!
I have written the same exact blog post two times and two times it has disappeared. Anyone know what's up?
Hi, everyone. It's all boring here. I got paid again. The only really exciting things are that 1) my raise finally came in and 2) we are having the rest of our windows measured on Monday for replacement.
I have lost count of my Challenge amount, so I won't count that here. Here are my numbers. Because my raise got delayed due to a contract negotiation issue, I got extra catch up money in my pay today.
$20.00 Deposit to slush fund
$40.00 Deposit to regular savings
$40.00 Deposit to car account
$40.00 Deposit to house account
$40.00 Deposit to professional account
$20.00 Deposit to aaa/tax savings account
$ 6.00 Deposit to escrow account
I will be making some payments to the cc's. I just have not decided how much yet. I am also getting an oil change this weekend and buying a new mop. That may not sound like a splurge to most, but I have needed one for awhile now and had no funds to spare. I have been putting so much into paying down debt and putting into savings.
We refi-ed our house last month, so we had no payment due for October. I am using the "extra" to 1) pay for the deposit on a new window and 2) pay down credit card debt. Here are the numbers so far on that.
$225.00 Set Aside for window deposit
$ 40.00 Payment to cc #1
$ 40.00 Payment to cc #2
$ 59.95 Set Aside for an Annual Expense
$ 82.46 Extra padding for checking account
That leaves $119.20 (I previouly typed $179.15. I have no idea where I got that number) for me to figure out what to do with. I think I will throw it all at cc #2.
Hi, everybody. My dh and I bought a house in 2010. Our mortgage was sold to BOA before the ink was even dry on the documents. We knew it was possible that it could be sold to another bank, but did not know it could happen right away and did not know how to opt out by not signing a certain document. Anyway, with all the bad stuff going on at BOA with them foreclosing on properties that should not be foreclosed on, we have been extra careful with making payments in person, getting a receipt with a time/date stamp on it, and keeping all paperwork organized. We don't want to be out of town one day and come home to our stuff on the front lawn and pets missing. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when we found out that the local BOA branch is becoming Arvest, but our mortgage is staying BOA. The closest other branch that is not going to become a BOA branch any time soon that we know of is over an hour away. We intentionally don't do automatic payment or any electronic payments with them. We don't trust them and want to deal with real people, in person, about our mortgage. Credit cards don't really matter from my point of view, but if someone doesn't do their job and records a payment wrong, you could lose your house due to no fault of your own. Our only choice, other than driving over an hour every month to the nearest branch, is to mail in payments. I feel really unsure about this, any way you look at it. We could look into refinancing with one of two credit unions, but do not have the money for closing costs, inspections, etc. Does mailing in payments to BOA work well? Do you have problems with BOA mortgage services?
My "About Me" section of my blog is not visible. When I log in and go to the Control Panel, I can see it, though. Weird...
I have noticed on my blog, and on others on this site, that there are spam messages being posted. I deleted the one on mine, but I thought it's strange that it seems to be happening all of a sudden.
I just want to give a salute to all military veterans out there, including my father who died in 1981, my husband, my brothers, and my uncles. No matter where you served in war or peacetime, thank you for serving. Regardless of how we feel about war, these guys (and gals, too!) work hard every day to protect us and protect democracy.
Hey, everyone. It has a been a bit of a crappy day here in my house. It was the beginning of a great deal until I grabbed my purse and lunch and was ready to leave for work. When I looked out the front door, I saw that the mailbox was not on the post where it should be but on the ground. I immediately said an expletive. Not characteristic of me, but I was so frustrated since we just replaced the mailbox post barely 3 months ago. This time they bashed in the mailbox, too. My husband, who was half asleep at the time said heard me and asked what's wrong. I told him and he immediately came running to verify it. He grabbed his cell phone to call the cops. I had to leave for work, so I let him handle the cops. Tonight, we went to Home Depot to buy a better mailbox. When we talked to the folks at Home Depot, they recommended the following mailbox and also a heavy duty steel post:
How do you respond when you go to a store (Best Buy, JC Penney) and they tell you they need your phone number, zip code, address, email address, etc. for a "survey"? Now, keep in mind I am not talking about information for if you are buying an extended warranty, applying for a credit card, or other service. I am talking about just going into the store to buy something and someone demands your phone number and/or zip code.
I personally decline and tell them if such information is required for a sale, they can either call a manager or lose a sale, because that information is not required to do a sale. They generally do give in, but I have had to get store management involved a couple of times.
I just get really uptight whenever people ask for my phone number, social security number, address, etc. for no good reason. I won't even give my social security number to a doctor's office, because even the insurance company does not have it. Obviously, the doctor needs my phone number and address, though. I must be in the minority on this issue because most of the time, they look at me like I have just grown three heads.
Why won't I give out such innocuous information as a zip code or phone number when it is not really needed, you might ask? Well, it's a privacy issue. I come into a store usually to buy a specific thing, not to apply for a home loan or credit card. And I don't need to be told whatever "wonderful" products they have, so I don't need spam or junk mail. I am an adult capable of dialing a phone or getting on the internet to find out what they do have, but they don't seem to understand that.
I think the only thing that I hate worse is when I go into a store and they want to sell me a credit card to save me some money. Yea, right, a 25% interest credit card is going to "save" me money.
I was just wondering how many other people there are out there like me.
For those of you who saw an earlier entry I wrote, we were having trouble with the toilet running all the time. We replaced the black bubble thing with the copper tubing on the end. Sorry, I don't know the correct term, but that's what we were told was causing the problem. It sort of helped, but the toilet still runs to some extent. We think we need a new toilet and the hubster thinks we should be able to get a decent one with some water saving ability for around $100 or thereabouts. Upon looking at Homedepot.com for just a guesstimate on this, the cheapest ones I could find were around $200 and go up to nearly $600. Ouch! For those of you who have bought new toilets, is this normal?
Well, the latest in our household is that last weekend, our mailbox was vandalized. We called the police and they filled out a report on it. We knew that since the mailbox only cost about $50.00, that we could not file insurance on it. So, we set about trying to figure out what our options are. We don't want to have to buy a new mailbox and/or post every 6 months, so we were willing to buy something a little more sturdy. My hubby talked to a few friends online who made some suggestions. We also did some online shopping on the Home Depot website. We even investigated the possibility of moving the mailbox to where it was originally located about 1/2 way between the street and the house. No go on that one by the way, as the post offices nationwide are trying to move everyone's mailboxes to the street for safety and limitation of liability. After talking with the postmaster, they came up with an idea the post office is happy with and will also hopefully eliminate future vandalism issues. It involves: 1) mountaing the mailbox on a new post where the box is screwed into a hard metal plate, 2) setting the post in quik crete, and building a sort of cage made of rebar around the mailbox. It is bound to be the most unusual and ugly mailboxes in our town, but if it will keep people from knocking it over, I am all for it. Will post more on this later.
The second issue we are dealing with is ants. Ants by our microwave, in our kitchen cabinets, by the stove, and on the floor. We have been trying for weeks to stave them off by keeping the counters meticulously clean, washing all dishes as soon as we are done with them, and sweeping and mopping the floor often. That has not been working, as they seem to come back anyway. Well, today we decided we had had enough. I did some searching online for anything we could do that did not involve calling an exterminator or spraying awful chemicals into the air.
We went out and bought the boric acid and I put it where the online instructions said. Then, my husband went out and looked around the house. He said he found hundreds of ants in our yard and so he put some of the boric acid on them. Hopefully, this will do the trick.
There is other stuff in our house we definitely want to change. Here is a picture of the closet doors in our bedroom. Yes, they are actually an icky color somewhere between pink and lavender. Yuck.
Here is a picture of the bathroom looking towards the bathtub and a small cabinet Notice the weird colors? Yes, we have a harvest gold bathtub and tiles, but that lavender/pink paint on the inside of the cabinet above the bathtub on the wall. I think whoever painted must have been color blind!
We also want to install some kind of insulation in the attic. Some I know was commenting how they had recently installed radiant barrier in their attic and that it made a huge difference. They described it as looking kind of like big pieces of aluminum foil. I am not sure if it is considered a replacement or a complement to regular insulation. Have any of you heard of it or used it?
I knew that home ownership would be different than renting, but this has not been much fun. It certainly hasn't been boring, though.
Anyone know what's happening with Netflix? We cannot log into our account or watch instant movies.
I just wanted to give a salute out to the all the brave men and women out there who are serving or have served in the Armed Forces and thank them for defending our country and the Constitution of the United States of America.
This is a really awesome video by a young, up and coming artist. I hope to see more of her.
The Food Challenge is still going great guns and I am enjoying coming up with new recipes and stuff to eat when I see something on sale for a really good price. Like, this past Saturday, I had already planned on buying some kind of rice, as it is one of my gluten free substitute standbys for pasta. I also occasionally buy gluten free pasta. I digress. A box of rice was on sale for $2.00 and it had one of the sticky coupons attached to the box for $1.00 off. You can bet I made a b-line for that box. Wow. I had actually worried a little bit about how I was going to make the grocery dollars stretch this week, as the amount left in our checking was a little skinny. But because of this and other fabulous on stuff I was going to buy anyway, it's all good and I actually spent about 1/2 of what I normally do without a lot of effort! Woo-hoo! So, now I ask myself, why am I worrying about it? It always seems to work out somehow.
Here are my meals for the coming week:
3 meals of gluten free pasta salad with gluten free/preservative free/msg free ham, black olives, fresh tomatoes, 1/2 of a yellow onion, and mayo
6 breakfast meals of oatmeal with cinnamon, honey, almond milk, and flaxseeds
2 meals of gluten free/preservative free ham sandwiches on gluten free bread
3 meals of leftover ham and bean soup
This is going to be great week!
I saw this article about creative ways to save money on the Smart Spending Blog at MSN.com. I find that I save a lot of money by keeping an insulated mug at work that I make tea in every day. And I take my own tea bags and stevia to sweeten my tea. Those two things alone keeps me from going to one of the campus eateries every day to buy a Coke or cup of tea. Also, if I did buy anything (I try to stick to cash for my purchases of iced tea, etc.), I put the change into a special box for the purpose. Once a week or so, I take the box to the Coinstar and cash in my coins and deposit them to a savings account. At different times, I have different goals I am savings for, but I deposit it somewhere for a later use and it adds up so fast! It's really cool and it feels great knowing that my money is going to buying future windows for my house or help me to weather some sort of unforeseen emergency.
In July, after I get my pay raise, I am going to increase the amount of money automatically deposited monthly to my savings and retirement. I will also open up a Roth IRA.
Well, if you have been following my blogs in the last couple of weeks, you know that my car is dead and we are planning to get rid of it. However, we cannot get another car right away. We refuse to go into debt for a car. (What a refreshing viewpoint for my hubby to have!) I had been putting aside money to replace the car when it came time, but there is not very much in it, barely enough to pay for the tag fees. What I need to know is if sell my car right now, whether to the salvage yard or someone else, does the insurance company find out if I don't tell them? I do not want them to cancel my policy. I have had insurance with them since 1992 and have discounts for longevity and clean driving record. I also have a multi-line discount, because my home owner's insurance is with them.
I have been out of touch for awhile. The hubster and I just bought a house and this is our first one, so we are pretty green. Just the process of buying it with all the inspection fees, appraisal, reappraisal, an engineer's report on a small issue that turned out to be nothing, and moving brought our available cash and savings down to almost nothing.
To make paying our mortgage a little easier for us and make sure we don't wind up spending the money on something else, I would like to make the mortgage payment in 2 parts. I get paid every 2 weeks, which is usually 2 times a month. As long as the payments are both there on time and the total amount is paid, do they really care? Our mortgage was sold to Bank of America, if that matters. Does anyone do this? If so, has it worked for you?
I have been trying to view my page most of today. The top part on the left loads okay, but my blog entries don't show up and my networth iq widget and an animated graphic don't show up at all. Just wondering if it's just me.
Hubby and I decided to begin looking at buying a house a few months back. He is a vet and so qualifies for a VA loan. We looked at hundreds of houses, driving by them and saying "no way" and many others we looked at. We finally found one that we were willing to place a bid on. We filled reams of paperwork with the real estate agent and the lender. Many of you have bought homes, so you know about having to tell them social security numbers, addresses, debts owed and to whom, and also having to give them identification like a social security card and driver's license or the like. I recognize the reasons why they need this information and appreciate it. However, I am also cautious about who gets my personal information and why. My doctors and health insurance company don't have my ssn, for example. My hubby is very particular to the extreme about this subject. He refuses to give the lender any identification except his passport, an expired passport. This lender is questioning whether this id is valid. Not knowing much about passports, I probably would, too. Would a lender really refuse to lend us money over this?
In the last 2 minutes, I have gotten hundreds of messages in my email that look like replies or comments on other people's blogs and my blogs. But when I open them, there is nothing there. So I deleted them, and then more messages appear within seconds.
Not Money Related, but I love Saturday Night Live skits.
My husband is really stubborn. A few days ago, one of his teeth broke in two. We only have dental insurance on me right now, so we are in the position of trying to figure out how to fix this problem. He doesn't want to go to a local dentist and get the tooth pulled. I even told him that my dentist would probably be willing to negotiate payments with him at about $40 a month or something like that. I had to do that with them once, because my bill was more than I thought it would be. He is a disabled Army vet currently rated at 10% disabled. At his rating, the only way he can get dental care in a VA hospital is if the dental problem is the cause of some other major health problem. The closest VA hospital is a 3 hour drive away and I don't want to make that drive in the middle of the night when he finally decides to do something about it. I looked up the complications of abcessed teeth and they include pericarditis, some kind of infection of the brain, and even death. I can't believe he is willing to risk death for the possibility of having to make payments to get his tooth pulled. Anyone have any experience on how much it costs to have a tooth pulled? I think I will call my dentist tomorrow and ask about cost even though he doesn't want to do it.
I think Liz Pulliam Weston on MSN is terrific. In her finance articles, she hits the nail right on the head and tells it like it is. My husband and I have been thinking about buying a home, because "this is the time to buy." The real estate agent has been showing us one house after another. They all seem to have good, and bad, qualities. But one overriding issue seems to always get in the way that I can't seem to get across to my dh. We have been pre-qualified for a no-down payment loan and the closing costs and inspection fees can be included in the loan. However, we need a few hundred dollars in earnest money. I keep asking him why we are even going to look at a certain house when we don't yet have it. It may take me months to save up for it, and even after that, I want to save up for moving costs and at least one month's house payment. I can almost feel the real estate agent getting a little annoyed that she has shown us at least 20 houses, any one of which could come close to meeting our needs, and 2 of which are exactly what we specified. My dh doesn't seem to think ahead about these things. Here is a link to an article on MSN about wrong reasons to buy a home.
I am having a problem at work that makes me wonder about my future there. A particular co-worker frequently shows up at my desk and shouts in me in full view of members of the public and other co-workers. I have been working there nearly four years and a good portion of the time, this person seems normal and actually helpful, but it's like she turns into a different person and blames me for problems that are actually someone else's to deal with. Despite reporting to the boss about this, he doesn't seem to think this is a problem, but it seems like harassment. From what I have been able to find out my workplace does not seem to have rules against harassment that is not sexual or race-related, but they do have a conflict resolution procedure. My boss is at a conference, but when he comes back, my mentor and I will talk to him about what my options are. I am not sure what I should do. I really like living here and I love my job. I am keeping my fingers crossed while also putting aside extra savings just in case.
My profile photo has changed. We had friends over during the holidays and they took pictures of our furbabies. Here is another similar picture.
It's very unusual for them to sit together like this, but they were both trying to get away from our friends' dog, an adult 38-pound pug. I think they were actually afraid of him. Here's a couple of pictures of the pug. He is really cute and seems to like cats, but they didn't like him.
Our friends went to Sonic while they were here and this is him waiting for his order.
They brought the Guitar Hero game with them and this is him playing Guitar Hero.
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