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It's been too long

March 14th, 2009 at 06:10 am

I seem to go in spurts posting here but so often life gets out of hand so here is a quick update...

School has been going well except for Business stats. I understand it when he goes though it in class but I am having trouble when it comes to the tests and that is what the grade is based off. This may be a do over. I don't really enjoy Sociology but I am so far doing well in the class. I think... here it is spring break and I have only received one grade in spite of multiple papers. I love Economics and Accounting, big surprise (not) right now we are doing a big ecel project in Accounting, an interactive budget, and I am having so much fun! English is...okay. I found a decent partner for the research paper although I would much rather do it all myself. We are writing about the credit card industry.

My internship is going well and has been a real education in the corporate insurance/financial world. There were firings about a month ago and my direct supervisor was one of the ones let go. I work in the service center (not on the phomes thank goodness) and it is one of the more profitable sections of the company but I think we were somewhat top heavy so I understand why they let one of the managers go. It was weird though I have never known someone who was fired like that and he was a good guy. Deadlines are very important and with tax reporting we have been very busy.

Income tax season has been slow...I got a raise because of my experience so I am drawing more salary but I haven't done as many returns this year.

I bought a netbook to take to school with me. I really like it because it does everything I need it to but is really small and light. I have been thinking about getting one since before Christmas. Yesterday I pulled it out to work on my English paper and one of the girls went "ooh that is so cute"

So that is about it around here. Spring break starts Monday and I am looking forward to more time to do some of the things I have been putting off.

Song going around in my head

December 24th, 2008 at 05:39 am

It is from Montgomery Gentry

And if all you ever really do is the best you can
Well, you did it man

That's something to be proud of
That's a life you can hang your hat on
That's a chin held high as the tears fall down
A gut sucked in, a chest stuck out
Like a small town flag a-flyin'
Or a newborn baby cryin'
In the arms of the woman that you love
That's something to be proud of

I think striving to live a good life might be a good dream.

What if you don't have a dream?

December 21st, 2008 at 08:16 am

Over at the Simple Dollar Trent talks about giving up your dream.

I never really had a dream...

After my divorce I wanted to learn more about income taxes so I took a class on income taxes. I had a perfectly good paying job but at the end I was offered a chance to work part time doing income taxes. I liked it. I liked it much more than my usual day job.

Then my day job became more stressful and just plain horrible. I was worried it was going to come to a head so I began socking every penny away until I had enough in the bank to survive 12 months.

When I was put on probation for the second time in less than a year I knew I couldn't work there anymore. I wasn't ever going to please my new manager. So I quit and went back to school. I am an accounting/finance major and got 3 A's and a B my first semester. I got an internship at an insurance company doing cost basis for surrendered policies. I still do my income tax work, in season. Next year I will have a full scholarship. Financially I am still okay. I haven't had to use any of my savings to make ends meet.

But I still don't have a dream...

There is nothing that really fuels my flame. I am happy going on day to day and living my life as it unfolds. When I am 50 I will finally graduate from college with a BBA. I will probably find another job in accounting. I will probably look into getting a masters. I have been looking at different fields and thinking about what I want to do. With my low COL I could do anything... but I really would like to find that dream, that one thing I want to do more than anything else.

I have been thinking about what I love to do. If I didn't have to work what would I do?

I like learning new things. I like teaching new things to individuals but not necessarily to groups. I seem to work better one-on-one.

I like helping people, but I find them frustrating. Most of the people I meet don't want help thay just want solutions that don't require any work on their part.

I like being a wife, cooking, keeping a nice house. When I was married we would often host parties and I loved making sure that everyone had a good time. I don't like going to parties but I did like the feeling that the guests were well taken care of. People liked coming to our parties and they were always well attended.

I like inteligent conversations with intelligent people. I like debating concepts and having discussions about important topics.

So how does all this fit into a dream? Does everyone have to have a dream?

Waiting for a final

December 8th, 2008 at 01:05 pm

I am sitting here in the library waiting for my 4:00 final. I have studied but I will be so happy when this particular one is finished. I don't quite understand Stats and I am nervous. I have a solid B in the class and I doubt I will flunk but I had really hoped to come out of this with at least my B intact.
My Accounting final will be just as intense but I am not as nevous about it. I enjoy accounting and absolutely loath statistics. Nest semester I have Statistics for Business and Economics, it is not even considered a math class so I am hoping it won't be as bad as this one has been. It is as if I know it and then I sit down with the test and all the sudden I don't know it. I have never had test anxiety before I think it is just a case of I DON'T LIKE IT so I forget it as soon as possible.
After finals this week I don't have school again until January 20th. Since I am re-employed now and will be starting taxes in January it won't be as much of a vacation as I could have hoped for. It would be nice to just be a student and have 4 weeks with nothing to do but there aren't many peopple here in that position. Most of them work their a**es off during breaks to help pay for school.

Anyway, wish me luck....

Do memberships save you money?

November 29th, 2008 at 07:07 am

I was in line at Barne's & Noble, doing a secret shop, when the lady in front of me got a membership card that gets her 10% off her books. When it was my turn I was asked if I wanted to become a member and I said

"No thank you I don't spend $250 a year on books"

Lady in front (who was putting on her gloves) "I never thought of it that way"

Is that math so hard? to get back the $25 a year membership at 10% off wouldn't you have to spend $250?

I have problems with places that charge me to spend money. We have arts and craft fairs that are really just big open air markets that charge admission. Once you get in there is nothing to do except buy stuff. Why should I pay $5 to stroll among the vendors, who have also paid the organizers for their space. It's not like they have free entertainment or displays that are fun to see just rows of people selling their stuff.

I had a boss once who said that Sam's was not in the business of selling stuff but in the business of selling memberships. I know people who say they get better deals there but if I am careful and watch the sales I usually do just as well.

So, once you do the math do memberships save you money?

Am I obsessing?

November 24th, 2008 at 05:07 pm

I did my stats test tonight and didn't worry at all about the one problem I had no clue about, 6 points down the tubes. BUT I got back my Accounting test from last week and I only got 87/100. There are 3 tests plus the final and all are worth 100pts. I had 96 on the first, 104 on the second and now this stupid 87. Why is the A in accounting so much more important than the A in statistics?

Tonight was my only classes for this week. The instructor said he would be in class tomorrow night if we wanted to come but it wasn't mandatory. I have a study date to work on the project in that class so I will probably go especially since the class is in the computer lab.

DS is working tonight so I am home alone. I like being home alone with nothing due tomorrow. I will probably study a little just because I am used to spending evenings studying. Right now I have A's in 3 of 4 classes, Why it alright to settle for a B in Stats when a B in accounting would bother the heck out of me?

Schedule going crazy

November 23rd, 2008 at 07:07 am

It seems like all my professors are going crazy with the last 2 weeks of classes coming up. In accounting we went over 4 chapters in 4 classes and had another test. Statistics has accellerated too with a test tomorrow, luckily it will be the last one before the final but since there is only 3 more classes before that there isn't much time to cram in alot else. One more humanities class and one final project in Business Class.

Because of all the junk classes I took in the past I am classified as a Senior but I still have a minimum of 5 semesters to actually graduate. Next semester is going to be FUN. I have-
Managerial Accounting
Junior Composition
from 9-1pm on MWF
Then- work from 1-4 MWF 8-4 T,Th
Then- Statistics for business MW nights
And-H&R Block from 5-9pm T,Th,F plus all day Saturday/Sunday

My plan has been to take all my H&R Block money and put it aside for extra school costs, my tax refund will go into my funds for irregular expenses like proerty tax and car insurance and I will live off of my internship work money.

I have been doing alot more secret shopping lately too. The little checks have been going to fund having a little fun now and then. With there being so much free entertainment at school I have found it is not too hard to spend almost nothing on a good time. Last weekend they were having a play in the theater. Free to students. Last week was a concert. I actually don't have time to do everything offered although I usually manage to show up for the events with free food. I had a blast at the debate watches and all the pizza and pop I wanted. There was a business luncheon about interviewing techniques with a free lunch, I also met some very nice people in the business school/community so making contacts was an important part of it.

Although I am really busy instead of feeling tired I feel energized by it all. It is so empowering to be totally in charge of my own life. In lots of ways I think it has been a good experience for my DS too. He has become more self sufficient and confident. He has started keeping his own budget and taking care of his own needs without me reminding him. It is a bunch of little things but I am happy to see him growing up.

On a sadder note one of my old friends, we actually dated a few times, died last Thursday. It was strange, his son found him at the front door looking like he was leaving for work. They think it was a heart attack but he was only 56 years old. I hadn't seen him for a long time but it feels funny to think he is not out there anymore.

I was offered an internship

October 6th, 2008 at 08:42 pm

At Security Benefit (who is one of the biggest employers around here). $9 an hour and up to 30 hours a week. They will work around my schooling and I will get some practical experience in the financial field.

I am so excited! It isn't a totally done deal yet though so keep your fingers crossed, say a prayer or whatever you do. I am a little worried about what my former supervisor might say to them when they call him. I got the call tonight at 5:30 so I am sure they haven't talked to him yet. I told them I wasn't sure what he would say because he was not happy with me when I left so at least if he does decide to be petty they might understand.

Then they do a drug screen, background check, and a credit check before I can officially start. I am not really sweating these things.

This will be so much better than just working retail or something to make ends meet. I was almost out of the extra money I got for all my vacation time and was thinking it was time to set my sights a little lower but this is PERFECT.

Wish me luck.

Car Problems

October 2nd, 2008 at 04:06 am

Two months ago my car scared me when I turned the ignition and...nothing.In a panic I turned it again...vroom, it started right up. I got over it, it became commonplace to have to try and start it 2 times. Then about 2 weeks ago I had to try 4 TIMES!! I was sure I would have to push start it. So I took it to my mechanic, he took off the ingition switch, determined it was bad, ordered a new one, which took 4 days to come. Put the old one back on (so I could drive it those four days) and put the new one on when it came in total damage to the budget....$71.99 (the part was $42)

Tuesday My car started sounding like a street racer and I was sure it needed a new muffler alfhough a quick look under didn't show anything. I couldn't drive it like that, so Wedneday I took it to my muffler guy. I like him because twice he has welded the tailpipe back instead of telling me I need a whole new exhaust system. He told me that it was the same problem (tailpipe broken up near the engine) he said it looked like it had been welded back before (yeah, by him) and that it was going to keep happening if I didn't replace the pipe with something he called a "flex pipe" All the time he sounded so apoligetic like "Gee I'm sorry but this is going to be so much more expensive" then he let loose. $90??? it cost $50 to have him weld it. So my car is quiet again and I am out $96.71.

My car is 14 years old. I bought it new in December 1994. So far in those 14 years it has been towed twice, has had a new alternator, clutch, tires and brakes and about 20 of these minor (under $100) repairs. It gets about 26 mpg in town and 32 on the highway. Cosmetically it isn't pretty but it has always gotten me where I was going and has dirt cheap insurance and taxes (in Kansas we pay personal property tax on vehicles based on their value) Just because I was curious I looked back at how much it has cost me to have it this year.

Insurance- $186.00
Taxes- $50.00
TOTAL COST = $1271.00
So that comes to $141.22 a month (9 months so far)

I really love my old car.

Financial Aid came through

September 19th, 2008 at 06:30 pm

My financial aid finally came though. They sure made me jump through all the hoops. Whew! I actually had to go and see them twice because they weren't updating my record online. I signed up for direct deposit so hopefully it will hit my bank account next week.

I had my first test in Humanities (97%), my first test in Statistics (no grade yet) and got 100% on my first project in Business Management Systems (it was an Excel Spreadsheet) I have my first test in Accounting, a 2nd project due in BMS and a 3 page paper due in humanities next week so I am going to be working hard this weekend. I also applied for an internship (haven't heard yet)and have another interview in October with an accounting firm. So I have been keeping busy staying on top of my schoolwork.

DS got a second job, his first one is only a few weekends a month so he needed something more steady. Funny but he is in unpaid training for a third job that starts in January. I might be quite a juggling act to keep them all straight so I gave him a little pocket calendar to write it down on. We keep a calendar on the computer but it is always handy to have one you can take with you.

Cable Guy just left a little while ago, it seems a pack of squirrels chewed though our line. He says the main line has problems too and they are sending a crew out to fix it as well but so far the internet is working. He also told me of a way to get past all the automated stuff when I need to speak with a real person. Nice guy, I give him 10's all around. Funny but I just finished getting a 6 month discount on my cable by calling and asking for it, then this happened.

The school has a football game Saturday and I was thinking of going and just having a little fun. There is a grassy area outside the stadium and students are allowed to sit there free.

Well that's the update from us here.

Why don't they tell me these things! (rant)

September 2nd, 2008 at 03:19 pm

So I checked my financial aid status last week and am informed that it can't be approved without my admissions being finalized, I check with admissions and they tell me they can't finalize until they have the transcripts from the community college I attended. Why don't they have them? I hadn't ordered them, I didn't know I had to order them. So I ordered them and waited a week for them to get here and processed.

Now I check online and they say my financial aid cannot be finalized because I am a Junior and I have to declare a major. WHY DIDN'T THEY TELL ME THAT BEFORE! I could have declared a major if they had told me now I will have to meet with an advisor and put in a declaration of major and then WAIT FOR THEM TO PROCESS THAT before I can get my financial aid. First it is one thing and then another.

Well off to class. It will have to wait until tomorrow cause everything is closed now...this is so frustrating.

Busy Weekend

September 2nd, 2008 at 07:26 am

Just thought I'd drop something in here since it has been awhile...

Had a GREAT weekend, my neighbor was gone for the weekend so I borrowed her ladder and got the gutter torn off the front of my house. It was sagging and leaking so I removed it and gave the board a good coat of paint. It looks 100% better and the board won't rot out and require replacing. There is a huge overhang so it doesn't really need a gutter and it ruins the look of the house. I will wait and see after the next rain.

Then I tore apart the gate (not a big feat it was falling apart). One of the hinges was so rusted it had frozen and pulling the gate open & shut had pretty much mutilated it. The opening isn't big enough for a cheap pre-made gate so I put it back together using angle irons and screws and put in a new hinge. It looks good and works better. Hopefully it will last awhile now.

I also worked on painting the house. I am up above the windows now and should be finished, scraping, sanding and priming this month. I do a little bit at a time and work on it most mornings but I really got alot done this weekend. I am looking forward to the day I can give it it's final topcoat.

Mowed and cleaned up the yard. Did a whole house clean-up and cleaned the carpet.

Whew...Classes start up again today but I am well caught up on the work. I have an assignment to shop Aldi's this week and a Movie theater evaluation Friday. The college is opening a play this weekend too and since students get in free I am thinking of going. I have a tax class this afternoon and one college class this evening so I think I will just take it a little easy this morning and maybe do a little cooking while it is still cool. The weather here has been beautiful.

Busy week

August 15th, 2008 at 05:36 pm

I am sitting here waiting for my sister to show up, she is late.

Wow, who would have thought being out of work would make me so busy. This was Bod Blast week when the campus welcomes all the new students, and although I have 20 years on most of them I went to everything. Had a good time too although except for the non-traditional student gathering, I felt a little old.

HEY, she's here! Time for the Fun Fest.


Last Day

August 9th, 2008 at 08:12 am

Not much fanfare, okay with me. The good news was I had 174.90 hours of unused vacation time that will be on my last paycheck (8/22) I changed my witholding so they won't take out monstrous taxes on it.

Next week I will pay my tuition and books on my Visa card so I don't ACTUALLY have to pay them until Sept 15th when the bill comes. I redeemed $30 in rewards this month but those two bills should add up. Plus the money in savings can earn interest for August.

I talked to some people I know and it looks like I have 3 PT job prospects. I would rather work on campus but those jobs don't pay as well. I am not worried though and thought I would get established in class before adding any more.

The adventure begins...


August 2nd, 2008 at 05:38 pm

But I also have been careful.

Yesterday at work a friend, who hates her job more than I do, used that phrase to describe what I am doing. She can't quit or even go to a lower paying job because she and DH need every penny just to pay the bills. I feel for her but she has been living on the edge for so long now it has just become her way of life. Big mortgage, big car payment on gas hog SUV a camper & a boat.

I hope things work out for her, she is so young...

I played a Texas Hold-em freeroll tourney tonight, got 116th out of 1015 players, not too shabby for my first ever tourney. For those of you who don't know freeroll means there is no buy-in (cost to play) but the prizes aren't too high either top prize tonight was $125 for the winner. 116th doesn't get anything.

Talked to my sister's this week and told them about going back to school. My older one is real gung ho on education so she was all for it, the younger just thinks it's terrific I can do something that so obviously makes me happy.

Raring to go

July 30th, 2008 at 04:00 pm

Who ever dreamed up this 2 week notice thing? I hate them. I have 7 days to go and I am out of there!

All enrolled as a “Provisional Student”; they are waiting on a transcript from a junior college I attended. Even if the classes don’t count my grades there were pretty good so it may raise my GPA. All my prerequisites are covered by classes I took from this college so I’m good to go.
I am enrolled in the following
Statistics- M & W 4-5:30
Financial Accounting- M & W 5:30-7:00
Business Management Systems- T & Th 5:30-7
Music in the Movies -Th 7-9:30 I need another humanities to become a “well rounded” student, the college calls these General Education requirements. I am 47 years old how much more well rounded do I need to get? On the plus side it sounds a little fun and I talked DS into taking it with me.

Yes they are all late afternoon/evening classes. I was a little worried about quitting so I arranged it so I might be able to work for a little while after the semester started. I did the math though and this will work out fine, financially speaking.

This is actually the easiest semester because most I will have 5 classes.
Total Tuition= $2600
Books = $550
Health Insurance= $900, for a year of coverage though the school.

I am going to apply for some part time work to help supplement my savings plus I will get an “Unused Vacation” check from my employer which should cover the tuition and books. I signed the papers today telling them to not withhold taxes from that one. According to my figures I am already looking at a refund so I see no reason to let them withhold more out of that check that I will just get back in February. Did you know you can’t get the retirement savings credit if you are a full time student? Doesn’t seem fair to me but it isn’t much of a credit for me this year anyway as I have been socking it away in savings preparing for this moment instead of doing my Roth IRA.
Financial Aid is waiting for some paperwork to go through but I am not holding out much hope for this semester since I am so late getting started. With my much lower income next year I should be eligible and there are some scholarships the school gives out based on GPA. My GPA isn’t all that great now because of a lot of fooling around I did when I was in school way back when. I am much more serious now; I expect it to go up.

Anyway, that is the update on me. I am getting so excited about this.

I quit my job

July 28th, 2008 at 09:28 am

...and enrolled in College. It is scary but my job has become more and more stressful and less and less what I want to do with my life. I did all the math and even without a part time job, which I intend to get, I can manage for quite some time financially.

I am majoring in Accounting/Finance and it will take about 3 years to complete my degree with the credits I already have. Now all I have to do is finish up these last two weeks and off I go!

Wish me luck.

How does a person just disappear?

June 24th, 2008 at 04:12 pm

I have been looking for Broken Arrow and he has just disappeared. His Blog is empty, as if he had never been there and his user profile says he hasn't been here since June 16th.

I miss him.

How do you add pictures

April 24th, 2008 at 11:38 am

I haven't tried to add pictures before.
So I am going to try one of my house.

I was having a water main put in and the roofers were doing the back so it's not the best picture but I want to try this.

I will see how it works. I wish I could preview my blog entries but I haven't figured out a way to do that either.

Well since it worked maybe I'll add more pictures of the work in progress. Here in the beginning most of it won't be visible though.

May is going to be a good month

April 23rd, 2008 at 08:39 pm

I am so excited about the upcoming 5 weeks- Next week I get my last paycheck from my seasonal employment-May 2nd regular paycheck- May 9th-Last child support check and Stimulus check- May 15th Regular paycheck- May 23rd-Bonus check from seasonal employment- May 30th- Another regular paycheck (3 check month)

I called the contractor and they are coming out to level my house in May. Once the house is back on level with proper support beams I can start some of the other renovations I have been planning for the last 3 years.

A friend is coming to take out some of the big trees that shade my backyard so I may even be able to get something to grow back there.

Our neighborhood is having a block sale which may be a chance to get rid of some of the junk that has accumulated in my shed (and make a little cash)

My son is graduating from High School. It has been a LONG 10 years (the first 2 weren't so bad)

May is going to be a GOOD month.

Staying Focused

April 18th, 2008 at 04:12 am

Today is payday and I am just shy of making my first financial goal of 2008. After today's deposit I will be $200 short of having my Emergency fund fully funded. It has been about 18 months simce I became debt free and when I started I had alot of trouble with this particular goal.
I wasn't very focused. I wanted to save up to do my home renovations, I wanted to save up for a newer car, I wanted a new computer. Then I started having difficulties at work which made me realize that what I WANTED wasn't what I NEEDED. I needed to focus on one goal at a time and the most important one was the emergency fund.
When I split my savings into all those different goals none of them grew very fast and it was hard to stay motivated. It reminds me a little of Dave Ramsey's debt snowball where you focus on one debt at a time, I need to focus on one savings goal at a time to keep me motivated.
So now I am looking at finally finishing one of my most important goals and it feels good.

DS got his license!

April 12th, 2008 at 08:40 am

He is a strange boy, doesn't want to drive. Finally I just told him he was going to go take his test this week and if he flunked so be it.

He didn't flunk (knew he wouldn't)

So at 18 he can now drive himself and I am no longer a chauffer.

YEAH! Plus his insurance was cheaper since his grades came up this year (Senior year easy classes)

Lots of Little Things

April 3rd, 2008 at 08:55 am

Well I finally got off my duff and did some little things around the house. A light fixture near the front door, very handy when getting home after dark, had been broken for over a year so I replaced it this weekend. I had budgeted $25 for it and it cost $6 so I bought the new motion switch I had been wanting for the Kitchen. That light is always getting left on because when we leave that room we usually have our hands full. Installed it last night and it is working!!

My son's voice teacher offered to take down all the trees in the backyard so that I can get some sun back there and plant a garden. The ones in the front shade the house well enough so all the ones in the back can go (about 14 with 6 being full grown large trees) I need to contact the electric company and ask them to take down the service line for the day. Hopefully they will do it for free but I would still come out ahead since I don't have to pay big bucks to get the trees taken down. BTW-He has been doing this for years and has insurance and everything, he uses the wood to either heat his house or he sells it. Cheaper for him since he has the skill and cheaper for me cause he does it more for the wood than the money.

One of our grcoery stores is running a special where if you buy 10 items it will rebate you $5.00, limit 3 rebates per transaction. I plan on making 3 runs this
week to stock up on things I buy all the time anyway. I always stock up on the things that are on sale for a great price and then get my $5 on top of that. Last night I got 20 mixes I use all the time for $20 and then received $10 back making the usually $1.79 mixes $0.50. It looks a little silly buying things in large quantities but it will reduce my grocery bills in the future. I just wish that coupons were more available around here. I have tried the couponing sites but most of the stores around here won't take printables and there just aren't many other ones anywhere.

What does my lifestyle say about me?

March 21st, 2008 at 06:49 am

I sometime wonder what my stuff says about me.

I live in the most run down house in my neighborhood. I picked the neighborhood because it is a nice neighborhood and picked the house because it needed alot of TLC and fit my needs. I like fixing up ugly things and making them beautiful again but for now I live in the worst house in a nice neighborhood. Do the neighbors pity me?

I drive a 12 year old Nissan Sentra. It has been a good car and has not caused me any problems. Most days it is just parked outside the house because I like to walk but I also like go go places when I walk so I walk to work, the grocery, the library pretty much anywhere I need to go is within walking distance. Is my kid ashamed of me for driving around in that old beater, can't I afford a nicer car?

Speaking of walking, when I go to the grocery store I have a little wagon I bring groceries home in. It is a nice collapsable cart/wagon but I wonder, do people think I walk to the store because I can't afford gas? or because I don't have a dirvers license (DUI or the like)?

I pay all my bills online and pay cash for most other things; what does that say about me? How many people pull out cash to pay for their groceries, gas, clothing etc... I don't suppose the envelopes help much with that impression. When being invited out with friends I sometimes get offers to pay for me because they assume I am broke.

I clothes shop mostly at the thrift store but all my clothes are nice and in good repair, no stains, tears or missing buttons. I have gotten compliments on some of my tops, all of which were bought at the thrift store. Except for the clerk at the store I guess nobody even knows about that particular lifestyle choice.

Now, I never really cared about what other people think except I have been trying to date again and most of the men I have been meeting are lower income. I wonder if this might be why? I live the way I do by choice. I am working on my house, I love my car, I like walking and I like my budget. But am I sending out the wrong signals?

Thinking about Minimum Wage

January 4th, 2008 at 10:18 am

I didn't do too well in the saving department last year so I had been thinking about it and how to do better this year. Then things got kinda crummy at work and I actually thought about quitting and getting a low stress low paid job.

Thinking about living on minimum wage made me think maybe that is a way I could save more. I think the problems at work are transitory but... it's pretty bad right now.

So I made up a new budget and with the exception of my Roth IRA contributions and my son's college savings I am going to try and live on $6.00 an hour this year. Even the lowest employers around here pay that.

I have an advantage in that I live in a fairly low COL area and I own a small (pretty crummy) home with a very small mortgage payment. It isn't a slam dunk though because my car is pretty old (1994) and said house is also pretty old.

Here's how it looks

$6 time 40 hrs per week=$240 a week or $960 a month

Tithe 96.00
House payment 165.00
Utilities 180.00 (est)
Food 150.00
Gasoline 40.00 (I don't drive much)
Life Insurance 32.00
CableTV/Internet 108.00
Phone 30
Misc (Clothing, Medical, Pets etc) 75.00
Car/Homeowners Ins 68.00
Property Taxes 44.00

Total=988, I think I can get this down with small frugalities, plus my Utiliies are estimated high. We will see. I may have to call the cable company about a discount. I'd hate to go back to dial up that would be a last resort.

Since it is one week until payday (Jan 11) I am giving myself $200 to pay for this weeks expenses. 2 Utilities are due on the 10th.

Let's see how it goes.

How I save money by being Happy

November 8th, 2007 at 09:29 am

That old song "Don't Worry, Be Happy" keeps going through my mind. When my fortunes changed I could have worried but instead I decided to be happy.

Be happy with a smaller house, with only two people in my family I didn't need a 2000 sf 3 bedroom house so I bought an 800 sf 2 bedroom. Utilities are less plus insurance and property taxes are cheaper too.

Be happy with an older car, I don't have a car payment my personal property taxes are less than the registration fee. I have only the basic insurance because the car isn't worth enough to worry about.

Be happy without the latest and greatest. I still have my old Sony TV I bought 10 years ago. I have had a big screen before but I decided to be happy with the one I have now. Do I really need to hang it on the wall?

Being Happy has had many benefits other than saving money but that is a subject for another post. So right now I am able to save almost 50% of my income for retirement and other goals because I decided to just "Be Happy"

End of Blog

March 27th, 2007 at 11:34 am

I haven't written anything in here in such a long time I thought I would put up an official notice. No time for blogging these days.

Maybe I'll be back sometime but not for awhile.

Nothing personal.

Target Retirement Funds

January 7th, 2007 at 06:56 am

Okay, I keep hearing about these things and reading about them and I just don't like them.

They sound so diversified and aggressive 90& stocks 10% bonds but what stocks are we talking about? If it is mostly safe, big US company stocks then are you really being aggressive? What if I said I had a portfolio of 70% large cap and 20% mid cap and 10% bonds would you even begin to think I was being an aggressive investor?

I think they give the people who buy them a false sense of security. I actually think alot of people, probably not on this board, think that if they invest in these funds they will have enough to retire on in 2040 or whenever. Put the money in and kaching without any other effort on your part you will have what you need.

I realize that I am still relatively new to handling my retirement investments and I even had a financial planner say I was too aggressive with too much in international funds (20%) I have a high risk tolerance because I have a fallback provision, a pension that pays 70% of my ending salary, so anything I make will be additional to that.

It bothers me though the way these 'lifecycle funds' are marketed. My personal experience is that if you let someone else manage it and don't get educated you lose.


More Home Repair

December 28th, 2006 at 03:25 pm

My bathtub faucet was leaking and after looking it up to see if I could do it myself I called the plumber. Full replacement of the faucet would run around $400 because there is no access, they would have to move the HWH and cut a hole in the wall to access the pipes, but the faucet I have is a high quality faucet that maybe could be repaired from the front. 1 hr and $80+/- (haven't gotten the bill yet) the faucet no longer leaks HOWEVER

On going out my back door this morning I found toilet paper on the soggy? (it hasn't rained in days) ground. The top was off the cleanout for the sewer and water? was coming out. Called the drain cleaner guys (my plumber doesn't do sewers) and $80 later (no more or less paid him on the spot) my sewage is now going to the sewer.

So out of the $126 in my home repair budget I spent $160 today. At least I have the funds to cover it.

I may have to put a little more aside for these things next year.

Door is Done

December 23rd, 2006 at 12:40 pm

The bottom of my back porch door fell off. All my friends with trucks were busy this weekend and it is rather critical because my kitty likes to go exploring so I FIXED IT!!

I am pretty proud of myself. I took two 1x4s from the garage, cut them to size and screwed them to the sides. The bottom part was fairly rotted so I took some of that stuff that goes in showers and cut it and put it over the two boards so that the top one where the wood isn't rotted can help hold the bottom one. I know it is temporary but I have a bathroom repair scheduled for next Thursday and I haven't got any budgeted money to spend on a new door even if I could find a way to get it home. I think this spring I will scrounge (?) the salvage yards for another door but with the same style.

My arms are tired but at least my kitty is safe and my stock of stuff is used up a little too. My house was a rental and the landlord would just throw everything into the garage/shed so I have lots of wood and screens and stuff he left behind when I bought it. DS and I did a 'Clean Sweep' on it last summer so everything got organized and anything useless got tossed. There was a piece of metal sheeting I would have liked to have used on the door but I don't have any way to cut it. When I get the new door I might use it to protect the bottom from the dog.

Feels funny posting this after just posting yesterday but I am so proud of myself it actually looks pretty good.

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