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Bought Town and Country with CASH!!!

January 4th, 2007 at 09:02 am

It's been a while since I've been on but am happy to say that financial goals are still being met. I've been crazy busy getting the house ready to go on the market, which happens Monday. Monday is also when DH and I fly out to CO for a househunting trip. It looks like out move date is February 8th and then we take 5 days to travel across the country to our new home.

I've been doing much better since I started taking Wellbutrin -- I don't think I could have gotten through all this mess as well without it. I'll probably taper off once we're good and settled in out there.

Oh, and DH and I bought a new-to-us van. We took it to GA for the holidays and I am thrilled -- I had no back pain at all! At all! That's unheard of for me. Usually after even 2 - 2 1/2 hours in my Saturn I would have problems.

And we got a great deal. An '05 single owner Chrysler Town and Country with only 18,000 miles on it WITH stow and go seating and lots of amenities for $14K. And we paid cash! WooHoo -- and I even got $1910 trade in value for my '98 Saturn with over 120K miles on it. Of course, we didn't even mention the trade-in until after we had settled on the price. So we only had to pay $12090 plus taxes and fees -- and we had saved $15000, so we still had more money left over to buy a GPS system. Oh, and other places were only offering me $1100 trade in value. I feel great about this purchase -- first time ever feeling good about an auto purchase!

Thrilled, thrilled, thrilled!

Well, I'll check in now and then, but won't have too much time to post on the forums. I hope you're all doing well and having a great 2007!

Boy it's Great to be Debt Free!

(edited to clarify trade in issue)

HSBC is a big problem

September 28th, 2006 at 05:00 pm

I can't log in to my new HSBC account -- AND they sent the customer ID and Password to my OLD address in Georgia, but sent the ATM card and PIN to my NEW (as of last december) address in Maryland! What is up with that!

I confirmed the amounts weeks ago and got all the info in the mail, but every time I try to log in it says "We're Sorry The service may be unavailable. Please close and reopen your browser and try again. If the problem persists, please call....". So I call, because the problem has persisted for DAYS and I'm onl hold forever because I don't have an account number until I can actually LOG ON! So I wait and wait and wait until I get on with someone who can't understand me and then we LOSE THE CONNECTION!

I have an accoutn with ING and it has been so great to use. I'm very disappointed in HSBC and am ready to withdraw the initial deposit and cancel the account altogether. I don't need this headache!

UGH!

Ode to Ugly Footwear

September 14th, 2006 at 07:28 pm

(To an unaccepting, conformist society)

I can't wear my yellow slippers
Warm as they may be
because my yellow slippers
are not for THEM to see.
They're bright, they're old
they're worn clear through
Just like me, just like you,
My friends of old, to bar the cold;
My Knitted socks -- my Slippers.

I wrote that during my freshman year of college (1991) after my roomie gasped when she saw said slippers! I made a point to wear them every time she was around-- and especially if she had company! LOL

Sorry -- cleaning up a bunch of old files and keep coming across this stuff...

Called for help

September 13th, 2006 at 08:18 pm

Well, I called the Employee Assistance number for DHs work (I remember seeing those flyers on the employee bulletin boards everywhere I worked, but never knew anyone who called them). Nice lady asked me a lot of questions and then gave me the name of a local psychotherapist. So, I'll be calling her office tomorrow morning. I just wonder how soon I can set up and appointment. The movers will be here sometime Friday to load the furniture going to DHs apartment, then its the drive over there to unload all that plus what I carry in the car (1000 lb limit on what the company will move for free -- 1000 lbs really isn't much).

Then we'll spend the night over there, come back home Saturday, have a dinner obligation Saturday night, Sunday DH will leave again Frown, and then Tuesday I head to NC to help out sis and bil move out of their house, then drive to DC to fly out on Thursday to Minnesota -- spend a long weekend there and come back on Monday Sept 25th and then that Friday DH and I take off for a week long vacation in NH. So why do I feel overwhelmed? Yikes!

Okay, so I really want an appointment soon especially if meds are going to be prescribed ( and especially if they'd help!). I hear it takes a few weeks for them to kick in and I don't really want to wait to start all that in mid October when we get back from vacation... ugh. I really don't want to spend the whole vacation crying either -- and it happens spontaneously these days.

I'm worried that she'll want to see me tomorrow though and I'd love to make it through the day without crying, but I know I'll cry if I talk about it again. (I did just talking on the phone with the EA person). It just wears me out so much!

Anyway, I have set my alarm for 8 am, so that way I can call as soon as her office opens and can go if she can see me. I just hope I can get some sleep tonight.

Diagnosis Depression -- Result: Flowers!

September 13th, 2006 at 02:09 pm

Yep. It has struck me now, too. I've been trying hard to fight it, to ignore it, and to ovecome it, but it isn't working.

With DH working out of town full time now, and all the anxiety of an upcoming move with but no certainty of dates except that it will either be before Christmas or before St. Patricks Day. Cross-country. Where I'll be even farther from my home and my family in Georgia.

Where I have no job and haven't had one in a couple of years. And fear of getting a job just to have a job because it could negatively affect what I am offered once we do move and I get hired the company where DH works (and that being uncertain, although quite probable).

Let's just say that living without the lights on for a few weeks probably didn't help much (da*n frugality). Oh, and heredity plays its part, too. Dad has depression (severe, paired with PTSD from Vietnam), Grandmother had mental health issues including but not limited to depression as did aunt on the same paternal side. In fact, all the children on that side suffer from depression. On my mom's side we aren't as sure. Nothing was ever diagnosed anyway.

And now me. It was so hard for me to admit it to my husband. He admires strength and independence - and he doesn't appreciate low-self-esteem or weakness. But of course, he is a wonderful loving husband, and I shouldn't have worried about that, because he knows I am still strong and all of that, I'm just having trouble dealing with a heck of a lot right now. I mean, we haven't even been here 10 months yet! And already to be moving again... sheesh! And I'm the one who really has to deal with all of the moving and financial stuff as he works on the project out of town. He's just beginning to get an idea of how involved it all is. Of course admitting all of this over the phone was difficult too. I don't want him feeling additional stress worrying about this (it's no cakewalk for himeither, being away from me and dealing with all the pressure of a new job), but I need him to know and to be supportive, too.

And he is. He sent me flowers today. He never sends me flowers. Okay, that's not true. He sent me flowers on our 11th monthiversary when we were dating. That was November 14th, 2001. It was so sweet. Of course it made me cry (been doing a lot of that lately). I called his work number, but got the voicemail... he said he had a hard time understanding the message. Oh well, whiel most of my tears are no ones' fault he gets full credit for those. In a good way Smile.

And I have the number for the Employee assistance program so I can get a referral to a service provider here to determine if I just need psychotherapy (that sounds so intense, it's really just "talk therapy") or if I need medication as well.

I didn't want this to be happening to me. I wanted to be strong enough. But I'm being the strongest person I can by seeking help -- because I hate to admit that I am not coping well on my own.

It says "Look sexy naked"

September 4th, 2006 at 10:01 pm

Sorry, I couldn't help it -- that's what the link under my last entry said! Whatever gave them that idea???

Anyway, DH is out of town, so I will go to the gym and work out to try to get to that aforementioned place. Sheesh! But I got YOu looking, now didn't I? LOL

Now I just wonder if Jeffrey or someone is gonna remove this-- it's not my fault --it's some auto-link thing like "what color are your emotions" or whatever that show up on the page...

But it made me smirk, and now, just looking at the word smirk, it made me smirk again. What a funny work, I must really need to go to bed. Smirk smirk smirk...

'spensive weekend

September 4th, 2006 at 08:55 pm

How did it happen? We knew we were having people come in for the weekend, so how did it happen that I had no real food on hand for them? How is it that I ended up spending more than $100 for 3 days? I know part of it was 2 12 packs of beer and 2 bottles of wine, but even that was just $31 (as I type it I want to choke -- we nEVER buy beer/wine, I had no IDEA how $$$ it was!).

But then we had to have OJ (which I didn't have a coupon for because DH and I don't drink juice), coffee (no coupon, don't drink it), cheeses and crackers and pepperoni, salad, chips and pretzels, chicken breasts, hotdogs and buns... UGH! DH and I don't keep snack foods and stuff around because we both do Weight Watchers. So I didn't have coupons for ANY of that stuff. UGH!

At least I found a few sale prices! DH and I got a refund from our GA insurance company becasue they dind't process our homeowners cancellation for the right date of the house sale. So now he wants to add money to the food budget. I think we have enough of our kind of foods to get by without adding to it. We'll still have enough int eh budget to cover milk, bread, eggs... and we'll just have to empty the pantry a bit of some of the stuff that's been there a while. We'll see who wins this one -- (he'll probably get to put the money in, but themn I won't spend it and i'll get to take it out and put it in savings where it reallybelongs -- so hopefully we can both win!).

Anyway... the weekend is over and I can turn the thermostat back to 80 like I usually keep it and I can unplug all the appliances again and keep the lights off. DH loved telling of all my thrifty ways, but the folks just laughed - oh well...

Can I call this a blessing?

August 31st, 2006 at 07:39 am

I just found out my mom and dad in law may not get here until Saturday instead of tomorrow. I love them and I'm looking forward to their visit, but last night I got WAY sidetracked with housecleaning and organizing and didn't know how I was going to have everything done before they got here. Now it looks like I have a reprieve. I only got about 5 hours sleep after being on the phone with a cell phone company's customer service to iron out issues they created on my parents account. I used to work for the company, so I felt the burden to straighten it out. But I wwas dealing with it from 7PM last night until after 1Am when my call dropped (go figure) and when I tried to call back, I couldn't get through.

I got it all ironed out this morning, but that was 7+ hours I wasn't planning on spending doing that. And I had to sit still and take notes istead of scrubbing and organizing and doing laundry b/c A) you must take notes when dealing with customer service, and B) if I move around too much my call drops.

So, we'll have a shorter visit with the mom and dad in law, and that's a shame. But I can go take a quick nap and actually be able to rest a little witout worrying that they could show up early. Ernesto isn't going to let that happen!

And, to be fair, we could really use Ernesto's rain here -- it's been a drought like summer!

PS-- when I wake up I'm gonna Fly like the Flylady's never seen before! WooHoo!

Fighting mad!

August 30th, 2006 at 10:10 am

Okay, I'm going to rant, so if you don't wanna hear that kind of thing, just move on to my Inspiration report.

In July, DH and I stayed at a hotel in Stamford, CT on our way to NH (we stayed free due to accumulated points for business trips). We mistaskenly left the battery charger for our digi cam there. When we realized it, we called, but no one except the head of housekeeping can get into Lost and Found. The day we called was Friday, July 21. Head of Housekeeping (HoH) was out, but they would have her call us before she left for the day. No call.

So, Saturday we called, but HoH is off on weekends. We were told they would have her call us on Monday. No call. I called on Tuesday and was told that she had stepped out, but to call back in 20 minutes. I called 20 minutes later, and magically, she was gone for the day! I was SO frustrated!!! So I spoke with a manager who apologized and said my calls had not been logged properly. Well, I don't care if they are logged properly or not, I just want to find out if my charger is there (by the way, this is a NICe chain -- one of the Hilton brands). She promised to check with the HoH in the AM and she herself would call me the next morning. Of course, she didn't call until 4pm,but at least she called.

She said they didn't have the charger. Not their fault, but I was irritated that it took so many calls for me to find this out, especially when I had to keep calling back instead of them calling me. So she put me on with the general manager. I told him what happened, and he was apologetic. He then offered to REPLACE the charger, jsut because I'd had such a frustrating time with communications. So he told me to email him with the make/model #. (I did not expect this at all as it is not their fault -- maybe DH and I left it elsewhere, or maybe housekeeping didn't see it and the next guest thought it was their lucky day, who knows-- but since he OFFERED, and since I had had such trouble getting the answer... sure, I'll let him replace it).

I looked it up at Radio Shack's website and forwarded the link to him ($31.49 value). He emailed me and said he was having it shipped and included the traking # --Wow, I thought!

Humph. When the package arrived and when I opened it, guess what I found?!? My ORIGINAL charger! So it WAS there! Amazing!!! BUT, it no longer works. Now, I'm jsut wondering if it was maybe tampered with because I'd caused so many problems-- I don't know for sure, but, who knows. Anyway, I call the manager, just to let him know I received it and of course I mentioned that I was surprised it was the original and not a new one like I was expecting (since ours wasn't there). And I mentioned that it no longer worked. I didn't request anything, but he told me that if I replaced it and sent him a copy of the receipt, he would reimburse me. (Again, I did not expect him to offer this, but he did, so OKAY, I will take him up on it, especially since I've had so much trouble, yada, yada, yada).

Okay. So I go and buy a new one and send a copy of the receipt to the GM. I emailed him a week later to confirm that he had received it. No reply. I called to see if he had received the receipt OR the email and he had gotten both. He was going to send me a check or gift card. I emailed him as soon as we got off the phone ( like written documentation) and requested it be a refund since I have already bought the charger from radio shack and don't have any other purchases I need from there. No reply. I wait a week and email him again -- basically reminding him that the reason I was contacting him is because he OFFERED to replace it/reimburse it because of a lack of communications where his staff did not get back in touch with me in a timely manner! I also included that once I receive the reimbursement, he won't have to hear from me again, except to acknowledge receipt of the check for his records. NOTHING.

So I call today, and of course, he is at a GM meeting out of town and won't be back until next week. The lady in charge goes on about how the charfer doesn't work isn't their fault -- True, I say, but that's no longer the point. The GM OFFERED to first, REPLACE it since it WASN"T THERE, and then when it didn't work, he was going to REIMBURSE me! So, the latest is that she is going to email him or call him at his conference (she won't give me his district managers name -- not to worry, I can find it) and she will get back to me today. We'll see!

UGH! I hate being lied to. And I feel like that's all I've gotten from this hotel! It's less about the $$, and more about the fact that the whole reason I was getting anything is because they couldn't be bothered to call me back. SHEESH!

Okay, breating in, breathing out. In...Out. Venting is done. Veins popping out of my neck are retracting. Steam coming from ears has successfully de-wrinkled nearby curtains, and fangs and claws have retreated.

Some show, huh?

Flex Spending account...

August 29th, 2006 at 06:56 pm

So, I have just filled out all the forms to get reimbursement for my and DH's over the counter meds and chiropractic adjustments. I hate paperwork - yuck! yuck! yuck!

And I just know they're going to pull something with the Chiropractic. If we went to the chiro. and filed through our employer based insurance, every visit would have been $50 each and re-scans would have been another $50 each. Instead I signed us up for the PCD payment schedule, which is basically a plan that reduces the cost per member. If DH and I get adjusted on the same day then mine costs $35 and his is only 1/2 or $17.50. And rescans are 1/2 price at $25 each.

So I have letters of medical necessity from the doctor and all the receipts and itemized lists of services received. I just hope they don't give me crap about it not being through our "real" insurance. But the total of $987.50 through the reduced payment plan would have equated to $2300 if I'd gone through work's plan. That's a savings of $1312.50 right there that can be used to reimburse all the crazy dental work going on in our mouths.

I just don't want to have to fight with them... I hope I don't have to. Augh -- I hate even thinking about it. Sheesh!

OTC meds added up to $179.34 so far for the year. Mostly sudafed and allergy meds -- oh, and a little cold medicine early in the year. And we're going to run out of FSA money before the year is up. We thought $4000 would be plenty, but this new dentist is great -- very proactive, but it also means a lot of work is getting done and since we maybe moving and we really trust this dentist and like his office, we're biting the bullet (don't let HIM know-- I'm now even supposed to bite into Apples anymore! Wink ). Oh well...

Microwave and toaster for $4.20

August 22nd, 2006 at 04:07 pm

Dh will need a microwave and toaster for his apt next month. Today I was at Goodwill dropping off some things and I went in to see if they had electronics like I'm looking for. They did! There were several microwaves to choose from and the one I got is big and old, but clean and works great. DH will only need it for a few months until we both move out to Colorado, so it doesn't have to last forever and it was marked $3. The toaster looks like it was used maybe 2x -- super clean, and works fine. It was marked $2. When I got to the register I found out that Tuesdays are sale days for electronics 20% off. So it was just $4 + tax! WooHoo.

I also got myself a nice pair of jeans. I am in between sizes right now and as I was helping DH pack the car the other night i kept having to tug my jeans up! LOL -- tried a belt, but these low-rise things it just doesn't help. So I got a pair at Goodwill for $4. They are an expensive brand I would normally never buy if I were buying new, and these I know have been washed so shrinkage shouldn't be a problem! What a score!

Thank heavesn for good insurance

August 21st, 2006 at 02:57 pm

My friend has good insurance and they are really doing a good job by her. She was so distraught this morning, I was really worried. But she changed insurance a few years ago after she couldn't get her agent to call her back. She went with Travelers this time and she said they have been really quick, thoughtful, courteous, and altogether wonderful! You know, the way they should be, considering how much it costs! Smile

So anyway, I am feeling much better about this -- it's hard when you are so far away, it just seems like there is so little you can do.

Still, I say, hug your loved ones! It's good, cheap therapy! Smile

My friend's car just got totalled

August 21st, 2006 at 09:24 am

She called me this morning and told me she'd just been in an accident. Fortunately she's okay (although I hazard to guess she'll be sore from it). We'd just been talking last night about how she loves her car (It's a good, reliable, 2000 Ford something or other). She went ahead and had a CD player and roof racks installed on it b/c she figured she would keep it until it died. The CD was just installed YESTERDAY! And now the car is totalled.

A lady ran a redlight and my friend hit her in teh passenger side door. The lady had her teenage son with her and he is being checked for broken/cracked ribs, but other than that, everyone is okay. Strangely enough, no airbags in either car deployed.

My friend is devastated. She's worried she's not going to get enough for her car to get a decent replacement without financing again. And hers was paid off of course. This just stinks!

I send flowers -- I wish I were closer, but it's a long way from Maryland to Minnesota and I'm not sure MY car would make it. Ugh! I know she has good insurance, but what a bummer! I'm just so thankful she's okay -- she is the best friend I have in the world aside from my hubby and my mom!

Hug your friends, folks! Tell people how much you love them! And forgive as many people as you can. Oh, and if you live near St. Paul MN and have a spare car, I know someone who could use it!

Categories?

August 20th, 2006 at 03:10 pm

Anyone want to tell me what I'm supposed to do about categories? And why?

Right now I'm going to sort photos to get them into albums. I'm about 5 years behind on this and wanna do it before we get packed up and move again!

Yummy!

August 20th, 2006 at 10:20 am

Just sliced off a piece of the banana chocolate chip nut bread -- and I don't want to brag, but it is SO yummy! And it wasn't hard to make at all! Why do I hate cooking so much? It's really not so bad!

To go, or stay...

August 20th, 2006 at 08:28 am

Encouragement can go a long way, I've learned. So I thank you all. I mean, I am new to this whole Blog thing, but I didn't expect encouragement for it from you guys. Thank you!

Today I'm feeling a bit torn. DH is working Monday - Wednesday out of town and then starting next week he'll be working out of town full-time until they decide to transfer us to Colorado (we're in Maryland right now). His new-for-now office is only a couple hours from here if traffic is light and I am considering going with him. I went a couple of weeks ago to look for apartments for him while he was at the office; he'll move into his new place on Sept. 16th.

Financially, all of this is fine. The company pays a set amount per day for lodging, a set amount for food, and reimburses his gas at about 44c/mile. So we'll actually be able to sock away more savings once he's in the apartment. And we knew that the quality of life for both of us if he commuted every day would be, well, yuck; to say the least. We chose a nice, clean, apartment community -- no frills, but near a lot of the necessities. We looked a some apartments where other temp. assignment folks are staying and they are NICE! But considering he is only going to be taking "leftover" furniture, the WoW factor from the outside woudn't have lasted long anyway.

We have decided that he will take a lot of the furniture and boxes and things that we don't want in the house we own when we go to put it on the market. It'll make staging the house easier and we won't have to pay for a storage unit.

But, I digress. I've been feeling a little punky the past couple weeks while he's been away. And having trouble sleeping. Weekends haven't been much better as he has to work on completing a building project while he still has access to the woodshop on post. I'm unable to help him there, and it would cost $8 for me to go be in the way.

But if I go with him this week, I'll pretty much be stuck at the hotel (presumably getting schoolwork done...) or I'll end up driving around the town and risking shopping at stores I want to check out to see what they are.

I used to travel for my job, and one of the reasons I left it was because DH and I wanted to be able to spend more time together -- also the extensive driving I had to do was really wearing on my back. And I know DH's assignment is only temporary (should be moving out to CO sometime between November and March, we are told), but in the meantime, I sure do miss him. Just don't knkow if would add extra pressure for him to try to rush back to the hotel instead of staying late to work,; or what if one of his new colleagues asks him to join them for dinner, it'd be a good way for him to meet folks and make friends, but if I'm there....

Probably won't go, just hate seeing him leave... and I think it is the anxiety about future weeks and less about this one since this is just a 3 day week-- can I blame it on hormones? Yes. I think that's it. Hormones. LOL

And, we're off!

August 19th, 2006 at 02:39 pm

Okay, so here I am creating my first "Blog!" How strange that this is how things are done these days. But, like most things, accountability keeps you on track.

I am 33 years old and have been married for 3 1/2 years to a wonderful man. We moved last year from the city we'd both grown up in and where we both have family. This big change, while difficult (mom and I especially are very close), was probably a great thing for us as it changed just about every aspect of our lives. We have grown even closer and rely on each other for so much. And boy are we good together.

Recently, DH purchased a book, Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. He bought it for a family member that we have concerns for about his financial abilities. But DH didn't want to offend, so he read the book and highlighted stuff and made notes in the margin so that when it was passed on, it wouldn't be so apparent that it was purchased specifially for this person.

LOL! As DH read it, he found a lot of good ideas. So he had me read it. I thought, Geez, honey, we're doing well financially! We pay off our credit card every month, we have never been late on a payment, we have 2 paid for cars. We're doing fine! (And I had been in DEBT previously, so I knew what that was like). But, because he asked me to, I read the book.

Well, DH though he could cherry pick ideas, but once I read it, I knew we had to follow it to the letter. And DH got on board completely.

And now I've found this site. It's fantastic. My one and only concern is that I may end up spending too much time here when I should be working on my online courses, or cleaning house, or putting photos into albums, etc. So if you've read all this, perhaps you can help get me on a "time" budget that will keep me straight too!

Right now I am going to try to leave this wonderful site and read at least one chapter for my class! In the meantime, have a great one!