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Just Wanted to say hi and give an update (LONG)

November 16th, 2011 at 08:01 pm

I have been reading the blogs and will continue to read them, but I figured this would be my last chance to post for a while.

For OPSEC reasons once I get to my final destination I am told I will have to friend a OPSEC officer on my facebook and also tell them about any blogs I have. I figure IF I don't post anything and just read that will save me from having to disclose that. I like to post without anyone knowing me, so the idea of someone knowing it is my blog and my financial stats bothers me enough not to post to a while.

So a recap since I last posted.
I left my State and went to another State for a while (during which I left for a bit for training in another state), then I left the country for more training, and hopefully soon I will leave the country I am in for the final destination. I am really really ready to settle in.

About a month before I left home my Boy Friend started paying the Utilities. So the Gas/Electric, Internet and Water Bill are now being handled my him. I expect this to continue once I get home and since that amounts to around the price of renting a room in a house in town I am going to be happy with that.

I was on a prepaid cell phone plan and that ended about 3 days after I went out of range of service, so the timing was very good.

I also had internet available to me while in the second state I was in but I choose not to purchase it. They had many different price plans from $3.50 a hour to $40 a month. Lately I have not had internet available to me except at a internet cafe and truthfully I am thinking maybe I will skip out on the internet once I get to my final destination or maybe buy it every other month. There are a few differenet options but a months worth of dial up is $40, so if I can go without or maybe buy every other month that savings will add up. Also my coworker is my roommate, more than likely we will be on different shifts so we might be able to share an internet package which would be nice.

I have been buying a few things here and there at the shoppette and thought I had spent more than I had. I purchased things to send home a care package to both my son and my bf, and also a surge protector and multiple socket adaptors. But all an all, my average daily spending was like $2.50 every three days or so, which is much less than I thought I had been spending. The big purchase days seem to have stuck in my mind but there were only three of them and $20 or $30 is not really HUGE.

I finally see why people seem to make stupid purchases on a deployment. I am getting tired of sitting on my bed. I can totally understand how someone who normally has little to no bills and is now making alot more money (not me, I am making the same after factoring out extra bills) could decide to splurge on something like maybe a lazyboy chair shipped overseas.

Another issue is I am buying stuff, such as extra PT uniforms and such because the laundry cycle is such that you go 8 days before you get clothing back because there is a four day turn around and at any given time they have between 4 and 8 days worth of your clothing. Trust me wearing the same gross sweaty shorts and T-Shirt you worked out in and then wearing it to bed is gross so you need extra. So I bought more, I also am having my BF mail me some that I left at home. For whatever reason I asked how many PT uniforms we were issued and was told 2 pairs and left the rest that I had purchased for myself at home. There was a reason I had purchased more in the past. So I bought an additional pair in the second state to hold me over, basically one in the wash, then one to wear and one spare (but in this case one to wear in the gym and one to wear when not working out). The pair I wear to work out gets washed and the wear to when not working out becomes my workout pair, wear and repeat.

My hope (possible splurge) is once I get there, I hope I can find someone who is leaving that has a 8' by 5' or about that size rug for sale. I am so tired of cement floors or dirty tile floors.

I have not had any pay hickups yet...keep your figures crossed so once I get to my final destination I am all set to have 100% of my take home pay put into SDP until it is maxed out. I am actually looking forward to that being fully funded so I can see where I am in my checkbook and start putting money back into my Emergency Fund. No reason to have more money in my checking account then needed when my savings will give me a little interest.

Well that is all for now. I will plan to supply you with an update once I go on R&R, but that is not for a real long time since I know from experience it is harder to go back after R&R.

Good luck on all your Money Missions and goals.

How can you LEGALLY buy Movie Downloads

September 12th, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Okay so I am getting ready to deploy. I have a Netflix account, I have my favorite Movies on DVD (like 10).

I am worried that the internet I can purchase will be to slow to stream DVD's. The top speed is 1MSPB or some combination of letters that start with M. I do not want to carry a huge binder of DVD Movies, I would like to have the Movies on a hard drive.

What is the legal way to do this? Is there a legal way to get my Favorite Movies in a Digital Version. PS my favorite favorite Movie is a 1954 movie called Seven Brides for Seven Brothers...It cost $45 YEARS ago special order to get it in DVD version, Much much cheaper now with EBAY and Amazon.

I see SOME movies (Not the favorites I really want) are available for purchase with a Blueray copy, but this means you have to have the TIME to buy the DVD and then enter a code into your computer (that is verified---note need internet also), all in order to not carry around the DVD.

I was hoping someone knew of a site where you could pay to just do a file download of your favorite movies....Kinda like buying individual MP3 downloads. Or am I totally off base since DVD's cost $20 and MP3 downloads are like $.99 to $2.99 each.

Thanks for knowledge.

Long Post Lost!!!

September 12th, 2011 at 07:24 am

ARRRRG!

Well High Spending, acted too quickly, pondering the future.


The short version, longer version to follow later about my car repair on Friday and Future Car discussions with BF.

Two projects done....4? to go

September 6th, 2011 at 01:25 pm

Today the Sprinkler guy came to fix the head that popped up from the ground. He also (main reason) fixed the cut line from the post hole auger. He also adjusted some heads so they were not hitting the fence. $60

This afternoon the AC/furnace guy came. He blew out the AC drain, put some gel tab thingys in and poured water down drain. He also let some Freeon out ( I guess we had a bit too much in). Hopefully those things fixed the leak. He could not find a reason for the leak so it could have been the tooo much freeon which was causing the coils to freeze then thaw and when thawing leaking under the unit. Waiting on the bill. I did ask him to please rush the bill since I was leaving in two weeks. Some times it takes them a while to bill.

+++
I am still on hold for someone to come out and fix the window.

I have a dentist appointment for DS tomorrow after school.

I have my car going into the shop for a bunch of little things on Friday, so I took that day off.

I then have a Doctors appointment for DS on Monday the 12th.

I think that is all of my to do list. Sadly not wanting to see the bills from all these projects but no choice since I do not have a magic pay the bills fairy.

+++
Tomorrow my stuff will be loaded into the conex and I will be done with my deployment stuff.

Tonight I plan to mow the grass, BF did not do it this weekend and I forgot my grass stained yardwork shoes at work so I did not do it. I wanted to do it since BF is going to have to do it every week once I am gone. Not sure why BF did not do it this weekend BUT I think he is starting to be bummed out that it is getting close to time for me to leave.

DS is getting a bit more hyper, not sure if it is because I am leaving or the fact that we have TV again. I saw a decrease in his hyperness when I disconnected the TV years ago. Then I saw another decrease in hyperness when BF moved in. I hope it is just DS's way of reacting to my soon departure. That way once I am gone he can calm down. My cousins have even MORE cable channels than we do, so I am hoping it is not the cable.

Should NOT have looked at Retirement Account

September 2nd, 2011 at 10:44 am

Well my retirement account is down....Down $5600.00 since July 1st. Ouch!!!

I had been thinking lately about my retirement goals now that there is talk about switching up the retirement plan that I was suppose to be working towards.

Current Goal:
Max Emergency Fund

My Future goal is to (Sept 2012 and later):
#1 Each year Max Roth IRA
#2 Pay off Mortgage as fast as possible
#3 Once Mortgage is paid off invest in stock market
*** ???#4 Build up Pre-Retirement account to 100K


My old plan 2010 and prior:
#1 Max my pre-tax Retirement acoount (16,500 per year)
#2 Build up my Emergency Fund

That is a big swing. I am still liking my new goal but I think it would be nice to have 100K in my retirement account before a certain point, but with this drop of nearly 6K, it makes that distance from where I am now to that 100K goal seem like it might not happen.

I HATE school lunch!!

September 2nd, 2011 at 07:18 am

The school lunch program is such a pain in my lower backside.

They use a 6 digit pin to pay for their lunches. They enter the pin number once, and the students name appears on the registers screen. The adult asks the child if their name is _____, if the child says yes or nods then the number is charged.

The school district 7 miles away has the child use their thumb scan. Now that would be nice.

Well once again this year I am battling the unauthorized charges issue. This year I put NO money in my childs account. It was at a zero balance, until yesterday. Yesterday my son brings home a note saying his account was $1.75 short. This means the charge was placed this school year (last year lunch was $1.50).

My son has had cold lunch everyday, #1 because I need to limit his dairy, #2 because the money in his lunch account last year seemed to have a leak.

Well I called the school and left a message yesterday after I got the note. I then called back this morning. The charge was tracked to ANOTHER school. So the charge will be removed. I had his account flagged. His account now says NO Breakfast, NO Lunch CASH ONLY. Hopefully this WORKS.

Our School district has a NO hunger policy, so I am not sure IF this will help.

The policy is that a elementary school student can charge lunch without a problem no matter the negative balance in the account. In Junior high the student is allowed to charge a cheese sandwich or the main entree and Senior high the student can only charge a cheese sandwich.

So if the lunch person at the other school whom allowed this student whom is not my child to use my childs account sees the note but the child wants food she might ignore the CASH ONLY note just like she/he ignored the note on the screen about that account number belonging to a student in another school.

I need to get a note from my son's doctor so he can get juice instead of milk with his meals. Since my cousin will be having my son use hot lunch and the standard is milk.

Clearing the Stock Pile and To Do Li$t...Yep with $$$

September 1st, 2011 at 07:46 am

I have 3 weeks left until I leave my home for Mob Station.

I had a talk with a girl whom went to the same deployment location last year. I was talking about stuff I was packing and she said she had wished she had an item I was still planning on throwing in my carry on. I asked her to clearify because I was told they have a HUGE PX there. Well she said she is frugel and the stuff there was over-priced. Her Secret deoderant was $1.50 more than it was at home. She said that IF you printed off the price at Wal-Mart they would price match BUT still. It would be a pain to go write down the size of every product they carry that you use, so before you go buy your shampoo and deoderant, toothbrush etc you can go and print out an ad from a national chain so you can price match EVERY item EVERY time.

So I went through my stock pile and packed more, orginally I packed enough toothpaste, toothbrushes, and Pads to last overseas.

Well I added Mouthwash, Lotion, Shampoo, Shaving Gel, Conditioner, Johnson's Buddies Bar Soap, and Hair Ties. I packed the stuff I already had in my stockpile at home, no additional shopping. During the next 3 weeks my plan is to use up all the little samples I have in my house in an attempt to downsize the stockpile clutter some more.

Once I get home then I will work on building my stockpile back up, in an orderly way. I want to have atleast one spare but I would like to figure out a way to make it easy to find what I am looking for. Maybe plastic Shoe Pouch hanging on the back of the bathroom door. See my shelves are so deep that stuff is hard to find at times even if it is in bins.

888

To Do List:
I need to call a glass repairman and get my broken window fixed. It is starting to get cold in the evenings.

I also need to call the furnace people, I think the overflow container on my AC is full and causing the water to come out the bottom instead of through the pipes.

I also need to call my sprinkler guy and have him repair the broken sprinkler line where BF broke it with the post hole auger. I also want him to adjust a head that due to dirt moving on a slope (or possibly a gopher) it is no longer flush with the ground it is sticking up in the air.

Then I need to take my car in and have it get an oil change, have the light socket on the rear marker light replaced, Have the ABS break light checked out and get a second set of keys and a new remote car starter FOB.

I also need to follow up again with my former childcare provider for a refund. They charged me $55 in activities fees for 2011-2012 school year even though they said they were not going to let my child ride. They also pulled my September payment out $165 last MAY. They pre-pay ;I really think the Pay for September in May thing is dumb but I suppose it is their way of locking in clients. BUT if they are going to drop clients they need to be prepared to refund the money. I have a feeling I am going to have to prove the overcharge.

***
I need to transfer some money into my checkbook...I want to have my emergency fund in my checking account incase something happens and my pay is disrupted. I can transfer the money back after my deployment. BUT I doubt I will, the money has two purposes. 1 the money is there in case of paycheck being disrupted, and 2 it is there so I can live off of that and put the money deposited into my account into SDP. I wonder how much of a allowance I should give myself. I know there are things I will want to buy or need to buy because I spaced them off, but I am not sure how much to put into my account for that.

Auto Pay is set up!!!

August 29th, 2011 at 05:46 pm

I asked Bf when he was planning on paying the water bill due on the first and he had totally spaced it.

So tonight he filled out the bills and the forms for bill pay for water/garbage and for autopay and balanced billing on the Elec/Gas.

So now it is a done deal....No worries. The Cable bill is paid in advance so when he gets the first bill it will be for two months...Besides that it is in his name already and It is not a "Bad Bill" because if he does not pay then it does not fall back on me, it is sent to collections in his name only.

I think the problem with the bills is he has all his other bills auto withdrawn so he just is not used to actually mailing in bills.

Now that we set up the bills I feel so much better, I no longer feel like a sugar mama...Once I get back from deployment I am planning on having him install the landline phone back....Since it is a non-mortgage/House insurance bill I will have him pick up the tab for it and then we can be content with his household expenses contributions. Basically I will be covering $980 per month and he will be covering $300-350.

A room in town rents for $350, so that is not a bad deal for him and since I am the one that benefits from the homeownership, having him pick up the utilites is cool for me.

My BF was injured at work a while back, then when he was physically able to return to work his boss had gaven BF's job to the bosses nephew. So basically he was getting back on his feet when we met. So now after all this time he is finally got an Emergency Fund. So now that the bills are finally locked in...I am not upset it took so long. I am glad he has an emergency fund, so no harm no foul.

The Count Down has started.

August 29th, 2011 at 08:13 am

Last week I had drill, it was crazy long.

Monday got up at 5:30am we got to bed at 3:30am the following morning.

Tuesday up at 6:30am we got home at 6pm. I had stuff to get done so bed at 10pm.

Wednesday up at 5:30am we got home at 10:30pm.

Thursday up at 5:30 dismissed at 6:30pm.

Friday up at 5:30 dismissed at 6:00pm.

Saturday worked 9am-11am.

There were issues with food and scheduling so on top of lack of sleep I was also very hungry Monday and Tuesday.

---
But while on vacation I got my two doctor appointments done. My glasses came in last week but due to the hours I worked I could not pick them up. I will be picking them up tonight.

I have to repack a few bags since I took stuff out to sew. I need to find my matching padlocks then I plan to bring it in to work.

I was suppose to be all packed Friday but then they gave us full-timers an excuse since we will actually need our stuff between now and when we leave where as the other will not need them.

I got the utilites switched over to my BF's name. He will be paying the utilities while I am gone. The first bill is due on the 31 (city water) and he has yet to pay it. I just printed off the auto bill pay forms from the website so he can set up autopay out of his checking if he wants.

I am a bit concerned, IF he does not pay then the utilities will get turned off. Kinda hard to live with turned off utilities. In my state IF the renter does not pay the landlord is responsible BUT I will not be around to pay them so if he does not pay them then the company can just turn them off until he remembers to pay. I guess the fact that he is waiting this close to the bill being due to pay it bothers me. I like to pay a bill that I do not have on autopay right away or go online and schedule a payment as soon as I get a bill so I do not forget.

When we had talked in the past he came off as liking timely bills, but now that we are at that point I am not seeing it. In fact I am seeing the opposite.

He himmed and hawed about rent. First it was he had to finish off the Student loan that went to collections while he was on workers comp then unemployed (had 5 payments of 25% of his take home). Then he could not get out of his contract with his landlord (landlord did not want to relist it)...Not sure if I believe that because there is a housing shortage in town. BUT maybe he did not want to bother to follow up to prove the landlord rerented the apartment, and take him to small claims court.

Anyway, months went by and May became June (oops 5 payments not 4 to SL) and then June became July. Well now it is August and He has YET to pay me the $525 (his old rent amount) but now says $600 (half bills) per month he was going to pay for rent.

It is August and I said I would prefer him to pay the utilities and then him put the difference into a savings account so that if repairs come up he has the funds and then when I get home the leftover can be used to pay for some of the house repair projects we have planned (Deck, Patio, Shed).

I don't want to have to deal with odd deductions for utilities out of my checking account while I am deployed and I don't want to have to figure out how to handle him paying rent then paying him back if he has to repairs etc.

He says the Cable company double billed him and so he told them to eat the bill...Instead of working through it. Well it went to collections and he had to pay off that bill before they would allow him to take over responsibilty of the account.

When we called the ELEC/GAS company he also had an outstanding bill for his appartment. Since it was less that $20 they just added it to the new bill. It was $10 plus $0.11 late fee.

When we called the water bill people there was no issue , and that he can pull his name off the bill at any time. Yep, except for him needing water there is no incentive for him to actually pay the bill.

===

Not sure what to do...I feel like a Sugar Mama again. I realize there is not much extra cost with him living here (a bit more AC and a bit more Water) and he was picking up the tab for the majority of the groceries but why tell me he is going to pay rent if he does not want to.


I need to call the AC people and have them look at my furnance, I think the overflow container is full.

I also need to make an appointment to have a broken window fixed.

I also need to call my sprinkler guy. BF installed a fence and three posts from the end (Middle of yard) he punctured the sprinkler line. He went to Menards and Lowes to look for a repair kit and could not find one and has yet to go to a hardware store. So I think I am just going to call the sprinkler guy and pay to have him do the repair.

The fence is not done, it is functional but it needs a bit of fine touches...He was planning on putting a top around it. And some area where the panels did not meet filler boards need to be added I guess if necessary if he never gets to it I could just cut down the posts and put caps on them and be done. He spent $1000 on matterials.

Yes that was nice, we have a nice almost functional fence (need to figure out a lock for the gate (keeps openning unless you put lots of heavy rocks on the one side). Also there is only a gate on one side the other is not done yet.

We needed a fence for his dog. It was not an expense I NEEDED so I don't feel like the fence makes up for not following through on the rent promise. Also he said he was going to get a special door that attaches to the sliding glass door so that his dog could come and go as she pleased. I am certain he said he ordered it, well it did not come with the fence matterial and then he said he had to order it....Still not here so I am guessing he never ordered it.

Helpful Hints

August 4th, 2011 at 01:13 pm

Just wanted to say THANK YOU!!

Sometimes when you are in a situation you can go on autopilot. Doing what you have always done or doing something the way you have always done it because that is what you know. Sometimes you need someone outside the issue to say "Hay have you tried this".

So to all the bloggers here on SavingAdvice, I want to say thanks for being there, being our sounding board and offering us many different way to look at a situation and many different options that we might have overlooked.


PS. I am off to start my Vacation...
Day 1. Pool Party
Day 2. Recover from Pool Party Smile
Day 3. RELAX

I hope to get the following things done.
Get School situation ironed out for DS.
Get Packed (Myself and DS)
Get Utilities Transfered
DR Appt
Eye Dr Appt
AND
A Photo taken of DS and Me
(Last family photo was Nov 2006 ish)

School Registration or Transfer

August 3rd, 2011 at 10:45 am

So today my cousin and I went to drop off the paperwork to request a school transfer, so my son can go to the same school as his two cousin's which he will be living with while I am deployed.

I do not understand my town at all. It is like pulling teeth. I completed the form with the required data, then my cousin provided proof of residency. She had to submit a copy of her mortgage and her water bill (2 proofs of residency). Seriously, wow what if someone lives with their relatives and does not have any housing bills in their name due to bad credit or something.

So once again they told us that the NEW school that my cousin's two children go to have not accepted ANY transfer requests since the school openned. Seriously, why is it that a student can live within a school boundry but can't go to that school. The lady said they might allow it since it is only for one year, on the condition that my son goes back to his current school next year.

Well it is up to them IF they allow my son back into his Current school next year, so this could get interesting. I wonder if I should submit the transfer request paperwork for next year as part of this years transfer request. My son's teacher (school's Assistant Vice-principle) was hoping he could stay in his current school because they have not accepted transfer requests for years ALSO. But this was when the plan was for DS to stay with his father whom had NO children so it was not a case of dropping kids off at two different schools at different ends of town with the same start and end times.

I can see it now that if our transfer request gets approved my son is going to go to this new school for one year, then next year it is going to be pulling teeth to try to get him back into his old school, and if it is disproved he is going to have to go to a different school. I hope it works out because if they send him to a school besides his current when I am back they are going to have to bus him home....Hum the school district can either add another student to the school or pay to bus him from a different school to the house since the school district provides free busing.

It was almost lunch time by the time I headed back to the office and so I stopped by subway and got a $5 footlong. I think I am going to do that for dinner also. I don't want to cook and every evening BF and I are drilling and putting in 5 fence posts. We figure 5 is a good number since it is not too long. Less time in the Sun and heat. Less time so we don't over due it and get sore, and it gives the posts time to cure.

2 days until DS's Birthday party. I am thinking about buying a cooler. I want one that fits 2 liter's I figure later the cooler will come in handy for fishing and or camping, so I might spend the money to have the cooler for the party.

Big Changes, I knew it would happen....

August 2nd, 2011 at 07:03 am

but the timing is atleast good.

So my Ex-Husband who has visitation but hardly ever uses it; was to care for my son while I was deployed. By law he has to be given first shot. In return for him taking care of our son I was going to return the child support he was paying to me since DS would not be in my care and I would pay him the same amount since DS would need things such as food and a few clothing items.

Well EX-Husband finally got his internship and a job locked in. He is sooooo happy, it is the job of a lifetime he says. This job of a lifetime is from 1pm-10pm Tuesday through Saturday. Our son is in school from 8:30am until 3:05pm, which means My Ex will need extensive daycare.

He got an offer by his friend for FREE daycare...The problem is that there youngest is blocked from school at this point for Violent behavior. This weekend my son was to have a spend over there but right before my ex left him there he started crying because this boy had already kicked him in the throat once, and other things.

My Ex realizes that this offer might not work because our son does not like abusive boy. My Ex plans on just leaving our son there all week since he sees no point in picking him up at 10pm. So basically this family would be raising our son.

This family currently has three children 1 girl and 2 boys in the home, maybe four (not sure if the fourth child was returned to them or still in foster care). They live in a 2 bedroom apartment and the mother has a terminal condition.

***
Well I told my Ex that now that we know how much daycare help he is going to need that I am calling my cousin. I said I prefer and know he would prefer for her to care for our son over the other family.

He texted back a simple. Yes.

I know my Ex, so now I have some things to do.

1. Call my Cousin and tell her want is going on
2. Call the Public School Register
3. Register my son in my cousin's school
4. Complete any paperwork to ease care for my son.
A. School
B. Hospital
C. Copy of Temp Guardian Papers and Orders to Cousin
5. Give Payment Check to My Cousin instead of Ex

My Son is going to live with my cousin and my Ex can visit our son when it works into his schedule. I will be giving my cousin a check that is my Ex's CS payment and will match it or more depending on what they think is necessary. I will need to switch my son over from his current school to the school that my cousin's children attend. And then I will need to pack up the clothes and school supplies I purchased for my son while I was gone so they have those items.

I am sad because I once again could not depend on my ex to put his son's best interest first, but I am extremely thankful that I have my cousin to step in.

Broken Window = First Fight.

August 1st, 2011 at 10:02 am

On Friday we went to my Grandmothers house to pick up the furnature. After we got there and I showed BF what I wanted to take; we ended up with just the bedroom set.

I was not going to push it because I did not want him to make a second trip (gas $). I would have liked some of the other items, but he was right and we really did not NEED them. Also they would have created clutter. He basically asked me if I was willing to get rid of something at the house in order to put the furnature where I was planning on putting them.

When we got home and were unloading the truck, he looked over and saw that the window was broken. I believe a rock got thrown into the window by the new lawnmower which was set to side discharge instead of mulching or bagging like we normally did. He says that a kid must have thrown a ball throw it.

I don't care if he broke the window with the mower, it would have been an accident. But if some kid was in our yard throwing rocks at our window that is trasspassing and vandilism (crimes).

I found a rock inside the room and the rock was broken like it had been hit by the mower blade, also the rock had grass stains on it. I looked at the mower blade and there is a chunk out of it, also there is a paint chip on the new mower by the deflector.

He saw some of the balls my son had in the playroom, and said the ball must have done it. Because of the size of the hole. Well the problem with that is the window is double pane and the ball does not fit between the gap of the two windows. Meaning the rock hit and the hole became bigger but not big enough for the ball to travel through both holes.

We got in a big fight over the word "Crime". I said it was a crime, if someone throw a ball or rock through the window, and he wanted to argue the fact intent vs accident. I wanted to stop arguing over the use of the word crime and just drop it, but he saying he was in law enforcement for 10 years and that someone throwing a rock or ball through a window isn't a crime.

Anyway...Thinking about it now the best thing would have been for me to just hold my tongue. This is why I am not going to discuss it anymore and he can continue to think my kiddo throw a ball through the window even though a ball will not fit through the two holes in the double pain glass. The hit was at an angle.

(*Edit- I wanted to explain what I mean by hold my tongue. At the point where we both were getting defensive and we were fighting over something stupid (the definition of the word Crime), I should have took a step back and realized this was getting out of hand and no good was coming out of it and I should have just let us both calm down instead of trying to keep adding fuel to the fire. Because at this point it was about who was right and nothing about fixing the window).

I came out of the house and in my frustration of trying to get him to listen to my reasoning, I called him by my Ex-Husbands name. I guess in the many times I have done that he has caught on twice.

I get upset and when I feel like I am not being listened to, I call people by my Ex-Husband's name. It does not matter their gender either...You really get me worked up and that name pops out.

****
So the question is: I keep calling people my Ex-Husbands name when I get really upset. Is there anything I can do about? Please note that my Ex-Husband HAS the same name as my son. I call my son his real name, and I call my ex the more adult version of the name which we switched my Ex to once our son was born so the names were some what different.

My Ex-Husband is a Jerk, he is lazy, so it is really an un-intended insalt to call someone by his name. What can I do to make it better. I feel like even though BF says "this is a new day" he is still acting hurt.

Another problem is I need to pay to get the window fixed, it seems like anything to do with fixing that window just opens up the wound. I have never fixed a window before, It is not the slider so I figure I need to call a window guy to come replace it. He suggested ordering it and then hiring lowes to install it. Why would I have Lowe's install a window I purchased elsewhere.

Today, NSD????

July 29th, 2011 at 08:48 am

Well I have hopes that today will be a No Spend Day. We will have to see, yesterday I went to my grandmothers and packed up another car load of things to take to my house. I did not sort the stuff between the piles into (Aunty, Mine, Dads, and my Brothers) so I will have to do that later.

I am LOW on gas, I am hoping that since today we need to use BF's truck to pick up the furnature that I can delay the gas fill up another day.

This morning at 6:45am the delivery of the fencing matterials arrived. The timing was GREAT, even if since I had only awoken 15 minutes prior I was a little out of it still. They put the cement in the small stall in garage and the other supplies infront of the small stall that we have the mowers and BF's Motorcycle in. It might rain and so now the cement is protected...They were so nice and that was a nice suggestion to make.

I got a cooler full of things from the freezer, actually it included some ribs. I took one pack out to thaw for this weekend. There is more in the freezer but my aunt asked if I would use each item before she either put it in the cooler or moved it to the side of the freezer for someone else to grab.

I passed on the bannana bread, and the frozen rubarb. I ended up with a cooler full of Meat, and two packs of shreaded cheese and a pack of frozen meat ravioli.

Looks like today I will head to my grandmothers and take the furnature back to my place. I hope that we can do it in one trip. Then we can start on the fence.

Yesterday I vaccumed the back room, and sorted some things and of course loaded a car load of stuff. I am hoping that maybe next week will be the final week of actually sorting and removing stuff from the house. I will be out of town, the following week helping the EX move his stuff back to town, so I will not be available to help.

Things still need to be picked up by people they go to, I am picking up 7 or 6 pieces. Truthfully even though everyone seems to be taking atleast one load home (car or pickup) everyday there is not a single room that is cleared yet. This weekend I think is going to be the big clear out of furnature.

There are three groups of items that still need to be sorted...The Christmas Decorations, the tools in the shed, and a closet of (gifts), fabric and lace. The gifts are NEW items that my grandmother purchased over the years or she had people purchase for her so that she had gifts on hand for events/holidays and not need to head to the store to buy stuff. My grandmother was German and so she has a large collection of new and Antique lace.

I will either be spending my weekend putting up a fence or I will be helping clean and load stuff at my grandmothers....Either way a super Exercise weekend. I am going to be tired.

House Cleaning and House Projects (Different Houses)

July 28th, 2011 at 07:57 am

So last night I went over to my grandmothers house. I guess my aunt and uncle were doing some research online and were creep-ed out by some information they found on a set of trunks that my grandparents bought at an auction yearsssss ago.

When they were dividing up the belongs of my grandmother, my uncle got one and I got one (well technically my father got it- but My Father told my aunt ALL he wanted was his fathers gun and the rest of anything he was gifted could go to me or I could get first dibs, or if there was anything I wanted that I could pick it and call it his).

Well my family came to the US years ago, My Grandfather was in WWII in the US Navy. The trunks belonged to an area family and from the data we have found out there is a story of two brothers. One that used his connections to flee Germany when he heard rumors the War was to break out and worked on a Red Cross Boat, and relocated to our state and was imprisoned ONLY because of his nationality until the war was over, but he did NOT want to be in Germany during the War so he had no problems with it. He met his future wife here in town.

His Brother was in Germany during the war, He and the trunks came over long after the war ended. Basically during the time when the US was finally letting the "war criminals" into the country. So my family thinks the two trunks, one looking very much like a Military FootLocker could have been Nazi trunk. Research online has VERY little information on the second brother that died just last year. The small obit of the seconds brothers wife who died in May of this year, seems to give the impression that the family might have been that the second brother and his wife were "the family dirty little secret".

My uncle is going to contact the daughters of the first brother and see if they want the trunks for family history as they are antiques and according to the labels on the trunks the first brother paid the passage for the trunks and his brother and sister to come to the area. The trunks have a Value of $175-$350 as is...If restored they could have a value of $500-$1300.

I think the trunks are interesting. I keep telling myself that maybe he was one of the nazi Soldiers that was forced into the war but secretly opposed the efforts, and did what they could such as give some of their rations to the starving children, or maybe he even saw a few Jewish people hiding out and he pretended not to, so they could keep on hiding.

****
Yesterday I went over to grandma's house and helped clear out some of her non-parishable foods.

I am storing items for my father, my aunt that has been taking care of my grandma these last 6 months, and my brother...My aunt lives out of state and eventually will take the items with her or ship them. My father is planning a road trip two years from now and will take his items then, and my brother comes atleast once a year and can either slowly take them in his luggage or ship the stuff once he is down here to see what I thought he might have attachment to.

So yesterday I brought another car load of things to the house for storing. I helped load items for other family members then I came home.

***
Today I will be emptying some of the food my aunt purchased out of the freezer to bring to my house. She will be staying at my place once the house is almost clear, then she will just go back daily to prep, paint, and repair the house to put it on the market.

Friday my BF and I will be using BF's truck to load the furnature I got.

Friday the Hardware store will also be delivering the fence matterials that BF purchased yesterday so we can fence the backyard. He said he came in right where he had hoped to budget wise for the fence. Not sure what that is...I am not going to ask.

I am broke, and at one point he said he would pay for the matterials since it is for his dog. Secondly I have no desire to fence the yard, I like that not having a fenced yard make the yard look larger. Thirdly, I would prefer a no-maintence 6 foot privacy fence, he would have been happy with a chain-link. But we went the middle road and he went with a wood 4 foot fence that he is going to put 2 foot of lattuce on top of to bring to 6 feet. In the end I think if he frames out the 4 foot panels and the lattuce it will look really nice. He was also planning on getting a doggy door for the sliding door. That way the dog can come and go as she wishes during the day once the fence is up. This is a summer only option BUT it will be nice since it will cut down on accidents during the day during the summer.

Yesterday was a No-Spend day, but I did do extra driving as I drove to my grandmothers house.

Trying to not spend money.....But I do

July 27th, 2011 at 07:24 am

BF was at Annual Training for 2 Weeks, during that time my brother was in town.

My Brother Mowed the grass, and noticed the mower was vibrating ALOT, enough that after a few minutes your hands would go numb.

The next week I mowed the grass, still the same, but when I got nearly done the handle snapped off the mower. The handle part where the top handle part bolts to the lower handle part, well the metal there broke off. I duct-taped the handle to the mower so I could finish the yard.

I told BF about it and basically the mower has a bent shaft and now a broken handle. The mower cost $125 five years ago so I got my money worth out of it.

BF bought a new better mower, we have a very steep hill and so he got a rear wheel drive mower. He got the 5 year extended warrenty. So when all was done we each paid $200.

---

I am getting ready for deployment, and well I need to buy some things. I want to put them off, but really should not.

To Buy:
New PT winter outfit. I have two sets already but they are both Medium. I need a Large or Larger, I am an stress eater. Between stressing about the upcoming deployment, stressing about leaving my son with my ex-husband, worrying about BF running into any issues with the house while I am gone.....AND the death of My grandmother last week. My grandmother and grandfather raised me and my brother so it was like losing a mother not a grandmother.

Well I am now 30 pounds more than what I weighed in December. I am 40 pounds from what I was prior to learning about the deployment.

If I lost the weight I would not need the Winter PT's BUT I am at a point where it took 6 months and alot of stress to put the weight on, the stress is not going to be reduced anytime soon, infact it will get worse before it gets better.

I also need to buy some GOOD sports bra's. So I just need to bite the bullet and get them done. I should buy a set or two of larger ACU's but instead I am doing the pregnancy thing (using a rubber band around the button) to make them larger without going up a size.

I NEED to lose weight. I am hoping once my summer vacation starts that I will be less stressed and be able to avoid food.

Balanced the Checkbook

July 26th, 2011 at 09:28 am

Today I balanced the Checkbook.

I recorded the deposit that will take place on the first and subtracted the deductions that will take place the 3rd, 5th and 9th.

I need to record the Water Bill and Record the Electric gas bill. I am not sure IF I received the Elec/Gas bill yet though.

I transfered money to savings.....I now have $6488 in Emergency Fund once the transfer takes place on the 5th. That means I have 8.26 Months of Emergency Fund in Savings. Only $2,612 to go until I have 12 Months.

I plan to move some of that money into my checkbook as a cushion closer to the start of the deployment. There is always hickups with pay when you start new orders. So I want to have money in my Checking. I also plan on putting money into SDP and it would be nice to already have the money I am going to live off of in my checkbook so my check can all go to SDP.

Right now since my Checkbook cushion of $1677.07 includes Mortgage, Escrow and $ for my Son it is more than my EF since My Mortgage and Escrow had difference EF accounts. I have 3.86 Months of Checkbook Cushion in my Generic Emergency Fund.

I still have approx $350 to last from the 1st until the 15th of August, for Misc Bills.

Gasoline- $80 (this is a high guess since I am off work for 10 day so will either be low due to less driving or higher due to more driving since I am not at work)

My Son's 8th Birthday Pool Party: 8+ kids and Parents plus Family
Pizza - $63.49 (I figure 10 pizzas)
Soda - $10 (8 2liters)
Cupcakes - $20
Ice Cream - $5

It would be awesome if MY Ex would pay some of the food costs since I am paying for the hotel BUT I am not banking on it.

I miss my landline... / Child Life Lessons

July 26th, 2011 at 07:54 am

I hardly ever had any calls on it, I also did not have caller ID but...

It was a secondary phone, so IF I forgot to charge my cell or whatever it was there.

I also like the ease of calling 911 in an Emergency, Cell Phone technology for 911 Calls is advancing as more and more people go to cell phones only but it is still a work in progress.

I will be re-installing the landline next fall when I get back from deployment, I would do it now but it seems silly to pay for something that I will not be using for 12 months. I think I might talk to the BF about it.

It might be nice to actually still have a number that is active (my cell will be turned off). BF can monitor the answering machine and tell me IF there are any calls that are a big deal.

A few weeks ago my Ex-Husband took our son out to watch a movie. I ran to the store. I guess I left the front door unlocked. Not really a big deal in our neighborhood and we have a HUGE Dog.

Well my Ex dropped our son off and saw our son walk into the house and was getting to leave when our son ran out in tears. At first my Ex thought it was because he missed him already. Nope it was because he was about to be left home alone (It is really rare for someone not to be home BUT My BF went out for the first time ever with some co-workers, and I ran to the store to try to get some birthday shopping done).

I am not sure IF our neighbors have my cell phone number, I know at one time they had our house phone number. I also don't know if the two neighbors our son spends alot of time at were home so that they could have called me or not had my Ex actually drove away.

Anyway, When I get home from my deployment, I will be installing the landline again. I will also be getting DS a cell phone. The landline will cost $40, the Cell phone will cost $30. The savings of not having him in daycare in the afternoon for 1 and a half hours is $160 once you factor in those expenses.

I will have signs by ALL the household phones that list.

My Work Number
My Cell Number
My Cousins Cell Number
My Cousins House Number
The Neighbors Numbers
My BF's Cell Number
His Fathers Cell Number
911

And the home address and my work address with the time I will be off work and what time I will be home.

I will also have rules listed, like no friends over. No answering the phone for anyone other than family that leaves a message on the answering machine. No answering the door....ETC ETC.

By MY State's guideline next August my son is old enough to be left home alone for a few hours during the day. He is going to LOVE this for trips to the store. I will be able to leave him home when I have to make a quick run to the store and BF is not home to watch him.

I am happy about the money savings (can start applying the saving to his "saving for braces account"), but mostly I am looking forward to him starting to learn skills.

Why is it that children are so coddled now days. Some children are being sent off to college and they have never been left home over night before OR they don't know how to cook because they are not suppose to be near the oven.

I am looking forward to this next adventure. Next year my son will be a latchkey child for an hour and a half during the week.

The following year he will be able to stay home during the day while I am at drill (as long as I am staying in town and it is during the day). More than likely that will mean just Sunday (Since Friday is evening and it is easier to just leave him at the sitter starting Friday night until Saturday afternoon. Also it would maybe once or twice a year since my BF is usually here.

At that age I am also going to start really teaching him. (He currently knows how to fold his own laundry - doesn't do it often) he also knows how to sort the laundry. I want to assign him the job of sorting ALL the laundry and then I would like him to be able to wash laundry.

I will teach him to use the washer, and that way he can pull an load out of the washer when he gets home, put it in the dryer. And he can start another load. Of course I will be helping with the folding and putting away, but I want him to do the loading of the washer and adding the correct cleaners, and loading the dryer and making sure to double check the temps of the washer and dryer.


Eventually my child will learn the following skills BEFORE heading to College.
Staying home alone (responsibly)
Washing Laundry
Cleaning (His Bathroom, His Bedroom, and His Playroom/eventually his office)
Basic Cooking Skills
Automotive - Driving, Maintance
$ Management




Long Nights.... (funeral talk)

July 22nd, 2011 at 06:46 am

All week I have been at my grandmothers house, usually until midnight or a bit later. That is late since this early riser normally goes to bed around 9pm.

My Grandmother passed away Friday at 11am. Her Viewing/Rosary was Monday, Her Funeral was Tuesday. And all week we have been cleaning and clearing out the house. It is kinda crazy at times because of the large numbers of (her) children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren that are helping at one time.

Since three of her children live out of state, if the items are going to be given to them with their input it needs to be done now. Also I read somewhere it is easier to do it earlier when you are still numb, then to do it later when you are sad.

So far except for a little rubbing of personalities it is going really well. I think everyone is taking the high road. I could tell you stories of the actions that would make my generious spirited grandmother Proud.

My grandmother had a practice over the years of writing the name and date of the gift on the gift or on a sticky label on the gift. Her wishes were that if someone gave her or my grandfather something she wanted them to have it back. So that is the first step in the clearing out the house process.

My grandmother and grandfather had 7 children and 25 grandchildren (two of which they raised), and 26 greatgrandchildren. Of the non-labeled items the children are determaining what is high value ($ or emotional), what is medium/low value to them, what is trash. The high value items are what is divided between the children so everyone gets a equal number. They came up with a number system. They put a number 1-7 in front of the item then they draw numbers. They usually do a group of like item things; such as crystal or crosses or lace, etc. If they want to trade they can BUT the numbers is the starting point, so that if you want something you have to trade. Sometimes even if you had prefered something else; you have fond memories of what you got and then they deside they are content. The medium value items are being selected by the children for grandchildren and great grand children. Low value items are being placed in one room for any grandchild or great grand child to select from for themselves.

Every Child, GrandChild, and GreatGrandChild; will receive or has received at least one spiritual item and one special/personal item.

I am basically a runner, which means when something is unearthed, I go to the children make sure it does not have a story (high value) and if none of the children want it for themselve or one of their children (Medium Value) I take it to the up for grabs room. Or if one expresses and interest I put it in with the box of stuff they will be taking to their home. I also keep garbage bags available to the children and run the filled trash bags to the pickup truck that is going to the dump.

My grandmother lived through the depression, so she has alot of things that such as small scraps of fabric or old blankets she kept for some purpose or another which just needs to be thrown out.

My Boyfriend will not come over to the house, He says when his grandmother died alot of the family just went crazy and because greedy. Lots of fighting. Wish he could see the generous spirit with which the process is going for us.

Birthday Pool Party AKA surprise Expense of having a pet

July 21st, 2011 at 01:37 pm

Today I called and booked a room, so I can plan my son's birthday party.

It is a pool side room in a hotel near our home. Cost $91.99 Yep saved $2 because of my military discount. The party will be on Friday, I had wanted it on Saturday but there is a Wedding there on Saturday and so ALL the rooms are booked.

This Weekend I will need to complete the Invitations and get those mailed out. I need to figure out if I want to have it from 5pm-7:30pm or 6pm-8:30pm. It is a pool party and we are going to get pizza, have cupcakes and ice cream cups.

What time would you suggest for the party?

(Okay, my title said unexpected cost of having a pet. Normally I just have birthday parties at my house, BUT this year we have a dog. She is old, and so she has been having a harder and harder time holding her bladder for lond periods. I don't want to her to have an accident during the party. Also she sheds, like crazy. So I can vaccum, swap and mop, and 20 minutes later the floor and rugs are coated in hair. I also am concerned that some of the boys MIGHT get rough with her.)

I don't mind the added expense of having a location party, because it means I am not going to have to spend days cleaning my house, then days cleaning it after. Also my SON, is SUper Excited about having a pool party.

I already bought all the paper and plastic items, I bought some soda, but need to get more.

The Menu:
Pizza (from Little Ceasers $5.99 per Large)
Soda $1.25 per
Water $2.99 a case
Ice Cream Cups(?$)
Cupcakes (Hopefully my cousin will be making them)

Cups, Plates, Napkins - All purchased

I bought my son two lego sets, and one nintendo DS game. I also bought him a 12 inch Angry Birds Stuffed Animal. Everything is wrapped except the angry birds animal which I have not got in the mail yet.

I will stop by work on Friday and fill the cooler with ICE for the water, Soda, and Ice Cream.

I just need to figure out some gift bags, I bought a box of pre-packed cookies, and a box of fruit snacks. I need some small toy or something to round out the gift bag and then I will be done with that.

Any Ideas of the gift bags for the guests?

Itching to refinance again...

July 12th, 2011 at 09:05 am

I am getting that itch to refinance again.

I heard an ad on the radio about refinancing, how a 30 year mortgage is silly. That 15 years is the way to go.

I know this...This is what Dave Ramsey says over and over.

My Story:

July 2010 I refinanced my house, I had just gotten divorced and the refinance was to get my Ex-Husband off the mortgage. I went down in interest from 5.45% to 4.25%, by paying points. I also removed the escrow account from my mortgage so I was no longer loaning the mortgage company $3000-$3500 a year interest free. I got a 30 year mortgage.

It is now July 2011 one year later, I have made approx 10 payments on my mortgage. I ran the figures...Interest rates on a 15 year mortgage are 3.75% for zero points which is only .5 down from what I am paying. That is a savings of $55 per month in interest, it would cut 14 years off my mortgage and my payment would only go up by $300 per month. The closing costs are approx $3,000.

I can afford $300 more per month in mortgage and absolutely LOVE the idea of 15 year mortgage instead of a 30 year. Next year I was planning on paying extra on my mortgage and I was wondering if it makes sense to refinance.

I can afford $600 more in payments per month and still be within the 29% mortgage debt limit.

I just ponder the thought that the savings of $55 per month in interest should count for something even if my payment per month does not go down, since I am cutting 15 years off the loan and 59,850 in payments, and 9,990+ in interest .

What to do, What to do??

PS I ran a mortgage calculator and if I just paid the extra $302 to my current mortgage vs refinancing the difference is a YEAR and spending and additional $14,285.85 in interest.

Sure looks like a no brainer to refinance EVEN if it is not a 1% rate reduction. What do you think?

Planning a TP Stockpile...

June 29th, 2011 at 10:16 am

Staples has an INSTORE monthly special starting today and going thorough July 30th.

Charmin Basic (1PLY) 16 double rolls approx 584.5 sq for $4.99.

Staples has a 15% off one item internet pdf coupon out that can be used through July 2nd. The coupons says limit 1 coupon per customer per day.

My plan is to stop daily (either on the way home or on the way to work) and pick up one pack and use one coupon.

5 Packs at $4.24 each.

We are getting LOW on TP in our house....and we can't use Cottonelle or White Cloud, we get rashes. So Charmin is a sure bet and I am 95% sure this price is better than I normally get on my cheap TP choices (Angel Soft or Scotts Extra Soft).

I would love to know IF this is a GREAT deal or just a chance to get our Prefered brand at a reasonable price...But I don't see having time to stop at both Wal-Mart and Staples before I need to pick my son up at daycare. So I plan to buy 1 pack today, pick up my son, head to the Wal-Mart by my house and update my pricebook TP numbers, and depending on the cost average I will either: Purchase 1 pack at $4.24, or be stopping at Staples EVERY day for the next 5 days, or I will possibly be buying even more at the $4.99 price.

So now the question is will I be spending $4.24
$21.20, or more?

The reason I said I was 95% sure this is a deal is I took my pricebook out of my purse. ARGGGG
But lately everytime I turn around the base price of stuff is raising. My pricebook is based on the Normal lowest shelf price.

I list the brand, sq foot and roll count/size along with cost. Then factor sq foot cost for each.

I do it this way so I know if I have a coupon on one brand if it will reduce the sq foot cost to lower than lowest brand size cost even before I head to the store. Also having the sq listed helps if I see an sale price at CVS or somewhere and they do not have the SQ listed, more than likely I have it already in my pricebook.

New Glasses --- Trying to get a record of a electronic transaction

June 28th, 2011 at 07:10 am

I got my new glasses, I do really really like the anti-glare coating that they say helps with eye fatigue.

Not sure if it really helps with eye fatigue but there is no white glare on my lenses when I take a photo. I actually think my eyes are tired, but the prescription is correct, I flip flopped between new glasses and old glasses....I LOVE not having a scratch right in front of my eye. I think my eyes are tired because I am used to my glasses fading into the background and I am not used to these new plastic frames, so I keep catching myself focusing on the frame outline.

I am wearing the least flattering pair, Yeah I know why would I wear the least flattering pair.

I look best in smaller glasses and this pair is the largest (I think it is a medium size). But this pair has the narrow-est sides, hinged sides and a solid color.

The pair I look the best in #3, and when I bought them figured they would look the best on me...But they have thick sides, atleast thicker than I am used too. I am used to just moving my eyes to see to the side, not used to having to move my head because of having glasses sides blocking my paripherial view.

The second pair: I like the smaller sides, the sides are a bit bigger than pair one, but half the size of #3. The shape of the lens is not bad, but the color is black and red. I am used to wearing thin metal glasses. So I have to work up to wearing the Louder red and black glasses.

I am really impressed with the glasses, I am probubly going to order a pair of prescription sun glasses from the company. I am going to try on pair number two (black and red) when I get home and picture them with sunglass lenses in them. I think that pair would be really cute as sun glassses.

****
So I found out that I can get repayed for the cost of my passport. I have a receipt for the processing fee $25. I do not have a receipt for the actual cost of the passport.

When I applied for my passport, I only got a receipt for my transaction fee because that one was the one cashed by the receiving entity. I should have used a Credit Card, because then I would have atleast gotten a Credit Card processing receipt. (But at that time I applied we did not have information that they would repay use the fee).

I emailed the passport people, they do not issue receipts...I paid by check.

My check was electronically processed, I emailed the bank and asked for a receipt of some kind for the transaction, I wrote a check for a receipt BUT the check was electronically processed, so no voided check. Well the bank sent me back a form to complete and every option was basically for invalid electronic charges....The charge was not invalid I just want proof of the transaction.

I want the $140 refund , BUT I will not get my bank statement for a month (the transaction cleared the 20th and the end date of the statement is the 17th) and do not really want to submit my monthly bank statement to my employer.

I am not sure what to do at this point, I think I will have to go into the bank with the form letter they sent out and see if I can get anywhere.

Put in for Time off!!

June 20th, 2011 at 11:39 am

I requested August 5th through the 19th off. 15 days of Vacation used....If I overlap a weekend (take a Friday and then a Monday) I have to count Saturday and Sunday for days off.

Since I have been working flood duty at least 2 days each week, I desided this was the safest route to guarentee that I got those two weeks off.

I emailed the person who was putting the Flood Duty Shift together, stating I had put in Vacation time for the 5th through the 19th and then I have Drill the 22nd through the 26th. I am hoping I will not have flood duty the 20th and 21st BUT because I did not include those days in my vacation request....There is a chance.

I will have to figure out Daycare for the 22nd through the 25th. The 26th I believe I am going to be allowed to come in late, It is the first day of School and School starts at 8:35am but I am suppose to be at work at 7am. I want to be able to be there until my son walks into the doors, like I did last year, since I will miss doing that next year.

On the 26th My son will go to afterschool care, so I have 4 days of Daycare to figure out and to pay the pro-rate fee for Afterschool care for August, then that is my last of after school daycare costs.

In 2012 when I get back, my son will be old enough to be able to walk home and be home alone until I get done with work....I plan on either getting him a cell phone or reinstalling the land line phone or BOTH. If I do both I am still saving $100 a month.

Now the thing is to figure out what I want to do during this time....I want to take a vacation. I am not sure I can convince my BF to go anywhere with us. When we were first dating he talked about loving to take road trips etc. But he is much like me and hates to spend money, so lately whenever I bring up a vacation he hims and haws...Basically saying he wants to save money First.

I am thinking the first weekend I would like to go the ValleyFair. If BF goes with then I will rent a hotel room. IF BF does not come with, then I will ask EX-H if we can crash at his apartment. My EX-H is currently on Flood Duty, so there is a very good chance the Apartment would be empty anyway.

August 14th is my son's Birthday it falls on a Sunday....So hopefully I can plan a cool party. I will have to see, I am thinking maybe I will rent a hotel room at a hotel that has a waterpark or pool. I would like to get pizza (Little Ceaser's is the best price). So maybe I will have to see if BF or EX-Husband can run to pickup the pizza while I watch the party.

Here hoping I can come up with some FUN Low Cost Vacation Ideas.....I also need to remember not to be so cheap. I have been saving for the future and not living in the present. I need to start enjoying the present so that I am not just wishing time would pass so I can start enjoying my hard work.

It is time to enjoy life a little more, I think I am going to start by, the next non-rainy weekend we have I am going to take my son to raging rivers....Wish I was not going to look like a beached whale in my swim suit but oh well.

Cheap Fun "Memory" Idea

June 15th, 2011 at 09:48 am

I bought stamps online...Yes there is a $1 fee for doing so, but it guarentees me a better variety.

I am buying the smallest pack of stamps I can. Normally a 4 pack. I bought 4 different 4 packs, one has 2 designs. I bought one 5 pack with 5 different designs and one 10 pack with 10 designs. All were forever stamps except the one 5 pack which was named sunday funnies.

I also bought two letter writing kits, they came with paper, envelopes and one came with a book on letter writing and the other came with directions on writing with invisible ink. They were both Disney. I bought these for my son, hoping they would help make writing FUN.

I am going to take the Disney Stamps out. They each came with 8 stamps which were 39 and 41 cents, so no longer current. I plan to use them to mail postcards back to my son. Yes they both are above the cost of a postcard stamp, but I figure he would like the stamps on postcards and by them being more than the current postcard rate, I insure that if I buy postcard stamp I do not have to figure out where to get the add on stamps if postage costs go up.

I also plan to go to the post offices around town and see if they have different stamps at the counter than is online.

I want to mail each letter back to my son with a different stamp (that a boy would like). Then once I get home maybe we can create a stamp album from my letters. I am going somewhere that does not have free postage.

I went online and they have a stamp called Owney the postal Dog scheduled to be released July 27th. That is really cute, BUT the awesome news is they have a Pixar 5 different designs set coming out Aug 19th. Both are forever stamps. I plan on buying a TON of the Pixar ones. I figure as I go through my deployment if I run out of different stamp varieties if I have to double up the Pixar ones would be his favorite.

My son wants a letter or postcard Everyday. I will try to write as often as I can, so I will need to be on the look out for interesting stamps. As I look for Boy type stamps, I plan to use the 44 cent stamps first then if the rate changes I will have the collection of forever stamps to fall back on.

When I was younger I was dating a guy and he went away for training and he said Letters were awesome it was the highlight of the day. So I wrote him daily and if I did not have enough to say for a letter I mailed a card. He got mail EVERY day. One of the instructors told him "hope you realize you have a keeper". Well I hope to do nearly the same. I want to mail my little boy a letter atleast once a week. I figure that is 50+ stamps minimum.

So far I have 21 different designs...Owney the postal dog and the pixar will be 27. They also have adopt a shelter animal ones I want to get which has 10 designs so that is 37 designs.

They have a 50 flags of the USA set out. I wonder if I should order those then I for sure have different ones. I will think of it...I think this is going to be fun for both my son and for me.

Getting it done = spending money, but getting deals

June 15th, 2011 at 07:15 am

I am working on getting my to do list done.

The day before yesterday I ordered new glasses. I was going to just order new lenses for my glasses so I could save money on the frames since the frames I have have clip on sunglasses and they are $225.

Well as part of my Total Medical Exam this weekend we were seen by a eye doctor. The military will order us one decent pair of regualar glasses, one pair that is ugly AKA the Birth Control Glasses, and the inserts for our gas mask.

The eye doctor gave me a copy of my prescription with PD so I could get the lenses in my glasses replaced (scratched during Annual Training) by my normal doctor with out having to sit through an exam.

After much thought, I took that prescription and went to zennioptical.com and ordered three pair of glasses with the extra cost anti-glare coating and the total cost was half of what I normally pay for just one pair of glasses IF I go with their budget package.

The cost to replace the lenses in my glasses would be about $80 because I always get sucked into the these special lens material is thinner, and this coating will help with scratching and glare sales talk. I have learned the reason I do not like my decent military normal glasses is they do not polish the edges and at my doctors office that is an extra $10. So it gets spendy, at least when I am sitting in front of a computer I can think of what I really need without the polite BUT hard sell.

I figure if I do not like the glasses I bought, it is NO big deal, I will wear them on my deployment then when I get home go back to my doctor. BUT I think I will be happy, my cousin has used them and she was extremely happy with them. I bought three pairs and after shipping they cost $13.55, $16.55, and $19.55.

I even saw on their website a pair I almost bought a year ago....I might go back for them next year they would cost $35 if I only bought one pair of glasses. The shipping in a flat rate. At my doctors office I think the frame only price of those same glasses was $175.00 which is a huge markup.

****

I also ordered my kindle. They were having a 20% sale on the covers for fathers day along with free two day shipping. I was going to order the cover but then I thought maybe I do not really need it so that saved me $40 and the free two day shipping means I will get it tomorrow, just in time to start sorting my books and download a few free games, right before I report for another couple flood duty overnight shifts.

****
I Got my Passport.....Okay I got my photo for my passport taken yesterday and turned in my application and paid my fee. So my March Goal is MET!!!!!

I was really thinking of not getting one but at drill we were given the high pressure sales pitch. Seems the passport makes it easier to travel even if your are traveling as a group of military Soldiers.

BUT the point of the sales pitch when I said OKAY was when they said there was a chance we would get a 4 day pass on the way to our final destination and we possibly have a chance of having a Greece mini-vacation. So I got my passport!

I saved $10 on my passport because I went to our work photograph studio and had them take my photo. My son was not impressed with my photo because the lens of one of my glasses produced a glare. LOL, he is so funny.

***

I then went shopping, I returned two items and then I bought medicine. Dayquil, NiteQuil, Pain Releaver, Alergy Meds etc. I either had a coupon for my name brand product, or I bought generic. I do not want to go to sick call for every little ache and pain so I am making myself a portable medicine bag. I am slowly adding to my kit as I think of products I want.

I need to find a bag that will hold full size shampoo and conditioner bottles, etc. I want one bag for shower items and then I will have my med bag for hanging in my locker.

****
Today is payday, so I need to balance my checkbook and see where to move money around to.

Trying to pack

June 13th, 2011 at 07:23 am

Well at drill this weekend we were told to start packing. At the end of our drill in August all tuff boxes should be packed and ready for loading. At the start of orders in Sept all bags should be packed and everything should be loaded except our 72 hour bags.

We all have a black tuff box (with keys and four spots for locks) it is large and has wheels. These will go in a conex, and they will go down to mob station but basically headed right over to customs and then shipped to our final deployment location.

So anything we want secured and do not mind not seeing until we get to our deployment location goes in there.

So far in my TUFF box I have:
1. Items I want to de-ex.
Deployments are the only time I get to de-ex, because I have to buy my own uniforms. (With the need to buy the dress blues I have the green class a's right now...I would like to de-ex as much of my worn out stuff as possible so I can use my clothing allowance to buy my blues). ACU uniforms just do not last as long as the BDU's did and so the clothing allowance just does not cover all my uniform replacement costs.

2.I packed bedding: sheets, pillow, blankets.
Once I get to my final location I will like a NICE as comfortable as possible bed. Until I get to the final location I will sleep in my sleeping bag so I have less baggage.

3.I also packed a bunch of tolietries.
There is a huge PX where we are going BUT....I have this huge box to send stuff, so I figure why buy it if I have it at home already (used coupons for free or super cheap). I am packing what I have at home up to about a 9 month supply in the tuff box. 1 month supply will also go in my regular luggage. I might have to buy some things over there, but for the most part I should be set.

4. I packed a second pair of running shoes.
I figured with daily workouts my shoes are going to start to wear out alot faster than normal, and I don't want to deal with trying to ship to a APO if the PX does not carry what I want in Shoes.
(good price, plus willing to ship to a APO in the style I want).

5. I packed three towels.
I do not want to have to carry a ton of heavy bags, so I will most likely reuse towels until I get to the final destination, so I don't have to pack as many in my duffle bags.

I am not planning on taking a Xbox, or PS2/3 or Wii: so I have a bit more room in my box than those that are packing those type of things.


I have this big box, and just feel like I should be packing more into it. Oh well I guess being low maintenace has its rewards.

Treat others as you want to be treated....

June 6th, 2011 at 11:23 pm

That is the mantra that is going through my mind today. I get to work and everyone is in an tizzy about something.

It is such a low issue on chain of importance. I got told about it when I got to work at 10pm, there were two notes about it up in the conference room and I got an EXTREMELY snarky comment about it in my email from a co-worker.

If this was such a high pressing issue, why did they just not ask the back up to do it, since I was out of town for 3 weeks? Well because the backup is LAZY. I have been out of the office for 3 weeks, and prior to that the job had to sit in the que because the program was having server issues or maintance or something. Got to LOVE online programs. I came back to work BUT I have not gotten to this no big deal assignment, because I was told another was higher prority.

The sad thing is this TO DO item could have been combined into 1 job BUT instead the two people turned it into 14 different MINI jobs which I have to page back and forth between to complete (took 15 minutes total to do).

I wonder what is going to happen once I am gone and the back up is the main go to guy and he has not had any on hand experience because instead of getting practice (like when I am out of town) he just does not do it.

I am really tired of Mr. L's Snarky emails, he needs to learn email manners. For example I forwarded him an email and say I did not see him in the distro (it was his group of people and it got sent to me instead of him) but wanted to make sure he was not left out of the loop, and he email back and said he already got it basically threaten me with bodily harm IF I ever emailed him any those reports again.

There are many things I love about my job, but the things I dislike are starting to build. I think when I get home from my deployment I am going to look into a lateral transfer. I am tired of the people at the same level as me treating everyone like crude because they are way over due for a mental health day, and I am tired of the people above me doing nothing and then blaming the lower person.

In my email account along with Mr. L's snarky email was a email from my super. The super was emailed by my level co-worker Mrs. C about stuff that he needed to do because it was his group of people. Well Super forwards the email to me and tells me to do it.

I know you are probubly wondering how this is money related....I would love to have a 9-5 Mon-Fri Civilian job. I am so stressed right now my shoulders muscles are killing me. I wish I could just give up, but I hang in it for the money.

I will start looking for a job change when I get back. If I don't find a lateral job opertunity with another unit, then maybe I will need to start working on the following things so I can make a change.

Sell House
Buy/Build Cheaper House
Find Different Full time Job
Switch to part-time at current job
Enroll in Medical (20% copay instead of zero)
Enroll in Dental (extra $30 per month)
Review Spending

Question on Property Taxes and credit reports

June 3rd, 2011 at 11:56 am

I have a question....

Do Property Taxes show up on credit reports?

Back Story...
I will be deploying SEP/OCT time frame. My city sends out their property taxes no later than Dec 26th of the year. The property taxes that are paid prior to certain date are given a 5% discount (I believe Febuary). I like to pay my property taxes early to get the discount.


BUT This YEAR:
I am not sure I am going to remember to pay it, I am not sure if my BF will be able to tell it is the property taxes in the mail and thus email me a copy of the bill or if it will just be forgotten until I get home or something jogs my mind about it.

I looked online and my city charges a 3% fee on 1 March, an additional 3% fee on 1 May, an additional 3% fee 1 July then and additional 3% fee on Oct 15. Starting 1 Jan of the following year they change to a simple 12% interest rate and IF it goes unpaid until Oct 15 then it is charged an additional 6% fee on the past due bill.

Truthfully getting 3 or 4 three percent fees is not that big of deal money wise IF for some reason I totally space off this, but I wonder if I am late with the property bill will it show up on my credit report. I have a 800+ credit report and do not want to bring it down BUT I also do not want to stress myself out worrying about everything that COULD go wrong.

I checked to see IF they offer an autopay and they do not. The only way to pay the bill without sending a check is to use their telephone system. Sending a check is not a problem it is the not receiving the bill I worry about. They only mail out one bill and do not offer email. Also if I am as busy as I think I will be around that time even if I got an email I might not be able to deal with it.

Sooooo Do late property tax payments show up on your credit report, then secondly IF you could not autopay a bill what would you do to make sure you paid a bill you were afraid you might forget about or were afraid of not getting the bill for?

Thanks for your help.

I have an idea.

June 3rd, 2011 at 08:33 am

I have $10 Kohl's cash. I was trying to think of something I NEEDED.

Well then something popped into my mind. My cousin is getting married next weekend, and her bridal shower is next week.

I will not be attending the wedding because I had drill BUT I will be able to attend the bridal shower.

The bride and groom are registered at Target, Menard's and KOHL's.

So the mission is to look over their Kohl's registery and see what I can find that is not too much over $10 but still nice. No matter what I buy I saved $10 so I will be able to get a nice gift for cheaper since I can not think of anything I NEED from Kohl's at this time.


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