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Archive for March, 2011

So Tempted to Move the Emergency Fund to the House Fund

March 31st, 2011 at 07:04 am

I will explain, incase a new reader is reading or if maybe you look at my sidebar and think to yourself "What is that girl doing?"

I have an Emergency Fund BUT I break it down into three catergories. If an Emergency happened I feel it super important to have money put away to pay my mortgage, pay my property taxes and house insurance (not included in mortgage) and of course thirdly misc expenses such as food and utilities; that third category I generically call my Emergency Fund, but I should really rename it the Utilities Emergency Fund since that is what it mainly is.

I am saving for 12 months of Housing Payments, I am also saving for 12 months of Escrow (property taxes and house insurance). The third category I would also like 12 months BUT with the first 2 covered I figure in an emergency the Utilities Emergency Fund would go much farther because I might not have to actually dip into it.

Anyway, I was online and trying to figure when I would meet my goals. If I make NO changes the Escrow fund will be finished Sept 18th which means prior to my deployment AND it would free up $250 per month from the second paycheck of the month. Of course I would LOVE to have this finished earlier, who wouldn't But before my deployment is my goal so I am going to try to just mentally call it good and sometime I need to go into my autodraft and set it to stop automatically pulling extra on the Oct pull.

The problem is my Mortgage Fund, I am currently applying about $93 extra each month when you figure the extra I am applying plus the interest it earns. At this rate it will take 48 Months if I make NO changes. This stresses me out because I want it funded at the 12 month level prior to the End of Sept. I need 4375.17 more after my interest is added tomorrow and the extra from the 4th of April is applied.

Finally I have the Utilities Fund which I already said I think will be dipped into less if the other two are fully funded. It has NO extra going into it currently. This fund has $4501.66 in it.

I am really tempted to transfer the $4375.17 I need to fully fund the House Fund out of the Utilites fund. This would free up $90 from the paycheck on the first. Then I could just apply the $90 to the Utilities Fund.

The low low balance in the Utilities fund would bother me a bit, BUT I think in a good way. Having one goal to focus on instead of three would make me get creative to fund it.

What to do?

No Spend April - I am in!!!

March 30th, 2011 at 09:20 am

I am planning on participating in the Month of No Spending. Meaning no spending besides NEEDS (Bills, Food and Gasoline).

I did make a page on the side of my blog though to list my exclusions along with budgets for each. With My deployment coming up there are some things I really want to get done and as soon as possible such as family photos, Christmas Shopping, and of course my "Treasure holiday Box" idea.

So I will be spending money on these items BUT if I do go over budget that counts against the No Spend April. I am hoping though that as the month progresses I will have posts of how I got creative to come under budget on the allowed items.

Funny though on April 1st the registration for Summer Activity Centers open and that is $300 I am really really hoping I get to spend since that will save me so much money. I hope April is a Great Month for Everyone Finacially.

Sadness over Halloween.

March 29th, 2011 at 08:30 am

Today I am sad, I can't seem to stop crying.

I want to buy DS a Nentendo Wii Game to stick in his Easter Basket. Amazon had a special that if you ordered the game you got $1o amazon credit. But I waited too long and they switched it to $30 credit if you traded in the game.

Anyway I think I will just downsize and purchase the sticker book DS also wants for his Easter basket and call it good. I need to watch my pennies and spending $50 on a Video Game for Easter is not going to happen this year.

I was on my way to work this morning and drove by the other work location. Every year they have a Halloween Event for the Children of the fulltimers (AGR, Tech, and ADSW/ADOS/whatever term they are using currently AND Deployed). Well In 2005 I was ADSW, 2006 to present I am AGR, so DS has gone every year since he was 2. As part of the event one or two of the Photographers take pictures of the children in their costumes. I have ALL these photos of DS.

I really hope someone takes him this year as this year I fall under the Deployed category. One of my favorite things about Halloween is this photo. I am sad because I will not be here to take him. Yes, October is a long way away and I am not really sure why I am thinking of it.

My Sons Teacher wants to put together a calender and asked for photos. I guess that is the reason, besides his school photos, this it the ONE photo that gets taken every year.

***

Halloween of course has me thinking of Christmas, I can dig out the Santa Claus Christmas paper and dig out his stocking and stuff it and then put the two in a box for my Cousin so she can say "Look what we found at our house this year", if Michael is not staying there this year. The only issue is figuring out what to buy to stuff the stocking since I will have to this finished 3 months in advance.

I also should buy his Christmas Presents before I leave and give then to my cousin, so she can give them to him. Based on the time line I do not think I will have time to buy and ship gifts once I leave for Mob station. Also I am told the internet is not really secure where we are going so if we need to check our checking accounts and that kind of thing the best thing to do is go to the office after hours and use the network computers. So online shopping is really out of the question.

I am not really suppose to do any shopping until I reach my Pre-Deployment Goals But is so hard not to want to get it done now, while it is still fresh in my mind.

My Emergency Fund is 6 Months Funded!!!

March 28th, 2011 at 08:43 am

Today I fixed my Author Info.

I updated my Emergency Fund numbers because a while ago I recalculated what would be drawn out of the Emergency Fund incase I had a major financial issue. I took someones advice and cut it to the bone. I also bought a MagicJack, so I was able to remove the cost of my cell phone. I left internet BUT because of the cost for the internet being the same as a pre-paid unlimited cell phone with internet, if the worst happened I might just drop the internet and get the cell phone and drop the annual $19 for MagicJack or I might reduce my internet to slower. Lots of barebones options that I could consider.

Anyway.....Now I have 6 months Emergency Fund and 6 Months Escrow and I am $482.55 short of 6 Months of my Mortgage. My Goal is 12 Months Mortgage, 12 Months Escrow before the Deployment and as close to 12 Months Emergency Fund as I can get. The Important thing is if the PooP hits the fan I want to be able to pay my Mortgage, Property Tax and House Insurance for the deployment even if My Ex-Husband milks me for the majority of my paycheck.

***

I took April 1st off from work, I am planning on spending that day applying for summer daycare. Once that is done I am going to try to get in for a physical so I can start donating plasma.

My car (anti-lock breaks) light keeps glowing as I drive me car, so soon I will need to take that in to get looked at. I as need to do something about that left blinker light. In a different car I had the problem with the blinker was actually in the lever that activates the blinker. I think that might be the problem this time around also. I only have one ignition key and so I need to get around to ordering a second key. All that adds up, I hate to use my car fund, it is almost to $1,000 BUT that is what the car fund is for. I had just hoped once I got to 1,000 in the car fund to stop funding the account temporarily until the Mortgage fund was done then go back to funding the car fund.

All in all, a good day. I know once I have 12 Months of Mortgage, Property Taxes and House Insurance in the bank I will have such a feeling of pressure lifted off my shoulders.

Groceries and Weekend Recap.

March 28th, 2011 at 06:53 am

BF and I had another talk about the finances. This time I made the point that he keeps saying he is going to do something (Buy groceries, give me money for utilities, or take care of the carpet situation) then when he does not follow through I am getting to the point where I don't know IF I can trust his word.

We went grocery shopping on Saturday, BF paid.

We came home with a cart full. I did not think he was going to buy that much. The shopping list that I had posted on the fridge was a baseline list basically anything we were completely out of or things we were getting low on that we can't run out of (such as soymilk and bread).

Anyway, we started at one end of the store and basically went through every aisle EXCEPT for the Candy/Seasonal aisle. The total was $250.

I am really actually pretty happy with what we came home with. I would say only 10% was processed food. It mainly was meats, Fruits, and vegetables. There was no junk food, there was some processed foods but they were things like crackers, canned beans, and cresent rolls.

Today I am going to create a new excell spreadsheet based on the spreadsheets I use to track my monthly cash flow. BF wants the list of household bills so he can figure out what is a resonable amount to pay me for household bills.

I told him I just wanted to know what he was willing to pay, I don't want him being resentful by the amount but I want to have an advanced idea of what I can expect. I said even if that amount varies. Like less now because he is still paying rent on his apartement he can't get out of, then once the lease is over more, and then while I am gone atleast 100% of the utilites.

I told him I did not want to create the list of household bills because I did not want it to influence his answer. I wanted him to set it based on what he felt was fair not being swayed by my overall household expenses.

He asked me to tell him how much I am short and he would just pull it out of savings and give it to me. The problem is I am not in the red now, I am close but I also need to start saving for the added expenses I will have while I am not home. I guess the fact I am planning on donating plasma to do that is making him realize that I am serious.

Emergency Fund

March 25th, 2011 at 11:56 am

Today I saw what I will get paid on the 31st of March. I still have not seen my Electric and Gas bill for what gets pulled on the 4th. I hope it is lower since the weather except for that snow storm the other day it has been warmer.

My Highest Electric and Gas bills are the Feb Bill which is for Jan. I noticed July is my lowest month. The bill goes up from July until Feb then it goes down until July. Well It already went down last month so I hope it goes down more.

I was looking over my savings accounts, I really really want to make some progress. I have desided to have BF watch my son after he gets off work so I can start donating plasma again. It is part time pay but I only have to put in two hours a week or so.

It has been a few years since I did it. But I am getting gazelle intense.

I was looking over my Daycare Savings....Man I hope everything falls into place. If I do not need that money then it would finish my Emergency Fund and all I would have left is Baby step 3 for the Mortgage and Escrow. The Escrow is projected to be fully funded Sept 15th IF I continue the saving as I am and not put any extra into it.

I put in a leave slip so I can be in line on April 1st at 10am when the summer daycare applications are taken.

I also was told that I am the secondary Primary inputer for flood duty. We got a new tracking and pay program and the person who enters it cant certify it so we have two inputers (me secondary) and two certifiers. I was also told I am to focus on inprocessing the others, so With those JOBS they are both in town jobs. YEAH, so if I dont actually have to leave town I will not need my saved money and I can put it to EF.

I talked to my daycare, I thought my last monthly daycare payment would have been this month (this paycheck) so next month that money could be used for the Mortgage and Escrow EF BUT I think she is going to draw out a payment in May (for the last month I will be home before shipping off to Mob Station). That way ALL I have to pay is a few days in fees for August.

So all in all, what a good day.

Snow Storm, Chili Cookoff, and pickup purchase, BF $ Musing.

March 24th, 2011 at 08:01 am

Yesterday was a snow day. The night before we got lots of snow. I got a call on my cell phone at 5:45 am and again at 6:15am (the school must have my number listed twice). The call on my cell phone was by the school districts emergency notification program. It said school was cancelled. It was really nice to have the call to confirm the NO School instead of wondering about no school. Of course I was not mentally awake enough at 5:45 am to even be worried about school or no school at that point.

The snow was DEEP, I started snowblowing the driveway at 6:45 am and finished at 8 am. At 6:30 I took a walk down the cul-de-sac to check out the depth of the snow on the cul-de-sac and the road it connects to. It was too deep that I would have gotten stuck, so I stayed home.

If I had purchased a truck like I keep telling myself every winter I am going to do it would not have been a problem but when the clearance under your car is a foot or foot and a half and the average snow depth of the snow on the street is 2 feet to 2 and a half feet that just does not work.

Today I almost got stuck in the road right beyond my driveway, then I almost hit a van stuck in the middle of the road our cul-de-sac connects to. I also almost got stuck 3 times trying to drive around drivers who were driving in the somewhat of a path in the middle of the road.

***
Last week one my co-workers came up with a chili cookoff idea. So today to office smells of yummy chili. There are 6 crockpots going in the conference room next to my office and there are chili pots going in offices all around the building.

My BF made some chili a month or so ago. It ended up being ALOT more than he planned. It was also a bit hotter than he planned for the mild batch. See he made it up then realized how much he made and divided it into two crockpots then added extra spices to one pot. Well the chili is not my favorite. It is all heat and not much flavor. I like mine to get the flavor from green peppers, Onion, Tomato and Ground Beef. His is bean, red chilis and Hot Links.

Anyway, Since he made the chili serving containers of it have been sitting frozen in the freezer. He might take one serving every week or every other week to work. So Yesterday I took 1 green pepper, 1 onion, and a pound of Ground beef, tomato sauce and diced tomatos and added it to the chili. I like it much better now BUT it still has a high HEAT to it. Too much heat for my liking.

Anyway I compiled ALL the chili that was in the freezer and added my stuff to it and now it is at work. It was super easy and hopefully it all gets eatten so I dont have any to take home. BF ate it for dinner, not sure if he liked my version better, but he also took some with for lunch today. There were other leftovers in the fridge he could have taken so I think he liked my chili.

***

Pickup purchase, like I said above there are some days I really wish I had a truck. Our cul-de-sac is connected to a road that has alot of undeveloped lots on it, so it is one of the last that gets plowed when there is a storm. Since I have lived here I have wanted a reliable truck. I had one when I was married BUT it was a work truck so it did not get good gas mileage and I think the starter was going out because it had issues starting, so when we needed it, it would be tempramental. I want a smaller truck that can get through deep snow but is reliable and gets good gas mileage. I want one every time I pass a rummage sale and see something I could use that is excellent priced, I want one when I have things that need hauling, I want one when it snows and I can't drive down my road BUT the rest of the roads in town are okay.

But then those moments pass, and I forget and or I think of the added title, registration and insurance costs and talk myself out of it for the little use it would get. If I forget about my pickup want shortly after the need passes, is this really a need? Truthfully my work is VERY forgiving. I know of others who HAD to go to work, If I HAD to go to work this would be a must. Not sure how much longer I can miss work once or twice a winter because I can't get out off my street without getting stuck. I think yesterday they might have thought it was more school being cancelled and not roads, but my son could have went to my cousins house OR come to work with me and sat in the conference room watching cartoons.

MY BF has a truck so IF I had to have come to work we could have got a ride with him, of course he works 10 hour days so being stuck at work for 11 hours without transportation would have sucked, especially since my son and I might have been the only one here that early and that late since others would have came and left at their normal time.

***
BF and Househould Contributions:

Last Night, BF made another comment about waiting until Payday to purchase something.

I point blank asked him. "BF where do you spend your money?" His answer was he is cheap. I said "No, Something is NOT adding up. You said you had a car loan for $225. Your last Student Loan Payment of $450 was this month? (Pause for his response)."

This is when he said he should have told me but his landlords lawyer called him and he is not being let out of his lease and he called the housing authority in Town and they told him they do not have to let him out of his lease. So until June he is still paying $525 plus lights per month on the vacent apartment.

Well this still leaves him $500 or so left once you factor in gas and insurance for his vehicle so come Friday I am still going to ask him for atleast the Gas/Electric Bill Money. The Water/Waste and Internet would be the same if he was here or not. I feel he should pay the full amount of the Electric/Gas for the house as his share plus as a repayment for cost I have incurred for his dog (carpet) and food I have purchased for him thinking he would be purchasing some himself once payday came.

He told me he has $1000 in savings (Emergency Fund) so in my opinion since he only has the car payment and the Apartment hanging over his head that is a large enough Emergency fund. He can pay his way while building up his Emergency Fund. He wants a $3,000 Emergency Fund. Plus he needs to save for a fence for his dog. I do not need a fence so I will not be paying for it, BUT I will not allow a chain linc be put up. I wanted maintenance free but because I am not paying for the materials just helping install it, I have desided that I will allow regular wood as long as it is painted/stained so that it does not gray.

Thought I was done with Baby Safety items.

March 22nd, 2011 at 08:52 am

Well tonight I have to measure the wall space of the hallway in my basement. The ONLY carpet I have in my house is on the stairs and the hallway in the basement.

For some wierd reason BF's dog LOVES to lay in the hallways, either upstair or downstairs.

A week ago or so my BF's dog peed on the carpet in the hallway. I don't know if it was stress from the move, if she was marking her new home, if it was too long between when we leave in the morning and when we get home or if she needs to visit the vet because she has a bladder or urinary issue.

Anyway I did not have any shampoo for my spotbot so the stain sat there uncleaned for a few days (I had drill so I was busy) until I ran to the store and bought the cleaner and spray. I am still a bit upset about it because BF said he would clean it up and instead I ended up cleaning it up and paying for the cleaner.

Fast Forward

Normally BF puts her out in the morning and I bring her in when I get ready to leave, well this morning it was raining and she was inside so I was not sure IF BF put her out so I did. As I was walking back to go upstairs I notice the training pad I bought after the last incident incase we are delayed and she can't wait she will use the pad and not the carpet.

Well the pad was used, and based on the pattern it looked like she used it twice. Well I threw it away and walking by the hallway I look over and there was not one spot but two wet spots. So I spent as much time as I could running the spotbot over the two spots before I had to leave for work.

BF said he would pick up more cleaner on the way home from work. He better because I want to have it on hand so future accidents can promptly be cleaned up and not set.

I have desided that I am going to place a baby gate at the start of the hallway. That way at least I can keep her off the majority of the carpet. I then am going to measure the area not blocked off by the gate and I am going to put down a pet training pad then put a rug on top of that.

My thought process is if she does pee on the rug then if it does some how run through, the training pad will stop it from getting to the carpet and I can just toss the rug in the washer.

BF did take her out this morning, so he walked right by the used training pad and the two wet spots. He never noticed the first spot either, my son found it. I fear that if I do not block off the hallway while I am gone my BF is not going to notice if she has accidents and there will be alot of pee stains in the carpet when I get back home.

This morning Mya knew she was in trouble, My son even said she knew she was in trouble because I normally pet her and talk to her and this morning I gave her the cold shoulder except to tell her not to pee on the carpet. She was also hanging her head and not wagging her tail as much as normal, I told my son she gets NO treats today.

If there is another spot on the carpet before BF gets around to paying for the gate I will be very upset. I am going to make him pay for the gate and the rug because it is his dog and I paid for the first bottles of cleaner.

The Countdown to daycare and need $300.

March 21st, 2011 at 01:19 pm

Today I found out that I can register for the Activity Center this summer at my son's school on the 1st of April at 10am.

I am planning on taking that day off of work so I can either camp out in their parking lot the night before OR arrive to put in my application as soon as I drop my child off at school. It will depend on if I have someone to drop him off or if I will need to do it.

The only draw back is my employeers are expecting the flooding to start the 28 of this month, so I might be out of town. I already printed out the registration form and all I need to write the check. The 1st of April is a Friday SOOOOO if I am out of town fighting floods then my BF can swing by and turn in the forms for me.

I need to have $300 to pay for it. Good thing the day before is payday. This should come out of daycare savings but part of me does not want to touch the daycare savings and I am hoping to just use paycheck money.

The program is 9 weeks long, it is $300 for the summer. The program starts a week and a half after school ends for the summer and it ends 2 and a half weeks before school starts. I was reviewing my schedule and if my BF can watch my son on Fridays then I will take the other days off and I will get 11 days of summer vacation with my son this summer.

I will only have to figure a plan for 22-23-24 August all day and drop off on the 25th of August. The 25th of August is the first day of school. I don't want to drop him off as early as I normally do and then leave because the first day of school is SOOOO special. I need to figure out something, but I have time to figure it out. I am really sad that I will not be able to hang out at the school that first morning until he enters the school at 8:30am like I normally am. I am praying that maybe our training plan for that morning will be light and not have any classes or if the officers and higher NCOs would have a staff meeting, then I might be able to get granted a late arrival time. That would be awesome.

If I can get into this program it will be such a blessing because I budgeted $125 per week for summer daycare which means 9 weeks would be $1125 so $300 would save me $825 dollars plus the $375 I would have paid for the 3 weeks after the program ends that I am planning to just take off work.

I plan to use the $1,200 saved to pay for Fall daycare $180 Aug/Sept afterschool care and then the rest to fund my Emergency Fund incase my Ex-Husband is able to stop paying me child support and I end up paying him.

I talked to my Ex-Husband and no matter what he cant start an externship until the 16th of August because of his Annual Training. His externship is 3 months long. So at this point even though he is planning on spending his spring break here trying to lock in an externship, I think there is a very good chance that he is going to end up staying where he is until the Nov 16th so he can do the 3 month externship and get his degree.

Winter Clothing, Ex-Husband ranting, and ?????

March 21st, 2011 at 07:46 am

This weekend I was on the look out for clearance winter clothing for my son. I wanted clothing for next winter and the following. I ended up going to Kohls's, Old Navy, A footwear store I can't think of the name now, TJ Max, Kmart, Once Upon a Child, and Walmart on Saturday.

At Kohl's I found him boots $19.99. This was clearance.

I found my son a quality backpack at TJ Max. I spent $25 but it should last until 7th grade when he will need a larger one to hold more stuff then this one can. He is hard on backpacks and so he was averaging half a year per backpack, and that is even me trying to repair them as much as possible.

At Once upon a Child (A resale shop), I found a pair of snow/ski pants for $6.50.

I did not find anything that I was looking for at any of the other stores. I waited too long to start my buy ahead winter clothing mission.

On Sunday we went to staples, Herburgers, JcPenny, Target, Famous Footwear, Payless Shoes, Childrens ??, and Sears.

At Staples I purchase composition notebooks. They were on sale for $1 each and I had my ink cartrige rebate check. I got 6 for free. I have my sons school supply list so before going out shopping we raided the boxes of household/school supplies and checked what he was going to need for this fall and spring and the start of the 3rd grade. Composiion notebooks were the only NEED. So that is what I purchased with my rewards.

At Sears I ended up buying a coat and a pair of boots. The coat was on clearance for $24.99 and the boots were reg price $29.99. Long story short they had a sale going on. I ended up saving 20% on the Coat and 15% on the boots so the 4 in 1 coat was only $21 and the boots were $25.

I still need to find Size 10 snowpants and a size 8 coat for my son. I checked ebay and nothing. So over the next few weeks I am going to have to hit ALL the thrift stores and see if I can find them.

***

My Ex called my son for his weekly talk. He talked to me and stated that even though he thought that he had externships locked in for when he graduated he is not so sure now, because the chefs are not returning his calls and emails. So if he does not do his externship he will not get his degree. He also said that since he will not have a job (he wants a job in his degree field), he will definiately have to do something about child support because he can't afford to pay child support if he has no job.

I said "whatever you have to do". I still need to talk with my lawyer so I know my rights etc, so I did not even fight with him about it. I will fight this battle once I have talked to my lawyer and know where I stand.

My son has a facebook account. It is so he can play the games. I have it set so only his friends can see him. I only allow him to be friends with his immediate family and his daycare provider. Well I guess Saturday he accidentally hit one of those spam ads on the side, so he liked a BAD link on his wall. His father told me about it so when I got home I removed it and reviewed his wall to make sure there was nothing else he accidentally liked etc that was bad. Well as I was reviewing it I came across a post by my ex-husband. The post on my sons wall below the bad link was a post by ex-husband about how he quit his job the day before.

It really burns me. I am going to have to make it clear to my lawyer that I need to CMA, because I think he is planning on doing a unemployment application once school is over so that he can get more child support out of me while I am deployed just because he does not want to work.

I wish I did not have to have him as part of my life, I know a child is should have their parents as part of their life.....But what about those cases where the parent is not a good role model? I mean a guy that makes excuses to not control his anger, a guy that is lazy and does not want to work but would rather milk the system. Lately my son has been saying little things. He is only 7 years old but I think he is realizing that parents are suppose to have jobs to pay bills and if someone chooses to not work when they are physically and mentally able that is wrong.

I wish I could leave my son with my cousin or my boyfriend, but my ex-husband has rights. I really need to talk to my lawyer about this. I am getting the vibe from my Ex-Husband that he would rather stay out of state and just be free of any responsiblity. I am to the point of checking into if I can legally offer my Ex-Husband no more child support EVER if he does not have contact with my son. I just think it is best for my child if he does not have to be exposed to my ex-husbands bad behavior. I would be more than willing to give up $319.90 a month for 11 years just to offer my son a more healthy living environment.

I am getting MagicJack and cell phone changes

March 18th, 2011 at 10:20 am

We had a communications briefing at our last drill. It was VERY informative.

I am planning on getting MagicJack for my deployment. I plan to get it now, so I have a house phone. I am extremely happy about having a house phone again.

The MagicJack cost $39.99 which includes a one year service and then each addition year is $19.99. The purchase price is LESS than what I was paying monthly for land line service BEFORE I cut the cord.

The good news is I plan to purchase and install it this weekend. I will get the telephone number and update ALL my contacts with that additional number. The good news is that it is portable.

Right before I deploy I will switch the magicjack to my laptop (get to keep my phone number). I will then be able to get and recieve calls from the US just like if I was not deployed. This way IF the bank calls me or My Sons school calls me they can actually reach me.

I was thinking of skyp but since this conference I think MagicJack will be a much much better fit.

****
I got a text on my phone last night from ALLTEL telling me AT&T shipped my phone and will be going Live in March. I was then actually able to go to AT&T's website and review the phone plans. They are very much the same as ALLTEL's current plans but slightly different.

Anyway I found out today that Verizon gives a 15% military discount. Well that is nice...They dont advertise that. For like 3 years I had Verizon and that 15% discount would have been nice. Anyway I was doing the math and if I had their cheapest plan with texting I would be saving $5.50 a month over what I am paying now because of the discount. Oh well I am not going to get locked into a two year contract right now to just save $5.50 a month.

My plan is to keep Alltel/AT&T until I deploy then Freeze my account and my number. I will unfreeze my account once I get back. That way I can keep my cell phone number. I will then be switching to pre-paid which is cheaper. After review of the many ways to combine plans for two phones I will be saving $15 per month by going prepaid. I save $15 on the first line nothing on the second because of the family plan discounts the second line actually comes out to the same on both (prepaid vs contract).

My plan is to get my son a cell phone since he will be old enough to stay home alone for the 45 minutes between the time school lets out and I get off work. I plan on going with straight talk. They currently have free basic phones on their website. I will purchase two, one for my son and one for me. I will port my number to my phone. Then I will save up and watch ebay/online for deals on one with a full keyboard.

I figure I will have a little leave at the end of my deployment so I might be able to delay the purchase of the cell phone for my son for a month or so.

I will have the magicjack at home once I get home for contacting him, BUT I want him to have a cell phone to use to contact me IF he has any problems (misses the bus and has to walk home, or whatever else comes up). The cell phone cost of $30 per month plus tax is much cheaper than the $165 per month I would pay for afterschool daycare for those 45 minutes.

March 31st Paycheck Bills / Monthly Housing Costs

March 16th, 2011 at 07:03 am

Last night BF reminded me that he will be out of town in April. He will not get home until like Midnight on Friday. That Friday is my drill weekend and I have drill so I need to add daycare into my paycheck plans.

He got his drill letter and well the letter shows that they moved the dates of his April drill. This really stinks. First of all it is on my drill weekend so if that is the case I actually have to come up with $100 (weekend) in daycare instead of $10 (friday night only).

The other bad side is the plan for that month is weapons qual, I guess they go to Fort McCoy to shot and will be headed there in a bus. Well if they leave on Friday I am not sure how BF is going to get there since he does not get back from his training until Friday night.

***
Last night I talked to BF about bills and so I need to clear the clutter off the table so I can find the Electric/Gas bill, the water/sewer and the Internet bills so I can show him this months bills. I feel better about saying please give me this amount this month when I have the bills infront of me. His plan is to just pay ALL the utilities instead of part of the mortgage and taxes/insurance which I believe is fair. After all I would have to pay the Mortgage and taxes/insurance even if he was not living here the others are the ones that actually are affected by his living with us.

This month the bills were:
Electric/Gas 136.43
Internet 40.23
Water/Waste 36.03
Total 212.69

He also watched my son all day Friday (No School) and this weekend for drill saving me $125. He also pays the Netflixs bill (I cancelled my plan $10.25 after he moved in).

So this month my BF will pay and saved me a total of $347.94

Standard room rental rates for this area are $300-$325 per month

1/3 of this months total housing costs were $389.45 (Mortgage, property taxes, and house insurance included).

Payday and Savings Progress

March 15th, 2011 at 10:20 am

Today I got paid. I went in and subracted all the bills out that I know of. I don't know the exact amount my water/sewer bill will be so I just figured out about $40, I left $80 for gas and $100 for the rest of the month for food. I just went shopping and spent $209 so I think we should be set until the end of the month.

As of this paycheck I have:
Car $903.22 (Almost 1K, Yeahhhhh baby)
Emergency Fund $4501.66 (3Mths+)
Mortgage $3503.45 (5.27 Months)
Escrow $2022.48 (6 Months)
House Repair $2001.47 (Deductable for Hail/Peril)
Summer Daycare $4453.85 DONE!!!

My goals for any extra money are:
Finish 12 mth Escrow
Apply Snowball to Mortgage
Finish 12 mth Mortgage
Split three ways Emergency Fund, Car, and House Upgrades

Today is the 15th.....This is the day that BF said he was going to have money available to pay rent since his lease is officially done. I will ask him tonight. I am going to ask, wish he would have handed me the check without me needing to ask BUT oh well.

I am thinking I might apply the first rent check from BF to the mortgage savings since I really really really want to see that at the 6 month level like the escrow account.

I also need to redo my emergency fund numbers. I cancelled my landline. I also reduced my cell phone plan again. Now the bill is only $17 more than if I went pre-paid. I have not gone pre-paid because I think once I am done with deployment I think it will be cheaper than two pre-paid phones. I also basically paying an extra $17 per month because I want to be able to freeze my number while I am deployed and so if I find out that two cell phones on the regaular plan is cheaper than two pre-paid I only have to have one contract for the second line. Another reason I have not gone pre-paid yet is because of the buying of the phone....If I buy a phone it is no cheaper because of the cost of the phone plus the fact with my pre-paid I will have to wastes a half of a month or a full month depending on the date of my deployment and then when I come home for R&R I would have to buy a full month, wasting half a months phone time plus it would be a new number.

Pondering Government Shutdown....

March 10th, 2011 at 08:59 am

How will this affect me if the Government does not extend the Continuing Resolution that expires 18 March 2011.

I am told I will continue to work as an "Excempt" Employee but I will not get paid until the termination of the furlough. I will still have medical benefits (some others are not so lucky) but any Routine physicals or preventative dental appointments will NOT be paid, those things need to wait until the termination of the furlough.

I do not know how long it will take for a new Federal Budget to be passed, but I am guessing a government shutdown for a long period would not happen as the people of the country including the people who write and pass the laws would not like it.

The biggest impact on me is the no pay until the furlough ends. I am glad that I have a emergency fund for this. I would like to be able to continue to work on my savings goals but this paycheck anything I have extra is going into the routine bills part of the Emergency Fund.

This will be my first "government shutdown" as a government employee. Around work there are a few people who have been through at least one before. Depending on there status as exempt or non-exempt and benefits being cancelled vs suspended seem to weigh in on how stressed the employees are.

As A Dave Ramsey and Susie Orman follower I have a hard time seeing why the government is having such a hard time with the spending budget. If it was me instead of trying to deside which things get cut and which get more I would just use 2010's budget then figure out how much more we are spending than we have and then use that percentage for a across the board budget cut. We would then be in a Zero Based Budget. Then Next Year use the 2011 zero based budget as a template and start reviewing the things that are in the budget and start cutting back spending in some areas to start reducing the deficet.

Of course some would say some programs can't afford a cut...well if the program is so important the people will fund it or the companies and program will get creative in there money saving efforts. Even across the board cuts people would complain, but atleast they would get some funding even if it is less then they are used too.

Life Insurance almost done.

March 8th, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Well tomorrow the nurse comes to take blood and urine samples and take my vitals and maybe ask some additional medical questions. Then shortly my life insurance should start.

I signed up for $250K worth of life insurance for 20 years with a rider for my child. The cost is like $36 (I forgot the exact cost). The policy is one that I can make changes to the policy once I have it without having to retake the medical exam. I wanted this because after my Ex-Husband came back from his deployment he was dignosed with PTSD and now can't get any life insurance besides the SGLI which would expire once he gets out of the military or the VGLI once he is out of the military BUT VGLI gets really expensive as a person ages.

I wanted to have this policy because when I get out of the military I can increase the payout by the amount of SGLI I have in place without a physical. I just want to make sure if something happens I have life insurance until my son is no longer a minor. I also wanted a policy so that if I ever got to a point where I was in a non-paper-documented-marriage-type-relationship that I could leave my partner some life insurance proceeds without the ropes that the military makes you jump through to list an unusual beneficary.

Right now I have $400K that goes to my son if something happens to me, I also have an additional $100K which goes to my brother to pay for funeral expenses, plane tickets and any bills that need to be paid between when I die and when the Insurance money is paid out, and whatever is left is his, he is the person who will carry out my will and he lives out of state. Then once I have the additional policy I will have $250K for my son.

I do need to write down some information to my brother, he is the trusty and I would like to give him some ideas on how I would like to see the money handled. Since the money should generate enough interest in my sons name he will have to file taxes and since he make enough to file taxes he would be elligable for a Roth IRA, so I want the interest up to the federal limit to be invested first into a Roth IRA for my son. That way in addition to the Life insurance providing for my sons living expenses it will provide for a retirement.

I plan to once my son is old enough to get a job to match any Roth IRA contributions to the maxium he is elligible to contribute (either fed max or max take home), I want to do this until he reaches age 23. Because if I do, then I have made sure my son will be a millionaire when he retires. If I am not around to do this myself then I want my life insurance procedes to accomplish this investment goal so it still happens.

Switched Insurance and Cell Phone question

March 4th, 2011 at 09:45 am

I switched my Car Insurance, I saved $20 per 6 month period. It will go up by $50 for the next 6 month period, but not really.

See it would go up, but I also get a annual discount on my house insurance of $68. In addition I also will get a auto policy refund at the end of the first year of auto coverage and each year after that for 10% I think.

My old provider never gave me a discount when I dropped my BAD DRIVER ex-husband off my policy and dropped off two vehicles. I believe somewhere in there database they were punishing me for my Husbands past driving history.

My old provider also does not do a deployment discount policy where as this new provider does, see my car will be parked in my garage during my deployment at most my BF MIGHT drive my car around the cul-de-sac once a month or so but for the most part it is going to sit. They have a cheaper policy for that and so I will get the cheaper policy while I am gone.

Once I get back from my deployment I think I will contact my old company for a NEW quote and see where I sit because I am 99.9% certain that my Ex-Husbands DUI's are in there system somewhere and even though he is off the policy it is still bringing my premium up.

***
Okay Cell Phone question.
I text, I might text like 100 texts a month. I like a full keyboard for this, not a smart phone mind you but a full keyboard.
I talk on the phone, I might talk about 200 minutes a month.
I would LOVE internet but I dont have it or a smart phone.

I am thinking about getting a pre-paid phone, The phone would cost $99 and then each month the minutes would cost $30. It would include 1000 minutes, 1000 text or 1000 converted internet time OR for $45 I could get unlimited (The unlimited is still cheaper than my current plan).
I am currently paying $69 a month for a $49.99 plan plus $7.99 for a text package the rest is ALL fees.

I guess the reason I have not made the jump YET is because if I keep the provider I have now (not pre-paid) I can FREEZE my number while I am deployed and then when I get back I still have my number. Also I do not have a contract, so when I get home from my deployment I could add a line and only actually have one contract for a two line plan. I will need two phones when I get home so my son can have a phone or I will NEED to purchase a landline for when he is home alone. The cell phone would be cheaper. The cell phone add on plans are normally $9.99 or $19.99 so I am thinking it would be cheaper to add a second phone line to the post-paid phone then to pay for two pre-paid phones BUT I do not know for sure because I currently have Alltel and am waiting for AT&T to come to the area (was suppose to happen Dec 2010), so as of now I dont know what kind of plans they will offer in this area.

What would you do? How big of a deal is it to switch phone numbers with all your business contacts? I am getting tired of waiting on the AT&T merger. If I buy the new Pre-Paid phone today I would after applying the monthly savings to the cost of the phone save $90 between now and the deployment. If I had done it in December when I first thought of it I would have saved $180. $30 a month in extra cell phone cost just is hard to swallow.

Some people's $$$ decisions baffle me.

March 3rd, 2011 at 02:59 pm

Why would someone throw away a pension? My coworker quit last week, it was totally unexpected. I guess she is going to be a fulltime Monovie consultant.

She had 14 years with the company I work for, that is 14 years part-time which means if she went back to just part-time work she could retire 6 years from now and get $814.39 minimum a month once she reaches age 60 plus paid medical once she reaches age 60. Part-time employees put in an average of 25 hours a month.

Of those 14 years, she had 9 years fulltime with the company, this means had she continued to work an additional 11 years full time she would have gotten a pension of a minimum of $1766.70 per month plus paid medical starting from the date of her retirement which would have been age 43.

I know that the job sometime is not the greatest with all its rules and regulations but she was making $53,443.68 a year salary and $16,320.48 of that was tax free.

The median income per household for our town is $39,422; males had a $33,804 income and females had $22,647. She is single with no children, she has a mortgage and tried to sell her home last year and was unsuccessful because of the location, size and lack of garage.

I wish her the best but I worry for her. I wonder if she really thought this through. I mean if she lived to be 80 years old the full time pension would have been another $65,367.90 of income. Also what is she going to do for health insurance? She is still young so maybe she totally spaced off the medical costs since for the last 9 years her medical has been covered 100% by the company.

Just a month ago she was talking to our big boss asking about financial advice, she wanted to START to invest and her family friend was selling some sort of insurance investment thing. She said she was investing 10% of her base pay which is the pre-tax portion not the tax free part which is only $5,334 per year into her 401K, so she wanted to start branching out because she felt she was behind in her retirement plans.

A big portion of my retirement plan is that pension. My BF will be eligible for two pensions, the part-time one mentioned above and a fulltime one but his fulltime one does not include medical. Now IF we were to be married when our retirement time came (13 years for me), 10 years for him but he can go longer IF he wants…I think 13 years would be perfect, okay sorry got off topic but if we were married he would be eligible for medical under my pension package.

Time goes by so fast, I just do not understand why she did not switch to at least part-time so that she could keep the medical and dental portion but paying less than $100 in premiums for it while she got her monovie consulting business off the ground plus that pension at age 60.

I have my fingers crossed----Cheap daycare.

March 3rd, 2011 at 01:32 pm

I was reading my cousins facebook post where she was talking about paying $900 per month for daycare this summer.

Well she responded to my request for more information. Her three girls are enrolled in her cities park and rec program for the summer. It is $300 per month per child. Which is $200 per month less per person than what I am paying.

I live 7 miles aways from the city she lives in so I checked it out. They are booked, I grew up in that city, I graduated from high school from that city and my grandmother still lives there, so I was thinking maybe I if need be I could get an exception and enroll my son, BUT they are full.

I then looked into my cities park and rec program. It is only $300 also BUT it is $300 for the 9 week program, yes that is right I believe it is $300 for the summer instead of $900 like the other program. The only thing is the program will not take reservations until "Early April" according to the website. I will have to find out the exact date and time of openning then I am going to take off work and stand in line. I might be camped overnight in there parking lot for that kind of savings.

Even if the $300/student is a typo and it is suppose to be $300/student/month. That is a $200 per month savings.

This is alot like the afterschool parks and rec program except the afterschool program gives first dibbs to prior year applicants. Well it says first come first serve. With the afterschool program through the park and rec there are only 20 openings at the school my son goes to, so I am hoping there are more slots for the summer session BUT incase I plan on camping out for a slot as soon as I can.

I bookmarked the park and rec programs website on facebook and as soon as I know when they will allow applications I will take vacation days and grab my sleeping bag.

Sadly I have NEVER camped out for concert tickets or movie tickets BUT I will be camping out for Summer Daycare for my child. The afterschool park and rec program used to be the same way, people would camp out days before but they changed it and gave prior applicants priority and then the leftover slots would go to a random draw by an outside party. Well I know the crazy required camp out to get a slot and am waiting to findout when I will need to camp out.

The thing that will be tricky is figuring out what to do with my child while I am camping out hoping for a slot. April he is still in school and BF works at 7am so he cant drop my son at school. He could pick him up from afterschool daycare anyday but Wednesday (5:30pm pickup which is when he gets done with work). I hope the registration day is Friday. That way I can take Thursday and Friday off, I could start camping out for my slot on Thursday as soon as I drop my son off at school and BF could pick him up Thursday and drop off and pick up Friday.

Wish me Luck!

Being Sick cost me $1.50 today, and facebook mussings

March 3rd, 2011 at 07:43 am

Yesterday I wrote my son a check for school lunch. This is for those mornings when nothing is going right and I end up needing him to eat lunch at school.

I just needed to ask my son his code to write on the check since I could not locate the code to write on it. Anyway it was then when I was writting the code on the check that I realized in my still ill mental fog that I forgot to pack my son his lunch. So one lunch taken off the check.

Last night my cousin posted on her facebook about her daycare costs. It was short but sweet but basically it boiled down to daycare this summer is going to cost her $900 per month. I followed up and asked what was the first child cost and where was she going because I have not lined up daycare yet.

I pay $125 a week which is $500 per month. She has 3 children, usually you get a discount for additional children but either way she is still paying less than I would be paying. I think it is a bit funny that just last week she was talking about finding her dream home and hoping she can talk her husband into it. They live in a modular home now, so the dream home is I guess an upgrade? Not really sure why it is the dream home.

I am thinking this summer I might end up paying more for daycare. I would really like to get my son into the YMCA. It would be much more expensive but the hours would be more flexible and I could get my son those swimming lessons during his daycare hours since I never seem to find time to do.

Still Sick but back at work and school

March 2nd, 2011 at 09:06 am

On Monday My son and I were sick. He had a ear ache that started hurting right at bedtime on Sunday.

He woke up twice during the night to tell me his ear hurt so I knew it was not just a normal ache and pain. I gave him children's pain killer and on Monday I took him to the clinic. I called to make an appointment BUT since his doctor was the walk in doctor they just told he to go anytime before noon. I took him in at 10:30am (I needed the sleep once I made phone calls and my son actually fell asleep once he climbed into my king size bed). We were the first person to be seen by the replacement doctor at 12:02.

So after seeing the doctor I took my son to get his prescription which cost $6 because he was prescribed antibotics for the ear infection and a prescription for ear drops to numb the ear while the antibotic work. Well Last night (I would guess about an houror so after an ear drop dose) about 23.5 hours after first dose of antibotic, .5 hours before dose two his eyes puffed up. He came to me saying he was having a hard time breathing and when I looked at him I was like OMG because he looked like one of those goldfish with the bubble eyes. I ended up running to Wal-Mart and buying him some Childrens Cleariton. $6 spent but he is now almost back to normal. I will not be giving him anymore of those ear drops. I will give him another cleariton right before bed and if he is not better tomorrow morning I will be taking him into the doctor again.

He had a allergic reaction once before (contact something or other and by the time we got in to see the doctor he was fine). So that is why I went the over-the counter route first. Had he not started to show improvement by the time we got in the car (gave him the drugs at the checkout) I would have taken him to the Doctor.

***

On Monday (before reaction). I was also sick, but after spending an hour and a half waiting at the clinic to see a doctor for my son we went home. I waited for BF to come home then I went to the after hour clinic for myself. Well an hour and 50 minutes later, I was told I do not have strep, my swollen gland is causing my ear ache and there is nothing to do since it is just a cold.

***

Blahhhhh, I still feel like I am not 100% but I am back to work and so far the school has not called for me to pick up my son. I wrote a note telling them about his reaction so that they dont think that he has pink eye. (Note his eyes are clear, they are not pink his eye lid area is just puffy like a black more fish).

I need to balance my checkbook. I have been spending money for prescriptions and for gateraid (while waiting for prescription to fill) and then the cleariton and gas for the car this weekend. But I have not been of any mind to balance the checkbook. All I can say is thank goodness for overdraft protection because at this point I am still tooo out of it to bother.