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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Back from Annual Training...To flooding.

May 27th, 2011 at 06:52 am

Well we just finished Annual Training. It is nice to be done. I have a ton of stuff to get caught up on everything.

I balanced my checkbook. Now I need to figure out what to do with the extra money in the checkbook (it is really not extra because I used my Credit Card so I would not have to balance my checkbook for the 18 days we had annual training).

Our Battalion got called up again for flood duty, I am not sure if I can call the good news good news but.....The sort twisted good news is I do not have to go out of town for flood duty IF I get reassigned to support flood operations 100%. The reason is that the flooding is caused by the river in my town. So the sorta good news is I will not have to go out of town, the bad news is that it is MY town that is flooding. I live in a high end of town, I think even if the DAM would break I would still be sitting in a good location. This is not the case for two of my good friends and one of my cousins.

The really bad news is that with the levels of water they are letting out of the dam to prevent the dam from failing the city could be watching dikes and having people with sandbag moats around their homes until August.

****
Other news, today is the last day of school. I am suppose to run to my son's school sometime today (possible during my lunch time) so my son's class can wish me well on my deployment. I am hoping I do not get assigned sandbag detail today so I can make the appointment.

I scratched my glasses during annual training, one scratch is right in front of my eye. I was hoping to make an eye exam and just buy a second pair of glasses (a budget priced but high quality pair). But it looks like now I will have to buy the second pair and then when they come in, send these in for new lenses. I will save money on just replacing the lenses, so that is what I am planning to do.

Have a good day!!

Need a Vacation plan for SOON!

May 3rd, 2011 at 10:36 am

Well I just finished Drill Weekend, I am STRESSED!!! I have Annual Training starting on the 9th of May. It lasts 18 days. I am starting to feel crazy.

I have been dieting but that crashed and burned yesterday when I got sick and ate what was on hand in the house. I know I will FAIL the weight body fat percentage on the 24th but part of me is at that point where there is only so much you can do, so I am like ^)*(^&%^ it!!!

The DOG pooooo-ed on the carpet this morning. That was the last straw. I texted a photo of it to BF before I gagged and cleaned it up. Lets say he was not overly happy to get that text photo. Now I am like 10 seconds from a mental break down and rivers of tears flowing.

Yesterday, my computer acted up. It has been acting up and so last night I was trying to fix it and well everything I tried just made it worse. So RIGHT before bed I started reformating the hard drive. Hopefully when I get home this afternoon the computer will be done reinstalling the software and I can just install the printer and link the internet.

Yesterday I ordered my new phone from straight talk. The order before did not process....It was a good thing. Now I paid $20 for a phone BUT!!! I got the phone I had wanted all along.

I am looking forward to my straight talk phone. I transition to AT&T today. I HATE my free replacement phone. It is a knock off like blackberry and I HATE it. The buttons are tiny. It is nothing like my ALLTEL LG Banter with full slider keyboard.

Hopefully I can keep my cool when I go to turn in my AT&T phone, because if they give me any problems I might explode into tears right there at the store.

$$$ I don't CARE. I need to balance my checkbook because I purchased gasoline and I purchased Subway one night after drill when it blizzarded and I was not feeling up to cooking. That is bad that I don't care about money.

I want to go pick up my kiddo from school and just disapear down the road. Maybe we will just keep driving until we get to lego land california.

Here if you kiddo misses more than 6 days of school you get in trouble, So it could be interesting if I just desided I have had enough and hit the road with kiddo in tow.

What will happen is I will pick up DS from after school daycare, take him home spend the night curled up in bed crying because I have too much on my shoulders right now then do it all over again tomorrow.

I hate spending money BUT.......

April 29th, 2011 at 09:42 am

I want to take a vacation.

I am suffering from burn out. I think a vacation would really help. I also want to create some lifetime memories.

DisneySteve would love my idea...Well maybe, since he might question IF I could afford it. If I asked Susie Orman would my idea be "Denied"?

I want to go to DisneyWorld in Florida, Staying either 3 or 4 days, then go to either Busch Gardens or Seaworld for 1 day; staying at the shades of green resort.

Cost=
I went online and I can get three tickets from HOME to the Nearest Airport to DW for $550 each (non-stop). I am sure this will change a bit but I might actually be able to do much better with some research because I want to go in August and stops do not actually bother me.

I am looking at either the military 3 day hopper tickets for $99 or 4 day hopper tickets for $143 for Disney World. I am not sure IF the Soldier is Free and the Spouse and children at the quoted price or if the price is each (lots of confusing details in internet land but we will either buy one ticket (My Son since BF is a Service member also or three). Either way Max $297 (3 day) or $429 (4 day)

Then I am planning on doing the FREE military 1 day pass to Busche gardens OR Seaworld.

I am planning to stay at Shades of Green Resort, it is either $95 a night standard or $105 a night IF we want the pool side room. They also have some different deals going, I am deploying and they have a OIF/OEF special of 20% off (not sure if it works BEFORE the deployment or just during or after but if it works before that is even Cheaper).

So $2554 if I go max prices, for the 5 days.
$2173 if all discounts are applied for 5 days.
$2053 if all discounts are applied and stay 4 days.

There will be some food costs, but the room has a fridge and so I plan to purchase some food at the AAFES shop on Shades of green. We can buy cereal and milk for breakfast and fruit and bread and make sandwiches for lunch. We could either eat out for dinner or do easy groceries. (BF and I are used to going to the store and stretching our per diem).

I figure we can plan atleast one trip off location (outlet stores) and get our Disney Souveniors and eat atleast one of our non-grocery meals cheaper than if on Disney Property.

The kicker will be IF my BF can get time off work. Right now I am flexible I want either the first or second week of August. I believe by then he sould have some vacation built up since he will have been at his job nearly a year.

I hope I do it, BF says it is more a after Deployment vacation BUT I want to take a Cruise Vacation after the deployment and I am pretty sure it will involve getting DS a passport OR getting a babysitter.

I think if one 2.5K to 3K vacation a year keeps me from burning out and resulting in quiting my job and a loss of 38K income a year, then it is spending money to MAKE money. :0)

What do you think?

Rummage Sale or Tax Deduction

April 13th, 2011 at 11:15 am

I want the money that a rummage sale can bring me, but then I think of the fact that if I donate stuff all I have to do is enter it all into the excell spreadsheet that I use for the donations and then drop them off.

We have spring clean up this week. I am actually put some things that I was planning on putting in the rummage sale out on the curb.

I am pondering a few more things. I am really really thinking I like the donation idea right now so I can get some space.

It is spring, the grass is starting to grow. Actually I should say the crab grass is starting to grow. SO I went to Wal-Mart, I purchased Scotts Fertilizer with Crab grass preventor. I also purchased a Blower/Vac. I needed this to blow the gravel off the grass in the boulivard.

I asked BF if any of his co-worker had a blower, they did not so, I purchased one. Now I have it for the annual spring cleanup.

No Spend day 5 April, and Flood Duty

April 6th, 2011 at 07:41 am

Today I inprocess people to go fight the flood fight. This has been a three year in a row thing. Between that and deployments every three years; The National Guard has really changed from when I first enlisted and it was one weekend a month and two weeks a year. In 2009 I was on flood duty for 5 weeks, 2010 it was 10 days, 2011 ???

Anyhooo, I will be helping inprocess our unit Soldiers that will be reporting to do flood duty. The Spreadsheet of who is working is as firm as jello until April 14 according to my commander. The Speedsheet has been populated until 21 April for the slot I would fill IF I was going to be told to report so unless something major happens, it is unlikely I will need to report prior to 21 April.

***
No Spend day yesterday, I played volleyball after work. Then I picked up DS from daycare, I fed him and I watched a DVD from Netflix.

DS asked if we could go to the store tonight, he wants to buy a book. I think I am going to offer to take him to the library instead. I don't think I can keep from buying something IF I take him to the store.

No Spend Day for the No Spend April

April 2nd, 2011 at 05:08 pm

Today, I did not leave the house. I did not spend any money, BUT my BF did spend money on me. He purchased new break pads for my car for $20. He installed them and aired up my tires.

My ABS light was lit 24/7 when I drive my car. Sadly after the brake job the light is still lit. My BF plugged his computer into my car and the breaks are good. His computer is not the $1000 model so it does not have a code for ABS.

Sometime soon I need to take my car in and have the shop plug it into their machine. Once I know what is wrong my BF can fix it or I will know if he can't what the cost of the repair will be.

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.

Apartment option.

February 26th, 2011 at 07:56 am

One of the guys that is deploying with me is looking for someone to watch his place while he is gone. Usually he splits the rent, which means a 2 bedroom furnished apartment for $300 per month plus lights ($30-50).

My Ex-Husband actually knows this person. So for this cost this MIGHT be another option. If it was not for my BFs dog, I would suggest he rent the place if My Ex does not take the aparment option.

I have a million ideas going through my mind.

I am not sure but I am thinking that I might OFFER my EX an lease option while "HE" is deployed for $150 per month in exchange for not changing the Current Child Support situation. I just would need to figure out if he would be in the house rent free, in my co-workers apartment and if he takes the apartment am I going to pay the full $300 rent, a portion or him pay all during "MY" deployment.

** My deployment is from Fall 2011 to Fall 2012 and My EX is deploying from Spring 2013 to Spring 2014.***
Just need time to pass to see what ends up happening.

Need to Vamp up Savings!!!

February 25th, 2011 at 04:41 pm

Well I got my Tax Refund today. I originally was planning to include my regular $165 cost of daycare into my savings plan BUT I changed my mind.

Now I want to just save the money I am short for daycare costs so that I can apply the $165 to my mortgage.

See with my Ex-Husband basically saying if I don't let him stay in the house while I am gone that he will NEED to come after me for child support, I am going to need to make sure I have a fully funded Mortgage and Escrow account prior to Him graduating.

That way If my paychecks are garnished for Child Support while I am deployed then I have the money there in savings to pay my mortgage while I am gone and will just need to figure out how to pay my mortgage once I get home until the garnishment from my check ends.

I talked to my BF about the situation, He now knows that the Ex Moving in is basically something that has to happen. I just have to make sure to cover my bases, if My Ex moves into my home rent free and then still trys to go after CS from me trust me, my EX will have royally screwed up because I will not bend over backwards to be nice.

I also addresses the cost thing and BF said he was planning to pay me the amount of rent he was paying for rent starting on March 15th. If that is the case that is another $525 per month I will have to save up into the emergency fund. I don't know IF BF will move out right before EX moves in or if he will be able to get over his uncomfortable-ness of having the EX in the house. But I hope he does.

See I know this sounds bad BUT I would like him here, He is such a good role model for my son and he is such a calming influance on both me and my son, so IF the two adult males can just get along then it would be good for my son.

I guess that sounds wierd, but my EX and I managed to live like roommates for 8 years, so I hope that my Ex and my BF can live like Roommates while I am gone. My Ex taking care of our son, and My BF taking care of the house such as house repairs and upkeep, mowing grass and shoveling snow.

Tax Return Headaches and Getting on the same page.

February 2nd, 2011 at 02:24 pm

Tax Return Headaches and Getting on the same page.
February 2nd, 2011 at 08:40 am
Not sure what has gotten into BF, but I think he is starting to feel more financially secure and thus less stressed.

On the 31st he started his taxes in turbotax, not sure where he linked from because when he was done (two hours later) it wanted to charge him $39.95 for tax prep fees for each of the two state returns. (Luckily I was looking over his shoulder at that point- okay I was kissing his cheek).

I convinced him that he should not have to pay for tax prep and last night he reentered all his data into the link in I suggested ( not the one I use but this one claimed to handle up to three state returns). It was free and should have been easy but the glitch was that he moved last year and this H&R Block basic at home version could not process a part-time resident state return for this state.

So this means he desided to efile his federal return and efile his other state return last night and will paper file this state return soon. He will do the paper part of this state return at a later date. This state return should be $165 if I remember correctly. I should say also that paper tax returns are handled very promptly in my state. So not such a big deal.

It will be nice because next year he can just go to the state gov site and file both returns using the link I always use and efile both right away for free.

BFs tax return is $1991 when all three returns are factored in. The blessing is this is $9 short of the amount that BF had in his mind for the expense of returning his parents Van to them, Renting a Uhaul and bringing the rest of his belongings and his dog here.

*****

Last night I asked BF what the story was because his answer for everything is lets save for it. So he basically told me he likes to have an Emergency Fund without using those words. He also told me that his Emergency Fund would ideally have $3,000 in it.

See my BF just starting working again about 4 months ago, so he is playing catch up. He was getting workers comp/unemployment for a few months (Long Story but he was hurt badly at work when he was dragged down the road by a Drunk Driver).

I knew BF had about $500 dollars left on his student loans, what I did not realize is that he is making huge payments. BF makes the last loan payment with the paycheck on the 15th of this month then he should have about $460 per month to use to restock his emergency fund.

***

I think from small chats with BF his financial goals are as such.
_Done as of Feb 15th_ Pay off Student Loan
$2000 - Return Parents Van, Rent Uhaul (Tax Return)
$3000 - Emergency Fund (Starting March 1st paycheck)
$ Save for Fence, and Deck/Porch and Shed
$ Payoff Truck Loan (only other debt)

***
Yesterday, I had the day off. I went grocery shopping and came in right at budget. I added thing in my head as I put them in the cart. I bought all generic as I have little coupons in my coupon organizer it seems. I ended up having to leave without about 15 items from the list (they were wants not needs).

I got Valentines stuff, I bought a box of my favorite Chocloates for BF and a winter long sleeve undershirt total cost $12 plus tax. I bought my son a $5 prepackaged gift with a box that you put a picture in the front, small box of hard candy and stuffed tiger. This $17 came out of the grocery/household spending budget.

I cancelled My netflix account. (Save $10.59 per month)

I also washed laundry and sorted it, that night all three of us folded and put away our own laundry. My son misses the days when I used to fold his laundry and put it away, but I sure dont.

Have a great February!

Oops...

February 2nd, 2011 at 02:13 pm

Hi Everyone.

I now realize why my other Blog account was blank.

I will slowly transfer some of the posts from that deleted account over to here.

Thank you.

*** I found this because someone had both my blogs listed in their favorites and I was like What the heck that was my sign-in wasnt it. ***

Computer Crashed!

July 18th, 2010 at 06:21 pm

Well truthfully it is not a surprize as the computer would boot wierd and I would get messages for errors this and that. I think there was some issue with the little bitty battery that is on the motherboard. Or maybe it was the bitty battery on the video card. Plus the computer was lossing time (the clock would say it was a different time than it was even shortly after going in and readjusting the time.) My Ex would say OHHHHH that should be fixed but he would never get around to it.

Yeah i am one of those people that does not know what they do not know and I can function with a WORKING computer but give me one with issues and I am lost.

Well the computer that crashed was the Desktop which my ex-husband built. I am not sure exactly how old it is BUT I dont want to mess with it. I want a FRESH new start.

My only consern is it has TWO hard drives in it. I am not sure IF there is anything important on those hard drives or not. I would like to save/transfer the data from the hard drives but not sure the best/easist/cheapest way to do it.

_____

The Desktop is the one that the printer was using as a server. Now I am printerless as the printer is a beast to load as the printer is like 13 years old so the software has to be located on the company website and everytime there are issues the software needs to be reloaded.

_____

So Step one is actaully buy a new printer (Much over due).

Step Two buy/build a computer.

Now the thing with the computer is that this computer is the one my son uses. I like that it is a desktop as I think they are more sturdy for Children usage. I will more than likely be purchasing another desktop for him.

I like that a Desktop is NOT portable. I want him using that coputer where it is placed no moving the computer so I cant see what he is doing AND if it is not being moved less chance of damage due to dropping etc.

I wish I knew what is the minimum requirements for a computer for him. He uses it mostly for internet and of course in the future he will use it for school work. Right now the school work is not so much typing up papers. I would use the computer as a second computer to print coupons off of and of course as a backup computer incase my notebook has to go in for repairs.

----

Today I was at the store in the toy aisle looking at Legos and trying to figure out what to get my son for his upcoming Birthday. I then come home to a broken computer. So I guess the timing is good. Atleast if I HAVE to buy a new computer part of the expense can be rationalized as a Birthday Gift.

Slooooooow Day

March 7th, 2010 at 10:39 am

I had to work today, was suppose to work at 8am which I was really excited but that got changed to 7am at 10pm last night.

Today was slow, not boring slow a I am so beat cramming in extra stuff chicken cut off head crazy busy, that you look at your watch and want to cry because it is only 9:30am and it feels like it should be 5pm already.

So tired, I will be taking a nap which is going to turn into a went to bed early evening.

I best go as lunch is almost over, and more crazy business to do!

Yesterday was a No Spend Day even though I was SOOOO tempted to pick up Subway for dinner while at work last night, but I did not. SO there is my $ piece of the post.


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