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Archive for February, 2011

Apartment option.

February 26th, 2011 at 03:56 pm

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 26th, 2011 at 12:41 am

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.

What would you do? I am not thinking clearly.

February 24th, 2011 at 07:53 pm

I am divorced, My divorce was final in May of 2010. My Ex-Husband moved out of state to go to college. It is a 12 hour round trip distance. In our divorce decree we were suppose to sell the house and divid the profits. Well my Ex-Husband is underemployed because he is lazy.

We tried to list the house for sell, but it did not sell. So eventually we came to a both agreed upon house value and I bought my Ex-Husband out of the house and refinanced the loan.

He lived rent free in my home until he moved out of state to start school in August. In Late July we finally came to an agreed house value and I refinanced.

Before I started dating my BF, my EX-Husband would come and stay in the spare bedroom in the basement when he came to visit our son. (Nothing PHYSICAL was going on, so I felt not fear).

****
Fast Forward.
I learned that I would be deployed out of country this coming September and asked if my Ex-Husband would take an extra large course load to graduate at least one month early (they are on a 6 week cycle) so that he could be done before I leave so that he can take care of our son.

I came up with the idea of my Ex just moving back into the house while I was deployed so that my son would not have to change schools and because if my son is living in my home then his medical is paid 100% with no co-pays BUT if he moves out of my home then he get moved to standard with a 20% co pay. Plus my son has a support system here on the cul-de-sac of people who love him.

Also I figured this would mean that someone would be around to watch the house. I was going to let him live there rent free because he was doing me a favor by watching the house and because of all the benefits for our son.

***
Fast Forward 3 months.
Well then I met my BF and I started thinking maybe I should adjust my plan a bit. I would trust BF to take better care of the house and IF I did have my Ex-Husband living in the house I would need him to pay the waste/water and elec/gas bills ($225 per month) just so that I could insure my Ex-husband would not run up the bills just because he was not paying it.

After a while I gave BF a key to my place not thinking he was going to move in but just so he could come and go as he pleased without me needing to let him in. Well he took that as me asking him to move in. I guess maybe I was asking him to move in without asking. Anyway he asked if I was sure IF I wanted him there because if he was staying at the house then my EX would need to find an apartment during the deployment AND he would need to find another place to stay when he came to see our son, because he was not comfortable with the situation.

My BF gave notice to his landlord and is in the process of breaking his lease. He has a dog and his parents are bringing the dog here with them when they visit either this weekend or next weekend. (They live out of state and have been watching BF's dog). At this time the only financial contribution BF has provided is that he has watched my son for me so that I could work the weekend twice.

****
A few days ago my EX said he wanted to talk to me because he was stressing the housing situation and wanted to iron down the details. I think he thought I might be on the edge of letting BF move in. Anyway when I told EX that he should plan for an apartment when he moves back to this state after finishing school, he said he was really looking forward to living in the house rent free to get back on his feet and since he will not have a job he is not sure how he can afford to rent some place and IF he has to pay rent then he would have to go to Child Support to stop his payments and to get something from me.

Please note that my EX-Husband ran through his Equity buyout in like 3 months and is now getting calls from his bank, creditors, and credit card company. I know this because I told him he need to update his telephone number because his "Services" still had the house number listed as a contact and they were asking for him to call him back.

***
I did the online calculator from our child support website and I currently get $319.90 from him now, IF I was forced to pay him Child Support I would have to pay $717. This is $1036.90 more money he would have a month and $1036.90 LESS money I would have if he chose to go that route. IF he goes that route I dont know where I am going to cut $1036.90 a month out of my bills.

I was thinking to make it easier I would see if BF would agree to let EX live in the basement. I have a two floor home with four bedrooms and 3 bathrooms so the only shared space would be the laundry and the kitchen. My EX is neat and tidy so that would not be an issue.

My another FEAR is once MY Ex-Husband realizes that if he has custody that not only would he not have to pay $319.90 a month he would make that $717 and so he might try to get permanent custody while I am deployed so I have to pay him the $717 each month. Another thing is once I get back from deployment and have to ask for another Child Support Adjustment to get my garnishments stopped and his started his other daughter (Different mother) will have turned 19 so if he maintained custody of our son her amount he would get to keep instead of possibly increasing my amount because of the freed up money.

Yes it is a complex MESS.

What would you do? Would you ask your BF to just try to look at your EX as a housemate? Would you do something totally different? What would you Do?


I am not thinking clearly and don't know what to do.

Bought Shoes and Talked with BF

February 24th, 2011 at 02:58 pm

So last night I realized I needed to start the look out for new running shoes as they no longer make the style number I have. Mine are old and when I run in them my arches start to ache within like 3 minutes.

I have been putting this off for a while. I went online and checked about five different sites. They all had the shoes listed for $84.99. But then I checked kohl's. The good news was I got Free shipping and there was a coupon code online for 30% off. Plus Kohl's sale price was $5 cheaper. So I saved $30 a pair. Yes, I bought two pairs because after taxes and everything they were $55 each. Which was too much of a deal to pass up.

Yes, you are might be thinking what is she thinking, buying two pairs of shoes instead of just one. Well the reason for it is....I need one pair now. And if I doing my math right this pair will wear out about half way through my deployment. I am worried that I will either break, lose, or have this one pair stolen and so I want a spare pair at home. I also have never shopped online and dealt with APO shipping so I figured it would be easier to buy them now and then if I need them before I come home for R&R then I can have BF ship them, instead of possibly having to pay jacked up prices because of the possibility of the cheapest provider not being APO friendly.

****
I talked to BF again about the fact I am broke. He let me cry and told me he understands and has been in my shoes and it is just going to take time to get back on our feet. He gave no ideas, no oh honey but I am going to pay the water bill, nope just yak yak yak about how it will all work out it time, it is just not been very long since my divorce and I just need to relax and let things settle into a pattern.

I knew I needed gas in my car, I need to pay my son's $24 dental bill and my water/waste bill is coming due soon. So this morning I took the gas that I purchased for the snowblower that does not use a oil mix and put it in my car. When I started the car it was nearly on E, oops thought I had a bit more. I now have almost a half tank of gas. I don't know if we will need to use the snowblower again or if it is just going to be shovel weather, and the tank is also the mower one (the grass is still covered in snow so don't need the gas for that yet, so I figured I would use it up).

I know when BF and I sorta talked about him moving in (did not talk about exact finances) anyway he said he would not stand for 2 Rosters in the hen house. Meaning EX could not stay there if he was. Well I am planning to tell him that I NEED to let the parasite live there while I am deployed because I can't afford the financial ramifications if he does not. I hope BF can deal with that. I know it will not be ideal BUT what does he expect for $225 a month rent (which he has not started paying). Yes, it will be ackward for everyone at first, but either everyone will get used to it or I guess BF will move out once he has saved enough money from leaving in my home to either rent an house that will allow a dog or have saved up for a down payment.

I think BF is a good guy, and I would hope he would be able to deal with the situation but in the end.

Not having my Ex live in the house while I am deployed will cost me.
$319.90 Child Support I am paid
$717 Child Support I would have to pay
Child Deduction 2012 taxes
Head of Household 2012 taxes
20% co pay of medical insurance instead of Full coverage
$250 Seperation Pay per month
Yep sure adds up fast.

I feel bad that BF is going to have to put up with my EX living in the basement in one of the spare bedrooms but I can't justify the financial losses.

Time to find a NEW checking account.

February 23rd, 2011 at 07:22 pm

I have had US Bank as my checking account home for 11 years, in that time I have earned just over $40.00 in checking rewards.

They used to pay every October when I first opened the account. A few years ago they changed it to once you got to $10.00 you could request the reward, but reward dollars were only good for 2 years, if you did not claim them or they did not get to the $10 limit you lost them.

Well Today I read another persons post about checking points and that got me thinking. So when I went into my checking account rewards section, it has changed again.

Now I have a balance of $0. Seems that the .01% reward on all debit card purchases has been changed to select businesses having different rewards points percentages, and the only businesses (5) that I actually use are not paying in store rewards just online rewards. But Rewards where reduced to requests allowed at $5.

I Do Not use my Debit Card online, I use my CC, then pay off the CC.

So since the Rewards Checking is of no reward to me I need to start looking at other Checking accounts so that I can find a rewarding partnership. I would like a local bank or an online bank that I can scan checks to. I do not like the idea of having to mail a check to be deposited into my checking (So ING orange Checking is out of the loop). What IF it is one of those rebate checks and it gets lost in the mail or delayed in the mail and it says on the check must be cashed within 30 days.

I went to the Savings Advice Forums and located a link for Checking Rewards based on my State. The problem is the higher paying ones don't have many Locations. I want to be able to bank when I am also out of state if need be.

The other thing that sucks is that I have almost all my automatic payments coming out of this non-rewarding account. I will have to go in and reset up all my automatic transfers etc. Oh well.

If BF is going to take over the utilities, I guess this is as good a time as any to start looking for another bank since some of the automatic payments would be stopping. I think I will have to keep this account open for a few more months though so that I know the afterschool daycare final autopayment clears on April 5th.

I am not looking for much.
1. Some Sort of Rewards - either from debit card usage or based on the balance I have in the checking account.
2. Free ATM usage at either their bank machines or at certain machines if online bank.
3. Online Access
4. Deposits made either at a local bank or online such as scanning the front and back of the check.
5. Overdraft insurance or low low fees.
6. No Debit Card required transactions (while deployed will need to use star card for cash not debit card).
7. allows actual checks. (again sorry ING)


I don't have a smart phone but I am thinking of going that way because I am thinking of going to Straight Talk which would be cheaper than I am paying for cell service now. So if the bank had a banking application that would be cool also. I know of one bank that does the check scanning that you can take a picture of the front and back of the check using your phone to make the deposit.

So Far
ING Orange is a No!
US Bank is what I am leaving!

Wish me luck...

Financial talk with BF, Housing plan talk with EX, and Doggy update.

February 23rd, 2011 at 04:28 pm

So Monday I had the talk with BF about finances, not really totally happy with the outcome. I feel sort of taken advantage of when it was done because I was not comfortable telling him what I wanted, just asked him what he thought was fair.

He said his take home is $1600, and he is not going to completely hand his check over to another person ever again. I care about BF, and he is a good housemate, but I want a chance at a long term relationship and BF doesn't plan to get married again. Which is fine with me, because it would just complicate things, but I would like a more intertwined relationship. Okay, I would like to be one of those engaged for 10-12 year people.

Back in Sept 2010 I told my EX-Husband he could move into my house (so our son would not have to move while I was deployed). Well I was not planning on charging him rent since he would still be paying child support but then I got to thinking and feared my EX would damage things such as the stove etc. Or to be spitful run up my utilities bill. So I desided that he would have to pay the utilites so that he would not be tempted to set the heat at 80 in the winter or air conditioner at 65 in the summer. So utilities $250 average per month plus 319.90 child support equals $560 per month $$$ I would have gotten from EX.

Well then I met my BF, and he moved in. I trust my BF to take care of the place better so last night after my EX said he wanted to know exactly where we were sitting, I told EX "he should just rent an apartment". I think it would be best for our sons mental adjustment anyway and mine since I don't trust my EX not to purposely damage the house while I am gone if he gets upset with the responsiblities that come with being a father.

Well BF knows that I was going to let EX move in and just pay utilites so that was what he suggested. That he pay the utilites. I guess part of me feels that is taking advantage of me because of the fact that since my EX is not staying in the house I will need to pay him $319.90 in child support so having BF stay there instead of the EX is costing me $319.90 for my deployment time frame. Also $250 in utilites is less that the $410 (1/3 total household costs) I was hoping he would offer. He was paying $525 a month plus lights in rent so I feel like $410 would have still been a better deal than what he was paying.

That aside, I am trying to look at it like a house sitting option, BF is house sitting my house for me and I am getting the utilites paid out of the deal. Then once I get home I think I will have to re-address the issue. Right now in addition to the utilities (which he has not started paying yet, he does provide me with daycare for my drill weekends whenever he is not working also so that saves me $100 each month).

###

I was trying to look up IF I could get composite fencing done here, and the main professional fencing webite had the type of fence I wanted and a section on Dog Kennels. We will need one once my BF's dog comes to live here because I want a composite fence if one is going to be put up and they are expensive PLUS a fence is not one of MY priorities. BF said he would pay for the fence and install it since it was for his dog BUT in his mind he had a chain linc fence in mind. Sorry but if I am going to put up a fence it is going to add curb appeal. I do not want to put up a chain linc fence then try to sell the house later and the buyer turned off because there is a chain linc fence. So for the time being a dog kennel will have to do. I guess I don't really want to pay for the fence, I plan to get a estimate on what having a pro install what I had in mind done. Then maybe BF can apply what he is saving in rent by living with me to the cost of having the fence either installed by the pros or towards the materials that I approve. I saw some at the hardware store but I was not at all impressed. I would prefer the pro install.


After seeing the dog kennel on the one website, I desided to check if there where any new listing for kennels on our local free online website. The last time no luck but last night there was one that was listed on the 16th.

Menards had a deluxe model (5 x 10) for $350 and a basic chain linc the same size for $290. The ad did not have a picture BUT I think it is the deluxe model anyway they want $250 or best offer, because they said they paid $350 plus at Menards for it which leads me to believe it is the deluxe one. BF called them last night and left a message. He will call again today. Hopefully they still have it. It would be nice for him to get a deal on it, also the hardware store said it would take one week for it to get to the store.

Well Last night after I showed BF the web ad, he got a text from his mother to call his tonight. Seems BF's parents are coming to visit, they will be bringing the rest of BF's things and his dog. We found out last night that they will be here either this weekend or next weekend. So need to either get the online one or order the one from the hardware store asap. The good news is because they are doing the trip it is only going to cost BF gas money so instead of having to pay for a uhaul and time off work ($2000 approx) he is figuring about $600 in gas.

Now I just have to not let the housing agreement with BF bug me, I don't want it to ruin our relationship so not sure what to do.

I want new food storage containers

February 18th, 2011 at 03:37 pm

I currently have no food storage containers left in my container drawer. Kmart was a 40 piece set which is really 20 containers on sale for $15.98. My local Wal-mart has a 6 piece (3 containers) of my most used sizes for $9.98 yep for $6 more I can get an additional 17 containers, but only one of the additional sizes are my Favorite sizes.

I have been wanting to buy new containers for a while since my lower quality (the take and toss kind) are starting to be at the end of their life cycle. I believe I have had them for about 5 years. The bowls are cracking/splitting from the applied pressure to put the lid on, and the lids are starting to crack at the seams so they are no longer air tight.

I don't know why it is so hard to just go out and buy new containers. My old containers I loved them because I had three sizes. The three sizes had three different shaped lids, round, square, and oval. This made figuring out the size and lid super easy. I would like to do that again but I am running into the problem that buying just the size I want is more expensive than buying the bigger set and having extra in different sizes.

I think I am going to start with 1 or 2 of the sale Kmart 40 packs. Then as more or my old ones wear out I will buy just the size I like. The reason for wanting the multipack is that my primary goal is storage containers to take lunch to work BUT there are times when the leftovers are not enough to be a meal or they are small things like diced onion or diced green pepper that I like to cut once and use out of the container over a few days.

So I think it is time to bite the bullet and buy the storage containers. By the way, I don't have any storage containers in my drawer right now because the ones I have (that are not broken yet) are all in use. I like to make double batches of meals or make meals large enough for at least 1 lunch of leftovers so BF or I can take them for lunch and not have to go out to eat or buy frozen entrees. Yes I used to buy a months worth of frozen entrees and put them in the extra freezer at work (no one uses it but me).

Buying one set of containers is what is would cost for 4 and a half days of frozen entrees so this actually pays for itself the first week. Looking at it like that has helped. Tonight after work I think I will swing by Kmart and buy 2 sets of the dishes.

Need to cut out the Extras.

February 17th, 2011 at 09:11 pm

I need to get my Emergency Fund Finished. If the Continuing Resolution is not fixed prior to 4 March 2011, then I am going to have pay issues.

I made a list of my expenses and posted it as a page on here. Hopefully later after I am thinking clearly I can ask for advice on whys to cut out costs that I am over looking.

My Mortgage was refinanced in July 2010 so there is not much I can do about that. It is what it is but I noticed that interest rates are higher than my 4.25% currently so that is that.

I also can't do anything about my house taxes, they were just assessed this Summer also so they are actually correct.

I am thinking maybe it is time to call my house insurance company though and see what I can do to reduce that cost or if that does not help get other quotes. BUT I think I will put that on the back burner for now because I don't want to increase my deductable until I have the increase in my in my Savings.

Today I will try to reduce my Gas/Electric Bill by reducing the heat temp and changing the time settings to match up more with what time we are getting out of bed and going to bed.

I have a list of 5 things that I think will be easy and then hopefully I will start tackling the harder stuff.

Lease Termination, Not Good.

February 17th, 2011 at 03:07 pm

Well I guess BF's apartment manager called him yesterday and told him he was SOL, that they were not going to do anything about helping him terminate his lease he just has to keep paying rent. WTH??? What IF he could not afford to pay his rent would they then do something?

BF would have gave them 45 days notice IF they had returned his numerous calls, he ended up giving them 30 days written notice with this months rent. Now 11 days before the end of the month they tell him nope, nad, too hard to find renters in the winter. Really, he could have started to locate a sub-leaser or renter to take over his lease 45 days ago if he would have know that.

I am a little upset because that $450 per month for the next 5 months is $2000. He signed a 9 month lease. I did not expect for him to get out scott free (truthfully I was expecting a lease termination fee/fine, and at a minimum 30 days rent and possibly rent until it fills and possibly deposit loss) but I did not expect for him to be completely shot down with no options.

I went to my states government website under the housing section and they had a tenants rights flyer, the flyer has a Legal Assistance Number on it and also a Fair Housing number and Depatment of Labor telephone number. I am hoping they can offer some help. See when BF was staying at the apartment the landlord/apartment manager came very close to breaking some laws many times. So if necessary I guess BF might have to play hardball.

An example is Snow removal is under the landlord responsibilies and BF told him many times that the front steps were icy and asked when the snow would be removed from the parking lot, The apartment manager ignored the ice comment and told BF he needs to make sure to get every speck of snow off his shoes when he enters the apartment building and that there is a snowblower over in the shed....Really you are going to have a tenent use a power tool they are not familiar with, also what if said tenant can't operate that power tool because it is HEAVY??? There are more examples but that sticks out in my mind.

I love having my BF living with me, I just wish that he could help with added household expenses. BF will not be able to do that until this lease mess gets ironed out. The sad part is I am starting to feel a bit taken advantage of (kinda like when my EX-Husband was not working), so I want this mess settled soon.

I know someone who might be willing to take over the lease BUT they don't need a place until right before the lease ends, and I don't want to put them into a place with an unethical borderline lawbreaking landlord/manager.