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

November 17th, 2011 at 04:01 am

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 07:49 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 02:24 pm

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 05:44 pm

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 08:13 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 05:45 pm

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 02:03 pm

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 05:02 pm

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 02:24 pm

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 01:46 pm

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.