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home ownership

September 30th, 2009 at 01:14 am

I'v been lurking for a long time now. But I have been saving. Saving for new windows. I needed 23 windows and 2 bay windows. I finally got the windows ordered. We went with a more expensive company mainly for their reputation. We had a bad experience when we did vinyl siding. A bad experience that got worse when we were putting in the windows. You never want to hear "oh shit" when someone is working on your house. The second window being put in had wood rot in the window sill - well it got worse. The frame, the old wood siding, the wood under the siding and the wood box your house sits on (the wood foundation on the concrete foundation) are all rotten. they obviously had to pull my 6 year old siding off to see all this. They haven't gotten to the back of my house yet. they can't give me a quote on the work yet because they don't know the extent of the work that needs to be done yet. It sounds like the vinyl wasn't put on right and every time it rained, it would leak under the vinyl and get caught between the wood siding and the insulation. I just need a number. I need to know how much this will cost. I can deal with anything but the unknown!! I know it will get fixed, but it's driving me crazy! I was on the verge of tears all day! I know it's time to start saving to pay this potentially HUGE bill. I'm lucky I have some savings, I have a line of credit on my house. It could be so much worse - but this is the worst it's been for me.
There, I vented - now I feel a little better. Iknow what I have to do, I just need to know how much!

close call

April 29th, 2007 at 06:54 pm

I was baking cupcakes for my daughter to bring to school on her birthday. I got one batch done and ran out of cupcake liners so I had to run to the store. While I was gone, DH was going to make some pizza then take DD to a friends party. I planned on coming home finishing the cupcakes, make a cake, and then get things ready for DD's B- day tomorrow.
I got home turned the oven on and started putting away groceries. Something made me look in the oven and there were flames. DH must have dribbled cheese in the oven and thought nothing of it. I took a couple of deep breaths and blew. (the flames were in an area about 5 inches square). It took a few times, but luckily that did the trick. Yes, we have a fire estinguisher, but this was my instint and if it didn't work I was going to get the estinguisher.
I obviously turned the oven off, let it cool then cleaned it. Made the cupcakes,and cake. Now I'm done for the day - my heart is still racing.
Anything else that needs to get done will be done by DH when he gets home, or it won't get done.

tryingto be pepared

April 13th, 2007 at 10:44 am

How many times have you stood in front of the refrigerator and not seen anything to cook. This happens all to often in my house. We keep an extra fridge in the garage for the overflow and every winter the freezer thaws out (don't understand why but the appliance fixer man said it had to do with the outside temperature). Anyway, it's about time that we can use it again. I've started filling it with completed meals (some bought, some homemade). Hopefully when we have "nothing to eat" we will have our choice of meals and won't have to order out.
I would love to get any recipes for prepared ahead freezer foods that you would like to share. If I can figure out how to do it, I'll keep a log so we can all refer to it.


my soapbox

March 15th, 2007 at 10:33 pm

I work with our new hires at work. Most are low paid employees. It's not part of what I should be talking about, but I usually ask if they understood the benefits as I can explain them again if they have questions and then I tell them something like "this is my personal opinion, but I feel I should say this" and then I make it a point of talking about the 401K and how they really should invest. If you don't put in you don't get a match. It's really not a huge amout of money (50% up to the first 4%), but it's free money - like a raise. That 4% of $1000 is only $40. That out of their paycheck its like $25-30. Usually the new hires just laugh, but I actually think one got it today. I explained how I add in my raise each year. I never had the money before so I don't miss it and I really think she got it. So nice to see.

emergency at school

March 13th, 2007 at 10:11 pm

I was enjoying my lunch at work today when the cashier yells, "is there a nancy here?" I wasn't paying attention, but my friends call out to me to let me know it was me. Apparently there was an emergency phone call for me on my floor. Needless I run to the floor to find out that the school is calling. My 7 year old was pushing another child on a swing to have it come back and hit her in the mouth. All I heard was a tooth was out (they didn't know if it was adult or not ) and there was a lot of mouth trauma. I went to go get her to bring her to a dentist. Good news: it was a baby tooth ( I saw that right away), but I wanted x-rays to make sure the adult teeth weren't injured. Bad news: we switched dental plans at work and our dentist wasn't in this new plan. This was not the time to find a new dentist. Everything is okay in her mouth other than a lot of bruising inside her mouth and it looks like it won't be that bad for my purse as they will submit to this insurance and they feel it will be covered (apparently other patients use this insurance also).

Moral of the story
1. pay attention when you push someone on a swing
2. when you switch insurances research the new doctors / dentists and pick one right away. Or at least make sure your old doctor/dentist will accept payment from the new insurance.

boiler repair

March 6th, 2007 at 12:45 pm

another unexpected spend day.
I've noticed water in the basement for the past week. It's always been around the furnace (baseboard hot water heat). Just a small puddle, but it's there every day. It always happens early morning/ late night. There is never any water there during the day. I finally figured it's related to the boiler. There is some sort of drain spout at the back of the boiler. When we use hot water (like for a shower) it ranges from a drip to a small pour out of this spout. Called the oil company. They'll be out today - hopefully this morning and I'll make it in to work (better late than never). Luckily we have the maintainence insurance (We got the insurance as that covers routine cleaning - so it really doesn't cost much extra) and I guess this is what the flex time off is for (though I'd rather use it in the summer for a pool day).

hopefully it isn't a budget breaker.

who I don't want to be

February 20th, 2007 at 01:50 pm

I don't know if it's because I'm more conscious about money, or what, but I recently found out about 3 situations / people I never want to be.

person #1. A coworker. A single mom - gets child support for one of the children. She has 3 boys 1 in college, 1 just dropped out of a private college, but still owes the money for the tuition this quarter and the 3rd who is still in high school. Phone bills total more than $600 per month (but they "need their phones"). Loads of other bills. She's having health issues and may need to be out of work for a while. She is barely making ends meet. Actually, the ends aren't meeting. She will probaly end up selling her house (which needs repairs) and doing who knows what.

person #2. former coworker. Children grown and married. Lives alone in a house she's been in more than 20 years (spouse died years ago). Works 40+ hours at her job and then does per diem elsewhere abut 40 hours a week. recently moved out of state to be "closer to her son". In reality, even with all that money coming in (> $60K for her full time job and more for the per diem), her house was forclosed on and she "had" to move.

person #3. family friend. recently in the hospital. She needed very expensive medication. Got 1, but wouldn't get the other because it cost to much and she didn't want to charge it and pay interest "for medicine" (but she will pay interest for the stuff "she needs").

Some things with all 3 people are the same. They are the people who take expensive vacations (europe, hawaii). Who have relatively new cars and spend money on whatever they like.
Yet, don't get it when I tell them I'm trying to control my spending. That I'm on a budget. Sure I live paycheck to paycheck. I do it out of choice. I put 15% of my gross paycheck into retirement, >20% of my take home into savings. we spend the rest of my paycheck and my husband's check. But I'm working on year 20 of a mortgage we've had for 10 years. Between retirement and savings we have over $200K. I' ve never thought about not paying for medicine or not paying the mortgage, that comes first, the extras get cut out when necessary.

unbudgeted spending

January 27th, 2007 at 07:07 pm

doing well this month with spending.

We've only had 6 no spend days, but this is because we need to gas up our cars approximately every 5 days (long commutes to work - in opposite directions) and I tend to pay bills when we get them rather than sitting down once a week to do this.
Unplanned spending this week was limited to $5.50 at the library book sale.
Overall unplanned this month was $51.90 (and $25.00 of that was to bring dinner to a coworker and her family while she is out on medical leave.

We basically try to budget, but then end up spending the extra in a category on the unplanned spending. This month I'm starting to put the extra from each category into the savings account for when we run over in the future (example: lower electricity bills in the winter than summer)

looks like this may work.

visa bill

January 23rd, 2007 at 01:31 am

I've been trying to spend less and I though I was doing okay with this then came the visa bill. I was logging in most items on a monthly spending log so I thought I knew how much was charged. Unfortunately, DH was not always telling me when he spent money, or how much (usually didn't have receipts). According to my log, I should only owe apporximately $300.. This is after paying off a couple hundred here and there. (We use the visa for everything as we get rebates back).
The bill was $1500.00!!!!!! It took a bunch of research to find out why it was so high. My last 2 payments totalling $700 hadn't been credited yet. So that left a total of approximately $800, I knew about $300. The rest were Christmas presents (to me so he couldn't tell me as I was logging things in December), and some gifts I knew he bought, but didn't have receipts for me.

I hate January, between Christmas bills, life insurance, car insurance and all the regular bills I feel like I spend more than I have. Realistically, the money is there, I just hate these large bills.

big unplanned spend day

January 20th, 2007 at 03:07 pm

we've been having a rough week at work - there's a GI bug going around. Not fun when you are dealing with the cleaning and comforting.
anyway, DH was supposed to go out with the guys after work which meant relaxing time for DD and myself. Some coworkers wanted to do takeout.... at my house.
although it'f the furthest from everyone (25 miles from work and the closest friend coming over lives about 15 miles away). We have a decent size house and it's comfortable. (it was the most logical place to relax as the three people coming over -one lives with her parents, one has a toddler and one has a wierd husband).
Anyway, we split the wings so 9.00 there, pizza for DD= 10.50, beer and margaritas (definately necessary) at 20.50 and chips and such 10.
DH was home before everyone came over so he ate with us, but then hung out in the family room so we could sit in the library and complain.
I guess $50.00 for my sanity is worth it.

another day... another dollar (or three)

January 18th, 2007 at 10:50 pm

unfortunately it was outgoing money as opposed to incoming.

on the way home from work last night, I saw a billboard promoting the lottery. It was up to 180 million. I let my daughter choose the numbers and spent $2 on the lottery (and she just had to have a box of alphabet macaroni so we spent $3.09 total).

now I just have to check the numbers, maybe I'm rich!!!!!!!

lurking no more

January 16th, 2007 at 05:48 pm

I've been lurking on this blog for a while now and I guess it's my turn to start a journal.
My goal is to keep my family's expenses down. Hopefully, by putting it "on paper" I'll be more likely to do what I plan as I now have to hold myself accountable. Budgeting has never been easy - we are the kind of people who spend what we have and everything goes onto the credit card (I do not carry balances from month to month). I did learn a few tricks. If I don't have it, I don't spend it. So I started a seperate savings account for all the bills that come less than monthly and the money is direct deposited. I started a credit union account for christmas / birthdays. I put 15% into my 401k.
Now it's just trying to cut corners and stop myself and my family from buying the "stuff" that we think we want.

wish me luck