<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Archive: October, 2007
 

Archive for October, 2007

Dispensing.....

October 22nd, 2007 at 12:35 pm

With the water cooler. Well, the one that comes with the water delivery people. Gosh, I've been renting this thing forever. It's a nominal fee, and they haven't raised my costs in the whole long relationship with them. Even for the water. I found that out when they issued me a small fuel charge. I kinda wondered because nothing stays the same cost for years and years. But the little fee for the cooler is money I don't have to spend every month. And the cooler is getting decrepit. So, we went out this weekend and used money saved up over the last year (thanks to advice learned here) and bought our own. This one heats and cools. Which I don't really think I want to use the electricity to do. I like the fact that you can unplug or turn off the buttons and just get regular temperature water. I still like my delivery service alot. I can't really drink the water here without it upsetting my stomach eventually. I thought about getting a purifier, but I would also have the cost of the filters. I don't have any waste with the delivery because the bottles are recycled. I guess the fuel to deliver it is a waste. But for years, I was after a major delivery at a hospital and they have to go past me to get to home base anyway.....justifying, I know. The only things that are a concern are that they might change my contract and up the cost of the water when I cancel the cooler and the taste problem. I cleaned and sanitized, but it still has a taste. The company assures me that it will be gone shortly. But yuck....

Tricky Scam.....

October 16th, 2007 at 09:44 am

This may have already been discussed in the blogs. I apologize if so. But, I'm so behind in reading that I may have missed it. A new scam that might have caught me was made known to me. Three times, we have been questioned to make sure that our accounts hadn't been compromised. Two with credit cards, one with debit. Fortunately, only the debit one was a real attack. The others were goofups. One was when getting gas, the machine kept cutting off. That triggered a couple of small transactions that looked like someone was trying to get our card to work. I'm glad someone was watching.

The new scam involves calls like we received, saying they are from the fraud department of whoever. They have your name and get you to confirm your address, which they already know. They also have your credit card number and the bank that it is issued on. They ask you to verify a fraudalent purchase which doesn't exist, yet. They then ask you for the PIN number on the back of the card to verify you still have the card. And to supposedly issue you a credit or something. That is the number they are wanting to get from you. Then, they can start charging things. The credit card companies say that they already have the PIN number since they issue the cards, and I'm assuming that the fraud people have it, too. They are saying, Don't give out the PIN number. This is real slick. I probably would have been taken since I have already received these types of calls legitimately. I was real leery of giving out numbers and such. I had no real idea if those people were legit. I don't think anyone asked for my PIN number though. The one time we got an email, I didn't use the connected thingy, but called the bank people directly. This is getting scary. You don't know who to trust on the phone or the computer. I will call the people on the back of the card to verify. The problem was that a couple of times, these calls came from a company monitoring fraud for our banks. I hope that I got this scam explained right. It shook me up when I heard about it. But, it also makes me mad. And makes me determined to get rid of all these things that can be used against me. If I just own a couple of them and don't use them much, then I hope that I can keep track of what is going on much better. People used to hold a mortgage burning party. I'm going to hold a shredding party for these cards....

Figuratively Speaking.....

October 15th, 2007 at 12:18 pm

I fell off the budget bandwagon for two months...and it shows. So, this weekend I reworked the facts and figures in the ole budget for another year and today marks the first month. Off we go....

I am so tickled. Hubby got a raise. Before this, it would have been absorbed into our spending. Now, it is being absorbed into debt reduction. I truly have learned a lot. Every bit helps. With a child still in college, we seem to be going around and around with the credit cards, since I charge her tuition over the phone. That is the best way for me to be sure that the payments get there on time. I just haven't incorporated them totally into monthly amounts. So, I make progress on one front and back up on others. I need to really focus on that this year. Costs of college continue to rise and that is just a fact of life. I need to set up a plan and not just go willy nilly with this part of our finances.

I am also beginning to get stubborn. I lived through the oil embargoes, and we just got to the point where we didn't go anywhere or buy anything. I truly understand that costs need to be recouped and transportation covered. That is no surprise. But you get to the point where you get stubborn about not buying too much. When eggs get to the price that I paid for them the other day, it is time to get serious. I have been challenging myself, but not digging in. I need to lose at least ten pounds anyway. Maybe I can cut back on the amount of food bought and eaten and lose weight. And I really need to consider why I think that a 1.50 coke is a good idea. It is just syrup and fizzy water. We bought some ice cream at a shop the other day that was 3.50 apiece. I had a coupon that got one free, but gee whiz...3.50 for a scoop of ice cream? I need to rethink everything. And those treats need to be just that...occasional treats. I am going to enjoy playing with the new figures as I save money and as debts go down. Here's to a new budget and getting back on the straight and narrow....

Something's in the Attic......

October 13th, 2007 at 01:30 pm

Years ago, something got into the attic and ate the Christmas wreath. Across the street, a cat got into an attic and had kittens. They had to pull boards off the eaves to get them out. Now, I've heard another Thing in the attic. We have possums and rats next door in their storage building, plus oodles of squirrels and cats on the loose. But this Thing is chewing on something. It scares me, not that I am worried about the stuff up there, but I don't want it to eat anything crucial. Like wiring, or the heating unit, or even through the PVC water pipes up there. I just got a notice from my termite exterminator people that I am due for my contract inspection. I am going to inquire whether they do bigger pests. Not only that, with the cool weather, maybe I'll just go ahead and get rid of most of the stuff up there anyway. That way, Exterminator Man can get around easier and maybe find this critter. Sigh. Sometimes, nature has a way of getting me to do things that have been sitting on my list for a long time.....

Football Frenzy.....

October 12th, 2007 at 11:30 am

If you have been in a Texas town on a Friday night, then you've probably encountered Football Season. It can be totally nuts. Tonight is the big game with the cross county rivals. Neither town has much more than 10,000 people, but the stadium here will be filled with at least half of each town. That's all they can fit in. Ten thousand screaming fans. With large bands and all kinds of noise makers. And jumbo scoreboards that make noises, also. I no longer attend, but I can hear the noise from my house. It brings back memories.....

We used to buy the season tickets when our kids participated. And gas to the away games. Playoff games. Food at the games bought to support bands and teams. Programs bought to support schools. And food and water to band kids. Hotel rooms. And so on. Was a big cost during the fall. Cost of watching your kid do his/her thing....priceless.

We did this through high school and college. Through football and basketball bands. Hubby particularly loves stadium hotdogs. Last time he went to the college game with DD, he didn't have enough money on him to pay for all the food. I think they missed me. I'm the one that keeps up with all that. I never added up all the costs associated with Football Season. I'm sure we spent a lot. But it was worth every penny. However, I'm not venturing forth tonight. The town will be packed. Since it is a clear night, I can probably hear the bands and some of the action from my house. It won't be anything like being there. But it is free....

Mouse Trap.....

October 11th, 2007 at 12:02 pm

I went mouse hunting today. Actually, it is the furry, fake kind that the kitty loves. I gave her one to play with last night, and I have to find it/them before I let the dogs back out so that the little one doesn't go on a hunt and find it herself. She eats them. I've gone through too many mice to not hunt them down. Funny where they end up. I have bought many toys over the last couple of years for kitty, but she is like toddlers...she loves the simplest things. Not the fancy bell and whistle toys, but little mice and water bottle caps. She plays hockey with those. She likes tissue paper and playing chase with Hubby. So, I've decided to save my cash and quit buying toys. She'd rather have the "box."

Little doggie loves one particular stuffed animal. Well, it isn't so stuffed anymore. She loves squeaky things, but she kills the squeaky within ten minutes. Then she disembowels the animal. But she loves playing tug of war with it forever after that. She'll play with another...but she goes back to her favorite. I'm going to have to sneak it away to wash it--just like a toddler and a blankie.

Bigger dog likes tug of war stuff, but that's it. Maybe a rope to tug on. No other toys. Both dogs love bone things to chew on and an occasional treat, but toys are not a big concern to them. I've decided to quit going overboard and just get them their new toy at Christmas. Yes, we fill their stockings--a tradition started by our DD when she was little and had a hamster. Cost of toys for kitties and doggies add up. If you have an inexpensive toy idea for doggies or kitties, I'd love to hear it. I'm trying to save, but I love the joy in their attitudes when they play. I think I found all the mice today.....

Around and Around....

October 9th, 2007 at 12:23 pm

I received a check in the mail today from my mortgage company for a refund on PMI insurance. I've been meaning to check on that for at least a year or so. Nice that they did it for me. I was clearly dragging my feet on something that would save me a few dollars a month. Sheesh.

In addition, they redid my escrow. Since that had already been done this summer, I figured that they wouldn't redo it again until next year. I didn't know what kind of hassle it would be to see if they could reopen the file until then. But they saw that the escrow had a big surplus. This was because I had to pay the windstorm out of pocket this year and the insurance they pay went WAY down. By almost half. So, they are sending me another check to cover the surplus. In another life, I would have spent it on things and bills and such, but I've been learning a lot of lessons. Lesson: Next year I will write a check for at least $1000 for windstorm out of my pocket. So, the surplus check will reside in an interest-bearing account until then. Because I'll just have to use it to pay out to the state insurance. But at least it will be done for next year. Now, I need to include it in the monthly budget so I will have it for the following year. Things keep achanging....

Finally, I see on the readout that my mortgage payment is going down for those reasons. I can probably use that money to build the insurance fund. I wish I could use the money for paying down the mortgage more quickly. But I need to get the numbers all sorted out. In any case, the mortgage is closer to the beginning amounts for when we bought the house. Funny, the mortgage was sold the first month. That was weird, but then we still have the original terms. Then, the insurance went way up. We may have only had one payment at the original setup number. I wish they would mention that fact when you buy a house. I had no idea that things could change before you even got started. We've had a good mortgage relationship though. I can't wait to see the numbers all set up in the new budget. With the insurance costs though, I think we'll just be going around in circles.....

Pack Rat.....

October 6th, 2007 at 09:46 am

The people here who know these things have said officially that they feel that our portion of hurricane season is over! It usually happens around October, but I've been holding out until I heard the words. So, yesterday, I unpacked the food supplies and returned them to the pantry. I need to make a new inventory so I can use these things up. I like to refresh the supplies starting in the spring so that we aren't finding expired stuff.

Today, I just might start unpacking my suitcases. Between the storm season and the new grandbaby, I've been living out of the suitcase for a couple of months. I was just repacking a lot, so I just decided to live out of it. Worked well for me.

This week, I need to unpack the financials. I have bill receipts that I need to file. Hubby did a great job of finishing packing them up for me. I hate to undo such a neat job, but I sorta need to get into them by now.

I think I'll also unpack the special items. Things that I pack into lower back cabinets so they won't blow away or other things into bins so they might be spared from water damage. And the stuff stored in the deep freeze. I'll need to use the freezer in November. Time to clear it out and plug it in again.

On a financial note, I'm going to keep these new things that Hubby bought for file storage. I'm not going to find another use for them in the meanwhile. I'll just store them with old files or something until next year. Then, I won't be buying something else for next time. Also, I'm going to be able to use those pantry food items and save some grocery money.

Wow, time to do cartwheels, send up thankful prayers, and UNPACK.....Yippee!

Prime Time......

October 3rd, 2007 at 01:02 pm

Lost my blog entry....here we go again....

I have gotten out the primer and bought some new equipment, and I'm off the starting line for painting the inside and outside of the house. This is going to take the next three months as I am really slow at this....

Right after my crazy shopping binge, Hubby brought home a bonus check. What a gift! And perfect timing. We're going to use it for the house stuff because it really, really needs to be done right NOW. This will help me be able to keep on debt payoff without stopping because I was concerned I would need the money instead for the house. Whew!

I had a good comment from CeeJay74 on my last entry about maybe returning some items from my shopping spree. Good thought. It made me go over all the stuff. I realized that I had done better than I thought. Not in total money spent, but that I had gotten most things 50 to 70 percent off and even some for free, using sales, store coupons, and gift cards. I still might return a couple of things. One item in particular makes me go, Huh? Also, I am relieved that most items are definitely things that I will use. The therapist laughed and reminded me that I haven't done this in a very long while. I still feel a bit guilty. Hubby said not to worry, and he even let me use a tad of the bonus money to start a laptop fund for me. I can then take my budgets and information with me when I travel to visit the kids. And it will be a lot easier in hurricane season. I am so excited about this, but after going crazy at the stores, I'm keeping things under control and doing this carefully and logically. I'm saving up for it. Lesson learned......

Imploding.....

October 2nd, 2007 at 10:33 am

I haven't been home much. Got home from visiting with the DGD just in time to get things ready for a visit from inlaws, then another trip to visit the kids with inlaws, then home....It's been a lot of fun, but I've not been home much since August. In between, I've been tracking and getting supplies for storms, paying bills, taking animals to the vet, etc. I tried to get back on track this last week, but I think I blew a fuse in my brain. I went nuts on spending. For three solids days, I spent money. And not on necessities. Some things were in our plans already when we finished painting the rooms, but I did find some good deals and went ahead and spent for it. But, that only accounts for half of the money spent. I finally realized I was out of control and exhausted and stressed. Hubby came home from visiting the DGD for his weeklong vacation, but I had already called and confessed. I don't know why I didn't take additional medicine. Maybe because I was alone for several days and didn't want to be a bit fuzzy. Or maybe I enjoyed the spending WAY too much. Until I realized what was happening. Still, even though I had a tickle in the back of my brain warning me, I still continued till I finally stopped myself. I even left a few bags in the truck until dark so my neighbors wouldn't wonder what the heck I'd been up to with all these bags of stuff. That's sad...but funny. Fortunately, it didn't totally crash our bank account. We'll be okay. But I sure need to work on more strategies to cope when things get a little intense for me. Especially, long term intensity. I haven't set up my budget for this month, and I think that was part of my problem. A budget really strengthens my resolve and keeps a set of goals in my head and a restraint on my pocketbook. I definitely am one person who needs The Budget in my daily life. I'm going to see the therapist today. That is probably a very good thing....