Home > Archive: June, 2009

Archive for June, 2009

New job...check

June 30th, 2009 at 12:56 am

So I think I got that big University job! Well- they called last week and asked me to fill out papers for a background check and told me that if my check comes out clean then I have the job.

Yaaa!!! (BTW- I FINALLY know why it is important to do well in college when you are not planning to further your education...this place actually wanted a copy of my undergrad and grad transcripts.) -I kind of assumed that degrees were somewhat worthless when a person with C's gets the same degree as someone with A's....but apparently your grades do matter in the real world- thank god I got Bs!

Anyways, the next day I got a VM saying my background check was clean and the University will be mailing me a formal letter of hire.

Its been 1 full week and no letter yet.

I don't feel comfortable giving my 2 wks notice at my current job till I have that letter in hand. I have known for a week now I was leaving and feel so bad because my boss keeps showing me how to do things!

When I first came into the office and had no idea what I was doing I feel that the business really suffered. I don't want my boss to go through that again now that its finally making progress- I want to give him as much notice as I can so he can take his time selecting someone and I can train them if he wants me to.

I wish I would get the letter already!

And they are offering me $1000 a year OVER my asking salary. They are getting a good deal on me but its just a nice gesture of goodwill and generosity to offer me a tad more than I asked for.

This will officially be my highest paying job I have ever had! (except 2007 when I was selling on ebay- I made crazy money before the market fell.) Now I just want the letter!

Bi Polar experiences??

June 29th, 2009 at 02:26 am

I don't know how much I really want to go into what happened yesterday...but I am asking for peoples knowledge of Bi Polar disorder.

As everyone knows, BB and I rent our upstairs unit to a bunch of college kids and the rent pays our mortgage.

Yesterday one of my tenants came into my downstairs unit in a trance like state and then proceeded to do some really scary things. I was home at the time and I am fine, but the incident had me a little panicked and confused.

I actually thought he was on some type of new designer drug, and so I ran outside and screamed for one of the other tenants to come and help me. The police were called and there was quite a bit of activity here.

Apparently- the boy is bi polar and is uncertain whether he needs his medication. I'm not completely clear if he always, sometimes or never takes his medication- but I was told that an 'episode' comes on every 5-6 months and the other 3 roomates kind of band together to watch him and control him. The episode takes 2-3 days to 'come on' (where he acts more and more bizaar) then there is 1-2 days of fledged craziness and then it passes. The boy was not able to be contained yesterday because 2 of the roomates have gone home for summer break and the remaining roomate did what he could but it wasnt enough.

So the cops came and took him to a mental institution until the parents could get down here from Michigan. From what I hear, the boy will have no memory of anything that happened.

So of course my friends who heard about the incident all broke out stories of people they knew who are bi polar and were dangerous. Stories of family members trying to hurt or kill other family members. My friends want me to kick the boy out of the house.

The boy is a good kid. He's responcible, he has a job,(or did- though I doubt Home Depot would be willing to overlook his absence over the last few days) pays his bills, never causes any problems. His episodes are something his 3 roomates are willing to put up with- so I think asking the boy to leave might be undeserved punishment. I would think that if his own roomates are willing to deal with this- I should be willing to deal too. Asking him to move out would just increase his problems and possibly place him alone or with people who are not able to handle his episodes- leading to more problems for him.

I thought bi-polar was only about depression/ sleepy depression and then lots of activity. This boy was kind of tranced out, not talking at all but answering questions in a yes/no format, not really following social norms, forgetful, impulsive, and seemed to forget that clothing is not optional- its required!

I guess I am wondering about how often 'dangerous' traits are found in bi polar people. I just want to be sure he wont get more aggressive the next episode. He was manageable this time around...I don't know. His roommate was very helpful in providing me with knowledge but I worry maybe I got the toned down version to not alarm me or to not be responsible for me kicking him out.

So I think I am looking for words of encouragement. I am looking to hear that there are different levels of bi polar and he doesn't sound like the dangerous type. I want to keep him here- but I dont want him breaking into my unit, or setting the house on fire, or pulling a weapon on anyone.

went out last night

June 20th, 2009 at 03:19 pm

Somehow I only spent $23.00 last night.

We went to 3 places, I bought a round for my 2 girls and me...I am very not feeling well this morning...but rummaging through my purse I only spent $23.00.

That's cool. I had way more fun than $23.00 worth last night! So last night was a success!

Bring on the consequences

June 19th, 2009 at 11:27 pm

I'm going to spend money tonight. I am going to waste money tonight. I am going to regret it all tomorrow.

I have had an unusually tight rein on my spending this month so far, I have spent far far less than I normally do by mid month. Last night I nearly worked myself into tears because I was SOOOO sick of spaghetti but that's all that was in my pantry. (It's cheap and I work under the code of: If I don't buy it I wont want it.)

So to relieve some of my pent up money saving stress, and to make myself feel like I have a life- I invited a few girlfriends to go out dancing with me tonight. I could do it frugally but I am tired of calculating and doing without. I have money in the budget for this but I haven't been spending it. Last night I saw the consequences of saving even my spending money.

Tonight I dance. Tonight I drink. Tonight I buy a round for my friends because I want to enjoy my life more than my fat bank account.

And tomorrow I will be hit with a major emergency and really regret blowing the money tonight. That's the way the money gods work. Their vindictive like that.

Bring it on money gods. Bring it.

I turned on the air today....

June 17th, 2009 at 12:48 am

And it feels GLORIOUS!!

Seriously I could have held out but I have a friend coming over to watch TV tonight. I don't want her to get uncomfortable.

So good luck to all you stubborn no cold air people.

At the moment we only have:

Househopeful (Deleware)
Koppur (Massachusetts)
Toyguy (Ohio) ((my bet is on this one))
Mom-from-Missouri (Montana..just kidding! Had to go there)
Apprentice (Ireland)
Whitestripe (Australia) ((Where it's WINTER!))
Caoineag (Colorado)

Anyone else?

Shhh...I dont want to talk about it.

June 16th, 2009 at 12:45 am

I had the job interview today with the University that I applied for before getting my current job. but I don't want to jinx anything. I thought I had it locked up going into the interview but she really didn't give me any clue during the interview that she liked me. She is making decisions next week. I really cant figure out either way if she liked me or not. Surprising because she was super enthusiastic on the phone with me.

I keep reminding myself that I like my current job (because I do-all day up until the interview I was debating not even going), but who am I kidding? I want that extra $10,000 a year. That's an extra $800 a month! I could start funding my retirement account again!

(small voice) I have already created a new budget with my new paycheck. I know! - I probably jinxed it just running the numbers like that.

no air conditiong use so far

June 14th, 2009 at 10:14 pm

Well it's June 14th and I have not used the air conditioning!

We had a no heat contest in the fall that had quite a few contestants well into winter- anyone want to step up to the "no air conditioning" plate?

I thought of turning mine on today but decided to suffer through- reminding me to see how everyone else is doing.

A great milestone!

June 14th, 2009 at 03:17 pm

I can walk downtown! I have lived here 5 months and never had the nerve to do it!

I know I touched on the whole living in a transitional neighborhood thing yesterday; we have about 4 unsafe streets north of us, and 3 streets east of us separating my house from the safer, easygoing touristy historic district of Savannah. I actually live across the street from the historic district line, but it's still pretty rough. (and South or West of us..gets much worse.) It's literally less than a min car ride before you have crossed into the better neighborhoods but I have never been brave enough to make the walk over there. A few weeks ago I became comfortable circling my own block when walking my dog.

Well, I did it (with my pit bull)!!! Yesterday I decided to walk East along the busiest road for 3 streets and turn North along another busy street. Within 10 min I was well into the historic district and enjoying beautiful massive victorian houses all around me!

We walked to the central park where Casey Jones enjoyed a long drink from the doggy fountain and I was able to sit at an outdoor cafe for a drink.

Then we walked further North and sat down at the park where BB and I were married 8 months ago.

And we made it home safely too!

This is a huge feat for me. I'm not normally a frightened person, but I rarely see people pleasure walking in my neighborhood (ok only once that I can think of). And it was a compromise I made to get into my house but was disappointed to know that we were not able to walk to bars, restaurants and enjoy the walkability of the city due to the location we were living. Finding parking in the city is actually not that difficult but it always did irritate me to be so close but feel so separated from all the places we like to go.

But now we CAN walk! (Only in daylight with a pit bull and without a purse or bag.)And we did it again this morning just to make sure yesterday wasnt a fluke. Nope- its ok. People stayed a respectable distance from my dog. It helps that she goes bats**t crazy every time she sees a stray cat- makes her look really mean. I wasnt carrying a purse or wearing anything to entice anyone to try to rob me and I think that helped.

So it might be several years before the neighborhood changes around enough for me to be able to REALLY walk to places in the city I need to go for shopping or meeting friends- (meaning walking without a dog, with a purse, possibly after dark and dressed somewhat nice)- but this is a really surprising and triumphant start!

I am so excited I don't need to drive 4 streets away, park and take my dog for a walk! I really feel like I am a part of the city now!

And just one observation- many men stopped to ask me if I have puppies or if I breed Casey Jones and I replied she is a shelter dog, not a purebred. So no, I don't breed her. The men were surprised she was from a shelter and asked "from a shelter? Around here?" So I wonder if my city does not allow pit bulls to be adopted out. That's too bad if there is some ban on pit bulls.

The hidden costs of making a decision

June 13th, 2009 at 08:12 pm

I decided to try to shave down my $125.00 monthly cable/phone/internet bill. I learned that if I return the HDTV converter box (allows us to watch everything on TV in High def) I will save $15.00 a month. BB is gone for 3 more months and he took the main TV with him, so the box is not even being used right now.

The cable company wanted $20.00 to send a tech to pick up the box, or I can return it myself for free. I opted to take it in myself.

As I stood in line waiting to return the box I congratulated myself on my decision to take the box in myself and save myself the $20.00. At work I earn $10/ hr and would have to be at work 2 hrs just to pay the tech to come and pick up the box- vs the 1/2 hr of time spent standing in line for free.

After thinking all these self- congratulatory thoughts I thought about how to lower my bundled services bill still farther. I pay $20 a month for a land phone line that I don't even use. We only have the land line so that the home security alarm will work in the house. So we pay $60 a month in home security services plus $20 a month on a land line to be able to activate the home security.

It sure would be nice to make that $80 bill go away. Unfortunately, BB and I purchased our house in a "transitional" or "up and coming" area and we very much need the security alarm. As I was standing in line today mulling it over- trying to anticipate the day that we could cancel both the home alarm and useless land line- I realized that we were actually paying a "hidden cost" associated with our house.

BB and I chose this house because 1) we love it and 2)because it was very inexpensive due to its location. However- buying a house in a bad area is costing us $1000 a year that we wouldn't ordinarily have had to pay.

If I really was concerned I could do some type of cost analysis to see if the lowered price of the house was worth the $1000 a year we pay (but off hand I think we still come out ahead), but really its a useless math problem. We bought the house- nothing we can do about it now.

I still love the house. Paying $80 a month on a service that we wouldn't need if we were living somewhere else is ok with me if that means we can live here. Its just an epiphany I had today while standing in a Comcast line.

And on another topic- my mortgage bill was paid today. I'm a nerd. I LOVE paying my mortgage bill!

The biggest thing that helped me gain financial control

June 7th, 2009 at 03:35 pm

Just finished up the numbers regarding the spending during May and it was not too bad, but June will be better. I can feel it!

I posted the sheet of May's spending on my refrigerator right next to April's numbers, which is next to March's numbers. It helps me to visually scan across the pages to know that my grocery use has increased every month, but eating out declined. My water bill skyrocketed- I need to cut back on watering the lawn.

I started using the fridge as a 'financial update board' last year around August because it's the only spot my husband hangs around while he eats peanut butter out of (his own!) jar.

At the time it was him who was spending excessively on fast food, video games and it was putting us into a big gaping negative cash flow hole. I really resented him for spending on useless items when I was cutting back/cutting back/and cutting back more to try and save money. I felt that every hundred dollars a month I saved by forgoing this or that- he would spend it for 1 pair of shoes. Or in a gift for me. And we were never getting anywhere!

So having the list of the previous months spending posted right where he was sure to see it everyday was my way of trying to really wake him up. And it worked! It taught him the importance of tracking the spending- he writes down his purchases on the blank sheet posted next to the previous months numbers. It took a month or two of me always asking him to remember every purchase, but now he diligently writes down everything at the end of the day. I made myself a rule to NEVER make a comment about any of the purchases he recorded on the fridge. I didn't want to start a fight, or encourage him to 'omit' certain items that would start a fight. After a few months he saw for himself how much his fast food added up. He was able to not only distinguish between the smart purchases, but to see the difference in his spending and my spending.

And he sometimes makes comments about the culminated costs of certain categories- such as eating out, or home improvement.

He also got an education in how much money our household really pulls in. We have so many sources of income that change depending on the time of year, that it is hard to see the large numbers. We both got a pleasant surprise that we pull in close to $3500 a month- and we were equally disappointed to see that it was being spent so frivolously.

The fridge method opened the door for him to ask me questions. In the car one day he told me about how he told his friend he did not want to replace his older truck because he wants to be "financially free." I was thrilled that he was listening to me and taking an interest.

The fridge method works for us. It was a big BIG turning point for BB and me. Being able to see where our money is going, dealing with the accountability of putting our purchases on the sheet of paper for everyone to see, congratulating each other when one category of spending is less than the previous month, or savings has increased.

And now I live alone while BB is in TX for 3 more months. I could easily de-clutter the fridge and keep the paperwork in a drawer, but I continue the fridge method. I am proud of our spending habits, our accomplishments and don't want to jinx whatever it is about the fridge that helps us. And it's a great conversation piece for friends and family who visit. Helping to get the debt/saving money conversation going.

Anyways, I talked about my fridge method when I started it almost a year ago- but I wanted to write about it for new members. I feel very in control over the finances now. I only write about tweaking things nowadays. But less than a year ago I felt like we were working backwards financially.

The one thing I might need to do is get some cuter magnets though.

(BTW- the last 2 months WE HAVE spent more money than we were earning. You can see it plain as day in one of the pictures. We have been using the money from savings. We did just buy a house, and I did just get a job 2 weeks ago. June should be a positive cash flow month.)

minor financial happenings that add up to my life.

June 6th, 2009 at 03:46 pm

Things are going well. I have recently had a few financial issues crop up.

*BB signed his contract for his new/old team and he is getting paid his original amount! But they will not reimburse him for the money he lost during the 1 month he was traded. I am happy for him, he did very well considering what they could have made him sign. So far he has had 2 outings with the team- did ok the first outing- allowed 1 run- but last night he did much better allowing no runs in 3 innings, though 2 people got on base. (just my moment to brag)

* I got my first paycheck from my new job and they only took out $7.00 for taxes!? It was for 1 weeks pay- but doesn't that seem wrong? I don't really understand what to file under- so I filed married with 1 dependent. (BB makes less than 10k a year so he feels like a dependent sometimes. LOL.)

*I have had 3 NSD's in a row! It is much much easier to not spend money when BB is away. I feel much "healthier" financially- finally saving money coming in than having a negative cash flow.

* I got to try out my new 2009 budget now that June has rolled around. It's a little complicated. I had to open 2 new savings accounts and break up checks to go into different accounts. I need to learn a streamlined version. I currently have 3 savings accounts and 1 checking that excessive?

just a comment

June 2nd, 2009 at 03:01 am

Nothing new to report other than I enjoy reading everyone's blogs. I don't have time to read every blog, sometimes I miss a whole days worth of blogs- but I try to hit this site at least once a day and see whats going on.

Everyone here is very enthusiastic, meticulous, and bright. It's a breath of fresh air to see well thought out actions, thoughts of future consequences, and discipline.

Sometimes it's a nice relief from the real world- where everyone appears impatient, foolish and selfish.

Maybe it was just a hard day.