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Archive for July, 2016

So Tired

July 29th, 2016 at 06:19 pm

This week has been a whirlwind. My office boss came back from a two week vacation, so had a huge list of stuff to be done.

My web design boss has a TON of work for me right now as well, all on a short time frame.

Besides double my workload, it's also VBS week at church. Which both husband and I volunteered for. So we have literately been going there 15 minutes after we get off work, and not getting home until 9pm every day this week. Tonight is the last night, thank goodness. We've had about 24 kids in our class, and they are wild.

I've had terrible sinus pressure and headaches for the past several weeks. Well it's finally came to a peak, and now I'm sniffling, sneezing, and sick. Hopefully that means it will clear up soon though.

Tomorrow we have tickets to a play for my birthday, which is Monday. Our house is a disaster, so we'll be spending the rest of the day cleaning, and I'll be catching up on work over my birthday weekend.

I am worn out. I just want a nap. Feeling so behind on work, chores, animals, everything.

Friends and Finances

July 26th, 2016 at 03:41 pm

I have a more personal question. Is there any good way to discuss/teach finances with a friend?

My husband's best friend is bad with money. His family is bad with money. He was never taught, and I worry he is going to struggle his entire life.

In the past we talked a little about money with him. His credit was bad because of him putting his name on a phone bill with a friend when he was about 16 and his friend stopped paying. Doh. We talked to him about credit cards, and helped him open his first one so he could have some "good credit" history. Telling him how interest works and how he should only use it for regular bills and pay it in full each month. Things seemed to be going well.

To sum things up as best as I can. He makes about $30,000 a year, and also goes to school full time. He purchased a $12,000 car a little more than a year ago. 1st mistake. In order to save money he moved back in with his parents. That was a major mistake. His parents are super bad with money, can't hold down real jobs, etc. He has online classes and they couldn't pay their bills, so he has to keep paying their electric and internet bills to do his school. Shortly after him moving in with them, they somehow convinced him to let them put close to $5,000 on his credit card. :O With the promise they would pay it back.

He purchased a new laptop last year, financed. Now he just purchased a desktop. He also financed his school. This parents of course could not pay the credit cards, and he couldn’t make the huge payments, so he just took out a personal loan of $8,000 to condense everything. He is $20,000 in debt with not much to show for it. :/

Even scarier is that he recently talked about buying a house. He went to the bank and they approved him for $150,000!!! He literately almost bought a house for that much. (His parents encouraging him of course.) When we asked him about it he couldn’t even tell us the term or the interest rate. Thankfully he changed his mind last minute.

I’m seriously scared for his well being. It’s going to take him years to dig himself out of this debt. He can’t say no to anyone, and I bet his parents are going to continue to have him pay their bills and tack on more debt. He has no idea that this is bad debt, doesn’t understand interest, etc. He just follows whatever the banks and his parents tell him. He is already struggling paying his bills, and I don’t see how he will ever be able to move out of his parents house, get married, etc.

Husband and I joke that we need to sit down with a powerpoint and teach him finances. But seriously. How can we help him? I try to stay out of people's business, but he’s a good guy, and honestly just doesn’t know.

Back from Vacation with Numbers

July 21st, 2016 at 01:56 pm

We are back from our trip to the south east coast! We had a good time, and got to see lots of new things. Seriously I don't know how we fit in so much on our trips, but we are pros at making the most out of the time we have.

We left on Saturday and stayed with family that was about halfway that night. Sunday we stopped to drop off goats, and then made it to our destination. The lovely family we stayed with made us some classic seafood boil which you eat with your hands, and then we packed up and headed to the beach for the sunset.

Monday we got an early start, before Charleston was "open" and got to see all the outdoor sights like the battery and waterfront park, we also walked a bit through historic downtown but it was nearly 110 degrees, so we didn't spend as much time as I had hoped for. We caught the first boat tour out to Fort Sumter, and learned some history. Then we went to a breakout game which is super fun. They lock you in a room and you have to find clues and keys to help you escape in under an hour. It was kind of weird because we were with 6 other strangers, but I would definitely do it again. It would be a real blast with friends. We drove across the amazing Ravenel bridge and ate lunch at a resort restaurant overlooking the U.S. Yorktown aircraft carrier. Afterwards we headed back to downtown and stopped at the historic city market. I splurged and bought $50 worth of pralines and goodies for myself and our two families which watched our animals while we were away. They make the most delicious pralines you'll ever buy there. (I don't even usually like pralines!) We got a Christmas ornament which is a tradition for our trips, and they were discounted if you buy 3 so we also got one for each of our mothers. That is the only souvenirs we purchased.

Then we headed back to our hosts and they ordered fried seafood to go (the best ever) I had it last time I was there and it was a special request. Then we headed out to a private ritzy island, where some friends of their owned a house and called in a pass for us. They had a guard house and everything, all gated, very expensive. I think some celebrities live there. So we spent another sunset eating seafood on the beach. Some dolphins swam very close to us while we were swimming.

Tuesday we left for Savannah and had planned on spending the day there. But once we got there and ate lunch we decided it was very crowded, and pretty much the same as Charleston only smaller roads and more people walking. So we went ahead to the park at which I had reserved a camping spot for previously. It was only early afternoon when we got there, and still blistering hot so on a whim we decided to keep driving rather than sit around in the heat. I lost out on the $34 I had paid for camping, but I think it was worth it. Wanting to see new places we took the long way home through Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas. Atlanta was a nightmare, and right in rush hour it started pouring rain. Their roads were horrible, with lots of standing water and hydroplaning. I was so terrified I was on the verge of tears. Worst driving I've ever been in. Thankfully my husband is a very cautious and good driver. And did his best to keep me calm.

We drove another 6 hours to a very secluded park in Alabama. We got there after dark, and we had to put up the tent and light a fire for dinner. The park ranger was very nice, and was surprised we had found them. It was such a secluded park that I couldn't even find a review, picture, or phone number online. Just an address, and the entrance road was very very long. Husband and I were joking that this is how a scary movie starts.

Yesterday we finally made it home. All told we spent:

$173.09 on gas
$122.03 on eating out and groceries
$70.62 on candy and gifts
$89.40 on the boat tour and breakout game
$53 on camping

For a total of $508.14! I had originally budgeted $500 before one of my transports dropped out, and I lost $75 last minute. So if you count that money we were only $8 short. Pretty good considering the extra camping costs, and expensive candy.

I would highly recommend Charleston. The people there are so friendly, and it is one of the most beautiful cities in the US.

Phone Bill and More

July 12th, 2016 at 02:37 pm

Still doing the cash flow juggle.

Thankfully at this moment I only owe $200 on the credit cards. I was hoping to be at $0 before the trip, but it's not going to happen. Not due until September anyway so it doesn't really matter. Still have to pay for the cat spay on Thursday. That will be around $100. We kept my husband's favorite kitten and found a good home for the others. So we are now a 4 cat household. Up from our original 2, but down from our recent 6.

I did add a new expense. I had to purchase a new phone. :/ Mine has been deteriorating for months. First it started randomly shutting off, then it started dropping calls, maps stopped, and then it would take 12 hours to send a text message. It was extremely frustrating, and I knew the end was coming.

We made the decision to go ahead and purchase a new one before the trip since we were traveling across country, and the phone is our sole source of GPS. We didn't want to get lost when my phone died on us. Or not be able to call for help if something happens. My phone even shut off twice when they were trying to switch me to the new phone, so it really was getting to be unusable.

I have to pay full retail price with my phone company. So it was quite expensive, I am appalled and embarrassed at the price, especially since in the past you would get a new free phone every 2 years. Now the monthly bill is cheaper, but you are responsible for the phone purchase. It cost almost as much as my husband's laptop.

Oh well. I sprung for the good one. The price difference wasn't much different for it or a cheapo one, and I figured I might as well get what I want since I do use my phone constantly. I take really good care of them, and they last a long time, so over multiple years it doesn't seem like as much.

They want you to just make payments every month (0% interest), but I went ahead and put down a $200 payment because I'd rather pay up front and avoid monthly bills. The lady said no one EVER does that. Weird. I couldn't pay for the entire amount because of being squeezed from the trip. But I plan on saving up and paying it off in the next couple months. In the mean time I have to pay $20 a month on it. Which is fine since my bill actually just dropped $15 a month or two ago. So really only an additional $5 out of the budget. Not a big deal in the scheme of life, and it certainly is an upgrade. Honestly I am just thrilled that I can send texts again!

My birthday is coming up, and I am super excited this year. I FINALLY convinced my husband and family to buy me practical things I actually need/want rather than junk that is "more fun." I am getting a new bed and sheets. Just what I want! I also wanted a vacuum, but the price went up. So I have been promised it for Christmas. haha. Not many women can honestly say they want a new vacuum and bed frame for holidays! I am not materialist at all, and I prefer usable things that will improve my quality of life. A comfortable bed, and a way to suck up cat hair sounds pretty good to me.

A Little Less Crazy

July 5th, 2016 at 01:28 pm

Things are a little less crazy now. The trip went well. The party is over, and shopping is done.

The hay got rained on and ruined, so I'll have to wait until the next cut to get some. Which is good for me, not so good for them.

Mortgage is down to $46,759.80!

Meeting Deadlines

July 1st, 2016 at 02:19 pm

I got all my major deadlines completed except one, which I still have about a week to do.

Lots of running around, and craziness here. Making a 15 hour trip tomorrow, some needed clothes shopping on Sunday, party Monday. Vet trips are still kicking my butt. Poor dogs were getting eaten up by flies, so I had to buy some more flea/fly medicine. It's buy 3 get 1 free, which is enough to do both dogs for two months. Which should get us through the worst of fly season... $55, ouch.

I have vet checks for the goats next week. The goat I purchased on the other side of the country, might be falling through. Transport cancelled last minute. Oh well, I'm kind of relived. I was having 2nd thoughts. So if I can't find a way to get him here I'll be okay. That $500 would cover the cost of hay. Which surprisingly got baled early and is ready to go now. Sigh. Don't have money for it at the moment. I wasn't expecting it until later this fall.

Lots of big expenses hitting all at once. I'm scrambling to cash flow everything. Vet bills, hay, chaffhaye, license renewal, party, vacation, etc. Okay so far, just need to be tight this month until life calms down again.