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Archive for May, 2015

A Trip?

May 30th, 2015 at 04:43 am

Last week a second (third?) cousin asked me to join a FB genealogical list about our shared great great grandparents in Sweden. We've never been close as we live in different parts of the country, but her parents and mine were always close. After I lost my mom several years ago, I found them on FB, and we've become closer sharing family history and other interests.

Tonight she and her sister asked if I'd be interested in traveling to Scandinavia with them next year. It had never occurred to me, but I like them a lot, and suddenly it seems like a wonderful idea. One more thing to save for!

I decluttered a bit today, sold some sandals on FB, and saved some cash by borrowing something DD needed. Frugality continues.

Most possibly exciting, except for travel, is some advice I received today about DD's root canal last January. Both dentist and endodontist told me my insurance wouldn't cover it, so we paid it all out of pocket. But after calling the dental insurance provider today, it appears they may pay more than half! They advised having the endodontist file a claim and then reimbursing me. Now I have called them and they seem puzzled about their earlier advice and have now filed a claim. It looks like we may get $400 back. I'm pretty darn excited about that too.

Financial Stall

May 27th, 2015 at 05:03 am

Lots of expenses this week including DD's camp funding, DH's car's exhaust, and our increased food budget from a week with guests.

My dear governor's refusal to take Obamacare funding has caused a budget shortfall which has meant he has again squeezed the university. We've just heard our health insurance premiums will rise as will co-pays and deductibles in 2016, so I need to schedule all sorts of medical things this year/summer. This latest bit has really increased our desire to get out of here. It's a very ugly climate at the university right now, and many of my colleagues are taking retirement bonuses which help them but will hurt our ability to deliver in many areas.

Happily (sort of), I've been offered another adjunct class in the fall which will help, but really load on the work. I need to use the summer as wisely as possible.

I held off buying anything this weekend in Door County except for some nice meals and a couple of jars of jam.

In other minor news, I sold a shirt and sweater on FB today, adding $7 to my totals. And my radishes and lettuce look very happy.

Small Financial News

May 19th, 2015 at 03:46 am

Not a lot of exciting news today--no new folding flurries. But I did sell a shirt on FB for a stunning $5 and a textbook for $61. No spending but DD and DH went out for pizza while I taught my evening class. It's good bonding time for them.

Folding Flurry

May 18th, 2015 at 12:56 am

I feel like I'm swamped--so much to do, but much of it is self-created work as I'm trying for more and more FB sales, so I'm finding, taking photos, listing, replying to inquiries, and packing things up. While the first round of this was mostly kid's stuff, this time lots of it is my clothes. I'm rarely a planner when it comes to clothes and when I find a style I like, I tend to stick with it. The last few years I've worn a lot of cardigans with camisoles to teach. So I've probably bought too many. Axe probably, I have too many.

Inspired by some of the Marie Kondo ideas, I went on a folding spree last night, fished five rarely worn tanks and camis out of the beautifully folded drawer--and was able to consolidate two heaping drawers of stuff into one gorgeous drawer of origami camis. I feel a little crazy just typing that. I washed them and took photos, listed, and have sold three of the five. Out also is going a rocking David Bowie tee, another cardigan, and a peach top that is more tent than top. All sold awaiting pick-up.

I Kondo-ed DD's horrible top and pants drawers this afternoon, switching their order, and I'm over-the- moon excited by how wonderful it is. And also very tired. I'm listing some of her outgrowns tonight.

In between this odd flurry of wackiness, I bought plants, spread mulch and compost, planted another crop of lettuce, tomatoes, and filled six planters.

Although I feel like going to bed at 8, I need to finish laundry and grade tomorrow's homework responses. And pull together a quick PowerPoint for our discussion. Hopefully I can stop folding for long enough to do that.

Completely Pleased with Myself

May 15th, 2015 at 03:24 pm

I phoned ATT this morning to try to find a better plan. The first guy wouldn't budge on the rate, but as I hemmed and hawed about dropping them, he transferred me to "customer retention" who have given me a $50 credit and saved me $13/month on our plan.

If I could just get my 89-year-old father-in-law on Skype, we could drop the international plan!

Total annual savings on this is $206. And special shout out to CCF who keeps me motivated.

Maybe Hitting the Decluttering Wall

May 14th, 2015 at 12:56 am

I've spent a fair part of past few weeks decluttering and while there is still far to go, I'm a bit weary of it. I went with a friend to a children's resale shop today and got $25 for a bunch of DD's clothes and more cash for some books which I'll add to the totals. But I need a break from all that for a bit--or at least to slow it down and focus on a few other things.

While I have university meetings all afternoon, I plan to divide the morning between basement cleaning and garden. That way I can see the fruits of some of my decluttering. And negotiating some bill reductions which will probably do more financial good than the decluttering.

Health Assesment Snowflakes?

May 12th, 2015 at 11:00 pm

I did the university-sponsored health assessment today for which I'll get a $150 Visa card in a couple months. It wasn't too bad, and indeed I was out of there in about 30 minutes. But no coffee and no food until 1pm gave me a giant headache. DH went tonight after work, so we'll eventually be $300 to the good.

The headache precluded some other phone calls I was due to make today about lowering bills, but that can wait until tomorrow. Other fascinating items of interest include my upcoming trip to a children's resale shop tomorrow.

A Few Financial Issues Faced

May 10th, 2015 at 02:53 am

Part of my real and financial housekeeping has been to look hard at all of our upcoming expenses. We both tend to just throw money in a pile, try not to overspend, and hope to find the money in the pile when we need it. Indeed if we want to use some of my nest egg for an English property, we're going to need to examine our domestic spending and goals. That means looking at our spending even more carefully.

My DH doesn't spend a lot on frivolous things, but also never compares prices or thinks about long-term planning. That's just not how he is. Our retirement planning has been my task, and I've done pretty well with it. We also have set aside some money for DD's college expenses, but not really enough. DH had the advantage of a free British university education (no longer the case there), so hasn't really thought through what DD will need. I spent some time running college calculators the past few days, and it's clear we need to save more. Although he fidgeted through the discussion this morning, he actually lasted through the whole thing--culminating in our increasing our 529 contribution significantly.

I'd still like to get a new water heater and a new bathroom in the next year, but I can see I'm going to have to find a bit more freelance editing work over the summer, be more vigilant about expenses, and keep selling clutter.

My current small steps have helped, but I'm committed to examining all our bills--from finding a better phone plan to increasing our insurance deductible on the older car.

PLS

May 8th, 2015 at 06:30 pm

Post-London-Syndrome is what I have. Watching the British elections just made me lonesome for every place
from Cumbria to Cornwall. Boo-hoo.

So, not much going on here. I spent $35 at the garden center yesterday--mostly buying small cheap plants that I hope will grow. And another $11 today on produce.

I proctored a writing competition this morning, but parked free and didn't even buy coffee. And I sold a skirt of DD's and an old purse. I'm rapidly becoming impatient with DH's clutter, so we're going to have a big conversation about it--and some may mysteriously disappear even before then. I'm hoping to avoid my frustrated teacher tone but still get some cooperation from him. But he is a sloooooooooooooooooooow mover. And I am not a patient soul.

Making a Few Changes

May 7th, 2015 at 02:52 pm

I didn't realize quite how much I had lingering in Paypal until I bought some postage from that account the other day. I normally just dump Swagbucks cash into it as well as my ebay sales, but there was over $1700 (!) there, so I've transferred most of it out where it's headed for the new savings account.

I've sold a few more things and will add them to the total when I'm paid.

DH is also considering changing his UK visit dates as the airfare is pretty awful right now. We hope to still get him out of here in June.

Lots more decluttering done, but lots more to do. I'm thinking of taking a few things to a consignment place next week. Maybe?

It's a warm day today, so headed to the garden center, then the garden later.

Started a New Class Tonight

May 5th, 2015 at 03:37 am

And it looks like we'll have some whining issues. It must be awful to enroll in a literature class and find out you have to read some books. But we got through the first long sessions, and only have six left.

I spent only a bit this afternoon on my way to class--I needed to use an expiring Walgreen's voucher and bought some coffee with coupons.

I decluttered a bit, ridding myself of a big load of postcards for someone who collects them. I have lots to do tomorrow--some financial, some housekeeping.

Some Little, Some Bigger

May 3rd, 2015 at 03:00 am

I sold a few more things on FB yesterday, and the shoes no one wanted sold for $20 on ebay! All lovely, all paid for. My Half Price Book sales amounted to $9, but I've cut clutter and donated more things both yesterday and today.

We rented Unbroken from Redbox tonight, and although I liked the book a lot more, the movie was worth seeing.

All of that is little in scope, but this is slightly bigger: I play pub trivia with my office mate occasionally, and today was the regional finals. Their team is pretty good, but I was happy I could come up with a couple strong answers, and we won 5th of 30 meaning for no cash at all, I came home with a $75 gift certificate to a local restaurant. I'm pretty chuffed!

Bigger yet was opening a new savings account with much better interest. That should bring in more than a snowflake, a mini snowball perhaps?

Off to the....Errands

May 1st, 2015 at 03:34 pm

On this Derby weekend, off to the errands isn't nearly as fun as off to the races, but needs be, as the Brits say.

My wagers are placed on the hardware store, Half Price Books, and Target. The library is also in the running as is the post office.

Our small yappy-type dog is prone to wander, and DH has temporarily stopped the situation by putting up a length of orange snow fence on her escape route. But I'm hoping Menard's sale fencing will solve the issue a little less garishly. Menard's (ugh) also has herbs cheap, so I may pick up some garden stock. Perhaps (ha) I can fund it with book sales? Not a chance, I bet. But good to get some of these extras off the shelf. It's a long shot whether I can jump the hurdles and get out of Targe with just the sale priced dishwasher tabs I need.

And wait, we have a dark horse--a nearby estate sale. Results will be posted later!