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Archive for December, 2016

Unemployment Claim Filed

December 30th, 2016 at 09:08 am

This has been an interesting morning. DH and I filed his first unemployment claim. I'm a little amazed at how much the state already knew about him. The form seemed to fill itself. He's updating his resume now. I've never claimed unemployment, and he found the process much easier than in the UK where unemployment is means tested.

I have more returns to do today. DD has been a great help, particularly yesterday when we returned some things to Target. She got me out of the store without buying a thing. Target is horribly tempting, but I resisted even the after-Christmas sales.

I also have $100 of flex spending that won't carry over to next year, so I'm planning on marching everyone out for a flu shot this afternoon. And I'm signing us mentally up for the Uberfrugal Month Challenge. One thing that has already struck me is lunch prep. DH is an easy person to feed; he'll eat all sorts of leftovers, but we've spent 16 years with him getting a free lunch at work every day. I see many more pots of soup and rice and beans in our lunch future.

So, today's goals are:
finish the returns
flu shots
list three things for sale

Movie Time

December 29th, 2016 at 07:42 pm

I did 2/6 returns today, and DD and I went out to lunch and to see Rogue One. I had a BOGO at Noodles and a $5 gift card from buying other gift cards for Christmas, so our lunch was free. And it was $5 Thursday at the theater, but I had a $5reward, so we had all that fun for $5. DH and I spent some time on the budget. More returns on the agenda tomorrow, and I'm going to list some things to sell on the FB lists.

Low- Cost Fun

December 28th, 2016 at 08:59 pm

My dinner group did a soup swap tonight. Seven of us and families gathered at a friend's house, made enough soup to sample and containers for everyone to take home.

I brought some wine and crudites; others brought cake, popovers, hummus and crackers. It was a lot of fun and we have enough different kinds of soups to keep us going for days. I also filed some reimbursements for my flex spending and thought about returning some Christmas gifts, but I sort of ran out of oomph. Anyone else exhausted by Christmas?

Home Again

December 27th, 2016 at 12:22 pm

After a lovely four days in the Twin Cities for Christmas, we're home. My brother and his wife are the best. Their house is on the market so we talked about staying in a motel to keep out of their hair, but we managed well. I cut back a bit on the vast amounts of wine, champagne, and brandy I usually bring them, but I hope we were still generous enough. I made a mint grasshopper ice cream tart which was great and a spinach pear salad for Christmas Eve. Lots of Wisconsin cheese as well. We made some time yesterday to go to the Martin Luther and Art show at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and then headed home.

That and some road food and a breakfast with friends meant the financial outlay was minimal, but real frugality cranks up now. We've decided to do our usual pizza and movie NY, but I've already started crockpot soup for the next few days. I see a couple days of digging out of Christmas--some returns, etc, but mostly small errands. Off to the library for some DVDs and books!

Merry Laid-Off Christmas

December 21st, 2016 at 06:52 pm

Hello SA-ers!

It's time for me to return to scrupulous savings since two weeks ago my DH got his notice. His company has outsourced 100 of their local contractor jobs to India, and they've undergone massive belt-tightening. It's time for us to do the same. Tomorrow is his last day, and prospects are neither merry nor bright.

On balance, with some juggling and budgeting we can manage on my income for a while without withdrawing money from savings. We are mortgage-free, and I've just paid the property taxes. We don't have a car payment either, but our nasty scenario would be to have to replace one of our aging cars.

Our health insurance is from my job, so that's covered. We are trying to figure out unemployment since neither of us has ever filed for it. I have a full teaching load for spring (Hallelujah!) unlike some of my colleagues. I just finished my adjunct class, so they still owe me for a month there. Another adjunct class begins in March. I've already started to drive DD and DH crazy turning down the heat, but that's going to be the drill. Christmas will proceed as usual, but it's going to be leaner but still lovely. And yeah, I have Swagbucks videos running in the background. :-)

Any advice is welcome.