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Archive for August, 2018

Crossing My Fingers

August 30th, 2018 at 08:37 pm

It looks like DH may have a job offer! And he's got another interview for a different job at the same place on Tuesday. No definite thing yet, but it looks better.

Busy day with meeting after meeting at the university.
More when we know more.

Heating Up

August 27th, 2018 at 07:45 pm

Oof--we had big crashing storms last night. No real damage here, but hours and hours of thunder, lightning, and torrential rain. A community just north of us had 10" of rain. And it's like the jungle out there again tonight with its hot and humid temps.

I spent half the day at a class on our new digital learning platform. It seems simple enough to use, but the transition will be difficult for lots of people. We have a choice of starting now, spring semester, or next fall. I've chosen to start with it in the spring after some kinks are worked out.

My DH has another phone interview tomorrow, and his ear surgery is a week from Thursday. I've canceled class that day--not my favorite thing, especially during Week One, but he'll need me there.

We had a lovely day Saturday in Chicago with a tour of the University of Chicago for our daughter, the Frank Lloyd Wright Robie house for all of us, lunch in Hyde Park, and a short field trip to Navy Pier for our ongoing history project. We came home exhausted, but rallied to go out for cheeseburgers. We needed a getaway, and it was good for all of us. Three of us in the house all day every day lately has given us summer cabin fever as the heat and mosquitoes have made the patio and neighborhood not as pleasant as I'd like.

Today's spending was $2 for coffee to get me through that three-hour tutorial. Seemingly hundreds of meetings for the next few weeks will require more.

I've cashed $25 out of Swagbucks which will continue to go to my big goal.

Unemployment Mood Lifters

August 24th, 2018 at 05:30 pm

My DH is a moody soul sometimes, and unemployment has not helped him. He's still finishing up his summer independent study, and he's put WAY more into it than need be, but it's good for him to have something to focus on--especially since he really has to wait out the ear surgery before he can start anything.

And I'm busy with my back-to-school prep and our daughter's stuff too. He's been very reluctant to go into uberfrugal mode, and while I was a bit ticked off at him at first, now I see he's a person that needs a few creature comforts to help him through this. I've loosened the grocery budget, started to make a bit better meals, and started looking at UJK airfares for Christmas. He needs something other than the pre-surgery wait and the job wait. He did the presurgical physical today, and the doc filled in all the details for his annual wellness rebate. I'm in the middle of the "wellness activity" now mandated to earn the rebate of $150. The guided meditation option has almost put me to sleep the last couple days. But heck, it's $150.

We're off on a little field trip tomorrow. I'll fill in the details when we return.

A Good Sign?

August 21st, 2018 at 09:44 pm

Dh had a phone interview with his former employer of a few years ago. He did contract work for them for 15 years, and though the work was not scintillating, they're a solid place.

The plus sides are many: it's a downtown location and he LOVES the bus. And he gets free bus fare with his history tuition. They also have free lunch. Unbelievable, I know, but he ate free for years. And he knows and likes a lot of people there. He's much more social at work than I am, and he'd like to be back there. The interviewer told a mutual friend that he thought it sounded positive. Fingers crossed there's another interview.

Our DD and I went to a free event from the local theatre company. They're doing "In the Heights" in September and we got to sit in on a few songs and hear all about they're upcoming productions. And they had free food.

DH also has lunch with a contracting company tomorrow. Free food is the theme of the day!

More Scrounging

August 17th, 2018 at 03:40 pm

Just got an e-mail from my adjunct job, and they've canceled the class that begins on 27 August. It's way underenrolled. Bleah. It will be fine, but we could use that paycheck this fall.

I need to think about some strategies to get through DH's unemployment more comfortably. He does have an interview next week, so fingers crossed for that.

Where We're At

August 16th, 2018 at 09:26 am

Well, I took a look at August's upcoming bills, and tried to face what I think I already knew. It's going to be tight until October 1.

DH got paid yesterday, and will likely have one more reduced check. I'll get a check from my adjunct class on September 1. Although it seems like I've been working all summer on my regular university stuff, my contractual period doesn't start until Monday, and I'm not paid until October 1. But I'll have another adjunct class starting on 27 August which will mean a check from them on 1 October.

In the meantime I just paid DD's school fees. She's taking three AP classes so the fees for them were included in the $515 I paid. Our household insurance hit my credit card at $1200. And my DH's annual life insurance is another $760. I spent a fair amount on our trip to MN. Ugh. August is our most expensive month

We certainly have enough in savings to cover all this and much more, but I'll breathe a little better when the unemployment starts or even better, if he gets a new job soon.

His resume is all updated and posted, and he's been in contact with lots of his old colleagues at his job before this one. I don't doubt he'll get a new job, but I do hate the uncertainty.

I'd committed to doing health and hygiene kits for the AODA treatment house sponsored by our church. It's our favorite program, so yesterday DD and I went out to see how well we could tackle the list. I scrounged up coupons, checked thekrazycouponlady site, gathered registered rewards from Wags, and EB from CVS and we did pretty well. I think I need bankergurl to advise, but we went to Walmart (yuck, I hate Walmart), but managed free shampoo, ziploc bags for a rebate from SB, and 88cent shower caddies. We got free toothpaste at Wags too. I found a bag of toothbrush covers in the bathroom to check that item off the list as well as some bars of soap. We're about halfway through the list. It's satisfying to be able to do this and made me feel good.

Today is our CSA box. I foresee yet more summer squash, but we did enjoy the fresh bean salad yesterday. I think it'll be roasted veggie enchiladas tonight.

I've been doing all my cash anxiety items--daily SB, mypoints, scrounging for stuff to sell, watering the new crop of chard, lettuce, and beets. I also started the mandated 21-day meditation for my $150 wellness rebate that accompanied my health screening. But also streaming Aretha Franklin as a tribute and mood lifter.

Grumbly

August 13th, 2018 at 08:27 pm

Well, here we are one week into DH's unemployment and I'm grumbly. Not just at him, but at students, administrators, my new teaching hires, and myself. I think I need an attitude adjustment. Maybe a long workout tomorrow.

DH has been working on finishing his summer class. He's paid until 8-20, so is ready to file for unemployment. I spent the morning getting things for my new hires and their fall semester and the evening finishing the last summer class. In between I wrote a syllabus for the class that starts in two weeks. That all has made me more grumbly.

Odds and Ends

August 9th, 2018 at 12:13 pm

DH has started his unemployment application, and I'm happy to see he's been going to the health club. He asked if we should cancel it, but it's cheap and keeps his mood up.

I cashed out some Swagbucks, filed for a flex reimbursement for his hearing tests, and did a quick pantry/freezer inventory. I'm going to try to limit grocery spending to $25-35/week while he's unemployed. We have a full-ish freezer and weekly CSA deliveries, so not much to buy. And I may try to sow some radishes, carrots, and spinach where the blight has destroyed my tomatoes.

My major purchasing quandary is our UK airfare for December. We've paid for our airbnbs, so there's no question we'll go. I need to look into all our air miles and see if I can patch one or two flights together out of those.

Back to Bad News

August 7th, 2018 at 03:08 pm

Despite many too-long driving days, DD and I enjoyed our road trip, particularly lots of hiking and friend time on the North Shore of Lake Superior. We were not especially frugal, but managed a tour of the University of Minnesota, an overnight with my brother, my aunt's funeral, three days of lovely hiking, West Side Story at the Guthrie Theater before we arrived just in time for me to teach my evening class last night. My DH met us in the parking lot, ready to take the cooler and DD home. But then the not-so-good news: he got laid off without warning yesterday afternoon as part of a corporate reorganization. They gave him two weeks of severance pay, and out the door he (and three others) went.

He was pretty shook up, and I can't say last night was my most successful class ever after that news. But onward, right? He's been there 18 months, and the stress has been pretty awful. Tomorrow he'll start the unemployment process, and we'll do a financial review. But he's on my health insurance, so no worries there. Honestly, as worrying as it may become, I'm sort of relieved. He could use some time off, and his ear surgery is in a month. As usual, my first impulses are all about a fridge inventory, a review of the bills, and then a renewed focus on my job. I've got a full schedule of teaching in addition to adjunct classes through the end of the year. With some minor belt tightening, we should be fine. Remind me of that, please, should this drag on.