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Archive for October, 2014

Quite the Adventure

October 31st, 2014 at 07:54 pm

So Thursday night around 6:15 I get a call from NE. He had gone to Kansas City, MO to pick up some electronics for his eBay business. Before he got to where he was going, his car broke down! Not only that though - as he tried messing with it, he majorly wrenched his bad shoulder and also landed on his back very hard.

So there was no question in my mind but that I had to go get him. (He didn't ask, but I know that is what he was hoping I would do.)

I called my boss K and told her that I might be a little late to work because of a short night. After she heard why, she told me that if I needed to, I could use one of my PCH days even though I wasn't arranging it a day ahead of time. I am SO glad she was willing to let me do that.

I managed to find NE about 9:30 - about the same time the tow truck driver arrived. He was in *such* pain. Frown He got in my car and we followed the tow truck over to the nearest Wal-mart. I was kind of baffled at why we were taking it to a Wal-mart - I was pretty sure all they did was oil changes/batteries and tires.

Turned out I was right. Just after the car was unloaded, a police officer drove by and let us know that Wal-mart wouldn't be able to do anything for his car. Thankfully the tow truck driver didn't charge to rehook the car.

I found a car garage nearby and we took the car there. (about 4 miles) In all, it cost about $120 for hooking the car up and towing. Ouch.

By the time we had dropped the key and note in the garage drop box and was ready to head out, it was nearly 11:30.

I was totally beat, but managed to drive back. NE needed some stuff from the store, so we stopped in there, and then I dropped him off at home. It was about 2:43 a.m. by the time I walked in my door.

I used up a full tank of gas plus more - need to fill up again.

NE was supposed to work tonight and tomorrow night - but with his arm the way it is, there is no way. He doesn't have health insurance which is why he's just basically lived with a bad shoulder for five+ years. He told me last night that his arm pain was worse than the pain he was in after a car accident about six years ago.

This definitely was not how I planned on using one of my two PCH days, however I am sure glad I had it available and had such an understanding boss! If I would have tried going in to work today, I would have been pretty beat.

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I got an email that my $9 payment from Pinecone came through just fine to my PayPal account, and I also have the $90.xx echeck from Bubblews in my PayPal account.

Today I cashed out for another $55.xx from Bubblews. I'm going to take a break from Bubblews until at least December while I work on my NaNoWriMo project. Hopefully I won't lose all my connections.

PayPal update, etc

October 29th, 2014 at 01:59 am

So I got an email today from Pinecone telling me that my recent cashout of $9 had been denied - from PayPal. This prompted me to ask to leave work early on Wednesday - one hour early. I figured that I would have to do that in order to get ahold of a human being.

Tonight I decided to look up the number for PayPal so I'd have it ready to go tomorrow. Color me shocked when I saw their customer service hours = 4 a.m. to 10pm PT!

Of course I went ahead and called. I explained my utter frustration with my account being limited and how I hadn't been able to purchase postage for my eBay sale a few weeks ago and then now not being able to receive payment!

The CS rep was very patient with me and told me that all he needed was my birthdate to possibly verify my identity. So, I gave him it. IT still wouldn't verify me!! Ugh!

But he told me to go ahead and try to withdraw money from my account - he didn't see why I couldn't do that. So I did - and it worked!

He wasn't sure why my Pinecone payment didn't go through or why I couldn't purchase postage on eBay. So he transferred me to eBay.

The eBay rep basically told me that he couldn't really help me unless it was happening right then - he told me where/how to find the customer service number for the shipping issue if it were to happen again.

I wrote Pinecone and asked them to try resending the payment. Hopefully it goes through because I'm expecting a Bubblews payment in about ten days or so (of 90 something dollars.)

I've got $33.xx in my Pact app that I've been waiting to withdraw until I figured out the PayPal mess - so maybe I can withdraw that too now - see if it works.

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I wrote the majority of the outline for the book I think I'm going to write. Although as I outlined it, I realized that writing it at work might not be such a good thing. It could be kind of ... emotional ... writing it out. I'm still going to try though.

50,000 words divided by 30 equals 1,666 words a day. There are five weekends in November, so let's say I do 5,000 words each weekend - that would be 25,000 words. That would give me about 1,200 words a day to write during the week. Yikes, that still seems daunting. I'm going to try though.

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I canceled my Amazon Prime membership yesterday. So as of now the only entertainment type thing I'm paying for is Internet (and that is expensive enough!)

I get Hulu+ for "free" through Bing rewards. I do a month of Hulu reward and then a 500 SBs reward each month. The last few days they were letting me do 60 points a day, plus there were a LOT of extra points. Swoon... I'm halfway towards my next 500 SBs reward thanks to the 60+ point days.

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I saw my paycheck for this Thursday - health insurance and dental were taken out. I liked last paycheck so much better ... Smile But I'm not complaining about having health insurance, no sirree!

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I took a walk around the neighborhood today - about 32 minutes of walking. It was a little bit chilly for yoga pants and sandals, but I didn't want to chance my old tennies and didn't feel like wearing long pants or a jacket - not *that* cold yet. Smile

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Did any of you see the article on soda aging people as badly as smoking?? Yikes! Yet reason #50003939393938271 to stop drinking soda. I needed to see that since I've been slipping ...

Spending, Updates, etc

October 28th, 2014 at 01:22 am

I have done some spending this weekend (other than groceries and gas) -

1. I bought an iPhone 5S from Glyde for $348. It is listed as in excellent condition and should be here in a week. Once it is here and I can verify that it works well, then I'll be listing my current iPhone 4S on Glyde and see what I can get for it.

Then I can also fully switch to Ting and tell ATT goodbye forever!

2. I bought a year's membership to Sam's Club via a Living Social deal. $45 - you get the membership, a $20 gift card and 4 free food items (2 of which I'll probably let NE have since it's meat items) So the membership will really cost $25 for the year.

I can get cat litter there so much more cheaply, as well as some other food staples (rice milk, quinoa, lentils, etc.)

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I'm still going fairly strong with the no eating out challenge. Five weeks down, and on week six. Sunday I did stop at DQ with NE -- it was the last day they were open for the season and everything was half-price. So .. we splurged a bit as part of an actual outing date. (We don't have too many actual outing dates - most "dates" are stay at home.)

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I think I'm going to slow way down on Bubblews. It was taking way too much of my time ... and with the recent changes, it really isn't worth it anymore. In a few days I'll be able to redeem for another $55 payment. So, all in all I made around $300 something since June with it. Not too shabby.

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I'm debating if I really need a couch. I don't really spend anytime in my living room - all my time is either in my bedroom/computer area or kitchen. Even in NM when I had a couch and loveseat (the missions) I think I can count on two hands the number of times I sat on them or others sat on them - other than when I had company overnight and slept on the couch. If I need a sleeping couch, I've got something for that. (inflatable)

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On Saturday I walked 1.1 miles to my local library branch to pick up something that was on hold. The walk was great, except ... I decided to wear a brand new pair of tennis shoes (bought for $15 on sale a few months ago.) By the time I got to the library, one of my heels had developed a large blister and had that blister pop. The other heel had a small one do the same thing.

Thank goodness the librarian had band aids!

It's nice to know that I can easily walk to the library here. In NM I could walk to the PO, but I can't here. I'd much rather be able to walk to the library. Smile

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I start my belly dancing class on Wednesday night!! I am a little nervous about doing it in front of other people - in front of my mirror is one thing ... but I hope I'll have fun. Smile

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I'm getting seriously bored at work. There is a LOT of downtime. I just have to keep reminding myself that it pays decent and has really good benefits. Especially health insurance which starts on Nov 1!!

I'm considering trying to write a book or something on my downtime (between spurts of phone calls and people buying passes.) I haven't quite figured out what it would be about yet though. Maybe a fictionalized version of some of my family's story. It would be something to keep keep my brain busy at least. (and probably look better to be typing away at something on the computer rather than reading the newspaper or a book --- reading the newspaper - or at least scanning it, is actually one of my tasks .. I just extend it to thoroughly reading it.)

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3 months and one week til I get a pay raise and am eligible to take vacation and sick days. I can hardly wait!

A bit more this and that

October 16th, 2014 at 02:52 am

So I am really ticked at PayPal right now. I made an eBay sale Saturday night and tried printing postage on Monday - no go. Kept getting an error message. Tried again on Tuesday - found out that my "limited" account now includes no money being withdrawn at all. So I have almost $200 in PayPal being held hostage. (Bubblews payments, Pinecone, etc.)

I ended up mailing the package first class postage - PO was closed by the time I got there Tuesday night and that was all the automated machine would let me do. Ugh! Hopefully this won't ruin my perfect rating!

Tomorrow is payday, and since no deductions are coming out of it (other than taxes) I guess it counts as the extra paycheck.

So ... I haven't had the energy to research it out totally yet, but I think I'm going to use it to buy the couch, the Sprint iPhone (to switch to Ting), and a simple printer (for coupons, etc) That'll use most of it - but once I have my phone set up, then I can sell my current iPhone and that will net me a little cash. That I'll put into my general savings.

I might still change my mind - especially about the phone. I know I'll save money switching to Ting, it's just the initial outlay for the phone that is making me hesitate.

In case you're interested, here are some Bubble posts I wrote recently about Paypal and life in general.

http://www.bubblews.com/news/8894602-kari039s-day A story about Kari and fleas.

http://www.bubblews.com/news/8892674-paypal-is-holding-my-mo... My PayPal frustrations.

http://www.bubblews.com/news/8876471-been-sick About being sick and NE being sweet. Smile

I better hit the hay here. Another exciting day answering the same questions over and over ...

This and That, Thinking of Budget/Goals

October 12th, 2014 at 09:13 pm

This past week I haven't felt the greatest. I powered through the last 3 days of work ... then got in a good nap before NE came over Friday night. But Saturday and most of today ... I vegetated. lots of sleep, lots of doing nothing.

Well, not totally nothing. I did *finally* get the cheese cleaned out from my oven so that I can use it again. That stuff was pretty hard encased on the oven bottom. I didn't get it all off, but after testing it, it was enough so I won't get to test out my smoke alarm anytime soon. Smile

I also did a load of dishes. (Can I say how much I love having a full sized dishwasher again?)

I thought about doing laundry, but then realized that if I washed out a couple bras, I could get by another week. This would be my 4th week - all clean tops, reusing a couple skirts and jeans. Can you say - she has too many clothes?

NE will be coming by tonight and we'll be making pizza from a Chef Boyrdee kit. I need to get cheese and pineapple. He's bringing the hamburger for his half. Smile (pineapple only goes on my half) Maybe we'll watch Edge of Tomorrow - rent it off Amazon.

With all the rest I've had this weekend, I am feeling much better than I have in awhile. Here's hoping it'll last. I need to get a flu shot soon, but don't want to get it when I'm feeling sick.

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I am starting on my 4th week of the no eating out challenge. Overall I think it is saving me money (at least from what I'd been doing since living here.)

NE's stepsister that we went out to dinner with on Tuesday night (first time ever meeting each other - NE and stepsister) posted some photos she took of us on FB. The one with NE and I looked fine, but the one with NE, her and I ... I guess I don't see myself standing next to skinny people too often. Ugh.

So I am thinking of adding something new to this challenge. Not only no eating out, but no spending more than $5 on junk food per week. I would eliminate it completely, but I think that would backfire.

I also feel like I'm spending way too much time on the Internet (Bubblews esp.) So when I get home from work I am going to do 30 minutes of piano, 30 minutes of some form of exercise, 15 minutes of language practice and 15 minutes of cleaning/organizing.
Then I can get on the computer.

On the nights NE isn't here, I'm going to limit my computer time to 2 hours. Outside of that I'm going to read books or magazines! (Not surf Internet!)

I haven't quite figured out how to regulate the weekend days better yet ... Maybe 15 minutes of Internet time for every 30 minutes doing something else (piano, reading, cleaning, making something, exercise, etc)

Like I said, I spend WAY too much time on the Internet.

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I have been watching this awesome new show on Hulu+ called A to Z - it's the story of a relationship. Two episodes so far and I absolutely love it. I also have been watching Selfie - not as good as A to Z, but it has plenty of LOL moments. Smile Plus I love how it's playing on the My Fair Lady storyline.

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I am still thinking about my goals. This month I have an extra paycheck, so if I used that money, I could wipe out several wants - couch, printer, remote start on car in one fell swoop. And have some left over to put into general savings.

I love YNAB and have used it off and on for years and years. But ... I am starting to think that a different approach might work better for me. Since I'm not attacking a debt monster, and I don't have any big huge things to save up for other than retirement ...

Maybe something like this - still live off of last month's income (per YNAB)

Put the amount needed into the Must Have categories. Then the remainder goes into a non-tracked category - kind of a whatever it's needed for without having to be tracked.

Must haves would be: tithe/offering, rent, utilities, Internet, phone, auto fuel, insurances, ROTH contributions, car savings, general savings, emergency savings,

Groceries, clothing, household goods, hair care, etc., etc., etc. would come out of whatever is left and not be tracked explicitly.

So for example, I go to Walmart and I spend $70 on grocery items, cat food, makeup, and maybe a new pair of shoes. Instead of painstakingly splitting all those items out, I'd just track it as "Walmart:Non-Tracked"

My reasoning is that I can do pretty good for a few months tracking minutia, but then it stops working for me ... I miss a receipt or two or three .. This way I will still be tracking it, but it won't have to be detailed - so if I miss entering a receipt or two or three, I can just get the info from my CC site and not worry about the details.

I would want the amount in this category to build up so I have money available for bigger things (vacations, couches, etc. ...) Maybe put a minimum amount that has to be left in there if making a bigger spend/purchase. (This is what would keep me from willy nilly spending everything just because it's there - I'd want to be careful with the spending so I have it for other bigger things.)

Whatever extra monies I get (like from Bubblews, etc.) would automatically go into the Non-Tracked category. Extra paychecks or amounts larger than say $500 would be figured out as it happens.

Anyway ... haven't figured it all out yet.

Still Chugging Along

October 10th, 2014 at 03:12 am

I am still chugging along with my 60 day no eating out challenge -- however Tuesday night I did make an exception and ate out.

What was that exception? NE had a relative that he'd never met come to visit him, and he asked me along. There was no way I could say no to that. (More about it on Bubblews if you're interested.)

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I received my August 31 payment from Bubblews in PayPal yesterday. $111.xx Big Grin

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Did I get pictures hung and budget / goals sorted last weekend? Nope.

NE did help me move some heavier large things around and hang my mirror. He wasn't feeling too good, so I was doubly appreciative.

Of course ... guess who isn't feeling that great either now? And no sick days to take ....

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I did start working on my budget and kind of updated it. I was also looking / thinking of goals ... and just really couldn't pinpoint anything really.

My computer will probably need to be replaced sooner than later (it's almost 4 years old and has started making some weird noises - doesn't help being moved 4 different times and having had stuff dropped on it...)

I think I might upgrade to the iPhone5 when I finally move to Ting, so I'm not sure how much of a price difference that'll be (after selling my current phone)

I need a new printer - my current printer stopped printing eons ago, and now I am missing all its cords (likely left in NM)I used the scanner function on it once in a while - mostly for teaching stuff. So I think I could get by with a simple b&w printer - for coupons mostly.

I would LOVE to get remote start put on my car for upcoming winter ...

I also want to get a couch ..

Mostly though I really want to up my savings - just general savings and retirement savings. I do not want to still be explaining to people that walking two blocks is better than walking five blocks and taking the bus for one block fifteen years from now.... or even ten years from now...

This weekend I will really think this through more (and maybe get some pictures up too ...) but right now I better get to bed so I have a little energy for tomorrow.

60 Day Challenge, etc

October 3rd, 2014 at 02:34 am

I am still going strong on my 60 day no eating out challenge.

NE came over last night and we made spaghetti - he brought the noodles and a mango for dessert. I had the rest of what we needed. (Although I had to search high and low for my strainer!)

Today I did go shopping - supposedly *just* for bananas and something to scrub my stove with and something to clean my new pan that got burned sauce ... Of course ended up with more .. but not too bad.

On Sunday I shopped at Walmart and tried the savings catcher app again - this time it worked! I got $1.02 back.

I cashed out on Bubblews on Tuesday for $91 (September earnings). I am now up to $7 for October. I won't be spending as much time on it this month, so my goal is just to get to $50 so I can cash out again on the 31st.

I also cashed out $9 in Pinecone payments.

In September I cashed out for two $25 Paypal payments from SBs, so I'm a little behind for October. I was able to cash out for 3 $5 AGCs and am working on the other two.

On the YouGov survey site I have enough points to cash out for a $25 movie certificate. I'm debating if that is what I want to do or not - not sure which one to get - Regal or AMC theaters. It would be enough for NE and I to see a movie together (he and I saw Guardians of the Galaxy on Sunday - his treat. Smile Loved it!)

I found out how much my health insurance is going to cost me - it's taken out pretax. $33/month. Not too bad at all. Next paycheck my dental will come out, but that won't be much at all.

This weekend I have two goals - get my pictures hung and sit down and figure out my budget and new goals.
Now that I have a job and I have a place to live AND I have a good idea of my monthly income ... it is time!

In February when I can start contributing to my retirement plan, things will change again (along with a pay raise.) But will check those eggs when they hatch. Smile