<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Archive: June, 2017
 

Archive for June, 2017

DHs sister

June 24th, 2017 at 03:50 am

DH's sister has been in the hospital this past week. She is being sent home tomorrow for hospice care. As we found out today at the family meeting, she has been under treatment for her liver disease (possibly liver failure) for at least the past year. The first we learned of it was about 4 months ago - and not from her, but from DH's step brother.

It looks as though her time left may be measured in weeks, and not months. I feel bad because I still really don't know her. We've tried to reach out and spend time with her, but she hasn't been very receptive.

So now we're having the discussions about what her wishes are for after she dies.

I thought I would have liked to have had this time with my dad, so I could have had the tough conversations, but I'm not so sure now. Maybe the quick, painful rip is better than the slow, excruciating tear.

She has no estate to speak of, and anything she did have would be eaten by debt. So taking care of that shouldn't take too much time hopefully.

We're kind of frustrated with the hospital - it seems like they don't have great communication amoungst their departments. We've had so many things that don't jive told to us .. like it was stressed to us that we needed have a decision from her on a DNR and life support by tonight. So DH spent at least an hour trying to get her to make a decision, and I tried for about ten minutes.

I saw DH getting increasingly frustrated, so I suggested calling the hospice nurse. I went out of the room and did that - and was told to not worry about getting any of the paperwork done right now. It could wait til next week.

Ugh. Just one example.

Just a note - please have your wishes for your final days set out for family members *before* it comes to something like this.

--
Financially ... this is going to cost us something at least. We'll probably go with cremation (which we'll probably end up paying for.) There may or may not be a memorial service - if there is one, it'll be kept very simple. Since again, we'll probably end up footing most of the bill.

Don't get cirrhosis of the liver. It's not a fun thing at all.

Walmart Pay Frustrations and More Snowflakes

June 18th, 2017 at 06:08 pm

So last night I set up Walmart Pay on my phone. I added a couple gift cards I'd earned from a defunct app which I'd never printed.

Then I carefully consulted the various rebate apps to see what I could use and headed to Walmart.

At Walmart I got some of the items on my list which were a good value.

Then AFTER checking out, I find out that there is NO PRINTED RECEIPT!

I should have gone over to customer service and returned the items/rebought them, but I my frustration level was high and I didn't think about it.

So I headed to Aldi just to find out they were closed. Frown

Then I went to Hyvee and got a rebate item plus almond milk.

Pretty much the only app the Walmart receipt will work for is ReceiptPal because they take ereceipts.

I would go there today and do a return/repurchase, but the rebate value isn't really worth the time or gas. Frown

Sigh. I'm guessing Apple Pay works the same way.

-----
I got the $5 bonus from iBotta and cashed out for $25 PayPal.

I also have hit the $40 mark with Inbox Dollars, and will cash out tomorrow when it credits.

--
Tonight we are going out to eat at a pizza place called Romano's. DH has been wanting to go for several weeks, but I couldn't because weigh in day was too close. Smile Now that next weigh in isn't til July 17, I can go out to eat.

New Budget Plan, Snowflakes, Dietbet, Ibotta Rebate!! Meal train

June 17th, 2017 at 03:41 pm

Ever since my DH injured his so-called "good" shoulder, I have been contemplating what would happen if he couldn't work anymore. I realized we would be in a *very* tight spot. Yes, we have reserves which we could repurpose for daily expenses, and could cut into the stocks ... But that just feels like a short term solution with long term consequences - since the reserves and the stocks are for long term needs.

So, after a lot of thought and juggling of numbers on my part, and then the ensuing discussion with DH, we have made a mutual goal of fully funding both of our ROTH's by the end of this year. $12,000.

We already had $3555 set aside for whenever we opened DH's Roth. Then I felt comfortable putting the $1900 we had set aside for the EF. I also decided that as much as I would love to do a cattery design in the cat room/family room, that by the time we had saved enough to do it, we'd probably be down two cats. So ... I'm putting the $455 set aside for that towards our goal.

That just leaves $6,090 to reach our goal. Or, an average of $1,000/month starting in July.

We are cutting our spending money from $400 to $0. We are cutting the Date Night category from $100 to $60. Groceries will go from $300 to $200. I am also stopping the $25/mo Extra Principal. Plus, I will be stopping my extra contributions to my 457 at work - this will add approximately $140 back into the budget. There also is the $185/mo we've already been setting aside for DH.

That puts us at $890.

Which just leaves $110 to fund each month.

Our plan is to take 1/2 of whatever we make (profit) in side jobs or overtime and put it towards the goal. The other 1/2 will go towards our own spending money.

If we reach the $12,000 goal early, then we will decide what we want to do.

DH has also agreed to sell the non-functioning Honda! Not paying the title/registration for that thing will add back at least $100 which we can also put towards the goal. The sale price of the Honda though I think we'll put all into DH's car replacement category.

The purpose of all this is to get as much money put away as possible in a place that will most likely outearn the 2.5% of our current checking, and even the 5% of the Northpointe checking, but still be assessable if circumstances warrant it. (Contributions only.)

Best case scenario we won't have to touch any of it for ten or eleven years.

I'm going to be doing a new budget in YNAB to reflect all this, plus to cleanup the current budget. Smile

*I just thought about something - we have probably $200 in cashback rewards on our cards - that could go towards our goal too. Smile

---
June Snowflakes as of 6/17
June Snowflakes so far:

Swagbucks - $25 Walmart; $25 Paypal; $25 PP

Pact - $10

Earnhoney - $5; $5

Earnably - $10

Yoolotto - $6.75

MyPoints - $25 PP

FetchRewards - $10 in Walmart gift cards

**On Swagbucks there is a deal where you contribute $9/month for 4 months to WCF (World Wildlife Fund) and then 60 days after the 4th contribution you get 6500 SBs. So, a $29 moneymaker (plus you get a nice tote bag for grocery shopping.) Someone on the FB Swagbucks Swaggernauts group verified this offer with Swagbucks.

----
Dietbet Round 5 weigh in was today - and I made it again! Now just one more month to go for the final big payout!

-----
On iBotta there is a current bonus called Dash for Dollars. You only have to complete ONE branded rebate by the 19th to get a $5 bonus!

---
At work we are doing a meal train for the dispatcher who is going through chemo right now.

I was thinking of doing a meal of corn pudding, green beans, mashed potatoes and brownies. My DH thinks there isn't enough protein. There's cheese in the pudding, but I can't think of anything else that would go with it.

Dh suggested lasagna .. but to me that would be so much more work, and more expensive too since I already have most of what I need for the pudding meal.

Any ideas?

Maybe a Fence? June Snowflakes so far

June 13th, 2017 at 02:42 am

DH called me this afternoon to tell me had the quote from the fence guy. At first he said it was $7k! I just about croaked. I told him we'd have to wait til next summer, unless he could make some quick sales of his audio stuff.

He called me again five minutes later and told me he had been looking at it wrong - the quote was $4895. That's more like it! I told him if he saw the fence guy, to schedule a start date!!

We'll be having two small gates and one large gate, plus some trees and bushes removed / trimmed. He also is going to bury one of our gutters.

It'll be so nice have a fenced in yard.

-----
June Snowflakes so far:

Swagbucks - $25 Walmart; $25 Paypal

Pact - $10

Earnhoney - $5

Earnably - $10

So $50 in cash so far. $25 to my ROTH.

Northpointe Checking, etc.

June 8th, 2017 at 02:19 am

If you read the website "doctor of credit" you probably already know about this. Just in case you don't ...

The Northpointe bank in Michigan offers 5% interest on up to $10,000. Direct deposit is not required. You do have to make 15 debit transactions each month, and either a ACH withdrawal or deposit of at least $100.

This is a great opportunity for those who may not have direct deposit available (or who can only have it sent to one place at a time like me) to get in on a place offering a decent interest rate.

I opened an account this past Sunday, and just got the welcome email today ... so they are a bit slow. (You can do this all online - no matter where in US.)

---
My new iPhone came in a few days ago, but I didn't get to pick it up til Tuesday night. It has a 6 digit passcode which is hard to get used to - I keep starting my old passcode ... I got the SE, so my old otterbox works with it, and I don't have to worry about it not fitting in my purse pocket, etc. Smile

Having a new phone is letting me see just how bad my battery was on my old one. This morning both phones started at 100% battery. They were running videos ... within 90 minutes my old phone was on 40% and my new phone was about 91%... What a difference!

---
I decided to not go with my points based plan for housekeeping. I came to the realization that I probably wouldn't follow through on it - so can't expect hubby to. I did get him to agree to go to his first physical therapy appointment - tomorrow - I made the first appointment, but its up to him to make more.

---
Tomorrow I'm putting up the posters for the Food Bank drive. Here's hoping we beat last year's numbers.

Saving Goals and Thinking About Housework

June 3rd, 2017 at 08:11 pm

My DH and I both get $200 each month for spending money. For me it covers tithe/offering/clothes/computer/phone, etc. For him it covers phone/computer/clothes/electronics/boat/tv/items he just wants to buy to resell/his soda habit, etc.

As part of this negotiation, it was agreed that whatever "funny money" (his term for my snowflakes) I bring in are to be added to my spending money. If he ever actually sells anything he bought with his spending money, he also gets to keep it.

So .. $160 of my SM goes to tithe/offering. That leaves me with $40/month to decide what to do with it.

I have a lot of categories I put the money into - phone replacement, computer replacement, Entertainment/Eating Out (when done by ourselves, otherwise it goes under date night), Nails, Clothing, Phone farm, Home Gym, and Gifts.

I've been reading CCF and MEC posts about their big savings goals and have been doing some thinking.

I would really like to have more money being socked away for retirement. Currently I have it where we set aside the same amount for each of us - mine in a work IRA, and DH's in a yet to be opened IRA.

What we're putting in to each is not even enough to 1/2 fully fund. (esp for DH since he is 50 and is eligible for catch up.)

The only way we'd be able to fully fund two IRA's would be to get rid of the cats and two vehicles. Probably the money we currently set aside/spend for those numerous categories would do it. (Car Maintenance, Car taxes/registration, Car replacement, Vet fund, Food for cats, Food/medical for non-cats, fund for catifying living room ....)

That's not going to happen, so on to more realistic ideas. Smile

So ... since it can't really be done with our shared budget, and I'm probably more likely to need lots of money for retirement (for a number of reasons) .. I've decided to set one major saving goal to be fully funding my ROTH.

This will be done with my "funny money."

The $40 will go to phone (10)/computer(10)/clothing(10)/(5)gifts/(5)Entertainment.

The funny money will be 50 / 50. 50% goes to the ROTH goal, 50% goes to other categories.

I'm also adding a category - Housekeeper. I'd like to hire someone 3 or 4 x a year to come in and do the deep cleaning stuff like windows, oven, fridge ...

If I somehow manage to fully fund the ROTH, then the 50% will be put aside for an investing fund. When that gets to $3k I'll put it into a Vanguard index fund.

Besides my current "funny money" schemes, I am debating about doing online tutoring via VIPkid. 10 hours a week could net $800/month+ pre-tax. 30% would be set aside for taxes. 35% to the family budget, and 35% for my saving goals.

Before I could do that though, I feel like I need to get a good cleaning/maintenance system established. So when I suddenly have ten hours less a week to do whatever, the house doesn't fall apart.

---
I've been looking at/reading about the SHE system (Sidetracked Home Executive.) I like some of their ideas, but am going to adapt them a bit. Smile

I plan on doing a point system. Each job is worth so many points. Both DH and I need to complete a minimum amount of points each week. However, if we make more than the minimum, the person with the most points gets to decide whether we eat a homemade meal (on their night) or go out to eat at their choice of restaurant. Plus another benefit which would motivate my DH. Smile

Small jobs are ones that take 15 minutes or less - worth 1 point. Medium jobs take 30 minutes or less and are worth 2 points. Large jobs are ones that take an hour or less and are worth 3 points. X-Large jobs are ones that take two+ hours and are worth 4 points.

A small job would be wiping the counters in the upstairs kitchen and bathroom. Or sweeping the upstairs. Or 15 minutes of general pickup and put away.

A medium job would be trimming the bushes. Or doing something like changing the car oil. Or mopping the upstairs. Or 30 minutes of decluttering an area. Or updating the budget.

A large job might be washing a car - inside/out. Cleaning 4 litterboxes (dump and rinse.) Or an hour of decluttering. Or going to a physical therapy appointment.

An extra-large job would be mowing, or shoveling snow, or cleaning the gutters, or shampooing the carpets, or two hours of decluttering.

Each type of job will go on a color coded index card. The cards will be kept in a file box. It will be divided into sections. One for DH only tasks (divided into the 4 categories). One for me only tasks divided into the 4 categories). One for Anyone tasks divided into the 4 categories). And then a completed section where the cards that were finished go (one for each of us.)

On each card will be a description of the task, its point value and a space to pencil the date completed and by whom. There also will be a note on it saying how often it should be done (like gutter cleaning, 2 x a year?)

On Sunday night we can each pick out which cards we think we will do for the coming week.

We both will also have basic routine cards - i.e.
the least to do on a daily basis. For example - In shared living spaces, pick up our own stuff - don't leave things on the counter/floor/door that don't belong there. 10 minutes of general pickup. DH - Scoop one litterbox in the basement. Me - Scoop all the litterboxes upstairs. Dishes go in the kitchen. Trash goes in a trash can. etc.

If we work together on a job ( like we both spend an hour working on the boxes in the basement) we both get the points for the job.

I still have to present this to DH ... so we'll see if this gets past the thinking/planning stage. Smile I'm hoping the allure of eating out plus the other will be enough ...