I hadn't checked my 401k from my former company for a couple months. Today, I logged in just to see how it was doing.
There was NO money in the account!
The last time I'd looked, I had over $4,000.00!!!
It was after business hours, so I sent an email asking what had happened to my money!! A small portion of it was employer matched money (maybe $400 or so) but the rest of it was money I'd put in - either through a rollover, or from my salary.
I've had a 401k from when I was teaching continue to be held for me, now for nearly 5 years. This makes me more than slightly perturbed.
This has been one spendy month. Nearly $200 spent on gas (when a normal month *might* be $90). Then of course renting a truck to move, and paying rent (for Feb.) to two places (guess that actually would count towards Feb and not Jan.)
Next month will hopefully be better. I'll be making another tuition payment (I took the three payment plan - just to spread out the pain a little bit).
On Wednesday I left my tutoring bag at the school - in it was my iPhone charger along with a marker board and other supplies. So, I had to go to Walmart and get another phone charger - because I was going to be at the gym all day Thursday, and had to have my phone working.
Yesterday as I was leaving the gym to go to my Thursday tutoring session, I got a call from the headmaster of the school I'd interviewed at on Wednesday. After I'd interviewed, apparently someone else with more experience working with 8th graders and who could do Reading Recovery applied - and they went with her.
Of course I thought I'd be starting Monday, so had already told E he needed to find someone else. I'd also told a couple gym regulars ... So, had to call E and grovel. He gave me hours - but less, and instead of Tuesdays, Mondays.
So I did my tutoring session (without the markerboard) and headed home. And got royally lost - even with the gps on my phone. It was raining cats and dogs and super dark. I was nearly out of gas when I finally found a gas station.
I pulled off the freeway and filled up. Across the street was an AT&T store. My phone has been coming close to dying on me 3 or 4 times in the last week when I've been far away from any place to recharge it. So ... I went in and I bought one of those portable battery chargers ... $50. I also had the guy change my texting plan to the $15/1500 text plan (this last bill I had 400 texts over my plan limit of 200). Then ... I somewhat impetuously decided to sign up for the talking gps function. I figured I could try it out for a month and see if it was better than the free gps (no talking/no auto rerouting) option. $10/mo extra.
I tried out the new gps function today. I really really like it. Sometimes its a little slow on telling you turns, but if you miss a turn, it automatically reroutes. SO nice not having to mess with touching the screen to see the next turn. You also can be choosy about how you want them to make your route. SO nice.
I guess you could say I did a little bit of retail therapy. At least I don't do it very often, right? And these were all things I'd been thinking about and debating about pretty much since I first got my phone in September (I think)?
After a nice week weather wise, it was really strange to go outside today and be freezing my tail end off again. I hope it goes away soon and we get back our low 50's!
Archive for January, 2010
I hadn't checked my 401k from my former company for a couple months. Today, I logged in just to see how it was doing.
Today was my first tutoring session with I, the sixth-grade boy. He didn't have any actual math homework, so I taught him the concepts for his next two-days assignments, then he played the various math iPhone games I'd downloaded. (math was estimating multiplying fractions, and multiplying fractions). It went pretty well, except we ran out of things to work on before our time was up. I don't think that'll be a normal occurrence though.
His mom gave me $60, and said she'll give me the remainder on Wed. and Th.
I arrived at the school's library early so I could be sure to have a parking spot (and to make sure I didn't get lost). The school librarian was still there when I arrived. We talked for a few minutes, and then a bright idea hit me.
I asked her if she was certified, and she said yes. Then I asked if she had her Master's, and she said yes! Then she told me that she'd just finished mentoring a library student last semester!! So ... I asked her if she'd be willing to be my mentor, since I'd just moved to this area and needed a nearby person. She said yes!!
(in the library program, you have to have a mentor as you go through it who essentially checks off that you've completed various skill tasks required for graduation)
Seriously, I felt like this was a God-thing.
I have an interview on Wednesday at noon for the keyboarding teacher position. I SO hope I get it!
One of the ASL books I ordered on Friday came today. That was some real quick shipping! And now I have a piece of mail with my current name and address on it, so I can get a library card (once I find where the local branch is located!)
Business expense: iPhone math apps - $7
Today my 5 male helpers and I got all my things completely moved out of my former landlady's house. They are now all either in storage, or at my new home.
Former Landlady (FL) did a number of things that messed with my mind. First, on Friday when I went over to pack everything, I got another note.
"Laura, the kids have been having trouble remembering what food is ours and what is yours. So, I packed up all your food into bags and boxes." FL
And ... she had! Even the food in the freezer - which was really strange, since she didn't even have any food in there.
Before I left, I had a chance encounter with her. I spoke up, and told her thank you for bagging/boxing up my food. She completely ignored me.
Then... today. When I got there, I had yet another note. "Laura, I wish you all the best. You are a great person. Leave the key under the mat, and make sure you have your mail forwarded." FL
She had moved all my pantry boxes, etc. into one huge pile next to my room. The whole time we were there, she stayed shut up in her room with the animals. I was glad I'd had a chance to say goodbye to them (the animals) on Friday.
My dad offered me a good suggestion I think. I'm going to write her a note and ask her if she'd tell me what had happened. That I don't understand why her attitude towards me changed so drastically. Then, if she wants to tell me, she can, in writing. Which, seems to be her favorite way of communicating.
Tomorrow I start my first day of tutoring with my new student. There is a slim possibility of a 5-hour a week position teaching keyboarding to 8th grade students at a local Christian school. If I get that ... then I *will* be quitting the gym!!!!
On February 3, I'll be starting to take a class at my church on American Sign Language. I was talking to the instructor at church this weekend, and she told me that if I really enjoyed it, and did well with it, that I could take the next level with her. That would enable me to know enough to interpret sermons. (like she does)
That *really* intrigues me. Not only would it be an awesome skill to have as a librarian, but it would also be an awesome way to give back a little at church.
She was giving some stats during the announcements. Out of 10+ million baptized Seventh-day Adventists worldwide, there are less than 100 baptized deaf members. Our little church of less than 200 members has 10 of them.
So, if I can become good enough, someday when I move to wherever my librarian job will be, I may be able to help bring in new deaf members.I just think that would be SO cool.
I spent several hours tonight sketching out my assignments for the coming semester. There are some weeks which look like real hair pullers. But, if I can keep pretty much on schedule, I should be able to do just fine.
They also put out the summer schedule. So today I put in my advising form for the last of the three Master's classes where you have to be on campus. I'm hoping that my form gets put through early enough that I get into the particular section. It's the only one that doesn't meet on Saturday.
Spending ... ugh...let's see, what do I remember?
Truck rental: $18x.xx (added insurance)
won't get reimbursed for cost because the storage place I used was not the one with the reimbursement coupon
Gas: my car $23.xx
rental truck: $27.xx
books for ASL class: $23.xx
(used on Amazon)
Change of address form: $1
Driver's License change: $11
Hmm.. I'm sure I'm forgetting something... oh well.
*My mom paid for the pizza today, which was very nice of her. The guys ate almost every slice of the 3 large pizzas and most of the salad my mom added on the side.
Classes started on Tuesday. Two of my classes were up and running with no problem, but the third one was having some technical difficulties. It finally was up and running today.
I knew I was in a different section for my Children's Lit class, but hadn't realized that the required reading list would be different. As far as I can tell, the books I read over vacation are NOT on the new list. Ugh! Even better, with the other list, I didn't have to read Goosebumps - there were several other series I could choose from. Now, I have no choice. Double ugh! Also, the other section had you write book reviews as blog entries - this one only has you write the book reviews. I'll probably still put them up on my blog - if I'm going to take the time to write reviews, may as well put them on my blog!!
Anyway, only one of my classes looks like it will be a lot of work - the cataloging class. I have to do a research paper/project for it. I already chose to do it on graphic novels and comics, since I have somewhat of a knowledge base from the class I took this past summer.
I will be starting to tutor a 6th grade boy next Monday in ... Math. Don't laugh too hard, I'm trying not to. As long as it keeps to stuff like adding fractions with unlike denominators, and very basic algebra, I should be okay. I hope.
3 1/2 hours a week for $100. It will definitely help the budget, since I'm spending more on gas, and had to cut my hours at the gym (both due to longer commute).
The last couple days I've been feeling really yucky. Don't know if it is allergies, my body releasing stress, or what. All I know is that all I want to do is sleep, when I need to be doing schoolwork, and Friday will be packing and of course Sunday moving all the big stuff!
Almost totally forgot! My 5 year blogaversery was on Tuesday! Hard to believe that I've been nattering on about my thoughts on money and life here for 5 years. Like I've said before though, I'm so glad to have found this community here.
SA'ers are the best!
Gas: lots of fillups 3 x in the last 9 days!!! ugh!!! roughly $87 total
Groceries: $12 - Costco veggie patties
$1.23 - frozen veggies
$29.32 - misc. groceries
Storage Unit: $35 (Jan rent + admin. fee)
For the most part things are going well in my new place. This morning I was slightly annoyed when I went to eat breakfast and there were no bananas left. Which is why I made a grocery store trip today .. bananas for the counter, and bananas for the fridge (plus other stuff).
Oh yeah, I figured out a way to get to the gym without paying so much in tolls. It only adds about 5 minutes or so to my driving time (as long as there's not much traffic). So, I'm hoping that'll work out long term. Or ... I'll get another tutoring student or two and be able to quit the gym completely!
I'm starting to get settled in to my new home. Slowly, I am making my room into my own. It is so nice to have space to move around without bumping into furniture. I'd say that this room is at least twice as big as my former room.
I didn't leave quite early enough to make it on time for Sabbath School yesterday. Luckily I wasn't the only one running late. I mentioned to everyone that I needed a couple guys on the 23rd. Then I found out I had made a mistake -- I thought for some reason that the 23rd was a Sunday. Nope, Sunday is the 24th! So, I am going to have to call the truck place and change my reservation to the 24th. Ooops.
After church I stopped by my former landlady's to pick up my textbooks, and also see about getting some other things. She was home I think, but I didn't see her. Apparently she was not very disappointed about my leaving ... she'd already moved my stereo and toaster oven along with some other things right by my room. Oh well.
I went to the animal shelter after that, and spent a bit over two hours. There was this one dog there that I just absolutely fell in love with. It was only 8 months old, and so sweet, and so beautiful. It was adopted before I left! There was also this cat - the kind with the smushed nose - 10 years old. It's owner had died, and that's how it ended up in the shelter. It was gorgeous and so friendly/loving. My heart broke for it.
My worst fear with my cat was something happening to me, and no one willing to take care of it -- part of why I bought life insurance (don't have it anymore though).
On the way home I stopped at Dairy Queen. I love their blizzards.
No-S update: I am down 20 lbs from my highest weight (of about June, 2009) and 17 lbs since July 23 when I started No-S.
I'm not sure what's going on, but I didn't receive notice of any replies to my previous post. I only found out I had replies when I came here today to catch up on the blogs. I also haven't been receiving notices of new comments on other people's blogs I've subscribed to.
Anyone else having that problem?
You know how when you see drivers do idiotic moves in front of you, or near you, it seems as though there never are any cops around to see it?
Well, today as I was driving home (oh glorious word - home, as in the place where I can use the kitchen in a relaxed manner, have a bathroom right off my room ...) a red pickup truck was in the center turning lane next to me. The driver of the pickup truck cut in front of me to get into my lane, causing me to have to brake hard in order to avoid him. Then, a few moments later, the same truck pulled back into the center turning lane, again, causing me to brake hard.
Unluckily for this truck driver, directly behind me was a cop. The cop smoothly pulled into the center turn lane, and followed the pickup truck into the parking lot with lights on.
As I mentioned above, the word "home" has a much better meaning for me now. As of Thursday night, I essentially moved in to my mom and stepdad's home. Sweet bliss.
I had wanted to avoid my landlady seeing me haul off my computer and also get my frozen foods on Thursday. However, I'd forgotten she doesn't have her kids on Thursdays, so I couldn't do it without her seeing/hearing. I ended up getting my computer, some clothes, etc. All 4 animals greeted me, and the black cat Sierra, nearly escaped out the front door during my last trip to the car.
I decided to try again today to pick up food from the pantry, as well as fridge food and freezer food, and of course my computer keyboard I'd left behind. Unfortunately, I guess the kids got out of school early today for whatever reason.
So, again I got everything I wanted to get, except for the fridge and freezer food - landlady was in living room/kitchen with a friend talking the entire time. All 4 animals greeted me, and hung around me most of the time I was there.
On my way to the house, I stopped at the bank and got a cashier's check for Feb. rent and wrote a note to my landlady giving 30-day notice. I was worried that she might try to say I had abandoned my stuff or something (since she could NOT have not noticed all my activity on Thursday.)
I left the note, and the check, taped to her bedroom door just before leaving. I had hoped to not go back until Friday to pack the remainder of my things, but I realized tonight that I'll have to go back once again tomorrow - I left my textbooks there. Ugh. I just hope she's not home.
The hardest part of all this is seeing the confused looks on the dogs faces - especially Nikki's. Today when I walked in the door, Kayla, the dog who slept in my room, *ran* full flight to me with her butt wiggling vigorously. It just about broke my heart.
Ugh. It wouldn't have been any easier in May to leave the animals ... but it still isn't easy. I would've liked the opportunity to at least have taken the dogs on one last walk ... oh well. In a few years I'll have a place of my own again, and hopefully be making enough money where I can afford a dog and a cat - animals that I can train and spoil and love however much I want to!
Deli - $4.68 (breakfast and lunch)
Gas - $25.46
Feb rent - old place: $290
I didn't get any groceries today. I'd been planning on getting some more bananas, but just ran out of time before sunset.
This morning was my first run from my new home to the gym. It took about 45 minutes, which wasn't too bad. What wasn't so great were all the tolls. I'm going to have to experiment to find a way with less tolls, and not too much added time.
Today was payday. Even with the extra shift I worked on Wednesday, it was a paltry amount.
So ... $31.77 - Giving; Savings; Tax Savings
I met with my mom and stepdad last night. It went really well. If my mom can remember that I'm 34, not 15, then I think it'll be a good situation.
I found a storage unit right near mom's. The smallest non- climate control unit is $20 move in, then $79/mo for 150 sq feet. The awesome thing is that they reimburse you for the cost (actual - not taxes, etc.) of your rental truck.
So I rented a truck that is probably bigger than I need, and got it for less. The person I talked to quoted me $123+ tax. Then I added a dolly for $10. She then told me the total was $166!! I was silent, then asked her to please break that price down. I guess she thought she was about to lose me .. Because she did something that got the final cost to $142!
The actual cost of the truck is $110, so once I'm reimbursed, it'll only cost $32!
I have E and A already lined up to help (from gym) and should be able to get another guy or two from church. Will pay in pizza hut and water.
I'll be starting to stay at my moms tonight, but I won't pay my first rent till Feb. 1 ($200). I'm going to write landlady a short note telling her there'll be movers at her house on the 23rd, and that I'll be coming by on Friday to defrost my freezer and get everything packed. I'll mail it, along with a cashiers check for feb rent, on Saturday. She might get it by Tuesday.
It's going to be so hard leaving these animals. The black cat Sierra has been cuddling up with me a lot this past week. She's always greeted me in the mornings, but now she's even been laying on my lap.
I found out something really awesome yesterday! Little House on the Prarie starring Melissa Gilbert as Ma is going to be playing at the Dallas Summer Musicals this May!!!
I've decided this is how my birthday money will be spent, and I'll take my mom along for mothers day. (she named me after Laura Ingalls - she watched it the whole time she was pregnant).
The Lippizanier stallions are also coming to Dallas (feb 21). I saw them back in the late 80's and remember how fantastic they were.
If I had disposable income, I would buy season tickets x 2 for DSM and go to as many programs as I could. They also have Wicked and Shrek ...
Gym went well. Had a new member sign up.
Made it to the meet the possible tutoring student on time.
Maybe it's because I'm feeling so stressed out in general, but I don't think it went that great. The kid was great, but I didn't know what the eck I was doing. I took the kid home, and got royally lost on the way back.
So I get home. The dogs greet me. Excited to be taken on a walk.
I go get a doggie bag. I go to get Nikki's sweater. No sweater to be found. I debate about asking landlady where it is ... but then a little intuition comes in, and I check the leashes. Gone.
What kind of person does this?!
I so felt like going into the living room and throwing things at her and yelling and telling her just where she can shove her asinine behavior. It's bad enough when her behavior is hostile to me, but so much worse when it affects the dogs - completely innocent in the matter. They don't understand why I'm not taking them out. They saw me get the bag - a clear sign to them. Then we don't go anywhere.
I've called my mom. We're moving up our expectations discussion to Wednesday evening. Hopefully I can be moving the most important items (computer, clothes, frozen food) to my mom's after that. And not have to spend another night in this hostile environment.
I'm going to take pictures of anything I leave behind at that point so that if once she realizes what's going on, she decides to retaliate by messing with my stuff, I can prove it. Probably need to get a current newspaper to photograph with it all.
Tomorrow I'm going to start working out the details of a condensed schedule for me with the other gym workers. That way I won't have to drive in so far 4 days a week.
My mom thinks I should write out a letter saying why I'm leaving. Thinks that my room still being so cold is a breach of contract - I'm not sure about that, because she did "try" to make it warmer by "insulating" with cardboard and plywood and provided me with extra blankets. My mom thinks I shouldn't pay her anything for Feb rent. I'm thinking that would come back to bite me later - she might be able to come after me legally somehow. (small claims court?) Plus, it wouldn't really feel honorable. Even if she's not being very honorable, two wrongs don't make a right.
The sooner I get out of here the better. I just will really really miss the animals.
I didn't have a talk with my landlady this weekend. She came home Friday night slamming doors and loudly complaining about how if she has to turn up the heat (presumably for me) then she (meaning me) should pay for it. It was pretty obvious she wanted me to hear it. Pretty silly really, because no matter how much she turns up the heat, it's not going to help how cold it is in my room.
So, anyway, after that, I realized that she isn't in any kind of mood to have a rational discussion.
Yesterday at church I made my need known for a new living situation as soon as possible. One possibility arose, but I think it's pretty slim.
An older lady (maybe late 70's) had been renting out a room to someone up till Christmas. The person had been there for a year and a half, and apparently was driving her crazy, so she finally told the person to go.
From her one question of me (do you have a car?) I surmised that the problem had been the tenant was asking for rides a lot.
She didn't sound too enthused about taking on another tenant, but promised that she'd think about it.
I know nothing about what the space is like, nor how much it would cost ... but I figure if it works out that the lady is open to my coming there, it may just work out in the other details. (Gotta have a little faith, right?)
My other option that I'm looking at again (which I chose to not go with before) is living with my mom and stepdad. I stayed with them this weekend, and my mom offered it again to me. I told her that I wanted her to sit down with D and work out what their expectations of me would be (i.e. what would it take for them to both be comfortable having me in the house all the time) and then I'd take a look at it and see if I could live with those expectations. I also told her that if we did it, I'd want to have a weekly conference where we'd feel free to constructively share what's working and what's not working, so if anything's bugging anyone, it won't take more than a week to get it out and figure out a solution.
I would have to rent a storage unit for the majority of my stuff, and my commute to the gym would nearly double. But .. if I can find enough tutoring students, I could quit the gym, or cut way back -- and be much closer to where most of the tutoring students would be located.
I'm thinking of offering $150/month, plus whatever household chores they'd like me to do. Then $30/month more for utilities. That would give me $110 month towards the extra gas and rental of storage unit.
We both would just have to keep in mind that this is short term. Who knows, maybe this summer I'll manage to find a school in desperate need of a librarian, and can get my emergency certification and then move to wherever that school is. (Dream, dream ...dream..)
One way or another, my personal deadline for getting out of here is two weeks from today. I wish I could do it this coming Sunday, but I don't think that's possible.
It is not healthy for me to live in this environment.
Saturday I made it over to the animal shelter. I ended up only being there a bit over an hour. There were a lot of new dogs. Penny and Lenny were both gone - hopefully adopted (and not in the back sick or something). There were also a lot of people there - part of why I didn't stay very long.
I went to a free music concert at our sister church. It was pretty good - not enough to buy the lady's cd, but I did leave $1 offering for her.
After the concert I went over to my mom's. We watched the Cowboys stomp the Eagles. Then today we played with the Wii for a while. I showed mom and stepdad how to do the boxing, and we played skee ball and darts on another game. They're thinking about getting the Wii Fit.
Mom made a cottage cheese r