I emailed Ting with my final ETF bill from ATT on Monday. Today I received the 50% credit - The ETF was $155 +$30 in taxes and fees!! So I got a $77 credit.
I also on Monday saw my first bill from Ting. Right away I realized something was off - they charged me for two activated phones! (Over a year ago I had tried them out with an Android phone, and that didn't last long. Not because of Ting, but because of the phone.)
I received a $6 credit for that today.
So right now I have a $99 credit which will get me 3 months of free phone service, with a little left over (if my usage remains steady.)
I used to pay about $77/month to ATT. So I'm saving around $47/month. Between the new phone and the ETF (unrefunded part) I spent about $450 to switch.
In the first three months I'll save $77 x 3 (231), then in the next 5 months I'll save $47 x 6 (235). So ... it'll take about 8 months to break even from switching. Possibly less if I can find people to refer and switch. The savings will be going to my electronics fund - I need roughly $400 for a new computer, and roughly $350 for the next phone. Once those are funded, the savings would go to other saving goals (i.e. EF/House)
Archive for December, 2014
I emailed Ting with my final ETF bill from ATT on Monday. Today I received the 50% credit - The ETF was $155 +$30 in taxes and fees!! So I got a $77 credit.
I looked out my window at 7 and it was nice and clear - thought to myself - good! won't have to scrape my windows. Then at 7:40 I headed outside to find my car covered in snow!
It snowed pretty much all day today. The temp is supposed to go in the negative tonight/today. Brrr!!
Last night NE and I went to Walmart and did some shopping for the week. I spent $14 on two bags of cat food for Kari (using 2 coupons) and $7 on groceries.
After that we happened across another area of town that was beautifully decorated, so of course we meandered around there for a bit.
I totally spaced on getting my eBay item out today. Will definitely have to do it tomorrow to keep within my two day turn around time. Oops.
I plan on taking workout clothes with me to work tomorrow and using the bus gym after work. I haven't been *quite* as exhausted lately, so maybe I'll actually be able to make myself do it.
I stopped at the library today - had a book to return and a book to pick up.
On FB today I saw someone in a YNAB group post say they managed to feed a family of 5 on $25/week!!! Um.... I can't even imagine. That's not even $1/day per person. I was feeling kind of good that I got my grocery spending (minus junk food) down to less than $150 for the month...
I'm thinking of letting go of my crockpot and rice cooker/steamer. I bought them two? years ago and they both are still in their boxes.. I keep meaning to USE them but it just doesn't happen.
Can you cook sweet potatoes in a toaster oven? If so, then I could let go of my toaster too and get a toaster oven. It seems really silly to get my oven going for just one potato - but I just don't feel comfortable cooking more than one at a time (botulisim or whatever it's called that can happen in baked potatoes in the fridge ...)
I'm wondering ... I'm getting emails about replies to my posts, but I'm not getting notices about responses to other people's posts. I've noticed a few posts with new responses by pure chance ...
My hands and feet are SOOO cold!!
My first monthly bill with Ting ended yesterday - $21.00 +taxes. So that will be covered by my $50 credit. I don't forsee my January bill being any larger, so that will also be covered. Nice.
I need to log in to my ATT account to see if they've posted my final bill yet so I can get that sent off to Ting for the ETF fees reimbursement.
I talked to my brother yesterday for a bit. He told me that he is preparing for a 40 mile race for the diabetes cure (bicycle) and has decided to stop drinking for at least four months starting Jan 1. Possibly for the entire year!! He wants to really focus in on getting as in shape as possible for the race.
I know how difficult this will be for him, so told him that I would do something equally difficult for me -- only purchase chocolate ONE time per month in 2015.
My diet is fairly healthy otherwise if you take away the chocolate ... so by doing this, I'll hopefully be able to lose some weight. Especially considering that as of this morning I'm now back to my highest weight ever.
We also talked about tentative plans for him and our mom to come out here in May as kind of a Mother's Day thing - the last time the three of us were together was nearly 4 years ago when I graduated with my Masters.
I finally made a sale on eBay again! It's been at least two months since my last sale. Only $4.99 (roughly $2 profit after shipping and fees) but still, a sale! Just got the payment, so I can get it out in the mail tomorrow.
I have $22 left in my grocery category for December. That is even with spending a good bit on Christmas dinner food (leftovers for two meals worth after ..) There are a few things I need for this week, and possibly doing a Chef Boyardee pizza for New Years. Otherwise, I think it's safe to say, I'll actually have underspent my grocery category for the first time in forever! (Of course, it has helped to take out the junk food spending and put it in my spending category ... hopefully that category will go down significantly in January.)
I'm going to wait til New Year's Day to do a definitive post on my December budget, but let's just say that I'm very happy with how much came in for my windfall category this month. I don't see the same for January, unless I can make some eBay sales (need to post some more items to help that along!)
Christmas Eve was very special. NE and I went together to a Christmas Eve program at my church. That was hugely special to me because it was the first time he's agreed to go to any kind of church function with me since the first time we dated in 2004.
Afterwards we drove around looking at Christmas lights for nearly 3 hours! There were some pretty amazing displays, and one particular neighborhood off a street that CreditCardFree mentioned that was really well done.
On Christmas Day NE came over around 5 and we worked together to make dinner - mashed potatoes, corn, stuffing, vegetarian dinner roast, and crescents. It didn't take a lot of time, especially with both of us working together. We both ate too much and decided to make the cake on Friday night.
So tonight (Friday) we made the rum cakes *before* eating leftovers. One cake we made according to the Pillsbury box directions and the other we made according to the Internet recipe directions.
The second cake had us pour rum into the actual batter. The other cake only had us pour the rum infused glaze mix on the cake.
Of the two, we both definitely preferred the one with only the rum infused glaze.
After we each had some of both cakes, we went to the local grocery store and picked up some meds for NE (pain meds dealing with his shoulders.) I had a coupon that was in the newspaper a few weeks ago -- it made one of his $42 prescription only $12!!!
Then we took a huge portion of the rum infused batter cake to his friend B and to his sister. Friend B talked for 30 minutes straight without hardly taking a breath ...
I received a Christmas card from someone in Texas ... I have NO CLUE who they are. The card was addressed with my name, spelled correctly and everything ... Weird/neat/mysterious ....
Tomorrow I need to go to the library to pick up a few items on hold. Other than that though, I plan on being a homebody this weekend. Going nowhere and doing nothing (other than minimal grocery shopping.)
I hope everyone has a very good Christmas (or whichever holiday you celebrate.)
We had a pancake and egg breakfast at work today - they have a rotating grill that a couple of bus drivers were making made to order pancakes and eggs. I was so full that I didn't eat my lunch til 3 p.m.!
Redeemed $9 from Pinecone and $17 from GymPact today. Will go into my Snowflakes fund.
Also got a Christmas card from my mom with $50! I'll put half of that into my spending money (for a treat) and the other half to my savings goals.
This afternoon I stopped by the Goodwill store that is almost directly across the street from me ... I was looking for a bundt cake pan to make the Rum cake in for Christmas dinner.
They had one for $2! It was the kind without a removable bottom - which a lady there told me was better than one with a removable bottom.
When I got home, NE was waiting for me. We headed out to another Goodwill - a larger one with furniture and more household goods. While there I saw a couch that I really liked for $40 - but it would need a lot of cleaning (I didn't buy it. I'm not sure what material it was made of, nor how difficult it would be to clean it.) I also found two chairs for my dining room table - $6 each. I'll take pictures of them later.
NE bought a bundt cake pan with a removable bottom and a can opener. (Hee decided we'll make two cakes ... and see which one turns out better. One with rum in the cake mix and one with it only in the frosting/sauce.)
Then we headed over to SuperSaver. The rum cost $15!!!!! It was the smallest bottle they had, but will be enough for four rum cakes ... Our total came out to $41.80 (we both got some other stuff too besides stuff for the dinner.) He gave me $20 cash (I paid with my card.)
I stopped at Russ's and picked up a bottle of soda for NE that was on sale so that I could get quarters for laundry. The lady could only give me three quarters though because they had forgotten to buy change?? Luckily with the two I had, and the 4 NE had, we had enough to wash and dry a load.
It sounds like NE might have made another Craigslist sale! He's happy because eBay has kind of been dead for a few weeks on sales.
The last two days I've made a lot of SBs from the videos on the website alone. Somewhere close to 450!! I'm not complaining I just need 300 more for my 5 $5 AGCs in January.
I saw this neat video on FB showing all the different things you can do with a waffle maker besides just waffles. The two that caught my interest the most was making a brownie waffle (using brownie batter) and making an omelet. Kind of tempts me to get a waffle maker ... though I kind of doubt I'd really use it. Although maybe I would ... esp for making omelets ... probably taste a whole lot better than my usual microwave "omelet" concoction.
*are pictures not working anymore? I tried to upload one of Kari and it's not giving me the usual link to add.
I am happy that this coming week is a 4 day work week. (And so is the next week!!)
Christmas Eve NE and I will be going to a program at my local church. I was bowled over when he said he'd be willing to come with me ... He wants to come late and leave early - I told him that would be fine with me. Just having him there with me at a church event will be all the Christmas gifts I could ever want (well, ok, maybe one other thing could be as good or a little bit better ... )
Christmas Day we'll be cooking a meal together. He really wants to have Rum Cake which is something his mom made for Christmas when he was growing up. I've never had it - never even bought any kind of alcohol before in my life. It's going to feel really weird checking out with a bottle of rum ... (Yes, I know the alcohol cooks out .. still, it is out of my norm.)
We'll be going shopping for the missing ingredients tomorrow. One thing we're going to check the local Goodwills for is a bundt cake pan. For some reason he thought I had one already ... hopefully we can find a cheap one.
He'll have to stop by a local ABC store to pick up the dinner roast on Tuesday. It's only open Mon-Th from 8 to 5, so no way I can make it there before it closes. (It's the only store in town that I know sells the vegetarian dinner roast.)
The local paper has a running list of good places to look at Christmas lights. A running tradition in my family has been to go light looking on Christmas Eve. NE has accommodated me on this last year, and will again this year.
NE surprised me by getting me a birthday gift! I had told him that dinner and a movie of my choice was a great gift all by itself. He got me a pair of thermal socks all the way from England! (I'm always complaining about my feet being cold.)They are so nice and warm.
I cashed out for a $25 AGC card from PerkPoints on Friday and had it in my email the same day! Sweet!
I also cashed out for a 500SBs code on Bing today and had it in my email two hours later. Sad though that it's gonna take a LONG time to build it back up at 25 points a day ...
I had some good news today about one of my banking accounts - Barclay's has raised their interest rates to 1% and 1.05% (savings/dream account) So I decided to keep my money there and not move it like I was thinking about doing. I wonder if Cap one will be raising their rates soon too?
I spent some time updating my YNAB ... oops. It looks like I spent $68!! on fast food/non-essential food already this month. That is totally ridiculous. I only got fast food 3 x, the rest of it was soda and junkfood (chocolate, banana bread, etc.)
I think I'm going to limit myself to one fast food treat stop per month, plus eating at a restaurant one time per month (if invited/asked.) I'm also putting a moratorium on going into Walgreen's, CVS, Family Dollar and SunMart unless there is a *specific* non-junkfood item I'm getting - if it is just a prescription, I'll go through the drive through!
I walked to the library today to return a book (Switch) and checked out a couple more. When I got home I checked my email and saw that a book I'd put on hold had come in! It will still be there next Saturday, so I'll get it then (good excuse for a walk!)
I started using my space heater again yesterday. I hadn't turned it on since I rented the room from the Craigslist landlord from double hockey stick. Kari was so funny - so afraid of it at first, then curious, then fell absolutely in love with it. She's barely moved from in front of it (as long as I have it on.) Guess my lap isn't as warm as in front of the heater!
I watched a fabulous show recently - The Librarians on TNT. I'd loved the movie trilogy with Noah Wylie, and they brought him back for the tv series. I was sad though to find out that TNT website only let me watch the first one - after that I had to have a cable subscription to stream it.
Today at lunch I called to find out the results of my bloodwork from Monday.
As expected, my TSH (thyroid) was not in the normal range. I asked what my number was .... 15!! Normal range is something like .03 - 5.0.
This is what happens when you are off your thyroid meds for nearly six months (I had *some* meds, but they were all over the place as far as mcg level, plus I only took those every other day to try to stretch them out as long as possible ...)
This news explains so much about how I've been feeling the past few months esp. Brain fog, fatigue, depression, anxiety, dry skin ... go on and on and check, check, check!
I picked up my new prescription after work today and will start taking it tomorrow morning. It'll take 5 or 6 weeks for the effect to really take place. I'm looking forward to it!! (It was $36! I wonder if I can up my FSA contribution ...)
Thanks again for all the moral support yesterday. I am feeling much better today about life, etc.
I'm not totally sure why, but today I've just kind of felt down.
Work was pretty busy, especially with me getting the orders out from yesterday and today (I took yesterday off.)This was good - I liked being busy.
But then towards the end of the day my boss asked me something and I was like HUH? All I could think of was it was politically motivated (not by her, but by the person saying I wasn't doing something.)(Not something that is even really a job function - just a nice little extra I can do when possible when people ask.)
Then I get on Bing and find out that they switched me to the 15 points a day instead of 30. Stinkeroo!
I got some meds at the doctor yesterday and took them yesterday afternoon ... so far they don't seem to be doing a darn thing. Ugh. (except make me super bloated)
I got a voicemail from the doctor's PA about my bloodwork, but by the time I was off work, they had their answering service on. So I'll have to call back during my lunch break.
My birthday yesterday =
The good - day off of work, finally got into see a doctor, dinner / movie with NE, talked to mom a few minutes
The not so good - other than my mom and brother, no one on FB posted on my wall. This was so bizarre because in years past at least 35+ have posted. Today I've gotten some belated postings ... I know its stupid to let that bother me, but I pretty faithfully post HBs on people's walls. I also didn't get any calls other than my mom, although my brother did text me a few times.
Coming home tonight I did something I haven't done in a while ... did my two Cs stop - coke and chocolate. Not exactly helpful in regards to my 30lb goal.
Today I actually managed to go through 3 boxes AND then took 3 boxes of stuff plus a trash bag of other stuff to Goodwill!
The stuff included a number of dolls/stuffed animals that I've been hauling around with me ever since I moved out on my own. Hanging on to it for future kids ... I kept one doll, my favorite, but the rest ... no point in holding on to them. I also let go of a bunch of books, a steamer thing I used once in six years, and quite a few odds and ends.
There's more I could and probably will let go of, although some things I think I may try listing on eBay. I did also relist some items on eBay.
I also stopped at the grocery store for bananas .. got a few more things than just bananas, but after putting a few things back, got out of there for only $13.
On the way back home I checked my mail. I got my gas bill - $42.83. That is almost twice what last month's bill was - I need to turn my heat down I think.
I also got a birthday package from my mom. First of all let me say how much I appreciate her thinking of me and remembering me. However ... this gift demonstrates how over the top she can be.
In my wish list I'd put snow shoes/boots (not meaning both .. just kind of describing what I was thinking of), warm socks, iTunes gift cards, mani/pedi gift cards or a groupon haircut/highlights deal type thing.
She sent me a pair of snow shoes and a pair of snow boots. Both look really nice. PLUS she sent me three books. I hate to think how much she spent on all this (plus the postage) - she's not in the position to spend much! Now I feel kind of bad for what I got her (a groupon deal.) I would have been more than happy with JUST socks, but she asked for five items ...
When she calls me tomorrow I'll be sure to be appreciative of course ... just feels frustrating. I think maybe she's trying to match what I gave her for her birthday - a $50 gift certificate for one of her favorite high end stores -- I told her I didn't pay $50 for it! (groupon deal!)
Tomorrow I have my doctor's appointment (finally!) in the morning. In the afternoon I am thinking about going to a movie - one that NE probably wouldn't enjoy, but I want to take advantage of matinee pricing. (I took the day off work.)
Then NE is making his spaghetti dinner for me and we'll watch a movie or play games. I might try to get through a few more boxes too.
I have been doing a lot more thinking the past two weeks about my Year 39 goals. As much as I'd like to save up for a house downpayment, I think it would be smarter to get a larger EF in place. I currently have roughly $5100, which I could stretch out for 4 or 5 months. I have decided to make my goal to be a 1 year EF - or $12,000. So that means trying to save around $7900 this year.
Partly how I'll do this is reduce the amount I put toward my car repair/replace fund. Instead of $150/month, I'm going to put $75/month. My car is a 2010 model, so I don't expect any big expenses beyond oil changes and tires, etc. for awhile. If something bigger comes up, then I'll use EF funds.
It is looking more and more likely that there is going to be a high school reunion. The place I graduated from in 1993! shut it's doors in 2006? I went to my ten year reunion, but that was the last one we had. Members of classes from 1992 - 2006 have been talking and organizing on FB about getting together. This is something I think I would really like to do.
Of course I also have my mom (TX) and my CA family clamoring for me to come visit them as soon as I have vacation days available (Feb 1!)It's highly likely that my CA family would probably pay for my ticket ... but I don't want to assume that. (Nor am I sure I really want to accept that ...)
So I'll have around 12 vacation days accumulated by next December. (I have 3 right now I think.
I really would like to go to CA - mainly because my grandma is getting on in years and I just hate to not see her as much as I can while she's still alive and lucid. But ... I haven't been back to TX since my mom got married Dec 2012, and I know she's feeling like I've kind of abandoned her.
May and July are probably the best months for me to go anywhere since I could tack my vacation days to paid holidays, thus helping to stretch them a bit.
I think I'll wait to make any final plans until I see how the plans for the reunion flesh out. In the meantime though, I need to put aside money for trip expenses.
The third goal is kind of related to the reunion I'd like to lose at least 30 lbs. By June would be nice.
Right now my weight fluctuates up and down two or three pounds for seemingly no reason at all ... So hopefully once I get my thyroid back under control, I can make progress again.
So for my two financial goals .... Windfalls/Snowflakes will be allocated like this:
60% to EF
20% to Spending Money
20% to HS Reunion/trips
My boss K lent me this fantastic book - Unbroken - it is a movie that is either coming out soon or has already come out. I finished it today. It's about Louie Lamperini(sp?) who was a 1936 Olympian, and then during WW2 was shot down, survived 40+days adrift on the ocean, and then was captured by the Japanese and terribly tortured. Amazing story!
I have spent some of my spending money this week ... gave in to temptations. Chocolate ... BK ... banana bread. But not *too* bad.
I received my last Bubblews payment (from October earnings) $55.xx - that will be going into my Snowflake category
I also cashed out for another $25 PP payment from Swagbucks. When that comes, it'll also to to my Snowflake category.
By Tuesday I think I'll have enough Bing points again for a 500 SB reward (thanks to the double points weekend!) Might be able to do a second one this month too - especially if they have another double points weekend this month.
I'm at about 20k PerkPoints - need another 4500 to get a $25 AGC or iTunes card. Hoping I'll be there by Thursday.
I entered a 12 days of Wellness contest at work. Basically it's self reported - do one different activity from one of four categories daily. It ends on Dec 23rd. One of the items was "take the stairs twice." I laughed loudly at that one ... the first day of the contest I went up and down the stairs at least 7 times ...
I have started walking in circles for the last 10-15 minutes of my lunch each day. Once I finish the main portion of my lunch and just have my treat left (usually a granola bar) I can walk and read. It's adding around 2k steps to my day so far.
Tomorrow I need to go to the library to pick up a hold (and return Switch.) That'll be a good 2.5 miles round trip.
NE and I *might* be making a trip to Independence, MO tomorrow if the speaker he's evening isn't sold by then. Since I'm taking Monday off, I can go with him on the road trip without worrying about being overtired for work. (His car is in good working order now, so I'm not worried about a breakdown. Also, no snow in the forecast!)
I am thinking about couch/chairs again. NE would like to invite his friend and family to dinner. His place (NEs) isn't an option ... would take a LOT of work to get it company ready (a LOT LOT LOT.) My place ... need to finish unpacking/decluttering - but main issue is seating. I have my office chair, my bed and two decrepit wood chairs (one of which has a broken seat - can sit on it with a pillow on top of the seat.)
Last weekend I finished up my bathroom. Tommorrow/Monday I'd like to get at least three boxes unpacked / settled. Then have a goal of three boxes per week. Once that's done, then I'm going to look seriously again at Craigslist, etc for couches/chairs.
It isn't just for this one time dinner I'm thinking of ... it would be nice to just have my place in a state where I *could* invite people over if I wanted to. Right now I would not want to invite anyone over because there'd be nowhere for them to sit.
If you were not wanting to switch to Ting because you have a GSM phone ... great news! Early 2015 Ting will be adding a GSM network to their plan! (If I would've known this, I could have waited a few more months and kept my ATT phone. Oh well.)
If you are on the fence about switching - here's a sweet deal for this month (good til Jan 5.) Instead of just 25% of your ETF (up to $75) now Ting is paying 50% of your ETF up to $100!
Today I found out that my 6 month ETF with ATT is 181.81. So Ting will pay $90.91 (in Ting credit) of my ETF. My final bill for ATT is 21.24, and I have a $50 Ting credit so won't have any charges.
I budgeted $200 for phone charges this month so will need to add a little bit to it, but then the next 5 or 6 months at least I will have no phone bill due to the Ting credits on my account! That's money that can go to my savings goals!!