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Archive for July, 2015

"New" Car, OverTime, Budget Busted, etc.

August 1st, 2015 at 02:41 am

So Thursday after work was spent riding/driving to O city and back. Why? NE had found a 2000 Chevy Prizm for $1200 which he decided to buy.

There is some work that will need to be done to it - brakes, driver side window, etc., but mechanically it is in good shape.

I am SO glad to have my car back now (he filled up my gas tank and treated me to dinner at Hardee's as a thank you for letting him use my car this week.)

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I convinced my boss to let me have a 3rd school event in August. That'll make 4 different events I'll be doing.

I figure I can do more than my fair share now since I won't be able to help with any of the football games (they all are on Saturdays or Friday nights. Except for the one after Thanksgiving, which I'll be in CA!) (We run a shuttle service from multiple locations in the city to the local public uni's football stadium.)

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The last two weeks have been a bust financially and health wise. The numbers aren't going to be very pretty .. not as bad as May's, but definitely not as nice as June's. You can probably guess where a lot of the budget busting came from.

Ugh.

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I bought two $9 Net 10 phones from Family Dollar today (sale ended today.) I'm going to be using them for the sole purpose of playing paid videos. I think they'll pay off soon enough to be worthwhile.

I also read this article posted on FB:

http://www.thepennyhoarder.com/ways-to-make-money-at-home/

Many of the things I knew about already, but I did see one thing which interested me. Send Dollars - almost exactly like Inbox Dollars. I signed up for it and already have about $6.80 (out of $30 to cash out.)

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I did this horrible survey yesterday morning which turned out to be mainly about coffee. I somehow managed to complete it - mainly because they didn't ask the one question which would have saved both them and me a lot of time .... Do you drink coffee? Nope - they just assumed that everyone drinks coffee. Yuck.

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I managed to complete the Survey Soiree for SBs this week - 150 SB rebate. I only was able to do this due to waking up around 4 a.m. 3 out 5 mornings ... not on purpose. At all.

I don't know if my tiredness affected my viewpoint today at work or not, but MAN were people ever crabby and argumentative. There were a couple of times I wanted to ask - why are you even asking me this question if you won't take my answer?

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The local community college is looking for a Learning Resource Director. Gulp. They aren't requiring a specialized higher education librarian degree (like most universities would ...) It pays $4/hour more than what I'm making now. I'm not sure what the benefits are.

I'm thinking seriously about applying.

My two big qualms .... 1. It would put me WAY out of my comfort zone dealing with CC students; and 2. It doesn't state what the expected hours/days are.

2 is probably the bigger issue. I checked on the website for the LRC and it shows it is open on Saturdays. Frown

I have the feeling that my stating that I can only work M-F probably would get my application thrown in the proverbial trash without further reading. But, still, it probably wouldn't hurt to try. Who knows how many other ALA certified (well, expired certified?) librarians are here AND know about the job offer. I might have a slim chance.

I do want to see what the benefits are though first - because if I got the job, my commute would change from 6 or 7 minutes to more like 20minutes + - and definitely not walkable. (but would be bussable.)

(And yes, the not working on Saturdays is completely, unequivocally, non-negotiable for me. This is partly why I've hesitated to apply for any of the various public librarian jobs - all of which require weekend hours. As a newbie, I probably wouldn't be able to say - I want Sundays only!)

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Ok, I'm now off to catch up on your blogs. (This is actually a second rendition of my post... thanks to accidentally hitting the backspace button instead of the arrow to move over tabs ...)

Small Updates

July 29th, 2015 at 12:51 am

NE got the news today - his transmission got water in it. The mechanic is suggesting rebuilding it = to the tune of $3100. That's more than the car is worth.

NE is considering selling the car and getting a cheap $1200 car he found in O city to get by until he has enough to get a more decent car.

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I'm almost to 5k SBs - mainly due to doing surveys and actually qualifying for a few this week. (Working on the Survey Soiree thing.) Can hardly wait til August 3 so I can cash them in (and get the discount.)

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Walked to work Monday and Tuesday so far this week. NE's picked me up both days - kind of fun getting picked up. Smile He's gotten to see some of the coworkers I talk to him about from afar.

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The project at work that never ends may be actually getting close...r to ending. I worked on the table of contents today, and fixing some formatting issues. Of course all I did may be for naught if decision makers decide to change some of the content. Oh well, it was something to keep me busy.

Why do people argue with you when they call in for information? I just don't get it.

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NE and I ended up not going to see Antman on Sunday. All the theaters are owned by the same company, so all the Matinee priced showings were before noon. Way too early for NE (he works nights.) We watched a movie on Netflix instead - something that took place in WW2 on a submarine - a bunch of US soldiers were captured by a German Uboat submarine. Very interesting (can't remember the name of it though.)

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My latest Ting bill closed yesterday. I managed to keep the non-tax part of it to $15! I think now that NE is also on Ting, he's gotten the idea of being very conservative with phone minutes. Smile (Before, he just didn't get why I would get frustrated when he'd talk for 30 minutes before coming over for 3 hours ...)

Compared to my old cell bill of $75/76/month ... Smile I love Ting!

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Tomorrow, and probably on Thursday too, I'm going to have NE pick me up later so I can use the gym at work. This also helps him so he can get up later. (His Wed. shift starts later, and he doesn't work Thursday nights.)

Vanguard and More NE car troubles

July 26th, 2015 at 01:15 am

Yesterday when I got home from work I called Vanguard yet again. I'd been waiting for a return call from the person I was told I was being assigned to since Tuesday and was tired of waiting. Smile

So I worked with someone different. Roughly 90 minutes later we had all my accounts from TROWE and Scottrade switched over, and had started the process with Empower Retirement. (I have some paperwork I have to print and mail for that.)

Once all the account transfers are finalized, I'll have retirement accounts at two places - Vanguard and the one my current employer uses. That'll definitely be much nicer for tracking, and the expense ratios will be much nicer as well.

I decided to go with an 80/20 Lifestyle? investment strategy for my 403(b) rollover. I can always change it later to something less aggressive. I'm also putting my Trowe Roth into that same kind of thing.

Hopefully the funds will show some better movement with less ER being taken out.

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I got an email from NE this morning. His second car - a Honda - broke down around 2 a.m. He had to wait an hour for someone to come get him. (He was out in the northernmost part of town - the pizza place he works at is kind of in the middle of town.)

So he is now down to 0 working cars. He's working tonight, so I've let him borrow my car again. He's going to come by around 5 a.m. to pick me up and we'll try towing his car 2 miles to a place that can possibly fix his car.

Hopefully we won't have to do the car thing too long ... I can probably walk to work okay in the mornings, but there's no way I want to do it in the afternoons (too hot!) So he'll have to pick me up each day. It also means no gym those days. At least I'll be getting exercise walking to work. Maybe do bodyweight exercises at home.

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I have more than enough SBs to cash out for a $25 PP - but I'm going to hold off til August 3rd. That way I can use the 150 SB rebate I earned (doing 20 special offers - all freebies.)

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I need to figure out the latest matinee showing of Antman tomorrow. NE and I'll be going to that.

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Hopefully tomorrow I'll have some energy and can get myself to do some cleaning (desperately needed) and possibly some decluttering too.

Next Sunday is NEs birthday celebration (actual birthday is the 3rd, but he's working) so I won't have much time to do things that day. (We're going to Nebraska City - eat at a Chinese buffet place and then possibly go to the Arbor Day place??) He's going to be 49 - so for about 4 1/2 months we'll be ten years apart in age. Smile

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It's weird ... I had bought several loaves of the Orrowheat Everything bread - the one that is smaller in size - because it was cheaper than the regular sized Oatnut bread. I loved it because it perfectly fit my black bean burgers with no leftover edges.

But the last time I bought bread, Oatnut was on a good sale = so I bought 3 loaves of it. The Everything bread was $4.29 (nearly $1 more than when I bought it.)

So this week when I ate my burgers for lunch, it felt like SO MUCH bread. In fact, I only used two slices on Monday. The rest of the week I only used one slice and broke my burger in half. Ate part of it mixed in with my veggies. The other part wrapped like a hot dog.

I've never thought it was too much bread before - not until I experienced the difference between a bread slice that perfectly fit and one that doesn't.

Anyway ... just some rambling miscellaneous thoughts from this week.

Parking Garage, Work, Vanguard

July 23rd, 2015 at 04:09 am

Tuesday night I had my 3rd shift at the parking garage. This time there was a WWE event going on. I got there about 7:40 - 20 minutes early. We didn't end up getting sent to our spots til nearly 9:20 (I clocked in at 7:55.) It seems kind of wasteful to have 8 or so people standing around for an hour+ on the clock waiting for an event to actually end. But oh well, it's more money in my pocket. Smile (I clocked out a bit before 11. So about $33 before taxes.)

Once the cars started coming out, time went by pretty fast. Before I went, I had no energy nor desire to go. By the time I got home though, I was pepped up and couldn't go to sleep for a long time. (Still woke up about 4:45 a.m. ....)

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Before I left for the shift though, I tried calling Vanguard again. I was being transferred to someone when the call ended suddenly. So I called back and got the name and number of the person I was being transferred to. I called and left a voice mail - more than 24 hours later, and I have not gotten a call back.

I'm going to try again tomorrow night (when I don't have to run off to Vacation Bible School like tonight, or have a shift to work.)

Hopefully, third time will be the charm.

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Work. Ugh. Still ongoing saga of 268 page document and the perfectionist who believes there is only one way to do things (she tells me to make a change, I make the change, she insists I should do it her way instead ...) My boss is also frustrated with this person (they had to do a presentation to the other co-workers yesterday - some book the staff is reading.) My boss has told me that if I want off this project, all I have to do is say so. Part of me wants to say OFF, but a larger part of me does not want to do that - kind of feel like being a quitter.

Lady sat up front with me today going over some cross-referencing in the document. I was logged off the phone. Still had at least 6 calls and 7 people come by to buy passes. She got so frustrated with all the interruptions that she told me we'd keep working tomorrow if my boss could cover the not logged in phone calls. She asked me if it always was this busy.

Ummm... the phone wasn't even logged in. Yes, it can sometimes be that busy x50. Other times, not so much. One never knows.

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Tuesday -
DMV - $175 - Car registration
Taco Bell ... $4.19

Wednesday:
Walgreen's - $20.xx (junk, locker lock for gym, deodorant, real food)

Extra Income:
$16 from Pact cashed in

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Okay, it is now 11:08. I am going to try to go to bed and see if I can get more than 4 1/2 hours sleep ...

Called Valic, etc.

July 21st, 2015 at 04:21 am

I called Valic tonight to find out about consolidating everything. Once the rep heard how much I had to move, he was trying to move mountains to get me to the right person. Smile The wait time though was at least 7 or 8 minutes, and I had to leave for VBS. So I'm going to try again tomorrow (with the direct number & notes on my account to speed things up.)

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I am beyond frustrated at work. The document I spent a large portion of Friday afternoon working on fixing? 70% of the changes I had made did NOT stick! I KNOW I saved as I went. So this morning I had to endure yet again being told .. you remember we talked about such and such ... OMW!! YES I REMEMBER! Even though for who knows why the document doesn't show it! UGH!

I am really wishing I hadn't agreed to help out with this project.

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I got my $250 bonus from Amex yesterday. $125 of it goes towards paying NE's medical stuff that he let me put on there (what we agreed to prior, since I was not going to be able to make the $1k spending requirement.) The other half I put towards mainly two categories - Personal Training and Education. I need to save up $350 for PT and $500 for Education (will be reimbursed for classes I take, but only after I receive a passing grade.) The rest of it went in dribs and drabbles to other funds needing a little plumping.

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NE and I watched "The Theory of Everything" last night about Stephen Hawking. Very good movie.

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Funny story. Last week NE was telling me that it was my turn the last week of July to treat for a meal. I told him that it was - treat once a month, not every 4 weeks (back and forth.) That a meal out in July wasn't in my budget. Smile

So last night we were talking about what we'd do next Sunday. He said something about maybe going to a movie .. then was like, Nope, that's not in the budget.

(This was all very lighthearted/teasing.)

I almost told him that what's gotten me to where I am now financially is actually having and paying attention (usually ...) to a budget. Smile

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Tonight I helped out at our church's VBS at the registration table. While the kids were in their various groups I also helped out with a few little projects. Otherwise it was a lot of standing around with my thumb in my pocket... I'll be helping out again on Wednesday, but I think I'll leave once the registration rush is over.

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Tomorrow night I have my 3rd parking garage shift. It'll be from 8 p.m to hopefully no later than 10:30 p.m.

Last time I had a shift someone recognized me - but I wasn't sure HOW I knew them or they knew me. Today on of the ladies from a local agency came by to pick up passes - that was the person who recognized me. Smile We thought it was pretty funny. Smile

Not motivated

July 19th, 2015 at 06:59 pm

Ugh. Just no motivation to do anything today.

I did make my pancakes this morning (banana oat greek yogurt), but other than that .. just can't get going.

Part of it probably is my allergies kicking up again (like CB ... sinus headache ..)

I have been doing some research into a getaway in Kansas City - doing World's of Fun and possibly the zoo and/or Powell's botanical garden. The least expensive hotel I found was $47 for two nights - with taxes $116. Ugh. (would be a 2 hour bus ride to avoid $15 parking fee.)

So I looked at airbnb. Found a place for $25/night which would be an hour's drive from WOF and would have to pay parking fee.

... I'm honestly starting to think about just maybe staying here and not going anywhere, but do touristy stuff around this area. Go to some of the places that are only open on weekdays. Maybe eat at a couple interesting restaurants I haven't been to here yet, take in a movie or two.

I think that actually sounds more appealing to me. Sleep in, move at my own pace, explore, then back home in my own space. Limited driving needed.

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Last night I was thinking about trying to cut down on my closet clutter/clothing. I found a great app called Closet+ which allows you to take pictures of all your clothes, and then create outfits. It also tracks how often you wear things so that you can tell which things are not being utilized easily.

I like this idea because then I can also bring it when I go shopping - can show someone a particular pants/skirt/top to see if it works with what I'm looking at. Also it will help me keep track of what things do go together that aren't your basic solid/solid mix. (So like when my mom is here, she can tell me what tops work with one particular skirt I have, and I can record them in the app so I remember later!)

Anyway, maybe that's a project I could do during some of my off time in August too.

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I'm going to need to ask for some hours off this week so I can go to the DMV. I went to renew my registration online today, and found out I couldn't because they'd sent it to my previous address. (I can't remember if NE brought it here, or how exactly it got to me.) Fun, fun, standing in line. Gotta be done.

$ Thinking/Consolidation, Sleep

July 18th, 2015 at 06:39 pm

So I'm thinking about combining all my investment accounts. I think I want to put them all in Vanguard, but I'm not sure if it is possible.

I currently have two stock/brokerage accounts at Scottrade.

A stock/brokerage account and target fund at Trowe.

A defunct 403(b) account from teaching at some place called Empower Retirement? (used to be at Valic AIG, but my former employer switched companies this year.)

A traditional ROTH at Vanguard.

Almost forgot - another stock account at Cap One - formerly Sharebuilder.

And then of course the accounts I have with my new employer. (These I plan to leave alone.)

The 403b and the TROWE target fund I think can be moved over with no problem. It's the stock accounts I'm not so sure about.

I want to consolidate these accounts as much as possible for two reasons - 1- ease of tracking/accounting, and 2 - less maintenance fees eating into profits.

I know I need to just call Vanguard and ask if it's possible to move stock only accounts over to them, but I seem to think about these kinds of things on the weekend or after business phone hours.

I don't want to sell my stock holdings, just move them to another ... holder? I'm not even sure if that is possible??

Anyway, I have this on a reminder note for the August business days I'll have off to call and get the ball rolling on as much as I can.

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Oh get this! I just got a message from J of airbnb fame ... the "friend" found an apartment and doesn't need her room after all. Too bad, so sad. :roll eyes:

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I've been on a bit of a junkfood binge the past few days. All that stuff I bought Thursday ... I had thought about returning some of it before I actually ate it ... Oh well. It was a good reminder that I actually like how I feel *without* eating all that junk *much* better than the opposite.

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I cashed out Bing for a $5 AGC yesterday. Today I am within less than 600 SBs of my second $25 Paypal for July. (Ngage is back ... which can be "watched" while doing stuff in another window at the same time ...)

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I've set my fitbit sleep thing on sensitive this last week. It sure has shown me why I'm so tired! For example, last night out of 6 hrs 30 minutes "asleep" 85 minutes of that time was "restless" or moving enough to shake the fitbit. Other nights had less hours of "sleep" with roughly the same restless minutes. I wish I could figure out how to change this. Consistent exercise doesn't seem to be the answer. Eating better doesn't seem to be the answer. (the little hours sleep / restlessness are similar for before Thursday's junk food binge - so really made no difference.)

Getting TO sleep isn't the issue - it's once I'm asleep that there are multiple periods of restlessness, and then waking up at WAY too early hours (WAY before my alarm is set, and not being able to go back to sleep very well.)

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This coming week my sleep issues are probably not going to be helped much ... Monday and Wednesday evenings I'm signed up to help out at the local VBS. Tuesday night I'm doing a parking garage shift from 8 p.m. - ?? And of course Sunday and Thursday nights are NE's nights. Somehow I'm going to fit in regular exercise into that schedule.

Rough Few Days

July 17th, 2015 at 11:20 pm

I just typed up a huge rant about the last few days, but then decided it probably was overshare.

So, long and short .. big project I'd worked on a few weeks ago that I had to send on before it was finished, got published to the public. Meeting yesterday with coworker and boss was about it. Me explaining what happened. Ended with me going on a junkfood spending spree after work.

*This project I worked on was helping out coworker with something. She was out for a week with surgery/recovery while I was trying to finish said project. Was told to send it on to head boss even though I told them it wasn't ready.*

This morning wasn't much better ... but got better once I got working on actually finishing the document. (got pulled from the public)

Am way overtired and hormonal which is probably affecting my reactions to this, as well as Airbnb thing. (Haven't heard anymore from customer service.)

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I've decided to look into other places to go for my getaway. Possibly Kansas City - something called Water World I think NE said is there. I may just do one night away instead of two though, then have two days at my place to r&r. Maybe take in some things around here too.

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No spend day #14 I think

I DO NOT Recommend Airbnb!

July 16th, 2015 at 12:58 am

So today as I was heading to lunch I took a look at my phone and saw I had a couple text messages from my Airbnb host. I got a bad feeling ...

Then I read the entirety of the messages.

Apparently this person has a friend who needs to stay in the room, and is coming over to check it out. She'll need it for a month. Which of course falls into my reservation.

J says"I just want to give you a heads up so you can make a backup plan."

I was livid.

I didn't respond right then because I wanted to cool down and also get the opinons of a few others - so I posted a question on FB asking how others would react.

Cancel reservation and contact admin were the two main responses.

So when I got back from the gym tonight (another way to cool myself down more before responding) I got on Airbnb and started looking for a way to contact admin. I'd been planning on just contacting them first to ask their opinion.

IMPOSSIBLE! They make it nearly impossible to contact them with all these "choice" trees - none of which have an option for "other."

So I left a message for J telling her that I was cancelling and why. I was very polite, but very clear.

Then I canceled and found out I won't get my $7 in fees back!!!

I finally figured out how to actually send them an email (chose a choice that didn't really work - but it got me to where I could send an email.) Now I'll wait to see what happens.

In the meantime, I'm going to be looking for a hotel room!!

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I got a message today that I have a meeting with my boss and her other supervisee about contracts. I don't know for sure what it is about, but I do know that the current union contract ends sometime in August. So I'm guessing it's to go over the revised one and have us sign it or something. If that's so, then I'll also get to see what my new payrate will be (probably not starting til September.)

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NE is going to change out our cars tonight after work (he has a key to my place, so won't have to wake me up.) He'll be taking his Honda to get the air fixed on Thursday afternoon. Then he'll decide what to do with the Subaru.

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CCF - (or others who know Des Moines) - please give me suggestions as to what hotels/streets/areas to avoid. And if possible, which ones might be good deals & decent? All I care about is cleanliness, working plumbing and a bed (and that there isn't a big chance of my car getting broken into overnight ...) Hotels.com

The cheapest hotel they have is $60/night - Extend a Stay - 5220 Northeast 14th Street. It has a very poor rating. The next one is $70/night.

Whatever happened to the $30 and $40 rooms??

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No spend day #12

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ETA - Hmm... I just got a response from my email. Basicaly saying the CS person was going to pass my message to the "right" people. Let's see what happens.