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Archive for July, 2006

Hot, hot, hot!

July 28th, 2006 at 09:01 am

Thank goodness we bought those window a/c units! Our central a/c doesn't work and we won't be able to afford replace it (and our aging furnace) until next spring. They are calling for temps in the low 100's over the weekend with high humidity, I hate to think what it'd be like if we didn't have them! And so far, it's been about the same to run the two window units as the central air was at my condo, so our electric bills haven't even been that bad.

In other news, Tim got a ton of overtime last week, so his paycheck this week was huge! I'll be able to pay the one CC we still charge to (we use it for gas and the occasional online order) in full the day the new statement is ready, rather than having to wait for the next paycheck. That puts us a full month ahead, which will make bill paying much easier. I'm finding that it's not that we don't have the money to pay bills, we do and then some, but it's more of a "cash flow" issue. If we can get 1 month ahead on all of our bills (which we just about are) then I can just pay them the moment we get them in the mail and not have to worry about "the electric is $X and the cell phone is $Y, but the cell phone is due the 7th and the electric the 16th and we get paid the 14th but we need groceries so what do I pay now and what has to wait until we get paid?"

My parents left on Thursday, so I have my house all to myself again. I like seeing them (especially since Mom does the dishes for me! Wink ) but it is also very nice to be back in my normal routine. And, my SIL should be comming home from the hospital today, she went through the surgery just fine and should be back to normal in a few weeks once she fully heals.

What a weird week it's been.

July 26th, 2006 at 02:08 pm

To start, my parents are staying with me for a few days. They live in AZ and come back to IL for 6 weeks in the summer to escape the heat and visit my brother and I. They usually stay with my brother's family, but my SIL's parents are in town this week, so there's "no room at the inn". So while her parents are here, mine stay with me. I love my parents and at the end of the day I don't mind having them stay with us, but it totally messes with my routine, you know?

At work, we are down one person in my division, she left our company for a better opprotunity. So we are short handed going into our busy season. On top of that, my boss has a meeting, yet to be scheduled, about if our division will remain open and if so, in what capacity. I doubt anything will come of it, the numbers don't suport shutting us down or cutting us back further, but one never knows. So nice having THAT hanging over our heads.

And to top it off, I get a call from my mom this morning that right after I went to work, my brother called. My SIL is in the hospital with a ruptured cyst on her overie (sp?) and is in surgery. No word yet on her condition. So, my parents are with my nephews while my brother is at the hospital with SIL. Ugh! Poor SIL, she hates hosptials, barely tolerated them when she gave birth as it is. I'm thinking of sending flowers, but now I'm thinking maybe hiring a cleaning service to come clean her house while she's recovering. I'll have to look into that.

Ugh, what a mess!

July 20th, 2006 at 01:53 pm

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, we've been busy. Monday we had a bad thunderstorm, wind gusts of up to 120 MPH. Trees and tree branches were down all over the neighborhood, including a huge branch of our own tree in the back. Thank God, it didn't it anything on the way down, it's just a big ol' mess is all. I saw several trees that landed on parked cars, and several roads were closed due to downed trees blocking the street.

Also, the power went out after a tree hit the sub station for our grid, it went out at about 11 PM on Monday night. We were out of power for 18 hours. Fortunatly Tim has some kind of gadget that you can hook up to your car's battery and you can plug in regular household appliances and run it off your battery while the car is running (to keep the battery charged). We hooked up the fridge so we didn't lose any food! We had enough "juice" left over to run the tv and one fan. So, we had entertainment and could stay cool. Not too bad, really.

Meanwhile we had to sleep on the couch because it got so hot upstairs. We got about 4 hours sleep on Monday night. I couldn't go to work because our garage is detached and has no service door. There was no way to get into the garage unless you've got power for the garage door opener. So, my car being in the garage, I couldn't go to work (gee, that's a shame! Wink ). Tim couldn't drive me because he had an early AM doctor's apointment on Tuesday and he couldn't be in two places at once. The power was out until 5 PM on Tuesday.

Nothing really new in the world of finances. With the credit cards consolidated, I've just gotten a few stray bills for the last of the interest, in fact I just paid $25 today to Capitol One. $185 went to Tim's CC so that's paid off in full. The Chase card Tim uses when he gets gasoline, so we'll still be paying that every month, but it's being paid in full so no interest there. At least we get points on the Chase card, we can redeem them for airline tickets.

Another payday, another credit card payment

July 14th, 2006 at 11:24 am

Yippee! Another $500 payment to the credit card made today! And with the 0% interest on the card, every dime goes to the balance. Sweet! Smile Our budget is based on our net take home pay before Tim's overtime (which he always gets) and we've budgeted $900 a month for credit card payments. I'll pay the other $400 in two weeks when we both get paid again. And as we have extra money from overtime, I'll send that it too. Gotta love online bill pay, what did we do before that? Oh yeah, paid once a month by check... Wink

Another section is up on our never-ending-fence project, only 3 more to go before he can start on the west property line. I really, really hope we can have this done by Labor Day. I want to get started on the upstairs bathroom ASAP.

Kinda scarey seeing it all added up like that...

July 11th, 2006 at 08:09 am

Well, the balance transfers from our other credit cards have posted to our card that has the 0% for 12 months. Now that all our eggs are in one basket, so to speak, it's all totaled up and in black and white. It's a number much larger than I like, but if we are dillagent in our repayment, we should have it paid off in 18 months at most, with luck 12 to 14 months at the earliest. And it's nice to go from 5 credit card payments a month to a single payment, so bill paying just got that much easier. I finally feel we are really on our way, even though we've been paying down our CC debt since Nov. '05.

Now that it's stoped raining (well, it's raining today but it's the first in over a week) Tim has finally been able to get some work done on the fence, he's gotten 3 more sections up. He has 4 more to do on the south side, then he has 7 on the west property line and we're done! I'm hoping it will be all done by the end of August, maybe even sooner. He still has to put the posts in on the south line, which is the most time consuming part. Once that's done we gut the upstairs bath. After that, we start saving like mad to replace our heating/cooling system, we are shooting to have it done in April or May, after we shut the furnace off for the winter but before we'll need the A/C for summer. THEN, finally, I can start to save to replace my faithful old '98 Saturn! Smile

We got the payment straightend out

July 10th, 2006 at 07:35 am

After spending most of the day playing phone tag with my bank (who were great, by the way) I go home from work with a slight headache. I log into DH's credit card account online just to see if anything has changed. Sure enough, our $500 payment is there! It was listed as being added July 6, but was posted July 2, so go figure that one out. At least it's fixed, and since it wasn't due until the 5th, it's not even considered late. All's well that end's well, I guess.

It was a short weekend after last weeks 4 day long mini-vacation. This week will be the first full week I've worked in ages, it's going to seem to take for ever!

But I was only off by 2 numbers...

July 7th, 2006 at 02:11 pm

It's amazing what damage a typo can do.

I pay most of our bills through my bank's online bill pay feature. When entering in one of the credit card account numbers (while setting up the account to be paid) I inverted the last two numbers, instead of 06 I put 60.

Needless to say, they didn't credit the $500 payment to the credit card account.

Okay fine, my fault. DH calls the CC company to explain what happened and ask what to do. The India call center rep at first didn't understand what "online bill payments" were, DH spent 20 minutes explaining. After we established that the payment had the wrong account number on it, the rep said "sorry, tough luck your our the money" DH said, uh no we aren't, you have our money, we just need to get it credited to our account. The rep then said "Well look into it and send you a letter with our findings and what, if anything, we'll do about it." Yeah right!

So, I call my bank and tell them the problem. They are much more helpful (I love my local non-conglomerate bank!) and they get in touch with the thrid party company that actually processes the payments for my bank and sends them to the various places that need to be paid. That company will work with my bank and the credit card company to track down where the money went and either get it credited to our account, or reverse the payment and get us our money back so we can re-send it (with the right account number this time!).

Meanwhile we just have to make the minimum payment to keep the account current.

But oh, what a headache this is! The good news is that my balance transfers to consolodate the debt on our other credit cards to a single account went through, so all our CC debt is now in one place at 0% interest for 12 months. (The CC I described above with the payment problem is my DH's card and gets paid off every month, so that's why it wasn't transfered with the others). Now we can concentrate on getting that paid down ASAP. I'm hoping that once the 12 months is up I can transfer it again to another 0% offer.

Home ownership isn't all it's cracked up to be...

July 5th, 2006 at 11:41 am

One long weekend, three things with the house went wrong. All plumbing related too, must have angered the water gods...

First, the upstairs toilet cracked. Yes, cracked I say! No, DH and I are not fat (just a bit flabby). Turns out the floor isn't level. So, $25 for new toliet base. As for the floor, we're going to gut that bathroom anyway come fall, we'll fix it then (we've leveled the toilet for the time being).

Then, I notice everything under the kitchen sink is wet. Yup, the drain pipe has a small leak. DH isn't happy. It's not the expense, heck we've got left over pipe from another project so it won't cost anything. But fixing it takes time away from working on the never-ending fence project.

Then, after DH went to work, I noticed the slop sink in the basement is also leaking. Fortunitaly it just goes out the floor drain, but still. I haven't told DH yet. He'll either start to laugh or get mad, I'm not sure which...

Otherwise, though, it was a great holiday weekend. My office was closed on the 3rd and 4th, so I had a 4 day weekened. My best friends mother turned 60, so she flew into town for a surprise party. We met up to go shoping and have diner on Saturday (I bought a pair of cargo capris to replace the ones I riped last week, $20 marked down from $50, not bad!), then Sunday was the surprise party. Monday I went to my friends house for a barbeque, after DH and I went to see Superman (our first movie outing in about 9 months). Great movie by the way! Tuesday was just a day to relax and work around the house. We'll, we relaxed, our dog Missy spent the day a nervous reck from the fire crackers going off all day and night!