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Birthday Parties

February 23rd, 2013 at 04:39 am

Ok I know, I haven't posted anything an a loooonnnnggg time, but I still read this board every morning.

Anyway I have a question.

My Grandson's birthday party is today, he's turning 2. My daughter and her hubby have this big party all planned out, a Breakfat/Pajama party for goodness sake. (No one wants to see me in my pj's) It will be held in their Church this morning.

The boy has 6 Grandparents, 4 Great-Grandparents, over a dozen Aunts and Uncles, and several cousins, not to mention all the parents friends and coworkers. Needless to say, he gets ALOT of toys for both Christmas and his birthday. He already has more toys then he could ever play with (besides he prefers the boxes they came in) and every imaginable electronic gaget a 2 year old could want, several shelves of books and so many clothes DD has donated or traded almost half his unworn wardrob.

My question is, Is there a way to convince my DD and her hubby to maybe consider a "Colledge Fund Party"?

Maybe they could ask "Peanuts" (grandson) guests to only bring a small tolken gift for him to open and a donation to a special account for his future education.

I know it might be a touch to late for this party, but for future ones maybe?

Extreme Couponing or OCD?

April 6th, 2011 at 06:21 pm

I was/am watching the new TLC series "Extreme Couponing" and thinking to myself: "self, what in the world would you do with 300 toothbrushes?"

While I have been trying to use more coupons in my weekly shopping trips, I don't think I can use 400 deoderants in my lifetime.

Where does one draw the line between good smart shopping and becoming obssessed with the game to the tune of 500 rolls of toilet paper?

I do understand that food banks, pantries, churches and other various chairities should be the primary beneficianaries (sp?) of these "hunts", but wouldn't most phycologist' call this obsessive complusive disorder?

The next step for some of these "Extreme Couponers" is the show "Buried Alive".

Canceled Cap 1

May 9th, 2010 at 09:32 am

First let me say;

"HAPPY MOTHERS DAY" to my mom and all mothers out there.

I canceled my cap 1 card today. No I'm not going without credit cards totally, just the annual fee finally got to me.

I called them up bright and early wanting to see if there was a way to convert my fee card to a no-fee card and it just wasn't possible. Or as they put it "there is an annual fee associated with this card, if you want to, you may apply for a different card".

7 years I have had this card, never late with a payment, never over my limit (never even close to the limit) and this is how they repay loyalty. May apply for a different card, Hurmph.

So now I am looking into other cards and would like some leads on websites that rate them. I googled it and really am not sure i trust the sites all that much. Oh and I have been reading the site that SA lists as well "the credit finder".

No annual fee is a must, rewards are secondary and balance transfers are almost a non-factor. As for Interest rate, I pay in full every month so I'm not real concerned with the rate.

Graduation !

April 23rd, 2010 at 01:33 pm

Well she did it, and even early by a few weeks.

For those who don't know what I am babbling about, a short backround.

My wife had been playing the yo-yo games for several years with temp jobs that she was told were permenent hirings. After her last layoff, I asked her to go to school for a degree in a concrete field, one that was almost layoff proof...Cosmotology. She Graduated Wednesday after completing the required 2,100 hours of school.

While she was attending school I took a part time job; one for the extra money to make ends meet, and two because I'm not real good at sitting around with nothing to do.

Now I have to decide if I want to continue working the "part time" job, or start getting some things around the house done that I have kind of ignored for the past 11 months.

I think that I will continue working until football season starts lol. Then I will re-evalutate the situation. One thing I know for sure, the extra income has been very very helpful in my debt repayment plan. Oh well I'll see how it all pans out for the next few weeks.

Anyway, I wish to tell my lovely bride of 16 years Congratulations! (and I hope you pass the State Licensing Boards with ease). Damn 16 years already?

MyStockFund ?

April 11th, 2010 at 01:06 pm

Does anyone use this? Or know anything much about it?

http://www.mystockfund.com/

I am a Recycle bank member and this site is listed on their rewards list, here's the posting:

"Reward Description:
As a RecycleBank member, you have the opportunity to open a MyStockFund account with no annual or monthly fees. Additionally, MyStockFund will give you the opportunity to purchase as many planned purchases per month for the first year for FREE, thatís an additional $12.99 per month discount!"

I don't have an accual brokerage account anywhere, so i have been looking into several different options. The fees and such have held me back from doing any individual stock investing.

Thank You in advance.

Scheduling Future Bills

February 20th, 2010 at 05:01 am

Am I just an oddity, or do others "prepay" their regular monthly bills?

Let explaine what I mean by "prepay". I know the date each of my regular bills are due each month (ie: gas electric cable ect) as should we all. I also know approxcimently when the online statements are available. As soon as I can setup a payment online I do. But I set them up for payment the day before they are due, not the same day I get it, then I mark the transaction in my resigtry with the payment date.

I ignore the current date balance in my check book and only use the bottom line as my grocery/gas/entertainment balance. Since I don't use any checks (my wife does, I use the debit card) I don't have to worry about numerical order or things like that.

The advantages I see to my method are:
1. I am never late with a payment
2. The pressure is off me to remember to pay bills (although I do have my set days for scheduling payments, the Saturday following payday, so this is kind of a nonfactor)
3. I gain interest for carrying my checking balance at a higher level for an extended period of time

I know number three is only worth a maybe a dollar or so a month but why give away interest when i can be earning it?

My only exception to this way is my car payment, my target debt at the moment. That I pay 25% of the monthly payment on a weekly basis so as not to accumulate any more interest then I have to. Accually I have been paying double that every week since it is my target.

I kind of do the same type of thing with my credit card, but that is for another time.

So am i just an oddity? Or do others "prepay"?

Side note: I got the title to my other car in the mail last Wednesday (I paid it off the previous Friday, 2 years and 1 month early). The same day someone busted out a tail light and scratched the bumper in a parking lot.
I am starting to wonder if maybe accually owing a car is a jinx for me.

Taking Stock (with a small memorial)

October 27th, 2009 at 08:35 am

Tommorrow's my 43rd birthday and I'm none to thrilled about it. I always figured I would have more, be more and need less by the time I turned 45.

As with most dreams you need to work hard to achieve them and I have worked hard. Unfortunently I have also played hard. My life has been about the best of this the most of that and now, when I finally figure out that I don't have to have the best, I am up to my chin in debt.

Funny thing is, just a year ago I was in far worse financial shape then I am now, the cards were killing me with interest (they are all paid off now) I owed almost 3 times as much on one of my cars (my focus debt atm) and my house was just refi'ed into a lower rate but with way to much principal for the amount of time we have lived here.

So why am I not thrilled? Life happens is why. I posted before that I had paid off one of my cars and, in accordence with Murphy' Law, the car promptly died. I got a new car (brand new) that in many ways I still regret buying instead of a good used one. I got my EF up to 2500.00$ and my furnace decides it needs a vacation, 1400.00$ of the EF went to fix it. I could go on but I won't try to bore you with whining.

I guess the biggest reason I'm not real happy with the upcoming b-day is my oldest dog had to be put down a few weeks ago. Me and her had a ritual we would do each year on my b-day that for some reason I am going to miss. We would walk down to the ice-cream place together and both get a cone then take a walk around the nearby park to work off the extra calories *soft smile*. This was for her and I only, my wife didn't go (we do our dinner and movie thing later). I know it's a silly thing and probably no reason to not look forward to tommorrow but it is my reason.

PS. April Mae you were my friend and my confidant. You always made me smile no matter what. I hope to see you again when my time comes. I know you will be waiting by the Rainbow Bridge for that day. For now though I hope you finally catch that rabbit you dreamed so much about, and you find it in your heart to let it go.

Tortoise and Hare (not financial)

August 19th, 2009 at 12:40 pm

When Boo was about to begin 7th grade, she asked for a pet. Knowing full well who would end up taking care of said pet, I agreed, thinking she was old enough to handle the responsibility.

We all know whom ended up taking care of it, but that is another story. Not to be out done, Bubba decided he should have a pet as well. Hmmm maybe I should have thought about that one more, but i agreed with him as well.

So we all pile into the old car and head off to a pet store. I had in my rather limited mind Bubba would get a fish of some sort and Boo would get a gerbil or some such rodent. As usual I was wrong, Bubba decided on a Russian Blue Tortiose and Boo felt she needed a rabbit (it was so soft).

I really should have thought that all out more. With the rabbit i figured we had a maybe 3-3.5 year commitment. The Tortiose was the one i was worried about. I have heard tales of them living to the ripe-old age of 80+ years. Not really wanting to be committed to a life-long pet, I hemmed and hawed alot but as was normal, we ended up with both.

Neither animal was that exspensive but lordy the periferials they needed cost me a small fortune. Anyway, flash forward 4 years and I have been taking care of both for a more then a few of them. Flash was looking good and Dolly was just there, not real mobile or playful or anything, just there.

It was my morning ritual to get up, caffinate myself, feed the dogs, feed Flash, then feed Dolly (by the way Dolly is the rabbit lol). Did you know Russian Blue Tortios' hybernate? I found this out after Flashes first year. Did you know that they are also suppossed to be refrigerated when they hybernate? This I didn't know. When I fed Flash one morning I noticed he hadn't touched his food from the day before, well it was fall and I figured he was heading off to lala land. Boy was I wrong...Flash made his way to the Sun filled desert that fall, he was 4 years old.

Flash forward 6 more years. There sits Dolly, not real mobile or playful or anything, but still there. Dolly left us last Saturday, she was 10 years and 2 weeks old to the day.

Her life has made me think alot about things. And not only about the silly tale about slow and steady. More about how no matter what one's preconceptions might be, never take anything for granted be it people, places, relationships, finances, machines, anything.

I truely hope Dolly has found her place in the sun, she deserves it.

Murphy's Law and Part Time

July 15th, 2009 at 11:56 am

Murphy's Law states "if something can go wrong, it will"

I paid off my car a few months back (I remember snoopy dancing)and a few weeks ago, she died. Under normal circumstances I would get her fixed and continue on with my life, this time though, it would cost way more then the car was/is worth.

Sooooo... I did a really dumb thing and bought a new car, not new to me, brand new. I bought into the hype and the "deals" and dove off the deep end. Even though I think I got a great deal on a car I have wanted since they were introduced a few years ago. I still have a nasty case of buyers remorse.

I did put 50% down on the final price and had the money to both plate and insure it, but still, I feel a bit weird driving around in a new car.

Funny how things work out though, on the same day my car rolled (well sputtered) off into the sunset, I got a part time job. It's 5 nights a week for between 4-6 hours a night and pays above min wage so my debt reduction schedule is going to step up a bit even with the new payment.

I guess the old saying is true:

"When one door closes, another opens" Alexander Graham Bell

or

"When God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window."

Part Time?

May 17th, 2009 at 01:15 pm

Recently the fine state of Nebr has informed my wife that she no longer quailifies for unemployment insurance since she has become a full time student. She would "qualify" if she was going to school for something like "nurse, cpa, teacher" or any other occupation they deem fit to pay for, but cosomologist isn't on their list. I can't seem to get a reason or a list of criteria what does qualify.

I have been cruching numbers trying to figure out if we can meet all of our obligations on just my salary, and we can, but without a whole lot of wiggle room and some serious cutbacks in our grocery shopping tactics.

I have already slashed our budget to within an inch of it's life in all areas I can, but food is the one area we try to keep some varity in. I refuse to eat ramen noodles and mac-n-cheese for the next 9 months while she finishes her degree.

So I have been out submitting applications all over the place for the past 2 weeks. I have put in an average of 4 apps a day except Sundays. So far I have only had one call back for an interview. Now please understand I am not out there applying for office mgr, part time doctor or anything like that just a simple min wage part time evening job.

Frumpy *ie:wife* already has a partime job in the evening 3 days a week, and i will not ask her to do more then that so she can focus on her schooling and try to graduate early.

I am wondering if because i already have a job, if the resturants are figuring I wouldn't be reliable or something. Oh well, I will keep plugging along and see what comes up.

Stamp Out Hunger May 9th

May 8th, 2009 at 03:35 pm

Just a reminder (or a request) to everyone that Sat May 9th is "Stamp Out Hunger" day.

The Postal Service should have sent out cards (I know I delivered them on my route) to ask everyone to help stock local food banks by setting bags of non-perishable food items next to their mail boxes. Your carrier will pick them up and send them to your local food bank to help those who are in need in your area.

Please Contact your local post office to verify its participation in the food drive. (Search the USPS website for the contact information for your local post office.)

I know in my area last year we collected over a million pounds of food. Hopefully everyone can pitch in just a little and help a very worthy cause.

Thank You in advance

Needing Some Advice

March 13th, 2009 at 03:49 am

Student loans? Where do I start?

Wife has been laid off (4th time in a little over 2 years). She wants to go back to school to be a "cosmotologist" didn't they used to be called stylist?

I am all for her going to school for it, (even suggested it a few years ago when her string began) but I have absolutely no clue how to even begin to compare student loans to grants to begging for money on a curbside.

The way I see it, if she were to get licensed, she will be able to do something she would be more then suited for and enjoy doing. Plus "layoffs" wouldn't be as looming or as dreaded as her current production jobs.

Anyway, workforce developemnt will no longer fund this type of education,

" we only provide funding for education in careers that will place workers in jobs that pay 13$ or more an hour"

Huh? Around here those type of jobs are few and far between.

I have done all the work-ups how we can survive and even make headway with only my income, so I'm not panicing about our bills, yet.

I have been surfing the web and accumulating all kinds of info, but most of it is about as clear as mud ie: legelease. We have spoke to a couple of finance people in the schools, but they are about as helpful as a wart if your not willing to enroll "right now".

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.Thanks in advance

An APR Rant (sort of)

February 9th, 2009 at 01:47 pm

I got home today and went and got my mail. Interesting notification in there from Cap 1 Credit Card:

"Due to extraordinary changes in the
economic environment, we're reviewing
our existing credit card accounts"

Hmmm this doesn't sound good...

"Having considered these economic
conditions, your account's current
Purchase rate, and the length of
time you've had this rate (7.49%),
we will be increasing your
Purchase rate."

OOhhhkkaayyy....to?

"A variable rate equal to 15.9% as
of 1/28/2009."

Are you kidding me??? They doubled my interest rate??? Why? I have only been late with one payment since I got the card, and that was 1 day late. On top of that, I pay an annual "fee" for the "privilege" of having their card.

So being the rational and calm person I am (a hint of sarcasm here) I called them to politely ask "hey umm why?". My call was anwsered by a nice gentleman, in Argintina, who's english is worse then mine. After about 5 minutes of deciphering what he was trying to tell me, I asked to speak to a supervisor.

A nice lady who spoke much better english answered with this bright, cheery "Hello my name is B***, how may I help you?" So I proceeded to once again ask the question "Why?". She went into her scripted response which i let her go on for about all of 30 seconds when i rudely interrupted her.

Me: "So your company is punishing me for doing the right thing by paying on time and paying over the minimum payment?"

B***: "No sir, due to the extrodinary economic conditions, we....."

Me: "I read the mailing. Ok if you guys are going to be charging me double, how about cancelling the annual fee?"

B***: "This card has an annual fee associated with it, but this is what I can do."

Me: "Okay, what are you willing to do for me?"

B***: "We have been authorized to offer you a 5.9% APR unitil Jan 25th 2010, at which time your percentage rate will adjust to the 15.9% set forth in the mailing."

Me: "But you can't waive the fee right?"

B***: "No sir, we can not waive the fee"

Me: "Okay, give me the 5.9% until January, at which time I will have to decide if I am going to continue to use your card or shop around for another credit company."

B***: "Okay sir, we will set this up for you right now'

Me: "ummm thanks I guess"

Me: "By the way, I hope you don't take this personally (the job) I know you are not in control of what policies they want to change or how the changes will effect your customers, but to me it seems silly to punish a good customer just so the toppers can get their bonuses"

B***: "Sir I completely understand"

Me: "Okay, if that's all taken care of, I hope your day gets better from here. Thanks and bye."

B***: "You have a good day sir, and thank you for using capitol 1, bye."

Has anyone else been notified of the "changes" they are making at cap 1? Or how about other companies? Are they doing the same thing? I would hate to cancel this card, even with the fee, it's the only credit card I have. I have had it for better then 10 years. I don't want to hurt my credit rating but I may have to.

Side Effects

January 9th, 2009 at 07:45 am

Ok so I have to buy a chair, Snoopy Dance killed it. This is one side effect of paying off my car I'm more then happy to have. I never really did like the chair anyway.

A un-thought-of side effect of paying off my car came to me this morning. I can reduce my auto insurance to liability only, saving me about 20$ a month (my estiment *is that spelled right?*). I'm waiting for my agent to call me back and give me the accual numbers.

On another front, I got my blood work back from the doc. My knee turned out not to be gout, somehow i got a viral infection in the joint (what has my knee been doing while i'm asleep?). Steroids, antibiotics and rest are about all that can be done.

All I know for sure is i NEED to get back to work. I have never been one for "bed rest" nor have i ever been very good at amusing myself without direction or a plan. I have read everything i have in the house, including the furnace manual. I have accually begun to count how many times i see that fool who does the 'sham-wow' commercials a day. *sigh*

Sorry for the short rant, but it has pointed out a side effect to me i hadn't thought of before. What happens when i retire?