Wow, what a week that was!

First, I’d like to second the idea that thrift stores are the greatest invention ever! Our local goodwills have everything 1/2 price on the last weekend of the month, and that’s the only time we go. All of our clothes come from thrifting (there is also a little shop that sells all clothes for $1. Their selection isn’t great but we go there every few months too). We went Goodwilling (or as we say, “We went to Macy’s”) last weekend, and the most expensive thing we got was an LL Bean coat for $5.
Second, thank you for all of the gardening advice. I will be getting started on that soon. I’ve been collecting newspapers from work for another project and the rabbit has been doing her job.
Third, a few weeks ago, I broke a molar and I went to the dentist for the first time in 3 years. Luckily, I have dental insurance (I haven’t gone in 3 years because I’m a baby!!!), but my new tooth cost about $800 (big deductible). I also had them take a look at a tooth that has had a hole in it for a long time, and they said I needed a root canal. Well, I was tired of digging food out of this tooth crater, so I put on my big girl panties and got that taken care of on Friday. It was almost $700. Knowing it was coming up, we paused the snowball to save up for it, so nothing out of the emergency fund, altho I was willing to do that to use up my benefits for the year. I had to get about $10 worth of prescription, which included pain killers and antibiotics, so I got $20 worth of yogurt/kefir to go with that. I had a nasty reaction to the painkillers, but regular generic motrin is doing just fine. I think I’ve been living on crackers and smoothies since Friday.
Fourth: I have been making a little money on the side. I “borrowed” $500 from our savings to buy a quilting machine and I’ve been using my allowance to pay it back. I still owe $210 but I’ve been making memory quilts and will have it all paid back when I finish the order I’m working on now. I did have a $100 check but I’ve misplaced it :(

My goals this week are to keep plugging away at the quilts (I have 3 to finish) and get them out the door by the end of the month and to keep downsizing the kitchen. We’re still cooking out of the freezer, and I think the crockpot will be used a LOT this week. So I need to make a meal plan. The “emergency” kefir trip turned into a $50 impulse shopping trip, so I want to stay out of the grocery store this week.

The good news is that we cash flowed all the dental stuff and our little Lowes card is all paid and I think we’ve gotten about all we need from there so we should be cutting it up soon. Our snowball should kick back into gear this week. I have a few quilts that I can gift for Christmas so that will help with the Christmas budget. Not enough for everyone (and my poor dad has gotten homemade quilt for 2 years already!) but enough to put a dent in it!

Lets see..

By Friday we need 1000.00 to the IRS and 440.00 in rent for the business…This month has been tough…. We have been eating off food storage and mystery shops. Gas was bought with a mypoints card I cashed in….

Murphy hit and we had to get two tires this past week…..

So, the end of Oct …..Taxes paid, money for the business rent is out there just need folks to pick up their repairs, all the bills are paid….the EF fund has taken a hit…so we need to work on that and building the pantry back up for Nov, although I probably could last another couple weeks just pantry eating., and on top of this…. some Christmas shopping done with Swagbucks I reedemed…..

I call it sucessful

WELL, youngest was deposited at college

I did not cry once until I got home… We dipped into the EF about 100.00 for some supplies he needed for his room, his room mate had just arrived from Brazil and the microwave his sponser bought him was too many watts for the dorm room…we ate at the school and my inlaws paid for gas . I’m sort of puttering around feeling sorry for myself.. empty nest sort of thing… but I have given myself until tomorrow at 5:00 to be bummed and then move on :)

Well, we kinda blew it this week, what with me having a stroke on Sunday

I’m 35, and they don’t know why it happened, as I have no risk factors. We have the high deductible plan, so will theoretically need to dig up $5K from somewhere. Blah. At least it was minor… the only symptom still remaining now, 2 days later, is that I can’t control my right index finger and thumb. So not too shabby. Not sure how well our plan covers occupational therapy, so we’ll be learning a lot as we go. Woo.

And now our boys are to bed, and DH is off fetching my new prescriptions (another new financial drain), I’m off to sleep in my own bed, finally.

Hope everyone’s weekend went better than ours!

I lost mine super early..

usually by 5.5 wks…one Specialist told me it was likely happening monthly. (Hence the dozens we’ve lost and we don’t know the exact number).

I had very mild symptoms. One was throbbing in the right artery in my neck. Very odd but no one could figure it out. Outside of that, NO, I never had true symptoms. One day I was working crazy insane hours at work (18 hours, 22 hours, then 15 hours all in a row!) and my foot “fell asleep” and it slowly moved up my left leg and then hand going up my arm…

Anyway, there are many clotting factors to be tested for so its best to go armed with a list to ask about as opposed to only being tested for just one or two of them.

Thanks, everyone, for your concern and well wishes

Now that I’m half-way through a whole day with the boys home I’ve realized that though I anticipated problems with one-handedness, I did not anticipate the fatigue. So now I’m trying to find someone to play with the boys while I sleep upcoming afternoons. But my middle finger is increased in movement overnight, so I know we’re making progress.

As to the doctor bills, DH says that he was praying about the money and heard a Word in sentence form, “Don’t worry about it, it’s under control” or something. So I’m curious to see what God does.

Mike, I sure hope you get the tax situation squared away

That sounds like a mess, with that new “no idea what to do with it” tax preparer. Yikes. Prayers and warm fuzzies going out for you too! I know you already have sound financial judgment, so I’ll send those angels to go put some better sense into the folks doing your taxes. Geez, and they’re charging you money to figure out how to do their jobs? Maybe find another tax accountant? Hope you get that situation squared away to your satisfaction. Knowing you, you won’t stop until you do. What did Eldred say last week, “wind her up and just watch her go….” I’ll bet that tax office will be going through a bit of quickie learning to live up to their obligations to you. Which is as it should be. They should have known that stuff already. Keep us posted on that situation too!

We aren’t expecting much lowering

but of course hoping for a huge amount, because our income went up so much this last year with dh’s pay raise and ss not taking taxes out like we requested when we started our checks this last year. We also didn’t realize how much our interest on the mortgages had dropped in just the short time we have been paying double, or more, on it every month for those last few months.

I am looking at it this way. I expected $4,000-$5,000 and that added income has saved us a few thousand in interest on all the cc and mortgages. Plus the not having to worry about paying bills when we have months like we just had is priceless. So we’ll bite the bullet and pay what we are truly suppose to and I am having a talk with ss about those tax deductions for certain.

Earlier this week the copper tubing

that feeds the toilet in our master bathroom split. We turned off the water to it until dh could repair it Saturday, using tubing he had saved from the sink repair in the upstairs bathroom in 2014. Zero cost for that repair.

I received notice during the week that over half of the medical bills for dh have been paid. With the possibility that most of the second half MAY be paid too.

I reported a double charge on one of those doctor bills and they are suppose to back roughly $400 off that bill.

After my call to the county road department not only did they apologize for basically calling me a dumb female they came and graded our road filling in the monster truck eating potholes. I am also promised it will now maintained properly on a regular basis.

All this good helped soften the blow of an unexpected “transitional” fee from our regular doctor that showed up on Saturday for nearly $500. Granted insurance will pay most or all of it, but I want a clarification of what this fee is for certain.

An even bigger blow came when I decided I wanted the taxes done asap so I could do my first quarter budget properly. I also decided that with all dh had been through recently and what may still lay ahead we would pay for the first time since we married to have someone else to figure our taxes.

Sunday we did just that once we were told it would cost about $100. Twice what Turbo Tax costs, but I felt dh needs as little stress as possible right now.

It didn’t take us long to realize the gal at this national firm had no idea how to do gas and oil lease proceeds. She kept asking dh how he had handled them in the past.

She finally said she felt someone more experienced and knowledgeable needed to look at our taxes. No kidding, she came up that between the federal, state, and the suddenly $300 preparation fee we were going to owe …. sit down this is going to hurt… $9,000!

We have never had to pay in over $3,000 before. I had been expecting $4,000-$5,000 because of our starting ss last year, but not that much.

The higher up is going to rework our taxes to see what the gal missed (we know she didn’t put in the taxes we did pay on the royalties because she “had no idea” where they went.

They are also suppose to see what they can do about bringing the prep fee down. Hey I was quoted $100, it better come way down.

Luckily I had put back a large amount for doctor bills we now may not need, and had already budgeted for the lower tax amount, but still OUCH!

Hopefully the tax bill will come down and the insurances will come through on the doctor bills. Especially since dh has 2 doctor visits and an outpatient procedure this week. Wish us luck.

Great job educating!

It’s so great you have an open dialogue with them about credit and balances! My parents never did this… They made their own financial messes because their parents didn’t tell them either!
When I have children, I plan to end that cycle and teach money management through DR.
I see so many young adults and teens making the same mistakes I did, and that their parents probably did too… All because of not being informed.

It has been a busy week

One of my twins started her internship last month and had budgeted what she thought she could live with/without until May when she graduates. You know what happened, our friend Murphy visited and threw her off–her car is no longer under a maintenance agreement, needed servicing and new tires . Not to worry, she does have an account that she refuses to touch–it was started when she was a baby. She has worked all through school to pay for everything. She had the car serviced before she started, but waited on the tires. Yes, got something in a tire and they all had to get replaced ASAP. Juggled the cars/schedules, got her the tires and all I need to do now is transfer the money out of her account.

Went to the bank yesterday to add checking to my youngest daughter’s account. She got a job back in November, direct deposit her checks, but thought that in an emergency a debit card might be handy. She only uses cash and I’m not worried about her spending all her money, she definitely budgets well.

Her friend freaked a few months ago because she didn’t already have a cc, after all, she’s had one for over 2 years. Difference is that mommy and daddy pay it off. the thought of cc and a balance freak out 3 of my 4 kids, but I think the last kid is finally catching on—yes, she carries a balance and is realizing how much interest it is costing her. I would rather they learn this stuff while in college and at home, so they are responsible when they move out on their own.

Not sure what you like for breakfast but I’ll tell you what’s cheap, quick, easy and delicious!

Breakfast burritos!!

Me and dh like to buy a dozen eggs, a pack of flour tortillas, one onion, a couple bell peppers, and a pack of sausage links. Cook and slice up the sausage, then scramble the eggs and veggies together. Add sausage bits to the eggs and veggies and mix it up. Plop a few spoon fills of the mixture inside a tortilla, wrap with Saran Wrap and freeze. Repeat.

You can make several dozen breakfast burritos for under $20. Less if you cut the sausage!

They last for a long time! Just pop in the microwave in the morning and eat on the way.

And if you’re a coffee person, experiment with instant. It isn’t as good, not even close, but when you’re running late it’s so quick…

I have pretty much gotten Aug’s budget done

I know, we are already 3 days in to February. I am trying to tweak some of the outlying categories to accommodate a new line item.

Pay checks are in the bank. Have set up this month’s bill on bill pay with the bank. Well, except the water bill. I will get it scheduled when I know the amount.

We have my vehicle in the shop for the day. It needs new struts on the front. I do not know what they do but dh does and knows for a fact they need replacing. We are going with after market parts because it’s about $600 less for the whole thing to go that way. We will be paying cash for this. The mechanic is trusted, he is a personal friend.

We have gotten quotes on long term care insurance, with more quotes to come. Dh is not yet 60 but we decided to get the quotes. (Dh will turn 59 in a few weeks.) Both dh’s mom and my mom and maternal grandfather had Alzheimer starting in their 60’s so we don’t want to wait too long. We have also checked with our accountant to find the best way possible to pay for this … either personally or through the business. We will make adjustments in our salary to pay for this.

We also are looking into long term care insurance for dd. She has many health problems and is probably uninsurable for this type insurance but we want to know one way or the other.

Only a couple of things

Dr managed to not need to be admitted to the hospital after his outpatient procedure last week. Twice before with out patient, and one dental procedure his bp had bottomed out so he was admitted. Not this time. Yeah! They successfully broke up the 1 centimeter kidney stone and he is recovering well.

I filed a second inquiry about why we were charged for two initial visits from one doctor during dh’s first hospital stay. I finally got a response today, sort of. That $370 charge simply disappeared from our bill overnight. Fine, now I will pay the balance in full and move on to the next bill.

Tax people finally called us back and we are meeting with them on Friday. It doesn’t sound good.

Oh and 9 months later I finally got my Menards $30 refund on my Cricut Expression.

Not much to report on the personal financial home front!

Getting paid monthly and being out of debt, save the house, it’s pretty boring. Oh, we did discuss our medication fund envelope. We are both on daily meds and we had built up a pretty sizable amount in the envelope. Apparently we both met our prescription deductible which is separate from our medical deductible, so our meds were greatly reduced in price the last few month. Even so we kept putting back the same amount and that is how it built up.

I told dh about how much it had built up and asked if he wanted to keep putting back the same amount. He suggest we take about 3/4 of it and put it in the furniture fund. We are wanting to purchase 2 new recliners for the den and have started that fund already. He said we would let it build in the furniture fund until/unless we needed to move it back for medication. I thought that was a pretty good idea. So starting in Aug that is what we are doing.

I have had some good sales this month for my coasters, etc. In fact, I dropped of one set to a friend that she is giving as a gift to her dd. The dd was there visiting so I didn’t press for payment …. this friend is good for it, I know she’ll pay. Another friend is supposed to drop by this evening and pick up/pay for 2 sets. Of course I have had plenty of other sales and I am excited. This June is much better than last June. I started this business in June of 2014 so last June was really my first full June. Sales are much better this year than last. It is good because I need to get some craft show apps in the mail and usually full payment of the booth fee must accompany the application.

All shopping is done, all paid in cash from website – payday loans for bad credit. Presents are wrapped and under the tree. Dh suggested we open gifts on birthday. I am not sure when it’ll take place. We are going to our church’s Christmas Eve service at 6:00 PM. However we will probably need to get there by 5:00-5:15 to get a good seat. Then we are invited to go visit with some dear friends who are in from Houston. We just love them to death. By the time we get done with all that it will probably be 9:00-10:00 PM. I really don’t want to open gifts that late. I may suggest that we find out if our friends can come over for coffee Christmas evening or one evening after that, maybe Friday or Saturday.

Another one bites the dust! And Target is coming soon..

I was hoping my tax refund would be here by now, but the IRS web site says within 21 days…

BUT with our regular paychecks and insurance reimbursement, dh and I paid off the other capitalone card in full just a moment ago! As soon as the payment posts I will call and close the account (silly thing – if you close first then pay, or simultaneously close when you pay, capone reports to the bureau in such a way that makes it look like they CANCELED you!).

Wierd eh?

Well, anyway… going to close tomorrow or Monday, whenever the payment officially posts.

But its paid :-):-):-)

I have such a hole burning in my pocket to get my tax refund so we can also kill the last of the Target credit card!

So exhilarating to have two cards go within 30 days.

And a bonus is we actually will get some money back from capone – we each started a secured capone card long ago, so that initial deposit will get mailed back. Probably $300-$400 but hey, its like free money at this point. Going to put that towards the Discover card or possibly the car loan. When the Tanda money comes in I want that to go to the car, so if I have both in hand I’ll just throw them both thataway, and pay off the car completely.

I REALLY feel like we can do this!

And sooner than hoped for!

Already conquered: 5 credit cards + elmininated one car payment (plus a major attitude adjustment, which is priceless if you ask me)

Current to-kill list: 2 student loans, 3 personal loans, 1 auto loan and 3 credit cards

Dadburn tablet sent the email before I was ready

Anyway, the data storage fee was mandatory, but had never been brought up before.
They of course thought I would want their gold protection plan for another $30. They were wrong.

The real kicker that sent me over the edge. They had charged us nearly $100 in an hourly fee! When I demanded to know what that was it was explained to me it was because our return had been on hold for over a week. EXCUSE ME! They don’t call me back and I get charged $100? I DON’T THINK SO!

I will say the woman behind the desk saw the error of their ways real fast! The bill dropped down to where it was originally quoted in less than 15 minutes.

Now you want a giggle. She gave me coupons to share with friends and family to recommend their service.

So if anyone wants one…LOL. Btw, the charges I listed are their standard charges. You get billed for every single piece of paper they touch past your ONE W2.

The tax saga

So, we finally hear back from Jackson Hewitt about our taxes, which go down about $500 from what we were originally told, but they then tried to hit us with a $550 preparation fee!

You can imagine my reaction. Let’s just say they backed down to a lot closer to the $125 we had been quoted and agreed to.

Here is why they told us the preparation fee was so high, before I had a “talk” with them.

Base fee is $50 for fed and $38 for state. Then there is a fee for each additional form (that is what they say in their ads, but in real life form=page).

When the original person said form I had said, “so since we will need a schedule E that would be one form?” The answer was yee, thst it would cost us $100-$125.

Real life calculations, they not only charged us for the schedule E but a”form fee” for each 1099, and every other tax income receipt we had. So we got charged individually for our ss statements, my royalty statements, our brokerage statements and the schedule E or 7 forms!

You have to laugh: when it rains….

Landlord has been over for the past two days “slapping lipstick on a pig.” (His words). He’s not actually going to FIX the stuff the city cited him over, he’s just going to cosmetically dress it up so it passes “viewing.” The person who turned him in to the City came over the first day he was here and started screaming about the place….they want it fixed or sold before October (when he told them we were moving.) And like the reactionary he is……

He’s moved up our eviction date from October to June 1.

Good thing we’ve already set in motion plans to move to Texas.Kids are done with school the end of May. Would have liked a month or so or one last summer in Huntington Beach, but the world won’t end.

And ironically, given the past few weeks with my daughter’s ill health, the LEAST problem I have right now is the possibility of being homeless.

Hopefully in the next 4-6 weeks we can make an offer on a house, close, and start packing to get the heck out of dodge.

Which is exactly what I have been doing all along and as a result we have saved thousands of dollars

Two months ago I caught the hospital had not filed on dh’s medicare. That was $27,000 right there. Two weeks ago it was a double charge for an intial hospital visit that I finally got them to reverse and those were from the December hospital stay.

Our nearly $40,000 worth of medical for December went down to $1,039 for hospital, labs, doctors and deductible. Not bad considering our deductible was suppose to be $3,000. (Medicare covered it)

I tried to pay the entire amount last week, but my debit card only allows $1,000 per day and the person taking the payment didn’t want to take a $39 payment for the next day. I was told to just include it with my payment on the January hospital stay next month.

Thanks to Obamacare our 2015 deductible is $5,000 each that combined with a much shorter hospital stay in January and Medicare being slow to pay, but it did get filed this time, has our billing all messed up for not only the hospital, but the two outpatient procedures since then.

Wednesday dh was told he needed an outpatient procedure the next day. Okay, schedule it we told them. Before we even got home that doctor’s business office was calling demanding an $801deposit before the procedure. Saying it was because they were concerned that with our high deductible that we hadn’t met yet we might have difficulty in paying them. That if we didn’t prepay there would be no procedure until we did.

You all would be proud, I didn’t scream at the gal. I am very aware that doctors have no idea what type of nonsense their business offices pull.

Instead I politely asked if the doctor or the surgical hospital he is a co-owner of had filed their insurance claim for the previous procedure, two weeks earlier yet. The answer was no, of course. I knew that because I had been watching for that to come through our insurance.

I then pointed out that between the $17,000 for dh’s January hospital visit, that outpatient treatment along with radiology, and other doctors involved that the deductible would have been more than met if everyone just did their job and filed properly with Medicare and BCBS. She said “let me figure your 20%”

Folks did you know 20% of $801 is $120. I just shook my head at her ineptness. Told her I would call back with my debit card info and disconnected. I then called the doctor’s office to make certain it was them that called, just in case and paid the $120 rather than try to explain basic math to the gal.

Because I pay on a fifo (first in first out) basis the remainder of the 20% is now at the back of the line. I figure it will be awhile before they even bill the insurance company.