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Christmas Shopping and Raises

December 4th, 2018 at 02:57 am

I am done Christmas shopping. I didn't have much to do since I did the Toys R Us haul this summer for the kids. I bought Alexa and a Fire Stick combo for my dad (my son is splitting this with me) and ornaments for my kids. We don't really do gifts for the adults generally, but I cheated a bit.

My bff does a LOT for me, so I wanted to do a gift for her family. I went to the local farmer's type market here (It is HUGE and has everything you can think of including a very large beer and wine selection). I got $40 worth of stuff (German beer and hard cider, cookies, salsa, bbq sauce) and put it in a wastebasket. Yes, a wastebasket. My bff loves A Christmas Story and I saw a leg lamp wastebasket, so I got it. I also included A Christmas Story Fudge in the basket.

All in all, I am not much into the holidays this year with my mom and grandma gone, but I am doing my best for the grandkids sake.

Other news on the financial front: I got a 4% raise for editing (yearly raise). I also just found out starting tomorrow the district I sub in the most raised the pay by $25 a day! That being said, the pay was pretty low before for regular day-to-day subbing. It is now a good rate (after all they require a degree).

Grandma passed away

November 26th, 2018 at 03:19 am

My grandmother passed away Saturday morning (exactly six weeks after my mom, her daughter). I am sad, but it was time. I hope she can rest in peace now. The funeral is tomorrow and then I will finally go home. I have been gone since the 10th.

There were seven of us staying with grandma for the last week of her life. We ended up with four Thanksgiving dinners due to family and friends. I am sad it was my grandma's declining health that brought on the situation, but otherwise I enjoyed spending time with my family last week.

I am not sure if I mentioned it, but during the conference in Vegas I negotiated more responsibilities with my company. I will square those away once I get home.

It has been one hell of a year. I can't wait for it to be over. However, it WILL end on a sweet note. My daughter is due on December 24th. I can't wait to meet my granddaughter!

Grandma Update

November 21st, 2018 at 06:46 pm

Vegas was great. I got home and spent last Friday with a friend. My grandma got considerably worse and I have been at her house staying with several family members since this past Saturday. It has been very hard watching her die a slow death. She is 91 and has had a long life. The upsetting part is having to see her die this way. It doesn't make it any easier that my mom died less than 6 weeks ago.

Regardless, I am thankful for my family. If there is anything positive in all of this is spending quality time with my family the last few days. I am also thankful my mom will have her own mother with her very soon. I hope you all have a peaceful Thanksgiving. I know it has been a tough few months for several of my SA friends.

Vegas Plan

November 6th, 2018 at 02:37 am

I leave for Vegas on Sunday morning. I am traveling alone. Most of the trip is already paid for including:

Conference ($125)
Hotel Room ($392 including resort fees and taxes)
Plane Ticket ($275)
Three Meals (Lunch on Mon and Tues are part of the conference, and our company's owner is covering dinner on Monday.)-FREE
Shuttle to and from airport ($26)
High Roller ($20)


I have $150 to spend, and I also have $15 in Starbucks cards to cover coffee. I figure this should be plenty for food, gambling and tipping. Forty of that is from the change I saved all summer for gambling, which is the limit for me. I don't plan on seeing any shows.

Sunday-Treat myself to brunch and the High Roller before checking in at the hotel. I will just relax Sunday night (I actually am responsible for editing that day). I will find a cheap dinner option for Sunday evening at the hotel food court.

Monday is all conference related and dinner with my coworkers.

Tuesday is also conference related. It would have been my mom's 70th birthday, so that is my gambling day in honor of her (She loved bingo, so I will do my best to find a bingo slot machine). I will gamble after the conference. I will keep dinner cheap that day too.

Wednesday-Walk the strip and enjoy the freebie entertainment at the different hotels. I also have to work that day. If I win anything gambling on Tuesday, I have told myself I can keep 25% for fun. Depending on what is left in the food budget, I may find a mid-range dinner option.

I head home on Thursday morning. I will let you know how the budget panned out when I return.

Healthcare

November 2nd, 2018 at 02:43 am

I have an indemnity plan through subbing that covers the ACA. It is mainly a preventative care program and covers very nominal amounts for a hospital stay or surgery ($300/$500 per day respectively). I have been looking into health sharing ministries for additional coverage. I found chministiries.org and am thinking of adding the Bronze level for $45 per month. This would cover inpatient and outpatient hospital care up to $125k after my out of pocket cost of $5k (which can be reduced if I negotiate discounts).

Thoughts?

The Latest

October 20th, 2018 at 04:18 am

It is a week tonight since my mom passed. It's still surreal. I have been okay overall. I did cry a bit yesterday. I probably will today. I am going to see my dad. He picked up the ashes yesterday. Also, my nephew will be there, and I am sure he doesn't fully understand (autistic).

It's a long story, but my grandma was moved again. She is having a lot of behavior issues. The family is completely stressed out and has no clue what to do at this point. My uncle actually passed out at the hospital. Luckily, he is okay. They attributed it to the stress.

On a financial note, I have only spent on gas in over a week with the exception of two pumpkins for the grandkids yesterday ($6). I have lived on leftovers from last weekend this week. I will eat at my dad's all weekend. I will finally head to the grocery store on Monday when I get back home.

I am thankful I have a three and a half day weekend. Yesterday, it was bitter but we went to the apple orchard. My grandson was in a mood so with that and the weather it wasn't all that fun. I hope to spend a little time with friends in the Detroit area this weekend. I need the distraction!

Send prayers/good thoughts to my youngest. His road trip/visiting ends tomorrow and he heads to Germany for two years. I am excited for him but also sad he will be so far away.

Mom is Gone

October 14th, 2018 at 03:05 am

My mother was removed from the ventilator at 1:20 PM Friday afternoon. We were shocked she didn't pass within minutes. My oldest son (youngest had to get back on road for rest of trip before heading to Germany), daughter and I stayed the night. My oldest son finally went home with his family early afternoon yesterday. The kids needed to get back to some normalcy.

My dad left at six. He was exhausted. He said to call when we saw the vital signs deteriorate more. He lives within 5 minutes of the hospital. My daughter had went to my car to get something, and the monitor went haywire. I texted her to get right back and called my dad. He did not make it in time, but she did. We held my mom's hands as she took her last breaths. She died exactly one month before her 70th birthday.

It was a brutal last few days, and I am so very tired. I did sleep last night out of exhaustion. My daughter is going home tomorrow. I will spend the day with her and my dad. I will take one more day off school and go home tomorrow after taking her to the airport.

My dad is sad but doing fine overall. My mom has had health problems for a few years now. I honestly think he is relieved.

We had a family brunch yesterday while my daughter and my cousin were in town in honor of my mom. She didn't want a funeral service.

My grandma is having major behavior issues lately so we have decided not to tell her for now. It's tough thinking of keeping this from her. However, we don't want to move her again if she becomes too out of control for this facility.

Anyhow, I wanted to post an update. I appreciate all the nice comments and your support on the last post.

Worst Day of My Life

October 10th, 2018 at 08:47 pm

I came home from school and found out my mother had a massive stroke. She is on a ventilator, and we are holding off on removing anything until my daughter gets here from NC tomorrow night (and she is nearly 7 months pregnant). This is all so surreal, and I feel like I am in the middle of nightmare.

At least my youngest was still here on leave from the Air Force. It is also my oldest son's birthday.


The family has also decided to tell my grandma. She is with it enough to understand, but I am sure she will forget it by the next day.

First Week Done-Not What I Expected

September 23rd, 2018 at 06:05 am

Well, I bit off more than I can chew. I have been working until after 10 PM each night and get back up at 5:30. I even work while eating dinner, and one night I completely forgot about it.

The school is a good school, and the students are good overall. There are no major issues with the kids. However, the expectation seems to be I will come in about an hour before school starts and stay an hour after, for a grand total of $150 per day. I am also the only one without a planning period. I am also expected to be at conferences for an additional three hours twice this week (no extra money). The department head even asked me if there was any way I could meet with him on the weekend to plan ahead.

The good news is I work for the staffing company and not the school. If I leave, I still have my regular subbing available in several school districts.


The question is how long to risk my health and sanity. The job is posted for a regular teacher, but no bites so far. This is the best district in the area too. It pays decent for someone who would be hired through the district itself (it would be closer to $200 per day).

I am not sure what I will do. This school runs in trimesters, and this one ends right at my Vegas vacation. By the way, they indicated they aren't thrilled about it. However, I was upfront about it and told them it was a conference for my other job and already paid for.

My hope is someone will apply and get hired to step in for the second trimester. The extra income is nice, but I am not thrilled working 14-15 hour days (I also work 6-8 hour days on the weekends in general with my other job).

What makes me most sad is I will barely see my son when he visits before going to Germany for two years. I am going home right after school the week he is here, and I don't care who gets upset.

I knew what I was getting into...to a point. I planned on coming in early OR staying late but not both. I was hoping to sit and grade/plan at home for the most part. I also expected since I came in the fifth week of school to get a little more guidance/help than I have.

On a good note, I am loving the new responsibilities with my editing job.

Okay enough complaining. Thanks for letting me vent.

Work, Work, Work...

September 15th, 2018 at 07:02 am

In addition to the new teaching job, I got offered more responsibility with my editing job. I am adding an hourly position which will consume about 8 hours per week. I took this because it is interesting, and the teaching job could end at any point. However, I will have practically zero free time.

Since I want to keep saving more for retirement, replace my car and buy a home within the next two years, every extra dime will go to these goals.

After I get a couple paychecks, I will add the savings to my sidebar. I need to pay off this personal loan as well. If I pay as usual, it would be paid off near the end of February. At this point, I want it paid off no later than Thanksgiving.

New Job

September 13th, 2018 at 02:08 pm

I've said it before, jobs tend to fall in my lap. It happened again. I was on the website looking for what was available for subbing next week. There was a note that one of the local high schools was looking for an English Teacher/long-term sub. I called and within 2 hours had an interview with a follow up interview today. I got the job. I start on Tuesday. It could go a few weeks or all year. That is up in the air. The pay rate is double what a regular day-to-day sub gets.

I am going to live on my regular budget. I will pay off my personal loan by the end of next month. The rest of the extra will go to savings for the summer months and my IRA.

It will be a challenge. The students are on week 4 and have different subs in nearly every day. However, it's a great district, so I am hopeful it will turn out fine!

P.S. My daughter's flight made it here with no issues! I will let you know what damage her area gets.

The Calm Before the Storm

September 11th, 2018 at 04:09 am

Over the last couple of days I could comment but not log in. I know someone else mentioned having this issue recently. Anyhow, it is working now.

This past two weeks has been a roller coaster. Grandma did not adjust to the assisted living and is in a hospital awaiting a permanent placement. The dementia is getting a lot worse. I hope they find a placement asap. It is so sad and frustrating.

My mom's health is declining as well, but I will hold those details for a future post.

My youngest son called last Wednesday. He was supposed to be home on leave this weekend. They changed it last minute, and now he is in Georgia training for three weeks first. He had to pack up and get there in two days, but he made it fine. I think he is far enough south to not have too many issues from the hurricane (coastal GA).

My daughter is in the direct path of the hurricane. They are under mandatory evacuation this morning. She is in NC near the SC border, just a little north of Myrtle Beach. Thankfully, they are renting a furnished place. I have no doubt their place will be gone if it stays on the current path (and intensity). They removed their personal belongings last night. She is just under 6 months pregnant. She called her doctor who said she was okay to fly if the flight was under 4 hours. She booked a one way tomorrow (Pray the flight gets out!) for only $160. I worry about her DH who is a lineman and will work up to 18 hours days, not to mention have to go through the storm. I am thankful her mother-in-law who lives inland is storing their stuff, her car and watching their dog.

So yes, I am incredibly stressed. However, I am also excited to see my daughter this week (Her birthday is Thursday too!) and my son in a few weeks. I wish they could have been here at the same time, but I will take what I can get. My grandkids (via my oldest who lives by me) are going to get two major surprises because they have no clue of either visit. I cannot wait to see their faces!

Thinking of CCF and everyone else who has to weather the storm. Stay safe and let us know you are okay when you can.

Financial Update

September 1st, 2018 at 07:08 am

I paid $145 to the IRS in August. I will pay it off later this week when I get my final check for caring for grandma. I am plugging along with the personal loan.


Last month, I also cashed out for a $3 Dunkin Donuts card and a $25 Amazon gift card through Swagbucks.

On the health front, now that I am going to be home on a regular basis, I hope to get in the pool at least five days a week for at least a half hour.

I am toying with the idea of purchasing a house in 2019. I am not sure it is feasible, but I am getting my ducks in a row. I want a small home with a mortgage of no more than $80,000. I should be able to do this in the town I have targeted. If not 2019, I should be able to do it in 2020. I will keep you all posted.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday weekend!

Financial Accomplishments

August 17th, 2018 at 05:13 am

My grandma's habit when she had her faculties was to go to the bank at the beginning of the month. She would pay her bills, put a little in savings and pull out cash for her groceries and spending. She was responsible when it came to her finances.

I wanted to use the money I was paid for her care wisely. She worked hard to earn this money. I wanted to know she would be proud of me. I accomplished the following from April through now.

-Cash flowed car repairs/maintenance

-Cash flowed new laptop (definitely a need)

-Cash flowed Vegas trip coming up in November (business other than the last day is for pleasure)

-Saved $1000

-Saved an additional $300 for loss of income during trip to Vegas

-Paid off a personal loan and the IRS and have made a large dent in another personal loan

-Added an additional $50 per month in my IRA

I am satisfied with where the money went, and I hope she would be too.

Changes are Coming

August 15th, 2018 at 05:59 am

My time caring for my grandma is coming to an end. Unfortunately, she has had a large decline in the last week. She no longer recognizes her home and is getting feisty because we won't take her home. My aunt found a beautiful assisted living facility. She will be going there September 1st.

I will readjust my September budget. School will be starting, so I am sure by mid September subbing will be in full gear. I am also being given a two week severance.

I will pay the IRS off and put an extra month's rent in savings beyond what I already have saved. This will leave the personal loan and student loans. I have to talk to them as I was due to readjust my income based payments.

I am going to start booking more mystery shopping for September too. However, I do plan on taking it easy and working a light schedule the first week. I need to recoup.

Be careful what you research

July 23rd, 2018 at 06:09 am

About six weeks ago, I started researching my mother's family. I knew my paternal grandfather divorced my grandmother and allowed her second husband (who I always considered my grandfather) to adopt the kids. As I have taken care of grandma, one of my aunts and I have become very close. She filled in a couple of missing names for me. I ran with it and found out more than I bargained for. Apparently, I have a knack for this. For less confusion, biological grandfather is H. from this point, and the man I knew as my grandfather is E.

-My mom and her siblings have a half brother and sister via H. There was a rumor he might have more kids, but no one knew for sure or where to look. It took four weeks but after I finally found out their mother's maiden name, I found them. There is no doubt. I have seen their photos and have solid proof H. is their father. They live in the south.

-H. who was a jerk, was also a narcissist. He named his second son a Jr. My uncle (from first marriage, my mom's full brother) was also a jr. (although they renamed him during the adoption). Who names two kids the same name?

-H. died in the 70s of cancer. His second wife never divorced him. I wonder what she knew. I assume nothing. She seemed pretty religious.

-I am pretty sure my grandma and H. were never legally married. I can find no records, but I found his record of signing up for the service. He is listed as single, yet this was just a few months before my uncle was born. The marriages of the year they were supposedly married are public in our state, but there is nothing.

-Onto my grandfather, E. He had two kids too. There was a rumor of this but we were all told he was sterile and figured their mother lied about it. However, I found them too and I have seen photos. I would bet money they are E.'s biological kids.

-E.'s two biological kids were born during his marriage to my grandmother. They live locally.

-Yesterday, I was quite upset to find E. married the biological kids mom FOUR weeks before he married my grandma (This is via the actual county record). So, my grandfather who I idolized was a bigamist. He married them in two different states which I guess is why it was never found out.

So here I am full of info and not sure what to share and not share with my family. My aunt feels it is a dishonor to my grandma to say anything while she is living even though she has dementia. She wants to share after she passes. I feel my mom and other siblings have a right to know there is another brother and sister via H.. However, I don't know if I want everyone to know E. was a bigamist. Was the adoption even legal for that matter if he married the other wife a month before my grandma? The adoption was two years later. And who the hell adopts four kids, treats them like gold and has two biological kids he doesn't bother with for the most part? On a side note, my aunt said there was rumor he used to eat breakfast once a month with the biological daughter.

My aunt has the marriage certificate of grandma and E. and it looks fake. It probably was. I am so sad. My poor grandma was duped twice.

What would you want to know if this was your history? I am struggling with this info and what to keep between me and my aunt and what to share. I will probably delete this post in a couple of days to be on the safe side, but I felt I needed unbiased opinions.





Paid off Personal Loan 1 and Other Updates

July 12th, 2018 at 05:25 am

I cashed out for a $25 (cost was 2200 SB, equivalent to $22) Southwest gift card on Swagbucks yesterday. Once I receive it, I will purchase my plane ticket for Vegas. I reserved my room. They only held $76 up front, but I have the rest set aside. The room came to just under $95 per night after taxes and resort fees. I am told this is good for Vegas.

I paid off personal loan 1 this week. I mailed the check on Monday. I also paid another $67.50 to personal loan 2 (I pay twice a month). I have a payment set up for the IRS at the end of the month. I don't recall if it was $50 or $60. Either way, I believe I can knock it out by September.

On the health front, I was fasting 12 hours per day. I have upped that to 14, as research shows this is the best way to go.

I am finishing up laundry and packing up. I leave my grandma's around 12:30 today (until Sunday afternoon). My son, grandson and I are heading to the county fair on our way home (They were at my parents). My daughter-in-law and granddaughter are on their way to Texas for her sister's wedding.

Tomorrow I set myself up to try doing work for Instacart. I am not really looking forward to it, but I want to give it a try. I also set up 5 mystery shops near home this weekend. I want these debts paid off!

Debt Repayment

July 2nd, 2018 at 06:38 pm

I have student loans on deferment until September, which I will track at a later date. I had a few other debts that were fairly small and I don't even think I mentioned them much, if at all. I won't get into the specifics. The point is they need to be paid. I started paying on them May 1st. I have updated my sidebar and will continue to do so.

Assuming there are no major issues, the plan is as follows on those debts:

Personal Loan 1 will be paid off by August 1st.

The IRS debt will be paid off by October 1st.

Personal loan 2 will be paid off by December 15th.



Kids' Christmas and Birthday Shopping Done!

June 6th, 2018 at 06:00 am

I went to one Toys R Us last week and another this week. I was told they would be closed by the end of June. I managed to buy for four kids Xmas and Birthdays. I spent $158 total, but I had it in my sinking funds. I figured better to spend it now than to pay full price (or close to it) later on.

I also bought an extra gift for my grandson for finishing Kindergarten this week. I did additional shopping on behalf of a friend as well for her grandson. That is not included in the total. She will reimburse me.

In case you're curious, the markdowns average 50% off (40-60%). There was even new stuff. For example, I got my grandson Incredibles 2 toys.

They are the last of the Toys R Us Kids Frown

Vegas Trip

May 29th, 2018 at 05:23 am

I have been debating the last couple of days if I should justify a trip to Vegas in November. I am not a gambler. The trip is for a mystery shopper conference. I decided to do it. It's business, so it is a tax write-off.

I figure I should be able to go for a total of $800 or less depending on airfare.

Conference fee: $125

Hotel (rate for attendees) for three nights: $201

Spending: $150 or less (I may justify one show if the price is right.)

Airfare: $250 ish (I hope!)

Misc: $50 (Uber/Taxi to and from airport)

Everyone I know in the business has doubled to tripled their work after attending a conference. I have wanted to go to one for a few years now.

On the off chance any of you who mystery shop are interested, I would be open to sharing a room. I am not booking anything for about a month. I want to see if there is any talk of any special pricing for the conference. It's early, so I know nothing will sell out. I want to pad my sinking fund a little more first anyhow.

New Laptop, Saving for a Trip, Fitbit Group

May 20th, 2018 at 04:04 am

I am still plugging along going back and forth between my place and grandmas. It isn't too bad. If there is no traffic, I can make it home in an hour and 15 minutes.

I am putting in extra days, so my next check will be nice. I also officially signed a 6 month lease at my current apartment. I got a credit for staying a year, and my rent for June is only going to be $225.00. I bought a laptop with what I saved on rent. I was in desperate need of a new laptop. My old one is 5 years old and makes weird noises, has no battery and is super slow. I was willing to spend up to $530 including taxes on a new one. After a lot of research and returning one that would not get out of a restart loop, I got one that now works well for $380 including taxes. It is sooo much faster. It should really help with productivity. I took the remaining $150 I had budgeted and put it in savings.

By the end of August, my only remaining debt will be student loans. I have cash flowed all scheduled car maintenance and the laptop. There should be no further major expenses for quite some time. After August, I am going to start saving to go to Europe. My son is getting stationed in Germany. I plan on visiting while he is there. I hope to go in 2020, as my BFF and her family are going then to visit her stepson who will be an hour away from mine. However, at this point my son does not know how long he will be stationed there.

My son sent me a Fitbit for Mother's Day. Weren't there a few of you on a FB group for this? I would love to join if someone would share the info. Thanks in advance.

I need to get moving. I am going to try and relieve my aunt around noon, and I have some cleaning to do here first. Enjoy your Sunday!

Groupon Spending

April 27th, 2018 at 02:36 am

I got a couple of great deals this week. I don't normally bother with Groupon, but I had 30% off for TMobile Tuesday. I bought a deal for a local chiropractor (with excellent reviews) for $35 after the deal. I also went through Swagbucks for an additional 10% savings. This deal includes full xrays and three adjustments.

A local vision place also had a deal for $69 for an exam and a $200 credit toward glasses. I found a code for 20% off that and again got another 10% off through Swagbucks.

I know these are great deals. It's also justified spending. I have the money, and it is for my overall health. However, I always feel guilty spending money on myself.

On another note, so far so good caring for grandma. It is a little tough being gone from home so much though. I feel like I am constantly on the go, especially since I am subbing when I am home. This is the case today. I also have the grandkids for a few hours this evening. I am heading back down to the Detroit area tomorrow instead of Sunday to go to a comedy night tomorrow night (Cancer fundraiser) with friends. Even though it will be busy, it should be a fun weekend. I hope you all have a great weekend as well.

Chaotic Day

April 13th, 2018 at 05:19 am

I picked up my car Wednesday and spent the afternoon hanging out with friends. I drove home yesterday morning, and it was a beautiful day. Around 3 PM, all hell broke loose. One of my aunts called and said my grandma went ballistic when the nurse showed up. She was tired of everyone coming to her house and living this way. She threw my two aunts who were there things out the door and told them to get out and locked the door (Not sure at what point the nurse left, I think she was outside with them). Apparently she wanted to know when I would be there and is calm about that. My aunt asked if I would stay five days a week.

Short version is I am going to try this. I really want my grandma to die peacefully at home. She is with it enough that I know she would be devastated and more miserable in a nursing home. It was decided to take her off all medications (She does not want to take them) other than the one that calms her down which we can put in her food.

Hopefully, with less changes she will be a little more calm. I don't know the outcome of last night yet.

While I was on the phone, calls kept coming in and I said to my aunt that was strange and I should see what was going on. I excused myself and hung up. Come to find out my son's apartment building was on fire!

Turns out it affected two apartments at the opposite end of his building (don't know the cause). They came to my house and had pizza while waiting for the okay to go back. Everything turned out fine.

No matter how things are at grandma's at the moment, I am not going back until Sunday. I have commitments today and tomorrow. I have shops and my tire replacement is scheduled.

Well, it is time to get to some work done here. Hopefully today will be a little less crazy.

Car and Apartment Update

April 10th, 2018 at 07:08 am

My car had a serious issue with suspension. A friend of a friend who is a reliable mechanic looked at it and gave me a great deal. He is replacing both of my control arms and my air filter for $510. I need to replace the worn down front tire (the bad arm caused the wear) and get an alignment once that is completed, so I plan to spend about $700 when all is said and done. It's never fun to spend money on repairs, but I am relieved it's taken care of, and I had enough money saved.

Although I gave my notice on my apartment (was due today) before I drove to grandma's this past Saturday, I have decided to do a 6 month lease. There is just so much going on, and I cannot fathom having to pack everything up and store it in less than two months. Six months gives me breathing room. I will likely still share something with my cousin long-term, but I was just not happy with thinking about couch surfing all summer. I will rescind my notice (which I was told I could do through May 24th) on Thursday. I will continue thinning out and selling/donating what I can over the summer. My youngest will be home for two weeks in late August to get the rest of his stuff.

On the positive side, my family is giving me a $50 gas card every month to assist with the back and forth travel. Also, now that I will be comfortable with the car, I can do more mystery shopping (I was staying as close to home as possible). I won't save as much as I would have with no rent/utilities, but I should still be able to save a significant amount of money with being gone half time (less on electricity and groceries/household goods) and the income from taking care of grandma.

Update

April 2nd, 2018 at 04:42 am

I had breakfast with my cousin on Saturday before driving home. She is going to look at apartments/condos this week while she is off work. I am leaning on toward sharing something with her, but I want to see what we can find in our price range. We both agree we need three bedrooms, at least 1 and a half baths, and we prefer a private entrance and washer/dryer hookup. We hope to do this for $1300 or less.

I figured out approximately what I would save by living with her, and it would be significant. I would be ready to replace my car in a year if needed rather than two if I stayed on my own. I could also put more away in my ROTH. I based this without staying with grandma. If that continues for a significant period of time, I will do even better.

On another note, I stayed three days with grandma last week and it went well. She is VERY repetitive, but lucid for the most part. I am home for the week for pre-scheduled dental work and to feed my son's cats while they are on vacation. I head back down to grandma's on Saturday through Wednesday morning.

I hope you all had a nice Easter. Mine was quiet because I came home rather than staying the Detroit area to celebrate with family or friends. I needed the day to think and plan ahead.

Should I renew my lease?

March 24th, 2018 at 05:21 am

I am on the fence about renewing my lease. I would love feedback. Starting this week, I am going to be caring for my grandmother half the week. She lives 80 miles from me. My family said I was more than welcome to stay there on my days off as well. For now, I am going to stay there on my days off one week, and go home the next week on my days off.

Anyhow, my lease is up May 31st. Grandma's heart is failing. The doctor said he has no crystal ball but estimated around 6 months.

I have to decide on my apartment by April 15th. My options were a year lease or month-to-month, but since my youngest is in the military I can sign a 6 month lease. Month-to-Month is $906 per month and the 6 month lease is $755 per month. I would also only pay $200 for June as a promotion. If I stay, obviously the 6 month is the way to go.

Please also keep in mind I am not in a position to replace my car if something happens to it.

Pros for keeping the lease:

-I live within walking distance of the mall, library, post office and park. I am on the border of two counties so my access to bussing is excellent as well. If I have car trouble, I can get around.

-My oldest son lives in the same complex, which means my grandkids are totally accessible anytime I want to see them.

Cons:

-I would be paying for an apartment and utilities I would only use about a third of the month.

-Other than my son, everyone else is closer to where my grandma lives (20 miles or less).

Pros for staying at grandmas full time:

-No rent, utilities or groceries. My family insists on the groceries. What I do buy would be covered with mystery shopping.

-Friends and family are nearby.

-I can store my stuff in her basement or garage.


Cons:

-I am not sure I want to live in that area after she is gone. I am not fully against it either.


-I would have access to rides, but if my car came to the point it could not be fixed, I would be dependent on others. The bussing system there is not what it is here.

-It would probably cost me more to rent there if I got an apartment there after grandma passes. My cousin and I have discussed moving in together, but I don't feel I should count on it.

-My son and daughter-in-law have no one in the area up where I am now but me to help out.

-This could last one month, 6 months, 2 years, no one really knows. The house would be put up for sale as soon as she passes.

I am very tired of moving around. However, I give up the lease, I know I could save a ton of money if I base this on the expectation I would likely have this situation for around 6 months. I cannot make up my mind at this point. I welcome any and all feedback.

*Note on the car. I am having it looked at when I am down there in April. It has a noise, but I expect it is a control arm ($400 and that is saved up). I trust the person who is going to look at it which I why I am going to take it in on his schedule. I had it thoroughly checked out and put money into it before I left Florida last year. It really should not have any other major upcoming issues.

I can also sub, mystery shop and edit in both areas so I am not location dependent as far as my other work goes.

Life in Limbo

March 13th, 2018 at 05:15 am

I have been around reading, but I have not posted in a little while. My life is in limbo again. I mentioned previously my grandma was not doing well, and my family mentioned me caring for her. That never came to fruition. However, she had a heart attack last week, so I was asked again.

Trust me, I want to care for my grandmother. However, my family can be very wishy washy. I spent two days making general plans and cancelling subbing dates in April. I wanted a few weeks to meet subbing, mystery shopping and dental obligations, so I said I could start after April 6th. My grandma is in rehab for minimum of two weeks anyhow. Now they are talking three days a week. It is 75 miles each way for me, and my car is a 2010. I would prefer the whole week every other week if I am not doing it full time. My uncle said he would get back to me next week. The pay would be more than fair, but I don't dare budget a dime of it until it actually happens. I am also NOT giving up my apartment at this point.

I spent last week staying with my mom while my dad went to Florida. That was frustrating because my mother does not do anything to care for herself anymore. She has the capability for the most part. She constantly falls in the house. However, she will not do any form of exercise and refuses physical therapy. I was so mentally and physically (I deep cleaned the house) exhausted when I got home Sunday. I slept through the night the last two nights which is very rare for me.

Financially, it was good. I had use of my dad's car. I subbed half days and did $250 dollars worth of mystery shops in those 9 days. My dad covered all groceries and gas. He also handed me a $100.

On a positive note, my daughter is coming in from NC for the weekend to visit my grandma in rehab. I will ride down to the Detroit area with my oldest son who is my neighbor. I can't wait to see my daughter and meet her husband (After a short courtship, they got married in September).

My youngest son did very well in basic training and is now in tech school in Mississippi. He is flourishing in the Air Force and really enjoying it. He also broke up with his controlling girlfriend which was a huge relief for everyone!

I will post another update with a new budget once the plans are concrete.

Glade Plug-ins for Car Moneymaker at Walmart via Swagbucks

February 2nd, 2018 at 03:45 am

I know many of you are members of Swagbucks. There is a current deal for 1000 (equivalent to $10) Swagbucks if you purchase the Glade Plug-ins Car Starter Kit and 2 refills at Walmart. I looked up the pricing. The kit is $4.98 and the refills are $2.98 each. There is also a coupon available on Swagbucks for $1.50 off the kit. This makes it a moneymaker! Don't forget you also get 10 SB for redeeming the coupon.

If you are not a member of Swagbucks and would like to join, my referral is: http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/michgirl1970

You can find the deal at: http://www.swagbucks.com/shop/in-store/23594

For maximum value, do a walk-in at Walmart for kicks via the Shopkick app (I think it is currently 15 kicks) and scan the receipt for points via Receipt Hog.

Budget

January 21st, 2018 at 07:05 am

After all the unanticipated income chaos with the tutoring and subbing fiascoes, I am finally leveling out. I created a budget going forward. I anticipate this budget to run through August. My goal is to have my certification requirements completed over the next few months so I can seek a full-time position next school year.

The numbers are net and figured on the low end, as my income fluctuates. Any additional money I will put in savings.

VA work : $300

I am using this money to pay the credit card and my dad ($150). The remainder goes to savings ($150).

Subbing (figuring on 15 days per month): $1050

I am using this money to pay the rent, health insurance, electricity, internet and water.

Editing: $500

I am using this to pay the cell phone, car insurance, life insurance, renter's insurance and critical care insurance (I can't find a disability policy on my own, so this is the next best thing).

Mystery shopping and microearning (Swagbucks, etc): $750

The first $400 goes to gas, groceries, bus passes and entertainment.

Remainder: IRA (avg. $350)

Any subbing over 15 days goes to savings. This covers any months that fall under 15 days and the summer months. My student loans are on deferment until September. I plan on keeping the editing and still doing some shopping when I get full-time employment. I will then start paying off the loans aggressively (and boosting my retirement savings).

Another trip

January 20th, 2018 at 05:10 am

I went to my friend's memorial last Saturday. It was strange. There was a table with photos, but no one got up to speak publicly. It was more or less like a class reunion. I did not feel any closure. As a matter of fact, there is an investigation into the death based on how the body was found.

I am heading back to the Detroit area later this coming week. I am leaving Wednesday afternoon and returning on Sunday. My BFF and I have the same birthday, hence the reason for returning so soon. We are celebrating Saturday night (Bday is next Sunday) via a party at her house. I took a grocery store shop on Saturday and will see what I can provide for the party via that shop.

My bus ticket totaled $24.50. I will take the local bus to the Greyhound station (less than a block to catch that bus), which will be an additional $2.50 round trip. My BFF is picking me up and returning me to the Greyhound station. I will give her $10 for the gas. The trip will cost $37 round trip (200 miles total).

I lined up subbing while I am down there. Those schools pay $10 more a day than they do in this area, which is a plus. My dad always lets me use his car. I help them with errands/cleaning in return, so no cost there. The town where I will sub is next to my grandma's town, so I will visit her after school on Thursday or Friday.

Today, I am taking the free Walmart bus finally. I have $20 set aside for a gift for BFF. Otherwise, my only spending will be the butter I forgot the other day when I went grocery shopping. I will also finally use up my $10 off $10 or more at Staples. There is a fairly large shopping center connected to WM, so I can keep busy the full two hours until the bus returns.

On a side note, I also got my first letter from my son from basic training. He is doing well and was designated a leadership role.

I need to moving now that I have finished my coffee. I want to do a little editing and cleaning before I catch the bus at 11:30 AM. I hope you all have a good weekend!


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