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Confession

September 19th, 2017 at 12:57 pm

I have to make a confession even though it is only loosely financially related. I have let myself go physically since the move. This is especially shameful because I have a fitness center, indoor pool, park and mall at my disposal. I have been in somewhat of a depression due to finances. I hate that the subbing situation is such a mess. There are also some challenges with editing. There are also personal issues with the family which alone wouldn't be derailing, but they are adding to the overall stress and depression.

I will get paid for tutoring next month which will be a huge help. My weight and blood pressure lately gave me a wake up call. Over the last week, I have done the following to change my situation (and will continue):

I am committed to eating only between 6 AM and 6 PM (I was successful with this in Florida).

I am exercising a minimum of 15 minutes per day (I plan to increase this each week).

I hate the idea of calorie counting. I give up after awhile. I am trying to limit myself to 7 items of food/drink a day. Water is a freebie of course (Generally, my only other drink is my morning cup of coffee). Obviously, there is some moderation in this. I am not going to eat seven slices of cake and consider it a success.

On the job front, if the subbing isn't straightened out by Oct 6th, I am showing up at their offices (about 80 miles away) on my way up north with my dad. We are going to my grandmother's grave north of Muskegon for the day. It would have been her 90th birthday. A "simple" paperwork snafu has made the subbing situation somewhat of a nightmare for me. Phone calls and emails have been unsuccessful so far. If at that point it doesn't get fixed, my dad said he would loan me the money to expedite finishing up the steps to getting certified to teach full-time in Michigan (about $500). This would open up a lot more options for me.

Free Dental

September 16th, 2017 at 04:34 pm

I saw on the news this morning that one of the local dentists was doing free cleanings and dental work today only. I ran down there since it was less than two miles away. I got my teeth cleaned. They were doing almost any kind of dental work too. One girl was getting all her wisdom teeth removed free.

I also found out through them the local community college does major dental work regularly for $65.00. I need a deep cleaning so I will be looking into this asap!

My teeth feel better and my pocketbook is "happy" too!

Vent: Why can't people do their jobs?

September 11th, 2017 at 03:28 pm

I hope you all don't mind a vent. I need to vent because my hands are tied otherwise. As you all know, I started the subbing process here in MI months ago (did the online modules while I was still in FL). I went to the orientation on August 9th and was told my stuff would be to the districts and I would have a log in within 2 or 3 days. The short background is that here in MI a staffing company controls 90 percent of the districts and that is who you work for. Your prints are sent to one district and they forward them to the rest of the districts on the list that you choose to sub for.

I heard nothing. I followed up and was told to be patient. I waited another week and called again. I was told it's up to the districts. On Sept. 1st I was told the same. I told the woman I understood but something must be wrong. I asked the normal turnaround time and told her what was said at the orientation. She finally agreed to call the district my prints were sent to. She said she would email me by the end of the day either way. I got nothing.

I have also been calling the security company for over a week and the number keeps saying all circuits are busy. I had enough and finally drove to the security office this morning. Apparently they have issues with their phone line. Anyhow, come to find out, the state police forwarded my info to the district under my maiden name, so of course they had no one on file to attach them to. The correct info is being sent over today.

This could have all been avoided if the staffing company had followed up with the district weeks ago when I asked. I am so upset with them, but I also know since they control all the work I had better keep my mouth shut.

I am still afraid I am going to be chasing this because I am told the TCN/Fingerprint number will change. I am not optimistic this will work out and they will know how to properly attach this to the proper paperwork.

My son went through a similar situation last month with his pharmacy tech license. If one person had made a simple call, a lot of trouble could have been avoided.

Anyhow, I will let you know if this is finally straightened out for good this week. I gave up an opportunity to make a little more doing more admin work with my admin job because I thought I would be subbing. It's a big deal to me because it is a foot in the door to furthering myself in the world of education in MI. It also will add around 700-800 a month to my income. They also offer health insurance (it isn't great but at least it is offered).


In lieu of the hurricanes, illnesses, etc. I know my situation is minor. My thoughts are with all those going through much bigger issues.

New Job! Attn: Laura (Frugal Texan)

August 30th, 2017 at 10:42 pm

I added another job to my repertoire. So far, they are moving slow on subbing. I am playing a waiting game. I found a tutoring job on Craiglist. The job is legit. I will be subbing South Korean students five evenings a week for 3 hours. It was on my local Craigslist because they are based out of Michigan (but tutors are all over).

Here is the link (and they need help asap) for those who have teaching experience and/or a bachelor's who might be interested. I figured Laura (Frugal Texan) in particular may want to check it out:

https://lansing.craigslist.org/edu/d/english-tutor/6282352916.html

@Laura there is a little flexibility with the hours so it may be worth it even if those shifts listed won't work (they may let you do two hours instead of three)

I contacted them Monday. I got trained today and start tomorrow!

More Major Changes

August 25th, 2017 at 11:50 am

My youngest is frustrated and has pretty much decided not to attend MSU this semester. I am extremely upset on one hand and fully supportive on the other. We have been working all summer on in-state tuition and are getting the run around. It isn't even about the length of time we have lived here. It is about me not having permanent employment in Michigan. They say subbing is not permanent and working from home for my other job isn't considered employed in Michigan either. What upsets me is they knew this all along and only in recent weeks has it become a big issue. I really don't understand where I work is an issue if I live here full-time!

To shorten this long saga, my son says he is seriously considering signing up for the Air Force and letting them pay for school (He had talked about ROTC but never full time) I fear he is going in for the wrong reasons. However, he is an adult, and all I can offer is my opinion. I told him I would like to see him go ahead and just work this semester and go to the community college next semester (We are one month short of in-state tuition with them, hence the suggestion for the semester off). I said at that point he can decide whether he really wants to go the military route or re-enroll with MSU for next year. With AP credits and a semester at community college he would not be behind. He said he would consider my suggestion.

All of this has had me do some serious soul searching. I am going to get my teaching license in MI. Unfortunately, my NH and FL licenses have expired. I won't need to go back to school. However, I do need to take two state tests and get certified in first aid and CPR. I will spend this school year doing all of that while I sub. Depending on cash flow, I may even have it all done in one semester. I figure between the study guides, tests and certification, it will be around $500.

My ultimate goal is to work as an educational/site coordinator (basically advising at the community college level). If I can't land a position in that capacity, I will return to the classroom full time. I have seen openings in both fields, so I know going through the licensing process is worth it.

I love my editing job, but it is too unpredictable to carry on long-term. Due to the logistics of it, I rarely get a full day off. This was another big reason for my decision. Obviously, I will be sticking with it for now.

Trip and Windfall

August 20th, 2017 at 01:26 pm

I made yet another trip to the Detroit area this weekend. I went to pick up the Chinese college student who my son was going to room with before he decided to commute. He is such a nice young man! I enjoyed the ride with him. I took him on a few errands on the way back too. He was hungry so we went to Wendy's. It was interesting explaining the menu to him. We also went to the TMobile store so he could get a sim card and to Target for supplies. I got him to the dorm at 10pm last night.

I left on Friday morning because I was off from editing. I managed to pick up a few mystery shops with no out-of-pocket expenses and made $60. A friend went with me because she had a few errands, so it was fun. I had a $10 Starbucks card so we used that for free coffee.

I am happy to say the only money I spent was $3 for my dad's newspapers. I have been doing quite a bit of laundry at my parent's house this summer, so I refused his money when he tried to pay me for them.

Now that things are settled as far as celebrations and trips, I am not going back down until October. My grandma is turning 90!

I came home last night and went through my mail. I was elated to see a check from my apartment management company. I knew I was getting a referral check because of my older son moving in. I expected $25 or $50. The check is for $300! It came at the perfect time. August is so tight with child support ending last month and subbing not beginning until next month. It is all going to bills with one exception. I am going to buy a pizza for my son's family. After all, I would not have had this money if it weren't for them.

Spending 7/30-8/9 and son's "new" car

August 9th, 2017 at 09:55 pm

I spent money on gas, groceries, a duplicate key and two drinks at the mall in the past 11 days. My total spending was $57.79.

I don't anticipate any money being spent in the next several days. I am taking my grandson to the movies tomorrow for an early bday present. It is a mystery shop and includes snacks, so it is free in the end!

I have his party on Saturday, but I bought his gift a couple of weeks ago. I also have a mystery shop for groceries on Sunday.

I think I previously mentioned my son is going to commute to school after all. He got a car today. He put money down and got a three year loan. His payment is $105 a month. I am sure he will pay it off sooner. It is a low mileage 2006 VW Jetta. It is in great shape. The dealer checked it out thoroughly, and we also had a mechanic check it out.

He also got a new job (he starts later this month). He is going to work at CVS right across from campus. He will have a permit for the garage, so he won't have any costs for parking on campus. He will ride his bike around, as his classes are pretty far from where he will be parking.

I went to my substitute teaching orientation this morning. I am all set and just waiting on log in info. I should start working regularly after Labor Day. I can't wait to build back up my savings!

Spending 7/22-7/29

July 28th, 2017 at 02:35 pm

Last Saturday I did the Red Robin mystery shop with my three year old granddaughter and oldest son. It did cost me $5.00 out of pocket, but that was the tip.

I had to go back to the Detroit area to pick my youngest son up from his trip to NH. I went down Monday morning and returned Wednesday afternoon.

I spent $55 this trip (rounded up). I don't feel too guilty because it included gas and my grandson's birthday present. The rest was eating out. I used a lot of gas running around. I spent Monday with a friend and ran errands. Tuesday I visited my cousin and my grandma.

When I got back Wednesday, I needed a few groceries. I spent $21 at Target.

I did manage to make money while I was gone. I did three mystery shops (one in the Detroit area and two on the way home) for a total of $67.00.

I also got freebies. I got a pizza that I was able to redeem from last week' TMobile Tuesday. I also got a beach towel for this week's freebie.

I don't plan on spending anything this weekend other than $12 at Kroger. That will be covered, as it is mystery shop.

Total spending-$81.00

It is a beautiful day today. I already went to the credit union to deposit my paycheck. I have to work, but it is a fairly easy day. I will definitely take a walk and maybe pick up the grandkids and take them to the park. The only issue with that is they never want to leave!

This past week's spending

July 22nd, 2017 at 06:22 pm

I got off real cheap on the trip down to the Detroit area. My friends insisted on buying my dinner when we went out. I bought a coffee and a cheap lunch while I was there. I also picked up two Meijer shops for $25 each, so I made money that I wasn't counting on.

Since then, I spent another $8.61 at Meijer for coffee creamer and a collander.

Spending breakdown for the week:

$8.61-Meijer
$2.65-Wendy's
$3.71-Biggby Coffee (Ouch!)

Total=$14.97

I am doing a shop for Red Robin shortly with my older son. I may go a little out of pocket for that. If so, I will put it in my next update.


July 10 and 11 Spending

July 11th, 2017 at 09:50 pm

Yesterday, I got my two tires. The total was $219.75, but I found an unused $50 Visa gift card! So, my out-of-pocket was $169.75.

Today we went to the zoo. I only paid for myself. Grand total of $1! I got a free granola bar and popsicle too! I also spent $3.25 on laundry so my grand total is $4.25.

Tomorrow and Thursday should be no-spend days. By Friday, I will need to get a few groceries. I am hoping my only spending between now and my short trip to the Detroit area on Monday afternoon are the groceries and one load of laundry.

Amazon and Spending July 6-9

July 10th, 2017 at 11:41 am

I made a decision to stop saving for the laptop with Amazon funds. I was hovering between 100 and 125 the last few months. I never got past that because legitimate purchases would come up (printer ink, grad gifts). My laptop is fine at the moment. My oldest son said he has a cheap spare if I have an issue.

Once I start subbing, I can save to purchase one. I figure I should be able to replace it no later than Black Friday. It also will not limit me to Amazon.

I spent $113.38 Thursday on Amazon which nearly wiped out the funds. However, I purchased a lot of needs. It felt good not to spend actual cash. I got a new pair of sneakers. Mine are over a year old, and I wear them almost every day. I also got a bra. I ordered a Prime Pantry box (I had free shipping) as well. I got enough household goods to last the remainder of the summer. I bought a handful of food items including a cake mix for my son's birthday cake.

I was going to hold off until Prime Day. However, a few of the pantry items and the sneakers were low on stock. I doubt there would have been deals on what I bought anyhow other than free pantry shipping, which I had anyhow.

All of this will help my bottom line a great deal. I usually have $75 per week to spend (gas, groceries, household goods, laundry, fun money). I am going to cut that back to $60 for two months. My gas spending in nearly nil these days. Between mystery shops and Aldi, grocery spending is low as well. I am washing the small stuff in the mini washer. Laundry is $3.25 per load. I am trying to keep it down to two loads a week (for both me and my son).

Friday's spending-$34.43

This was for gas, a birthday card, fixings for taco salad (This was to feed older son's family upon arrival) and dryer sheets. My son was supposed to pick the dryer sheets up (which is why they weren't part of the pantry order), but he never did.


Saturday's Spending -$6.07

I bought milk, juice and shredded cheese. My brain apparently was not working well enough on Friday.

Sunday Spending $0

Unfortunately, today will be major spending. However, it will come out of the Emergency Fund. I have a flat tire. I was due to replace the two back tires in the fall anyhow. I am hoping it will be $250 or less. The roads are terrible in MI. It isn't worth bothering putting on top of the line tires. I was just offered another side project at work, so I should be able to replace this money later next month.

Unofficially Taking a Modified Uber Frugal Challenge

July 6th, 2017 at 02:23 pm

I should have joined the official Uber Frugal Month Challenge, but I did not. I don't believe I have purchased much this month other than groceries. I am going to unofficially join in and keep track the rest of the month. Beyond groceries the only spending I have planned is the following:

-Cake, ice cream and card for my youngest son's birthday next week. Total cost should be no more than $20.

-I am going to the zoo next week. Meijer is sponsoring zoo days for a $1 per person. I will take the grandkids on Tuesday. My oldest son and his wife will be unpacking, so my youngest son will go with me. That means $4 for tickets and whatever parking costs. I will not buy any food, so I am sure the total will be less than $10.

-I am taking my youngest son to the Detroit airport on the 17th. He is going to New Hampshire to visit friends and his half brother for a week. I am off for two days, so I will stay at my parents and visit local friends. My son is paying for the gas, but I am going to allow myself $20 spending money because it is quite likely I will eat out at some point. There is a small chance this trip will not cost me anything if I can find a restaurant mystery shop.

I will do a little spending via mystery shopping this month, but I don't count that as it is fully reimbursed.

I am off today save a couple of leftover edits and two phone shops. It is hot, so I am going to relax and do a bit of housework.

Tomorrow I am going to walk the mall in the morning. Hopefully, I will see you there Merilee!

Other than that, I am trying not to stress over my son and his family on the road. They leave tomorrow morning and will be here by noon on Sunday if all goes as planned. I am super excited!

VIP Kid update and more..

June 30th, 2017 at 12:12 pm

For Laura (or anyone else who may have been interested): I had the interview with VIP, and I thought it went well. However, the follow up email was I didn't have enough ESL experience, so they were not going to go any further with me. That was fine, but I was not happy with them. I raced home from the Detroit area that day to prep for the interview. They had my resume. They know my lack of ESL experience. I guess my point is, they should not have had me bother with the interview.

Merilee, I saw your comment on my last post. We should meet sometime. Do you do the mall walking?I am going to start Monday! I walk in the park now, but walking in air conditioning with others is appealing.

I went to parent orientation at the university yesterday. I learned a lot. My son had to stay overnight in the dorm. I will go pick him up shortly. I hope he had fun!

Also, he got a summer job at Subway. Final tally on his grad money was just over $1200. He bought a bike, lock and helmet. He is also planning on a laptop. He will put any leftover money toward books.

Next week my older son, wife and kids will be here too! I am so excited they are moving here as well. They both transferred their jobs at CVS.

My daughter is going to Wilmington, NC next week to explore the area. She has an opportunity to almost double her income if she transfers her job there. If anyone knows anything about that area, I would love to hear more (as would she).

On the financial front, I am spending as little as possible. I only have one more child support payment left. I am all set up for subbing in September, but it is that two month gap where I need to be very careful. I am trying to pick up more mystery shops and am also volunteering for some extra editing. Even with two trips to the Detroit area, I have barely used any gas. Everything is so close here, I don't think I have used more than a half tank all month other than those trips.



Anyone looking to buy a house in AZ?

June 13th, 2017 at 07:36 pm

One of my FB friends posted this home in AZ on 20 acres:

https://www.coldwellbankerhomes.com/az/concho/669-county-road-8235-stanford/pid_18337473/

You must see for yourself...

Settling In

June 6th, 2017 at 12:13 pm

I am starting to settle in at my new place. I finally sold my sectional on FB Maretplace and picked up a new love seat on clearance. It is so much more comfortable than my sectional!

I am trying to pick up a little more work. I started the application process with VIP Kid (Thanks again Laura for mentioning it). I also sent an inquiry to a local tutoring company. The owner is interested and is going to set up a meeting with me next week (He is out of town this week).

Mystery shopping is going well in the area. I am near everything and barely need to use my car. The mall is less than a half mile. Also within a mile are Target, Meijer, Big Lots, Aldi and more. There is also a beautiful park and library right across the street.

One of my bffs and her family drove up Saturday (100 miles) and we went to a HUGE farm market. I love that place, and it is only two miles away. This weekend I am driving down to the Detroit area to see some family and go to the same friend's daughter's grad party.

As far as DH, he pulled what I half expected. He had nowhere to go in NH, so he stayed in MI. He actually told me when I was signing my lease I needed to add him. I was furious and told him it was not happening. In the end, he found a room to rent downtown. I have had to be rude with him this past week because my patience was running out. He was not getting there is no longer a "we" without my being quite blunt. Everything is off the moving truck (He got a storage unit), and it has been returned. I helped him find a mini fridge and microwave on the Marketplace. My son agreed to help him move it in today. The fridge is kind of big, and DH can't lift it. I told him this was the last thing we were assisting him with, and he has to sink or swim on his own now.

Checking In

June 2nd, 2017 at 11:48 pm

I made it to MI with no issues. It was probably the smoothest road trip for me ever. I am pleased with the apartment and the neighborhood. Otherwise, I am sore and exhausted. I will be glad when everything is unpacked and put away. I look forward into settling into a routine.

Chaos!

May 25th, 2017 at 08:11 pm

It's the calm before the storm. My daughter, her bff, bff's daughter, and my son's bff (who lives down by my daughter) area on their way up from south Florida. Tomorrow is my son's graduation. They will stay through Saturday. Then it is the final push for packing before we get the moving truck Tuesday.

At this point I am mush. I am completely mentally and physically exhausted. I spent a ton of time this week selling DH's stuff on FB Marketplace this week. I asked more than he was going to and got full price offers on all but one item. I finally had to say no more. After all, I am working on top of all of this!

Anyhow, I wanted to wish you all a safe holiday weekend. If nothing else I will check in late next week after I "back in the mitten" (MI).

Question for those who are landlords or renters

May 16th, 2017 at 06:54 pm

I am being told I have to leave the electricity and water on in my name for 5 business days after I leave. Is this normal? It is not in my lease, but it is on the checkout list I received when I gave my notice. I talked to the property manager and told her I am not comfortable for paying for a place I no longer live in legally after the 31st. She was polite, but she said this is standard and I won't receive my deposit if I turn the utilities off early. This house is owned by an individual not a company. I also have no idea if anyone will be living here in those five days. I know when I moved in, it was one day after the other tenant left.

Facebook Marketplace Success

May 13th, 2017 at 06:49 pm

I never paid attention to FB Marketplace before. I rarely use the FB app, but I ran across the marketplace recently and put stuff up on it this morning. We made $275 dollars today! Within minutes, I had replies for two dressers, and old kitchen table and chairs and a gas grill.

I am waiting on the person to pick up the table and chairs, but the others showed up within an hour. This is so much easier than a garage sale or Craigslist.

This is stuff that my husband owned for years, so it is his money (although he gave me $40 for putting it all up).

Now I need to look around and make sure I don't have anything else I personally need to sell.

Updates-Non financial

May 8th, 2017 at 11:48 am

I had my regular job this weekend but no mystery shops, so I did some major packing. A lot of my stuff was never unpacked. However, I had went through all the boxes, so I had condensed some boxes into smaller ones and taped them back up.

I got rid of a few more things. DH got rid of a ton of stuff (mostly clothes and books). We also had my son and his friend bring the dressers downstairs to the garage. I am going to put those and the kitchen table up on FB Marketplace. They are antiques that are DH's, and he does not want them. I have always hated the style (very big and bulky). I am hoping someone who loves antiques will want to refinish them. I told DH he might not get much, but I am hoping he gets something, as he needs the money.

We still have three weeks, but we really HAD to get this stuff done. The house is up for rent, and I have to allow potential tenants to walk through.

The big news is my older son, his wife and my grandkids are moving too! They will be in the same apartment complex. I am so excited! I will have to be very careful with the budget with the grandkids so close. They are currently in Florida as well but 600 miles away. They will join us in MI in mid-July.

When you have moved, have you given away or sold what you didn't want/need?

Updates-Non financial

May 8th, 2017 at 11:48 am

I had my regular job this weekend but no mystery shops, so I did some major packing. A lot of my stuff was never unpacked. However, I had went through all the boxes, so I had condensed some boxes into smaller ones and taped them back up.

I got rid of a few more things. DH got rid of a ton of stuff (mostly clothes and books). We also had my son and his friend bring the dressers downstairs to the garage. I am going to put those and the kitchen table up on FB Marketplace. They are antiques that are DH's, and he does not want them. I have always hated the style (very big and bulky). I am hoping someone who loves antiques will want to refinish them. I told DH he might not get much, but I am hoping he gets something, as he needs the money.

We still have three weeks, but we really HAD to get this stuff done. The house is up for rent, and I have to allow potential tenants to walk through.

The big news is my older son, his wife and my grandkids are moving too! They will be in the same apartment complex. I am so excited! I will have to be very careful with the budget with the grandkids so close. They are currently in Florida as well but 600 miles away. They will join us in MI in mid-July.

When you have moved, have you given away or sold what you didn't want/need?

More car expenses

April 29th, 2017 at 01:01 am

Last week my check engine light came on. Over 700 dollars later ($722.81 to be exact), it is fixed. I have put over $2000 into my car the last few months. However, a lot of that was regular maintenance. I have replaced two tires, the rear brakes, a control arm, two sensors, a coil, had an oil change and a tune up. I am going to get the transmission fluid flushed before I hit the road, and I hope that is the last of it for awhile. My car is a 2010 Santa Fe, and I hope to have it last at least two more years. I will need to replace the other two tires before winter, but that "should" be it for the year other than oil changes.

This month every little bit extra is going in savings for the move. I have the money for the rent, deposit, truck, gas and one night in a hotel. However, I know I will need to fill my fridge from scratch. I also know other things will likely pop up. I am working extra admin hours this month, so that will help.

Other than that, not much new here. I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Happy Easter

April 16th, 2017 at 03:25 pm

Happy Easter! Not much happening here. I am working. We were allowed to take the day off, but I saw no reason to do so. I have no plans, and I do not get paid for being off. My son was invited to a cookout at a friend's house. Since our time here is winding down and I had nothing special planned, I encouraged him to go. It is a beautiful day, so I may go for a walk on the beach when he gets home with the car.

My Easter spending was about $30, although $21.98 was Amazon credit. Once again, I dipped into the credit I saved up, but it made more sense than sending gifts to the grandkids from a brick and mortar store. I would have spent cash and had shipping costs. I have Prime, so shipping was free. I also took the slower shipping so I would get $5 credit toward Prime Pantry shipping (usually $5.99). The rest of the cash was candy/Cheezits for my son's Easter bucket. He will be 18 this summer, so I wanted to do one last Easter gift before he is an adult. I also saved money by not getting Easter themed candy. I got him a regular Lindt white chocolate bar and Reese's.

I hope you all enjoy your day.


A Day in the Life of Mystery Shopping

April 13th, 2017 at 04:53 pm

Some of you have noted interest in the past, so I thought I would share a day of mystery shopping. This isn't everyday, but I could do this type of day at least three times a week. The times include the shop and the report. This is my agenda for tomorrow:

1.) Breakfast at Sonic:

Pay: $10 (Originally $5, Bonus $5)

Reimbursement: Up to $7.80 (It's enough for a complete meal. I will probably take my son to school, and he can eat it beforehand. I am trying to avoid fast food.)

Report Easy, no narrative

Total time for this shop: 30 mins

Time for payment: 30 days

2.) Local Credit Union for a typical transaction:

Pay: $10 (This is low pay for a bank shop, but I need to go there anyhow.)

Report: Easy, one section of narrative

Total time for this shop (Assuming no long lines): 15 minutes

Time for payment: 6 weeks

3.) Ross (Clothing store)

Pay: $24 (Originally $14, Bonus $10)

No reimbursement (purchase and return-I will go to Fed Ex. which is near Ross and then return the item.)

Report: Easy, no narrative

Total time for this shop: 45 minutes

Time for payment: 30 days

4.) Fed Ex

Pay: $25 for a package pick up (No idea if there is actually anything of value in the package. The tracking says it weighs 1 lb.)

Report: Moderate, some narrative

Total time for this shop: 30 minutes

Time for payment: 2 weeks

5.) Hot Head Burritos

Pay: $0

Reimbursement: $15 (It will be enough to cover two burritos and two drinks.)

Report: Moderate, some narrative

Total time for this shop: 45 minutes

Time for payment: 5 weeks

I took this shop because it is my son's favorite place. I rarely do reimbursement only shops.

These shops are all local (5 mile radius).

I will make $69 cash and up to $22.80 in reimbursements. With the shops and driving, I am expecting 4 hours of work at most. I can't do the burrito shop until 5 PM, so I will go home and do the other reports and go back out for that shop.

Sidebar Update

April 1st, 2017 at 03:38 pm

Since my son isn't getting a car right away, we took part of the check from the accident and fully funded the moving fund.

As far as Amazon savings for the laptop fund, it is down from $127 at the last update. I bought a few needs. I needed printer ink, a new screen protector for my phone and an AP Physics book for my son. I was down to $97 and some change at one point, but have built it back up a bit and now back up to $113.

The weight loss is on track. I was down 11 pounds last check (early this week). I have just under two months to lose another 14, so it can be done.

I Officially Have a Place!

March 27th, 2017 at 07:36 pm

I ended up with a different apartment than the first I mentioned. This one had more bang for my buck. For $745, the complex has a business center, fitness center, outdoor and indoor pool. The indoor pool was a HUGE draw for me because I like aquacise so much. It is within a few miles of the first place, and it is a good area.

I am so close to so much shopping which is a plus. I hate spending money, but I sure love earning it via mystery shopping! I also figured now that my son is without a car for awhile, it is nice this is on the bus line.

My anxiety level is a lot lower now. I hated the feeling of not knowing where in the heck I was going to live. Now I can relax a bit.

Bad News/Good News

March 22nd, 2017 at 01:10 am

First the bad, my son totaled his car this morning on the way to school. It appears his brake line had some kind of leak. He did not get ticketed although he hit the car in front of him. Since the car is 20 years old they opted to total it already. He is not hurt, and he only took the bumper off the other car. That was odd because he drove a huge Chrysler and the other car was a small Toyota. My son is pretty upset. He loved his car. I reminded him cars can be replaced but people cannot.

Onto the "Good" news....Geico worked fast. They already looked at it and told me they appraised it at $2200 which is more than double what he originally paid for it. However, we put work in it. In the end he just about evened out. I am pleased with the amount. I just wish it never happened.

It is going to be serious pain, but we are going to try and keep one car for the next two months. I will drive him to and from school. He works within walking distance. DH works late afternoons so it can be done. After we get to Michigan we can decide on a car.

Michigan Trip Recap

March 18th, 2017 at 12:27 pm

The Michigan trip was a success. My grandson got to see snow for the first time (He's four) and LOVED it. Watching him play in it was worth the trip. He was so good on the trip. I miss him terribly already.

I went to the Lansing area with my friend and her husband on Tuesday. We looked in a few areas, and in the end I decided on an apartment in a quaint town just west of Lansing. They had the cutest little main street type of downtown within walking distance. Also within a mile in the other direction was Meijer (in my opinion a better quality Walmart with groceries in the Midwest) and the typical chain fast foods, gas stations, etc. I need to do my taxes since I am self-employed and then officially apply for the apartment. I am going to take care of it all this week. Best of all the rent is $710 with gas, water/trash and sewer all included. The apartment is 2 bedrooms/1 bath.

As I mentioned previously, this was originally my daughter's trip and I tagged along. I gave her $150 from an overpayment for the cable/internet (A long story and hours of calls, but I finally got it) for gas/car wear and tear and the hotel. Other than that, I spent the following:

$12-A cake for my daughter's half birthday (Her card on her real birthday never arrived)

$10-Cracker Barrel for my dinner on the way home

$3-Toy for my grandson on clearance at Kmart going out of business

$3-Wendy's for my grandson

$ 32 gas for my friend for the Lansing trip, and I used my card once on the road for gas ($1.92 in Northern Tennessee!)

$5 Tip at lunch when out one day

$5 (approximate can't find receipt) for coffee on the way to Lansing. I also picked up a soda for friend's hubby.

$15-Arby's for 6 of us before we got on the road. My son gets half off, so it was pretty cheap considering.

Total =$85


Our meals were all covered for the most part with the hotel breakfast and my family members. My dad took us out twice. My uncle was also up from Florida and took care of a meal. Another uncle bought us lunch another day. My grandma also bought lunch one day. My parents also cooked a lasagna one night.

On a side note, my son's trip with his dad got canceled. His dad was supposed to fly in from CT and they were going to drive my son's car to the Gainesville area to see his dads father. The Nor' Easter ruined that. His dad couldn't get another flight out until Friday and they were due back on Sunday anyhow, so he just got a refund instead.

Non financial brain dump...

March 8th, 2017 at 01:17 pm

I am incredibly anxious this week. It's not like I haven't been aware for many months I am going through nearly every major life change this year. However, with the trip to MI This week, it really is hitting me hard.

I don't want any regrets. I know when I moved here, it wasn't the best decision. Overall, it worked out but in retrospect it wasn't a great decision.

I KNOW moving to MI is good for us. For one, after research my moving there will get my son in-state tuition this year. This is going to save thousands! I also know it is never a bad thing to be near friends and family.

Part of my anxiety is driving in March. The weather can be a factor. Luckily, I don't see any major storms on the horizon. Please pray and/or keep us in your thoughts the weather is decent for us on the trip there and back.

When I get to MI, I am going out with my cousin house/apt hunting to see if us sharing a place is viable. That may not work because of where she needs to live. It is further from Lansing than I prefer. I am also going to Lansing for a full day to look at places there.

In the end, it isn't like I would ever be homeless if I don't find something before the move. I can put my stuff in storage and stay with my parents for a month or two. However, I would have much more peace of mind if I have a place of my own to move to on June 1st.

On the marriage front, DH is freaking out that he will be homeless. However, he has made no effort or progress. It seems he expects me to take him in if nothing falls in his lap. I can't do it anymore.

Savings Update

March 4th, 2017 at 12:39 pm

Moving fund is up to $700. It would be more, but I needed to put over $400 into the car for a control arm.


The laptop fund is up to $127 (Amazon). I recently cashed out for $25 on Swagbucks.


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