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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.

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!

Sad news

January 10th, 2018 at 07:54 am

My first crush and one of my dearest friends passed away unexpectedly yesterday. No cause is known yet. He just turned 48. I am devastated. Life is precious. Between the news from Thrift and this news, I am realizing this more now than ever.

This and That

January 3rd, 2018 at 07:20 am

I am trying to have a more positive outlook and nearly titled this "Can't catch a break" but decided to look at the bright side. My car has an issue and I believe it will need a new control arm (replaced one in the spring and was told the other should be done within the year). Well, it is now more critical. I wish it would have waited another month till I caught up. However, with my new outlook I decided to let it sit (although I will go out and run it) other than one trip tomorrow to pick up something I have to sign for at a particular post office not on the bus line (luckily it is only five miles).

I have two schools I can walk to for subbing. Also, I got contacted yesterday from someone I regularly did virtual assistant work for in the past. He wants me to work for him again. He was always kind and generous. I am happy to do this. We are working out the numbers, but this will be a HUGE help!

Snowflakes came up and I gave them more thought. I have the following to redeem:

-I have a coupon for free eggs at Meijer (will wait another week)

-I have a $10 off $10 or more coupon for Staples

-$10 Walmart gift card (from Cross Media Panel redemption)

I was going to ride the free Walmart bus today to the local WM and use the WM gift card and Staples coupon (same center) but it is extremely cold, and the bus comes two and a half hours after drop off. I really don't want to walk between all the stores to kill time. I am opting to take the bus to another WM and grabbed a Goodwill shop next door. The bus ride is $4 round trip (I will use the change jar for this). However, the WM is a half hour away, so it is a good deal and that bus runs every half hour. It picks up a 100 feet from me too!

I am going to try and go car free until late this month. I have so much close by and great busing, so it should not be a huge issue other than limiting where I can substitute. However, the two close by schools have given me a lot of work lately, and I can probably tell them the situation and get in there as often as I want.

I decided one of my personal goals for January is to put more effort into Swagbucks. I have a friend who made $107.70 last month. This was not with any purchases or surveys! She lets the videos run overnight and said it helps immensely.

January

December 28th, 2017 at 04:11 am

I said in the past that I wondered if I could eat on mystery shopping alone (if I lived alone). My son leaves for the service next week. I am going to try this challenge to a point in January. However, I am also spending January catching back up financially, so I cannot afford a lot of output as far as restaurants go. Therefore, I am going to try to spend no more than $15 per week (I know groceries go a lot further than restaurants) out of pocket and fill the remainder with Kroger shops. If it goes well, I will try it without any cash out of pocket in February.

I will be able to set better goals after January. I have a local voluntary (any agreement would be legally binding) resolution center working on getting me payment from tutoring. At this point, I am still owed $544.77.

I will have lower pay from subbing in January because of the Christmas break. However, I did some renegotiation with editing, and my income will increase with them in January. I also got my yearly raise (20 cents per edit). I also figured mystery shopping on the low end for January. Many companies renegotiate contracts and don't have as much work in January. However, the availability of work usually increases quite a bit by February.

My family still waivers back and forth on what to do about my grandma, so I am not counting on any income from that at all right now. My son and I are heading to visit this afternoon or tomorrow morning for two days, so he can visit before leaving for the service. Hopefully, I will get an update on that.


So for January, I will still squeak by but come February be able to save regularly and set better goals for the year.

Holiday Bonus Etc.

December 15th, 2017 at 02:54 am

Still no payment from tutoring. He sent an email saying the money would be in my account this past Monday. It was not. He sent another yesterday saying he meant this coming Monday. By then my November payment is due. I have not received any payments since November 20th and that was for a September payment that was over two weeks late. I will let you know if it shows up on Monday. If it does not, I am proceeding with legal action. The first half of October payment was due November 18th and the second half was due December 3rd.

I got my check from editing and had a much welcomed $100 holiday bonus. I am going to pick up my nephew a pair of pajamas for Christmas. I always get him a gift but was not going to spend on anyone but the grandkids this year (that total was $18 after Amazon credit).

That being said, my parents and my sons, daughter in law and grandkids (and possibly my brother and nephew) are celebrating at my house on the 23rd. My dad offered to order pizza. However, I said I would really like to make food for them. I have been picking up items with Kroger mystery shops, so it really does not cost me anything.

There are also negotiations for me to go start taking care of my grandma to help relieve my aunts (weekends) after the first of the year. They will pay me. It is not like I am looking to make money off my grandma. However, my car is 7 years old. The money will be put away for a car fund. I am only going to accept what is absolutely necessary. They realize they would have to pay a service a lot more. I am happy I will get to spend time with my grandma. However, she is not doing well so it is hard. Nonetheless, I would do anything for her.

I will get out this weekend to go to the movies. It will be fully reimbursed, and I will get paid $5 because it is a mystery shop. I keep a rolling mystery shopping kitty so this is not part of my regular budget. I will go see Wonder if it is still out. Otherwise, I guess I will have to see what else is playing.

I desperately need to update my sidebar. Once all upcoming income is finalized, I will do that.

Have a good weekend and stay safe out in the weather and with all the crowds!

Frustrated

December 2nd, 2017 at 06:17 am

I am no longer working the tutoring job. I had to write several emails to get my last half of September payment and received it 17 days late. My first half of October payment was due 14 days ago. The last half is due tomorrow. The owner has quit answering emails. I am sending one more request today letting him know I expect both payments on Monday. If he doesn't comply, I am pursuing payment via a family member who is a lawyer.

This company has been in business for 2005. I checked it out before taking the job. Right before I quit, two of the three managers quit. From what I have figured out, the owner eventually has been paying, but apparently when he feels like it and he will not communicate in the meantime. The two payments total just under $500. After this, I am still owed just over $300 for what I worked in November (that payment is due Dec. 18th).

I am so depressed. I should be in decent financial position by now and I am not. Between this payment issue and starting subbing two months late (I blogged about that fiasco), I am barely treading water. I was so looking forward to the holidays with my family and friends for the first time in years, and now it is just a depressing thought. I spent $18 (after Amazon credit) on gifts for my grandkids. I will not be buying anything else.

I took my dad up on his loan to pay for the necessary items to get my teaching license here in MI. I hope to do the first aid while I am off from subbing over Christmas vacation.

Going forward I will be fine. I am going to do more editing and mystery shopping as well. It is a matter of getting caught up and being able to save some money.

It sucks because there were so many events friends wanted me to attend with them this season and I can't. I was supposed to go to Frankenmuth with my BFF's family this weekend. I was invited to two Christmas parties. The parties are near my parents (100 miles each way) and I can't justify the extra gas. I am only driving where I need to because I have limited savings should I need any car repairs.

Thanks for letting me vent once again! Despite my frustration, I am grateful for the roof over my head and the ability to pay the bills even if I can't save right now!

Happy Thanksgiving

November 23rd, 2017 at 02:54 am

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. For the first time in a long time it is more than two or three of us. I am going to my oldest son's who is literally two parking lots away! My parents are coming up as well. Missing out on most of my family/friends for the holidays played a large role in moving back to Mi.

I am not planning on buying anything, but I may go to the mall just to see how chaotic it is tomorrow. I only have to deal with half the battle since I can walk to it.

Since my son and daughter-in-law are going shopping after dinner, we are eating fairly early. They are shopping tonight for a few hours while I watch the kids. Therefore, I better get moving and start peeling my potatoes!

Have a great day all!

Things are looking up financially and sad personal news

October 21st, 2017 at 06:24 am

I took it upon myself to call the school district regarding the subbing. I could kick myself for not doing it sooner. I was able to straighten things out. I was a little worried this would cause waves with the staffing company, but it worked out okay. The woman at the staffing company who was supposed to take care of everything was only emailing the district. For nearly two months, she was emailing someone who had left apparently. I am now on the last step. I paid for my subbing certificate (which I could not do until the fingerprints were approved). As long as nothing happens with that, I will be all set. I hope to start subbing after this coming week.

I was getting worried about being paid for tutoring. I have direct deposit. The introductory email stated direct deposits were the 18th and mailed checks were on the 15th. I was told it could take one pay period before I got direct deposit. I had nothing through the 19th. I was going to email the manager after the mail ran yesterday, but the money showed up in my account finally.

I put in my notice for the part time work I do for the editing company. I had to more or less. It overlaps with tutoring. It is a long story, but it also wasn't a matter of doing the work and then I ws done. It requires a lot of follow up which was the big issue. I only work that part of the job 12 days a month officially, so I wasn't losing a lot of money. In the end, I will make up the lost money with extra work through tutoring and shopping. The tutoring is so much easier because I don't do any prep work. I do the calls and fill out my time on a spreadsheet then I am done.

On a personal note, please send out your thoughts/prayers for my grandma. She just turned 90 and had a heart attack a few days later. It affected her mentally. She was lucid and in great shape for her age. My mom said she has now completely changed and will likely go to a nursing home. I guess she is too combative for the family to take care of her. This blows my mind as she has lived on her own in a bi-level home up until now. It is sad, and I feel horrible saying/thinking this, but if there is no hope of her bouncing back, I hope she doesn't linger. She would not want that. She told me this more than once. She said if she ever "lost her mind" (her words) or could not take care of herself, she would not want to go on.