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Archive for October, 2010

AAA came through

October 27th, 2010 at 06:10 am

Got my refund from AAA today -- $35 credit into my Discover account. Nice!

I keep checking my Discover account, and I have not yet been charged by the hotel I stayed in on the night of my son's wedding. I am pretty convinced now that someone in the bride's family secretly paid the bill -- perhaps they just arranged with the hotel to get the bill for anyone in the wedding party. Anyway, I'll try to find out for sure so I can thank them.

Either that, or someone at the hotel is asleep at the wheel -- and I hate to wake them up!

Last night I had a very queasy stomach (probably from eating too much cake -- in was in the break room and I couldn't resist it). I still felt shaky this morning and I thought I would call in sick -- but now, we have a new system -- calling in sick means logging into a secure website that emails a form to your supervisor. The website wouldn't accept my id/password from home. (I've used it at work, so I know I had the right password). Well, I'm glad I wasn't TOO sick, because I finally gave up and came in to work, not knowing how to call in sick. I hate technology.

My son and his wife (how nice that sounds!) arrived home safely last night, and early to boot, despite all the warnings about flight delays.




Icky weather

October 26th, 2010 at 05:55 am

Came in early to work today, hoping to dodge the dangerous weather that's predicted. Looks like everyone else had the same idea ... I didn't score a parking place right beside the building like I thought I might.

My son is flying back from his honeymoon in Puerto Rico today, and I am afraid he will be facing some delays. That's okay with Mom -- much better that he waits in an airport than to be in the air when the winds are dangerously high.

Yesterday I picked up a freecycle item that I plan to use as a gift. It's in the box and everything. It's a Debbie Mumm snowman platter for my DIL's mother, who is an avid snowman collector. I hope she likes it. It isn't actually something I would pick out for myself, but, hey, if you're a snowman collector? I think it will serve. And all it cost me was the gas to get there -- it was in a neighboring suburb.

On Saturday I did some CVS shopping. I don't find the deals that you guys do, but I did get some candy to bring in to work, half-price with a $1 coupon besides. My big screw-up was that I bought some Cetaphil and forgot to give the cashier my $2 coupon. (And yes, I would have gone back, except that I had ALREADY gone back to give her my $3-off-a $15-shopping-trip coupon, and I was too embarrassed to return again). Well, the coupon was soon to expire, and it's a product I use regularly, so I bought another when I grocery-shopped at Jewel. Now I am very well stocked!

At Jewel I used several store coupons and now I am very well stocked with Chunky soup and Dole fruit bowls as well. I know they are not the most economical foods available, but for a singleton who carries a lunch every day, they are very handy.

I am finally starting to get close to my 1c frying pan! I am saving Jewel stamps -- it's a promotion for free cookware that will last until January, I think. The funny thing about the stamps -- when I dogsat at the ritzy house a few weeks ago, I noticed they were saving them, too! I guess even the rich enjoy their little bargains.

Triple A times 2

October 22nd, 2010 at 01:11 pm

This morning I was going through all the stuff I have crammed in my DayTimer and found two AAA cards with different numbers. I called customer service, and sure enough, I've been carrying two memberships, one in NC and one in Chicago. The fee has been charged automatically to my Discover card, and I guess I just didn't notice it was happening twice a year instead of once. So I cancelled the NC membership and a refund is promised. Yippee!

Tomorrow I'm going to a half-day presentation for a new building campaign at work (voluntarily). I won't get paid, but I will get free food. My only role is to be a an extra body in the room, so it looks like lots of people are interested. This is a pretty frequent role in fundraising, and an easy one! We call it "rent-a-body."

My emergency fund is down again. I had to withdraw $300 to pay all the extra expenses I put on Discover last month. I am hoping to build it up again quickly. I am cutting everything to the bone until I do.

It got pretty cold last night, but I still haven't turned on the heat. And it's supposed to warm up again this weekend, so it'll stay off a few more days at least.

Money market woes

October 21st, 2010 at 05:55 am

Nothing much going on financially. I have been hunkering down, trying to spend little after the excesses of last month. Last night I was extremely vigilant about not using electricity. Found that there is so much light leaking in my windows from the parking lot that I can get around quite well without lights!

During all the wedding hoopla, I got a letter from TIAA-CREF saying that they would start charging a fee if I didn't increase my balance in my money market account. Now I can't find the letter, and I can't remember what the balance is supposed to be. I emailed them yesterday morning, but got no response yet. It isn't anywhere on their website. I guess I'll try to call today and talk to a real person, but that is always so hard in this day of automated voice mail.

I think I don't have enough to raise the balance, which makes me question whether I want to keep the money market account. I don't care to PAY for a savings account. The kicker is that I have an automated deposit to that account, which I would have to stop, and I know from experience it is very hard to make changes stick with TIAA-CREF. Sometimes I think I'd like to just stick my money under the mattress.

The wedding, and the drama

October 18th, 2010 at 10:44 am

My son's wedding was lovely. Picture perfect, but even that doesn't describe it because it was emotional and meaningful as well. There is not one thing I would change about that wonderful day.

However, the week surrounding it -- nightmare! Mostly brought on by my sister, whom I have discussed before on this blog. She wasn't going to come, for financial reasons (even after I gave her money to come -- which disappeared). I should have left it there, but my son wanted his aunt at his wedding. So she came, but her car broke down on the way. To make a long story short, she was broke and had to be rescued, and we all chipped in in various ways to do it. I wish I could say she has learned her lesson, but I don't believe she ever will.

Still, the wedding was so great, my pleasure could not be dimmed!

Just a few thoughts

October 6th, 2010 at 06:05 am

I just logged in to update my sidebar, so I thought I'd leave a note, too.

I keep track of my net worth, and right now I am projecting that it will have risen $10,000 this year by December. I am really happy about that, but I would like to do better. I wonder if I could raise it $20,000 next year? I am not yet back at the same NW I had before I retired in 2007, but I am getting close.

The wedding is now only five days away. I am ready except for getting a manicure. My sister will arrive tomorrow night and my BFF on Saturday. Many family members will be coming on Saturday and Sunday morning, but they will be staying at a hotel near the church, which is about 45-50 minutes away. I think I might get a room there, too. I really want to have time to see the whole gang. It's a once-in-lifetime thing, and I've already blown so much money, what's the difference now, eh?

My weekend

October 4th, 2010 at 02:03 pm

Saturday was a day of disasters. I went to the doctor to have a spot on my back checked. She is referring me to a dermatologist to have my whole body checked and she was pretty sure they would want to remove the mole, or whatever it is, "promptly." Well, I'm not going to do that till after the wedding.

Then I had a fender bender in the parking lot. It was an ugly confrontation -- we backed into each other, but the other guy demanded cash from me on the spot. Finally, he changed his mind and left, but it left me shaky. And now I have to replace my spare tire cover, which won't be cheap. (But I'm not going through insurance -- I had an accident last year, and I don't want to push me rates up).

I went to lunch with my kids and ordered what I thought was a "sample" of hot wings. It was a sample of 24! (Four different sauces, 6 wings each). I ate 4 and gave the rest to my kids to take home.

I went to buy a calligraphy pen to use on the place cards for the wedding reception, and had to buy a set with four pens to get what I wanted.

Bleaah, bleaah, and bleeaah. Yucky day. I've already spent too much, and these expenditures were ridiculous. It was raining to beat the band, too.

I spent all day Sunday at home and it was calm and relaxing. I watched two movies, "Up in the Air" and "500 Days of Summer," -- both great in different ways.

Money out the door

October 1st, 2010 at 01:20 pm

September was a huge spending month for me. I SHOULD stay within $1000 for non-fixed expenses to stay on budget, but this month I spent $2400.

There are reasons, of course. I spent more than $1000 on wedding-related expenses -- the clothes, the shower, the travel expense, etc.

I also spent more than $600 on a computer, which I didn't count on.

So other than those two areas, I was well below budget. And I guess that's what the EF is for. Unusual expenses.

I'll be glad when things settle down and I can start saving again.

The London/Paris trip is still hanging. I went to the organizational meeting, and it did look like a lot of fun. But I don't want to go unless my friend does, not only because it would be more fun, but because it would be cheaper. I sent her all the details but she hasn't responded. I'm feeling like for both of us the timing isn't right. Me, because I'm feeling poor, and she, because of health issues in her family.

But you guys have certainly encouraged me that I can do it on my own in the future, perhaps when I have more money socked away and am feeling more in charge of my future.