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What a Weekend!

November 11th, 2019 at 05:41 am

On Friday morning, I called my insurance company and got the news that the title was found and had been submitted. Then I went to the dealer and my registration was there. That freed me up to make my weekend trip to see BFF, so I got on the road and went!

So here is the bad news. While there, I backed into someone also backing up in a Target parking lot. I scratched up the rear bumper -- enough that it needs to be replaced but luckily it is a small corner bumper and not one of those that wraps all the way around the back. I will pay for the repair myself, and the other person's damage was similar to mine, but she called the police, anyway. So they issued a "Driver Exchange of Information" and told me to contact my insurance company. I did that this morning.

You can imagine how depressing this is with all that has happened already. This is not my year.

Other than that, it was a fun weekend! The cost -- $27 for gas, $37 for food, $20 for shopping, $7 for a movie. We saw "Harriet" which was really good!

I left home so quickly I left her present sitting on my dining room table, so we'll have to make plans to meet again.

I was planning to drive home this morning, but I got a weather alert that heavy snow was coming, so I made the drive last night. Thank goodness! The cars are already covered this morning and I am so glad I'm not driving through it.

Title Woes, Etc.

November 8th, 2019 at 05:07 am

My title seems to be missing in action. I am waiting for office hours to begin, but I will have to call Allstate again and see if anyone found it in my car. I now wonder if the employee at the collision center did not put my title in the glove box. If so, it may be floating around their office. This is so frustrating. I cancelled my weekend trip so I can follow up on this.

I'm supposed to get my registration today, but I'll bet the problem with the title will halt that. I'm very reluctant to travel with neither a title nor registration.

In other news, I reversed my decision and decided to put my credit card balance on a new 0% card. I took a look at the page Monkey Mama recommended, and I chose the American Express card, which offers 0% interest for 15 months and no fee. Even offers bonus points, but I'm not going to put anything else on the card in order to earn them. The transfer will take place in about 10 days.

I just couldn't see any reason not to do this. I'll pay it off before the 15 months are over, but now I don't have to decimate my savings or skip Christmas!

Yesterday I took the boys to music lessons and then went to a concert directly after. Dinner (from the Culver's drive-thru) cost $12.

I also got word from my son that they put on offer on a house in Oregon. The pictures look lovely and I hope they get it!

Oh, also, I canceled my warranty yesterday, and I am expecting to get about $800 back -- but it won't arrive for about 60 days.

Collecting Funds

November 7th, 2019 at 05:52 am

I called Allstate yesterday and talked with someone who promised that my reimbursement for taxes and fees would come within 48 hours. It's not there yet. I'm expecting $880, or thereabouts.

Today I'm going to the former car dealer to cancel my warranty. I should get a refund from that, not sure how large though. Buying it in the first place was a waste of money, but I was afraid of a car disaster during my gap year. And here it happened just after, and the warranty is no help on a totaled car.

I'm working like crazy to have extra money to throw at the BOA credit card.

I looked into a transfer to a 0% card and decided to just get it done on this card. It will keep me motivated to be frugal.

It is frustrating to have to be superfrugal again after so recently being released from my gap year budget. But that's how it goes. I want this car paid off.

Heading out to the gym soon, then the car dealer, then shower and dress for music lessons and concert.

Tomorrow I'm expecting to get my registration, which I will pick up at the new dealer. Then I'll get on the road to go visit BFF. We're having pizza and cake with her kids and grandkids in the evening. I am committed to no/low spending during the weekend and will encourage eating in. We'll see how it goes.

If my registration isn't ready on Friday morning, I will probably cancel the trip. I don't feel good about taking a trip without proof of registration in my glove box.

Warranty Cancellation

November 6th, 2019 at 08:14 am

I didn't spend anything yesterday except for $1.50 for laundry.

Today I went to the dealer who sold me my Civic to cancel the warranty I bought at the same time. However, the man I needed does not work on Wednesdays, so I'll have to try again tomorrow. I think I may get some money back from that.

I revisited the letter sent to me from Allstate and I realized that it directed me to an email address different from the one I was using. So I sent the bill of sale info to that one. If I hear nothing today, I'll call them tomorrow.

I spent a good deal of time cleaning the stovetop yesterday. I started out with a baking soda paste, but it didn't do much and I had to wipe the stove about a thousand times because a film kept reappearing. Then I used one of those spray-on cleaners, and it didn't do much either. I am writing this in hopes I will remember from now on -- ammonia is the answer! Straight ammonia on rags, stuffed around the burners and covered by inverted bowls to keep the ammonia moist. The grates and knobs I ran through the dishwasher. The grates aren't perfect, but much better. I know I can make them perfect by soaking them in ammonia, but I think it's all good enough for now.

Tomorrow is gym day, and I'll also be taking the boys to music lessons. Then GS1 has a concert right after. Add to that the visit to get my warranty cancelled and it will be a busy day!

No Pizza

November 5th, 2019 at 06:41 am

Well, I did my workout in the early evening instead of the morning, but I didn't time it right to get the free pizza. After I stretched my workout to ridiculous lengths, I just sat and waited for a while because the attendant told me the pizza was supposed to arrive at 6 pm. and it was already 6:05. At 6:15 it still wasn't there, and I felt conspicuous waiting, so I left.

I came home and had a hard-boiled egg.

No spending yesterday!

I got a letter from Allstate telling me I can make a claim for reimbursal of tax and fees. Yeah, I did that. I'm going to call today. The reimbursal for towing slipped through the cracks and I wouldn't have gotten it if I hadn't called. I'm wondering if it happened again.

I activated my debit card for ground transportation yesterday. If I understand the rules correctly, I can load it with up to $75 a month, and whenever I use taxis, Uber, Lyft, Amtrak or Greyhound I will only be charged half. The only thing I'm not clear on is whether I have to use the $75 in a month or if it rolls over. This will be useful for getting to the airport.

Really tired today after a restless night, so I don't think I'll be doing much of anything.

Early Arrival

November 4th, 2019 at 04:51 am

Yesterday I got to the library a half hour before it opened. I didn't want to sit outside in the cold, so I walked to Panera and spent $2 on coffee so I could sit there.

I parked in the nearby garage where it's free if you get out within the hour. And I did.

I also sent $20 to Oregon son. Even though a new job is on the horizon, it's going to be very expensive for them to make this move.

My neighbor called me yesterday about a smell in the building. I told her I hadn't smelled it, but when I opened my storage closet, I got a whiff of it. It's a dead animal smell. I pulled everything out of the closet to make sure there was nothing there. And there wasn't. I put everything back except the Christmas tree and decorations. I'll be putting them up soon enough -- I'd rather not do that hauling again.

My storage closet shares a wall with my neighbor, so I'm wondering if an animal has somehow gotten into the wall and died. My neighbor is going to call the property manager today.

Today is a gym day, and I was getting ready to go, when I realized it is pizza day at the gym! If I put off my workout till 5pm or so, I'll get a free dinner. So that's on! That will make up for the coffee!

Made plans with BFF to go visit her this weekend. It will be her birthday. I have a few things I've already bought to give her, so no outlay needed for a gift. There will be a cost for gas, of course, since it's a 3-hour trip. But I have about a half a tank so that will get me well into Indiana where the gas is cheaper.

Yesterday's Errands

November 3rd, 2019 at 06:54 am

Yesterday I took my car to a professional car wash (one that has people) and got the exterior washed (and all the leaves and crud wiped away) for $12. I won't do that often, but it was worth it yesterday. I'm going to miss the free car wash service I had from my previous dealer!

I also spent $18 at Aldi, making strategic purchases which will utilize and stretch what I already have on hand. I did a load of laundry ($1.50) and got my hair cut ($18.) Variables are at 9%. I forgot to report that last month I kept the variables down to 87%. Ten days without a car helped on that.

I stopped at the senior center, but I still can't pay my wheel tax until I have my new registration in hand. But I picked up my Brink's debit card, which I can use for discounted service on taxis and Uber. I don't use those services much, but for getting to the airport they are essential. I believe the attendant said the discount was 50%. I have to read up on it.

I'm going to the library today, to pick up a new book on hold. Perfect timing, I just finished my last one!

Almost forgot! I got $104 in the mail yesterday for a cash settlement in a case against State Farm. I'll take it!

More on the Car, and October Recap

November 2nd, 2019 at 06:19 am

I appreciated all the nice comments on my new car. I am definitely mulling over the idea of transferring the balance to a 0% card. I just got an offer for one the other day, which I threw away! I would still pay off as quickly as possible, but I wouldn't have to hurry as much. I'll have to look at the numbers, though.

Someone asked -- my new car is silver, with black interior.

I got up yesterday and first thing I did was take a look at my car (I could see it from my window.) To my shock, it looked like a garden had been planted on the roof! It turned out that the surprise Halloween snowstorm we had dumped a load of wet snow and then knocked down the leaves from the trees. I was parked under a big honey locust tree, so all these tree-like compound leaves were stuck in the frozen snow on my roof, waving around in the wind. And I mean a lot! They were all over the windshield, too.

I cleaned it up the best I could, but I had to wait for the temperature to warm up before I could really move them. Hoping the ones I couldn't reach will blow off today.

I went to the gym (it's been a long break from that!) and then to Sam's, where I spent $36 on bread, dishwasher pods and parchment paper. Large packages, of course. I was planning on stopping at the senior center to pay my wheel tax, but, being a senior, I totally forgot to do that, so I'll do it today! I will go to Aldi, too; I have about 7 items to buy. And I hope to be able to get in for a haircut, though that is not easy on a Saturday. That may wait till Monday.

I did my October recap yesterday, and here it is:

Furnishings/Equipment/Decor: $5,383
Housing: $809
Car Repair/Maintenance: $221
Insurance: $211
Utilities: $175
Groceries: $143
Vet/Pet Supplies: $118
Clothing: $60
Phone: $52
Gifts/Charity: $51
Medical/Health: $36
Gas: $30
Eating Out: $24
Laundry: $14
Vacation/Travel: $10
Fares/Parking: $10
Entertainment: $9
Personal: $7
Household Supplies: $4

Grand Total $7367

$5,273 of the first category is the cost of the car beyond the insurance payout. I figure a car is equipment. The rest is the pans, sheets, remote and curling iron I bought earlier in the month.

Housing: I paid $50 extra on the mortgage.

Car Repair/Maintenance: That was the work I had done on the Civic just before the crash. Wish I had waited on that!

Insurance: That was my annual condo insurance.

Vet/Pet Supplies: A vet visit and special kidney care food.

Clothing: Underwear! Much needed.

Everything else is pretty much self-explanatory. The $10 for vacation was the money I paid my grandson for taking care of my cat. I paid him after I came back, and it fell in the next month.

A New Car!

November 1st, 2019 at 05:01 am

I bought my car yesterday -- quite unexpectedly! I was going to wait until Saturday when my son could drive me to several places in distant suburbs. But when I looked at local websites rather than the big Autotrader-type things, I found new options.

I bought a 2014 Kia Soul with only 29K miles. It is in beautiful, perfect condition. I paid cash (which included putting $2700 on a credit card) and the total was $12,705. I'll get some of that back because I'll be reimbursed for taxes and fees.

It was a little over my spending limit, but I am so pleased. I did look extensively at Toyotas and Hondas, understanding totally that their reliability is legendary, but the only options for me would have been cars that were older than the one I lost (which was pretty old already!) or cars that had very high mileage.

The Kia Soul has good ratings for reliability as well, and I am trusting that this will be a good car. I love the way it looks and the way it handles, the roominess of the interior and the nice, high seat! I didn't realize how much I hated getting in and out of the low-slung Civic. A friend of mine just told me that he LOVED his Soul and that it handled great in snowy conditions.

The fly in the ointment is going to be quickly paying off what I put on the card. I'm going to have to really be frugal in order to pay it off in a couple of months to ameliorate the interest. Unfortunately, this is the worst time of the year for that, as Christmas is coming, as well as two birthdays this month.

Today I'm going to go get my wheel tax paid, as well as go to the gym and pick up a few groceries. I'm due for a haircut, but I think that may have to wait until tomorrow. But I'm so excited to get in my new car!

The Insurance Money

October 30th, 2019 at 07:03 am

Yesterday my agent texted me that my check (!) had been sent on the 25th and should arrive in 7 to 10 days. I fired back, what happened to quick pay, which I signed up for as my preferred payment? Apparently, I was too late in turning in my title. Though I did transfer it to the glove box on the day the car was totaled, it wasn't there when the adjustor was there, and so wasn't officially turned in until the next day, when the car was towed away.

Well, I was very unhappy, expecting the money to come on Friday at best and next week at worst. Then I went and got my mail.... The check was there!

I'm still a little perturbed, since now I have to wait for the check to clear (I deposited it online). I also noticed that I did not get the towing reimbursement, but that may come from a different office. I'll call today.

With any luck, I can shop tomorrow -- except that it is Halloween, and my son will not be available to bus me, so maybe not.

I did not make the bus trip to the library yesterday. I thought I would try to finish reading my current book first. I didn't, but I'm a lot closer. I still have a few days.

I also need to make a trip to the senior center to pick up a debit card for discounted taxi/Uber service. I might as well wait till I have the new car, so I can take care of the wheel tax at the same time.

I checked on my variables yesterday, made a few corrections, and it is now 87%. Still under. I am going to have to be very careful in the next few months, because it's going to take time to rebuild my EF, some of which is going to go toward the new car.

Another Day of Waiting

October 29th, 2019 at 07:00 am

No money yet. Yesterday I sent a text to the adjuster I was working with asking when, but he has not answered yet.

I have singled out two cars I want to look at, but if the money doesn't arrive promptly, they may be gone and I may have to start all over.

Meanwhile, it's a bit of a pain to be carless. Today I'm going to take the bus to the library again. I have a book to return and one to pick up.

Food is still holding up, and even though I am down to three dishwasher pods (one will be used today) I am still hopeful that I'll have a car before I have to go to Sam's. If I have to go to Sam's, I can take the bus, but it's a long, winding route.

ODS (Oregon Dear Son) texted last night that the offer came and the salary was higher than he expected. He was clearly pleased. He will start work right after Thanksgiving.

I went to GS1's Halloween concert last night, grabbing a ride with IDS (Illinois Dear Son). It was lots of fun; all the kids were in costume. Especially amusing was the T-Rex who played the tambourine. GS1 was dressed as Steve Harrington (Season 2) and wore his cool seventies' sunglasses through the whole performance. Couldn't believe he could see, but his violin bow was in sync with all the others, so obviously he could!

Florida Son's New Job

October 28th, 2019 at 06:01 am

I had a good conversation with Florida DS, who will soon be Oregon DS. He is happy to have found a job with such a good company (Amazon), but now that he is looking at the logistics of making such a big move, he is a little freaked out. He does plan to go up by himself at first and live in temporary housing while he searches for a home for the family. He says that housing is more expensive there than in his current home. His MIL is hard at work looking for suitable places online -- she's really good at that -- she found the home they are living in now. He is also a little freaked out that he will be living so far north after living in the south for so long. The family will all have to get winter gear.

The good news is that he will get stock options in addition to retirement contributions, and the medical plan is very good.

I am just so relieved that I don't have to worry about him any more.

In my world, I had a quiet day yesterday. I made some French onion soup, to use up onions, and also cooked myself a meal of sauteed chicken, stewed tomatoes and boiled tiny potatoes. So good.

I am hopeful that the money for my car will be in my bank account today, but it is too early to look.

I Keep Losing It

October 27th, 2019 at 09:56 am

Well, I lost this entry twice due to being distracted!

Maybe it means there is not much to tell....

I spoke to XH yesterday and he said that FDS will definitely take the Amazon job when the offer is made. I looked up the area he will be moving to, and not only is it far away, but hard to get to! Not close to a major airport. And it's a three-day drive. Well, I will figure out some way to visit. BFF has a brother in Portland -- we may road trip together.

Disappointed I couldn't car shop this weekend, but I guess it was unrealistic to expect the money so fast.

Read my insurance policy and found I do not get replacement value, but actual cost value, which is the Edmunds/Blue Book value. That's in line.

I'm not excited about the cars that are available in my price range, but I trust I will find something when the money is in hand.