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Archive for December, 2006

Trying to Plan Ahead

December 30th, 2006 at 04:54 am

*clutches brain*

I was just writing a very long, involved post about trying to budget ahead for this summer, and realized that i was lost reading it. there is no chance anyone else would have understood it if i cant!

so, starting over again!

Due to where we live and the fact that I am pregnant, i will have to find a place to stay in Anchorage for about a month and a half. the doctor says I cant fly after 36 weeks, and health insurance WILL NOT help pay for room and board.

I know they wont. Because I asked. And then asked again. And then looked really confused, put on a poor pitiful expression, and asked again.

So, from about April 5th to about May 20th (ish. baby is due May 8th or so, and we wont want to get back on a plane right away), I have to find a place to stay.

a furnished place to stay. with room for my mother. for a decent price and in a nonscary part of town.

i dont even know where to start. the extended stay hotels are still really expensive, sublets for that time arent going to show up on craigslist yet, and i dont KNOW anyone in Anchorage who I can beg a bedroom off of.

any other ideas?

anyone?

anyone?



..Bueller?


then, we have to budget for this. mom is coming to stay with me, because Brandus will still be teaching, and i dont want to be by myself, 9 months pregnant, in a strange city. it is very highly possible that Mom and Daddy will pick up half to all of the cost of wherever we stay, but i cant and wont depend on that.

but, i dont even know what to predict for that kind of stay. should i guess $800 a month, which is about how much most rentals are? should i estimate out how much an extended stay place would be, just to be on the safe side?

should i run away screaming? pick up a stranger in a bar and tell them im their long lost sister?

im so confused!

WTF?

December 22nd, 2006 at 08:18 pm

Ok, so, let's say that you live in the middle of nowhere, Alaska, and that there are no banks in town.

or within 500 miles of you.

Let's say that you're going to town, and a friend asks if you'll write them a check, and they'll give you the money in cash, if you'll stop by and deposit the check in their bank.

Sure! you say. No problem!

Then, let's say you ask your wife, to make sure its cool, and she ok's it.

The guy gives you the $400, YOU (this is important) write a check, and you pocket the money.

Now, let's say its the end of the month, and your wife is completely baffled about there is $400 less in the checking account than there should be.

And then you remind her of the check for the friend.

When your wife stares at you and says, "no..that was out of YOUR account. YOU kept the money," why, exactly, would you be confused about why she is irritated?

Gah.

CC Count

December 17th, 2006 at 08:23 pm

I know I just did this two weeks ago, but Im doing it again, because we've actually made a little bit of a dent, and Im excited!

Old Navy -
was: $510
now: $445
lim: $600

Chase -
was: $2886
now: $2857
lim: $3000

REI -
was: $5073
now: $4873
lim: $5000

Discover -
was: $6698
now: $6644
lim: $6700

TOTAL -
was: $15,167
now: $14,819


The Old Navy would be down another $75 or so, only i really needed maternity jeans!

I hope to have that one completely paid off by January. We should be getting some cash and checks for Christmas, and I want anything we get to go towards getting RID of that bill completely.

Of course, then we found out that we get paid on the 22 of this month, instead of the 31, which made me really excited and got me picturing this one bill gone...

And THEN i remembered that it meant our paychecks have to last a month and a half instead of just the normal month! Ack!

And teachers dont really get Christmas bonuses, so no hope for that. Oh, well.

Energy Bills and Moving

December 16th, 2006 at 12:09 am

Alrighty, so, something equally insane to the car payment (in earlier post) seems to have happened to our last Colorado xcel energy bill.

We called and cancelled it. Informed them that we would be out by July 20, and were.

On Sept 1, I got a bill (dated August 7, btw) for $90.02.

I emailed, asking if this was a new charge, or if this was for July. If it was for July, sure, Ill pay it, we lived there.

Nope, the bill hadnt been turned off, and I would need to have the landlord contact them to verify we were out when we said we were, so they could bill the landlord instead.

No problem, the landlord is a bank, and they like us, because we actually paid our rent.

So, you would think that the $90.02 bill would go down. Or even disappear, wouldnt you? After all, we werent there, charges made after we moved we going to be applied towards the landlord's bill...this, to me, says that whatever our final bill is, it will be less than $90.02.

Wrong. I FINALLY got the latest notice from them.

Final bill?

$157.42.

What?

ETA: HA! They added some random $75 deposit. They didnt even realize until I emailed them.

Final bill: $82.42

Still not fabulous, but better than over a hundred!

$3000 Back

December 14th, 2006 at 07:49 pm

We moved to Alaska in August, and due to craziness during the move, ended up paying the car payment late.

I called the credit union and explained what was going on - we had closed our normal bank account in CO, and hadnt opened a new one in AK yet, and they would get the normal payment by the end of the week.

Ok, fine. No problems, right?

Wrong.

The next bill I got has an additional charge of $300 on it. THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS.

Evidently, we didnt have insurance on it anymore. Which is funny, because the credit union wasnt in charge of our insurance, and we sure as heck didnt cancel it.

Fast forward three months of confused phone calls, repetition of insurance information, and finally, a complicated threeway call between the credit union, the insurance company (USAA, how i love you).

So, yesterday, I got a bill giving us a credit of $3000 back, for all of the backcharges (which went back, for some reason, to June).

And on the same bill? There was a $15 late fee.

We've been racking up late fees, as well as the additional charges. Keep in mind, we've been making our normal payments (which is more than the minimum, thank you!) all this time.

Gah. I have to go call them again and yell some more.

Mystery Money

December 12th, 2006 at 10:45 pm

How very odd.

We just got back from an Anchorage trip, complete with plane tickets, hotel, car rental, food, and dr's visit.

And I still have $1000 left in my checking account.

After my $250 deposit to my ING account, the $200 regular savings deposit, the car payment, an extra $115 to the Old Navy card (Whee!), the bills...

IM VERY CONFUSED.

Im starting to wonder if I forgot something. Like, some major bill or another.

We are still waiting for a couple of things to come in COD. Like my new jacket from the Army/Navy store.

But, still. Im going to end up going home after work and searching through every bill to make sure I paid it.

Gah.

Non Customer Service

December 8th, 2006 at 10:31 pm

Yesterday was a frustrating day all the way around.

Our phone (and a neighbors) went out on the 5th, so yesterday we called to see what was going on.

You havent paid your bill since September.
Im looking at my WellsFargo account online and it says differently.
Then you have a problem with your bank.
...WellsFargo states you RECIEVED the check. And cashed it.
If we had gotten a payment, we would have put it toward your bill.
You got the payment. Would you like me to fax you proof?
Obviously, you are having trouble with your bank.
No, Im really not. Here's the reference number.
We havent recieved a payment.
But we sent it. The bank says you got it. More importantly, YOU CASHED IT.
I'm sorry, you need to work this out with your bank.

?!?!

I faxed the proof anyway, made the husband call them back and yell. We have a phone.

Oh, AND they were nice enough to give us until the 15th to "pay our bill."

*headdesk*

Big Damn Heroes

December 8th, 2006 at 06:45 am

I am so furiously, disgustingly angry on behalf of alot of people right now.

Im a Browncoat.

This weekend, up until a few hours ago, a MAJOR convention had been planned. Over 500 people had bought tickets, made hotel reservations, and bought plane tickets.

Several Firefly/Serenity actors were going to attend. This was a VERY BIG DEAL. Some people spent upwards of $1000 getting there, not including food and drinks.

A few hours ago? The company in charge posted this:

"Booster Entertainment apologizes for the great inconvenience, but due to unforeseen circumstances, Flanvention is cancelled. An official notice will be posted within 10 days."

THE ENTIRE WEBSITE HAS BEEN REMOVED EXCEPT FOR THAT NOTICE.

Less than a day before the con started, the whole thing was cancelled.

I have a very good friend who was SO EXCITED to go. She was packing.

I dont even know if she knows. I dont know if she got on the plane knowing..or if she didnt find out until she got to the hotel.

Im so mad and disappointed on her behalf. She bought her tickets months ago, and recently, due to a whole mess with her living situation, had questioned whether she should even go, because the $400 she spent would really come in handy.


In some good news, even though the con was cancelled, some of the actors showed up anyway.

Adam Baldwin, Nathan Fillion. You guys have class.

Down, Down, Down

December 5th, 2006 at 11:22 pm

HA! All credit cards are once again under their limits!

And I managed to sneak an extra $15 to the Old Navy card, and an extra $50 to the REI visa.

I would have sent it all to Old Navy, only I panicked about the REI, thinking that the minimum payment wouldnt bring me enough under the limit.

I figured out how that one managed to get overlimit though. Brandus "accidently" used it instead of his own check card at the native store.

Twice.

On the same day.

*sigh*

oh well, he is leaps and bounds better than he used to be, so Im not going to do more than tease him about it.

But! Hey! Back under limits for all cards, and actually watching the numbers DROP! WHEEE!


I also managed to locate another $1.68 in change, bringing the piggy up to $13.55. As soon as I get to Anchorage on Monday, Ill deposit that, and hopefully send it towards the Old Navy card too!

Coin by Coin

December 4th, 2006 at 02:33 am

My husband leaks coins.

I have no idea what he does, but everyday, I find anywhere from a few cents to almost a dollar in coins, usually near his chair or on the floor where he changes clothes.

So, I scoop them up and dump them in my little piggybank.

Today, I counted.

$9.98

Totally unfair. I just need two more cents!

*searches couch cushions*

ETA: HA! Found $1.89, bringing it up to $11.87

Menu Frustration

December 4th, 2006 at 01:11 am

I know that cooking at home saves alot of money. And for the most part, we kind of HAVE to, seeing as we live in Nowhere, Alaska, which has no cars, no roads, and most importantly, no resturants.

But we find it so easy to run to the Native Store or the AC to just pick up a thing or two everyday. And, seeing as everything sold up here is VERY expensive, due to the shipping cost and handling added in, this adds up really fast.

Plus, we're currently eating junky freezer stuff. Frozen bean and cheese burritos (what, like those are HARD to make?), frozen fried chicken breasts, frozen french fries..

Not very healthy, especially as Im pregnant and need to be eating better.

We have some weird food things that go on in our lives anyway..husband Brandus is a vegetarian, but Im not.

I dont eat tofu, or most of the meat substitutes - although I like the fake sausage and veggie crumbles.

Neither of us eats seafood, mushrooms, or onions (although onions we bend on for flavoring)

Brandus is a GREAT cook, and can create things off the top of his head. Whereas, I HAVE to have a recipe to follow.

Finding things we will both eat is slightly complicated.

So, Im trying to get the kitchen cleaned up so that we can start doing more actual cooking, and less nuking or heating up.

I just need to sit down and plan some menus. Maybe I can make some stuff we can freeze and heat later.

Credit Card Roundup

December 1st, 2006 at 11:02 pm

Currently owed on the credit cards, according to online, up to the minute reports:

Discover - 6,697.95 (limit: 6,700)
Chase - 2,886.37 (limit: 3,000)
REI - 5,073.15 (limit: 5,000 ACK!)

Old Navy - 509.79 (limit: 600)

Total: 15,167.26

Ill have to edit this when I get home and can locate the latest REI card statement. I cant remember my online login information to look now! (FIXED)

Discover card is the only one that got used this month(at least, on purpose), and that was a $35 payment to ETS to get my Praxis score reports sent to the Alaska teaching license place. There was also a mystery emusic.com charge to the chase card that I have to track down, because i didnt do it, and the husband knows i would have to kill him.

Im very close to the limit on all, which looks bad. But when you realize we were OVER the limit on all three of the major cards, its very exciting to see the numbers starting to drop. Even if it is so.very.slow.

What's really sad? Before we moved in together, I HAD no debt. And we were doing ok, but then we went to Vegas for a long weekend (4 years ago), and to Disneyworld on our honeymoon (2.5 years ago), and to Italy for our first anniversary..and then brandus was in school and out of work for a year and a half..