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Archive for September, 2012

October will be Expensive

September 27th, 2012 at 08:28 am

Things that need to get done in October, as we've been putting them off due to lack of money. But now that I've gotten my first full paycheck from my new job, we're a little better off and have some extra money to play with.

Car:
-new tires for my car
-new tires for Brandus' car
-repair/replace speedometer for my car
-check on SRS light on my car and fix airbag if needed

Dentist:
-cleaning for me (find new insurance card!)
-cleaning for Voldemort (no dental insurance)
-cleaning for Brandus (this won't happen this month, but I have to start nagging him early about going)

We have $405 put aside for cars, which will pay for at least 1 set of tires. The speedometer replacement will be HORRIFYINGLY expensive, I'm sure. Any suggestions for what to do/where to go/who to ask?

Eating Out: An Ongoing Cycle

September 26th, 2012 at 07:08 am

I had a full entry typed up yesterday and the internet ate it. Boo.

Last night, I had a meeting and Brandus had Parent Teacher Conferences. I had to leave my job (45 minutes away from where I live), head to our town, pick up Voldemort, and then drive another 40 minutes to get to the town where Brandus works, so last night was a planned eat out night.

I don't mind every now and then, although I really don't like much fast food. The problem is that it throws me off for the next day.

I take leftovers for lunch almost exclusively. I don't care for sandwiches much, and I'd rather have something hot, so I pack leftovers.

The trouble comes when there ARE no leftovers.

If I eat out for dinner at an actual restaurant, it's generally ok, because I usually have leftovers from large servings. But when I eat fast food for dinner, it means that, almost always, I end up picking up something the next day for lunch as well.

Currently, for lunch today I have string cheese and an orange. I'm doubting that will hold me.

Student Loan Lag

September 24th, 2012 at 11:10 am

My husband has quite a bit of student loan debt. He has 2 Master's degrees, all gotten while we were together, and for a chunk of that time, he couldn't work due to having to attend school over full time to get it over with quicker.

We're both teachers, and while I was lucky enough to attend college on "the Daddy Scholarship," Brandus was not. He dropped out his senior year of college after his grandfather died and his grandmother told him they couldn't help him with tuition anymore. When we got serious, he decided to go back to school.

So, we have loans.

Teachers have some interesting loan forgiveness programs, though. If Brandus taught for 5 years in a Title 1 school, $5000 could be forgiven. If he taught special education for a certain number of years, $10,000 could be forgiven. While one of the Masters he has is in special education, we aimed for the Title 1 forgiveness loan.

We mailed in the application three months ago.

Two months ago, we got notice that they thought the application looked ok, and they were sending it on to be formally reviewed.

Since then, I get excited every time I see a Nelnet envelope. And for the past two months, every single time I've opened it, it's been a notice of forbearance of the loan. On one hand, that means that they haven't turned down the application. On the other, it means that they are STILL REVIEWING IT.

It would be amazing to have $5000 forgiven off of his debt. Yes, we would still owe quite a bit, but that $5000 is easily over a year's worth of payments towards that loan.

Come on, Nelnet. Throw me a line here. Please?

Bills Bills Bills

September 19th, 2012 at 11:24 am

My apologies if you're now singing Destiny's Child, but that's the price you pay for reading this blog. Smile

Last month, both Brandus and Voldemort ended up in the emergency room. Brandus for gall bladder related reasons, and Voldemort due to a very very nasty stomach virus. We rarely go to the ER. Before this, the last time we went was when I broke my wrist and elbow 2 summers ago right when we were moving in to the new house (OF COURSE). We tend to try and take care of things through normal doctor visits and by taking liberal advantage of the fact my dad is a doctor and can prescribe some meds and answer questions about most issues.

But Brandus wasn't getting better and wasn't getting better and the doc-in-a-box he went to see sent him to the ER.

And then Voldemort started throwing up - which, hey, he's a kid, we've dealt with it plenty of times - but then he was getting sick more often and just laying there crying in pain, and the pain was getting worse, so off to the ER we went.

Fortunately, both of the boys are fine now, but holy heck, do we have some bills to pay.

And of course, the billing offices at any of these places are only open from 8-4:30. And I work 7:30-4:30. So I've spent my entire lunch break calling and paying various bills. Naturally, it's not just ONE bill. It's 2 separate bills from the hospital, 1 from pathology, 1 from radiology, 1 from labs, and 1 from the doc who saw one of them.

So, today's daily spending?
$236.91

And we still haven't gotten most of the bills from Voldemort's trip. Yuck.

The slight good news is that I finally got my new insurance card in the mail, so I can take the receipts from my last prescription back and get a little bit of a refund. I doubt it will be much, as the total bill was under $20, but hey, every little bit counts!

Whoops!

September 17th, 2012 at 11:31 am

I had an awesome lunch all packed to go this morning in my froggie bento box, but as I was running out the door I managed to leave it on the coffee table. I wouldn't even have realized it until I got to school except for the husband and the kid calling me to tell me.

So, for the first time this school year, I had to go out and get lunch.

I HATE having to go out - we only have 45 minutes to eat, and I'd rather spend that time actually eating as opposed to sitting in a drive through line, but if I don't eat I get a raging headache, and trust me, you do NOT want to try and deal with 12 three year olds unfed and with a headache. IT'S NOT A GOOD IDEA.

I went to Subway, as it's at least mildly heathy, but I'm still pouty about it.

Oh well, at least this way my lunch is already packed for tomorrow, right?

Daily Spending: $5.94

A Day at the Playground

September 16th, 2012 at 06:28 am

Thanks so much for the welcome back! I'm excited anybody remembers me!

One of the biggest activities we do on the weekend is hitting up parks and playgrounds. We live in a city with about 8 different parks, and we're within easy driving distance of about 5 more. And when you've got a 5 year old, you get desperate for anything that gets them out of the house and doing physically active things.

They sleep better and are much less whiny when they've been running around outside for a while. TRUST ME.

So, we go to playgrounds and parks. We have 1 close enough to walk to, and we hit that one on a pretty regular basis, but we like to change things up so nobody gets bored.

So, yesterday we packed up ourselves, some sandwiches/chips/fruit, and headed out to the "Castle Playground." Unfortunately, the Castle playground is a pretty good distance away - about 30 minutes - but we had my mother in law with us, and Voldemort wanted to show off his favorite playground. We really don't go there very often, but it is REALLY cool. It has a fountain and a small water area, and the rest of the place actually looks like a castle.

We did stop by Whole Foods to pick up a few things, so it wasn't a completely cheap trip, but we didn't end up eating out and the park is free, so other than Whole Foods and the cost of gas, it was a pretty frugal day out.

A Long Long Time and Two States Ago...

September 12th, 2012 at 11:37 am

The last time I updated was over 3 years ago! I decided it was time to revamp the place a bit. We're moving from The Money Pit - when we were moving from state to state with reckless abandon - to Frugal on the Weekends - where we now own a house, make more money, and can focus on our frugal actions in order to pay down credit cards, save for a new car, and get rid of student loans.

Both Brandus and I work full time plus as teachers - I teach preschoolers with special needs, and Brandus teaches middle schoolers with attitudes. We both commute 45 minutes each way. In opposite directions, of course.

At home, we have a Kindergartner of our own. Five year old Voldemort is hilarious, weird, and way too smart for his own good.

By the time we make it home, we cook dinner, do homework with the kid, and collapse in exhaustion. There is very little frugal activities during the week.

But on the weekend? We have time. We have energy. We have...dirty laundry, a messy kitchen, and a wild child to entertain.

Here's our experiences trying to get the new house fixed up, fight the HOA for a clothesline, and entertain the child, Voldemort!