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December 9th, 2015 at 12:06 pm

It's been a little bit since I've been around, but things have been a tiny bit crazy.

I have a new part time special education teaching job that is only for this year, but I'm working three days a week from 8:45 to 2:15 (one day until 3:15), which means I get to drop off and pick up the kid at school most days, which is less money to daycare - about $20 less a week! And I'm getting paid hourly at a teacher wage.

I don't have any benefits, but I didn't have benefits subbing either.

It also means that I can sub Mondays and Fridays if I want to - and sometimes I want to, and sometimes I'd like to set Mondays on fire, but it's nice to have the option to bring in a little more money every week.

The divorce drags on and on, and my lawyer is awesome but expensive. I just want to be DONE.

Voldemort and I are making most of our holiday gifts this year.

Voldemort made these snowball soaps for their (pronoun switch again!) cousins, and it was super easy and fun. And cheap! We used old lego figures that V doesn't play with anymore to put inside the snowballs.

I'm making dry erase placemats for V and the cousins as well, which I hope they'll like.

The sisters are getting homemade clove lip balm - my SIL loved the Burt's Bees clove balm, but they aren't making that anymore, so I found a recipe and played with it a bit, and I think I got pretty close!

I also have vanilla brewing for the sister who bakes, and I took an extra vanilla bean and decided to make some vanilla sugar while I was at it.

My dad will get cookies, and my sister is getting my mom a crockpot, so I'm going to get her a crockpot cookbook to go with it.

And that's pretty much everybody - there are still some bought things that I'm getting for the kid - and I'm having no luck finding a decent pair of roller skates used, so I might have to go new for those - but mostly, gifts are taken care of!

Yay for PayDay and Frugality

September 30th, 2015 at 10:13 am

Today I got paid for 4.5 days of subbing last month - I would have done much more, only they didn't get me in the system until the 8th, I had to take a day off, and the end of the pay period is the 14th. So, I got a gross payment of $430ish. Which, yay.

Of course, seeing as my actual check was $168, I then emailed the school district to ask why the heck they were charging me for vision and dental insurance when I'm not eligible to be getting those through the district.

Ugh.

But hey, I've been subbing at the same place for two weeks, and practically every day since the new pay period (one or two half days in there, plus one day off to stay home with pukey kid), so I have high hopes for next month's paycheck. And the majority of the last full time teacher paycheck was put in savings specifically for this month, so I will make it.

I've also sold a textbook on half.com for $109, which will help, and I invoiced for $195 for proofreading in September, both of which will help.

Frugal stuff I've been doing:

-The majority of Voldemort's fall/winter wardrobe was found at the thrift store for about $30 total. She'll (we're in the midst of playing with pronouns, currently V is a "boy who uses she/her") need a few more things, and is requesting a "stylish winter jacket," but we'll hit up the thrift store again soon and might be able to flesh the wardrobe out a little more.

-I figured out how insanely easy it is to make mac and cheese from scratch on the stovetop without a box. Not saving a lot of money, no, but a little bit helps.

-I've been doing better at making smoothies in the morning to take in the car on the way to work. If I don't, I always end up stopping and picking up a coke and a candy bar - which isn't awesome for my health or my wallet.

-applied for Medicaid while I'm subbing - both the kid and I were approved, so that's a big relief. The male person has supposedly added the kid to his insurance, but seeing as there is still no card in my hand nor insurance number provided, I'd rather know the kiddo is covered somehow!

What about you? Any fun new frugal things?

Too Fast Through My Fingers

August 9th, 2015 at 02:52 pm

With some of the stuff going on with the male, my lawyer recommended a protection order. Setting that up burned through WAY too much of the $5000 retainer, and now I have to call and put more money in. Yuck.

To my complete lack of surprise, the male lasted six whole days in rehab and then checked himself out, claiming that he had defeated alcoholism. *sigh* I havent spoken to him since he was served with the divorce paperwork and the protection order, and I have to go back to court this Thursday to review the protection order.

I just wonder if he's even looked at the paperwork and knows to come.

Regardless, I've been working to continue cutting costs. Here's a few frugal things I've done in the past week or so:

- set up our own netflix account for 7.99 instead of 8.99. Not a lot, but hey.

- snagged a copy of the school supply list from the website and have gone through last year's supplies to reuse what we can

- packed our lunch to take to the science museum instead of buying food there

- started to cancel my audible membership but was diverted with a $20 credit. As soon as I spend that, I'll cancel.

- used the food processor to chop up a giant zucchini to make muffins and froze the unused bits

- applied and interviewed for guest teaching in my district this year, as full time work still feels wildly overwhelming

Sell Sell Sell

May 27th, 2015 at 11:16 am

One of the side effects of Brandus moving out is that I've finally admitted we won't be having any other kids. We tried for several years, then put everything on hold starting last year when he first started really struggling with alcoholism.

Which means I am finally clearing out my favorite cloth diapers that I saved from when Voldemort was a baby. They're really cute and super soft and I love them, but they make me sad, and I would rather they go to a kiddo who needs them.

I've sold four so far for a grand total of $35, and have several more listed, so hopefully the rest will go soon as well.

As it's summer coming up, my time to proofread has increased as well. Currently, I'm proofing an anthology ($15 each story), a second proofing on a novel ($30), and a novella ($30). I've also yet to invoice on second proofs for two novels ($60). It doesn't leave me rolling in dough or anything, but it definitely helps over the summer when I'm trying to bank as much of my teaching paycheck as I can.

Voldemort does still go to childcare over the summer - not full time, just two days a week - because I have to pay to keep his spot open anyway, so why not make sure he gets to spend time with other kids and I get to spend time NOT dealing with the eight billion questions a day he likes to ask. Smile

We're getting there.

One Bite at a Time

May 22nd, 2015 at 08:59 am

The husband cancelled our couples counseling appointment yesterday, and when I told him I was upset and wasn't interested in talking to him at the time, he said he has the right to be upset and take some time too.

Whatever that means.

But, he did actually reschedule the appointment for June 9th, so at least he took it seriously when I told him it was up to him now.

I'm still working on cutting costs - I decided to reschedule the cleaners for every other week instead of weekly, which does save about $130 per month.

I didn't cancel my uppercase box subscription entirely, but I did take it down to the next level, which is only about $7 difference a month, but still!

I also cancelled the kiddo's subscription to Kidstir, which is a cooking box. It's a lot of fun, but he's barely touched the last two boxes, so I put it on hold until we've got a little more wiggle room and he shows an interest in starting it again. So that's about $25, I think - I'm too lazy to check right now.

Adding up those changes plus the ones I cut before brings the amount per month that I am going to be able to reallocate to $443 per month!

Which leads us to...

I did give in last night and order a new laptop, which was desperately needed. I waited until Dell posted their Memorial Day sales, and only spent $400, which I think is fair. I had the money in my personal savings account, but I put it on the Discover because they were offering an extra cash back if I paid with my card.

So, $443 less going out plus $400 for a new computer leads to no increased money out of pocket - technically, I think.

I'm planning on putting at least another hundred towards the Discover every month and the rest in savings. Because even though I might be blase about currently not being set up for a job next year doesn't mean the idea doesnt occasionally strike terror into my heart.

Worker Bee

May 21st, 2015 at 09:22 am

At the end of this year, my classroom is closing.

Again.

I am an early childhood special ed teacher, and I teach an inclusion classroom - meaning some of my children are typically developing, and some have a variety of disabilities.

This means that my classroom is very dependent on the number of children placed (kids with disabilities) and children enrolled (typical peers).

Right before the winter holidays, the principal called me down to tell me my projected numbers for next year were low, and so my classroom was closing.

This isn't the first, or even the second time this has happened. It is, in fact, the third.

I hate it. Because I can never get fully comfortable in any school because I'll probably be moving on in a couple of years.

It also means that I have to apply and interview for the school where they are opening a classroom.

In the midst of all of the personal life mess, I just don't have the energy to jump through that many hoops - especially because I've turned in applications for several jobs already.

So, I'm solo parenting, my husband has made no progress that I can see towards starting any type of treatment, and come August I will no longer be pulling a regular paycheck.

I probably should be panicking, but I'm not.

I'm a special education teacher - I can sub every single day of the school year if I want to. It's not as high of a paycheck, but we'll get by. We might have to tighten the belts a bit more, but we have a good amount in our "taxes" fund that hasn't been needed, plus my second job (proofreading) brings in a hundred or so per month. Not a lot, true, but that will cover groceries.

Plus, I need time. The flexibility of subbing means that I can take days off when I need to. It means I can make it to Voldemort's field days and school plays without having to beg for a personal day.

I have concerns, of course - health insurance, for one big thing.

But the benefits are looking better and better.

I might still get another teaching job, and that will be ok. But if I don't, I'm ok.

We'll be ok.