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Paid It Off!

December 10th, 2015 at 01:00 pm

I forgot the best news when I updated yesterday!

It took forever, but I had to wait to hear from the lawyer - I used the "joint savings" (which was only joint because I put away money from the joint account, as the man person never saved. Ever) to pay off almost ALL of the "joint debt" (this was definitely JOINT).

I paid off two medical accounts, a store credit card, and about 4000 towards the Discover. It still carries a balance, as I use it instead of my debit card and then pay off whatever I've put on it, plus whatever else I can towards it. BUT, the balance was pretty much cut in half, AND I won't have any other monthly payments going towards the other two.

I'm really thrilled by this, and I am hoping to be able to pay off the Discover completely within the next year and a half.

I'm not sure how long it will take, as with my current job situation, I'm trying to put aside money for the summer months, when I won't be able to sub or temporary teach. I'm not quite sure WHAT I'll do, as childcare for kid for all day for a full time minimum wage job would be astronomical - but not working means no income at all except for the proofreading secondary job, and that's even more terrifying!

Regardless! Things are PAID OFF!

Checking In

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

Text is these snowball soaps and Link is http://www.prettyhandygirl.com/soap-snowballs-with-a-surprise-inside/
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
Text is dry erase placemats and Link is http://mellysews.com/2014/03/dry-erase-placemat-tutorial.html
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?

Hearts and Beds

September 7th, 2015 at 04:49 pm

Voldemort asked several times over the past two months if we could get him a "low down bed," as he was getting frustrated hitting his head on the ceiling and his inability to make his bed in the loft.

We bought the loft four years ago when we moved to CO. We happened upon it at a yard sale, and I think we paid about $40 for it.

I listed it on craigslist after looking at several other listings, and it went within 24 hours for $60!

That left Voldemort sleeping on his mattress on the floor for a few days until we found a twin bed listed that Voldemort decided fit his vague requirements.

("What do you want? What would you like in a bed?"

"I'll know it when I see it, Mama!")

We ended up calling Amyes, the mother of Voldemort Jr, for help, as she has an SUV, and I have a tiny Civic.

She helped pick it up and put it together - throwing in adding a plywood platform and an extra brace on a leg neither of us was too sure of.

In return, the kids amused each other, and I made dinner for all of us!

We joked that she was now the Man of the House, as she uses power tools and fixes things, whereas I'm much more comfortable in the kitchen and with my sewing machine.

If only I was a lesbian and she was attracted to me, we'd be all set, but oh well!

The loft sold for $60, the twin cost $30, the braces and plywood ran about $20, leaving me with $10 left over.

I think I did pretty well!

Divorce with a Side of Paperwork

August 19th, 2015 at 02:45 pm

This week, I've been drowning in paperwork from the lawyer - I've been busy filling out a sworn financial statement, which has included tracking down all statements for stocks, IRAs, bank accounts, blue book values of cars, zillow estimates of houses..

And while I've been doing that, I've been working on getting everything set up to start subbing on Monday, getting the kiddo's stuff together for his school, and meeting with his teacher and the dean of students to go over not only the divorce and how he might react, but also the yearly "my kid scoffs at your gender boxes and here's how to handle that without being a jerk."

He goes back to school tomorrow, and I have to admit I'll be glad for the break. I'll still be worrying about financial stuff, but at least he'll be busy!

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

Pennies on the Side

July 22nd, 2015 at 09:21 am

The kid and I have been traveling for the past week and a half, and are finally due to head back to CO today.

I had a conference, and so I dropped Voldemort off with my sister and her family so he and his cousin could run wild. We both had fabulous times, although mine was frequently interrupted by phone calls and negotiations with CO friends in dealing with the male type person who had decided to stay in my house while I was gone, get REALLY drunk, and is supposedly starting inpatient rehab today - which I will believe when I see monkeys and pigs fly past the airplane later today.

While this was an expensive trip, I've done what I can to reduce that - we're taking the bus to the metro, which will take us to the airport, which will take us back to CO and to a car that I am currently hoping does not have a flat tire in the parking lot.

I did have a question, though - I've been wanting to do Financial Peace University for years and have never been able to convince the male. Now that we're getting divorced, I don't have to take him into account anymore. Any experiences with taking Financial Peace as a single parent? I'd love to hear how it was helpful.

Paying for Divorce

July 5th, 2015 at 09:07 pm

After the hell that was this past week, I've decided to go forward with the divorce. I was hoping, I really was, but he still doesnt even understand the full mess that he is in.

He called me Thursday night from the emergency room. He'd be picked up where he was "sleeping it off" in hais truck. I have no idea if he pulled over to drink, or if he was drinking and thought driving would be a super swell idea.

That was upsetting enough, as he had just hit a full 60 days sober, but he called again at 5am on Friday, asking for me to come and pick him up.

If I had been more awake, I probably would have told him no and had him call an AA buddy. But I didn't.

Instead, I put our eight year old in the car and drove 40 minutes to go pick up his still drunk daddy from the hospital.

When I picked him up, the nurse said his BAC was currently .16. When the ambulance had brought him in, his BAC was .435.

Just to clarify, legal blood alcohol content level is .08. At .36, you have the same level as sedation for surgery. At .4, you're at high risk of death.

I can't live like this. I can't be dreading every phone call.

So, divorce it is. I've already spoken to a lawyer and I can do a little of the paperwork myself. However, because it does involve me wanting the courts to monitor B's visits with the Dark Lordling, as well as insist on breathalyzers before seeing him, a lawyer is necessary to make sure I don't screw something up horribly.

And the lawyer needs a $5000 retainer.

Quick Made Money Update

May 29th, 2015 at 11:39 am

I've sold 8 diapers for a total of $70 (minus shipping and handling, which is about $3.50 per order, and most diapers sell in 2s and 3s).

I invoiced for the proofreading I've done, which is at least $90. It will actually be a little over that, because one was a rush proof and I'll be paid for my time on that.

I still have 9 fitted diapers and 5 Flips covers left to sell. Hopefully they'll go soon.

I am currently in the middle of proofing an anthology, and I want to be able to invoice for each story in the anthology on one invoice, so I'm holding on to those for now, even though I've finished 3 and could invoice for them if I wanted to.

So hey, that's $160 for savings right there. Not too bad for this month.

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.