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Paid off DH's car today!

September 25th, 2009 at 12:05 am

So Lux is cleaning house?? Guilty. I'm one of the ones being beckoned back. I am here nearly every day reading and commenting, there's just a block when it comes to writing. I see I started an entry July 10th. I wanted to upload a pic and pics weren't working. Never came back to do that.

- How did Lux know?? Just this morning I transferred the money from savings, clicked a few buttons, and as of tomorrow - DH's car is paid off! This is at least three months earlier than anticipated - WITHOUT money from the sale of his old car. The savings account had been named "The XXXXX car payment fund". I transferred the money and renamed it "Yup, I stole it all..." DH hasn't noticed yet... hee hee...

- Paying off the car taught me a bit about the current state of our finances. I'm in REALLY good shape to tackle the next item: Student Loan 1. I need to update my sidebar - WAY out of date. It's nice though - I can see we've made some progress since I last updated it.

- My brother is HOME. Not overseas, not in the army, but HOME. For GOOD. He's actually the reason we never got any money for DH's old car. We had two people lined up to come see it the next day - one was a guaranteed sale. My brother sent me a text saying he needed a car. That was the end of that. We handed over the keys on a paid off, inspected, registered, insured vehicle and told him to figure his life out. Eh, he still hasn't. Inspection is up at the end of September. I told him at the time that I'd need the money by the end of the year to pay off DH's car. I'm glad I didn't immediately need that money and this is something we'll get worked out eventually. I'm just nervous since technically DH owns the car even though we haven't seen it for a couple months and the inspection is about up.

- My mother and I haven't spoken in two weeks due to a couple BAD (in my opinion) financial decisions she made. I'll save that for another entry. This is affecting my current mental state.

- I got a raise! Wow, that's great these days. It's about $20 net each week. Not too bad at all. It's effective 08/31/09, so I'll have to process 3 weeks of retro pay for myself. Yeah, tough being the payroll department.

- I am reading "More Attention, Less Deficit: Success Strategies For Adults with ADHD" by Ari Tuckman. I really like it... but hate it. It says in the intro that it's your book, do what you want, yell at it if you want. I'm more inclined to start beating myself over the head with it. DH is so textbook ADHD and the more I understand about it, the better. He is diagnosed, but currently untreated. I feel he can only pursue treatment if we fully understand what sort of treatment would benefit him. Me reading and understanding is the only way things will get better. It's just a SLOW process. I AM learning a lot though.

- My YTD coupon savings must be over $2500 by now! I'm about a week behind on updating that info in the spreadsheet. I think this has a lot to do with helping us get the car paid off. We hardly buy anything anymore.

- Work has been VERY stressful for me lately. I think this is compounded by the problems with my mother and the problems in my own mind I am trying to sort out. I'm only one person and I'm tired of having to solve the world's problems. Yeah, it probably doesn't help that my boss suspects he has ADHD, but has never pursued this. *sigh* I know from experience that my mind does, but does not, mesh well with the ADHD mind. I'm WORKING ON THAT!

- Since I'm trying so hard to change myself, I'm actually taking more time for myself these days. Well, trying to. No matter what - the household stuff still needs to be done somehow. I'm just trying not to kill myself over it and trying to relax sometimes too.

- I do NOT miss TV!!! I am absolutely loving music again. I'm listening to a station on last.fm right now and this song is good. By Ian McCulloch of Echo and The Bunnymen. I'm learning "new to me" stuff that I missed from years ago. Love it!!! I'll still watch a tv show here and there, but not much. I don't have it on as background noise anymore. DH was even nice enough to notice it has been bothering me and he went upstairs to watch tv tonight. That was a HUGE move for him! Smile

That's about all I can come up with for now. Just taking it easy this evening. MUCH needed these days!!

Frustrated with my mother

January 14th, 2009 at 07:06 pm

Oh boy, long rant. I'm just beyond frustrated at this point and I really don't know what to do!

So growing up, I always just knew my mom as having no money, not making much at work. She claimed not to make enough to live on. Last winter was the worst - constantly calling me crying, out of fuel and had no heat. Or telling me she couldn't afford gas/milk/bread/you name it. Well I jumped in and took "control" over her finances a little over a year ago. It really has taken a year for me to truly understand how things work in her budgeting life. Uh, they DON'T!!

Well let's start with most recent and work backwards. So my mom's checking account balance is currently -$0.26. Yes, negative. She gets paid every two weeks and was paid on Friday. Yesterday I logged in (to torture myself?) and saw that her available balance was $2.56. I sent her an email, as nice as I could, asking her if she realized she had spent $134.53 since 12/18 at the store she works at. Half came out of her checking account and half was put on the store charge card. I informed her that often folks have trouble seeing where there money is going and I was wondering if she was having problems with this. I also told her what her current balance was. Well today, lo and behold, a pending charge for $2.82 has done away with her balance and then some!

My mom didn't email me back and I'm not sure if she's mad at me or herself at this point! The really sad thing is: this is where the entitlement mentality kicks into overdrive with her. I don't know why, but she seems to think the world owes her something most of the time. I'll tell you the honest truth - she has plenty of money to pay ALL her bills, afford food/heat/fuel for the car. If she would just build up a fund for heating expenses and property taxes, there WOULD be money left over for fun purchases! I can't even get her to that point though.

I have tried everything. More control for her, less control for her, everything in between. Now we're to the point I don't give her a say in anything. Oh boy I'm in trouble if I let her have any input! Many many times I've asked her to schedule a payment for something - and she doesn't. She still owes me $350 from last winter's heating fiasco. Yes I know I wont see that, along with the THOUSANDS of dollars I've paid off for her over the years. Debt *I* am still paying off! Oh yes, we had a payment schedule set up for this as well.

She has charged off a few credit cards, including a charge card at the store she works at. WTF was this store thinking giving her a new account last year?? She was so happy - her credit was good! My mother does NOT understand credit - not even one tiny bit. She thinks "Well I'll just put it on my card and pay it off later!" Uh, with what money?

She spends twice what I do at the grocery store - one of her and two of us!

I sent her to Walgreens the other day to pick up $6.00 worth of stuff with coupons. She spent almost $25.00 - on what?

I just don't want the stress and responsibility of her finances anymore, but if I don't do this - she'll instantly drown. She is NOT responsible enough to do this on her own. She has public records on her credit reports from non-payment of property taxes, been taken to court for non-payment of services to a local contractor, charged off a few credit cards, written bad checks at local stores, been sent to collections for various other items not paid, etc...

I don't know what to do short of opening another bank account for her that she doesn't have access to!!!

Feel like I'm talking to a wall

September 19th, 2008 at 04:43 pm

Warning: Rant.

So I'm back to being frustrated with my mother again. I just don't get what it is that SHE doesn't get!! I feel like if I don't give very clear directives on her money, then she just goes and spends spends spends on who knows what.

Yes I KNOW that's she's bored, depressed, upset, etc etc etc. She's been home since the end of May, just waiting to find out what's next with treatment. She finally found out she doesn't need chemo and she starts radiation on Monday. But HELLO?? Now more than ever she needs to pay attention to the things around her. It seems to me she's refusing.

I'm also picking up an odd sense of entitlement from her. I can't figure this one out! All I hear from her is that she doesn't make enough money. I disagree! She makes plenty to pay her bills. I just can't figure out where she's blowing it all away. She spends more than I do at the grocery store and there are two of us and just one of her.

So she seems to think she's entitled to financial aid for this and that. Thank GOODNESS she was approved for financial aid at the hospital because that really would have been the end of her finances forever. That was a huge approval. Now she's upset because fuel assistance says she makes too much money to qualify. Their income requirements must be ridiculously low to deny her application. Ok, so PLAN to pay for fuel. I've been trying to convince her of this for MONTHS. Nope, she actually wanted to call and appeal the fuel decision and let them know she was worried about medical bills. WHAT medical bills????? Well when she applied, she WAS still worried about medical bills. She hadn't been approved for the medical financial aid yet, and fuel assistance still denied her.

So I don't know what else to do but to take more control over things. She refuses to but someone HAS to. She didn't get paid two weeks ago because of a clerical error. Instead of being proactive and calling to make sure her sick pay is all set, she just sits around and waits to see if a direct deposit goes through. When it doesn't, she sits and waits to see if a check will arrive. HUH? I work in payroll and trust me, if you don't get paid and you don't notify me of the problem - you're not getting paid!! So today is pay day and on Wednesday I sent my mom an email asking her if maybe she could log in to find out if she was getting paid today. Thankfully, she was!! Four weeks worth of pay! I don't think she understands how LUCKY she is that she gets this sick pay.

So I'm trying something different this time. I gave her an allowance of $160 for gas/groceries, $50 fun money (this is a FIRST), plus money for the rent. The rest went into savings for fuel this winter. I thought this fun money would be good for her to blow on whatever she wanted. She actually got defensive with me when I suggested this concept along with examples of WANTS vs. NEEDS. This is the point where I start banging my head against the wall. Yup, again I don't think she knows how FORTUNATE she is that she has that gas/grocery and fun money allowance over the next two weeks.

Yes I know she's supposed to be an adult, but she sure doesn't act like it or take responsibility for anything! Her view on money is having the ability to see what is currently in her checking account - that's IT. No concept of money management whatsoever.

I really just needed to vent. This is taking such a toll on me lately.

Got a free gift card

July 16th, 2008 at 12:53 am

Ok, so technically I don't have it yet, but it should arrive in 2-3 weeks. Got something in the mail today to call and get my free, no strings attached, no catch $10 JC Penney gift card. Figured what the heck - how bad could the sales pitch be? Not bad at all and I only had to decline two products. I figure I'll give it to my mom since she shops there and I don't. She said that was the best news she had all day.

She's feeling really down lately. She keeps calling me crying and I just DON'T know what to do! She was looking forward to going away for Laity weekend, but found out today that it was cancelled. She cried all afternoon! I know she's going through a rough time, but I just CAN'T do anything about it!!

Well, she at least seemed slightly upbeat about getting a free $10 to combine with her $5 coupon. *SIGH*

Mom update + 1 item *sold*

July 7th, 2008 at 11:52 pm

Well my mom called me late morning and her surgery went "well" this morning. As well as it could I suppose. Now we just wait for the lab results. Not sure what will be next, although she meets with the drs. tomorrow who will be doing the radiation. This part is scary - I know NOTHING about it!

I am excited as it appears one item I listed on craigs list will be sold tomorrow evening. The guy is meeting my husband after work since they both drive through the same area around the same time of day. This is the Bentley manual for my car I just got rid of. It's in perfect condition and you can't find one for less than $65 + $3.99 shipping on Amazon. I was only asking $40 and that's a steal! I'll be glad to get it out of here and get some money in return.

Hope everyone has a good evening!

Minor decluttering

July 6th, 2008 at 06:23 pm

Well all I could stomach this weekend was some very minor decluttering. This place needs a LOT of decluttering, but it just nauseates me. Frown

Today I filled a kitchen trash bag full of clothes I'll never wear again. This came from my dresser. I still need to attack the closet but that is just too intimidating.

Yesterday I tackled the pile of paperwork that hasn't been filed in over a year. Yes, over a YEAR!! It's a wonder I could ever find anything with it all in one big pile. Being so disorganized almost cost me and I couldn't have picked a better day to clean this up!! I found paperwork welcoming me to Citi credit protector for just 89c per $100 balance. I signed up for this to get a free digital picture frame. Never bothered to cancel it because I had a zero balance and no plans to use this card. Well just yesterday I was checking out my balance transfer options and this card had 3.99% for life of the transfer, no transfer fee. I had just requested the balance transfer before I started on the paperwork project. SO GLAD I found that paperwork and called to cancel!!

I did find some interesting loan paperwork that put things in perspective - even for DH! He had taken out a loan to take some classes back in 2001. The loan was for just over $5000, but I didn't realize until now it had a 20% variable interest rate! The loan paperwork said total paid would be almost $20000. HUH???
Well in July 2005 the rate was jumping from 14% to 16% and I had enough. I transferred $6812.35 with a $65.00 fee to a 4.99% for life card. It is now three years later and the balance is $2159.61 with less than $9 per month interest accruing. According to the original loan paperwork, we were set to pay $104 per month until June 2017. That would be over $11000 left to pay as of right now!! Nauseating... That same payment now gets this paid off in less than 2 years. I plan to pay it off sooner though. Smile

I have a couple of items listed for sale on craigslist with no bites so far. Very frustrating as I don't have them overpriced at all. People just aren't spending money on ANYTHING right now - us included, so I understand. Just would like some stuff OUT and $$ IN.

I had started a blog entry listing all my monthly bills and amounts owed on debts, but that became too much for me. Maybe I will start a new one with my current goals. Baby steps, right?

Focusing on the finances so much is keeping my mind off the fact that my mom has to have surgery again tomorrow. I guess they didn't get enough tissue out last time to say she's in the clear. Just what she doesn't need right now - another surgery. At least we got the financial assistance paperwork filled out. On paper it looks like she's in the hole $80 per month!! They just HAVE to give her some assistance.

Dealership & mom update

June 29th, 2008 at 04:07 pm

I just had a request for an update on the dealership overcharge, so here it is:

I called them last monday morning and left a message basically stating that the loan paperwork didn't match the purchase agreement. I asked them to please pull the paperwork and call me back immediately to resolve the problem. I didn't give them any more details than that. Within an hour the finance guy called me back, apologizing profusely! He said I was absolutely right and that they didn't update the "board" so he didn't know the price had changed. He said they would send me a check for $495 to which I replied "What about the sales tax you overcharged me?" His response was "Oh." He said I should expect the check by the end of the week. Sure enough, a check for $519.75 arrived on friday. I consider this a done deal and I am happy with the way they handled it. It was entirely their fault, a simple administrative error, and they apologetically cleared it up. No hard feelings. As far as the dates on the paperwork: not sure why they're that way, but they don't appear to be an issue.

As for my mom - her surgery was friday and it went well. She called me a little after 2 pm and that was a surprise! I didn't think she'd feel up to calling me. So she's home resting and I'm not sure how long she'll be out of work. She'll be out with full salary, so that's a GREAT thing! She still has to fill out the paperwork at the hospital to see if she can get any financial assistance. She's already on the hook for $1500 and that only brings her through the surgery, no extras and we haven't even gotten to radiation yet. ANY aid she can get approved for would be greatly appreciated. She can't even get caught up on what she still owes for heat for last winter, and next winter will be here before we know it - and worse! She's still in the hole $350 and can't seem to get any savings built up for next winter. Medical bills are an impossibility right now!!

Car update and my mom

June 17th, 2008 at 11:58 pm

Went to the dealership today to get my paperwork, get the car inspected, and get it vac'd & shampooed - no one there to do it on the weekend. It was free, why not? Also needed a second key and remote - we can't share! They told me the other day it would be $10 for the key and they had a remote for me that just needed to be programmed. Of course they conveniently "forgot" to tell me it would cost $46.50 to program it to my car. No choice, needed a second one. It's still not the worst I've heard those things costing. I did make sure the sales guy knew I was not happy that he didn't disclose this to me the other day when I asked.

Thank you to everyone who shared similar feelings about giving up their old car and getting a new one. I'm glad to know it's not just me. Koppur - I found it really funny that you also owned 2 Jettas! It's my 2nd day driving the new car and I'm getting used to it. Fun, peppy little thing! Smile Just now waiting for my payment info to arrive. I know how much, I'd just like to know "when".

As for my mom... well, I guess I'll just throw it out here cuz I'm having trouble telling most people. We found out a couple weeks ago that she has breast cancer. She goes for surgery on the 27th to remove the lump. I really don't know much else right now. She's scared to death and an emotional rollercoaster. I don't know if it hasn't sunk in with me or what, but I'm not having much emotion about this. Maybe it's because SOMEONE has to stay sane and for some reason it always has to be me? One of these days I'm going to just snap because of this. I'm under so much pressure at home running everything (DH has ADD *SIGH*)and under pressure at work(Could boss have ADD too? *SIGH*). Now I have to be the one who has to think a few weeks into the future and make sure my mom's bills get paid. It's a good thing I took control of things several months ago and I know how things stand. I can at least make sure the basics are covered. Don't think I can get any money to the fuel company as there isn't any money to send them. Then I'm going to have to worry about getting the medical bills paid. She has insurance, but it doesn't cover everything. I don't even know what sort of impact this will have. She just doesn't have any extra money!! Well, all this doesn't really give me a chance to get upset about what's going on. Not yet at least. It's all just a lot of stress right now.

Well, I threw a bunch of stuff in a baking dish and I'm hoping it comes out resembling chicken pot pie. Also hope it's edible... lol... Gotta run and check on it.

Buh-bye overdraft balance!

May 9th, 2008 at 04:33 pm

Well, my mom hit a milestone today and the bank took the final $22.00 payment on her overdraft balance. When I took over her finances in November, it didn't seem like this would EVER get paid off. YAY!

We had a little chat yesterday about where her money is going and how she doesn't check in with me anymore after meeting her gentleman friend! I am happy for her about this change in her life as it has been around 20 years since my parents split up. My mom never dated at all! But... now I feel like I have an irresponsible teenager that I'm in charge of! I think I'm realizing that the direct approach is working better with her. Now instead of asking her opinion of things, I tell her how things will be done. I really wanted her to have more control over her money than this, but that just does NOT work.

She got her $600 stimulus payment on April 28th - one of the first to go out! I had her pay the $339.00 she owed to the fuel company and I "took" $200.00 and put it in savings. She still owes me $350.00 and if she can keep her spending down, I can get this paid back to me by the middle of June. I lent it to her the end of February. I'm now sending $100 every two weeks to her savings acct (starting 05/16) and I don't want to touch that. She will need to pay her property taxes soon plus save for heat next year. She NEEDS to learn I am not bailing her out next year!!! It was really tough taking over in the middle of winter heating season. She HAS to plan now. I just don't want her gentleman friend to bail her out ever....

New Sewing Machine?

April 18th, 2008 at 04:40 pm

So, I know I've been horrible at this blogging thing. I have so much to say, but I don't know how to get it OUT of my head. I read the blogs daily and every day I tell myself "I'll just jump right in and do it!" But I don't. I don't have any frugal minded people in my life (hubby is learning!!!) so no one understands me. So today I really am going to just "jump right in" and type up a blog almost as if I had never stopped.

I'm very much involved in my mother's finances now and have her on a budget. We're not quite to the point where she always listens to me though. This is very much a work in progress and things are much improved over what they used to be!

I checked my email earlier only to find an email from my aunt sent from my mom's email. My aunt moved away recently and is home visiting relatives for a week. My mom is at work so my aunt is helping her finish some sewing projects she does for extra $$. I guess my mom had left notes explaining all the things that don't work on her 30+ year old sewing machine. HUH? She's never mentioned to me that her sewing machine isn't working right! My mother is trying so hard to take in these jobs for the extra money she could really use. Plus she loves to sew! How is she supposed to do this if her sewing machine isn't function properly?

What kills me is that she bought me a brand new sewing machine for Christmas. She was so proud of buying this for me! I already had an older sewing machine that works fine. I don't even sew!

So I have two choices here: 1) Try to give my mom back the one she just gave me or 2) Chip in with my aunt to buy her a new sewing machine. I don't even know anything about sewing machines. What brands are good? What features do you look for? I wouldn't even know where to begin.
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We are going out with my husband's coworkers after work tonight. I don't plan on spending much. We might actually run to BK for a cheap meal and just have a couple drinks with the coworkers. I just don't like spending money on things like this!! Smile

Where is the money going?

November 10th, 2007 at 10:46 pm

Ok, so I just went over my mom's finances. I only asked about 100 questions and gave her a migraine! Too bad. She claims she has no money and I can't see where the problem is!

Her checks vary and her last 4 checks ranged from 550.00 to 640.00 every two weeks. Her monthly bills are as follows:
340.00 Rent
75.00 Phone/Internet
40.00 Car insurance
50.00 Owed on overdraft for next 6 months
75.00 Electric

I found out that her bank is charging 5.00 per month for the acct and 1.00 per month for the debit card. Huh? Their current fee schedule does not have those fees! She will be calling the bank to discuss this with them.

So what's left over to pay? food, gas for the car, heat, then work on a few "small" debts she has. There seems to be quite a bit of wiggle room for her to account for a rise in heating costs for the winter.

So, where has the money been going? I'm actually feeling optimistic about her situation. It does not seem as bad as she seems to think it is.

Ah, I just discovered an error in my spreadsheet. The next month will be the toughest but it will get better after that.

Sad day

April 21st, 2006 at 11:09 pm

My mom had to have my brother's cat Bo put down today. A few months ago, a tumor showed up on Bo's front leg at the joint. Bo was 14 years old and amputation was not a good choice for her. It got to the point where Bo could no longer take care of herself, so my mom took her back for a second opinion. This wasn't going to get any better. This vet said it was cancer caused by a rabies shot she had in 2002. It happens in 1 out of 8000 cats according to him. This scares the hell out of me!!!

My mom is bawling her eyes out right now for having to do this. My brother is in Afghanistan!! He doesn't know yet. My mom has been emailing him letting him know Bo was not well. He wouldn't write back to her. I think he didn't want to deal with it.

This put my mom out $179. $100 of that was for cremation and to get the ashes back. She had no choice since she feels she has to return Bo to my brother at some point.

My baby

April 12th, 2006 at 11:36 pm

I have to post my baby too! This is Moose and she is 6 1/2 years old. My best friend! She most recently is the inspiration of the domain www.moozcat.com. I'm not sure what DH has in store for the website, but it wont be dedicated completely to Moose. Right now she does grace the homepage. At least for the next few minutes...