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Archive for July, 2014

Not handling the ups and downs of our situation very well ...

July 31st, 2014 at 09:02 pm

DH had the strong possibility of a position with a company one suburb north of us. The dept. manager liked what she saw on his resume and responded within five minutes of seeing it that she was interested in him (particularly his experience on some software or whatever). That opportunity went back and forth for six weeks. The hiccup was that the agency that gave the company my husband's resume was temp to permanent. DH was going in as a permanent and there were issues negotiating a placement fee. At that point, my husband was told by the agency to contact the Dept. Manager directly. He did and received a "the position is filled" rejection email.

OK, fine, it would have been far too easy way to navigate his employment situation.

Well, low and behold the job opportunity has been resurrected. And it is a management position. And it pays quite well with a 10% bonus. And they want him for an on-cite interview as soon as possible. And a copy of his resume to begin his candidacy.

Not sure how I feel about this. Hopeful? Excited? It is difficult to remain neutral. It would be so ideal if he could get this job. Our situation would really be stable and solid.

Just thought I'd vent and write this out.

Just another day and another dollar

July 30th, 2014 at 01:49 pm


Our foreign exchange student arrives Monday.

I am now a firm believer in lists. I need to buy a curtain rod today and have DH put up tonight.

DH is heading up to Boy Scout camp for three days leaving tomorrow. He initially opted out because of the two week vacation to California and his departure is at the end of August. Guess what? They don't have enough work for him this week (next week is another story). And our 11 year old is battling a bad bout of homesickness. So DH is off, driving the 5-hour ride with a friend who was already going. Need to borrow a sleeping bag and that is it.

Younger daughter got her new-to-her uniform skirt for the new high school. She is getting excited. The Back to School excitement is creeping in for some of my kids, others not so much.

Considering the purchase of a $100 Old Navy gift card offered through CVS. I can get $15 CVS bucks. I do think that qualifies as making money while spending.

DH opened up a new Citibank credit card and will get $200 back after he spends $1,500 in three months. I am counting at Christmas money. I also opened up a checking/savings account with them and should be getting $100 in the next $30 days.

That is all the non-exciting things going on.

Quick Updates

July 29th, 2014 at 03:08 pm



1) DH's job potential has officially died. It died and then was resurrected ever so briefly, only to die again. We are burying that and moving on. I am briefly mourning that loss because it made the transition seem much easier.

2) DH has been told he has a job waiting for him as an insurance adjustor with a major insurance company. That is reassuring, but I imagine that would be a last resort because travel is required and the starting pay is way low, like I would need have a steady part-time income to supplement and I'm not at that point yet.

3) Viet Nam has opened up the country for international adoption. We've always said that is where we would adopt from, given we love and understand the culture and have family from Ho Chi Min City. Definitely makes us want to become settled in our home situation so we can move forward on that. We are considering a sibling group. Please pray for us as this is a huge thing.

4) I am considering a mission trip to the Philippines in February with a friend who started a not-for-profit that brings solar energy to remote island. If it doesn't work out I can always attend a later trip (there are two annually). I will have to get the passport squared away with that, and my oldest daughter (who has a heart for service and mission-work) would like to go. Still have to wonder about funding for that, though I imagine if it is meant to be, it will work out.

5) On the home front, I was feeling a bit bad that I didn't have funds to finish up my "d├ęcor re-do". Namely tables. My brother is upgrading his living room and I inherited his coffee and end tables. Looks so good! Like they belong here. I also was given a good friend's wineglass collection (one set of six, two sets of four) and they are now on the top shelf of my china closet. Love the way it all comes together!

6) Smaller money stuff - organized the coupons yesterday and matched up with the sale ads. Looks like I will be able to make the money go further if I do this at least for some of the items. I am convinced that buying in bulk isn't always the answer for stretching the money, on some things definitely - but the amount of money spent up front is sometimes surprising.

"Let it go. Let it go." ("Frozen" enthusiasts can sing along!)

July 24th, 2014 at 02:21 pm

Well, decided that the little black cloud of my $1,400 blunder cast shadows for too many days, so I've stepped out from under it and am in the Sunshine. Not quite Pollyanna yet, but feeling like more like my evolved self. Smile

Job opportunity for DH has been extinguished. He was recommended through an agency that only does temp-to-perm and he was perm so there was a lot of drama about negotiating the agency's finder fee, and as much as he was liked it was easier to go with someone else.

Severance is taxed at 25%, and he can apply for unemployment right away. We're not really talking right now about what he'll do after that. The mental toll that this has taken on him is worrisome, from the weight gain to the heart palpitations from stress, etc.

My mother paid me for taking care of her plants/bringing in her mail/checking in on her dogs at the boarder. She paid me $28 the cash she had on hand, funny thing about it is I am cooking dinner tonight and brining it to our parish center for the team of college students that is running a summer program. My family + team + a few kids' friends for homemade sloppy joes and drinks $27 at Aldi's. I had a big bag of chips from Sam's and makings for a pasta salad on hand. I did have an odd randomly fleeting concern about how to fund this meal. Didn't need to worry after all.

As a visual reminder of the vacation and how wonderful it was, I will share another pic with you.



Wine country north of Santa Barbara

Trying to move on

July 22nd, 2014 at 03:31 pm

from my $1,400 blunder. It is hard, especially since the blahs have a tight hold of my ankles and aren't really letting me get above water for air.

The promising lead on a job for my husband has officially been extinguished. Time to move on. Engage the brain, use the plan, etc.

I am my own biggest hurdle to success and contentment.

As one friend says (and I have been known to quote), "Turn that frown upside down." Easier said than done. But the reality is we did have a wonderful trip and I was able to lay on Laguna Beach for several afternoons (in a two-piece! been eons since I could do that :P )

Here is a picture that I took:




End note: DH just had his "off-board" meeting, I imagine that is just a nice way of saying "kicked out/laid off/etc". Severance is taxed at 25% and we pay ADP directly for COBRA. Lots of details to deal with.

Deflated. Totally floundering. Lost my mojo and can't find it. Sinking.

July 22nd, 2014 at 01:25 am

How is that for an attention-grabbing post title? Pretty much describes me and where I am right now. Not usually this down and depressed.

We returned from a wonderful vacation. Wonderful family memories made, with both immediate and extended. And then I made the fatal mistake of thinking we were coming home on Thursday. It really should have been Wednesday. For the life of me, I can't figure out how it exactly happened that way. I told everyone the dates, rented the car for that long, and made hotel reservations accordingly.

Well, long story short, it took an additional $1,400 to get everyone home. Roughly $200 per person. To fly on our original airline would have been $500 per person (and there are seven of us). We had an additional two days at the beach and we are all tan and healthy looking. I perseverated about the money thing for a good 30 minutes until my mother said, "Honestly, Laura. It is only money." And she is totally correct.

However, we are facing unemployment. Last day of DH's job is 8/29 and there aren't a lot of prospects out there. The one promising lead is now a dull flicker, not quite yet smoldering. So I have $1,400 more in credit card debt. And I'm perseverating.

August is a three-paycheck month. I am trying to desperately stretch those funds.

Here is a snapshot of July: Paid $1,053 to one high school (25% of balance), $850 to other high school (combined with stipend from hosting foreign exchange student, paid $40% of balance), paid $150 to elementary school (12%), paid $2,000 to property tax.

I had planned on August's funds this way: $567.75 to high school 1, $550 to high school 2, $150 to elementary school, $1000 to property taxes, and $1,750 to mortgage. We are one month ahead on mortgage.

I am wondering if given my mindset if I should just pour all the funds into one pot and then just make the regular monthly payments? I also have to take care of a crown for DH, and a plumbing issue. I am regretting the purchase of two occasional chairs for the family room, but we were in desperate need of seating and the boxes are gone, the chairs are used, etc.

It doesn't help that I am tired, PMS-ing, feeling overwhelmed, under-motivated, etc.

So there. That is my sad story. I must return to my pity party. And mourn the loss of $1,400 due to my own personal stupidity.

One upswing: Ended up with two A's from spring quarter and like my 4.0. I joined a used book exchange and won't have to purchase books for the Fall. And I flew into Minneapolis/St. Paul, ceejay did you see me wave. And I survived the small plane ride to Chicago, small as in plane, only four seats across. And I didn't even puke. Smile

The endless list

July 5th, 2014 at 01:28 pm


I love it when just as you are thinking that you are "ahead" (relative term to describe the feeling that you are progressing at least somewhat faster than you should be in whatever arena you are comparing and measuring), you realize that you aren't.

Last post I was very pleased and proud of being "ahead" of the list of things that I need to pay, or am at least fiscally responsible for. And then my little karma cloud found me and dropped a few rain pellets onto my face.

Upon our trip (for August) it looks like we will need:

1) $500 for DH's crown (but as he said, "Thankfully I don't need a root canal". Agree with you on that one, M!)

2) $500 deductible for hit and run repair on the minivan. The new one which is a 2011. It is drivable but there is a huge dent on the read quarter panel where I was hit by a presumable white pick up truck (FIL's guess based on height of impact dent and paint left behind)

3) Plumbing repair for some leaks in my family room ceiling where the upstairs shower and tub water pipe is leaking.

Oh well. Life goes on. And the list is endless.

Must remind myself that I am glad that I took care of all that I did for "July" (budget already done and encompasses all moneys in and out for the month).

Ending on a high note, vacation officially starts on Tuesday AM (5 ish when our early flight departs). I look forward to the time away and with family. Lots of fun things on the agenda. As stated in last post, trip is all paid for plus $1,100 spending cash. Smile

July - Goals and Updates

July 3rd, 2014 at 01:51 am


Well, DH's meeting with the pastor ended up with some possibilities, but nothing concrete. Some things he could be put in charge of where the need exists, plus the possible departure of the present business manager (DH's background is in finance/accounting). I would have liked something concrete, especially since DH brought home his Worker Adjustment Retraining Notice which states his last day of work in the two week window of 8/29 to 9/14. Definitely trying to remain positive and hopeful about things. Smile

Our summer vacation is coming up: leaving 7/8 and returning on 7/17. We are looking forward to it, and the recurrent musical theme is "It Never Rains in Southern CA" and "I'm Going to Diznee Land". Paid the credit card bill will had the following: $1,700 for air fare, $100 for the hotel in Solvang. Also set up payment for $635 for hotel in Laguna Woods and $700 for car rental. We also have $1,000 cash saved for spending and don't anticipate spending more than that. My uncle took care of tix to Disneyland and Universal (a generous gift to my family). My parents will overlap the last half of the trip. My inlaws will be staying at our home to take care of the dogs and pets. It is really nice to have this paid for beforehand. Keeping the "Pre-trip shopping" to a minimum, bought the boys some shorts and Ts at Walmart.

My other goals are:
[_] $1,000 to high school tuition #1
[_] $850 to high school tuition #2
[_] $150 to elementary school tuition
[_] $1,750 mortgage payment (August's)
[_] $2,000 to real estate tax payment on rental property

I will be able to take care of everything but the $2K to taxes with tomorrow's paycheck. It is amazing how much money one can accumulate when there is virtually no spending. Smile

Update to home improvement spending: $47.50 for twin bedding for guest room, $13.50 for set of sheets at Target, $9.00 for bedside table found at Goodwill for guest bedroom. $18.99 shower curtain at Target. Cash for all the above.

Low-key plans for the 4th. Some kids and DH are marching in our town's parade and then off to my parents' house for a cook out (grilled chicken sandwiches and salads). I'll make a dessert to bring. Keeping the grocery costs down by finishing up the leftovers from Sunday's cookout.

Spent $3 on kids' admission to the $1 movie.

So that is it on the money front. Thanks for the well wishes/prayers about DH's job with the church.