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Archive for October, 2008

Job Shift

October 27th, 2008 at 07:45 pm

I'm taking on a new job soon. Same company, same department, but instead of working by myself, for my boss, I'll have a handful of direct reports and business line responsibility.

I've got mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, it's a great opportunity, professionally. Should come with some sort of raise or promotion. On the other hand, I love my current job, and get along great with my boss. Also, I'm part-time now, and the hours really work for me personally. I'm going to stay part-time in this new position (at my request) with the understanding that I can be a bit more flexible with the hours if I need to be.

I'm not sure how realistic that is, given that I'll have a pretty big learning curve, and people reporting to me, but I'll try it out. I've talked it over with hubby and I'm prepared to go back full-time if I feel I need to, but I want to give it a shot this way first. At least if I go back full-time, it'll be like getting a 20% raise (I only work 80% now).

So that's been consuming me a bit lately. Other than that, we've just been moseying along. Just got through the class pictures/fall sports pictures and tried to keep my buying down to a minimum. I think for Christmas, I'll take a few shots of the kids myself and hope one of them pans out, so I don't need to get expensive pictures taken. Seems like an easy place to cut costs.

I had the kids start their birthday and Christmas lists. I'm usually on top of this already and get my shopping done early, but this year, I'm not, which is ok. I"m curious to see how the sales unfold with the economy being what it is. I have to check out a few websites that preview deals to get a feel for black friday and other sales. I definitely want to keep the cost for the holidays DOWN!!!

Not much new...

October 19th, 2008 at 01:39 am

Still need to sign up for open enrollment. Deadline is Friday. I'll take care of it first thing Monday at work. I'll be able to report on the cost savings then.

October is shaping up to be a surprisingly good month, checking account-wise. This is a good thing. My plan is to take the leftover and put it toward Christmas spending (and kids' birthdays). I haven't given the first thought about what I'm getting for people. I'm usually much farther along by this stage of the game. Hubby and I have agreed to keep it a little more low key than usual. I'm sure we're not alone!

I got a $50 rebate from Verizon Wireless for hubby's phone (it fell in the pool in August!). I'm going to put that toward Christmas as well.

The grocery challenge is tough. I'm doing fine at A&P/Shoprite, but the trips to BJs, Trader Joes, Fruit Store add another couple hundred on each month. We can still do better...

Not much else is new. We're pretty much on autopilot for now...

Open Enrollment

October 14th, 2008 at 01:40 am

It's that time of year again...time to enroll in health care coverage for 2009. We've been on hubby's plan since we've been married. Last year, I tried to get him to switch to my plan because the coverage was just as good or better, and it was cheaper. But hubby is not really a "change" type of guy, so we stuck with his plan anyway.

Well this year, our circumstances are changing a bit, so we're going with my plan instead. I need to take one more look at it tomorrow, but it appears that, on the medical side, hubby's doctors and the kids' doctors are part of my plan, too. Both of my doctors (gp and obgyn) are NOT in either of my plans, but I'm healthy and don't mind switching. I'll get the exact rates for comparison tomorrow.

One huge savings: Prescriptions. My plan offers a 90-day mail order supply of a generic drug for $10!!! I pay $73.74 for a 90-day supply through hubby. That's a savings of over $240/year!! That will make up for my dental plan. Although the coverage is good, the kids' dentist (who I think is SO great) is not in my plan. I'm inclined to go to him as an out of network and pay the difference, rather than switch to an in-network provider. The $240 savings can help cover the difference.

The whole open enrollment thing is a tedious process, but we need to make the switch either way, and if it works out for the better, that's great!

How Low Can You Go?

October 5th, 2008 at 03:08 pm

60 degrees. That was the temperature in my house on Saturday morning when I woke up, so I had to turn on the heat for the first time this season. However, I only raised it to 63 and left it there for the rest of the day. Eventually, the house got up to about 67, so I think the heat was actually on only for a very short period.

Surprisingly, 63 was totally bearable. In the past, I always had the thermostat set between 67-72. We'll try to leave it at 63 and see what happens.

On the utility front, I received my most recent electric bill. With only a month or 2 to go, they've overcharged me about $42. Assuming I can add to that in October, my next year's monthly bills should be a bit lower. Not as big a drop as I'd like, but at the same time, I only really started focusing on this over the last couple of months.

I have to say that I'm really feeling squeezed with this economy. And it makes me wonder, if we're feeling squeezed, as a two-income family with good, stable jobs, healthcare, etc., what must everyone else be feeling? I'm not usually a dire, pessimistic person, but it's a scary, scary time, and I think it will get worse before it gets better. Yikes!