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Archive for March, 2016

Verizon Wireless

March 29th, 2016 at 04:24 am

I used to be pretty good about calling companies like Verizon every 12-18 months to see if I could get better rates on my plans. Yesterday, I needed to call Verizon Wireless because we had used up our data for the month, with 2 days left on our cycle. The rep said that they came out with a new plan last fall, where we can get 2 extra GB per month, and pay $30 less. No gimmicks. She signed me up retroactively to the beginning of my cycle so I could get it for this month.

I'm thrilled, but also a bit annoyed. I understand why they don't just automatically pass the savings along, but it would be much easier if they did.

I was also on the phone with my insurance company yesterday. They're going to send me out a form to change my deductibles. Somehow they're only $100 (!) and I'm going to change them to $750, but they won't do it without a signed form.

Today I'm going to call Verizon about my FIOS/Internet/phone plan, because that's definitely another one where I may be able to shave off a few dollars.

Some slow and steady progress, but better than nothing.

Car troubles and emergency fund

March 21st, 2016 at 05:00 pm

I'm back after a crazy couple of weeks.

The good news: My emergency fund topped $1,000. I've been adding $100/month to it for a while, but every time it got up to $500+, something would inevitably happen to drag it back down. It's now $1,031, and I have no intent of dipping into it. Next goal: $2,000 by the end of the year!

I'm keeping my hands off of it, despite the bad news I got about my car. It's a 2005 with 135,000 miles. I put a bit of money into it last year, hoping that it would keep going for a while. I took it in for an oil change last week, and they said that there is a problem with the engine. Not a "die on the side of the road on my way home" type of problem, but very definitely a "it's going to die sooner rather than later so start planning" type of a problem. A new engine would be way too expensive for such an old car, so we'll need to start planning for a new one.

My hope is that we can keep it at least through the end of the summer, and preferably through the end of the year when I get my bonus from work. Hubby normally drives this car and he works from home, so he puts on low mileage and all local driving. Fingers crossed.

Downside is that DS will be getting his permit in November. DD learned to drive on this car, and I hate the thought of DS practicing on a brand-spanking new one. It's nerve-wracking enough to watch them learn in a junker!

And by the way, does anyone ever go in for "just an oil change" and NOT come out with a big bill?

Momentary Panic

March 9th, 2016 at 02:25 pm

I had one of those panic moments today - like when you lose sight of your child for a minute at the park, or you can't find your cell phone. (Yes, I know the kids are far more important than the phone, but you get the idea). I thought I forgot to pay my cc bill.

I pay my cc bills online, and I usually schedule them during the last week of the month. I've been swamped at work lately, so I set a calendar appointment for Monday morning at 10 to remind me to pay the bill that was due Tuesday. I was in the middle of something Monday at 10, so I turned off the reminder. I just went into an absolute panic thinking that I forgot about it, which would have resulted in late payment and interest. Fortunately, I actually did take care of it later on Monday and just forgot about it. So I dodged a bullet, this time.

I'm doing some spring cleaning today. It's over 70 degrees and absolutely gorgeous out. Windows are open. I'm excited to turn the clocks ahead next week and get to the longer days and warmer weather.

Gathering Dad's Taxes

March 4th, 2016 at 04:31 am

The beginning of March (did I really just say that?!) has gone quietly. I usually don't feel financial pain until mid-month, when I realize that certain categories may be off track. Anyway, I need to pull together dad's paperwork to file his 2015 individual and estate taxes. The individual piece is pretty straightforward. On the estate side, in addition to gathering all of the expenses, I need to get SS numbers from each of my siblings (9 of them!). I have about half already, but a few of them will be more of a challenge to get. Hoping I can get this done this weekend so I can cross another item off my list and be closer to closing the estate.