Archive for April, 2013
Mom and I have booked our cruise. It is a 10 day Princess Cruise, sailing from San Francisco. That makes it so convenient, no flights. We will drive to my cousin's house, then have her drive us to the ship and take my car home. (She lives just a few small cities south of San Francisco). This is the same cruise my family of four took in 2005. Mom is paying, but I plan to choose one really nice excursion and pay for that.
I charged the trip to my WF rewards Visa, and Mom will give me a check. The statement just cut off without the cruise charge, and I have $22.78 in rewards. So May will be the first month since January that I have not had a $25 mortgage chip applied courtesy of my WF rewards card. In June, I expect I will have $50 applied, thanks to the cruise. Those rewards do add up nicely.
Two years ago I shared on this blog http://petunia100.savingadvice.com/2011/05/15/my-front-yard...about my plain front yard and the large hideously ugly planter which really has potential. I talked about my plans and my budget to make it look nice and add some curb appeal. Well, those plans have come to nothing in two years. Those darn rocks!
This past Monday as I got into my car at work, I looked to my left. In our parking area, there is a gap in the cement pad. Inspiration struck! Wouldn't it be nice to have that gap filled in, so that no one would accidentally run their tires off the pavement? And wouldn't rocks fill in that gap nicely? On Tuesday, I got the OK from my boss (he owns the property) and I have since been diligently working to fill in the gap. I own two buckets, so fill them with rocks from my front planter and place them in my trunk each evening. In the morning, when I arrive at work I empty them into the gap. So far this week, I have emptied 8 buckets full (on Thursday I had to run to a client's place of business which is close to my house, so I used the opportunity to fill up my buckets again) into the gap.
One of my co-workers commented that she could use some rocks in her yard, and would it be ok if she took some? I said no, but she was welcome to come to my house and help herself. So we will see if anything comes of that.
BF had suggested a while back that I make pavers using the rocks. I thought that was a great idea, until I looked into the cost. It is more expensive to make your own pavers than to just buy them.
And in worst neighbor ever news, I had a visit from the police last Saturday. When my nephew had the altercation with my neighbor, a condition of his probation is that he may not come within 100 yards of the neighbor. The police came to my door looking for nephew. The officer said neighbor had reported he heard nephew at my house. I replied no, nephew has not been here in more than a year, but my high school aged son had a friend from school spending the night, so perhaps that is who the neighbor heard. The officer was satisfied and left. I found this so creepy. Is the neighbor listening at our windows? You know, it really wouldn't surprise me. The lots in my subdivision are small and the houses are close together. So now I am thinking about what I could do along the fence line to provide more privacy.
Well, I did clear 4k as I expected. I have made all of my planned transfers.
I decided to send J to camp. In addition to what I mentioned before, I felt kind of bad that I will be going on a cruise and he will not. A cruise? Yes.
Mom has decided Alaska is a go. We have chosen a different (less expensive) trip. I think we are leaving towards the end of June. We have not actually booked yet. It will be just her and I.
My employer's annual matching check was mailed off yesterday. So lots of new money going into my Simple and Roth this month.
I am expecting a third $25 mortgage chip any day now.
Apparently, I now have a part-time job. However, I am still not entirely certain. On Monday, the woman who called to ask me if I was interested called again to ask when I am meeting with "M" (person who has been issuing their financial statements) to discuss where he is leaving off. Mind you, I have never heard from M. I told her I have no meeting arranged with M. She replied in a confused tone "But, he hired you." I laughed and said "Oh, I did not know that." She laughed too. This sort of thing is very typical for this particular unorganized organization.
I am expecting to clear 4k on Monday from my bonus and over-time. I have it earmarked like this:
400 E Fund
400 Vacation Fund
300 J's Annual Allowance
Now, if you take a peek to the left at my sidebar, you will notice CurveBall is sitting at just over $1200. However, I still need to pull out $600 for the vet bill charged to Visa, and $370 for the IRS. So while CurveBall is not anemic, it is also not so very flush. When the dust settles, it won't be a great deal larger than it is right now.
J's summer camp is coming up. The cost is $500. Last year, ex-h agreed to split it with me. However, I have not seen one red cent of his half. So, there is no point in pretending he will split it with me this year. He won't. If J goes, I will have to pay.
I think going away to summer camp is an important developmental experience for a teen or tween. But J has already been 3 times. So, he has had that experience.
He loves the camp. At his age, he is in a junior leadership role.
I have told J frankly that while I do have the money, I feel I may need the money for other things. I do discuss money and budgeting with J, and we talk about how you must cover your needs first, then you can think about things you just want with what is left over. We also talk about how some needs aren't a regular bill like the electric bill, but are things which come up from time to time, and so you need to plan ahead to cover them.
J was disappointed, but said "I understand, Mom". Then he mentioned his money (he has about $1400 in a mutual fund, about $300 in his savings account, plus his allowance is coming up). I said no, I didn't want him using his money for camp. Then he asked if he got a part-time job when school is over, did I think he would be able to earn enough in time to go to camp. I said maybe you could, see if you can find a job. So he plans to try.
Now, I think it would be great for him to have a part-time job. And I really am proud of his attitude. He is disappointed, but not sulky. He rarely asks for anything and he rarely complains. He really is a great kid.
I want to send him, but I am not sure I should part with the money. I could skip the Vacation Fund infusion. It takes me so long to save for a vacation that I am loathe to pass up this annual opportunity to give it a nice little boost.
He doesn't know I am still considering, as far as he knows, the matter is closed.
In other news, my trad IRA broke 130k today for the very first time.