Archive for May, 2013
Tonight while reading on The Bogleheads Index Forum, I learned that Barclays is currently paying .90% on savings accounts. Also, several members report that Barclays is very easy to work with.
Being a girl who enjoys getting a better deal, I hurried to the site and opened a savings account with $1.00. I must wait for the two test deposits to verify my external account before I can open additional accounts or set up automatic transfers.
As we have all come to expect from our online savings accounts, accounts can be nicknamed easily enough, just click on the icon following the account name and name it whatever you like. Here you can see that I gave mine the original and clever name of "Emergency Fund".
As is the custom in my office, this past Friday was our first "Happy Friday"; we close at noon, but are paid for the full day. This continues all summer until Labor Day weekend.
On Friday evening, my grandniece graduated from high school (my own alma mater). I attended the ceremony with Mom, my brother, and his fiancee (yes, this is a new development, we were filled in on Saturday). This grandniece is also brother's granddaughter. Brother lives about 4 hours away, so it was a treat to see him as well. As always happens at this sort of event, there were family members of former classmates graduating as well, so it was fun to run into those sort of people. Afterwards, J (J did not get a ticket for the ceremony) and I went by a grad party for a friend of J's who moved to Tulsa the next day. The friend's dad had taken a job in Tulsa last December, the mom and kiddos stayed put for the remainder of the school year. That was a bittersweet gathering, but I am glad we made the effort to stop by and wish them all well.
On Saturday, we had a BBQ at Mom's house, so that was a fun, all-day event.
On Sunday, after J's dad picked him up, I went back to Mom's to visit. Brother and fiancee left in the late afternoon.
Monday was a quiet day home alone.
In between, I hauled more rocks, successfully gave away some rocks to a co-worker and her husband (yay!), and did chores around the house.
I have my May spending tallied through 5/24, and except for "Everything Else", am doing fine. While tallying, I noticed that my first installment towards J's summer camp ($100) was not reimbursed from CurveBall. Instead, I managed to pay it from funds in checking. So, I was pleased to discover that.
I received a check from American Express in settlement of a class action lawsuit in the amount of $8.23. I have already sent it off to E fund.
My WF Home Rewards Visa closed yesterday, and as expected I have earned a $50 mortgage chip. That should post in about a month. This is the first time I have ever redeemed $50 in a single month. It is thanks to the Alaskan cruise Mom and I are taking, so I don't expect a repeat.
My home value seems to be continuing to tick up. Zillow is up to 130k, Trulia is up to 152k. Just for giggles, I used realtor.com to view houses in my city for sale at both of those prices. My conclusion is I think my home's true current value is someplace in between. Being upside down feels like a huge weight on my back; it is a great relief to feel that weight decrease a bit.
In the forums last week, NetSkyBlue was asking about prepaid cell phone plans. She saw one of my posts in praise of Ting, she decided she wanted to sign up, and she graciously offered to use my referral link to do so. Since it is my first referral, I will score a sweet $50. I'm not certain if they credit that all at once or over time, but I intend to add that money to my E Fund as it is received. Yay! Thanks again, NetSkyBlue.
I worked a total of 7 hours at my new part-time job. I expect future months will require less time, as I am now familiar with their system and should be able to find the information I need more quickly. I will send them a bill for $140 tomorrow, and will look forward to adding it to E Fund.
Someone at my son's school has learned his lunch account number and password, and so has been eating their meals at my expense. The school will not allow him to change either his account number or his password, so he will no longer be using the account at all. This means no more checks; I must make certain he has sufficient cash.
So, there goes the last regular bill/expense I have been paying with paper checks. I have 100 or so unused checks, which it seems will last me the rest of my life. However, I will need to order checks from time to time just to get a new register! I do get my checks free of charge, so that is good. With the way banking has changed, you'd think they would be making thicker registers, or putting more than one in an order of checks. Perhaps I will switch to keeping my checkbook register on an Excel spreadsheet.
In front planter news, today I uprooted all of my lamb's ear. I think it is possible I will have the remainder of the rocks removed this week! Then next weekend, I will work on mixing in good soil. My soil is so sandy.
The fabric cover for my pergola shipped via UPS Friday and is supposed to arrive Wednesday. BF plans to come down next weekend, so I will ask him to put it up for me.
I have been listening to some very good audiobooks lately. I love it when one unexpectedly touches on topics which interest me.
One such audiobook was "The Lake of Dreams" by Kim Edwards. The main character is a young adult woman who begins looking into her family history and tracing the story of her great-grandfather's sister. It veers into women's suffrage and the plight of the working poor in times past.
Right now I am listening to "Remarkable Creatures" by Tracy Chevalier. It is set in the 1800s and is about two women of different social classes who become friends and have an interest in fossil hunting and collection. It also touches on the plight of the working poor in times past and gender inequality.
I don't know that I have ever seen goodreads.com mentioned here at SA. If you don't know, goodreads is a free site which allows you to keep track of books you have read, want to read, and/or are currently reading; and to rate them. You can then get recommendations on other books you might like. You can make "bookshelves" and title them anything you like, then place your books on those shelves. So, you can have your "mystery" books together, your "classics" together, etc. There is an area called "listopia" which is comprised of member submitted lists. For example, one list is "Books everyone should read at least once". Each member may submit a limited number of books to each list and also cast a limited number of votes. Books with the most votes are at the top of the list. This is another great way to find books you might like to read.
Our family BBQ on Saturday was a great success. It has been a lot of years since so many in my original family came together on a holiday.
I am starting my part-time job tomorrow evening. So, we will see how this goes.
My rock removal project is coming along nicely. I estimate I have my front planter about 75% de-rocked. It has inspired me to get cracking on my yards. I have been doing some weeding in the back, and today I ordered a mesh fabric cover for my pergola. It is made of 80% fabric (meaning 20% of the surface is holes), is hemmed, and has metal grommets every 24". So it will cover my pergola, which is attached to my house. It should make it a lot nicer to be out on the patio, and hopefully will help my kitchen stay cooler in the summer. It set me back $331.06.
I have received $1.75 via PayPal from HauserNet for January 2013. Currently, they owe me for May 2012 - December 2012. They said they are going to pay their agents for 2013 before they "catch up" on 2012. Frankly, I would rather be paid for May 2012.
J and I spent the weekend with BF in El Dorado Hills. BF's office had a flood in the basement a few months ago. While the repairs are being done, they have rooms with a workspace at the Holiday Inn Express in El Dorado Hills.
It was like a mini-vacation. The hotel is inside a large shopping center. There is a natural pond (hotel pool area backs up to it) in the center, with restaurants built all around to enjoy the view (lots of outside seating).
On Saturday evening we went to a venue in Folsom with live music. We enjoyed the music, and J even spent time on the dance floor, shaking maracas. The middle-aged adults were all tickled.
I just loved the pool area. It was so pretty with the pond in the immediate background, and the hills beyond that. It was so relaxing to sit out there.
This coming Friday morning my niece who lives in Seattle will be arriving at the airport. She is going to surprise my mom for Mother's Day. I've got to make certain my house is squeaky clean, so will be doing chores all week. I'm not certain what her plans are, just in case she stays a night or two with me, I want to be ready.