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Archive for June, 2013

Ship About To Sail

June 27th, 2013 at 06:09 pm

Well, my ship is about to sail! Smile Mom and I are leaving early Saturday morning.

This week has been hectic at work and hectic at home. Even so, I have been enjoying my evenings with all 3 kiddos. I am sad that this time is coming to a close once again.

I have picked up a few new articles of clothing for my trip, but not very many because I have had an unexpected expense arise (more below). I bought a lined rain jacket (from the clearance rack), a pair of long jeans (I mostly wear capris), a nightgown, two shirts, and some underthings. Altogether, I spent $92 on clothing for myself.

Last week when we went to the theme park, the house was empty of people. When we returned home, J discovered that his Xbox, a stack of games, and two controllers were gone. He had played one of his games the night before and all items were accounted for. Nothing else in the house had been disturbed, and there was no sign of a break-in. The dogs were both inside the house and fine.

During the last week of school, J reported to me that he had misplaced his house key. He had been playing ball in a park that day, and thought he had lost it there. I got him a new house key, but was not worried about changing the locks as there is no identifying info on his keyring. Well, I think that key must have been used. Nala (nephew's yellow lab) is an excellent watchdog. Therefore, I further think the key was used by someone Nala knows well.

During the last two months of school, J made a new friend, L. L started coming to our house nearly every day, both after school and on weekends. L seemed to never want to go home. I asked him point blank if there was something going on at home. He replied not really, but that usually it was just he and his foster brother (L is in a foster home), they don't get along, and so L prefers to hang out with friends. L was a pleasant enough boy, but I did catch him lying to me once. Another time, he asked me to please lie to a third boy's mother, so that this third boy would be allowed to go someplace. Of course I refused. Both times I explained to L that I do not tolerate lying.

As it happens, L was with J on the afternoon the house key went missing. We have learned that on the day after the theft, another boy D who is a good friend of L, sold a stack of games at Game Stop, identical to J's stolen games. J does not know D well, he has met him a time or two at school, but J has never been anyplace with D, nor has D ever been to our house.

J did confront L, but L denies any knowledge of the theft. Nonetheless, L is no longer welcome at our house. J feels very used and is very upset with L.

I had the locks changed, the cost was $84.66. J found a used console, hard drive, controller, and cables on eBay for $95 plus tax and shipping. I bought that for him. J had borrowed a game from another friend K which was in the stolen stack. I offered to replace that game, but K said he would be happy with $20, so I gave him $20. All told, I am out $230. I told J that I am done, it is up to him to use his own money to replace his games.

In chippy news, I did a wallet sweep today and sent $8 off to E Fund. The $50 credit card reward I redeemed last month has now been applied to my mortgage. And wouldn't you know, I redeemed another $25 just a few days ago. That won't show up until around July 20th.

In family news, last Sunday mom and I drove nephew up to my brother's house. Brother lives in northern California (the REAL northern California, not just north of Orange county Wink), it is 4 hours each way. Add in visiting time and it makes for a long day. One niece popped in with her husband and their 3 babies (3yo, 2yo, and 1yo). Mom and I briefly stopped by the workplace of another niece. It was a wonderful day, and we'll have a repeat in a few weeks when we go back to retrieve nephew.

Sweet Chips :)

June 21st, 2013 at 09:49 am

That is one $50 mortgage chip (credit card reward), and one $50 credit to my Ting cell phone bill (thanks to NetSkyBlue), which I will convert into a savings chip. Sweet! I love chips. Smile

We had a lot of fun at the theme park. I am glad we went.

Because I fiddled, I am now having to park my Simple money in a target retirement fund while I wait two months to be allowed back into total stock market. In my traditional, I am selling blocks of S & P 500, waiting in cash for 3 days, then buying total stock market. Sometimes, I irritate myself.

Chase Freedom bonus rewards for the third quarter once again include gas. I really enjoy getting 5% back on my gas.

Definitely Should Not Fiddle

June 18th, 2013 at 01:33 pm

Over the past two days, I have continued to fiddle when I know perfectly well I should leave well enough alone. Well, guess what? My WellsTrade brokerage account has a new policy...after a "sell", it takes 3 days for the cash to settle. In the meantime, no "buy" can be executed with that money. At first, I was irritated to learn this (the hard way). But upon reflection, I think it is really for the best. This new policy will discourage me from making trades I do not need to make.

I don't know why I periodically put myself through this; I always end up going back to what I already had, or close to it.

Tomorrow the kids and I are off to a theme park. I bought the tickets at my credit union at a substantial discount, we will pack a picnic lunch, then I will spring for a meal out on the way home. Should be fun. Smile

Had to have the plumber out yesterday. The handle popped off in my shower, and it was then I learned the shower handle in the hall bath had popped off the week before! (No one thought to mention it to me). I Googled it and learned I needed new "cartridges". I hadn't even known showers had cartridges, but apparently yes, the handle mechanisms in the wall do. The DIY videos I found were insistent it is an easy job, but it didn't look easy to me without the proper tools, which I do not have. I didn't want to make a bigger mess, so I called the plumber. It cost me $89. He replaced both and re-caulked the hall shower for me while he was at it.

More Portfolio Fiddling

June 14th, 2013 at 06:10 pm

Even though I swore to myself I was through with fiddling, I fiddled some more. I am almost at the "3 Fund Portfolio", except I am overweighting mid/small caps a bit.

Here is my new target AA for tax-deferred:

30% S & P 500 Index
20% Extended Market Index

25% International Index

25% Total Bond Market Index

I have updated my "My Portfolio Holdings" page.

How about you, do you find yourself fiddling, even when you have sworn it off?

I have just spent the afternoon at my part-time job. I am done with it now for June. I put in 10 hours, for which I will bill $200.

Work was super crazy this week, the other staff accountant was on vacation. That means I have to do all of her payroll clients as well as my own, while juggling other things as well. Add swinging by the part-time job 3 days this week into the mix, it has made for a long week.

I can hardly wait to return the favor and go on vacation myself. Wink

Fun Mini Vacation Weekend

June 11th, 2013 at 08:23 pm

J and I returned from another mini vacation weekend. This time the vacation site was a beautiful vacation home at Donner Lake. We were invited by BF's boss; the home belongs to some associate of hers. All told, there were 14 of us and we were not crowded at all. Activities included fishing, kayaking, bike riding, etc. The home is currently listed for sale, and the asking price is a seven digit number, so that gives you some indication of the conditions we were forced to tolerate. Smile

After work today, I put in 2 hours at my part-time job. I put in 2 hours last Friday afternoon as well, for a grand total of 4 so far in June. Since starting, I have been asked to take on one additional task. As a result, I expect to regularly work 6 - 8 hours per month rather than 4 -6. As it happens, this place is close to my regular work place. It seems it will work better for everyone if I put in several short "shifts" rather than one long one.

And hoorah, I have been paid for my May hours. The proceeds have already been sent off to E Fund.

It has been 8 days since my daughter and son-in-law moved in temporarily. Thus far, it has been nothing but a pleasure to have them here. I can really see that they are both quite a bit more considerate than the last time they were here.

I am planning to treat the four of us (daughter, son-in-law, son, and myself) to a fun outing in the next week or two. I suggested the water park, but said I would let the three of them decide. I will take a vacation day and we will go mid-week. When I return from the cruise I am taking with mom, J will already be off at summer camp; daughter (S) and son-in-law (A) will be heading back to Colorado Springs.

And that brings me to next summer's vacation plans. Mom, J and I have decided to do a road trip to Colorado Springs. Along the way, we will visit Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone. Mom has never been to either place! My cousin L is also interested in going. It has been about a decade since I was on a long road trip; it should be lots of fun.

My move to Barclays online savings bank from TIAA-Cref is now complete; the process was completed smoothly, no glitches at all. I expect the bulk of E Fund will be "available" tomorrow.

May 2013 Budget Report

June 4th, 2013 at 07:55 pm

So, this is how I did in May:



The overage in Everything Else is from my pergola cover, the second installment of J's camp, and a donation to the American Red Cross.

Groceries continue to be a challenge. My daughter and son-in-law arrived yesterday, and will be here until mid July. I expect groceries to continue to be a challenge. I know I can do better. And I'm just going to have to start.