As I mentioned, I took a written exam on 7/12 for the position of "fiscal technician" in a particular department of my new county.
I received an email on 7/19 with my results. I scored 88%, which was the high score. Yay! That puts me at the top of the list and ensures I will get interviewed.
Since then, I have been contacted via email and telephone by at least 3 different departments. (I didn't actually apply for these other departments, but any department in the county which needs a new "fiscal technician" will hire from the same eligibility list for awhile, until the list expires. At that point, if you want to be on the eligibility list, you have to re-apply and re-test.) I have two in-person interviews and one phone interview scheduled for this coming week. I have one in-person interview scheduled for the following week, and I admit I am not sure which department it is for as the email did not specify.
I am very nervous and just hoping to not blow the interviews. Which is silly, because if I don't get one of these jobs, I will just find some other job. All will not be lost. But, I really want one of these which come with a beautiful pension.
In planner obsession news, I purchased one of these to be an exclusively work planner:
Do I need it? Not at all. But, I love writing in it. It is small so it is easy to pop in my purse.
I can hardly believe that I had been so unaware that such lovely planners existed and I wasn't using one. I have already purchased a budget one for 2018 and I have gifted 3 people now with a planner. MrsM180 is the most excited; I hope she enjoys hers as much as I am enjoying mine.
There are so many things I need to do at home and at work, it is overwhelming. So today I am dealing with it by heading over to my Mom's for the afternoon. Tomorrow will be more productive.
As I mentioned, I took a written exam on 7/12 for the position of "fiscal technician" in a particular department of my new county.
I had the most awesome week in Colorado Springs. I got to see my daughter every day. We (all of us) made meals at the VRBO house, and went to play Bingo, and went to the movies, and enjoyed the hot tub and pool at Mr & Mrs M180's apartments, and just in general enjoyed being together.
Also, we went to see the Tuff Shed that Mrs M180 is planning to buy and finish as a house on their own property. (Currently, they are saving for that property). It is surprisingly nice! Well made with a nice layout, not overly large but not too small either.
It is so nice to see my daughter settled and happy in her adult life, actively making choices which will lead her to her goals.
We left Colorado Springs Wednesday morning and drove to Moab, UT. Moab is a beautiful place. We visited Arches Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. We were on the road Thursday morning fairly early and drove 800 miles to Reno, NV. That was a looong drive; the most driving in a single day during the entire trip. We spent Thursday night at Harrah's, then headed home Friday morning.
Friday when I got home, I saw that on Thursday I had received an email regarding the job I have applied for with my new county. I am invited to take a written test this coming Wednesday. The timing is inconvenient to say the least, but I am going to the test. It is inconvenient because I will be covering for my co-worker this coming week while she is on vacation. I'm not even entirely sure exactly what I will need to do to cover her on Wednesday, but I will have to move those things to Monday and Tuesday. If I do not take the written test, I will not have a shot at the job.
Today I am just doing laundry, doing some chores around the house, trying to catch up on e-mail and blogs and such, and generally taking it easy. The trip was so great, but I am wore out.
My mortgage payment has posted. This month I paid an additional $5.35. My new balance is $161,050.00.
Chips to date: $2,185.82
Interest savings this month: $8.40
Interest savings to date: $272.55
Eventually, the interest savings on the chips I have already made will compound to $4,616.56, provided I own this house until July 1, 2042. Which I definitely won't.
We are in Colorado Springs!
Mom, nephew, SB and I hit the road Saturday morning. We hit Las Vegas in the early evening and checked into our clean-but-no-frills motel a few miles from The Strip. At $120 per room, it was the most reasonable deal we could find in Vegas on a Saturday night. We had dinner at a Claim Jumper restaurant and took in some sights on The Strip.
Sunday we visited Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, Zion National Park, and then stopped for the night in a little place called Carmel Junction just outside of Zion. The motel was much nicer and thus was a bit pricey at $189 per room. (I know it is all relative, but that is more than I usually like to pay). They had a little restaurant which was a bit overpriced but the food was quite good, including their own fresh baked bread. Also, they had a beautiful pool and hot tub area, with beautiful views.
Monday morning we visited the north rim of the Grand Canyon, which is less visited than the south rim, and we did see why. It is beautiful, but definitely less grand. Here's a pic:
Afterwards, we set off for Mesa Verde National Park. Monday evening, we stopped for the night in Towaoc, Colorado at an Ute Indian casino. It is very new and cushy, and we stayed for $89 per room! We had a nice relaxing evening enjoying the amenities. I gambled for maybe 15 minutes. I started with a $20 (all I am willing to spend on gambling), chose a machine, and fed in my $20. I played it for 10 minutes or so, cashing out $19.75. I chose another machine, played it 3 times, and cashed out $76.55. I was done at that point. SB stayed in the casino, but I went back to the room and changed for the pool and hot tub. Later, SB came back to our room $48 richer. So the casino paid for our room for the night. Thanks, casino!
Tuesday morning we got up and drove to Mesa Verde. We visited the park, saw the cliff dwellings, and then hit the road. We made it to Alamosa and decided that was far enough. We got rooms in a Fairfield Inn paying about $150 each. There was not much to see and we were all tired so we grabbed dinner at a Wendy's and called it a night.
Wednesday morning we had breakfast at the hotel then hit the road for another 3 hours and finally arrived in Colorado Springs. And here we are! We will be here for a week, hanging out with Mr and Mrs M180 and taking in the local sights.
We ended up renting a house on VRBO for $1500 for the week. Since we need 2 rooms per night, this works out so much better. We have a whole house to enjoy, complete with laundry room. We visited a supermarket and have fixings for meals here. It is a lovely house very tastefully appointed, and we can see Garden of the Gods from our living room window!
Interestingly, the owners of the house have said they are "just a few minutes away" in their cabin, and we can call if we need anything. I think what they are doing is offering both places for rent on VRBO and moving back and forth to accomodate their renters. Maybe they are using the income for living expenses, or to pay off their mortgage, or to pad their nest egg. How creative! Colorado Springs is home to a University of Colorado campus, an Air Force Academy, an Air Force base, an Army base, and a National Guard base. Plus, it has a great deal of natural beauty. I'll bet there are a lot of people wanting to come and visit for a week or so.
I am so happy to be here for a week with my daughter and other loved ones. Life is so good.
Last night as I was getting ready to leave work, I saw that SB had texted me. He offered to take me to dinner and warned that he may or may not have ulterior motives. I said I would love to go to dinner, so he met me at my office. He was driving a new to him car.
He bought a 2007 Acura MDX with 122k on the odometer. Not high mileage for a 10 year old car. He got a really good deal on it, and of course paid cash. The MDX is an SUV with 3 rows of seats. The third row can lay down flat, giving you a large cargo area.
So, we will be taking this car on our road trip later this month. I will cancel the mini-van rental we had reserved.
The MDX is also an all wheel drive, which is highly desirable living in a mountain town with twisty, turny roads in every direction. I have considered trading cars myself but I'm not going to do it right now. My to do list is currently long enough without adding "look for a car". I'm going to get settled first and then see.
So we had a nice dinner at a Mexican restaurant in town we discovered a few months ago. Very reasonable prices and the food is delicious. After dinner, he says "Well, my ulterior motive is I left my truck parked near where I bought this car, so I need help getting the cars home." What a disappointing ulterior motive!
The MDX rides very nice, so I give this purchase a thumbs up.
So I have shared before about the allergy problems I have in my current location. With J now married and on the verge of becoming independent, I have decided the time is right.
I have a lot of stuff to get rid of and some things to get done to prepare my house for sale. SB and I will be moving to his timber property.
I'm not positive of my exact timeline, but it is soon. Definitely this calendar year.
I have given them a heads up at work so they can replace me. That might not have been in my best interest since they may replace me before I am ready. But, it felt right. They have been so good to me, I would not have felt right about leaving them on short notice with no plan in place.
I'm not certain exactly what I will be doing for work. We are moving to a rural area and job opportunities are limited. There is an opening in my line of work for the county (my future county) which would be awesome. I sure wouldn't mind having a pension, even a small one. (Way too late for me to earn enough service credits for a large pension). I have submitted an application, but who knows when or if anything will come of that.
I am fortunate in that my cost of living will be very low, so I can be flexible in the type of job I accept.
My plans will become more solid over the coming weeks and months, but at the moment, I just don't know much.
I wish that I had more cash in the bank. It may be that I am unemployed before I am out from under my mortgage. If I have to, I can take a Heloc draw. I hope it won't come that. I opened a new Wells Fargo American Express card last month in order to take advantage of a sign-up bonus. The card has a promotional rate of 0% for the first 12 months. I intend to begin using it for expenses, making only minimum payments, and saving the cash. When the house sells, I will pay it in full. It may be that I will need that extra cash to make mortgage payments. If I don't, then no harm done.
So, it's exciting and frightening all at the same time. Wish me luck!
Today was a sad, sad day.
Buster's tumors have grown and spread and he had stopped enjoying life so much. During the past week, he would refuse to move and instead bark when he wanted to go inside or outside or to another room. Yesterday, he would not eat.
I called the vet this morning, and SB, J, Mrs. J and I took him to his final vet visit.
Buster was so homely and not very bright. But he had more personality than any dog I have ever had the pleasure to know. How I loved that ridiculous little dog. I will miss him so very much.
Edit: In 2005, the year before my ex-husband and I split, ex-husband took 9 year old J to our local animal shelter to choose a dog. Of all the dogs J might have chosen, J came home with Buster. I took one look at Buster and asked ex-husband what he had been thinking. He just shrugged and said J picked him. The shelter estimated that Buster was 4 - 5 years old. Buster was J's shadow for years and was a great comfort to him during the divorce. I will forever be grateful for that.
My mortgage payment has posted. This month I paid an additional $6.46. My new balance is $161,375.00.
Chips to date: $2,180.47
Interest savings this month: $8.36
Interest savings to date: $264.15
Eventually, the interest savings on the chips I have already made will compound to $4,607.34, provided I own this house until July 1, 2042. Which I probably won't.
I thought I would share my experience thus far with Bank Purely. I think it is fair to say that thus far it has been a frustrating experience.
When I opened my account online, I received a message that I need a PIN and that I would receive it in the mail. I had to wait more than a week for that.
Meanwhile, I downloaded their app to my phone. The app is called iGo Banking. There is also an internet bank called iGo Banking. You can access Bank Purely with the iGo app, but if you google iGo Banking online login and click on the link, you are taken to the website for iGo Banking, not the website for Bank Purely. I found this a bit confusing.
Once I did receive my PIN and finished my registration, I tried to move money from my Wells Fargo checking to my new Bank Purely savings. However, my account was not linked. The same account I had used to make the opening deposit of $1. I hunted all over the website and read the FAQs, but I could not figure out how to link my Wells Fargo checking. I was beginning to fear that I could not link a checking account which was not on the iGo Banking app. I sent an email to customer service and waited for a reply. I did receive a reply the next day, with instructions. My fears were unfounded, I was able to link my Wells Fargo Checking.
Then we come to the next hurdle. I wanted to transfer $5,059.89. Well, I can't. There is a limit of $2,000.00. I scheduled a transfer of $2,000.00 on Monday of this week. I tried to transfer a second $2,000.00 on Tuesday. Nope. The first transfer was still in process, so any additional transfer exceeded the limit. On Wednesday, the transfer posted to my checking account. On Thursday, the transfer posted to my savings account. On Friday, I scheduled a second transfer of $2,000.00. That is in transit now.
So, I don't know. Their rate (1.3%) on savings is fabulous. But if I had known how long it was going to take to get my money into that fabulous savings account, I think I would have passed on this account. And am I limited to the same 2k at a time if I want to withdraw money? I don't know, but I suspect yes.
I'm going to email Bank Purely and see what they say.
Update: I got a reply back already. This is what it says:
We apologize for the inconvenience, we identified an error with your limits. Our Inbound transfer limits are $100,000.00 per transfer and $500,000 for a rolling 30 day monthly period. Our Outbound standard transfer limits are $15,000.00 per transfer not to exceed $50,000.00 monthly on a rolling 30 day period. Our next business day transfers are $2,000.00 not to exceed $5,000.00 monthly on a rolling 30 day period. If you wish to increase your standard transfer limit for outbound transfers to your external account, an email or message with the amount needed and brief reason for increase is required to process your request for a maximum outbound transfer limit of $100,000.00 on a single transfer. The request will apply to that transaction only and will default back to the standard limit.
Yeah, so I can only deposit 5k per month. Not loving it.
I mentioned in my March budget report that I had spent $50 on a fancypants planner. It is from Plum Paper. I am enjoying this purchase immensely! I think I may buy one every year from now on. This is a look at how I have been using it.
I customized the cover:
I am using the monthly calendar to track the ins, outs, and daily balance of my checking account:
I am listing each credit card charge as I make it. I think I may start a running total on the side:
I do a mini-budget for each paycheck:
I have a dedicated page each month for listing each bill I must pay, and I highlight the amount when it has been paid:
I made a chart to track my progress on my Heloc repayment:
Wages - both of my paychecks were for 10 days (rather than 11) in April.
Other Income - included a work bonus, my side gig, and some credit card rewards.
Cash Allowance - I gave myself an extra $100 to cover expenses for our weekend in Bodega Bay.
dining out 376.63 (!!)
hair cut 20.00
Pokemon Go 9.99
Allergy Dr. 6.05
My mortgage payment has posted. This month I paid an additional $7.58. My new balance is $161,700.00.
Chips to date: $2,174.01
Interest savings this month: $8.30
Interest savings to date: $255.79
Eventually, the interest savings on the chips I have already made will compound to $4,596.11, provided I own this house until July 1, 2042. Which I probably won't.
Heard about this new internet bank on a message board forum. It is currently paying 1.3% on savings. And they plant a tree for every new account!
Better late than never, right?
Utilities are low because...I neglected to pay my electric bill. I just forgot. Never before in my 30+ years of adulthood have I "just forgot" to pay a utility bill. My goodness. I looked at it a dozen times or so, there on my list of bills to pay, not highlighted, and it never clicked that "Oh, I need to PAY this".
Savings did not happen, but I also paid for my root canal and plane ticket (see below) without pulling from savings.
Everything else this month:
Balance of new roof and gutters - 9,550.00
dentist (root canal) - 550.00
airline ticket - 291.20
dining out - 182.83
gift cards - 60.00
clothes - 57.13
Plum Paper Planner - 52.89
oil change - 44.27
OTC allergy - 16.74
purse insert - 6.99
Pokemon Go - 4.99
My new roof and rain gutters are installed and look great. I am very pleased with the quality. Now there is just the small matter of paying for them. I did pull $700 from GS Savings to throw at the Heloc debt. Only 9.4k to go.
The airline ticket is for the trip Mom and I are making next weekend to Spokane to visit my cousin and his wife.
The dining out and gift card expenses are related to birthdays. I have a lot of friend birthdays in March.
I must now confess that I bought myself a fancypants planner! And...I just love it. It is nothing but an indulgence. The paper is creamy smooth, the colors are lovely, it has tabbed sections for each month. I have a place to track my bills, my debt progress, my savings progress, etc., all on beautiful paper which I can touch.
And for the first time I spent real dollars to play a virtual game. I have been playing Pokemon Go enthusiastically since last July. The game has a built in limit of how many pokemon you can have at any one time. With the release of Gen 2 pokemon, I was bumping the limit. I had to pay real money to increase my "storage" limit. Otherwise, I was in grave danger of not being able to catch 'em all.
My mortgage payment has posted. This month I paid an additional $8.70. My new balance is $162,025.00.
Chips to date: $2,166.43
Interest savings this month: $8.24
Interest savings to date: $247.49
Eventually, the interest savings on the chips I have already made will compound to $4,582.66, provided I own this house until July 1, 2042. Which I probably won't.
I had a fun overnight trip yesterday with some long-time girlfriends. One of whom was visiting from Tulsa, OK and flew back home today.
There were 5 of us, and we drove up to Grass Valley to stay at an old hotel. It's sort of infamous, having housed several US Presidents and other notable guests such as Mark Twain. And it is supposedly haunted, which adds to the ambiance. We had a great, giggly time. We made a run to the Sacramento airport late this morning and I returned home about 2 hours ago. Here are a few pics from our hotel room. I wish I had thought to snap a shot of the elevator, which was the old fashioned scrolly ironwork kind.
That last shot was from the balcony, which we enjoyed. We had two rooms, the other was similarly appointed.
Next weekend, SB and I are going to Bodega Bay with another couple. We have rented a house for the weekend.
The following weekend, J and his girlfriend are getting married in her grandparents' back yard.
The weekend after that, I am flying to Spokane, WA with my mother for a 4 day visit with my first cousin and his wife. My mother and father raised him for a good chunk of his childhood.
A road trip has been planned for the last week of June and first week of July. SB, my mother, my nephew, and myself will hit the road in a rented mini-van (which I was able to rent through AutoSlash.com for just under $350 per week including taxes). All of the plans are not finalized, but we will be in Colorado Springs for almost 1 week spending time with MrsM180 and hubby.
And there you have it.
My mortgage payment has posted. This month I paid an additional $9.82. My new balance is $162,350.00.
Chips to date: $2,157.73
Interest savings this month: $8.17
Interest savings to date: $239.25
Eventually, the interest savings on the chips I have already made will compound to $4,567.53, provided I own this house until July 1, 2042. Which I probably won't.
Wages - The second pay period of the month had only 9 work days, which made for a little pay check.
Other Income - My state and federal income tax refunds, as well as a bit of CC rewards.
Everything Else -
dining out 212.31
clothes and purse - 194.84
medical co-pay 60.00
annual road service club - 43.50
Rx co-pays 40.72
CVS - allergy pills, hygiene products 32.79
So a couple of weeks ago I went to the dentist to get my toothache checked out and received the wonderful news that I needed a root canal. It was scheduled for yesterday, Friday 2/10. (And yes, as it turns out, root canals really aren't much fun).
I told SB about this, and did not realize that I had just thrown a big monkey wrench in his plans. He had been planning a surprise birthday party for me on that day. Without much notice, he had to move it to a different day.
So last Friday 2/3, SB texted me in the late morning to say he had picked up a sound gig for the evening and would not be home until late. OK. I decided I would go get my nails done and made an appointment for 5:30. In the afternoon, a friend texted me to ask if I would like to go see a movie with her. Why not, I thought, so we made some vague plans. I left work about 5:20 and headed to my nail appointment (just a few blocks away).
As I am walking into the nail salon, SB texts me again to say he did not have a particular cable he needed, described it and where it was, then asked if I could please go home to get it and bring it to him at the sound gig. Now home is in the opposite direction of the freeway and the movie cinema where I planned to meet my friend. My nail appointment takes 45 min or so. So this is a bit inconvenient and annoying, but OK, I say I will after my appointment. So I get my nails done, I drive all the way home to fetch his cable, and I drive to the sound gig.
Now the sound gig was at a venue which caters a lot of weddings, company parties, quinceaneras, etc. Years ago, I worked at this venue, and it is my current second job. SB works there now. It is a unique, very fun place, and I have made quite a few long-lasting friendships with current and former employees there. When SB texted me about the gig, I assumed a planned event had their sound guy fall through at the last minute, and that was how he ended up getting the gig.
So I enter the building and have my eyes peeled for SB, as he hadn't really said which room(s) the gig was in, and there are generally 3 or 4 events booked for a Friday night. I pass larger rooms and areas without spotting him and end up in a hallway leading to several smaller rooms. I walk through an open door and there are 6 round tables set up with people seated.
I glance at a table and notice all the people seated there are current or former employees of this venue, including the friend who I am supposed to meet for a movie shortly. I think "they are having dinner here together and no one invited me!". I glance at a different table and see my mother, my nephew, J and A, and several of my cousins from the bay area. This is very odd, as they do not belong at this venue at all. Then it hits me. Everyone pulls out a little horn, blows it, and yells "surprise!".
Well, I certainly WAS surprised. SB spent weeks planning the party and I had no idea at all. I think it actually helped that he had to change the date, because my actual birthday is 2/13 and the party was 10 days early. I was not even suspicious!
I went from table to table greeting each guest, and just as I was finishing my rounds, I saw my biggest surprise. My friend M who lives in Seattle strolled into the room. I could not believe it. He came just for my party and stayed the whole weekend. What a treat!
It was a wonderful party and a wonderful weekend. I don't even mind turning 50 so much.
My mortgage payment has posted. This month I paid an additional $10.93. My new balance is $162,675.00.
Chips to date: $2,147.91
Interest savings this month: $8.11
Interest savings to date: $231.08
Eventually, the interest savings on the chips I have already made will compound to $4,550.18, provided I own this house until July 1, 2042. Which I probably won't.
Here is my January budget report. I paid my January mortgage payment in December. In January, I paid the balance on my Citi Double Cash Card from December's statement. It was not due until 1/8, so that worked out OK.
Everything Else this month was:
wall repair 1260
American Heart Assn 100
CVS medical supplies 47.62
movie tickets 16
Rx co-pay 10
The repair to my leaking wall was pricey.
SB and I bought a new mattress and split the cost. It's the first piece of furniture we have co-purchased. It is one of those which gets delivered in a box and you unfold it. It is surprisingly comfortable. SB chose it. I think we will be getting a topper of some kind too.
The American Heart Association donation is in memory of my cousin once removed who died last September. Several of his immediate family and good friends have formed a team and are doing a 5k walk.
The library fine is for a book J's dog ate! Bad dog.
The movie tickets were a splurge. SB's favorite movie of all time is The Princess Bride. It's one of my favorites, too. Our local indie movie house is showing it on Valentine's Day.
It has been raining a lot here. So the other day, J tells me that his bedroom wall is wet. Like, wet to the touch. Ugh!
It turned out that the flashing around his window had come lose from the siding underneath the window ledge. With the wind and rain, water was finding its way in. The sheet rock all around the window was soaked.
Today I have a repair person here taking care of the problem.
So, there goes the money I had squirreled away the past few months. Now I have to save it again.
Well, MrsM180 and hubby moved back to Colorado a few weeks ago. They are already settled into an apartment and MrsM180 has started a new job. It all happened really fast. They hope to be hunting for a house to purchase within a few months.
I miss them of course, but I am also excited on their behalf for them to be taking these big steps and moving forward with their adult lives.
J and his fiancee are now talking about getting married this April in Reno. There is still a lot up in the air with these two. Even so, I expect J will be launching sooner rather than later.
I'm going to be an empty nester soon. Wow.
In less momentous news, I have recently discovered the hobby called "planning". Do you know that there are people out there buying expensive "planners" from companies such as Erin Condren, Reflections, Happy Planner, etc.? And buying "monthly sticker kits", vast quantities of washi tape, and many types of pens in order to decorate the "weekly spread" in their planner? I found all of this rather surprising. And while I do not intend to start shelling out cash for this hobby, I have gotten a few ideas to modify my Bill Book to better plan for upcoming expenses and such.
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