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Pics of My House

December 9th, 2018 at 11:38 am

It is an overcast, gloomy day today. Some of these came out a bit dark.

The front door as you approach.



The front door from inside. (I don't know why it is showing up sideways).



The living room from different angles.




My little kitchen.





Bedroom #1 at the front of the house.




The hall bath.




Bedroom #2, right-hand side of the hallway closest to the front of the house.




The laundry room, next to bedroom #2. (Laundry sold at no extra charge!)



The master bedroom and bath, last door and room on the right-hand side of hallway. I love the big oval bathtub so much.





The master walk-in closet. Also showing up sideways.




And at the end of the hall, bedroom #4. This is the smallest bedroom and shares a wall with the kitchen. If I were staying put in this house, I would love to lose the wall and incorporate this space into the kitchen. Bonus: doing so would make the path through the house a complete circle.



So there you have it. Not fancy, but clean and neutral with all in good repair. It should be on MLS before the week is out.

PNC Online Savings 2.35%

November 20th, 2018 at 10:42 am

Just wanted to share for you rate chasers out there. PNC bank is currently paying 2.35% to online savings accounts. No fees, minimum is $1.

Please note that PNC has brick and mortar banks as well as an online presence. Their traditional savings accounts pay the same sort of rates most brick and mortar banks pay. You must choose the online savings to get the 2.35% rate.

The following is not a referral link. I am just sharing for your convenience.

https://www.pnc.com/en/personal-banking.html

Some Pictures; Happy Thanksgiving

November 19th, 2018 at 05:22 pm

Here is a picture we took after my ring was ready.



We took that picture in our little yard. The spring and summer just ended we had an outdoor living space next to the creek, which is just a stone's throw from our front (and only!) door. It evolved as the weeks rolled by; we ended up with a large awning in addition to the one attached to the travel trailer, a dinette set, a nice grill, two zero-gravity reclining camp style chairs, a mister, and a nice 3 ft tall inflatable pool with a filter. The days and evenings spent in our little yard were lovely. Here I am, enjoying the amenities:



I spent many a happy hour lying there with a good book listening to the water gurgling along in the creek bed. I am sorry to see summer go.

My house is mostly ready. Well, as ready as it's going to be. I should have some pictures to share next week. SB is still there; I will drive down Wednesday evening after work. Thanksgiving dinner this year is at my mother's house. A niece (brother's daughter) and her family will be staying at my mother's house for the long weekend. My brother, sister-in-law, SB and I will be sleeping at my house but spending our time at my mother's. Another niece (grandniece, my nephew's daughter) and her husband will be visiting, but live close enough they will sleep at home. My son and his wife will come for dinner Thanksgiving Day; not sure how much additional time they will have for us. It should be a wonderful weekend spent with a good many (but not all!) of the people I love best.

Enjoy your long weekends with your loved ones! Smile

More Updates on A Few Topics

November 10th, 2018 at 09:12 am

Hello SA types! It's been so long since I posted, a whole lot has gone on.

I did end up having to evict my tenant. Even though he was notified of the date and time that the sheriff's deputies would be arriving to lock him out, he was still there when they arrived. If it were me, I would have been already gone and spared myself the humiliation. The eviction service representative I had hired reported that the tenant informed the deputies that he would be staying until the end of the month (lock-out date was 9/19). Surprisingly, they sided with the court order and locked him out anyway.

Since then, I have been working towards getting the house ready to sell. SB has been mostly staying in the house while I go only on weekends. The last few odd jobs are being finished up right now. Then we will do one last cleaning, stage it as best we can, and list it.

So as you might guess, my expenses have been greater than my income these past 5 months. I have gone through most of my cash savings and taken on Heloc debt. Most of the expenses are now behind me, but I will continue to have a cash flow problem until the house is sold (and by that, I mean close of escrow).

Work is going well. I am off probation now and received my first and last step increase. (I started at step 4; there are only 5 steps). My salary is just over 53k and will only rise with cost of living increases, unless I am able to be hired into a different job classification.

My daughter has been thinking she wants to go back to college. She applied for a scholarship to Colorado Technical University last spring. A few weeks ago, she learned she had been selected! It is a full ride excluding housing for a 4 year degree. She intends to study accounting and thinks she wants to go into banking. She is very excited and I could not be more pleased.

I am writing this from a timeshare condo in Reno. I am here for a girls' weekend with 5 other women. While waiting for a turn in the shower, I thought I would take advantage of the reliable internet and throw up a quick post. Smile

Updates on Many Topics

July 7th, 2018 at 11:48 am

A few weeks ago, I told my renter I need for him to move out so I can sell the house. He claims he has no money to move. I said I would forgive the unpaid utilities (I've been paying the water/sewer/garbage bill this whole time, although our written rental agreement stipulates it is his responsibility) in writing and give him 1k cash. He looked around and reported he had found a place he liked which would be available July 12. I said, great, let's do that. No rent due to me for July, so he can rent the new place. Then he had a heart attack and was hospitalized. Now he says he is "stressed" about the move.

I had hoped the 1k would make it possible to avoid litigation and get him out quickly. I still hope that, of course, but it may not go that way.

SB and I continue to live in our little travel trailer on his property. I have begun seriously contemplating what sort of rig would be best in the future for traveling. I am currently leaning away from a travel trailer and towards a small class b or c motorhome. This purchase is still years in the future, so I have plenty of time to contemplate.

SB and I have talked off and on for some time now about getting rings. A wedding ring for him, I prefer an engagement ring for myself. (There are no matrimonial plans, just rings). A few weeks ago, we pulled the trigger on that. He got to leave the store with his, mine is far too small and due to the style, can only be sized up or down one ring size. So, I had to order the same ring in a larger size and it is due to arrive in the store August 17. Here they are:





I just love mine and can hardly stand the wait.

And speaking of wait, I mean weight, I have been losing some of mine. I had gotten so out of shape down in the valley, with all of the coughing and breathing difficulties, for several years I had avoided taking a single unnecessary step. And, it really showed. Now that I am breathing well and more active, I have gradually been dropping a lb here and there. At the end of March, I decided it was time to get into good physical shape and got serious about regular exercise. So far, I am down 23.7 lbs and I feel great. Unfortunately, I have many more still to go.

A lot of people up here square dance. It looks fun, and we want to take it up and see if we like it. This is one of my motivations; when we first talked about it I knew I was too out of shape to keep up with others promenading and do-si-doing about the room. We haven't started yet but we are both looking forward to it.

My birth mother plans to arrive here next Saturday, and I am taking some vacation time. I am looking forward to our visit very much.

Work is going well and my one year mark is approaching (August 19). This is significant because it marks the end of my probation. It also means I will be getting my step raise, which is 5%.

About a month ago, SB and I went to that James Taylor concert and he was just fabulous. Bonnie Raitt cancelled part of the tour (she had surgery), so we did not get to see her. Still on the horizon is that Eagles concert.

I am already planning my budget for the happy time that my house has been sold. Premature as there are some hurdles between that point and my present point, but I do like to plan my finances.

I have recently exchanged out of Vanguard's Target Retirement fund in my Roth, in favor of the 3 fund portfolio. Now ALL of my retirement monies are invested the exact same way: 44% total stock market index, 22% total intl stock market index, and 34% total bond market index. I intend to keep this allocation for the next decade or so.

That's about it, I guess.

Waiting To See

March 31st, 2018 at 11:43 am

I am using the computer in the library of my little town. It's a bit noisy today, as there is an Easter egg hunt underway. The level of cuteness is high. Smile

I am really uncertain how to plan my April budget. I suppose I should plan to receive no rent and pull from savings, and then if I do receive rent it will be a happy surprise. I have mailed some deposit slips for my Wells Fargo savings account to the tenant, so will be checking my phone app instead of the mail to see if I have been graced with rent money.

I have decided that April 10 is my cut-off date, no matter what excuse is offered. I am not going to attempt an eviction from 3 hours away. I have a particular attorney in mind who has handled many evictions and other landlord-tenant disputes for clients (at my old job) who have rental properties. I may have to take a half day off work to meet with and retain him, but he should be able to handle everything from there.

An eviction and then listing the house for sale will almost certainly mean more debt. However, I am fairly certain the house will sell quickly as the market is hot and it is an entry-level home. I have enough equity to take care of all my debt and then some. (What a pleasant change from when I started this blog in Dec 2010 and was upside-down about 80k!) I intend to gift a small but helpful chunk of the "then some" to each child for their Roth IRAs, and invest the rest for myself.

Other than that, life is moving along contentedly. I have reached the point at my new job that I feel very competent, have a large work load, and enjoy my hours at work. I am looking forward to the family cruise that we will be booking soon. It's a lot of money, but I'm doing it anyway, even though I am not entirely sure at this moment how I will be paying.

This coming Thursday is SB's birthday. We have plans Friday evening with friends. The plans include dinner and a night at a local bed-and-breakfast. It should be a lot of fun.

Rental Status

March 25th, 2018 at 11:40 am

Today is March 25 and I am still waiting for the rent which was due March 1. When I contacted my tenant on March 9, I was told that the rent had been mailed on the 5th. When I contacted the tenant on the 12th, I was told that the envelope had been returned for lack of postage. Oops, so sorry. This past week, I was told that the money order has been cancelled and now I will receive a check from Wal-Mart (where the money order was purchased).

Update: When a Wal-Mart money order is cancelled, Wal-Mart sends a refund to the purchaser. This makes sense, but is not what the tenant told me. I conclude he either misunderstood or is being less than truthful.

As it happens, my son and daughter-in-law gave a 30 day notice to the tenant and are moving shortly (they were sub-letting a room).

So I am left unsure if this is an honest mistake or if a decision has been made to move and this is a stall tactic while unpaid rent accumulates. Either way, I am considering how much I want to tolerate before retaining an attorney and beginning eviction. If I need to go that route, the house is going on the market. I will not look for another tenant.

We are in early planning stages for a family cruise. Probably Mexico.

Let It Snow

January 26th, 2018 at 06:52 pm

It started snowing on my way home from work last night. This is what greeted me this morning:







And these 3 belong to a tenant. They would bark so furiosly at me each time I would come and go, I began feeding them treats. My comings ang goings still create an uproar, but now they are begging and so joyously hopeful. Just so you know, they can go inside. They choose to be in the snow, at the fence, where the treats are. Take a peak at (left to right) Cash, Kona, and Bailey:

Happenings

January 18th, 2018 at 05:30 pm

Well, it is nice to have access to the interwebs again. My phone battery died and I had to wait for an Amazon package. No one sells phone batteries for my phone, not even a Verizon store.

We are so busy at work, I worked OT last Saturday and Monday (paid holiday), and am scheduled to work OT this coming Saturday too. I am liking my job so much more now that I have a full workload. The extra money will be nice, too.

On February 9th, all of the employees in my particular labor union are receiving a one-time $2,400 bonus. This is in lieu of any pay increase under our new contract.

I have paid for my HVAC unit, and now have the task of re-building savings before me.

In a couple of weeks, SB and I will be attending a murder mysyery dinner hosted by some friends of ours. We are required to dress like pirates. I was able to find a purplish-blue scarf, some black ankle boots, and a gawdy gold necklace at Goodwill, spending $8.20 for all of that booty. Now I am on a quest for a puffy shirt. It should be a fun evening.

Sinking Funds for 2018

January 2nd, 2018 at 12:10 pm

In past years, I have used one large sinking fund nicknamed "CurveBall" for all irregular expenses. I have wondered if multiple dedicated sinking funds might work better for me. I decided to give them a try in 2018.

So, I played around with categories which would be useful for me and appropriate monthly deposit amounts. Since September, I have been making deposits each month. Starting now, I will use them as expenses arise and need to be paid.

Here is what I am depositing monthly:

Car Ins & Reg - $100
Car Repairs & Maint - $75
Clothing - $40
Electronic Gadgets - $30
Gifts & Xmas - $70
Planners & Goodies - $15
Travel/Vacation - $200
Total: $530

Additionally, I opened (with $1) sinking funds for car replacement and my Roth IRA. I expect to utilize them in the near future, so went ahead and opened them while I was merrily opening new accounts.





Ceiling Leak Fiasco

December 27th, 2017 at 12:34 pm

I briefly mentioned in passing that my house had had a leak and there were repairs to be made. Here are more details:

My HVAC unit sits on the roof. The drainage (for condensation) system failed and water was leaking into the ceiling, directly above a bedroom. Before it was noticed, it caused extensive damage to the ceiling and ruined the flooring.

My homeowner's insurance handled the bulk of the costs for clean-up and repair. However, I still need to replace the HVAC unit. I do not want to spend money repairing it as it is 20+ years old, I do not want to go through this again, and I ultimately wish to sell my house. So, replace it is.

The lowest estimate was $7880. I have 8k in my emergency fund. So currently, I am deciding whether to pay cash and hope nothing else goes wrong, or take a Heloc draw and hold on to the cash. Paying cash makes more sense, but I am finding I DO NOT want to drain my emergency fund.

For several months now, I have been bleeding cash. My new take home pay is much lower than before, and I was juggling new expenses while still covering the old ones. At this point, the house is rented and the utilities are out of my name. Hopefully, the cash bleed is behind me. But, you never do know for sure, do you?

Edit: It turns out, I am even more reluctant to take a Heloc draw! I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I hate this debt I have accumulated and don't want still more. So, I'm going to cough up the cash. Thank you all for your input.

Happy Holidays

December 26th, 2017 at 09:37 am

Hello and Happy Holidays. Smile


Well, our 22 ft home is currently parked in my mother's driveway. We have been here since Saturday and will head home today.

Living on SB's property, we have precious little internet. Our phones can sometimes access a little internet. For example, we can read our FaceBook feeds, but clicking on a post to read comments is not a possibility. I usually cannot navigate to Saving Advice.

Even so, I want to get back to posting regularly. I do go into town on occasion and of course drive to work each weekday.

Life is quiet and pleasant in our little mountain town. Recently, I have seen a bear and a coyote. I love all of these animal sightings.

I am thinking about my goals and where I want life to go from here.

Daughter Has A New Blog

December 13th, 2017 at 12:25 pm

Hello Savings Advice, just wanted to share that my daughter has a new blog. You may recall that she had one here for a time.


http://hmissys.blogspot.com/?m=1


Updates

October 6th, 2017 at 12:24 pm

So life has been fairly hectic. This coming weekend SB and I are heading north to Willits. We're going to stay at my brother's house and the 4 of us (brother, SIL, SB and I) have tickets for Foghat.

My homeowner's insurance is covering my recent loss, so that was very good news. Repairs wont be complete for awhile yet.

I was approached by the dad of one of J's friends to rent my Modesto house. We discussed it and I decided it will suit my short-term needs, so we are moving forward with that. We will meet again to sign the lease. J and his wife will stay in the house and sublet a room from him. My lease and agreement are solely with him. Whatever agreement they want to make between themselves is up to them. SB and I need to have all of our belongings out by the end of October.

Some Pictures

September 22nd, 2017 at 08:43 am

I've been meaning to share a few pictures. Here is our new home:



This is the view from our front door:







And I snapped this during my morning commute. Just look at all that traffic! Smile

Emergency Home Repair Situation

September 17th, 2017 at 09:37 am

I have just learned I have a large and potentially quite expensive home repair which must be done ASAP.

The 4th and smallest bedroom in my house, which is used as storage and seldom visited by anyone, has a large hole in the ceiling. And it's dripping water. And I'm going to guess this has been a problem for awhile but I did not know.

My AC unit is roof mounted and not too far from the hole in the ceiling. As it has not rained in quite some time, I suspect the AC unit is the source of the water.

I have a call in to an emergency AC repair place. I need the AC inspected and possibly repaired. If it's not the AC, I guess my next call will be to a plumber.

The water leak will have to be addressed before the ceiling repairs can even start.

I have to leave in about 6 hours. I am going to have to rely on J to deal with the repair people here, though of course I am available by phone and e-mail.

Remember: don't worry, be happy.

Living in a Travel Trailer

September 15th, 2017 at 09:48 am

SB and I have been living in a travel trailer for the past week. It's a 22 footer. Yep, space is at a premium for sure. Smile

I am enjoying the beautiful surroundings, the friendliness of the people in the town center, and spying critters during my commute. Mostly I see deer and wild turkeys. This city girl is charmed by each one.

There is so much new in my life these days!

I am settling in at work and starting to get the hang of the workflow here.

I can breathe so much better and am already more active. I joined a Curves gym right up the street from work and have already dropped a couple of pounds. I hope a few of their friends are soon to follow. Smile

Tonight SB and I are joining another couple and taking a picnic dinner to a local winery. They have live music and wine for sale. The winery offers this event on Friday nights all summer long. We've been twice already. Tonight is the last one until next year.

Tomorrow I will head to my house, spending one night. I will box up and donate some more stuff. Oh, the never-ending stuff! How did I get so much of it?

First Week Under My Belt

August 26th, 2017 at 07:32 am

I am home from my first week of work. It looks as though I never mentioned that SB will be working at his job until August 31st. Therefore, we are moving up to the timber property on Labor Day weekend. In the meanwhile, I stayed Sun - Thurs in the spare room of friends who live in my new area. I plan to do the same thing this coming week.

At the timber property, there are 5 houses. Two houses are currently occupied: one tenant who SB wants to keep, and one caretaker who is in the process of being evicted. The three remaining houses are not currently livable, except as camping sites. Two could be made livable with some repairs and not-too-outrageously-much money; the third needs major work. We plan to move into the house currently occupied by the caretaker. Until the house is available, we will be temporarily living in a travel trailer. Which, by the way, we still need to buy.

So how was work? So much new. Working for the government is an entirely different ballgame. Everyone I have met is very nice and the atmosphere is very pleasant. Most of what I learned this past week had to do with the overall organization and structure of the County, it's policies, etc. I did learn about my actual job duties too. I do not feel up-to-speed yet at all, and still have a lot to learn.

As far as my own personal finances, I have learned:

- I will be paid every other Friday, 26 times per year.

- The County does not participate in Social Security, so no Fica-SS will be deducted from my pay.

- The County pays most of my contribution to the pension plan, but I am required to contribute 3% of my gross.

- My pension tier is 2% at 62. This means that once I vest (5 years of service), I will be eligible to receive 2% of my annual salary for each year I have worked once I have both retired and reached age 62. For example, if I work from now until age 65 then retire, I will have 14.5 years of service. 14.5 years x 2% x my salary = my annual benefit. This example would mean an annual pension of approximately 15k, assuming no cost of living raises or promotions.

- The County will pay 80% of my health insurance, while I will pay 20%. Also, there is a section 125 cafeteria plan, so I can pay my 20% pre-tax.

- There are 5 different health plans to choose from; 3 are Blue Shield plans and 2 are Kaiser plans. There is one Kaiser plan which is by far the best value of the 5, in my opinion. However, with Kaiser, you must go to Kaiser facilities for all medical services. (In the event either life or limb are in jeopardy, they will cover your out-of-network medical care, but they get to decide if it was justified or not). The nearest Kaiser facility to my new workplace is 40 minutes away. My new home is an additional 40 minutes further away. It is simply too far to go for medical care. There are doctors and a small hospital in the same town as my new workplace. Therefore, I am opting for a Blue Shield plan.

- The Blue Shield plan I have chosen has the highest premium of all 5 plans, but looking at the prescription coverage, the deductible, and the maximum out-of-pocket, I estimate it will be the lowest total cost Blue Shield plan for me.

- The Blue Shield plan I have chosen is compatible with an HCRA plan (health care reimbursement account). This means I will be able to elect an amount to be deducted pre-tax from my pay to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses. The HCRA plan will issue me a debit card, which I can swipe when making co-pays.

- At the end of each calendar year, any amount above $500 in the HCRA is forfeit to the County. Therefore, I will be conservative with the amount I am choosing to contribute.

- I will also have a dental plan and a vision plan.

- Cafeteria plan deductions are taken 24 times each calendar year, even though there are 26 pay periods. The two "extra" paychecks (the third paycheck in a calendar month) have no deduction for cafeteria plans, and thus are a bit larger.

- I will be covered on my new health insurance beginning 9/1/17. Because health insurance premiums are paid in advance, I should have paid for September in August. Since it takes awhile to get me into the system, my first cafeteria plan deduction won't happen until my second paycheck in September. Therefore, that second September paycheck rightfully should have premiums for both September and October deducted. Instead, I will pay double deductions for three paychecks. The second September paycheck will pay for September; the first October paycheck will pay for October; and the second October paycheck will pay for November. (I just used two semi-colons in one sentence!). After that, I will be on track and each paycheck will have half of one month's premium deducted.

- It is unlikely I will be contributing to the 457 plan from my very first paycheck. It takes awhile for me to be in the system and there are forms to submit, an outside party to be contacted, etc.

- The County has 2 vendors for its 457 plan. The vendors are Nationwide and CalPers. Nationwide offers some institutional shares of Vanguard index funds. I was fairly excited about this, until I saw the administrative fees Nationwide charges. Nope. I am opting for CalPers. They offer target retirement funds built from State Street index funds. The total cost is much less with CalPers than with Nationwide. I notice that their target retirement funds are too conservative for my tastes, so I plan to go with the 2050 fund.

- My union dues are 1.25% of gross + $1.

Taking all of the above into account, I calculate that once all is running smoothly (double cafeteria plan deductions are done and 457 plan contributions are happening) my take home pay will be $1,168.30 per paycheck. So that is what I am using to build my post-house-sale budget.

Spendy, Spendy, Spendy

August 9th, 2017 at 04:30 pm

It has been very spendy around here lately. In addition to the new-to-me car, I have recently bought some new clothes, a new laptop, and a new phone.

I am changing cell phone companies, as the area to which I am moving has spotty cell reception. Locals use Verizon and swear it is the only reliable company to use. I do know with Ting, I cannot get any cell phone reception on SB's property, but can get one bar if I drive into town. Ting's coverage map says otherwise.

I went with a prepaid Verizon plan. For $50.00 plus taxes per month, I will get 7mb of high-speed data, plus unlimited talk and text. So more than I have been paying, but not too bad. My phone is only a year old, but I can't use it with Verizon. They had an acceptable substitute for $179.99 plus tax.

The laptop set me back $835. I wanted a decent one with plenty of memory, a touch screen, and Microsoft Office.

Last Saturday night, I attended a jazz concert with a group of friends. The music was so good, and the company was lovely.

This coming weekend, SB and I are heading to Reno to meet some friends and enjoy a little get away.

I haven't learned many new details about my new job. I do know that the pay schedule is bi-weekly, so that will be a change too. So many changes!

I will be making less than I make now. I plan to claim single-0 on my W-4 since after 2017 I will no longer be itemizing deductions. I plan to contribute 15% to the 457 plan right from my very first paycheck.

My first day of work is also the first day of a new pay period, so my first paycheck should be in the regular amount I can expect every payday.

Until my house is sold, I expect I will need to dip into savings every month. Hopefully, there won't be more than a handful of those kind of months.

My budget will be in a state of flux for awhile, but I am already thinking about what it will be once everything settles. I am going to try more sinking funds for various expenses, rather than just one "CurveBall" fund. It is easy for me to spend money which isn't already ear-marked for something specific.

I had lunch today with a client who has become a good friend. I have two more such lunches scheduled for next week. Some parts of this move are much easier than others.

New Job Start Date; Bought an AWD Vehicle

August 3rd, 2017 at 11:03 am

I am starting my new job on Monday, August 21. I will work at my old job until Friday, August 18. I have an awful lot to do and not much time in which to do it.

Last night, I browsed CarMax's website. The lot right here in my town had an 08 Honda CRV with 82k on the odometer and they were asking 13k for it. I went down to see it, and it is clean as a whistle and nicely equipped. They offered me 6.5k for my car. So, I signed the papers and drove home in the CRV.



It's the blue one. (The newer grey one to the left belongs to my co-worker). It is nice enough, will do the job, and the price was right.

I put nothing down but the 6.5k. I chose to purchase an extended warranty to 150k miles. I've never purchased an extended warranty before, but I opted for it this time. I financed the remaining balance due at 3.95%, and plan to pay in full when my house is sold.

Conditional Job Offer! :)

August 1st, 2017 at 06:56 pm

I received a conditional job offer today! (I must pass my background check). As you can probably guess, I am tickled pink!!

I am having laptop issues so am posting this from my phone. My monthly net worth statement will have to wait.

Job Hunting Update

July 29th, 2017 at 10:46 am

This past week, I had two in-person interviews and one phone interview for the same job classification in three different county departmets. I think that all 3 went rather well. So that much is good, but of course other applicant interviews might have went well too.

When I got home Wednesday from my two in-person interviews, I had an email inviting me to schedule a second round interview. So, I scheduled that for this coming Tuesday. I already have an in-person interiew scheduled for this coming Thursday.

Here is a snip from my account on governmentjobs.com:



Which departments are these interviews for? It doesn't say. The e-mails didn't say, either. Notice they all say "second round interviews". That's nice, but also incorrect. One intervew was scheduled before I went to the first round interviews. (This one is the biggest mystery. Is it for a 4th department? Surely a department didn't schedule me for a second round interview before they interviewed me the first time?) That third one on the list is the telephone interview I had Thursday, which was definitely first round. So...the site is glitchy maybe?

So, it's a bit confusing, but I think it's going pretty well. I really hope to get a job offer. It doesn't matter which department, I will take it.

I have Googled to see if I can find info on the county's 457 plan and pension plan. I did find that the county pays the employee's pension plan contribution. That's VERY nice. I also found some minutes from a meeting 10 years ago when the county voted to change some of the 457 plan offerings. Included was a list of investment choices available, and I was very pleased to see a couple of Vanguard index choices on the list. Hopefully they havn't since removed them.

Of course, if I am offered a job I will be given all of this information, but I am antsy to know NOW.

At work, they have decided what they are going to do and so that plan is moving forward nicely. They haven't given me a final date and I haven't given them one. I think I should choose one whether I am offered a county job or not, as I have LOTS to do at home to prepare for this move. At the same time, there is some work I would like to finish before I leave. This is the hardest part. Much harder than saying good-bye to my house.

Test Results Are In; Planners, Planners Everywhere

July 22nd, 2017 at 11:48 am

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.

Home From Colorado Springs

July 8th, 2017 at 03:26 pm

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. Smile

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.

A New To SB Car

June 9th, 2017 at 09:05 am

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.

Here Comes My Next Life Chapter

June 6th, 2017 at 07:21 pm

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!

RIP Buster

June 5th, 2017 at 07:54 pm

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.

Bank Purely Savings Account Experience

May 27th, 2017 at 11:40 am

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.

Banking Purely

May 1st, 2017 at 08:51 pm

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!

https://www.bankpurely.com/

Wedding Day

April 30th, 2017 at 06:24 pm

The afternoon was sunny and warm. The ceremony was simple and tasteful. My son is now a married man.


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