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Archive for June, 2012

Ting Phones Activated; New Budget

June 20th, 2012 at 01:46 am

I activated the two phones I purchased new from Ting this evening. UPS says my package is arriving tomorrow. So assuming the seller didn't just send me a box of rocks, I should be able to activate that one tomorrow. My new monthly cell bill will be $41 plus taxes. Buh-bye, AT & T!

Here is my new monthly budget starting in July (except that in July I will pay off Citi MC and pay for Ting phones and breaking contract with AT & T, since no mortgage payment is due).

Isn't this a nice change? Look at that new monthly deposit to savings number! This is much, MUCH better. Smile

Other changes:

*smaller take home pay, since I will be bumping up my Simple IRA contributions by $50 per month. I estimate this will cost me $40 in take home pay.

*new lower mortgage payment

*new lower utilities budget, which I totally think I can do!

*gym membership is gone for now. I am walking the trail near my house and using Wii Fit instead.

*monthly Roth contribution is going up.

I am so tickled about these changes. I am looking forward to updating my sidebar under "Debts". That's how you know for certain that I am a nerd.

Successfully Purchased Used Ting Flip Phone

June 19th, 2012 at 12:12 am

Well, I was able to purchase a flip phone for my mom used, from another Ting customer. He made a small profit at my expense, but I am still ahead, so I am OK with that. The phone shipped today and should be in my hot little hands in the next day or two.

I was a bit nervous about the transaction, because what if the other party stiffed me? But he forwarded his confirmation email from Ting from when he purchased the phone, so I knew that he had one a few weeks ago. That made me feel better. He emailed me Saturday that he had received the cashier's check I mailed him, and that he would ship the phone today. I checked with UPS and he did ship me a package this afternoon. So I guess my gamble has paid off.

Tonight I need to charge the phones I bought for J and myself, then make sure I have a good list of all my contact phone numbers. I don't know if I can simply transfer the data or not. But I don't have a whole lot of numbers in my phone, so if I have to key them in again, its no big deal.

I am anxious now to get my service switched over and start enjoying my new much lower cell bill.

Yesterday I bought myself a big floppy hat and some water shoes, as well as a couple of brightly colored shirts. I picked up a few things for J as well. I paid for them with gift cards I got for free as a credit card sign up bonus. I just love credit card rewards!

Tonight I plan to swing by Target and pick up some snorkeling gear. It will be cheaper to buy our own than to rent by the hour. Maybe I will try to sell it as we are leaving. I surely don't have much use for it at home.

I transferred $800 from vacation fund to checking, which I will withdraw over the next few days. I will try to spend no more than that, so that the rest of the money in Vacation Fund will be the start of our next vacation. But if I go over, then I do. Some of the activities are expensive. I try to choose wisely, but can't say no to everything. If I did that, we might as well just stay home.

I pulled $485 from CurveBall for J's camp. I had put it on my Visa and it was time to pay up. Ex-h says he will pay half but it will be over the next few months. Whatever.

My brother had 2 new grandbabies on the same day last week. The babies are cousins. One of my nieces had a c-section scheduled, her sister went into early labor the same day. The babies were born in the same hospital, too. We have some sweet pictures of them all swaddled and lying next to each other. Both babies are perfectly healthy. That makes an even dozen grandbabies for my brother! And 15 great nieces and nephews for me. Smile If I never have a grandchild of my own to spoil, I will spoil the greats instead.

The Continuing Saga of Switching Cell Plans

June 13th, 2012 at 04:51 pm

Still waiting for Ting to have a flip phone available.

J's phone arrived yesterday. I looked it over, and you know, I think it will be just fine for me. So I ordered one for myself.

I went to AT & T's website, and apparently I can switch my Mom to a prepaid plan using the same phone she has now. So that is what I am going to do in the meanwhile. Hopefully, Ting will come through with a flip phone soon.

I have AT & T for internet too. It is so slow, and I pay $48 some months and $58 other months. It is supposed to be high speed, but that is a laugh. I did a test, and I download at a rate of less than 1 mbps! Comcast is available in my area. I can get service with a speed of up to 20 mbps for $33 per month plus taxes, no contract. So a little less than I pay now and faster internet. Sign me up.

Docs Are Signed & Notarized

June 12th, 2012 at 04:54 am

Went to my notary appointment on Friday. The docs are signed, notarized, and shipped via Fedex. Smile I won't close until June 29, but that's fine.

On Sunday, BF and I were doing some yard work, and he said to me "I have an idea. Why don't we use these rocks to make pavers?" What a good idea! I want some pavers, I don't want the rocks, and I want to spend as little as possible. All I need is cement mix and a form.

My daughter and son-in-law got their keys today. BF will be helping them move tomorrow while I am at work.

Work is so hectic right now. The other staff accountant is on vacation, so I am covering for her. We have hired a just-graduated-from-high-school girl to be our fill-in receptionist. She was off today, so I covered for her too. She will be there tomorrow though. In two weeks, the other staff accountant will be book at work and I will be off on my vacation! Can't hardly wait. Smile

Ting Update

June 7th, 2012 at 11:55 pm

I called Ting's customer service line today. They don't know when the flip phone will be available. The man I spoke said it could be today, or it could be a few weeks. Apparently, they are having supply issues.

Based on that, I went ahead today and ordered the Kyocera Brio phone they have available now for my son. I haven't ordered any service, just the phone. The price was $70.00 plus tax, free shipping. It has a QWERTY keyboard for texting, and I didn't want to risk them running out of that by the time they get the flip phone in stock.

I decided to just get a simple flip phone for myself as well as for my mother. The Brio doesn't close, it's kind of like a Blackberry. I don't think it would do well in my purse. And truthfully, I will be just as happy with the simple phone.

So I will just keep checking their site each day for the flip phone. As soon as they have it, I will order two of them and sign up for service.

Mortgage Docs Arrived

June 7th, 2012 at 03:29 pm

My sign-at-home mortgage docs arrived yesterday.

My new principal balance is $180,415.20. My new PITI payment is $1081.62.

Why the difference? Well, despite telling me they would transfer my existing impound account, they have added the funds for a new impound account to my balance. This means I will not have to make an additional deposit in a few months. It also means I will receive a refund from my existing impound account. The balance in the account is $1036.15.

If I look at my current principal balance, it is $178,617.49. The interest which will accrue in June will be $781.46. The new impound account is being funded with $1,243.47. Those three numbers add to $180,642.42, which is $227.22 less than the principal balance of my new mortgage. So, there really are no fees with this streamline refinance. Smile

My AT&T contract is now up (on 2 of our 3 phones), so I went to Ting's website last night, intending to sign up. They have eliminated the simple flip phone! I did find a thread in their forums stating they have replaced the one they offered (a Vero) with a different simple flip phone (a Samsung m370). However, it does not appear on the screen as a choice. So I'm trying to find out what the deal is with that. My mother will not use a phone with a million buttons. She just wants something simple with large buttons.

May 2012 Budget Report

June 1st, 2012 at 05:25 pm

I'm not too displeased with how I did in May. The huge overage in "Everything Else" is due to paying for vacation (planned and saved for), paying for son's summer camp (planned and saved for), and lending $500 to daughter and son-in-law (unplanned). If not for those, I would be under $200. What is left is the dentist and medical co-pays.

But I've been slipping in groceries. I've been a little too willing to pick up convenience foods at the grocery store, and even take n bake pizza at Papa Murphy's. And it shows. So, I've got to knock that off and stay under $450.

May 2012 Net Worth

June 1st, 2012 at 04:22 pm

Well, my Simple IRA money ($2,215.35) did not make it in time to show up on this net worth statement.

My cash is down due to paying for our Hawaii trip.

Investments are down due to market movements.

House value is down.

Car value is up. This continues to surprise me. I've done much better on the car I purchased new than the foreclosed house I purchased at a steep discount! Lol, who'd have ever suspected such a thing could be true?

Debt is down, but will soon jump up a little.

All in all, my net worth is sagging. It is frustrating, but ups and downs are to be expected. I am looking forward to my refi being done, switching my cell plan from AT & T to Ting, and switching my gym membership. Between the 3, I will be able to make nice increases to my monthly savings deposits.