Layout:
Home > Category: Uncategorized

Viewing the 'Uncategorized' Category

I Got The Job :)

August 20th, 2022 at 02:53 am

Well, I got the job.  I will start on 9/12/22.  I'm very excited.  I think it is going to be an opportunity for professional growth.  To clarify, I will still be working for my local county, just in a different role in a different department.  Smile

Hello Saving Advice

April 21st, 2022 at 03:42 pm

I haven't made a post in almost a year.  (In my last post, I had just booked a cruise.  Now it is almost time to embark.) For most of that time, I had nothing much to report.  Things were just chugging along as planned.  Go to work, get paid, save as much of it as possible.  As exciting as watching paint dry.  Smile

More recently, I have had a health issue to deal with.  I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  The good news is that it was detected very early and my prognosis is excellent.  I have had surgery (lumpectomy and sentinal lymph node removal) and expect to begin radiation at the end of May.  It appears I will not need chemo, but no one can say for certain until the test results on my lymph node are in.  For the next few months, I will be off work and focusing on recovery.

Recently at work, budget was approved for a new position in a different department which is a good fit for me.  The department head approached me and asked if I was interested.  It turns out that I am.  For her to offer me the job, I must be on the eligibility list.  Towards that end, I have submitted an application, been deemed by HR to possess the minimum qualifications, and have taken a written test.  If I have a passing score, I will be placed on the eligibility list.   If I get this job, it will be a nice bump in pay for me.  Currently, I am topped out and earn $57,900 per year.  This position tops out at approximately 70k.  It would take me 2 years to reach that, but still it would be so good for my bottom line. 

Sad News Re: Ima Saver

April 12th, 2021 at 05:36 pm

Be sure to read the recent comment left on Ima Saver's last blog post here: 

Text is https://imasaver.savingadvice.com/2016/07/26/i-am-still-here_209394/#comments and Link is
https://imasaver.savingadvice.com/2016/07/26/i-am-still-here...

Sadly, Julie has passed away.   icantsave thoughtfully left a link to her obituary:  

https://www.mountainviewfuneralhome.com/obituary/julia-denski

 

A Wrinkle in My Debt Payoff Plan

March 12th, 2021 at 07:46 pm

I thought I would be out of debt approximately 1 month from now.  However, I don't think it is going to work out quite that way.

I went to bed Monday evening and woke up about 1am Tuesday morning, having trouble getting a breath.  I got out of bed, used my inhaler, sat in a chair so I was upright, and waited.  Around 4am, I was still having trouble, so decided I would go to urgent care.  They ended up admitting me to the hospital; I was discharged yesterday.

It turns out that my blood pressure had gone really high, causing problems for my heart and my lungs had filled with fluid.  I am seeing a cardiologist and I am now on quite a mix of medications which are keeping my blood pressure where it should be.   I do have a good insurance plan, so while I am expecting some medical bills to pay, I am not expecting that they will be catastrophically large.  Still, I will make no more additional principal payments until the medical bills have all been received and paid.

I had a Dr. appointment this morning and am home taking it easy now.  I will go back to work Monday.

I have not yet heard a thing from the local water district.

Yesterday's Interview

March 6th, 2021 at 03:42 pm

I feel that my interview yesterday went very, very well.  There were 3 people interviewing me via Zoom; the same two people who interviewed me last time and a third person.  And I learned that they currently have 2 open positions.  It is a small office, so 2 open positions must be quite a hardship on the others.  They intend to make a decision next week.  So, we will see.  If they do not offer me a position now, then they just aren't interested in hiring me.  I do not know how many qualified candidates they interviewed.

Right now, I earn $25.79 per hour, and I am topped out.  I can't earn more unless I promote to a higher position.  The water district has 3 classifications of Administrative Aide (I, II, and III), and each has 7 pay steps.  There is some overlap between them (bottom step Administrative Aide II is less than top step Administrative Aide I), and they do have some discretion to start you or promote you as they see fit.  Still, the position is clearly for Administrative Aide I.  Bottom step is $17.50 per hour.  So you can see, that is a significant cut from $25.79 per hour.  I may not have to start at bottom step, but then again, I may have to do just that.  

Last summer when I interviewed, I still owed 27k on the 5th wheel.  Taking a pay cut to $17.50 would have been the end of accelerated payments, and I felt very hesitant to pursue such a plan.  I didn't want to spend years making only minimum payments, I wanted the debt gone.   At this point, however, it almost is gone, so isn't as much of a concern.

There are very few jobs up here period.  Most of the jobs which are here are very low paid.  It is pretty amazing to me that a CalPers covered clerical job is here at all, much less in an office 10 minutes from home.  I would be extremely grateful to land this job, $17.50 or not.

Have An Interview This Friday

March 4th, 2021 at 02:20 am

Remember last summer when I interviewed for a position at the local water district, with the office right in my tiny town?  I'm not sure if I ever mentioned it, but they did eventually send me a letter just saying that someone else had been a better fit but that they encouraged me to apply again in the future.  Well, last week they had another opening and I did just that.  I have a Zoom interview this Friday.  So, we will see.   

Last time, I wasn't positive that I wanted it.  This time, I am sure.  I hope that will come across in the interview.  It would be a pay cut, but with my debt nearly gone, it's not so much of an issue.  I would continue to earn service credits towards my pension, I would have health insurance, and I would be a 10 minute drive from home.  That is sounding really good to me.  Wish me luck. Smile

Want an Easy $1,500?

February 5th, 2021 at 03:02 am

I was cleaning out my email inbox today and I came across an email which caught my interest.  It was from CitiBank and it was about a promotional sign-up bonus to open a checking/savings account package.  I have never done one of these offers as they are typically not enough to tempt me.  However, this one is.

If you bring 200k or more to CitiBank, the sign-up bonus is $1,500.   It doesn't have to be 200k in cash, just 200k in total.  Investment accounts, such as IRAs, count towards that 200k.  Included in the deal is free etf trades for brokerage accounts.  This works fine for me as I hold nothing but etfs in my traditional IRA anyway.  

If you bring 50k or more, the sign-up bonus is $700.

If you are interested in this deal for yourself, you can read the details here:  Citibank Savings Bonus: Up To $1,500 | Bankrate

There are a few drawbacks, such as the $150 fee I will pay to transfer my IRA from Wells Fargo, the hassle of changing direct deposit, automatic transfers, etc.  And, there is no Citibank branch conveniently located to me.  There is a Citibank ATM not too far from my office, but that's it.  (If I wanted a cashier's check or something else you can only do in a branch, I'd have to drive about 1.5 hours from home, each way.) However, the account does include non-Citibank ATM fee reimbursement, so access to cash is not an issue.

I haven't made up my mind yet, but I am leaning towards it.

 

My Little Nest Egg

December 1st, 2020 at 04:04 am

My little nest egg has broken 400k.  Smile    

Looking back, it broke 200k on 5/22/14, just over 6.5 years ago.  

Safe From Fork Fire

September 23rd, 2020 at 03:02 am

The past two weeks have been a bit topsy-turvy for us. First with the planned power outage, then with the Fork fire starting during the outage, about 26 miles from our home. The mandatory evacuation line was about a mile past our place, but we chose to voluntarily evacuate.

The evacuation order has since been lifted and the fire is fairly well under control. It is expected to be out soon. We are safe and fine.

We had some extra expenses during the evacuation which SB and I split. I am behind on my bookkeeping, but will catch up eventually.

We are crazy busy at work. My department has undertaken a BIG project on top of our regular work, and just as we were getting started one person left. (She got a big promotion and is now working in another department.) When I get home at night, I just put my feet up and relax. Catching up on my bookkeeping just hasn't been my priority.






Had An Interview

August 4th, 2020 at 03:20 am

On Thursday, I interviewed via Zoom for the job at the local water district. It went pretty well, but of course they have other candidates. They said they will be making a decision "early next week", which is this week. So, we will see what happens. I keep alternating between being excited for a shorter drive and thinking no, making less money would be a mistake.

On Saturday, my mom drove up for the day and brought along a friend of mine who lives in her town. (This is the same friend who occasionally comes to my mom's house when we are playing cards.) They got here early and we played cards all morning and into early afternoon. We have a canopy set up outside, with a mister, and you can hear the gurgling of the creek. It is a great place to hang out. SB grilled some burgers for lunch. They left around 4pm; the day went by so fast. It was so nice to have someone come to see us! It doesn't happen often.


Applied for a New Job

July 11th, 2020 at 02:27 am

Well, I applied for a job this week. It pays less than the job I have now. Why would I do this, one might wonder. The job is for the local water district, and their office is 10 minutes from my home. Right now, I spend a minimum of 45 minutes commuting each way. That's in good weather and with no road construction projects. Currently, I am taking a longer route due to 3 (!) construction projects on my usual route. It is just under an hour each way.

I'm not entirely certain if I hope that I get this job or hope that I don't. I really have some great co-workers and I don't have a desire to work as many hours while making less money. But, getting an extra 1.5 hours of free time daily is VERY appealing. Also, I would save a bit on gas and car maintenance.

The opening came up, I happened to see it, and just felt I had to give it a try. We'll see.

Made Dental Decision; Tax Returns Filed

January 26th, 2020 at 01:25 am

So I did end up cancelling the appointment to do the prep work for the implants. They re-scheduled for the crowns, but I have decided I am going to cancel that too. I am just not happy about the abrupt change in treatment plans. The former dentist, whom I really liked, said that I needed more fillings and a deep cleaning (below the gum lines). The new dentist says I don't need any of that, but do need crowns. The former dentist said nothing about needing crowns.

Maybe I am completely wrong, but I kind of get the vibe that I am more a source of revenue than a patient. I am going to get another opinion and most likely switch dentists.

Yesterday was payday and I sent $374.25 off to my dental sinking fund. I wish that I were sending it off towards the 5th wheel loan instead.

I filed my tax returns this morning using Credit Karma's free service. I am expecting a total of $1,109 between federal and state. Those dollars will go into the dental fund too.

We have booked our Panama Canal cruise ("we" being my mom, my nephew, my daughter and I). Sailing on the Caribbean Princess, with stops in Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama. Should be a great deal of fun.

Ten Years Ago

January 2nd, 2020 at 12:19 am

Ten years ago on 1/1/10, I was already happily divorced and had been living in the only house I ever bought all by myself for just over 1 year (purchased 11/30/08). My adult nephew was living with me. My son was just 14 and I shared custody of him with my ex-husband; my daughter was 19 and was already married and living in Indiana. I had been dating SB for a few months (we met in September of 2009).

Financially, I had not yet started budgeting. Oh, I kept track of my bills, paid everything on time, did not overdraft, etc. but had never had an actual written budget. I had no debt but my mortgage (it was during 2010 that I accumulated about 4k of consumer debt and realized that I needed a written budget). I had a savings account, a traditional IRA, a Simple IRA, and had contributed a total of 4k to my Roth IRA. I don't know exactly how much my retirement savings totaled, but I do know that I broke 100k for the first time in 2007, just before that big correction. It took about a year and a half to get back there, so my best guesstimate for portfolio value on 1/1/10 is 100k-125k.

I was worried about my home value as prices had fallen and I was underwater quite a bit. It felt like a huge weight on my shoulders.

I was happy at my job and was thinking I would work full-time until age 65. I had relinquished my dream of world travel when I signed away my claim to ex-husband's pension. I was not yet thinking that I could still have a nomadic retirement but in a different (more modest) way.

I was happy with my life, but I am happier now. Smile

Favorite You Tube Channels?

December 30th, 2019 at 01:40 am

One of our main sources of entertainment is watching YouTube. I watch financial channels, full time RVing channels, and OK a crochet video every now and then.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled on to Quest to FIRE. The vlogger is a 30 something married woman w/ no kids living in NC, working towards her FIRE goals. She has a great sense of humor and is fun to watch. I think this is my favorite channel right now.

I also used to really like GazelleIntents, who were doing the Dave Ramsey thing. They were a young engaged couple when I started watching, and they were just adorable. Then they got married, had a beautiful baby, she got some promotions and became the sole bread winner while he was doing the full-time sahd thing, but then they took down their channel. Frown

Another FIRE channel I really like is GoWithLess. This couple is late 40s/ early 50s, FIREd a year or two ago, and are just about to embark on full-time world traveling (not RVing).

My favorite RVing channels are EnjoyTheJourney.Life and Long Long Honeymoon.

Anyone have any favorite YouTube channels they want to share?

An Exciting Possibility :)

November 6th, 2019 at 04:40 am

So last Sunday, a friend of mine from my old area came up for the day with her mom and her 23 year old son. This particular friend and I met when we were in the same 3rd grade class. That's been a few years back at this point! She is a country girl; grew up in the country, has horses, etc.

They came in the late morning and stayed until early evening. It was her first time up here to visit me. We had a very pleasant day.

Yesterday morning, she texted me that she and her husband (who has yet to visit here) talked about it and decided that they would like to purchase one of the houses in disrepair and 2 acres from SB. For now, they would come up on the weekends to work on the house. Eventually, they would move here. I said I would pass that on to SB and they would have to discuss it.

Apparently, they had decided they will not retire in the beautiful home and acreage they have now, but will sell to their son and move elsewhere. (They would never sell out of their family, she lives on property her great-grandparents purchased way back when. At this point there are multiple family members in homes on land which was once part of the original property purchase).

It turned out, SB is not opposed to the idea. He said they would have to talk about a lot of details first, to be sure everyone is on the same page.

I am trying to not get too excited about this idea, just in case it doesn't work out. But my goodness, this would be so great!

My Daughter and Son-in-Law Buying First Home

October 27th, 2019 at 10:58 pm

I have known for awhile that my daughter and son-in-law have been looking at different homes and considering both traditional and alternative homes. When my daughter was here a month ago, she shared that they were no longer looking in Colorado as prices have gotten so high, but were instead looking in southern Illinois.

Today I learned...they found a place and are transacting business tomorrow. It is a modest single wide mobile home on a small piece of land (half an acre), and they are paying cash for it. I am so excited for them! They will no longer be paying rent and so will be able to quickly save for whatever they choose to do next. You may remember, my daughter is currently attending college. She will be able to continue online, so this move will not disrupt her educational goals.

In other news, our power went out Wednesday afternoon, came back on Thursday evening, went out again on Saturday. It is crazy windy today; unsure at this point when power will be restored.

We went to my mom's yesterday and spent the day. I had cousins visiting from out of state. When we returned home last night, it was surreal driving on the highway through towns with no power. It was so very dark.

I have seen video footage of fires on the side of the road next to cars lined up to cross the Carquinez bridge in Vallejo, a bridge I have crossed myself many times.

Tomorrow is a payroll processing day, a task which is deemed essential. I am to report for work at 1pm to a county building (with a generator) which is not my regular workplace. Three others from my department have received the same instructions. My little piece of payroll processing takes 3-4 hours to complete. We will all be paid time and a half for our worked hours; everyone receives straight time for their missed work hours. I did not work last Thursday at all; this coming Tuesday is still an unknown.

Early this past Wednesday morning, a sheriff's deputy (in our county) was killed in the line of duty. He was only 37, had a wife and 3 children. I did not know him, but some of my coworkers did. It was a very emotional day.

Plant Based Diet?

October 22nd, 2019 at 05:01 pm

Anyone here on a plant based diet? Frugal Texan is I believe, any others?

Looking for some information resources and will happily take your suggestions.

Thanks!

Another Power Outage

October 22nd, 2019 at 02:16 am

We were informed today that PG&E will be turning off our power this Wednesday at 2 pm. The plan is to turn it back on Thursday at noon. However, turning it back on is a process which takes 24-48 hours.

So it looks like I will have some more non-working paid hours this week.

I don't mind being paid for hanging out with SB and Bella at home, but it is a frustrating interruption to keeping up with my work.

There are 15 counties affected by this planned power outage.

Budget and spending are going well for the month. Nothing else to report.

Power Is Out

October 10th, 2019 at 05:38 pm

My area is experiencing a planned power outage. The power went out early Wednesday morning between midnight and 4am. The utility company, PG&E, said to plan on no power for up to 7 days.

As you know, I work for the county in a clerical position. While some county buildings are equipped with generators, mine is not.

My office was told to report for work Wednesday morning as usual and await further instructions. So I did, sat in the dark twiddling my thumbs for 40 minutes along with my co-workers, at which time we were instructed to leave and report back this morning at 8am.

I drove the 23 miles home and enjoyed a pleasant day with SB and Bella. (We have a small generator, fresh water in the tank, propane, and battery backup. Not everything works when there is no power, and of course we have to conserve since what we have has to last, but we manage fine).

This morning I got ready for work, drove 23 miles to get there, and by 8:05 was told to go home and come back tomorrow at 8am. So, now I am home again. I am pleasantly surprised to have a bar on my phone, so this entry is what you get.

Some people around here are very angry about this power shut-off. But I feel it is to be expected. If PG&E is going to be held financially responsible for fires starting from downed power lines during windy weather conditions, what choice do they have? Of course they are going to turn off power when high winds are expected. And if that's safer, then I am all for it. A little inconvenience is nothing compared to the loss of life and property suffered by people in the town of Paradise.

I am being paid for these days without using any of my accrued vacation or comp time.

Tomorrow, SB will take the little travel trailer down to my mom's house in the central valley, where power is not currently disrupted. We will spend the weekend there.

Glad to be Back! / A Savvy Friend

October 7th, 2019 at 03:34 am

Well, thanks to CeeJay, I was able to recover quite a few entries. Some I found were not cached so I could not recover them, and I don't doubt some I just did not find. Oh well, it isn't as if the world has lost anything or even noticed.

Yesterday I went over to a friend's to help her with her QuickBooks. This is the same friend I mentioned a few months ago who was living in a 5th wheel while building a new house. The house is still not done, but it is done enough that they have moved in. The house is absolutely gorgeous, they chose to do it in Tuscan villa style. It is VERY upscale, but they didn't spend nearly what you might think at first sight.

When they got a quote for the cabinets (kitchen, baths, linen, storage), it came in at 121k. (A big part of that is she wanted high cabinets with arches.) Well, that was far more than she wanted to pay, so she got on eBay. She found someone on the east coast who was selling beautiful high end custom cabinets and granite. It was all 8 years old and the person was redecorating. My friend spent 12k including shipping last year, then stored it (on her own property). When the house was ready for the cabinets and granite, her second-hand stuff went in. It looks fabulous.

She got most of her light fixtures, ceiling fans, and french doors the same way. Someone who had a Tuscan style home in Folsom was redecorating and sold it to her cheap.

If you did not know, you would never guess.

The house sits on a ridge, and you look out towards Folsom lake in the distance. Their house is all glass to the west, opens on to a patio with outdoor kitchen and fireplace. I took this pic with my phone. The picture quality is not great, but I think it gives you an idea of their view.



How awful, right? Oh, and I had to take a pic of their dog, Gracie. She is such a sweetie. Plus, you get a look at the main tile they chose. (In their entryway, there is a wood and tile pattern).

Cross-Stitch Project

October 4th, 2019 at 03:40 am

Originally Published 09/21/19

I have been meaning to share this. I did this project for my little great-niece, born earlier this year. At one time, I did a lot of cross-stitch. It had been years, but I wanted to make something for the long-awaited sweet baby girl of my grand-niece and her husband. I enjoyed doing it, and have already begun another project.