Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A new purse

I am not really a purse gal. I have and use one, but one and only one. I use whatever purse I have until it wears out and then I'll buy a new one. I've been getting to the point where I need a new one, as mine is losing it's shape. But, I really do not enjoy purse shopping, so I've still been using it. Well, this morning I got an email from the lady I work for at my side job (her hubby owns the business and she works there and is my main point of contact) that she has a nice leather purse she bought on a trip to Argentina, but now that she's had it home, in the big city, she doesn't feel it fits her suburbia style. She thought it needs a home in a more rural/horse country area, LOL, so thought of me. She texted me a picture of it and said she'll send it to me, if I like it. It looks very nice and something I would like. It's kind of hard to tell how big it is, more of a satchel style (which I have never had) but hey - it's nice and free and I'm sure I'll use it. It's probably not something I would ever purchase for myself - mainly because I'm sure it was expensive and I don't think I have ever spent more than $35 for a purse. I don't need to have 10 $300 purses in my closet. LOL. It was very nice of her to think of me and offer it.

But, using this new purse I will need to get a wallet now! The past few purses I have had have the wallet built in. Those are kind of harder to find, but I've just kept buying them as I like not having to dig into a purse for a wallet. I can put a wallet on my Christmas wish list :)  This new purse also looks like the kind that you just dump everything into it. Which I probably won't like much for keys. My current purse has an outside pocket that I put the keys in and it's easy to find and even DH knows where to find the car keys easily.

What kind of purse gal are you? I know I'm probably not the norm when it comes to women and purses!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Dragging along

I was so tired yesterday. Ugh! I feel like I've been gradually zapping my energy bank since about last week and it's definitely caught up with me. On my day off last Friday I had to get up an hour and 15 minutes early then I normally do, because we had to drive an hour into the city for my dr. appt. first thing that morning. Add in a bit of crappy sleep that night because of dh's snoring. I was able to take a nap Friday afternoon, so I should have been good then. But each night DH has been snoring bad, for some reason, which is cutting down on my good sleep. Then Sunday night I stayed up almost an hour past my normal bedtime and then was awake (and then up) an hour earlier than my normal wake time because of our overnight house guest. By 3 pm yesterday (with still an hour and a half to work) I was about to fall asleep.

Making dinner was the last thing I felt like doing. Thankfully on the menu plan for last night was just heating up some BBQ spare ribs for 45 minutes. That didn't take a lot of work.  I tried to take a nap while it was cooking but DH kept talking.

I didn't do much M-Turk work at all Friday thru Sunday. About $1 worth is all. I was able to earn $5.45 today. When afternoon rolls around, I can't seem to get accepted to hits, that supposedly I'm qualified for. So far, I have earned about $52 total. I did a transfer to my bank account when I got to $33 and I think it hit my bank account the next day, maybe two days at most, so that was quick.

I'm just sitting in wait to see what DH's health insurance premiums will be for 2018. It's all such a huge mess. I had read that the insurer he is using had only requested a 4% increase (compared to the other two in this state wanting like 15-20% or more), but now that the subsidies have been stopped they have (with 2 weeks before open enrollment) been granted a change to increase their rates more than they had originally been approved to. I'm sure it will be another big hit to my budget. The really crappy part of all this is we still have to buy the same insurance plans and no choices. This is a small populated state and only 3 (and it sounds like this insurer he is with might not make it) to choose from there is no competition and all the rates are so high.  I wish we could at least have a larger market of insurers to choose from. If people want this gov't ran healthcare system, then we should be able to choose from any insurance companies in the whole country.

Plus, we just found out our property taxes here in this county are going way up, due to a school bond passing. It's apparently a progressive type of tax rate, so the more your home/property is worth the more you will be taxed. Once our house is built it will cost us about an extra $500 a year in property taxes, compared to what it would have been if it hadn't passed. For the next 20 years.

Our county is also facing issues with our sheriff's dept. It's a small department of like 7 sheriff's (sheriff, under-sheriff, sgt and 4 deputies). Two deputies have just quit (one took a job in neighboring county for better pay) and a third told DH on Sunday he's out the door as soon as he finds another job. Their pay is pathetic. The county council is a joke. Now because of the two that have quit the other two are basically on call 24 hrs a day, but the county doesn't want to pay them overtime....(they are union). Well, until they hire replacements, they have those two salaries not going out that can be used for the overtime! The one deputy DH talked to (he lives at the end of our street, across the street from corner) said he has a big crack in his windshield but they won't repair it....he said how am I supposed to give someone a ticket for a broken windshield when mine is broken? The vehicle he drives has like 175,000 miles on it.

I don't have all the answers to all these problems, that's for sure. I just know I'm really tired of paying these ridiculous health insurance premiums for really crappy insurance.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Weekend update

I took Friday off work. It was my half work day Friday and I had a dr. appointment in the morning.  I chose a doctor office in the city to try, rather than the one here in the small town. It's a women's and family health center. All women providers, apparently. I really liked it there. It was a nice office, very friendly staff and I didn't have to wait at all. I got my two prescriptions filled and scheduled my annual exam for next spring. It also worked out that it was time to pick up DH's cholesterol prescription, so now all of our prescriptions are on the same pick up schedule. Much easier. But, my doctor wrote my prescriptions for 90 days, with 1 refill, so enough to last me until I got back for my annual. When I got home with the prescriptions I noticed they were 30 day and only say 1 refill. So, I'm going to have to call the pharmacy and make sure it's 6 months worth of refills in some form or fashion.

Then we went and got our grocery shopping taken care of. I think I did pretty good for a two week shopping trip. Only spent $153 there, and then when we were at Target we spent $62 on laundry stuff, batteries, windshield wiper fluid, box of cereal and some Halloween candy. The cereal at the grocery store was $2.49 for a small box. I said lets wait and get it at Target. It was $2.77 for the big box.

Saturday I used up a couple of over ripe bananas and made a loaf of banana bread. We just kind of relaxed in the house all day. Watched a movie around noon. Washed the bedding on the guest bed to get that room ready for our friend staying Sunday. Then we watched a movie on Amazon Prime. Took a break midway through and I made dinner (chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes) and then finished the movie. Early that evening we took a walk, which was nice.

Sunday was a nice sunny day. DH did some outside house maintenance, while I vacuumed and dusted, washed my laundry. While DH watched a bit of the Nascar race I fell asleep on the couch. Our friend arrived around 4pm. I made spaghetti for dinner and we all went to bed around 10pm, as he was getting up by 6am to get going. He and his wife have a plan to move to Tennessee in 2 years  (for same reasons we wanted out of where we used to live). She is also hoping to keep her good job and work remotely. 

Even though it was a 3 day weekend for me, it sure didn't really feel like one. I have a feeling this is going to feel like a long week, for some reason.

Friday, October 13, 2017

PTO, a house guest, hurt feelings

I was looking at my paystub. I have 205 hours of PTO accrued. I need to take some vacation! That is 5 weeks of time. Now, since this also would include taking any sick time off, I like to leave a couple of weeks on the books just for that. But still........3 weeks. This is after I just used 4 1/2 days of it. LOL. Since we rarely take vacations, I usually just  use it for staycation time. I usually always take off two weeks between Christmas and New Years, but with our generous holiday time off given, I only have to use a week of my time. Plus I earn almost 2 days per month. I'm out earning my taking. HA!
I seem to prefer taking a day or two here and there, but that sure doesn't use it up very fast, if I'm only doing that every few months.  Plus, any time I do take off, for the most part no one does my work.

We may have a house guest on Sunday. One of DH's friends from our old neighborhood is driving through (going all the way to Tennessee) and will probably stop at our house and spend the night. He'll have driven about 7-8 hours by then, so he said he'll be ready to stop for the day. I think I'll just make spaghetti for dinner that night. I think he is just traveling by himself.  He and his wife are the guardians for his 6 year old niece, so I'm assuming his wife is staying home with her. So, far, not counting our daughter, we have had two other over night visitors since we moved here. I have to say, that in the 28 years we lived at our old house we had like two! Seriously! I'm very glad I have a nice guestbedroom here, with a nice comfy queen sized bed for guests.

DH sent our builder another email on Sunday evening. Taking my advice and asking him to commit to a day/time to meet at our property as soon as possible. He replied back on Tuesday evening and said next week should work and he'll call much for getting him to commit to a date. I'm pretty sure if he blows us off this time, we'll be looking for a new builder.

DH got his feelings hurt the other night by his good friend that lives in the area. He's made a couple of comments since we moved here about DH not working (he knows why). Stuff like "you should get a job" or "well, ya you get to do such and such because you don't have to work".  Or, "my company is looking for someone, you should come work there" DH again, says to him, I can't go drive a cement mixer truck for 8-10 hours a day with my muscle condition. He can't even get medically approved for a CDL anymore. DH loves Facebook and loves to have fun and make funny posts. This guys wife is kind of like my DH - she loves to joke and tease on FB and they tease each other about the weather, mostly. DH loves snow, she loves hot weather. So, knowing that snow was supposed to happen overnight (yes! we got like an inch of snow when I woke up yesterday morning!) he made a cute/funny post on Facebook about the snow. He figured out how to make and "event" of Snow Watch and tagged our friend's wife in it, as the co-host. She replied with a funny gif type thing of "I hate you". A couple others liked the post and a couple others commented. Then friend comes in and says "you need a job, you have too much time on your hands". Like DH says to me, he already feels bad/depressed enough that he can't work, he doesn't need to be reminded of it and doesn't need someone else, who isn't living in his body, telling him he needs to go get a job. DH just kind of made a joke to his comment that "oh, it's a full time job trying to annoy your wife LOL".  I was texting my DD about what he commented and was going to make a comment "well, when you find us a medical miracle, he'll be happy to go back to work", but DH just deleted the whole post?event. I doubt friend (or wife) probably even knew he did that.  And like my DD texted to me, "it's not like you guys financially need dad to work. you are doing fine on your income".  I said to her "no kidding, I make more than both of them combined". People!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Budget adjusting

One part of budgeting I have never been very good at is quarterly or annual expenses. I can pay them when they come up, but I'm always kicking myself for not saving for them, so that my budget doesn't take such a hit in that pay period it's due.

I've been jotting down the expenses as I think of them. I think I have most, if not all, of them listed now:

Life Insurance: $330
Car tabs: $160
Property taxes on land: $900
Propane: $300
Amazon Prime (share w/DD) $54
Annual website hosting (this is for a website DH manages/updates for a non-profit club, we have always paid the hosting fee, while he's the one doing the website): $143

I need to be putting aside at least $157 a month for these!  DD just messaged me last night. The annual Amazon payment comes out of her checking...well she opened a new checking at a credit union and isn't really using the old one, other than she had about $55 in it. The Amazon charge went through last night and overdrew her. She (and I) forgot all about it. She's not a student anymore, so now paying the full prime rate. I told her since I also use it to order stuff off and on, I will still pay for half of it. That checking is still linked to mine, so I transferred my share $54 and brought her back to  having $5 in her account. She must have had overdraft protection (if she deposited within 24 hours) as she thankfully wasn't charged for the overdraft.

I'm sure there is something I have forgotten to include, but at least now I can be starting to put money aside for these each month.

I made myself a doctor appoint for this Friday morning. I have a half work day, so I'm just going to use a half day of vacation and take the whole day off. I need to get my prescriptions for my heart and cholesterol medication filled. I decided to try a doctors office in the city....where no one knows me. LOL. I'm not quite used to this small town, everyone knows everything stuff. Plus, once we get moved to our property, the city will only be about a 35 min drive. I'm going to a "women's health clinic". Sounds like a good mix of female providers, even a naturopath. I also see from their website that you can do a virtual visit (once established) for minor problems.

And I just got an email this morning from my health insurance company where they are offering "Doctor On Demand" Virtual visits. It looks like my co-pay for a visit like that would be $10. Plus, by signing up and registering they will give me $5 off my first appointment and are also supposed to send me a $5 Starbucks e-giftcard. Don't know that I will need to use the service, but at least I have that option now, if I come down with something like a rash or a sore throat, etc. Sounds like it would be a convenient way to go, since we live rural.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

M-Turk observations

Now that I was finally able to start working M-Turk and am about a week in to it, I thought I'd share my thoughts and experience. So far, I have earned $30 with another $6.75 pending. I am pretty easily making my $5 per day goal, with approximately an hour total worth of time each day.

Currently, (based on a blog recommendation I read) I just do a search of "survey", put in a minimum of .50 and click on HIT's I am qualified for. I have also changed my search criteria to "newest first". That seems to work the best for me. I will usually do a survey first thing in the morning and then do several more during my lunch break.

I still have a bunch to learn on how it all works and will have to figure out how I can get "more qualified" to do other hits. I also read that just getting your volume of completed hits increased helps you get more qualified for other hits. I have done 59 so far, since I started. 

About my only frustration is that I have to reenter my search criteria each time. When I complete a hit it takes me back to the main search screen and I have to re-enter my criteria after completing each hit. That takes extra time. I also wish it would keep hits you've already completed from re-appearing.

Overall, I am very happy that it is pretty easy to make my daily goal of $5. I also like that you do not have to enter a bunch of answers and then be told you don't qualify - as always happens with Swagbucks surveys (such a waste of time).

If you are doing M-Turk, I'd love to hear your tips and tricks!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Succulent care

Earlier in the summer I bought this bowl of succulents at a garden center.

It sat out on our picnic table all summer and appears to have loved the 100 degree days. I've never had succulents before and now I don't know how I'm supposed to care for this with the coming cold. I'm assuming it would not do well being outside for much longer (it's starting to freeze at night now), so I brought it inside. Does anyone know how I'm supposed to care for this year round?