Archive for February, 2014

I think my hubby’s post from tonight sum’s things up pretty well for where we’re at right now:

“Update: daughter went to the nurses office for concussion symptoms today. Wifey’s injury seems manageable as long as she has her muscle relaxers. A flood of lawyer propaganda has entered the hours like Hogwarts letters. The Police report is up and we can see that the other driver is claiming that my wife is at fault. we also see that she was charged with failure to yield and not having a valid drivers licence. the owner of the vehicle let the policy lapse on it. Kelley bluebook for our car is 2k and that might pay off Most of the loan. SF has not told us if the will total it out. Keep us in your prayers and thoughts …”

The Estimate from State Farm’s adjuster: $3,172.37 less our $100.00 non-insured motorist adjusted deductible = $3,072.37

KBB for Retail Dealer Trade-In: $1,473.00   Dealer Net: $1,599.37

KBB for Private Sale: $2,331.00  Private Sale Net: $741.37

Total Due to Pay off Car: $2,370.74 – Dealer Net = $771.37 Our Responsibility

Total Due to Pay Off Car: $2,370.34 – Private Net = $1,629.37 Our Responsibility

Not Cool not matter how you swing it – still waiting to hear what State Farm is going to do…waiting…waiting…waiting…

No word yet on our medical settlement either…waiting…waiting…waiting…

I should have posted this yesterday, but got very busy and didn’t…apologies…

So here’s where we’re at:

My Dad posted this yesterday:

“Update on our daughters car accident:
She was driving her mother’s car. Mom had let the insurance lapse!
The driver does not have a valid Driver’s License!
State Farm is taking care of the rental car. Yea State Farm!!
Lara has some whiplash pain. Ashley has a concussion. Austin is fine.”

Thanks to everyone for the thoughts, concerns and prayers!”

And in response I added to it:

“Adding to this – State Farm has also cut me a check to cover the cost of replacing the booster seats, should have that in hand in a few days; Car is being picked-up from the Tow Lot this Afternoon and taken to their secure facility for inspection – determination of repairs vs. total loss…being at work is more calming than dealing with all of this sh*t at home! I will also say State Farm is taking care of the price/billing dispute w/Hertz, so YAY on that!”

Last night Hertz called me and we’re switched the contracts over to the Focus off of the Tiquan and State Farm is handling the billing and payment – they are going to void the contract that the airport location put me on and put me on a new contract, the gentleman told me that all of this should be done today…so Thanks Hertz!

State Farm picked up the car from the tow lot yesterday and I am sure it’ll be looked at either today or tomorrow and we should have a solid decision from them by the end of either this week or beginning of next week…the waiting game doesn’t do well for me, I have little patience for waiting, so I am going to try and distract myself with work so I am not just sitting and waiting…that’s the plan.

I did also give a statement to the Medical Billing team and completed some paperwork for them for reimbursement for our injuries, was told we can get up to $1,000/ea for medical – doubt we’ll actually get that much, but hey anything will help cover the cost of paying off the car and possibly getting us into a new one – or even paying the deductible should that be the case.

When there’s more updates I’ll add them!

I literally spent ALL AFTERNOON on the phone with my insurance, the other gals’ insurance company, Hertz and My Dr’s Office (something totally unrelated) – turns out that the chick who hit me (and yes she hit me) does not have active insurance um yeah WTF? Her Mother, who owns the car, let the policy lapse at the beginning of February – which means yes she gave false information to the police – probablyh unknowingly – and it now means that this falls under my “Uninsured Motorist” clause on my insurance.  FIrst though because NC is so sticky about it they have to prove one of two things:

  • She really did let the policy lapse and is now 100% uninsured, or
  • She has new insurance with a different company and my Insurance Company (State Farm) needs to get that information to file my claim against
So once that is done SF will cover my rental 100% and lower my deductible to $100 should they decide to repair it…
The saga of the rental though – UGH this is what I put up on Facebook earlier today:
“OMFNG GAWD I am trying to switch the VW SUV Hertz gave me yesterday for a smaller compact care as advised by my insurance and I get transferred all over God’s Green Earth by Hertz! Seriously WTF Hertz?!? I’ve been using you guys for EONS and have never in my life had this much trouble! Oh and BTW that TWAT who hit me, yeah her Mom let her insurance policy lapse, State Farm in trying to determine if she is in fact uninsured or if she switched insurance companies – though it sounds like she’s uninsured…I have literally been on the phone since 11am!”
“I just want to cry right now that’s all I want to do – traded out the SUV for a Focus and the total is going to be $600+ for a 5-Day rental, WTF?!?!?!?”
 – this was on my MyFitnessPal profile as a response to something one of my friends said
“SF has me covered with a provision on my insurance for uninsured motorists, I have filed a claim w/her insurance so SF will get a denial letter and everything will be covered…I have literally been on the phone for an hour at this point…Ashley has a minor concussion, I have whiplash, Austin is good, but this is turning into a major deal here”
“Got my muscle relaxer & pain pills tonight, won’t use the pain meds unless I absolutely need them…on another note it appears that Hertz extended the contract on the SUV (price and all) and gave me a Ford Focus and are charging me for the Tequan..My hubby will be following up with Hertz tomorrow to dispute the charge…so NOT having that, even if State Farm will be paying the bill eventually”

“Yeah a Focus is only $152 for a week…yeah idiot! Will be closing the contract on the Tequan and opening one on the Focus”

So I am filing against my SF policy and will let SF go after her and her mother for reimbursement…and as of right now I am not interested in pursuing this legally against her…that could change on a dime though..

Seems dealing with the struggles of my financial life are a constant with us – once we’re settled into a routine, and going about life in our day-to-day manner we are thrown for a literal loop and end up having to deal with something MAJOR – and it seems to happen on the even years, 2011 saw a wreck with this same car at the parking lot of the dealership (minor), 2012 our car was STOLEN, 2013 all was quiet with the exception of some repairs to the car (again minor), and now 2014 this – so not happy here…

Posted this last night to Facebook:

“No gym tonight, got in a pretty bad wreck on my way to pick up my hubby from work – some college kid decided not to give me right of way in an intersection and hit me driver’s side – car is NOT drivable at all, probably will be totaled because its 14yrs old w/149K miles on it…almost paid off, will be in July…”

And then this morning:

“Woke up this morning with some neck & head pain, took two Tylenol, drinking some coffee and hoping it’s just something small associated w/the accident; filed my claim w/State Farm last night, hoping to round-up a rental car tomorrow – in the mean time I need to do some grocery shopping – who wants to take us laters??? Seriously though, Thank-You everyone for your warm words of concern and “are you ok?” in the big scheme of things we’re all ok, no permanent/hospital worthy damage was done; the car is probably a total loss, we’ll find out more once State Farm moves it and inspects it…not how I had planned on spending my refund money, but alas what must be done will be done…”

I will take some pictures of the damage once we go to retrieve our personal items from the car later today – thankfully for me the police determined it was her fault, so her insurance is going to be liable for the wreck and should cover the total loss cost of the car (i.e. paying off the loan, which will be paid in full in July anyways), and everything else entailed with the wreck – but MAN alive it’s going to be a very long process…wish us the best of luck here…

Editing to Add Pictures of the Wreckage:



I always feel a sense of relief whenever the tax refund is sitting in my bank account, not entirely sure why but it seems that money always lifts a weight off of my shoulders…not entirely sure why but it does…so I feel like I can relax a little and just focus on making sure bills are paid, groceries are taken care of, there’s gas in the car, etc. etc. etc. – however with that relief has also come many more expenditures, specifically as it relates to the animals – Sadie needed all her stuff including a bowl, collar, leash, toys, food, etc.  I managed to use coupons that we got with her adoption for all of it, so that helped.  I used one coupon to get Flea Meds for Nixon (we initially got the wrong one, but exchanged it for the right one), took Sadie to the Vet for a wellness check – she’s healthy as a horse, 7 mos old, and doing beautifully, we took Nixon to the vet for his wellness check, immunizations, fecal test, and to check out an ear infection, $295.00 later I walked out of the vet…WOW Amazing how that works isn’t it?

Ups and Downs

 Of course with the good also comes the bad, we’ve had two items hit us this week, first I was  diagnosed with Mono which I initially thought meant no working out, no exercise PERIOD  thankfully I was able to talk to my Dr yesterday and found out that I can continue to workout, just  no impact aerobics (i.e. Kickboxing, Karate, etc.) so that’s an upside to the down.  I feel tired more  than normal, but nothing I can’t handle.  Resting as needed, when needed.  So Thankfully I have  that option.  


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe other down was that my daughter went, on a referral from the dentist, to an Orthodontist yesterday and we found out she needs no less than 18 – 24 mos worth of work done to correct a structural underbite/crossbite, to the tune of, are you ready? $3,583 OUCH!  And the other down to this is that NC Health Choice DOESN’T PAY for Orthodontics! Lovely so now we have to figure out how to pay for all of the procedures they want to do…we can’t be approved for Care Credit as I already owe them money from when my 1st dog was sick (he later died from the problems I ran the card up for), and getting a loan through a bank probably won’t work, so my hubby is going to call them to see if this is a medical necessity and if it is maybe, just MAYBE we can appeal to Health Choice to help cover some of the cost – maybe not all – but some.  So then if there’s a balance we can then try to figure out how to pay that…we talked about selling my Grandma’s China, but I am hesitant to do that…but if we must we must

So there’s that…those are the two big Ups and Downs we’ve had this week – so now onto why we’re here….

 $80.45 Remaining from W/E 02/02/14  $474.12 Lara W/E 02/09/14 Salary, Pay Date 02/14
 $34.49 Amt. Spent    $232.24 Jimmy W/E 02/09/14 Salary  
 $45.96 Avail. Starting    $706.36        
 $15.00 Savings for X-Mas ’14    $45.96 Avail. Starting    
 $5.70 KTC      $706.36 Total Pay      
 $8.79 Harris Teeter    $752.32 Avail. For Bills    
 $5.00 Tate & Kirlin, 02/10 Auto-Draft  $250.00 Funds Borrowed from Refund  
 $34.49        $1,002.32        

And now the breakdown – we’re working on slowly catching up on the past due on the car payment – so there’s going to be more going out to them over the next couple of weeks:

 $225.26 Citi    
 $111.00 Great Lakes, 2/17 Auto-Draft
 $50.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $200.00 Groceries    
 $25.00 Dinner, 02/14  
 $40.00 Cat & Dog Food  
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money  
 $40.00 Gas    
 $19.99  Planet Fitness, 2/17 Auto-Draft 
 $25.00  J. Olfano B-Day Gift   
 $175.00  Credit Acceptance   
 $66.07  $66.07    
8%  $5.29    
 $5.29  $60.78    

So there we are, nothing really to mention other than my GE Stock is doing well, going up and down as predicted with the Market – not terribly concerned about it in the long run, so long as GE Continues to do well, the stock will as well…

Images Borrowed from:

A look at the Budget

Whew another week in the trenches done and over with! YAY! So thrilled about  that.  We had a fairly decent week last week – what with the surprise financial gift  from my Grandparents and then getting our Federal Refund on Saturday I am  very pleased with how things are starting to look going forward – I say that every  year and then BAM come April the money is gone and we’re back in the pits  again…we have laid out some of the what’s we’re going to do with our refund:


  1.  Adopt a Puppy – Done
  2.  Pay – Off the back due on the car – Portion Pending with Week Ending 02.09.14 budget
  3.  Replace some broken window sashes in the house – hubby is to be calling Lowe’s on that today
  4. Take Nixon to the vet for a Wellness visit, vaccines, and to check his ear infection
  5. And maybe do some shopping for the house – new couch, some decor, etc. this is a big MAYBE
  6. Clothes shopping for Jimmy & I – 1/2 of my wardrobe no longer fits because I’ve lost 34lbs since October and he’s in need of some replacement items

Other than that we’re looking at having about $1,000 left over and we’re not sure how we’re going to allocate it, probably save some of it, probably pay forward some on the mortgage, we’ll see.  Nothing is set in stone right yet.

Tax Refund

So without further adieu, I’d like to introduce Sadie, a 7 Mos. Old Rescue we adopted on Sunday



Yes she’s another mouth to feed, but she’s our transition baby for when our Nixon passes – he’s 9 almost 10 years old right now and if we’re lucky we’ll have a couple of years with the both of them!

So here we go, this is the budget WITHOUT the refund as we are still deciding on what to do with it:

 $73.22 Remaining from W/E 01/26/14  $487.64 Lara W/E 02/02/14 Salary, Pay Date 02/07
 $56.19 Amt. Spent  $182.27 Jimmy W/E 02/02/14 Salary
 $17.03 Avail. Starting  $669.91
 $5.00 Savings for X-Mas ’14  $17.03 Avail. Starting
 $49.52 Target  $669.91 Total Pay
 $1.67 KTC  $686.94 Avail. For Bills
 $  –  $42.00 Dep. From Savings Box
 $  –  $728.94
 $  –  $2,548.00 IRS Tax Refund
 $56.19  $3,276.94

So we are working off of the $728.94 starting point – a good thing is that I was informed on Friday that our Brigades tuition each week will remain at $70.00/week! Whoop Whoop! So happy about that!

 $185.00 CFPUA
 $120.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $200.00 Groceries
 $25.00 Dinner, 02/07
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money
 $40.00 Gas
 $25.00 New Shoes for Ashley
 $83.94  $83.94
8%  $6.72
 $6.72  $77.22

On Friday I got brave and finally did something with the money sitting in the Merrill Account – I bought (2) Shares of GE Stock for a total of $50.00 and some change, so as long as it does well our retirement fund will grow some – still need to diversify some more but that’s research I’ll be doing when I finally get some time…I just picked up two shares of something I could think of off the top of my head – that and I work for a GE Contractor so it just felt right.  It’s a step forward right?

Anyhew, with that being said I am off! Ya’ll have a good Week!

Images borrowed from:

Our area was recently hit with a pretty bad ice storm, something the Wilmington area is not adept at handling, needless to say we were all house bound for four days last week, Tues through Friday – though I was able to get out on Thursday evening and hit the gym, the roads were still semi-clear, semi-not clear, if that makes sense?  LOL!!! Either way I am thankful I took my computer home Monday night because I was then able to work at home all week last week and didn’t lose any paid time, in fact I managed to a 1/2 hour of over time, not too bad in all honesty!

See what I mean when I saw ice storm:

Snow Day S 8th St BW


I took this picture while out with the kids during one of my breaks – we had sleet on top of a thin layer of snow!

BUT my gracious grandparents saw on the news that we were getting this horrible snow/ice mess and they sent us a check for $200.00 to help out with whatever expenses we took on because of the weather – well it’s helped us re-stock some groceries we used up! Ha being home together really ate into our food supply, especially because we didn’t plan on being house-bound for four days LOL!! So Thank-You very much Grandpa & Margaret! A Thank-You note will be heading their way shortly!

11th Bday

On that note, to why we are here – the budget – being home meant we didn’t spend as much money  over the course of the week, but then we got out and bam everywhere I turned we were running  out of stuff, needing to get a hold of things and oh yeah my son had his 11th Birthday on Monday  so we purchased some Birthday presents for him – Lego Chima stuff from Target he wanted with a  gift bag/tissue paper the total came to $49.52, not too shabby – I had $42.00 in cash in my savings  box at work, so in actuality we only spent $7.52 on his birthday, not too bad!


So here we go with the budget:

 $23.15 Remaining from W/E 01/19/14  $471.21 Lara W/E 01/26/14 Salary, Pay Date 01/31
 $158.11 Amt. Spent  $320.53 Jimmy W/E 01/26/14 Salary
 $(134.96) Avail. Starting  $791.74
 $10.01 Gas Purchase, 01/23  $(134.96) Avail. Starting
 $10.00 Kids’ Dental Co-Pay 01/28  $791.74 Total Pay
 $4.01 KTC  $656.78 Avail. For Bills
 $4.38 McDonald’s  $200.00 Gift from Papa & Margaret
 $8.51 Shop & Go  $856.78
 $17.67 UPS Store  $10.00 Payment for Cookie Shipping
 $2.57 Red Box  $866.78
 $2.66 Target
 $49.52 Target
 $10.00 Wal-Mart
 $3.10 Food Lion
 $17.09 Snapfish
 $10.24 Hobby Lobby
 $8.35 Starbucks


The added bonus of being home is that the check I wrote for the Brigades on Monday the 27th was basically cancelled out for their tuition last week and will carry over into this week and I only have to pay for (1) day this week, $20.00 there, so not too shabby! I am semi-happy about that.  What I am on pins & needles about though is finding out whether or not we’ve been approved for a scholarship/reduced tuition under their new fee program…we should hopefully, cross our fingers, find out this week!

 $132.00 Progress Energy
 $84.50 Credit Accept
 $20.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $200.00 Groceries
 $25.00 Dinner, 01/31
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money
 $40.00 Gas
 $225.26 Citi
 $5.00  Austin Co-Pay
 $85.02  $85.02
8%  $6.80
 $6.80  $78.22


So that’s where we are right now – how do you all cover additional expenses when you miss pay???


Images borrowed from:

Yesterday I discussed ways to recover from financial debt mis-management and one item that was suggested was to create a Financial Goals Look Book to refer back to when you begin going off of your path, today I am going to create a mock-up of that book here – I realize that the article meant a real-life physical one you could hold in your hand, seeing as how I don’t have the resources to do as such today I am going to put it here.

So Enjoy!

First and Foremost: Paying Off the Car so we can Allocate that Monthly Payment ($336.98) to the Mortgage

Car Paid Off

Second plays off of the above, Financial Stability – I figure once the car is paid off and we can put that money back into the mortgage our finances should semi-stabilize


Then from the above, we can begin to build two separate savings accounts; #1 an Emergency Savings Fund


And then maybe simultaneously #2, a Retirement Savings Fund – we’ve started t his with our 8% Merrill Transfers each Week, Now we just have to Stay out of That Account

Retirement Savings

Then somewhere along the line maybe, just maybe we can get and stay Current on All of Our Utilities


And then maybe we can begin putting money aside for some kind of Family Vacation – something we’ve NEVER done outside of traveling to and from Maryland to visit family – I’d love nothing more than to take the kids on a real vacation, to say Disney (cliche I know, but it’s truth!)

Mickey & Minnie Vacation

And them maybe we can begin allocating funds to invest back into our home, there are two things  I’ve love to do more than anything: 1 is to replace the sash’s of two broken windows, and 2 is the replace the flooring in our main living areas from the icky grungy contractor grade carpet and tile we currently have to maybe some Pergo/Laminate Flooring

Pergo Flooring tilt-sash-replacement-window-300x212

And I figure in order to do some of the above we need to either find new jobs or maybe find some extra income – and I can do that by maybe just maybe finding a way to get paid to do book reviews!

Paid Book Reviews

So that’s the basics of my look book as new goals arise  I’ll add them here!

Images Borrowed from:

Part III of my “A Little Something Different” includes some items that hit close to home for me – one being the 5 biggest mistakes we all make in terms of debt management and the second being the 10 steps to financial recovery.

While daunting in my book, financial management – be it debt – or recovery – can be either simple or highly complex depending on which way you look at it.


Last Week I read an article called 5 Debt Management Mistakes you Probably Make on MSN Money, you can find a copy of the article here:

In Summary, the Five Steps are such

  1. Depleting Your Emergency Fund
  2. Having No Plan of Action
  3. Getting Caught in the Minimum Payment Trap
  4. Robbing Peter to pay Paul
  5. Ignoring Statements and Credit Reports

Burning Benjamins

I can honestly say we do all of the above on a regular basis – I am always robbing peter (aka the utilities funds) to pay Paul (aka the car and mortgage payments) or vice versa depending on where we’re at financially that week.  None of which are very smart and all of which cause us to continue on the cycle we’ve been on, so how do we fix it – balance is one way, the other is listed in this article I read just this morning, Your 10-Step Financial Recovery Plan a copy can be found here:

Those 10 Steps are Such:

  1. Identify Your Big Goals
  2. Do Some Introspection
  3. Keep Tabs on Your Credit Score
  4. Boost Your Credit Score Slowly
  5. Skip Potentially Fraudulent Services
  6. Get Help
  7. Schedule a Weekly Check-Up
  8. Create a ‘Look Book’ for Yourself
  9. Give Yourself an Allowance
  10. Stay on Track

WOW! Who knew it could be so very simple – one of our biggest goals right now is just Financial Stability – the ability to pay all of our monthly bills; Mortgage, Car Payment, Day Care, Utilities, Groceries, Gas, etc. and have money left over for both retirement and emergency funds savings and then maybe just maybe save for a vacation – all easily met for a lot of people, but like a lot of others we struggle week in and week out…as I’ve outlined in this blog.

So here’s the first part of my ‘Look Book’ which I’ll create a new post for:

scale with usa currency


I hope this post helps some of you!

Images borrowed from: