Posts Tagged ‘Finance’

We had to redirect tonight’s dinner choice mainly because the chicken I’d planned to have was still frozen and well roasting a frozen bird is never a good idea – so I asked my husband what he wanted to make for the kids for dinner and he said SPAGHETTI!

Super easy right?! Well yes!  I went to the grocery store after a gym session grabbed the ingredients I needed and left having only spent $10.98!  The most expensive thing I bought – Bay Leaves! I was out and needed more…go figure!

Anyhew – before we jump into the recipe doesn’t think look so yummy?!?!

This recipe is one my Mom used to make when I was a kid with some slight alterations.

Ingredients:

2-Cans whole tomatoes

1-Can tomato sauce

2-Cans tomato paste

1/2 lb Ground Beef or Turkey – I used Turkey

Spices/Herbs – Ground Parsley, Basil, Oregano, Bay Leaves (whole) Onion Flakes, Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper and Sugar

Steps:

In your crock pot dump 1 can of tomatoes, the sauce, and one of the cans of tomato paste – add the spices as listed above – roughly 1-2 tsp each, I just shake a small circle of each into the pot.  The sugar though just a Dash – don’t want it too sweet, just cutting the bitterness and acidity of the tomatoes.

Turn your stove burner on to Medium-High, and on your stove top, you are going to brown the meat – meaning cook it until the red of ground beef is brown or the pink of the turkey is white – while it is cooking add the same spices you did to your crock pot, EXCEPT sugar, salt and pepper, none of these are added to the meat – this is layering of the flavors – once the meat is cooked through, add 1-Can of the tomato paste and 1-can of tomatoes – stir well, reduce the heat and let simmer for – 5-10 mins covered.

Add the meat mixture to your crock pot, stir well, cover and cook on high 3-4 hours or low 6-8 hours.

When ready, cook pasta and serve!

I hope you enjoy this sauce as much as I do! Took me back in time to when Mom would make it for me as a kid!  Oh and the leftovers freeze VERY well and actually taste really good when re=heated later 😉

Today was a busy one for sure! We were super busy making three (3) different breads using two recipes!

Super Stoked about how they all came out!

First it was more bread for the house, of course, it was time for more sandwich bread to be made, so we made more! And using some of the dough from the initial recipe I posted a couple of days ago I made some cinnamon rolls.  I’ve been making cinnamon rolls with my Mom for Christmas every Black Friday for years so I just rolled the dough out, basted it with melted butter and then sprinkled cinnamon and sugar over it – rolled it up into a long form – then my son cut the roll up into pieces for rising and baking.  Check it out!

Looking forward to eating the cinnamon rolls for breakfast!

Then when the breads were done, we left the oven on and put together some Hot Dog rolls for dinner tonight, ML sent me her recipe for hot dog buns and it was super easy to make and then form them into rolls – my son handled the forming of the buns.  Less than 10-Mins later we had awesome rolls for tonight’s dinner!

 

The rolls were filling and made for a solid meal! I put ham steak on mine and ate it as a sandwich – I have some leftover for lunch tomorrow!!!

Was a very busy day, I am exhausted, but very pleased with what we did today!

Can’t wait to venture through tomorrow!

So to Speak…

I have so much in my brain right now – I’ve discussed where we’re at with the Mortgage and the van – and we have that underway.

The mortgage is in a holding pattern until the funds from our 401K arrive via Fed-Ex after it’s sent – the NCHFA has told us that we’ll have the funds forgiven after 10 years in the home – I really hope that we’re successful in paying the mortgage ourselves after their support runs out after 18-Months.

However, today I received the paperwork FINALLY from Wells Fargo to close my account – I sent an email to the HR Team of my previous employer requesting they complete the paperwork and send it back to Wells Fargo as soon as they can so I can get this money quickly.  So now we wait…as per usual.

Bonus, though today we got a call from DSS telling us we qualify for Family/Adult Medicaid through the State so we can get medical insurance.  YAY! My husband has been experiencing random low grade to somewhat highish fevers and I am really worried about him – BUT we’ve been unable to get him to the Dr’s to get it looked at.  And, he’s been unwilling to go to the hospital to get it looked at, and I understand that, ER’s are not clinics and not the place to go for medical attention.  So tomorrow, off we go to DSS to get this application in.

I was told today that another manager in my store is looking for someone Full-Time in two of her departments – she’d already offered me extra shifts and I am going to take them – however, my counter manager told me to talk to this other manager about getting a full-time position with her.  I am considering it because we could definitely use the money, and its looking like my future is bound within the walls of the store…for now at least as I am having a very hard time finding work outside of the store. Been looking for a couple of months now with no luck…so yup.

I am also considering undertaking a change in our diet – recently one of my favorite author’s has started on her blog a series of posts about Depression Era Eating and cooking.  She’s listed those items to store in bulk and now I am thinking about how to outfit our kitchen to accommodate bulk dry goods in my kitchen. (her initial post is here, Food Frugality in the New Depression) – it’s a 12′ x 12′ square with one wall of cabinets interspersed with my stove, sink, and refrigerator

The other side of the cabinets is the same, and on the 3rd wall is a steel dog crate for Sadie.  So now I have to get creative, maybe using some shelves and the real estate on the floor by the other wall on the other side of the kitchen next to the living room…

I think doing this would allow us to save some money at the grocery store – just because we’re on Food Stamps doesn’t mean we have to eat like crud – we can use those funds to pay for bulk items at the store and eat well. At least that’s my thought…what do you all think? If nothing else the money saved will be helpful in paying for other items.

One is Silver – we’re considering selling her, as much as it breaks my heart – we cannot continue to pay her monthly payment, the insurance and gas – we’d need another vehicle so possibly going back to a buy here – pay here place OR buying something for cash.  We won’t get what we owe Regional for her – I am aware of that – BUT the bigger picture is that her monthly payment ($540.00) plus the insurance ($272.00/mos) plus gas ($140.00) is just too much for us right now on my $9.00/hr income…so we have to determine if that’s a viable option…

Ok I think I’ve offloaded enough…

Ok so here we are, still passing through each day step by step just trying to get by – so where are we?

Well the Non-Profit is done with our application, the only way they’ll pay it out and close with us is if we come up with 1-months payment, $852.14, as a gap payment.

Then I got a letter from the DMV/State of NC telling me that due to a missed court-date outside of Raleigh in April I have to now pay the past due taxes on Silver, roughly $495.00, or they’ll suspend my license.  I got a ticket for the tags being expired when I went to the Chapel Hill burn center in February, didn’t go to the court-date because the courthouse is 2.5 hrs away and I knew I’d not have it resolved by the time the court-date rolled around.  Then I forgot to call for a continuance – so here I am.  Ugh.

We know I need my license, that’s a given – so now we’re trying to figure out our next steps. I’ve requested paperwork to close the 401K I had through my previous long-term employer, roughly $3,100.00, after taxes/fees we’re looking at about $2,800.00.  So going to use this money to pay both the gap funds and the taxes on Silver.  Then whatever is left will be used to pay our water bill, $245.00.

We’re trying to decide our next steps, my bi-weekly checks are somewhere around $391.00 are not enough to cover all of our bills. So I am still looking for another either full-time or part-time job to help cover the gap.  The State’s stopped by UI funds – and we now have to re-up our food stamps again.  So I am just at my wits ends.

So here we are – losing sleep – possibly losing Silver again – and just trying to figure out how our life is going to pan out in the coming months.

Good Monday Morning One & All –

So thought I’d check-in with a current status update on the Silver situation – we paid them on Friday – $2,035.00, yes you read that right – they quoted me $1,134.00 to get her out of Repo then because it took us a week to raise the funds required to get her, another payment posted, $540.38, bringing the total due to $1,674.38 and THEN there was Repo Fees Added in the total of $361.00 they failed to mention when we spoke initially.  Ugh add to that A $30.00/day storage fees x 12 Days = $360.00…I could just puke.

THEN THEN when I call them on Friday afternoon to find out where we were once it was paid they said they couldn’t release her until TODAY…sure it was 3pm on Friday, but STILL! They couldn’t be bothered to express the paperwork so I wouldn’t have to pay an additional $60.00 in storage fees.

I am so burned…I’ve filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and will be filing a formal complaint to Regional today as I feel they’ve taken advantage of our already precarious financial situation.

Oh and to add to it, hubby calls me last week on the 21st and tells me that our water was shut-off…WHAT?!?! Thankfully we have access to our shut-off and can turn it back on, but STILL!

I swear one more thing gets added to my plate I might just need an asylum…this is CRAZY!

So yeah that’s where we’re at…hubby went to the foreclosure hearing last week and it went as expected – we got on with a nonprofit that’s going to help us try and save our home – so that bought us a 60-day stay.  Otherwise, we’re probably going to see a power shut-off soon because every penny I have has been going to Silver this week…

So I was all geared up to go to work this morning, get to Brigades to drop off our son to find out they are closed today & tomorrow for pre-school start prep cleaning & training…so text my boss tell her that I need to stay home because hubby had two interviews today…she took that well..

So the day is going along just fine until she sends me a meeting request for a conference call at 4, I call in and the Regional HR Director is on the phone, now  you know that’s never good – yeah turns out they are moving my position to our Tampa, FL location.  IF, and that’s a huge IF I want to I can re-apply for the job and maybe move to Tampa…yeah I don’t see that happening.  I was also informed that there’s no true timeline right now – they have to post the position, interview and hire someone, so they don’t know when this will happen…THAT doesn’t sit well with me as I do NOT do well with unknowns.  They told me that I’ll get a severance package of 6-Weeks pay + 3 Months COBRA insurance (which we won’t take the insurance its always way pricier than reasonable) BUT BUT BUT they want me to help with the transition and train my replacement…um WHAT??!?  Ugh…so many emotions right now…

My biggest thing right now is Anger, I am just pissed

Second to that is Worry, I am thoroughly concerned how we’re going to get through each day and what’s going to happen financially

Third is resentment, my co-workers in our office will retain their positions – none of them truly are struggling financially – and yet we’re floating on financial fumes…

I really don’t want to move to Tampa – I know the job market is much better than Wilmington – but the very idea of living in Florida does nothing for me (sorry to those who live there)…ugh…and if we do end up leaving Wilmington we’ll end up back in Maryland and THAT truly does nothing for me…ugh

I am not sure what’s going to happen now…still trying to figure it all out

On the upswing my husband did get Unemployment Benefits – he’s yet to tell me how much per week he’s getting – so with that and our minimal Food Stamps we’re ok…just ok…

So that’s where we are right now…

Good Evening Everyone!

It’s been roughly (3) Months since I last checked-in and WOW things have changed some – some for the good and some staying where they are…

Our tax return lasted us about 2.5 months this year – 90% of which was spent paying bills – we dedicated a large portion of it to help pay the mortgage, car payment, insurance, utilities, etc and it turned out to be a blessing for sure! Those months right after Christmas always tend to be a problem for us, but having the tax refund really helped smooth the road from that point forward.  The remaining 10% we spent on shopping – we took about $600 and hit Myrtle Beach, SC for a day of Outlet Shopping, cruising Broadway at the beach and then dinner at Red Lobster! It was a fun-filled day that we all needed!  And the rest went to little purchases here and there – movies, books, other clothing items, food, etc.

For the good, and I mentioned this on my NCReaderBlog the other day – I have taken on a 2nd job, part-time, working for an Indie Author named, Heather Hildenbrand, author of such books as ImitationDevitation, and the Dirty Blood Series, doing her administrative work – helping her with blog tours, cover reveals, working on her newsletter as she needs me do and just anything and everything she needs help with! The hours fluctuate based on her needs and schedule, but I love it! She’s an amazingly sweet lady who is just very cool!  I found this job via her Street Team facebook page and applied as soon as it hit my newsfeed – she was like whiplashed I hit her so fast w/my inquiry and resume LOL!!  This position adds an extra $40 – $80/month to our budget or $10.00/hr as her needs require, and has helped with some smaller expenses as they’ve come up – stuff like oil changes for the new van, or something as simple as putting gas in the car or paying for emergency groceries!

Another, for the good change as been a gym change for me – if you all remember roughly 15-Months ago I joined Planet Fitness to help with my weight loss goals – well I reached my goal weight and was looking to move more into weight lifting and decided to give the New Rules of Lifting for Women program a try – well to do the program in full I really needed more weight room flexibility so after a lot of soul searching I decided to leave PF and joined Gold’s Gym – and I also took on a personal training twice a month to help me reach my goals.  The costs of which were a $200.00 enrollment fee + $19.99 month for the membership and then $50.00/month for my PT – who has been well worth the expense! She’s just amazing – she’s a powerlifter and has been working with me to increase the weight I use while guiding me with proper form! I’ve been a member of Gold’s now for about a month and I feel so much more at home than I ever did at PF! Probably because I know my way around the weight room more 😉

Otherwise, we’re remaining static – the last restructure we did with Citi went through and as soon as the paperwork was returned to them they sold our loan to Midland Mortgage – who is just now receiving the paperwork from Citi – oy what a ride that’s been – but I spoke with them yesterday and all is good – our credit hasn’t been affected by the changeover and we’re paying the payments as scheduled, so we’re good!

Life continues to move forward and we’re just taking things one day at a time.

CopBlock

So today I committed the one “crime” most of us commit daily, I sped, went over the speed limit through a semi-residential/semi-industrial area and BAM at the 1st stop sign is a Sheriff on a Motorcycle conducting a speed trap…many many f*bombs here! I am so mad at myself right now I can’t even see straight….to summarize here’s the problem, the ticket if I choose to pay it off would be $218.00 with points assessed on my license, if I go to court the Assistant DA will offer me traffic school the last time I did that it was $155.00 and no points – the difference is what $63.00HOWEVER should I go to court I’ll also lose about 1.5 hours worth of pay= $22.50 on top of the $155.00 = $177.50 total spent, bringing the difference to $40.50, minimal at best.  BUT we all know that points on my license would also increase my insurance premium, but not for another 5 months and by that time my hubby would be working full-time in Grooming bringing home more money…

So the Quandry is this – do I go to court and get the traffic school thing? OR do I just pay the fine and run with it?

I SERIOUSLY HATE going to court – you stand in a long ass line outside of the courthouse waiting for the doors to open, once they do you then are shoved like cattle through the metal detectors and then up to the courtroom.  It’s a simple process once inside, but STILL I despise going…

Thoughts? What would you do?

Image Borrowed from:
http://www.copblock.org

Well here we go again – have two bills past due – the Water Bill ($191.16) and AT&T ($150.10) and not enough income this week to cover them…ugh if I pay them both then I won’t have enough to cover the after school cost which’ll bump that up to $140.00 next week – but I can’t afford that either because as it is I’ve had to push back the due date of my Student Loan draft from 5/17 to 5/24 to help cover the cost of these bills…so now what? What do I do now? Drain the savings to cover the day care? Or let one of the slide, maybe the AT&T Bill and we go without phone/internet for what two weeks…ugh…what if I need to work at home for some reason? I don’t like my hubby being at home without a working phone in case something happens (he doesn’t have a cell phone)…decisions, decisions, decisions…

This is part of my frustration with my job and lack of paid time off, I had to leave work early two days last week to attend to some Doctor’s appointments – one for Ashley to go to her therapist, and one for me for a shoulder injury – and I lost 2.5 hours of pay – which in the grand scheme of things isn’t terrible, but it eats into my pay and I lose that time + whatever over time I would have gotten last week.  Best I can hope is that my hubby’s paycheck is higher than it was last week to help cover some of that difference…

Ugh

Ugh

Ugh…

What would you all do?  I can’t sacrifice Grocery, Pet Food, Hubby’s Bus Money and the other weekly expenditure’s we have to cover this…

HELP!

My husband and I were discussing this last night and I want to put it out there for the world…I have a serious bone to pick…

I work with a woman who is basically on the same level I am – we’re both Temps with no inclination to be Service Manager’s nor do we have the option of paid time off or a raise or benefits, etc. You’ve heard me go on and on and on about this issue with work…her hubby however works for our competitor, who also has people right in the same building as us, but he works in a different area of the plant we work at – when the contract he works on switched from my company to our competition he was making something like $20.00/hr.  His skill set is specialized and he’s a lead – so I imagine since the contract switched over he’s gotten a raise of some kind…

Now this woman I work with gripes ALL the time about how she lacks the benefits we should have – how having unpaid time off due to holidays, plant closures, etc. KILLS her budget and hurts them financially.

YET both of her boys attend a local Private School – NOT on scholarship

She spends roughly $250.00/week in Groceries (she’s disclosed this to me) – her water and electric bills are just as high as mine – if not higher – she runs her dishwasher/washing machine & dryer just about every day.

They rent their home in a higher-end part of town where there’s money and I know the houses rent for almost TWICE what they would in my area…we looked in that area when we were looking to move here from MD.

At the end of last year they borrowed money from her husband’s 401K to buy a used Jeep Cherokee V8 Engine in good condition – over the weekend they SOLD it and bought another car taking on a private loan through a bank to do so – when I asked her if she took the money from the sale of the Jeep and payed it towards the loan on the new car she said “No we’re buying a house”! WTF?!?!?!

Um wait a minute – so you took a loan on your husband’s 401K to buy a newish car to replace the 15yr old Van you had (which was in poor running condition, 250K miles, etc. needed replacing), went on and on about how you didn’t want a car loan, etc.  Then you turn around SELL the Jeep you bought and don’t use the money from the sale to re-pay the loan on the 401K or even pay down the loan on the new car?? No instead you’re not only buying a house but your BUILDING one?!?!?!

The logic here was she didn’t like the $70.00/week Fuel Expense – I get that, but you didn’t think about that BEFORE you bought the thing?

Oh and the icing on the cake here – they had a FORECLOSURE several years ago when her husband was laid off from his job…

Seems to me priorities are all kinds of screwy here…

The bone I have to pick is this – why are you griping about your finances to me (who you know is struggling JUST to pay her mortgage each month – which I am unsuccessful at doing and you know this WELL) yet you turn around and do all of the above…um WHAT?!?!?!? Seems that she either isn’t happy with where she’s at and is trying her damndest to relate to me (but is FAILING miserably) or she really just wants more income so she can spend more…makes zero sense to me…

Personally I’d have taken the money from the sale of the Jeep and used it to either replace the money in the 401K or OR paid down the loan on the new one…NOT used it to take on more debt!

She’s a nice person, don’t get me wrong – and normally I don’t judge peoples’ financial decision as each person’s situation is unique but this one just irritates me to the CORE! And they wonder why I hide in my headphones all day…we’re STRUGGLING literally STRUGGLING financially and everyone around me is doing fine financially…so I can’t relate on any level to them.

Ok enough from me…thoughts?