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Wow, it's been a long time!

August 23rd, 2011 at 06:36 pm

Can't believe my last entry was almost 2 years ago. Quite a lot has changed. Baby M is now over 2 years old, and Mystery Baby #2 will be making his/her appearance in approximately 9 short weeks.

DH and I purchased our first home in May--since we were quickly outgrowing our old apartment.

In my last entry, I was debating between 2 jobs. I ended up switching to Job #2, which was a 24 hour position at a local hospital. Best decision I ever made!!! Wish I did it MUCH earlier. Benefits are much better, the $$ is better and I now have a grueling 5 mile commute. Smile Plus, I seem to never work 24 hours. (40+ is more like it)

Financially...eh...still pretty scary. Going to tally up the numbers, so I can see how scary it is in black and white.

Glad to be back!

Need Help Deciding Between 2 Jobs!!

August 31st, 2009 at 03:06 pm

Life has been busy! Baby M is now 10 weeks old, and I've been back to work for a couple weeks now. And I am now looking at other options.

I need an unbiased opinion, and comparasion on these 2 jobs. For you tax whizzes out there, what would my take home look like?

Job A(current position):

-Been there for 8 yrs
-Currently being made to use vacation time for pumping(Nursing my son). Used to get 4 weeks a year, now down to 68 hours.
-$28.75 an hour
-40 hours per week, day shift, no weekends, no holidays
-Insurance(medical for 3 and dental for me only) for family is $187 a week, plus I'm contributing $70 a week to HSA. We have $4000 deductible.

Job B--At hospital where I work perdiem

-also been there for 8 years
-Position is 24 hour 2nd shift. Manager says I could pick up additional shifts often. (But I know nothing is guaranteed)
-Get a 15 minute break--so I could pump
-$31.93 an hour base pay, plus $2.50 an hour shift differential
-Not sure what vacation accrual is like
-Insurance would be $127 a week for medical, dental and vision for all. Plus, its a plan that is more widely accepted.
-Would occasionally have to work weekends and holidays

The commute is the same

Financially, could we survive on me working just 3 shifts a week? With the better (and cheaper) insurance, would that even things out with my take home? I don't want to even bring DHs salary into the equation, so that's not an option.

5 weeks old already!

July 27th, 2009 at 09:46 am

Hard to believe Baby M is already 5 weeks old. Went in for the c-section on June 17th, and had a beautiful baby boy!! He was 8 lbs, 7 oz, and 21.5 inches long. Now, he's over 12 lbs.

The past 5 weeks have been quite an adventure. It a whole new life to get used to. The sleep deprivation is the easy part for now!

Now the challenge is to make our dwindling maternity leave fund last. DH has gone back to work, and has also picked up a little part time gig at a local coffee house. Early morning hours(3.5 hours), 4 days a week. Every little bit helps!

Here's a couple pics from when he was 2 days old. He's filled out quite a bit since then! Smile The sweater/booty set is what DH came home from the hospital in when he was born.

Wish me luck!

June 16th, 2009 at 09:50 am

At this time tomorrow, I'll be a new mommy!

Baby never turned, even after all my efforts, and an unsuccessful 'version' by my doctor. So, C-section it is...

It's strange to think this is my last day of work for 8-12 weeks. (Depending on how well I feel, and how I can s-t-r-e-t-c-h our savings.)

We're both excited to start this next chapter in our lives! I can't wait!

Ideas for Frozen Meals?

June 8th, 2009 at 08:04 am

I think I'll take this weekend and get some meals ready in the freezer. It'll be nice to have something to stick in the oven when both of us are tired and don't feel like cooking. I haven't even had the baby yet, and I feel myself getting very lazy in the kitchen--my big cooking accomplishment this week was BLTs and macaroni and cheese. Not the healthiest, but...

So does anyone have ideas for meals that freeze well, besides meatloaf, chili and lasagna? I have a lot of ground meat (beef and turkey), but am also open to recipes with chicken breasts, porkchops, roasts, etc. I have all that meat in freezer ready to go!

Don't think we'll reach our goal

June 5th, 2009 at 08:07 am

We now have less than 3 weeks until my due date. And we're $1456 shy of our goal. The only thing that has put a crimp in our savings, is that I finally told my other jobs that I'm all done until after baby comes. It was just getting to be too much. Still pulling my regular 40 hour job too. We still have a little time and DH is working as much as he can also. I still think we'll be ok-I won't need much gas money if I'm not commuting to work everyday, etc.

I've also been spending some money(mostly from my HSA) for Chiropractor appt, accupuncture, massage, etc. All the 'alternative' therapies that may help turn this breech baby. Trying to avoid a c section-I know, I know, it's not bad, blah blah blah. But it's something I would like to avoid. Baby is really wedged in there, so I also don't think s/he'll turn at the last minute either.

But either way, we'll have our little bundle of joy pretty soon! Smile

Not all mechanics are evil!

May 21st, 2009 at 08:46 am

In my last post, I mentioned that my 'check engine' light has been on. I refused to take it to the dealer-my car is 10 yrs old, with 158,000 miles on it. I had them fix a problem with my door last month, and it cost $696!!! My car is probably worth 1500! They also gave a list of things that 'needed to be done'----all $4000 worth. I don't think so!

I happened to mention the problem to my sister, and she used to work with a guy 3 years ago who was very handy with cars. She emailed him out of the blue, and he offered to stop by my place of work, run a diagnostic to see what was wrong. He did, (I was grateful for even that!) and found that the problem was probably spark plugs/wires. Apparently they usually last 50-100K, and mine were still original! Got my money's worth out of those, huh? He offered to do the repairs as well. He estimated the wires about $50, plugs a couple bucks a piece, some kind of additive, plus $30/hour labor.

So today, my DH brought my car to him--it's almost an hour away, but totally worth it! Our total came to $80. Even with the 'I'm friends with your sister' discount, I expected it to be $100-150. I think I'm going to send him a little Dunkin Donuts gift card, or something just to show our appreciation. If he's available in the future for other repairs, it's definitely worth the drive!

And once again, nothing on the credit cards! Yay!

Even closer now!

May 13th, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Less than 6 weeks to go!

Still working a lot, trying to reach our goals of $8000. (This would cover 8 weeks of leave, as previously discussed with boss) When I just signed my Leave of Absence request yesterday, they actually plan on me being out for 12 weeks. DH was happy to hear that, but doesn't quite get that there's probably no way I can take that long off. I didn't budget our savings for that, and his salary alone just won't do it. But we'll see. We had our baby shower a few weeks ago, and got to spend the afternoon surround by such loving family and friends!

It's all starting to feel real now.

Now, if only both of our cars didn't have the 'check engine' lights on, I'd be much happier! Not something you want to worry about when you're 34 weeks pregnant!

Here's a sneak peek of baby from the 3D ultrasound!

Getting closer...

April 10th, 2009 at 09:14 am

Cat ended up being ok. He's now on thyroid meds, which is, um, wreaking havoc on his delicate intestinal system. (To put it mildly) It's getting better though, thankfully! Although, DH is on litter box duty, so I get the easy way out! No idea what that tongue growth was. Vet didn't seem concerned--"oh, that, we got rid of it". $258 for his follow up visit.

We've finally hit another savings record-$5001.35! Still about $800 behind schedule, but we're definitely making progress.

We did end up getting a $3000 personal loan for those 3 small credit cards, with 22.9% interest rates. Our new loan has a rate of 13%, so better than the CCs. So, now with that interest rate lower than my scary Discover card, we can start paying off that ridiculous balance.

Feels like we're making progress. I'm still working a lot of hours, and hoping to cut down a bit soon. I ended up picking up perdiem hours at the hospital that I work at in another department, who pretty much give me whatever hours I want to work. So, for me, it's difficult to find a balance between working like a madwoman (just can't say no to $$) and doing what's best for my body. Having a lot of Braxton-Hicks, so I think it's time to slow down a bit.

I splurged on an appointment for a 3D ultrasound on 4/25. Looking forward to 'meeting' our little one! Should be a fun, relaxing day for me and DH. We both need one.

Cat update...to be continued.

March 27th, 2009 at 09:14 am

Took cat to vet today about that thing under his tongue. Well, vet couldn't really see it too well, but did see that he needs his teeth cleaned-they were bleeding in the back. So he has to go back next Thursday, get put under for the cleaning, and then they can assess the tongue growth. Vet also didn't like the way his fur looked, he's lost a pound since last visit, and his thyroid felt enlarged. My sister has/had the other 2 cats from this litter. The girl cat has thyroid problems also, fur falls out, doesn't eat well, and just looks sickly. The boy cat was a big healthy looking thing, who had to be put down the day after Christmas. Congestive heart failure, and blood clots. One day he was fine, the next day he was gone. This visit for our cat was $105, quote for next week is $236, but who knows what it will end up at once they see that growth. Now we also need to get our girl cat in for her checkup too, and check out her thyroid, etc. Crappy cat genetics I guess.

Upcoming vet visit

March 24th, 2009 at 09:50 am

I noticed on Sunday(but didn't really pay attention to it) and again last night something funky going on with one of our cats. When our male cat licks his face, you can see some weird looking fleshy growth come out from under his tongue. It's about an inch long. Definitely a new development, it's gross looking and I KNOW it hasn't been there for long. DH said don't worry about it, but I know something's up. He eating just fine, but I want to take care of it before it gets worse. He's always been a big drooler, but it's been even more lately. And he also occasionally 'coughs' like he's trying get rid of mucus or something. Of course, googling it mentions a blocked salivary gland, cyst or tumor...always worst case scenario to scare us. So he's got an appointment on Thursday, and it will have to come out of the baby fund. But the cats are our first 'babies', so we have to make sure they're healthy.

Personal Loan?

March 19th, 2009 at 11:44 am

Still frantically trying to save for leave, before baby comes. We have 14 weeks to go, if I carry to full term. We're about $700 behind schedule, but we'll get there. We still have the biggest savings account we've ever had!

Since we've been focusing on saving, we haven't been putting extra towards the CC debt. It kills me to just pay minimum, so I have been doing extra on the highest APR card. But now it seems everyone is jacking up the rates.

We have 3 small cards(still have a very ugly Discover card balance at 13K at 17% and a 2500 Visa at 7.25%) Our BOA is $1080, at 19.99%; Capital One $830 at 22.9%, and Home Depot $1100 at 22.4%.

My question is: would it be in our best interest to get a $3000 personal loan from our local credit union, and just pay off those three? The CU website has 'rates as low as 7.25%', but I figure even if they were 10%, it's still lower than the credit cards. I feel like it would be some load off of our shoulders to pay something off. Or just keep paying minimum and not stress until after baby comes and we see what THOSE expenses are like!

I did recently pay off our Care Credit, and only owe 2 more $200 payments on one loan.

We're making progress, just not as fast as I'd like.

$7 a pack!!!

March 6th, 2009 at 09:01 am

Just got a text from DH, and overnight, cigarettes have gone up to $7 a pack! OMG!!! I don't know if the price increase is just at the little convenience store near our house, or statewide. He smokes, I don't. Obviously, I'm thinking (along with all of you) that this is the perfect time to quit. Let's just hope he sees it the same way! Doing the math, that's $2555 a year! Shopping at Aldi's, I typically spend $40/week, or $2080 a year. $500 a year more on cigarettes than FOOD?!!!! All I do know is that his weekly allowance is not going up. We just don't have that kind of money. I really hope he quits, but I can't force him, he has to come to that decision on his own. He's given up quite a few nastier vices, so I hope he's ready to give this last one up.

A fun little payday game:

February 13th, 2009 at 11:50 am

It's called "Who's Wants Our Money?"

We have $684.25 to divvy up. But VW credit wants $406.84, "personal loan" needs $200, student loan wants $250, maternity/baby fund should be paid $200 as well. Haven't paid the oil bill either. Oh, and we need money to live for the week: gas, groceries, etc. I didn't go grocery shopping at all last week, so cupboards are pretty bare.

It's so hard to figure out who should get what, and when. None of them will give big late fees or interest hikes if we're a week late. I ended up paying "personal loan" because if we don't, they'll be a warrant out for DH! $90 for living money, tranferred 250 to ING for leave fund(gotta pay ourselves first, right?)

That leave $144.25, which now isn't enough to pay oil bill, car or student loan. Ugh. My head hurts.

On the baby front, things are going well. Told boss about 3 weeks ago, and she took it well. We've already started training someone to help out when I'm out. Boss actually said 'we need to start training now, because you may not be able to work until you're due'. I hope I don't get put on bedrest or anything like that, but at least she's thought of that possibility. I am now almost 22 weeks along, feeling movement(finally!)and getting bigger every day!

My good brother (that lost his house, etc) just started his new job this Monday.
His wife got a yearlong temp job as well. They are both kind of stressing about logistics of driving one car, 2 jobs, and a kid in daycare. I think honestly that his wife was thinking of NOT taking a $22/hour job, because the only way they could work it out is to drop her off at work an hour early, and she'd have to hang around after her shift for 1/2 hour, while my brother runs to daycare to get baby. I talked to brother today and basically said: Suck it up, bring a book and deal with it. You need this job, you need this money, and it's just a temporary inconvenience until you can buy a POC car, or move closer to both jobs. I hope she realizes that's what she has to do. They were going to try to talk to temp place today about changing hours. Well, if they won't, then you'll have to put up with it, because there's 50+ people in line behind you that will do ANYTHING for a job right now.

Raises! (and a layoff) :-(

January 11th, 2009 at 11:00 am

Well, first the good news:

I had approached my boss at my fulltime job right before Christmas regarding my annual review. She quickly shot me down with "after my vacation". (She was out of the country for 2 weeks). I very timidly approached her this week, and after "We'll talk on Monday", she called me into her office on Thursday. We spoke about how well the past year has gone, but she very quickly changed her tune and spoke about how Medicare reimbursments are down, expenses are up, can't give raises like she used to, has to help staff at bottom of payroll, etc. I soon felt, as I smiled and nodded, that I didn't have a chance for any kind of raise. She finally sits back in her chair and says "so you tell me, what will you let me get away with?" (Ooh ooh ooh, I do have a chance!) "Is 75 cents out of the question?" She didn't even raise an eyebrow-I got my $0.75 raise just like that! (Of course, DH said I should've asked for a dollar, like I have gotten before. But with the way I first felt, I didn't want to look greedy and push my luck)

I also got paid for one shift at the hospital, and noticed it was a bit more there when I called my bank. I checked the hosptitals online paystub system and saw I got a $1.04 raise there! Unfortunately, I spoke to my dept, and no shifts available except for one on Jan. 30.

Now the bad news.

I got a phone call this morning from the restaurant that I work at. I've been laid off, hopefully just for the winter. I have worked there for 15 years! This was the money we lived on-groceries, gas, laundry, etc. This job pulled in anywhere from 400-800 a month.

Now, we don't have the hospital job going into maternity leave fund. We don't have the restaurant job to live on. So all of that has to come from my fulltime job and DH's. I wish that extra $30 a week would cover that all, but it's not going to.

So, essentially, I've gone from 3 jobs this week, to 1. I haven't worked 'just' 40 hours EVER! But I do know, that in this day, I'm lucky to have even one stable job.

We've really got to play with the budget tonight. I don't know where to cut back, and still sock away $1000 a month for leave. We're going to have a hard time just paying the minimum bills.