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Archive for April, 2007

Breathing a Big Sigh of Relief - Sort Of!

April 25th, 2007 at 05:32 pm

My DH just had a meeting today with a former employer. He worked for them for about 11 years and left over 4 years ago on less than great terms. He had signed a no-compete agreement when he was young and foolish (as opposed to now being old and foolish). He had to sue them to get out of it and left to accept a better offer. The better offer lasted 4 years before he was laid off there last June. Since then he has not had a job that was able to pay all the bills so we have been living off of what he earns, what I earn part time, savings (all but gone) and most recently our home equity line of credit. Fast forward from June 2006 to April 2007, he hears that the former employer is looking for sales people and would like to talk to him. After much back and forth between us he finally calls them and meets today. They offered him his old sales job back at a very nice salary, benefits, car allowance and cell phone allowance. Thus, the big sigh of relief at the thought of finally being in the black each month and hacking away at the debt. Yeah! The "Sort of" part comes in with his most recent history with this employer and my not totally trusting that they won't fire him anytime soon just becuase they feel like it. As long as they need him, I am sure all will be well. Once business picks up and they feel they are paying him too much, it may be a different story. He got them to commit to a one year salary with renegotiations for salary vs. commission after one year. Right now building is very slow so selling building supplies on commision would not be good. All in all, I think I am happy about this. I guess that I just have to digest the idea of him working for this company again.

How To ...Develop Writers Block

April 19th, 2007 at 11:20 am

Step 1: Read about the "How To" Blog contest
Step 2: Decide that it 1) sounds like fun and 2) you really want to enter cause you know how to do many things
Step 3: Open an new blog entry
Step 4: Guaranteed Case of Instant Writers Block (Well, as least for me!)

Taxing Taxes

April 12th, 2007 at 09:31 am

I should not really complain - I do not do taxes myself - but still, only one word for taxed - Blech! I have a small side cleaning business and DH's deductions for business expenses can be complicated so I have always used an family friend who is a CPA to do our taxes for us. I figure it is worth it in the long and short run not to have to try to figure out all the complicated schedules etc. myself. Anyway, picked up the completed tax forms from him yesterday. We will be getting a decent refund from the FED, mostly do to DH's job situation and having to pay insurance out of pocket. Since DH's current job is as an independent contractor, we are putting part of the refund toward quarterly taxes and banking the rest to pay real estate taxes when they roll around in August. Oh well, at least I can collect a few months interest on the money til the real estate taxes are due. Now I will have to remember to file quarterly and it is just one more thing to have to worry about, hence my title taxing taxes. I just feel tired of dealing with taxes and don't want to have to think about it several more times this year.
DH's current job is not meeting our expectations in terms of income and hours (income - not enough and hours - too many and too inconsistent). I feel like all I do is complain about his job situation but I would really like to see him get back into a stable position that is not 100% commision. It would be nice to be able to know at a minimum what is coming in each month. Right now, he made a few sales but has yet to be paid on any of them so no income from him since early February. This is wreaking havoc upon our finances. I am having to rely upon my part-time income and our line of credit. This time last year we had approx $15,000 in emergency savings and no debt other than mortgage and car. Right now, we have about $1000 in emergency savings and over $10,000 in debt on our line of credit. ARGH!!! I am tired of feeling like we are going backwards instead of forwards. Okay, enough with my personal pity party. I know we will figure something out and something will change soon - he has posted resumes and even has an interview next week. I am just tired of feeling tired about finances.

Goodbye Netflix

April 5th, 2007 at 11:41 am

Back in January I changed our Netflix subscription to the 9.99 one out at a time plan. After further review, I find that is still is not really worthwhile for us. If my DH orders a movie for himself, it could sit for at least a week before he gets a chance to watch it. If my kids get a movie, they usually need to wait til the weekend and moi, I never seem to have time for a movie these days. I have also recently discovered that our local library has greatly increased their selection of DVD's available for a measley $1.00 rental fee (3 days for adults, 1 weeks for kid movies). So, last Netflix movies goes out today and I am cancelling my subscription for the time being. I still feel it is a great service, just not worth the money now when things are tight. Even if we rent 2 movies a week at the library it would only cost us 8.00 a month and I would rather the money go to the library who uses it to buy more books (for me to read!) It is not a great savings in the overall scheme of things but every little bit counts.

Just Call Me Mrs. Fixit

April 4th, 2007 at 09:46 pm

My last entry mentioned my non-working oven and my desire to attempt to repair it myself. Well, just call me Mrs. Fixit. I tried to bill DH but he just laughed at me. I went on-line Monday evening, figured out the part that was not working (I had a pretty good idea already cause the same thing had happened with a previous oven) and ordered the part. I was also pretty proud of myself cause I shopped a couple of appliance parts websites and found it on sale for more than $20 less than at other sites. I ordered the part standard shipping since I was unwilling to pay them the big bucks to guarantee next day or 2 day delivery. Turns out I made the right choice cause it arrived Weds. and I only ordered it Monday evening. I installed the part tonight (after hunting down my tools which DH had borrowed and not put back where they belonged) and I now have a working oven again. Yeah! I figure I saved myself at least $100.00 for something that was definitely a necessity around here.

Attack of the Evil Appliances

April 3rd, 2007 at 05:36 am

Okay, not really, I am just feeling like that and I liked the sound of that title. My oven decided to die on me last week. I was preheating it for dinner and realized it never got off of preheat. The broiler works fine but it will not heat when I turn it on to bake. I am trying to play Mrs. Fixit so I ordered a new bake/broiler ingiter and will do my best to install it once it arrives. I love to bake so I cannot do without it for too long. Fortunately this week is Passover and my DH is Jewish so he and the kids are observing - thus I wouldn't really have been doing any baking anyway. I had the same thing happen previously and spent about $150.00 to have someone come out, look at my oven and spend about 5 minutes putting in the new part. I told him that for what they were charging, he should have at least made it LOOK difficult. The new part I was able to find on sale for just under $54.00 including shipping so cross your fingers for Mrs. Fixit. Anyone out there with any experience in this area with any good tips, feel free to pass them on.
The second evil appliance is my refrigerator. It seems to pick random times to decide to get warmer than normal. The top freezer is working fine. I am going to try to pull it out today and clean the coils really well. It has served me well for 18+ years so I can't really call it evil, it is just bad timing. I really don't want to have to spend the money right now to replace it. A month or so to save up the cost for the new one is just what I need so here's to the refrig. cooperating for another month. Oh and also to all the other appliances remaining cooperative and fully functional. Guess that means I need to add changing the furnace filter to my list of things to do tonight! I usually do that on the first of the month and haven't done it yet this month.