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Lots of stuff

January 19th, 2009 at 10:43 am

Boy, when I don't update very much, well, I have a lot to chat about...

**I was paying the phone bill and it seemed high. I looked at the bill closer (it's usually the same every month) and thought long distance was the culprit. $10? What did it do? Double?

Looked closer, and long distance was same as prior month, but flat service rate (& taxes) had gone up about $5.

Um, I think we will drop the long distance. We haven't used it since we upgraded our phone plan. I didn't realize how expensive it had gotten. We've been sharing minutes with my parents for a few months at this point. We have plenty minutes. We can call each other for free (which is our main long distance usually) AND we have been using skype more.

The other thing that peeves me about my bill is $6 for call waiting. I HATE call waiting. I think it is very rude; I never use it. But dh wins this one. He hates people who don't have call waiting more than I hate call waiting. If that is possible. Well, I wasn't going to end our union over call waiting, I'll put it that way. LOL. We both feel strongly about our call waiting stances. But it's flipping $6. I think that is crazy. I am going to broach the subject. He had asked something about HBO recently and I said "No way!!!" BUT I would be willing to get HBO if we could drop the long distance AND call waiting. I'll put the offer on the table. I don't expect him to bite. But I rather pay $15/month for HBO than $6/month for call waiting. Big Grin IT's worth some negotiating.

I think dh loves call waiting more than HBO, but I could be wrong.

& oh yes, we pay $1/month for an unlisted # even though it pops up all over the internet now. It's like, nevermind. More wasted money. So much for unlisted. Gah!

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**I filed my taxes. I would have done it sooner, but for various reasons, couldn't do it until today. The state has said refunds will be delayed 30 days at minumum. I am expecting $600 for our savings (mostly state, if I ever get it). I tried to at least be first in line? Big Grin W-2, itemized expenses (all detailed in Quicken). We have no taxable accounts but some savings accounts. It was all very simple. I didn't spend more than an hour on it all.

ETA: State just announced filers before Feb. 1 will get refund ASAP. Woohoo!!!! BUT status subject to change. Won't hold my breath...

**I closed my Virtual Bank accounts. I had a token $100 in there thinking I may use the account for some savings bucket, one of these days. Interest rate was not horrid. I noticed it just dropped down to 1% interest rate (from like 2.5%?). Nevermind. Decided to bail.

BUT this was my first high yield online savings account. Ah, the memories. I will miss ya.

I really don't like jumping around accounts too much (what a headache). I am still mostly loyal to GMAC. They may not have the highest rate at any one point in time, but they have a good track record. Slow to lower rates; first to raise them, overall.

Now that my vbank account is closed, I will be open to testing out another high yield bank though. I think 2 is my limit at once. Flagstar bank caught my eye because they have our new mortgage, but it looked like merely promotional/temporary rates. I'll sit and watch for a while.

**I was good and I called a handyman. The good and bad thing about us is we are very cautious. We very rarely make snap decisions. If something needs to be done around the house, we wait. If it's not urgent anyway. As a result, though we had PLENTY of cash in the bank to do everything I want to get done, back in 2005 when some of these things came up, we really hesitated. I am not quick to call it a fault of ours. We have learned over the years that by putting off purchases and such, we often realize we can live without. So it's kind of like, let's wait a year or 2 or 3. The impact on our finances is astounding. BUT at the same time, we probably put off stuff we shouldn't. That is true.

Anyway, we have some issues with our gutters and I didn't want to drag my feet on it. I draw the line at anything that can cause further damage if not fixed ASAP.

Researched and found a very highly recommended handyman. Turns out he could work on all the jobs we need help with right now. I asked him to come out to fix the gutters and give us quotes on the rest. We'd see how we like him.

AND, he never showed up.

I was astounded. 1 - because he was billed as SO reliable. 2 - because Craigslist is filled with desperate pleas for work. I assumed the laborers would be less flaky than usual.

Boy was I wrong. With all that I heard I gave the guy the benefit of the doubt, and called to try to reschedule. For all I know he was incapacitated or something. But he never returned my call.

I give up!

As I perused Craigslist printing out ads for dh to follow up on (I don't have time for this!!!!!) I saw this handyman guy busy posting ads on the day he stood us up. What the heck????

I don't *get* people!!!!!!!!!!!! Too busy looking for work to do the work that is given???

Since today is dh's birthday I will leave it be, but the rest of the week he has some work to do. I've spent enough time as is trying to search out someone reliable. Ugh. I give the job to him!

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**Dh's birthday is today. His mom brought lasagna and pie yesterday. & took us out for Benihana's. I had NEVER been. We had a blast.

Dh's aunt came along. She is moving to China for 3 years to do missionary work and such (she already lived there many years - I didn't meet her for a long time or see her much when we first dated. But we have gotten used to having her around more lately -kids are very close with her).

So it was our "good bye" to her as well.

They asked a couple of times if we would bring the kids to China. What a loaded question. Of course; would be awesome. Um, not sure if that is in the budget!!!!!! Ask me in 3 years. I have the feeling all 4 of us will not go, no. Maybe dh and the kids. I did just go to Japan after all. It's just one of those things where paying for 4 people is so mind boggling. I know MIL would love to take the kids, but they are young enough, I don't think so! I am sure negotiations on that will ensue in the upcoming years. The kids will be very blessed if they are able to go. In the long run MIL will probably take dh and the kids. But then there is the fairness to his sister. & yeah - I just don't know.

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On a frugal note, I am meeting dh for lunch at our favorite buffet. He gets a FREE meal on his birthday.

We also have only spent about $40 on gas for the cars, all month. What the heck? We were hard pressed to stay within $300 some months last year. This month will be $100 easy, even with 2.5 trips to the Bay Area & one trip to the snow. Craziness. We may eke out some extra savings.

9 Responses to “Lots of stuff”

  1. Ima saver Says:

    I agree, I hate call waiting and I don't have it either.

  2. swimgirl Says:

    Me, too! HATE call waiting. You might as well just say to someone, "Well, it's nice talking to you, but someone better might be calling so hold on."

    It sounds like MIL bases a lot of her assumptions on houses...like many people, unfortunately.

  3. thriftorama Says:

    I HATE call waiting. I also hate people that put me on hold to click over to call waiting. I have no problem talking to one person at a time. There is no shame in a busy signal.

  4. monkeymama Says:

    IT cracks me up that some of my favorite bloggers hate call waiting as much as I do. Wink

  5. whitestripe Says:

    i don't think i've ever used call waiting. if someone wants to talk to me, they will call back.
    you can also get phones that have answering machines that click over when you're on the phone to someone else. maybe that could be a compromise in the future?

  6. dmontngrey Says:

    I'm kinda indifferent on call waiting. I DO like it in the respect that if you NEED to get ahold of someone, you're not getting a busy signal for hours. Too bad my mom just got call waiting and has no "call waiting manners".

    As far as the handyman goes: NO WAY! I'd be so done giving him the benefit of the doubt by now. Too many folks willing to work to waste time with someone who can't be bothered to call you back - or show up.

  7. frugaltexan75 Says:

    Count me in as someone else who LOATHES Call Waiting! I don't think there is anything more rude than that 'invention.' Uck!

  8. baselle Says:

    I hate the phone on general principles. Luckily, its a rare phone call that I make that's longer than 15 minutes - plenty of time to call, get a busy signal, call me back and talk.

  9. homebody Says:

    So my sister and BIL are flying to China January 24th. My 23-year old nephew is over there teaching English. I think their tickets were around $1500.00 a piece, flying from Seattle to Seoul, Korea and then onto wherever they are going in China, about another hour and a half. My sister does not enjoy flying, but she misses her son so much. They knew this was probably their only chance to go. She is finally getting excited, but keeping her bottle of Xanax handy!

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