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Expensive, Spendy Week

March 25th, 2014 at 12:27 pm

**I accidentally paid the property taxes with a closed bank account, several weeks ago. I did get an e-mail that the payment bounced, BUT, I never heard diddly squat, otherwise.

I asked dh to go take care of it today. I gathered from online that we had to bring a cashier's check with the "returned check fee" added to it, but lord knows with all the government red tape. (We just got passports last year and the websites and the people on the phone and in person all told us 100 different things. OMG). The saving grace is it wasn't due for another few weeks. Which is why I strongly encouraged dh to take care of it this week, before the tax office gets busy.

As I expected, we needed a new payment coupon reflecting the payment + fee. But, they were able to provide that for him if he just waited in another "line". So, phew! (& there was no LINE!)

$53 rejected payment fee, $5 for the cashier's check at our credit union, and $1 for metered parking.

I will NEVER do that again. Gah! But, happy to have it resolved and for life to move forward.

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**I still haven't funded my 2013 ROTH IRA, but I think I will just do it next payday. Next week. Until then, I have just been hoarding up the cash for that.

All else has kind of been on hold.

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**This week the kids have their dentist appointments (which always seem to be $$$$$). Lord knows this might be "it". The eldest is almost 11 and braces are right around the corner. When his current dentist/ortho recommends it we will get some other quotes and likely choose an orthodontist closer to home.

The eldest also has an "Extra permanent tooth" situation. The baby tooth is loose so they will probably pull it. Will see what they think of the progress of past few months (it's possible he will need surgery to get the permanent tooth out; but probably still too soon to decide much).

None of this stuff is particularly surprising. If anything, neither of them have as bad a situation as I did. I have been saving for their orthodontics since before they were born. Wink Accordingly, I am probably way over-stressed about it. Uneccesarily...

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**It's not all taxes and dentists and ROTHs.

I should get my big tax season overtime check on April 15th.

Since I will have saved up enough cash for the property taxes and the ROTH, and then some, by April 1, we decided to jump the gun a bit and do a couple of big purchases. I don't think we generally purchase much of anything with my April check. BUT, last year was a crazy expensive Murphy year. & so I think we are just getting impatient with our splurges. I suppose we aren't spending it anyway. Just feel more comfortable moving forward knowing that we can bulk up our savings account before we actually have to pay for any of these purchases.

To be clear, we can pay cash for these very easily, without the OT.

What do I Want to splurge on? An upgraded stereo for my vehicle. Dh used some focus group money to upgrade the other car stereo about a year ago. & we've gotten spoiled. I don't know if I would care that much, except I can't get my new cell phone (the one I have had since November), to work with my car stereo. It's driving me a little batty. Especially since I get to enjoy bluetooth in the other car. So, I have been telling myself we will fix that come April.

In the end, dh has an appointment to get that installed on Friday. Woohoo!!

What is crazy is that my vehicle actually has the original stock stereo. I think our MO is generally to buy very inexpensive (older) cars and the first thing we generally do is upgrade the stereos. But, in this case, it was a fairly new vehicle and it actually had a CD player. !! Which has since been broken. I'll get the bluetooth for the phone. Yesterday dh found an extra thumb drive for me to put a lot of my MP3s on. That will get hooked up to the stereo too. It will be pretty sweet. (I think it comes with a CD player too, but I don't know, they all blur together).

We also bought a laptop last week. We've been doing without, but wanted to pick up something before the next school year. As the kids have been fighting over their computer more. They are less happy with the netbook for their needs, and the charger doesn't work half the time. We went with something very practical. & if the kids can handle it and take care of it, then we might consider a fancier touch screen latpop in the future. I am amazed how much prices have come down over the years. We haven't bought a laptop in a decade. IT was probably a little bigger than I wanted it to be, and it didn't have the fancy graphics card for gaming. But, we decided it was very practical, has everything we need, and is a huge step up from our broken netbook. VERY happy with it so far. IT was $475 with tax. We picked it up on sale. Dh says it's on par with his fairly new desktop. The processor and memory and everything. Which blows my mind!

We were trying to figure out where to put it, when we decided just to leave it on our dining room table. The one we use *once a year* for Thanksgiving. The rule is the kids can't move the laptop. For their purposes, it might as well be a desktop. Saved us from having to repurpose or buy another table.

I really really liked the small netbook for travel and so on, but do admit that this is far more practical for work. I don't use it that much for work, but it will be nice for when I need it. I just remember the big old monstrosity of a laptop I had to carry around for my last job, and that does help give me perspective. Big Grin

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Once we see how April shakes out, we will have to sit down and start prioritizing things. Those were the, "I can't take it any more!" purchases.

We've got some home maintenance and travel stuff to sort through.

I think we have literally just been waiting for the storm to settle. IT hasn't gone, but it's gotten much tamer. 2014 so far is the year of, "everything has to be complicated and annoying". Like paying the property taxes with the wrong account. I feel like everything I have touched has gone down like that this year. IT's driving me a little batty. BUT, it is a huge improvement from "A surprise $1,000 bill every single month". That was 2013.

8 Responses to “Expensive, Spendy Week”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    What laptop did you choose? We've got $500 saved and were thinking about saving up another $500 to get a refurbed Macbook, but we could probably buy something now if we went with another brand.

  2. Bluebird Says:

    Enjoy your planned purchases! We plan all of our purchases, too. I already have funds set aside for an expected retainer for one of our boys this year. And we have some home improvements items planned for this year. I'll be glad when that's over!

  3. snafu Says:

    Enjoy planned purchases. Don't you find they work out better long term having done appropriate research, chosen a satisfactory provider based on experience and yelp-like reviews? Experience has taught me that impulsive buys - especially those caused by an emergency cost more and delivers less than their advertising suggested.

  4. MonkeyMama Says:

    @Ceejay - Lenovo G510. My spouse is the computer nerd. But, as I recall, he was happy with the long battery life and felt it was a fairly "future proof" computer. Like if we want to keep it 10 years. I saw on the reviews that it was good for video production, but not so great for higher-end gaming. Which makes sense from what my spouse told me. The screen is large and the keyboard is really nice.

  5. ceejay74 Says:

    Interesting! I hadn't heard of that brand, but we're looking into it now.

  6. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Sounds like a nice laptop - just a bit more than I paid for my current computer/screen 3 years ago.

  7. snafu Says:

    DH is on his 2nd Lenovo, likes it a lot BUT suggests buying a molded keyboard cover as the key imprints eventually wear out with lots of use. My MacAir came with a keyboard cover [bought used 8 months from total geek who must have the newest model available]. That cover has saved my Air several times from people who drink coffee while looking at my screen.

  8. Looking Forward Says:

    We'd like to get DD a laptop of her own. We are thinking Christmas maybe. She does so much on the computer for school.. notes, research, reports, but also emailing teachers and checking assignments and grades.

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