We ended up canceling our Oregon trip last minute. Too much ice/snow for our comfort level. Of course, we were already on the fence about this trip so that was a lot of it. The pros/cons shifted quickly to... "Meh"
In the "it never hurts to ask" vein, they fully refunded our very last minute cancelation for the first hotel night. (I am not entirely sure if MH asked, or if they were just nice and offered. I told him to at least ask for a credit for a future stay. Re: the fine print, we were out ~$100 because did not give enough notice.) The second hotel we canceled within an hour of the cutoff time for full refund. So I'd say that we were out $0.
But... MH insisted on getting gas ahead of time (which made me uncomfortable) and so now I am stuck with a full tank of gas. $37 for the small gas tank. I will leave it be because we are still waiting to hear back from some Oregon and LA festivals. Or it's just enough to drive to the Bay Area (and to leave the 2 gallons I need to last me 12 months). So will burn through it one way or another. It literally feels like burning money; gas is so expensive here.
Edit: MH just got into another Oregon festival but not sure if we will be able to make it during winter. The date is TBD.
DL(17) passed his driver test! Woohoo! I can't believe he actually did it in 6 months (I expected he would take his sweet time). Poor kid, though. I think he drove in the rain *once* during his 6 month permit, and even that was probably a miracle. So there was rain in the forecast, it is what it is. But I kept checking the forecast and eventually the window closed to rain just at the time of his test. It ended up raining more on the drive to the DMV, which is good and at least gave him some time to get more comfortable with how to use the wipers, etc. It pretty much stopped raining when his test was done.
Yeah, MM(19) had his permit from January through July, so he had a lot more weather practice. & night practice too. The fog will probably roll in any day now and that will be a fun experience. Things that DL(17) just gets to figure out on his own.
Last Saturday DL(17) drove to the Bay Area, through San Francisco. He wanted to a while ago and I was fine with it, but was just the first weekend we didn't have something going on. We took my bff out to lunch. She had been helping DL(17) out with a school project. I asked if we could meet near a charger. Apparently she also has a Bolt (I didn't know) and we met by an EVgo charger. It ended up being $0.30 for ~100 mile charge. ??? I still had an old credit I lost track of. I was annoyed because the charger had a 1 hour limit. I needed an extra 2-3 minutes to be confident I could make it home. In the end we stopped for about 3 minutes at a charger, on the way home, so spent ~$2 on outside chargers. I expect this stop was completely unnecessary.
Last weekend I added DL(17) to our AAA account and also paid for the annual renewal. I was at least smart enough to add that to his credit card. It looks like he is ~$70 short of $200 reward on $500 spend. I will have to keep thinking about it, if I have any smaller purchases (online).
Edit: I ended up charging MM's auto insurance bill. It was ~$200. DL(17) has already received the $200 reward to offset. I expect we will get another ~$200 bill any day now. Now that we have added DL(17) as a new driver. I expect to be paying closer to $400 every 6 months (or what MM had been paying as a new driver). MM(17) had whittled it down to $200 with his good driving and some years of experience. He does have a 'college student away from home' discount but that has been very negligible on top of all the other discounts. A lot of why the insurance is so low is because we only put ~1,000 miles per year on that car.
It is on my list to fill up his gas tank one more time. We did a week or two ago, but wanted to basically start him off with a full tank. The old gas car is his now. & along with that, all of the expenses. I already told MM(19) that he is officially carless now. (He will borrow whatever car is available, when he is home.)
We took the car to the mechanic the day before DL's test. I expected it needed brake work, and wanted to make sure the brakes were okay for the test, and for DL(17) afterwards. Ended up spending ~$900. New brakes, new battery, and new headlights. I think the headlight went out while they had it, because we were on the way to pick it up when they noticed and changed them out. MH was relieved because he recalled his dad telling him they were a real PITA to change out in that car. (& also could have had to postpone his test, if he had a non-functioning headlight during rain. Phew!)
& the weekend before, they had picked up new wiper blades for the car.
Anyway, I've kept the $1,500/year car repair placeholder in our budget (from when we had two much older cars), while still having one very old car. But the old car is driven so little, it's never needed any work before. So we had four ~$0 repair years (on all of our cars). It's no surprise that eventually the old gas car would need some work. Big picture, we've made out pretty well. (The car was a free hand-me-down.)
MH and I went out to celebrate DL passing his test! (DL was exhausted and not hungry). I am excited about not having to drive DL to school on Wednesdays any more. I can't even fathom the time and freedom this opens up for MH, if I am so excited about getting 40 minutes of my week back. We definitely wanted to celebrate. The next film festival will be so much easier, not trying to coordinate who will pick up DL(17) from school, etc. The ability to make any travel plans, ever. Or the ability of MH to work full-time, etc. It is a big change for us.
This morning I tried to take care of some bills and noticed that both our property taxes and flood insurance went down a little bit. How random is that!? I had to share the success of something getting less expensive. I googled a bit and didn't see any explanation for reduced flood premiums. With the property taxes, we have a lot of bonds and some of those we are graduating out of (after 20 years) and some have been refinanced, etc.
We spoke to MM(19) once in the past 2? weeks. He is focusing on one club/project this year, which is a joint project with a school in LA. So he is driving down to LA most weekends. He went a handful of times last year, but now it's every weekend. Because he has more time to commit and he has made it his priority. That will be a lot of spending on his part, with the fuel (shared) and buying food on the road.
MM told me he was only $2 away from his $500 spend. To get that $200 credit card reward. He had also purchased concert tickets (for when he's in Santa Barbara staying with his girlfriend's family) and a one-way train ticket. I appreciate how he just took the lead and got that taken care of. I mean, he could have asked his cousin if he could get a ride, but he is going to LA for the weekend before Thanksgiving and just presumed everyone else would be gone when he got back. So he bought himself a train ticket. In addition, mostly just groceries, and he also used that credit card at the dentist, both of which I reimbursed him for already. I will reimburse him for the train ticket. Plan A was that his girlfriend was going to Santa Barabra for the (Thanksgiving) break. But I guess that changed and she is able to give him a ride back to school. To clarify the one-way ticket. I had to ask him why he only bought a one-way ticket. I guess plans keep changing. For winter break, he will be in LA for a couple of weeks. It might make more sense to figure out how to get him home from LA. It might be most cost effective to fly.
I am feeling a little overwhelmed. I suppose it was a crazy week and I have also put a lot of my time to all these film festivals. & then was out all day with DL(17) last weekend. Now I have a quiet weekend at home and just feel overwhelmed by my to do list. I expect some of it is also the time I am committing to my communications class. It's not a big time commitment, but time is time. I've mostly been doing the class on work time, but then I just feel behind at work too. But the class is *amazing*. I am so glad because I was reluctant to give up precious time. I made the right choice. I will be done in 4 weeks.
Our weather pretty much went straight from summer to winter. Brrrrrr...