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Archive for November, 2023
Can you login now?
My login/SA problems are all fixed now.
We picked up Hulu as a cable replacement when we cut the cable cord in 2012.
It was a nice alternative because at the time Hulu had current shows and we paid the premium for no commercials. We were paying $8.55/month.
For the most part, money is no object when it comes to streaming services. It's MH's thing. It's the one thing he will want to spend money on (TV and movies). But on the flip side of the coin, we have always been wary of signing up for contracts, we limit ongoing monthly costs of any kind, etc.
I probably just presumed if MH was paying for something, that he was using it. But I mentioned to him that I noticed that Hulu just jumped up from $14.99/month to $17.99/month. In the "If you're cool with it" vein... It still beats cable. But just wanted to be sure he was aware.
MH's response: "Oh yeah, I got an email about that. We should probably re-evaluate what we have and what we are using."
The cost was enough to get his attention. I told MH, "I don't think I am watching anything on Hulu." We went through and there wasn't anything I personally would want to keep track of. Most of the shows I had been more into, they wrapped up and had their series finale in the last year or so.
We quickly decided that we just weren't using Hulu and that the price was steep even if there was just one or two shows we would be into. So MH 'paused' the subscription for 12 weeks. That was the longest he could pause it. Our overall plan is to maybe pause Hulu for 6 months and then pause Netflix for 6 months. But if it was just me, I could probably do without Hulu.
I put it on my calendar. We will evaluate in another 12 weeks. I expect we will just pause Hulu again.
Netflix, we pretty much always had. It replaced Blockbuster at some point (we were mailed rentals, in the old days). I never coded this as a 'cable' expense because it was an entertainment expense that MH had always paid for.
I do watch a lot of stuff on Netflix and want to just keep it. But I am totally fine with the 6 months on and 6 months off plan. The shows will still be there.
MH bought a 1-year Peacock deal at some point. I mentioned it to him when it renewed. Wasn't sure if anyone was really using it, at the time. I think it just fell off his radar. But as we hashed it out this week, I decided I've actually been using Peacock a fair amount. It only comes out to $5/month. I think we should keep it.
I guess the only other streaming service we are paying for is Shudder. It's $5.99/month. I have been coding that to MH's allowance. I didn't realize it was a monthly subscription thing. I just moved it over to 'Cable TV', now that I realize. He's pondering starting and stopping that too, periodically.
For reference, old cable was $100/month.
I guess technically we are only paying $10.99/month now. For Shudder & Peacock.
Still have Netflix, but that literally had replaced our movie rental service. In the old old days, we had both cable and movie rentals. But if you want to split hairs, that's another $20/month.
So I look it up, for the apples to apples. We used to pay $30/month for both Blockbuster and Netflix. I don't remember why. Maybe like current streaming days, they had different offerings? Did we stream Netflix before we left cable?
Okay, so old cable and video rentals was $130/month.
Today, all the streaming costs $30/month. Which was how much it cost 12 years ago when we first cut cable.
Happy to say that it hasn't gotten all wild and out of control. I doubt we've had any discussions about this in a very long time. It looks like we just got lax about Hulu, and probably both presumed the other was using it.
Edited to add: We've always paid for the premium Netflix so that the kids could log in, so that we could log in when we travel or when we visit our parents, so that everyone in my household can stream at the same time, etc. If they get weird and stingy about that, we are happy to drop down our subscription to a cheaper offering. So far, it hasn't been an issue.
The last few weeks have been crazy.
Thankfully, there has been some good crazy! It's a nice change. A mix of good and bad. It beats just constant bad news.
The worst news is that MM(20)'s girlfriend has been very ill and she dropped out for the rest of this quarter. The quarters go so fast and missing 2-3 weeks was just too much for her to catch up. I feel so bad for her parents. They've been going through this with her sister the last 2 years. So when the GF ended up in the ER (out of network) I thought, "I guess they know the drill." Been there and done that. I expect this is also why she quickly decided to drop her classes. It was an easier decision, being already familiar with the logistics.
The really good news is that MH's movie funded! Woohoo!
But I suppose this means I am just signing up for more CRAZY! Lord knows what we have gotten ourselves into.
This is just the best and the worst news. Other things off the top of my head...
There was a brush fire (arson) just blocks from MM(20)'s apartment. This was a few days after the GF left, so that was a dramatic week.
Everyone at work has been sick, and so I have been covering for everyone (per usual). But I suppose this time it was all the departments and everyone was sick. That was a little extra. (It's been a bad sick year, in general.) My employees are *always* sick or out with some personal drama. I still have no idea what it's like to have well employees that show up for work. Stress apparently works well for me because I've never been healthier. But I am vaccinated and I don't have small kids at home. To be fair, I was much more sickly when I had younger kids. (I work in a young office, most have young kids.) As I type this out, lord knows what DL(18) will be bringing home from the college.
We had a large bank fraud at work. Due to several factors, the bank refunded us six figures after 2 days. Phew! (It sounds most likely it was post office fraud. Very similar to when one of my clients had a check washing fraud incident about 15 years ago.)
On the plus side, I did have my 5-Year work anniversary dinner. My employer and his wife took out both MH and I. It was probably the best and most expensive meal I have ever had. Giving me a taste for the finer things in life.
Received $98 bank interest
Received $208 I Bond interest
Snowflakes to Investments:
--Redeemed $40 credit card rewards (cash back) from our grocery card
--Redeemed $128 cash back on Citi card
--Redeemed $10 cash back on dining out/gas card
Other Snowflakes to Investments:
+ $8 Savings from Target Red Card (grocery purchases)
TOTAL: $186 Snowflakes to Investments
Snowball to Savings/Investments:
+$1,300 MH Income
Savings (from my paycheck):
+$ 450 to investments
+$1,000 to cash (mid-term savings)
Pulled from mid-term savings:
-$2,000 Investment in MH movie project
-$ 505 Medical Bills (DL ER)
-$ 657 LA Hotel (re: movie project fundraising)
-$ 400 Tucson Airfare
-$ 265 College Travel
-$ 107 DL College Expenses
Short-Term Savings (for non-monthly expenses within the year):
+$1,500 to cash
-$ 952 Auto Insurance
-$ 78 Pest Control
TOTAL: $813 Deposited to Cash & Investments
Note: Also pulled $850 November rent from 'college savings'
Hybrid Miles Driven: 762
Electric (EV) Miles Driven: 1,534
Note: 150 Free EV miles this month re: college trip and parking downtown
We drove the EV 735 miles re: college town trip & MH met up with a friend in the Bay Area. That's all I remember off the top of my head, but was probably about 1,000 of the EV miles.
Note: I am always lagging a month behind because any bills charged in September will be paid off October 1 and reflected in my October numbers. I charge in one month and the next month I figure out how to pay for everything (if I need to pull anything from savings). So this update reflects September spending & October savings.
Interest is going to start dropping down significantly. Bank interest is down re: lots of expenses (and more to come). I Bond interest will drop significantly after November. The mega interest is expiring on those bonds.
Movie project update: It funded! Woohoo! We put in $2,000 towards the end of the campaign but then it was extended for 30? days? Because it was a Horror movie and Halloween and all that. Not planned at all, so that was a nice surprise. By the skin of our teeth... As of right now, it's raised about $2K more than the minimum. So our $2K was completely unnecessary? But it's nice to whole thing won't get canceled if someone cancels their $500 or $1,000 contribution or whatever. The buffer is nice.
Most definitely have not ruled out contributing more. But I am relieved that at least that can wait for December windfalls to sort out. (Including college financial aid, which is again delayed to December.) In the short run, our obvious financial contribution will be travel expenses early next year, re: filming of movie in another state. That's what we need to plan and save for. & MH was just telling me he expects a lot more travel next year, re: this movie.
But it's nice that we aren't scrambling to do a bigger contribution right now.
Edited to add: I think it might be happening? Saw that both schools are disbursing state grants this week? Fingers crossed! Still in 'will believe it when I see it' mode. I'd just be happy if financial aid gets sorted out before I start paying for the next quarter/semester. In both cases, should owe nothing for the next quarter/semester. If financial aid is applied to the next quarter/semester and we received refunds from the first quarter/semester.
Second edit: The $7,000 state grant is showing up in MM(20)'s financial aid today. I mean, at his college. I will still believe it when I see it. But that's a pretty good indication that the school has received updated numbers. I had already heard that people were receiving refunds. Hoping his shows up in the next couple of days. Though really I just need it to show up Wednesday. He told me he is registering for classes Wednesday. So I could literally apply the refund to his tuition on Wednesday. Will put the remainder back in his college fund.