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Archive for January, 2012

Making my dentist some money

January 29th, 2012 at 11:32 pm

Our family is doing our part to support the dental profession this month! My girls will have sealants put on/redone (only partially paid for by insurance), my youngest has an appointment for a consultation with an orthodontist, and I chipped my tooth at dinner tonight! This was originally from an accident back when I was a kid and chipped my tooth. It has been filled since then to keep the tooth smooth and non-chipped looking, but every once in a while I have to have it refilled, and now is one of those times. Ugh.

I had a quiet day around the house. We did our grocery shopping, then I took a nap. After lunch I ran 3 miles, did some homework, ran another 3 miles, did some more homework. We made some cake pops and had dinner. Now I'm here on SA checking up with everyone, but in all actuality I need to get back to homework. This week I need to get in touch with potential practicum supervisers. I need to see how tough it will be to get those required experience hours.

Sunny Saturday

January 28th, 2012 at 04:23 pm

I've already taken the dog for a walk, it is so sunny outside and I only needed a sweatshirt, love winter days like this! Usually this is such a rough time of year for me mentally, I really appreciate the nice weather whenever we get it.

I took my Unit 1 test this morning, got a 96%! Now on to the next Unit. I'll need to print up all of the material, which just became available last night, or else I would have printed it at work. But if I wait until Monday to print at work I won't be able to take advantage of the several uninterrupted hours of studying I can do this weekend. So I will suck it up and print from home this week.

We plan to grocery shop today and meet a friend for dinner. I've got some running to finish up for the month, I'll get it done!

I'm also going to turn in our change, we've been saving since the summer.

10K Savings update

January 27th, 2012 at 12:52 am

I added an additional $400 to savings, so my new total is $1406. I will update again after I get paid next week. Feels like I'm saving so slowwwly!

Tomorrow I will call my state Dept of taxes in regards to the letter they sent where I did not file deductions correctly and owe them money. I want them to explain what I did incorrectly, so that I don't make mistakes again. I will make that call on my cell phone at work. I can put it on speaker while I work on the computer, at least I can do something productive while I am put on hold.

I didn't do any studying tonight, just resting. I can study tomorrow and take the test Friday night or Saturday afternoon. Then get started on the next unit.

A better day

January 25th, 2012 at 11:49 pm

I was feeling so hopeless early this morning, but things always do pick up. I truly believe, you are never given what you can't handle- though you might need to make some hard choices.

My students were having a much better day today. I talked it over with coworkers- the student of concern IS making progress- it's just us adults who are becoming wiped out!

My first test opens up Friday evening for my class. I'm going to study several more hours before I take the test this weekend. As soon as this test is out of the way I start the materials for the next unit. The weekends will be when I do the majority of my studying and learning, the downtime during the week is minimal. But this class will help me be a better teacher, and one day have more options.

Eventful money day

January 25th, 2012 at 10:42 am

I started working on the taxes yesterday. I have always filed jointly with my ex because we are just separated, we've yet to file any paperwork (but determined to this year!). So this was our first year filing separate, I claimed head of household. I haven't completed the taxes because my work still delivers W-2s the old fashioned way- they make an announcement over the intercom, and everyone has to initial by their names as they are handed their W-2. Can you believe that, in this day and age? Anyway, I estimated using my final pay stub of the year, and I will update that to the W-2 info as soon as it is in my hands. I'm sure we will get the W-2 with payday on the 31st.

We also attended the board meeting last night regarding what to do with the house when we have a military transfer. They went ahead and put us on the wait list for one of the rental slots that are authorized. We are also going to start researching realtors today and look into the possibility of selling, since we have about 17 months before the transfer date. The HOA commended us for being proactive with our house!

Besides that, I had a very long, stressful day at work that left me wondering if I am the right girl for the job. I can't help but think that if only I was "better" I could change the behavior of a couple severe students I have in my special ed class. I admit they have made progress, but it is very slow, and it is so hard to be in the middle of the behaviors and noise for 7 hours a day. I'm expected to be able to "fix" these behaviors as well as teach to the alternate standards, with reduced staffing. The other special ed teacher has older students, and she gets a planning time all to herself, and her students attend specials, and she has additional assistants, and, and... I'm just feeling the burnout I hear about, I think. I'm sorry for the whine fest, I'm just very sick and tired. Thanks for listening!

Up early with a stuffy head

January 24th, 2012 at 09:47 am

I've definetly caught some sort of bug. After a sleepless night I finally got out of bed at 3:30 am to do something about my congestion. I used the neti pot, which did help to clear my sinuses temporarily, and took some pseudophed. But now I'm awake for the day! Fortunately,I don't have any activities planned after work this evening so I can go home and rest.

I checked on my budget since I'm up anyway. It looks like everything is right on target, whew. I'm eager to reach my 10K goal. I've got to save on average $1666 per month. Only at $1006 right now, but the month isn't over yet Smile

I may look into the possiblity of summer employment. Teaching summer school would be ideal, good hours. I just think that besides the extra money, a little structure would do me some good. As much as I hate to admit it, I like to stay a "little" busy! I didn't work last summer because we went on vacation for a week and then another long weekend. This year we are not planning a vacation because we are doing the cruise in October. So work is something to consider.

Board meeting is tonight, so we can get some feedback on what to do with the house when we relocate.

Short week ahead

January 23rd, 2012 at 10:42 am

We have a staff day Friday, so no students. I actually like going to work those days because it gives me a chance to catch up on all of the paperwork that is required. It's hard to plan and teach when you have a deskful of other things that need your immediate attention,too. I'm catching a cold and feeling pretty lousy, so if I can just stay healthy this week and make it to Friday I will be ok!

I'm feeling better about the house situation, too. We are being proactive and have lots of time to make decisions. We will get a better idea of our options after the next board meeting.

I spent the weekend with family. We had DDs friends come over for dinner Sat night, one had a sleepover, and went out to lunch with my brother on Sunday. We spent the rest of Sunday at home relaxing with the kids. Well, I was doing homework, but it always feels good to knock those assignments out of the way. I'm also learning a lot that can help me right now, so I'm looking forward to going to work and putting some strategies into practice.

Organizing finances, some concerns

January 22nd, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Thanks for some feedback on rewards, SA! I think I will continue to let the rewards grow for now, and then dump them in the EF when it gets big enough. I will track it, though, so I know what I've earned for the year. I'll add that to my blog side bar, and update periodically throughout the year.

I added another $5 rebate check to the family cruise fund, making $482. I started this account in 2011, so those rebates add up over time. When we first started the account with rebate checks, I remember when it was like $40, and we would say things like, ok, we can buy lunch at Disney World now. When it got to $100, we could cover one night in a hotel, that sort of thing. Now that the cruise is booked, it is very exciting to see my rebates going towards a big cruise ship!

My rental place is operating smoothly, and our finances our on track for now. Our biggest concern is the house when SO gets new military orders next year. It is still over a year away, but she wants to get the house in order. The HOA is very strict on rentals, and they may not grant her permission to rent it out if the quota of rentals has been met. Then she will be forced to sell, but there have been some short sales lately which have just dragged the prices down in the neighborhood. There is no way could we sell at that price, SO would have to join the ranks of short sales/foreclosures. And some of these short sales have been sitting empty in the neighborhood for over a year. It's scary, and I'm trying not to get ahead of myself. But that is why we are starting to communicate with the HOA now, a year and a half prior.

What do you do with your Rewards?

January 21st, 2012 at 11:49 am

I've taken advantage of some credit card Rewards bonuses lately. In the past I would just cash it out, but then the checks never really "did" anything. It would come in handy for a car repair, or a night out. I would have "found" money in my budget for those things even without the rewards cash, though.

I want the rewards money to go towards something, I think it would be more motivating for me. I debating should my rewards cash go towards our vacation in the fall or Christmas. If it goes to the vacation, well, that's great, it will really boost the fund, but when that is paid in full in August I'll have to start from scratch for Christmas. That doesn't give me much time to save.

I don't have to do anything with them right now, they will just continue to grow online. It is for my own piece of mind, to know where my money will be going!

How does everyone here organize their Rewards loot?

Wednesday update

January 19th, 2012 at 12:43 am

I received a $6 rebate in the mail today. New cruise savings balance: $477.

$10,000 savings update: $1,006. A little slower than I had planned, but of course things crop up: the extra amount due on my state taxes from last year, dental copays for the kids, all that good stuff.

My online course has started, and it is going to be very time consuming. The upside is that I know it is going to be very useful in my classroom.

Back to class for me

January 15th, 2012 at 07:08 pm

My online class started today, so I spent the morning going through orientation, watching videos, and printing out documents. I still have more to get done today.
I took a break to take DDs to the craft store to spend their Christmas money. They were happy with their purchases, and I feel we got some good deals. The three of us also got our hair cut before lunch, always traumatic because my girls hate to get hair cut! They want long hair, but never want to brush it, go figure!
I received $17 in rebate checks yesterday in the mail, so cruise fund is up to $471.
Ok, off to spend some money on textbooks online and get some more classwork done. I want to knock out the first week now so I don't have to spend so much time on the class later in the week. I will see how this class goes. My work is paying for this one, so this class is like the "tester". I really need to think long and hard about what these classes will bring to my life.

Disappointing Groupon experience

January 14th, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Last night we went out to dinner with another couple to a restaurant where we recieved a Groupon certificate for Christmas. I knew that our meals had to be from a selected menu, that was fine. When the waiter got around to place our orders and discovered that we were the couple with the groupon certificate, they shoved a stained photocopy of the selected menu in front of us. Our friends received their meal like 30 minutes before we received ours, so we all had to wait around for each other to eat. It was obvious to everyone that the restaurant wasn't trying too hard with our meals, since they were already paid for. But you would think that part of the benefit of Groupon is the possibility of returning customers. I would never return to that restaurant. And I'm glad I wasn't the one paying for the meal!

Friday wake up

January 13th, 2012 at 11:01 am

The wind woke me up early this morning. I guess the cold ront has made its way to us. Yesterday it was sunny and warm, I didn't even wear my jacket after work. Today it has dropped about 20 degrees and the wind is Howling. Still not going to complain. We have been blessed with a mild winter so far. I take every day I am given!

My paycheck came in last night due to the holiday weekend. My bills are still scheduled to leave the account next week. I'm pleased that everything will be paid and savings is according to schedule.

A few one-timer expenses are getting paid this pay period. I'm renewing my passport, total will be about $122. I guess spanning the 10 years or so before I need another one, not such a huge expense. DDs are having sealants done for dentist. I am very surprised the insurance doesn't cover this 100%. Between the two girls this may be close to $100.

One DD also has a referral to see an orthodontist, ugh. I have a feeling that "orthodontist" will be a regular expense in the near future...

Eat in, not out

January 12th, 2012 at 10:42 am

Last night I had a planned shopping stop right after picking up DDS after school. DD has been searching for a DVD set that she wanted to spend Christmas money on, so we went to a Target out of the way that had it last time we checked. I had planned on taking the girls out to eat on the way back home, but it was rainy, getting dark, and I think all of us just wanted to get back to the house. We had a relaxed, free meal of quesadillas and fruit. Even planned eating out is losing it's appeal to me. But it saves me money, yay! I have my 2012 goals to reach, that is more important than a so-so meal somewhere.

More rebate checks arrived

January 10th, 2012 at 11:38 pm

In the last two days I have received rebate checks for a total of $23, bringing the cruise fund up to $454.

Work is as challenging as ever, I will leave it at that. I continue to find the good in all situations. (Positive affirmation, you know!)

My online class starts next week, I'm anxious to get it started. I don't know why I decided to take classes again, except that this will be a good step for my career and my students should benefit.

Changed up the finances, again

January 7th, 2012 at 11:59 am

I decided to take the $10,000 I saved last year and stick it in a taxable Sharebuilder account. I can transfer it back to my ING account should something come up which requires that money. There is the risk that I may "lose" the money in the game, but mostly I have lots of years to average out losses and gains, and eventually come out ahead.

The weather warmed up again yesterday so we were able to grill outside for dinner. Wayyy better than any meal we could have gotten at a restaurant. The smell of food on the grill, the bustle on our small patio, it always brings fond memories of summer meals! We haven't eaten out this week, which is an accomplishment for us. This is mostly thanks to my SO, she is much more disciplined as far as cooking at home.

Sleepy week

January 5th, 2012 at 11:03 am

Luckily it has been a short week, but it is still very hard to get up in the mornings. Once we are in the car I do ok, because then I think of what I can get done during the work day, but, boy, is it hard getting everyone dressed and out the door!

I updated the cruise savings to reflect the additional rebate checks deposit. We are trying to pay for the cruise with rebate checks as much as possible, we earned over $350 last year just through rebates.

On the work front, I'm a little upset, the additional help I got this year is being pulled to be used elsewhere. Chaos resumes again in the classroom. I know I can finish out the year, but I am seriously reconsidering my future options.

First day back after break

January 4th, 2012 at 01:51 am

It was so hard to get up this morning, especially since the temperature dropped into the low 40s today. I haven't complained about the weather much, though, because we have enjoyed pretty mild weather up until now.

Work was not bad, about half of the students were still out, I think that a lot of the families were finishing up vacations. I got a lot of planning done, and a lot of one-on-one time with the students, which is always such a help.

I received 2 rebate checks in the mail that totaled $12. I will add this to our account earmarked for the family cruise.

Tomorrow our family is going ice skating, taking advantage of groupon tickets bought last month. We will eat frozen pizza at home before we head out, saving ourselves time and money on another meal. We still have plenty of food at home because we have been finishing leftovers rather than cooking what we originally intended. That means I should see a lower grocery bill next week!

Here's to 2012!

January 1st, 2012 at 02:37 pm

My parents took the kids to a resort for the evening for their own party, so SO and I were able to celebrate the New Year at a local club. I got SO to dance with me, (which is a first!), and just had club soda all night. We had a great time, I haven't celebrated New Years with a large crowd in several years.

I got up this morning feeling good. I went ahead and checked my work email for the first time since holiday break. Nothing too overwhelming, just one issue that my AP had already called and discussed with me over the holiday. I'm ready to go back. I got some much needed rest, and I have lots to look forward to in 2012. Lots of work ahead, with my new course starting up in a few weeks, SO testing in the next month or so, and the kids working as hard as ever at school. But it's all for a good cause. We just have no time for stuff that isn't going towards the greater good. That's the tricky part- really "listening" to what we should be doing, not just what seems fun or easy.