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Archive for July, 2013

Time for some better habits

July 30th, 2013 at 05:56 am

July has been the month of Mayhem, understandably so. A family vacation in the beginning of the month, temporary childcare gig for 3 weeks, a birthday party, and weekend commutes to pack. It is almost over! I am not complaining much, though, it was all by choice and for good reason.

August 1 we start the lease on the new house, though we don't get the majority of our household goods until next Tuesday. I am so excited to move in, I want to be settled again.

Priority #1 for August: get kids registered, supplies purchased, and school routine laid out. My kids like structure and I want to provide this for them so that they can get comfortable in the new town asap.

Priority #2 for August: get prepared for school myself: take all the trainings that I can, get all of my paperwork together, be on top of things. I have been using my phone to take notes and it's handy, but I miss my little calendar where I can jot things down and easily thumb through my schedule, I might go back to that again...

Priority #3 for August: get back to active and healthy. I haven't had my exercise habit for about a month and I feel it, I need to develop a new exercise habit again. I'm thinking I can't get on the computer until the exercise is complete and out of the way...

TGIF (long) update

July 26th, 2013 at 05:15 am

I met my savings goal for May-Aug ahead of schedule, mostly because of the unexpected summer job and selling things that aren't going with me on the move. I have to adjust my savings goals for the remainder of the years to reflect the salary increase- means my savings should increase, not just my spending!

I haven't been very consistent with my exercise, my schedule has been off for the entire month of July. With vacation, temporarily staying with SO during the week to take the nanny job, driving back home on the weekends to tie things up, I'm feeling very out of routine. Of course, that's just another excuse, I could always find time to exercise whether part of a routine or not!

Trainings for the new school district are set up, so August will be pretty full. At least we will be in the new house then. Next week I will be at home taking care of doctor appointments, gathering documents (SO mistakenly packed them all up, ugh!), and meeting up with friends one last time before the move. The kids will be with their dad for the month since he is off most of the month.

This year the focus will be getting my kids situated in school, school for me, and staying active. Recently I had the opportunity to work part time making very good money, to gain the required supervision for my additional professional certification. But I turned it down, because honestly I think the additional 15 hours a week will just be too much for me at this point. I don't want to be pulled in so many directions that I can't succeed at anything. And most importantly I want the kids to be well adjusted to their new home, which would be a lot easier if I was home after school and not at another job until bedtime.

So it means that my goal of the professional certification will be put on hold for the time being. I will need to find a supervisor within the school system somehow, work in the field full time to get supervision on the job, or wait until my kids are older and I can get the supervision part-time. This was tough for me to decide, because I can make a whole lot more money in this field, but right now my family needs the time more than money. And there will be other work opportunities in the future, especially in this new location.

UPromise pay out

July 24th, 2013 at 04:06 am

I'm not sure if many of you are involved with UPromise... I had signed up when it first started, about the time my oldest DD was born. Although at first I kept up with trying to get the rewards for everyday purchases, eventually I just got busy with other things and couldn't keep up with the participation companies, which cards to use, etc.

Now, ten years later, after getting an email from them I call them up and ask for help with my account, as I have long forgotten username and password. It turns out I had $128 credit with them, which I requested to be given to me in the form of a check. It arrived yesterday!

No, not the college assistance it was touted to be, but in all fairness I only really participated the first couple years. The $128 was a nice surprise, though, because I had forgotten all about it.

You may want to look into past programs such as UPromise and see if you have any credit remaining, I just assumed it would have expired, but was pleasantly surprised. I'll split this money between my DDs savings.

The hard work is paying off

July 23rd, 2013 at 04:00 pm

I was fortunate to receive an offer from the place that I wanted to work at. I have had 7 interview requests from different schools in this district. That makes me feel good because I finally feel like I am at a place where I have some experience and training to back me up. The classes that I have been taking and the experience I have been getting in the classroom is starting to pay off.

I will receive a 32% salary increase from my last teaching contract, super excited about that! Cost of living is higher out here, but SO's cost of living increase will cover the higher housing costs, the only significant price difference that I really notice. The plan is to roll the raise into the taxable investment account for now.

I am simultaneously continuing to work on my professional certificate, this is one of the reasons that I have been sought out for these jobs. It is the edge that many other teachers do not have. I'm not saying that to boast, but to just point out that those extra steps CAN help you in the long run. Developing interests within your career, getting extra training, taking on additional duties, these types of things will bring positive results eventually.

Not to say that I am guaranteed whatever I want in my career, but I do know that if I work hard with good intentions and a positive attitude, positive things are going to come my way. The whole law of attraction thing.

Anyway, enough of my rambling. I am thankful for the pay raise, thankful for the great job opportunity, and I will make this a good move for my family.

Quick weekend round up

July 21st, 2013 at 03:29 am

I was paid $450 for the babysitting this week, I'm glad the parents pay weekly, that keeps me motivated!
This money goes into my savings account for now. I'm putting moving expenses on my rewards credit card so I will pay that off with savings when everything has cleared.

We sold our washer/dryer on Craigslist for $300 within an hour (pricing is everything on CL!). We used some of that money to pay cash for the food and drinks for DD's 14th birthday party. After eating we all went to the pool down the block. Everyone had a fantastic time, I loved watching DD with her friends. They hadn't seen each other since the end of the school year and they were all giggles and nonstop chatter, it reminded me so much of my BFFs and me when we were that age! I'm really praying for my girls to find good friends in our new neighborhood. Good friends just make life so much sweeter!

The credit card bill is really high, since I put all vacation expenses on it and now moving expenses. I will still be able to pay it off by the due date, I think, I'm just waiting for all of the checks to clear and all of the "holds" to be released from online accounts.

All in all, I'm optimistic about the upcoming year. I haven't heard from HR as to my official salary, just looked it up online, but from what I found it is much higher than I'm making now. After taking into consideration the cost of living increase, I should still be able to bank most of the difference between my old salary and my new salary. Plus what I was saving on my old salary. I just can't get sucked into the trappings of having extra money, namely getting used to spending all of the new salary.

I know that looking at my long term goal will help me stay focused on keeping the saving and investing up. We will probably be in our new location for 4 years, and then we can look to something else. At that point we want to have a lot of cash set aside so that we have more choices, since we might be looking at military retirement. That means we may be able to move where we want to, and pick a house we really imagine ourselves living in for a while. Or it might mean more travel jobs. But we want to have choices.

In the meantime, I know we won't be miserable living a simpler life, it can be quite enjoyable!

So they think I'm poor!

July 17th, 2013 at 04:52 pm

I'm a temporary nanny for a few weeks for a family out here. The family has plenty of money and likes to show it- consumerism at it's finest.

Anyway, I was driving the kids to run some errands today, and the oldest, at 11 years old, asks if I "like" my 2008 Kia. I kind of shrug and tell her, yes, it's in good shape and runs really well, and we can fit lots of stuff in it. Then she asks if I plan to buy a newer, nicer car "after getting settled" at my new job and house.

I was surprised by the question, and told her it wasn't important to me to get a new car, unless I needed one by then.

Later on she asked about the new place we are renting in a few weeks. She asked if we were going to move out of the townhome to a bigger home in the future!

(It's actually a single family home we are renting, it just isn't 4,000sqft like her home. It has a nice yard, super close to work and is in a very good school district.)

She asked about all of this stuff nicely, but it was almost like she felt bad for us for having to "make do" with a Kia and a smaller home.

Her dad is really snobbish, so I'm sure she's heard some adult conversations on my choice of car or home. It just goes to show how adults can shape a child's attitude about money. And how money can't buy manners!

I have strengthened my vow not to complain about money to my girls. They know that I am furthering my education so that I can be better at my job and make more money, but I reassure them that we don't "need" more money. It's nice to have but in no way makes us better than anyone else. I don't want them being materialistic and always wanting "more", never being happy with what you have.

Quick update

July 15th, 2013 at 04:25 am

This summer has been a whirlwind. I spent a week in the Midwest visiting my family that I haven't seen in 10 years. It was a nice trip, but felt very long!

You may recall SO received orders to DC area in the Spring, and the kids and I were not able to go along initially because their dad wasn't on board. It turns out that his job is up in that area so he approved of our move out there, since he can see the girls just as easily up there as anywhere. Basically, he works up there and can live anywhere, as long as he returns to duty on his scheduled days. So he has flexibility.

The move means SO, the girls and I all can live under one roof again, saving the expense of 2 households. It also means I am able to accept the higher paying job, and get the experience I need for the next phase of my professional goals. I'll have more financial details later this week.

Right now I'm the temporary nanny for a family out here, and we drive home on the weekends to pack. The movers pick up our household goods on Aug 1. We will be ready!

I have birthday parties planned for both of my girls that everyone is excited about, and lots to look forward to. So lots of changes and stress, but also fun things to look forward to and be thankful for.

Class #3 is complete!

July 2nd, 2013 at 02:34 am

Whew! Glad to have that over with! I earned the Basic Series professional development certificate, which is 3 classes. I can continue to earn the Advanced Series, that is 5 classes. But I'm going to take a breather this next session. All these classes count towards professional certification, but I still have a ways to go before I earn that. I need to get supervision hours. This may be the year that I start my supervision, to get the ball rolling.

We have rented a house in the DC area. It is within our budget, a great yard, great family neighborhood, excellent schools, and the girls can each have their own rooms. It is within walking distance to transit station, so on the weekends we can avoid the traffic. Their dad works out there so the girls will be able to spend time with dad when he's not on a work trip.

The Skype interview went really well last week, the school wants me to come see the classrooms with summer school in session so that I can decide if I want the job! Summer school starts up next week for them, so I will visit on Friday. As soon as it is official I will notify my current school. I already talked to HR, I just need to fill out resignation paperwork since the new school year hasn't started.


We will be moving out there even if this one position doesn't work out. I also have an interview with another school scheduled for next week. And if that doesn't work out I will look for private companies that work with children with special needs. One of the great things about this area is that there are tons of professional opportunities, I should easily be able to find a supervisor to start my professional hours.

This move happened rather suddenly. SO has been out there since March, and now finally the stars have aligned and we are able to move out there as well. That of course changes all the other plans we had placed, but this is what we have ultimately hoped for, to be together as a family again. The commuting on the weekends for 4 years would get old.