Small Financial Updates

In list format:

  • I got a letter from my USAA military insurance, that due to having such a great year, they are giving me a $47 credit on my auto policy, which means that’s an extra $47 for me when my policy comes up for renewal in February. Considering I save up my renewal in advance with $50 extra for leeway already, I’ll have $100 extra to put towards debt. I love this company, it has to be one of my favorite companies.
  • Work is changing their payment schedule next month by a few days. Being as OCD as I am about my finances, this is going to throw me off a little while I re-adjust everything to the new schedule. I don’t think any of my bills due dates will be affected, since I -mostly- pay everything early.
  • I got the rest of my freelance money in and already put it on the last interest debt that I am paying off. I am still trying to look for another freelance project or two to help get this paid off ASAP. I’ve been looking on guru.com, but don’t see many projects in my skill-set there. I catch a few now and then, but winning the bid for the project is a whole other story.
  • Dad went out and got a log splitter on credit, which I am not all too happy about, but it was something he needed for his health, so there it is. I am not taking on anymore of his debt right now because I have some things I need to take care of on my own first.
  • I have to say though, dad has done a lot better with his monthly budget lately. He hasn’t had any overdrafts, and while he does still spend a good chunk on my credit card, we did talk about ways we could reduce that and I’m hoping to see that change taking place in this months report.
  • I did give my dad a $200 budget for holiday shopping. I told him he didn’t need to spend it all on me, but I have no doubt that’s what he intends to do. I know it seems silly to give him a holiday budget (especially when it’s just spent on me anyway), but that is something that is special to him (opening gifts Christmas morning), so it’s really worth the expense.
  • While going to the doctors yesterday and the radiologist today, my total expenses so far has only been the $20 co-pay to the doctor. And even that is paid out of my HSA, not out of my pocket. I’ll see what other charges I may need to pay for in a month or so, whenever the insurance company decides to bill me. But considering I have a couple thousand in my HSA for medical expenses, I am not worried.
  • I discovered that Microsoft Money has a “Tax Report” section that will actually display every tax related expense and income I’ve had in the last year. Technically I could just print that report out, and so long as I have categorized everything correctly throughout the year, it will show all my charitable contributions, my gross wages that have yet to be taxed, all my interest, etc. How cool is that? I am auto-prepared for tax season.
  • I am doing as much work from home as possible while I’m laid up cause of this knee injury. I get paid time off, but the less of it I use the better. Not that I really use my time off for anything…I guess camping and festivals are about it. My goal is to make it into work Thursday or Friday, even if I’m using a cane or something πŸ˜›

Baby’s First Surgery – Wisdom Teeth

As posted on Twitter and such, I had my first surgery today to have all 3 of my wisdom teeth removed (I was only born with 3). I opted out of anesthesia and instead had the laughing gas, because I wanted to be able to go to work if I was up for it. I wasn’t, but did work from home today instead (actually until about 5 minutes ago).

I have to say this was one of the weirdest experiences in my life, not a bad one, but not one I want to repeat anytime soon since I don’t like surgeries in general. I will say though, that this doctor (Dr Pitts in Frederick, MD for anyone interested) was absolutely amazing. The office is insanely gorgeous, the doctor was kind and detailed, and his customer care is beyond anything I’ve seen. I can’t say I’ve ever been satisfied with a doctor or dentist in the past, but this one is certainly the first and will always be highly recommended by me. I plan to send a letter of appreciation and write a review on google.

The surgery only lasted about 30 minutes, and then I was up and able to drive home. When they put the gas on me, it felt -really- weird. I could feel my entire body going numb, and then felt like I was being totally disconnected from it, which I guess I kinda was. I had my eyes closed trying to allow myself to cope with that but also attempt to keep track of what was going on.

I remember while feeling myself pulling away, hearing the doctor and his assistant talking about Obama’s speech. I remember him patting me on the shoulder and saying I was doing a great job. When he was on the last tooth, he started putting me back on oxygen to wake me out of the laughing gas, and I remember opening my eyes and starting to become more alert. Only problem is I don’t remember them ever starting, so I was a bit confused as to how I missed it.

Then I started hearing the exact same conversation again, but this time alert and cognant. I mean the -exact- same conversation, and the exact same pat on the shoulder. I’m still confused how I heard the conversation the first time, if the second time I was awake and alert. It still doesn’t make any sense to me, and probably what weirded me out the most.

So I watched in his spectacles reflection as they yanked the last tooth out, and then waited a few more minutes for my dizzyness to wear off. They gave me some goodies to take with me, like a teabag to bite down on to help stop the bleeding with the tannic acid, some lip balm, etc.

Surprisingly I got emotional as I was walking out of the office. I really don’t understand why even now, but I had a few tears I think mainly out of confusion. Dad was a little worried, but I pulled it together and drove home.

I really haven’t been in much pain or swelling at all today, just mostly spitting blood. The only bad thing is the pain medication makes me really dizzy, so I’m going to avoid taking it as much as possible. Especially since I plan to go to work tomorrow and don’t need that. They did have to cut one of my gums and stitch it in order to get my bottom tooth out.

I did ask to keep my teeth, at my cousin’s suggestion. No clue why, and no clue if I’ll keep em still. But there they are.

Now I’m just trying to do everything right to avoid complications and to heal so I can eat steamed crabs on the 20th without complaint. I’m so going to gorge myself on steamed crabs…

Right now I’m sorta living off of pudding, yogurt, and my own veggie juice I juiced. I told dad I wanted mashed potatoes tomorrow cause this stuff leaves me starving.

Motivating Yourself by Paying Yourself

I have a lot of motivators in my life, one of which is money, obviously. And I’ve been trying to come up with incentive to do somethings I need to do. Eating healthier, for instance. I do a pretty damn good job at it already, but still run into moments. Exercising more is an issue sometimes too, though trees falling on your house tend to provide involuntary exercise πŸ™‚ And working towards getting projects done around the house is another one I need more of a push on. Sometimes I even try to do too much at once and end up less productive than if I had just focused on one thing.

There are also things I want to use money for, but have a hard time convincing myself that it’s okay to spend money.

So to help both the issue of motivation and spending money, I’m going to try and combine the two, and use money as a motivation. To do this I want to start paying myself an hourly rate. Something like, $5 for every hour of exercise, $5 for every hour of productive work, $2 for any pounds lost, maybe take away $2 for every craptastically unhealthy meal. And put all of this money away to spend on something I really want. Like the women drummers weekend in California which will cost about $1100. Or saving up to buy my dad a new pre-owned car with cash. That would be a treat to myself for doing all of these things.

It’s the same concept of treating yourself for doing well at a difficult task, but on more of an organized level. And it would take a lot of discipline just to not cheat on the payments, but I can see it working for someone who is really determined.

The way I’ll figure out prices is to look at my budget and see how much I’m comfortable with parting with each paycheck (this can go up and down as needed), and then divide that up into how many hours I’d like to spend doing things like exercise and being productive, and how many meals I generally eat in a day. That way I’m not overextending my wallet if I happen to push harder one week versus the next.

And of course this might very well be a stupid idea, but I think it’s one that might work for -me-. I’m at least willing to give it a shot, because there are also some things around the house I want to spend money on πŸ™‚

A List of Random Updates

  • Dads hyperbaric chamber treatments seem to be going well. He has to go to them 5 days a week, and it’s about a half hour/40 minute drive to and from every day. They say the color of the skin is looking a lot better, and the ulcer has gotten slightly smaller in one direction, but looks a little bigger in another direction.
  • His truck is also still having troubles, which we think is the fuel pump. He’ll be getting that today on my dollar and hopefully that’ll be the end of that for now.
  • As shown yesterday, a tree fell against the house. My insurance company is not open on Sunday’s so I should be receiving a call today about my claim for the porch and whatever damage there might be to the house. The thing I like about my insurance company though is how advanced their website is, as I was able to submit a claim through there. My hope is that they’ll give enough that we can build the new deck we’ve been wanting, since we can get it done on the cheap. My other hope is that my uncle, who is unemployed right now, can bid on the job. But if everything else fails, we at least got some free firewood out of the deal.
  • My other hope is that we don’t have to use all of the money, if we get any, and I can put it towards something else (like dad’s debt, or the new animal pens dad wants built behind the garage).
  • An ex co-worker has hooked me up with a fella I’m doing sidework for in order to bring in some extra cash. The guy seems to like me and has already said he has more work for me through June. It requires me working 11 hour days by doing more work at nights, but I’m certainly not complaining.
  • I think I’m going to really smash my $0 day goal this month, as I’m already at 12 days, and last month I was at 16. I mainly contributing this to unfortunately not being able to travel as much this month, so I’m saving gas. I may still keep count in June, but I don’t know whether I’m going to be as severe about it, because even though it’s not a hard thing to do, I still feel a little deprived.
  • I’ve been enjoying the blender that the sweetheart got me. I make a mean mango + apple + flax seeds smoothie for breakfast. Now I just need to send the juicer off to get fixed, since I burnt it up I guess.
  • Dad and I have a TON of stuff in the garden this year. I don’t think I can remember it all. Onions, Potatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, at least 2 varieties of squash, different peppers, corn (as of this week anyway), radishes, tomatoes, and more I just have to remember it. I’m going to be doing a lot of canning this year, I’m very excited.
  • One of my uncles turkey’s had some babies as well (which is not an easy thing to do, honestly), so we’re going to have more turkey’s than we originally thought. Not complaining though, as I love eating a good turkey.
  • The guineas are still not quite big enough to release, but they are growing bigger every day. I’ll be glad when they can roam around and eat up all these damn ticks.

Taxes 2009 and War on Ice

Total tax return for this year: $9677

But that’s with the first-time home-buyer tax credit of $7500, otherwise it’d just be a little over $2k.

Normally I wouldn’t have taken the credit, but since it’s an interest free loan, and I wanted to pay off my car that is -not- an interest free loan, I figured it would be a good trade off. Especially when I’m trying to pay off my fathers loan this year as well. Then all interest debt is gone except the house.

$6,000 is paying off the mustang. I’m going to ask for a pay-off quote though so we’ll see how much less it might be.

$775 is going towards paying four more people that donated money to me and my father for our down payment.

The remaining $2900 is going towards my father’s loan (though I have $140 to pay for PA local taxes). I’ll update the amount left on that at the beginning of March when I post my monthly report again. And with the car paid off, my car payments will be going straight to that balance. We might actually have it paid off in June πŸ™‚

I may take a little bit and buy some clothes or a book or something, but most of it will be going towards the loan.

Then it’s complete focus on paying back the last donator! Slowly but surely, I’m getting there πŸ™‚

In other news, I completely busted my ass on ice tonight while walking out to the car. I mean instant firey pain to my knee the moment I hit. It’s completely numb now from swelling and I have ice on it which just makes it feel even more ridiculous. I don’t know what I’m going to feel like in the morning. I doubt anything’s broken, it’s just not happy.