Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Starting to look up

Of course, I always think it's starting to look up - stupid optimism.

Good: Boyfriend got a job!
Somewhat bad: Boyfriend is on hourly at a lower rate for the first 90 days. Then he will be bumped to salary at his old rate. It's still more money than unemployment!

Good: Boyfriend's mom is doing a lot better.
Bad: Boyfriend's mom is still living with us with no plans to basically ever live independently again. We are not sure if she is moving in with another family member soon or not.

Good: Boyfriend's mom will soon be getting unemployment due to the extension. So she will be financially contributing to the household.
Bad: This means she's even less willing than before to look for work, if that was even possible. I personally think working for a living, if it is possible for a person, is not something that you should actively attempt to get out of, and don't much appreciate this perspective. (Especially since I have been mystery shopping my ass off to cover household expenses.)

Good: Boyfriend's mom's house got a reasonable offer and is selling.
Bad: Boyfriend's mom never completed her mortgage modification paperwork several months ago, and stopped paying the mortgage four months ago, and so we will clear at best several hundred dollars on the sale. The foreclosure fees and unpaid payments are eating up most of the equity.

We're not too far from paycheck to paycheck right now - Boyfriend has savings in the form of the money the government gave us for buying the house, but since we got the $7,500 deal and not the $8,000 deal, we may have to pay it back, and so he is holding on to most of it, and pulling out money only for emergencies. My parents sent me a bailout since I had to pay my car insurance and replace all my brake pads and rotors - fun!

Plus, we took in a stray cat who's been living in our basement for several weeks - he had an infected toe, so we took him to our vet to get that treated, and once we can scrape it together to get him neutered and get shots, we'll start trying to find him a home. He's very sweet and just wants to be with you, unfortunately I don't think our male cat wants to be with him. =P

Boyfriend's birthday, my birthday, our anniversary, and Christmas all fall close together, so the next several weeks will consist of much watching the mail for mystery shopping checks to come in, and trying to figure out how much I can spend on gifts. Normally I'm quite organized and start a list months in advance, but I haven't given it much thought and need to get on that so I don't forget anyone or double-buy gifts. Last year I bought some stuff from J-List which didn't get here until after Christmas, so some people will get that stuff this year.

I'm just really looking forward to trying to climb out of the hole of paycheck-to-paycheck, and start actually saving some money and paying down debt. At this point most of my debt is a fixed amount per month, so paying those down won't make much of a dent, but I have a couple smaller ones (under $500 each) that if I pay those off, I'll have a lot more to put towards other debt. I just want to feel like I'm getting somewhere. I try to put $100 into each of two savings accounts each paycheck, but inevitably something happens and I have to pull it all out. When I got the brakes done, I had to fall back on ING's policy of letting you "borrow" up to $250 over your checking balance - I didn't have the money until when I got paid, so I went $200 in the red and then transferred money in when I got paid. I've been doing a lot of mystery shopping (between the beginning of October and the end of November I will have gotten my tires rotated three times, windshield wipers replaced twice, gotten carded for alcohol five times, had my oil changed, and gone to the vet with Boyfriend's mom's dog.) So I am hoping I can kill off at least one of the small cards with that. That would feel like something of a victory.

And I got all excited because there was an ad on Gmail for Groupons where I live - if you have not heard of this, it's a site that lets you sign up to purchase super discounted gift certificates, basically, to local stores, but only if a certain number of people also sign up to buy them. I thought this was terrific and I am always looking for restaurant gift certificate deals (we have only once paid full price at The Melting Pot and rarely at many other places) so I was very excited to see that they had come to my city. Alas, they are not yet actually here, but I guess they are planning on it soon. If you are interested, and you like me, you could click here and use my signup link. Or, if you don't like me, why are you still reading this blog?

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