Bills, Bills, Bills

Happy Wednesday.  We spent the past weekend at home, spent $0, and it was nice.  Despite that fact that both kids were sick, and they’ve now passed the bug onto me.  Thankfully it seems to be a 24ish hour bug and nothing more.  Which is great, because….

Our road trip is coming up soon!  It will be nice to get away.  I’m working on a budget for meals, and finding something to do to break up the drive home.  I checked the weather and it appears to be thunderstorms the entire time.  Ha!  Good thing we love storms!  It shouldn’t interfere with too much.

After our trip, DH is back to the grind at work, and I have a list of bills/debts/chores/plans to tackle.  The bills for DS1’s hospital trip are starting to trickle in, plus all the latest home repairs.

  • Roof Repair: $750
  • Windshield $260
  • Plumbing: $1390
  • Hospital Bill 1: $895
  • Hospital Bill 2: $120
  • Hospital Bill 3: $58
  • Hospital Bill 4: $65
  • Junior Epi-Pen: $70

Ouch!  We’re having to pull from savings for these expenses, which makes me nauseous, but that’s the point of an emergency fund, right?  I’m happy the roof is finally taken care of.  Not a single company that came out in previous weeks sent their estimate for just the bee damage repair.  None of them wanted the job unless insurance approved a full roof replacement.  How sleazy!  On Monday I sent an email through another company’s website, and he replied that night.  Showed up the next morning to take a look, give a quote, and was back this morning at 8am fixing it!  He was also the most honest person we’ve dealt with.  He said he didn’t think the roof needed to be replaced at all, and the “damage” was minor nail pops.  This after six different companies said we had major damage.  You just can’t trust people these days!

The windshield replacement cost less than I expected, the plumbing cost more than I expected.  Plumbing also doesn’t cover drywall repair, but we’ll do that ourselves.  It won’t be pretty, but it’s in a utility room hidden behind the water heater, so who cares? lol.  If we wanted them to do the drywall it was an extra $375.  No thanks!

Hospital bills…ouch.  And there are more coming for lab work.  I hate our insurance so much!  I’m going to call the Children’s Hospital and ask about a payment plan, or perhaps discount to pay in full.  Even just 5% savings would be nice at this point.

Funny story on the Junior Epi Pen prescription.  CVS told me $680 when I went to pick it up.  They said DS2’s allergist needed to specify ‘generic’ on the prescription in order to get generic.  Doctor took care of it and I went back and it was $70.  Except it wasn’t generic.  It was the same damn name brand Junior Epi Pen.  !!!  What a hassle.

After our trip it’s time to get serious with debt pay off.  I feel behind.  I think I’m in a funk and need the break.  Come back refreshed and ready to take care of business again.  I applied for a job at my son’s school!  Full time isn’t what I was initially going for, but being that it’s on the same schedule he is, it could work out well.  Plus I’m more than ready to put DS2 into daycare.  He is such a hand full these days.

I haven’t had a chance to sit down and go through the numbers for a monthly recap.  I’ll try to squeeze that in this week before we leave, if not I’ll just update my progress page and sidebar later and skip the post.  Honestly, not much to report anyway.

That’s all I’ve got for now.  I do want to apologize for the negative vibe my blog has had lately.  Life has been a bit stressful and it comes out in my posts more than I’d like it to.  Going forward I hope to have a more positive outlook, despite any setbacks.  🙂

Posted in Budgeting, Debt, Family, Home | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Weekend Recap

Didn’t mean to leave you hanging with the water heater incident yesterday, but it was a doozy of a night.  I figured I’ll just throw all this life bs into one giant recap post, because frankly, I am too damn tired to split it up.

Water Heater
The good news is that the water heater did not blow up!  Unfortunately it was a pipe bursting in the wall that leads to the outside spicket, that we had turned on to fill the pool.  The placement of the pipe was directly behind the water heater and hit an electrical line that caused a spark, and thankfully nothing more.  The water has been cleaned up, and shut off to that area, now we await repair estimates.

The Roof
Our insurance adjuster showed up this morning at 8am. Unexpected. Our appointment was for Friday afternoon. Our contractor was going to meet them out here. I swear this was done on purpose by the insurance company. The “third party” roof inspector showed up shortly thereafter. His main concern was using our bathroom. After about 20 minutes, they come back with pictures, and informed us that our roof is in perfect condition. No signs of storm damage. No signs of any damage that is actually noted in our home inspection. Claim? DENIED. Also, did I mention it’s been storming a lot? So they “inspected” our roof when it was wet. A big no no. And sorry, but I’m not trusting a “third party” inspector that our insurance company hired. Especially when they show up unannounced to seemingly avoid us having our contractor here.

We can appeal it. We’re waiting for an official write up first. If they deny it again, then we’re stuck paying for the roofing damage where the bees were out of pocket. Our roofing contractor is also writing up a separate estimate for that area. It was a disappointing morning.

I also want to add that nearly every roof in our neighborhood has been replaced due to severe storm damage. Wind/hail/the works. How is it that our house was magically spared from these damages? Hmmm.

Allergies & Epi Pens + the Dentist
My youngest had his second round of allergy testing completed today. He’s nearly 2. Insurance didn’t cover our visit, because it would go towards his deductible. An affordable $14,100 deductible (not a typo.) I was quoted $1,368.00, but since he is still under 2, and considered an infant, they could offer a flat rate of $150. It ended up being $176.50, because I requested they test for cat.

His peanut allergy has worsened and as I expected, he’s severely allergic to cats as well. We received a new prescription for the junior Epi Pen’s. CVS told me $680. Our allergist had to resend the prescription to specifically state generic, so tomorrow I’ll go pick that up, no clue on cost yet. I am dreading daycare/school years, because I’ll have to have multiples of these! Peanut allergies are no joke! His whole body swelled during testing. 😦

My oldest went to the dentist for his six month check up.  No cavities!  Yay.  But they’ve requested to apply a sealant to his teeth.  Anyone familiar with this?  The quoted me $69 PER TOOTH.  Yikes!

Other Tidbits
It’s officially summer break! No more early school mornings or homework! We’ve been trying to open our pool for the last month, but the weather has not cooperated. Thunderstorms have been nonstop. Today was no different. While driving home from the doctors appointment, during a particularly nasty rainfall, a branch fell and hit my windshield. Shattered.  I’m assuming $300-$400 to replace that.

While at the grocery store, an older lady asked me if I was my son’s grandmother. I nearly fell out. I’m not quite 35 yet. I can honestly say that is the first time I have ever felt offended! Ha. I mean Wal-Mart still ID’s me for Sharpies and spray paint!

Our road trip is coming up. I think I’m equally parts excited and dreading it. Things haven’t been going great lately. I’m hoping the trip is stress free. I’m still trying to figure out something to do on the way back to break up the drive, but I’m not familiar with the South TN/North GA area.

We received word that my cousin is getting married in the fall of 2018. It will take place out in Texas, which means booking flights, hotel, and rental cars. Basically $$$$$$$$$. Time to start saving for that!!

And that my reader friends is life in a nutshell.  All this bad juju is wearing me down.  Money being spent faster than we make it.  I’m still actively job hunting, but that will be hard with summer.   I really wish Amazon would open more training spots!

Posted in Family, Home, Travel | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Ha ha ha….

Happy Sunday!  Our water heater exploded.  AHHH!

Bad things don’t stop at three for us!  The list keeps growing…

Trying to keep sane here.

Posted in Home | Tagged | 4 Comments

A New Roof

I’m laughing while typing this, because it’s just one thing after another over here lately.  Only one out of nine roofing companies called us back, and this guy isn’t exactly top of the list.  He said “maybe I’ll have time Friday.  Call me and maybe I can fit you in.”  No thanks, I’m tired of wasting our time chasing people to do their jobs.

I put it out on social media that we were looking for a roofing contractor and a few recommendations from friends came in.  One guy came out the same day, another the next.  We’ve narrowed it down to these two contractors.  Waiting on estimates.

Meanwhile, we contacted our homeowners insurance company to get the process rolling.  Thankfully our deductible is “only” a flat $1,000.00 – not bad for a roof, assuming they’ll cover every thing.  You see it’s not just a shingles problem…

One of the contractors is familiar with our neighborhood.  His company replaced about 15 homes roofs in 2008/2009 after major hurricanes came through, causing millions in damages locally.  We didn’t live here then.  Well the homeowners at that time never did anything to repair the roof, just filed a claim, and pocketed the cash.  They sold the home in 2012.  Those owners didn’t do anything to the roof either.  We bought the home at the end of 2015 and yet again, our home inspection report doesn’t mention these problems, only a few “nail pops”.

Ends up we need all new plywood, membrane, boots, flashing, and shingles.  Literally a whole new roof.  Both contractors discovered lots of water damage as well.

We’re waiting to hear back from an adjuster to schedule an appointment for them to come out.  One of the contractors offered to be here when they come out, to verify they see all the damages.  I appreciate that.  I know insurance companies will try their damnedest to pay the absolute bare minimum.

Now we just sit back and wait.  All the while we have the exposed area with a few bees still left.  The bee keeper won’t be returning (just wait for that post, grrr!) and now it’s up to us to get a ladder and handle the remaining honeycomb and spray ammonia and seal it properly.

Always something with this house!  Just gotta laugh…

Posted in Home, Real Estate | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Expensive Furniture? Nah!

I love my dining room set. Absolutely love it. It’s a mid century, 1960’s Lane dining room table, chairs, and hutch. It’s beautiful.  I scored it off of Craigslist for $200 total about 10 years ago.  It desperately needs to be refinished, but I didn’t plan on doing that until the kids were older.  It has served us well as a family. The set actually goes for closer to $3,000 in vintage shops!

lanedining

Not my exact set, but close.  It’s a beauty!

Unfortunately, this dining set is not conducive to entertaining. A few months ago we began hosting game nights on the weekends. Our friends come together at our home to play various games, and enjoy some snacks, and chit chat. It’s a fun, and cheap, way to entertain and enjoy company.

This has taken a toll on my dining room set. A few weeks ago our guests managed to break three of my chairs in one night. THREE!!! I can’t fault my guests entirely, it is an old set after all. But I must admit, I was a bit perturbed by the way they handled it…

“It’s old and rickety, whatever.”
“Time for something better!”
“Now you can get something good and new!”

Thanks…?!  Care to chip in for this “good and new” set you assume I’m going to run out and buy? Ha! (Am I the only one that’s notice a lack of respect for other people’s belongings over the last decade or so? Zero accountability?  Or they find it cute when their kids destroy stuff?)  Also, the table only comfortably sits six people, even with the extension leaf.  We often have ten or more.  Even family get togethers require extra seating, leaving us all squished at the table.  I knew we had to get something larger, eventually.

I didn’t have a set budget in mind.  If we went with new, we’re looking at $1500+.  I wasn’t willing to drop that kind of money.  But the used dining furniture market is all over the place.  $100-$5000 – for similar sets.  Whatever the seller wanted.  It was crazy.

I scoured Craigslist, Ebay (local), and the FB Marketplace on and off for a couple of months.  Seems the newest trend is “farmhouse”.  As you can see by my love of vintage and 60’s, farmhouse is not my style.  Yet the tables were clean cut and large, which I liked.  I wanted a table that could seat 8-10 comfortably, so around 7 feet long.

After multiple failed inquiries to sellers, we finally hit the jackpot.  I have to credit the seller for poor keywords and description.  Without his terrible ad, I would have never been able to score this deal.  “brown tabel 8 chair” – Yep.  That was the title AND description.  Misspelled, no information.  LOL!  I took a chance and texted the number for details.

  • Table – Restoration Hardware, 2 years old, 8 feet long by 45 inches wide.  HUGE!
  • Chairs – 4 cherry wood from Pottery Barn, 4 parsons from Pier 1 with Pottery Barn slipcovers!!
  • Asking price?  $275.

Holy crap.  Do you know how expensive that stuff is???  The guy went into detail about how he’s getting divorced and just moved into a new apartment and the set was too large.

If we purchased these items new:

  • Parsons Chairs @ $99.95/ea x 4 = $399.80
  • Pottery Barn Wood Chairs @ $299.00/ea x 4 = $1196.00
  • Pottery Barn Slipcovers @ $179.00/ea x 4 = $716.00
  • Restorations Hardware Table @ $1895.00
  • Total = $4206.80

Ummm….that would NEVER happen lol.  The catch, of course, is that we had to drive about three hours round trip, through rush hour traffic, load, and unload ourselves.  I nearly killed myself trying to move that table.  It is a solid piece – no extensions – and weighs at least 300lbs.  But we did it.  And we got it all for $250 cash.

These are solid pieces.  The table is a little more rustic than I’d like, but the size is amazing.  I’ll get use to the table.  The chairs on the other hand, we hate.  The Parsons chairs are flaking quite badly (faux leather?) even with the covers on them, and I keep having to vacuum and scrap flakes off the kids feet.  The long term plan is to resell and replace with chairs we like and that fit our style more.  I want something lighter or with color.  No rush to do this though.

I’m thrilled with this find.  Always search for misspelled words people.  There may be a bargain hiding nearby!  Haha.  🙂

I’m not ready to sell my vintage set.  I love it so much.  😦  For now it’s in the storage room.  Maybe we’ll use it in rec space or pass it on to the boys one day.

Posted in Family, Home, Savings | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Bye Bye Bees! I hope.

Bee removal week is here.  It has not been as easy as we were told it would be.  Nor as cheap as expected.   And now we can’t get roofing companies to return our calls to come fix our roof, and we’re due for storms this weekend.  Wonderful!

And by the way, these pictures do not do it justice.  The hive was enormous.  It appears to be 4-5 years old!!!  We have lived here just over a year.  Makes you wonder if the previous owners purposely failed to disclose.  No proof though.  I had to take the pictures from about 200 feet away with my iPhone, terrible quality…

There are still some bees leftover, but apparently that’s normal.  It should take 3-5 days for the rest of them to disperse.  Then we can repair the area.  No clue on the cost of that.

Hopefully roofing folks call us tomorrow – we called nine companies on Monday….!  Why is it so difficult to find people who want to do their jobs?  We’re trying to hire and pay you.  Frustrating.

Once every thing is complete I’ll post about the expenses of it.  Right now I just want the rest of the bee’s to go away already!!  They are mean.  We can’t even use our front door now.  DH was attacked and stung several times already.

Posted in Family, Home | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Buying in Bulk – School Snack Savings

I’m not a fan of buying allthethings in bulk, but I do have a few items I buy monthly/bi-monthly at the local warehouse club.  I’m talking about places like Sam’s, BJ’s, Costco, etc.  When my father passed away a couple of years ago, my mother added me to her membership for free.  I knew we wouldn’t shop there regularly, but a monthly trip for specific items has definitely saved us money in the long run.

Toilet paper, paper towels, diapers, wipes, and school snacks are our main bulk purchases.  We can use the store coupons with manufacturer coupons for extra savings, which is awesome for the Huggies diapers and wipes.  The toilet paper and paper towels, we just buy the store brand; cheapest and decent quality.

Then there are the school snacks.  My school-age kid needs snacks for lunch and a healthy snack for snack time.  Other than fruits and veggies, we’ve gone with Veggie Straws and Goldfish crackers.

The warehouse club sells both of those items in bulk – either one giant box full, or multipacks.  Most people jump for the multipack options for lunches, but I found it wasn’t cost effective.  For example:

  • Goldfish 58oz Box – $8.99
  • Goldfish 30ct Multipacks – $10.99  ($0.37 per bag)
  • Veggie Straws 20oz Bag – $4.99
  • Veggie Straws 30ct Multipack – $11.99 ($0.40 per bag)

Significant price differences in my opinion.  I bought the cheapest bulk packages of each snack item and picked up a box of snack bags at Wal-Mart: $2.62 for 200 bags.  When I get home I dump them into a bowl and start bagging.  The box of Goldfish includes three large bags inside the box.

IMG_6829

I use a measuring cup (1/2c.) and start filling bags, then place them in the snack box in our pantry.  The kids have free access to these items – healthy snacks – so I keep it filled.  It’s also handy for grab-and-go moments when I need to throw snacks in the diaper bag before leaving the house.

IMG_6830

The bag of Veggie Straws and box of Goldfish can last us up to two months.  I am able to create 18 snack bags per Goldfish bag – so 54 snack bags per box – which is $0.17 per bag.  The Veggie Straws made 28 bags, making it $0.18 per bag.  Add in $0.02 for the cost of the snack bags, and I’m still saving.

But I had coupons!  $1.50 off Veggie Straws and $2.00 off Goldfish.  Final total comes to $0.15 Goldfish and $0.14 Veggie Straw snack bags.  Total OOP $10.48 for nearly two months worth of school snacks (anytime snacks really.)  Not bad!

We just bought a chest freezer, and plan to bulk purchase meats soon.  Most likely using Zaycon, not a warehouse club.  Hopefully this helps with our crappy fridge causing frozen meats to rot too soon!  The chest freezer was only $100!  More on that later.

Anyone else buy in bulk?  Anything else I should look out for?  I’m trying to tame our food spending, especially with summer quickly approaching.  Kids will be home full time and lots of friends and family coming and going (and eating!)

Posted in Family, Food, Savings, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 3 Comments