CHEERS:

The new financial dh decided he wasn’t waiting for the return call on Thursday, and after getting voice mail for the second time he called the office directly and demanded to speak to someone, anyone to get it fixed NOW. Guess who came to the phone immediately—our “out of the office” advisor. He did not even remember seeing us two weeks earlier, but then, we aren’t his only clients. Dh wouldn’t be put off and they went through the paperwork on the phone. The guy said he didn’t know why dh’s was so messed up and mine was fine, but he would fix it right then. After the corrections were made he said that with the new numbers (which weren’t really new) MAY make my check go even higher. (It was already higher than I had expected according to the letter) because dh’s was going to and mine is a percentage. We’ll believe it when we see it. Sure hope it doesn’t go down. I like the higher number a whole lot better. Supposedly he got all the dates worked out this time and the checks will come in February. Of course he had not a clue as to why we got the letters we did. He found it VERY strange I got an awards letter of sorts considering they had “disallowed” dh’s claim until March. We’ll see how it all goes. Let’s just say I was in a lot better mood by Thursday evening than I was on Monday night! Now on to Best Buy. I can’t believe I actually have a cheers for them, but I do. You know we paid them off last week, but since it was just a few days before the statement cut off date we expected about a $10 interest fee to be on this month’s statement. The statement cut off at midnight on Friday and first thing Saturday morning I checked it. ZERO interest charged! I couldn’t believe it, but I definitely printed the statement in case I needed proof in the future. I celebrated by putting that $10 on our Little Chase bill, the one doomed next to die. I love u-tube, how I ever got along so many years without it I’ll never know. I personally want to thank everyone who has ever put an instructional video on that site. To keep me from killing the world while trying to get the SS mess straightened out I decided it was truly time to get busy on making cards for our little card business. After all I had all the materials I needed, I had the equipment, including a new Cuttlebug, I had the programs I needed, but what I didn’t have was the proper education on all of it to tie it all together. I am nearly bug eyed from watching so many videos (well I’m sort of bug eyed anyway due to the mess with my thyroid, but that’s another topic to address at another time). It started out simply with trying to learn all the best techniques to using the Cuttlebug and it segued from there. Hours and hours later I finally put the tablet down, walked away from the computer and turned utube off on my phone (yep I was watching the videos on all three things at various times). Not to be out done dh had been watching videos too. Including ones on how to make embossing folders for the Cuttlebug for free out of cereal boxes—always the DR fan he wants to cut the cost of the embossing and I’m just fine with that!. His first one was a very simple one for a single image, but he and ds are now designing one for our company logo for me to use with stationery and on some of our products. Thanks Utube! Wednesday I pretty much stayed in our home office all day putting into action all I had tried to absorb from utube. I first started with the Cricut Craftroom program I had downloaded about 18 months ago from the Cricut Website. I won’t go into the details, but know it is a great way to save paper/cardstock when making cards and scrapbook pages. I love the program now that I have it figured out. My first project was a Valentine’s card using the Cricut Craft Room, Cricut Machine, Cuttlebug , MS Word and my printer. Learning the technique for printing on the cards in the shapes I want is wonderful. Thanks again to utube videos. IF I can figure out how to get into our photos section here on yahoogroups (anyone know a utube video on that since they “upgraded” everything?) I’ll post a photo of the finished card. Friday dh decided I needed away from the house so we went “bargain” shopping, which turned into mainly window shopping. In fact we only ended up purchasing 4 small things at Hobby Lobby using sales and a 40% off coupon and some basic groceries from Sam’s that strangely enough included $20 worth of their “coupons” for the sale they have going on for items we normally buy. One of which is the 2013 Turbo Tax. We want to get the taxes done asap so we can make certain we don’t over pay on our debt snowball and not have enough money put back to pay in. We figure we’ll have to pay in because we’ve been blessed with unusually large royalty checks the last few months and have been paying in automatically for last year’s much smaller amount. However, we paid in based on me still mystery shopping too and I didn’t do enough to even mention. So it may be a wash, we’re not hopeful of that however. Saturday found me cruising Pintrest (I’d never been there—baaaaad idea, now I have the wants for more “toys” for cardmaking baaaad) and working on the budget until the first of March. I know it sounds strange but money is going to be snug this next month and a half because not only am I trying to get rid of the little Chase bill, it is always snug in January each year. Last year we were hit hard in January with all sorts of “extras” and had to come up with nearly $4,000 extra from our normal budget. This year it looks like if we mind our p’s and q’s and I’ve calculated everything right all year we will just squeak through without needing extra. We’ll see. Murphy stay away. Once everything gets rolling like it should 2014 should be a VERY good year in this household. Keep your fingers crossed. So for a week that started out a bit down, it ended on a high note. My silver lining for the low note—at least we got alerted there was a problem with ss before the check didn’t come in February.

TEARS AND JEERS:

Then Monday rolled around with the mail bringing news that brought tears to my eyes, and not good ones. There were two envelopes from SS one was for dh and it claimed that he had NOT been in communication with them and therefore they could not calculate his projected ss check. Uhhh! We made our appointment in mid November right after we got the first letter stating they needed to discuss numbers with him and went into the office on the 18 of December. How is that NOT in communication with them? Gotta love the guberment. While it did not give a number of the check it did say basically he wouldn’t get one until APRIL! Even more disturbing it had his income for the last two years and estimated for this year much LESS than what he made/will make in each year. Which could HUGELY affect how much we get for the rest of our life! Remember my checks are based on a percentage of his and his are based on how much he pays in on his income. Dh keeps a close eye on his reported earnings to SS after that employer didn’t pay taxes one year even though they were taken out of dh’s check. So he KNEW the correct amounts were in his file. He got on the web immediately and checked, yep his file on the SS webpage had the correct numbers so where did SS come up with these lower numbers, especially that much lower? He had also discussed the correct numbers with the man at the SS office on the 18th and the numbers at that time were the higher amount. What the heck? These two things made me extremely upset to say the least. It was going to screw our whole game plan royally and I’d already made reservations for our celebration trip! Then we moved on to my letter, expecting the same thing since I can’t draw until he does and they wouldn’t be able to calculate my amount without his. Only mine had an amount and basically said I’d get the February check. How could that be based on what his letter said? Like I said GUBERment! I was so angry and frustrated, plus upset because this could really upset our snowball plans (plus other stresses this last few weeks) I blubbered like a baby for quite awhile. Then I put my big girl panties on, looked dh square in the eye (which is no easy trick considering I’m barely 5’1” and he’s 6’1” and said “You WILL call and get this straightened out tomorrow RIGHT?” He said “I was already planning on it.” That made me smile, not because he was going to handle it, but because before DR he would have not even considered making the phone call and would have demanded I handle it. Now he is very involved in our financial planning and things like this. We have discovered he often get faster results if he calls then if I do. Plus, after all it was HIS account that was in question and they probably would not have even spoke to me. Of course on Tuesday he got sent to voice mail, that stated they’d call right back. They didn’t on Tuesday. Wednesday was New Year’s Day so we expected nothing, and that’s exactly what we got. Wednesday night dh said if they didn’t call him by noon on Thursday he was calling again. They didn’t, he did, voice mail again. We had made plans to “drop in” without an appointment on Friday since it was a half day for him anyway if he couldn’t get hold of his advisor. We wanted answers and we wanted them NOW! After it taking them 18 months to straighten out his payback to ss in 2010/2011 we weren’t going to patiently wait. Goodness knows how long that would take!

So as we quietly left Christmas week

we looked forward with great anticipation to the new year and especially February when the SS checks were scheduled, so we thought, to start at that time. We went to sleep dreaming of being cc debt free by late July at the very latest. In our dreams we celebrated by strolling leisurely down Main Street USA, in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World just shortly after we were cc debt free.

As we were bebopping around

the house doing chores (boring) we chatted about our finances, a pretty usual topic these days. Dh thanked me for working so hard and diligently on keeping us on track with DR then he added a but… It seems he is concerned that once we are debt free that I have been so motivated and focused in on getting debt free that I won’t want to relax on the tight hold on the budget we’ve been running on. I’m sorry, that was so silly I burst into a fit of laughter. I asked him if he had SEEN my want to buy list. He replied, “but you have wanted to buy that stuff for a long time and whenever extra money came in you could have bought at least some of the less expensive items on it with blow money, and you haven’t. I’m worried.” I assured him I would have no trouble in us enjoying ourselves, on a budget specifically set up for that in the future.

So you got a Cricut huh?

Now you need a Cuttlebug to emboss fancy cupcake papers and pennants with. LOL! Jan who hadn’t planned on sending the homework until Monday, but hit the wrong button by mistake ( the perils of doing more than one thing at a time).

Despite the time and emotional break down of the jeers..the cheers are great!

I also knew you were going to go into Pintrest and maybe not come out until 2015 when I got the notice in my inbox that ” Your friend C.J. Patterson has joined Pintrest”.. LOL My cousin Kelly got so many ideas for WDW when they took their family this year… she made mouse silhouettes on the outline of their state for tshirts, pillowcases…waterbottle holders… anyhow… when you get done with Cuttlebug ( I refuse to look because I will want one), look at the Disney Boards or No trace of plagiarism with www.writingfanatic.com, and then the cooking boards, and the frugal boards..and the….. you get the idea…

What do you all think is a good age for children to

experience Disney for the first time? When they will remember their time, and enjoy the rides and other attractions? How much in advance can you plan and make payment arrangements on the trip? Wanna take my Pinky… Don’t mind putting it on the books now for 2020 (or some other year) if Disney will let me. Especially if I can lock in today’s rates for future years trips.

Mypoints doesn’t require you buy anything to get points

Yes, you get more points if you buy things, but you also get points for reading e-mails and filling out surveys. Husband and I just bought a $160 Christmas present for ourselves, almost all with gift cards we got through points. (I had $150 worth of gift cards.) The only thing I “bought” was donating money to a charity that I was already donating to.

Thanks for sharing

That sounds like a great thing. For me, I am tempted to order stuff for the points or bump it up to get free shipping at the site when I really should not spend the extra. Also, I am trying to buy as much as possible from local mom and pop stores. I don’t see how I can shop local and use the sites.

I hope this is OK to post here

But I wanted to share with you all a great website called MyPoints. You earn points by shopping online thru their links. I learned about it from Bzzagent.com where I am a memeber (I can explain that more in dept if you want). I also earn points through Bzzagent. Anyway, the points you earn you can redeem for various gift cards. I tend to get the ones from Walmart for groceries or for paypal, when I then deposit into my bank account. That is how I was able to pay our ER fund back. I cashed in a lot of MyPoints points for paypal that I then transfered that money to our ER fund. For me this helps to supplement our income from time to time. But I warn you, if you are a person who would want to spend more $$ just to get the points stay away from MyPoints. Don’t let this tempt you. For me it isn’t an issue and I shop online for a lot of stuff…..especially around Christmas. If you are interested, let me know. I can send you a referral. I get 25 points if you sign up through me.