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Murphy Strikes

August 15th, 2009 at 10:53 pm

Thanks to LuxLiving for checking on me. We are alive and well. Last month was a bit of a strain, mostly emotionally.

On July 2nd our middle son (19), who is an EMT in a city 2.5 hours from us, was cleaning some basement walls in his fiance's house and ended up spilling ammonia in both eyes. He had set the bottle up on a pillar above him and when he grabbed the bottle it tilted and poured in his face. He was alone but managed to flush his eyes and dial 911. The ER sent him to a specialist who assured him that the vision would return in 48 hours. 48 hours later the vision was worse. The vision in the right eye was totally gone and the left eye could only see vague shapes. He was referred to a 2nd specialist who also could not find any reason that the vision had not returned.

Finally, on the 3rd week the vision did start to come back slowly. They still wanted to know why it was taking so long to heal so we made a trip to the Cleveland Clinic to be seen at the Vision Clinic. By the time we made that trip the vision was back to 20/20 and only some cloudiness remained on the cornea, which we were told would clear up. I'm thrilled to say that it is all totally clear now. Some of you may remember the accident this same son had a month before his high school graduation when he fell asleep at the wheel, rolled his vehicle 5 times and was lifeflighted to a major trauma center. If anything is going to happen in our family, it will be this child to whom it will happen.

The funny thing is that at the time of the accident he already had an interview set up with the ambulance service that took him to the ER for the following week. He went to the interview BLIND and they HIRED HIM to drive ambulance! I told him that he is the only person I know who could pull that off! By the time he was scheduled to begin work his sight was back.

Now for our 2nd Murphy visit: On July 8th someone hacked into my email and from there, got into my Paypal and Ebay accounts which I haven't used in years. They proceeded to order an iphone and a Louis Vuitton wallet for a combined total of $1500. The Paypal account was hooked directly to both of our checking accounts, but I found out just in time to put freezes on them so that no money was ever removed from our accounts. The crazy thing is that the Louis Vuitton wallet was actually mailed to me from Australia! I refused the package and sent it right back on its way to Australia. I filed a police report but hear that they seldom actually ever do anything. We had the address where they requested the iphone be delivered. It was a medical building in Memphis, TN.

I am happy to report that, besides the mortgage, we are working on our last debt. We owe just a bit over $7,000 and hope to have it paid off early next year, if not before. I am working 2 nights a week and applying all of that income toward this debt. I can't wait to start on a fully-funded emergency fund.

What to Do?

February 1st, 2008 at 12:04 pm

We got a notice in the mail yesterday that DS#2 has overdrawn his checking account for the 2nd time in 2 weeks. DH wants the account closed out immediately since my name is also on it. Needless to say, I am not too happy about it, either, but I don't know if closing it out is the correct thing to do.

DS#2 will be 18 next month. I don't know if he can have a checking account by himself before then or if he needs an adult to be on it. He needs to learn to handle his money, but I don't want it to be at my expense either. He has always been the type of kid that flies by the seat of his pants and just goes with the flow. A good thing for all the troubles he's had, but bad financially.

And it's not that he doesn't have the money...he just forgets to deposit his paychecks!

The only thing that he really uses the account for is the automatic withdrawals that the car insurance company makes every month. He pays cash for everything else, except the one check he wrote a few weeks ago and forgot to write down!

My first thought is to make him take the paycheck he just got yesterday and make the account current and then have him give me his paycheck every week and let me take care of it, but that's not teaching him anything. He'll be moving out in June and needs to know how to do things.

Ack!!! Kids!!!

Problems with Electric Orange

November 2nd, 2007 at 10:37 am

I logged on to ING Direct's website 2 days ago and tried to send out a paper check payment to our local hardware store for home repair materials we bought last month. I've done this many times with no problem. Well, this time it kept telling me that it could not pay that business to please enter a different one. I don't want to pay a different business, I need to pay that one! I tried again yesterday, same response. So I've emailed them to find out what the problem is.

I don't want this problem to happen in a couple of weeks when I go to pay my car payment!

Technology Headache

May 25th, 2007 at 02:39 pm

We got an announcement a few weeks ago that our local bank was going to be upgrading their website so that it was more secure and user-friendly. Great, right? Ha!

The first day the "new and improved" site was ready to be used I tried to log on. We had gotten a letter, with a booklet, telling us how to log on the first time. We were to put our username in all caps and then enter our regular password. Okay, no problem. I eagerly logged on and entered my username in all caps, hit the enter button and, at the next screen, entered my password as usual. Up pops a message telling me that I'd exceeded my allowed number of attempts to log on and would now have to call an 800 number to have my account unlocked! What!!! Exceeded the number of allowed attempts after one try?!!

I dial the 800 number, push "2" for the correct extension and am promptly greeted with the announcement that my call cannot be answered because there is an unusally high traffic volume. Hmmm...wonder why?

I wait 4 days and try again. This morning I am finally successful after 2 attempts and another message about high traffic volume to get put on hold. After waiting 34 minutes I am finally connected to a real live person who is not surprised at all to hear that my one attempt caused such havoc. She quickly reset my account and I finally have on-line access again.

Ugh! The cost of the convenience of technology!

Changed My Mind

May 6th, 2007 at 11:49 am

I've changed my mind on what debt I'm attacking next with my debt snowball. I've decided to roll my credit card payment onto mortgage #1 instead of the car loan. The mortgage has an interest rate of 9.38% and the car loan is 7.09%.

I can have the mortgage paid off in March of '09 at the rate I intend on paying. My challenge to myself will be to pay it off even sooner with extra money I can save and find.

This mortgage is the one that has our taxes and insurance escrowed into the payment. They are the bank that decided they weren't paying our fall taxes and never notified us so we were turned into a collection agency. I'd really like to be done with them as soon as possible.

Love My Electric Orange...

May 1st, 2007 at 11:58 pm

checking account, that is!

I got a bill in the mail today from the local hardware store that we get odds and ends at for our home repair projects. Normally I would have to transfer the money out of savings and into checking, write a check, then go to the post office to mail it. When I set up my Electric Orange account last month I put some of our home repair money in there so it would earn interest. So this time all I had to do was fill out a check form online and ING will send it first class mail tomorrow morning and I don't even have to pay postage! Nice!

If you're interested in checking out ING's Electric Orange account or their other financial services you can go to
Text is ING Direct and Link is
ING Direct. They are paying 4% on checking accounts and 4.5% on savings accounts right now.

Opened an Electric Orange Account

April 2nd, 2007 at 10:14 am

While on the ING site this weekend I was looking at their list of accounts and got interested in having a chceking account that earns interest. The one we've had for almost 20 years at our local bank does not have that option. Lately our balance in the account most of the month has been quite high since I've instituted a new bill paying schedule. Why not make some money on the balance?

I came to the forums and read what others had to say about the Electric Orange account and then decided to give it a try. I decided to try using it to pay the credit card bills each month and also to keep the money there for budget categories that don't get used as often (yearly tracfone bill, clothing, etc.).

I am hesitant to put the money for things like the car payment and mortgage there since I have coupons I'm supposed to send in with those payments. I don't know how that would be done. ???

I set up 2 automatic deposits that will be made biweekly to Electric Orange. DH gets paid weekly and I get paid biweekly. So one amount will be automatically transferred on the weeks that I get paid and another amount on the weeks only DH receives a check.

I feel that this is another step forward in managing our finances.

The More I Save, the More Money I Seem to Have

March 23rd, 2007 at 05:29 pm

I have noticed a trend since I first joined Saving Advice last October. At that time I was not saving any money at all and it seemed like I was barely able to pay our bills at the time. It seemed that we were losing the battle of treading water and were beginning to go under.

Since I have joined, our bills have not really changed much, but I took to heart the advice of "paying yourself first". I started setting aside $5 a week out of DH's paycheck. Over the months that has grown to $25 a week for an upcoming vacation/birthday trip, $20 a week for an emergency fund, and $50 a month for the Ameritrade Save Yourself plan.

Where did I find that money? I have no clue! I just decided that it needed done and started doing it. I seldom miss a week now that I don't set aside money in all the savings areas.

I have also found that the easiest money to save is the account that I have set up to be transferred automatically from our checking account each Friday. If money is tight one week I am liable to not put the Emergency Fund amount aside because it's not already scheduled. But the payment that is scheduled is made each time. It's just easier to sacrifice money in one of my less important budget categories than it is to change the automatic transfer.

My advice: pay yourself first. It really does work!

Tax Refund is Here!

March 17th, 2007 at 11:41 am

I mentioned in an earlier entry that we were getting back quite a large refund from the government this year despite raising the number of dependents we claimed. I checked our checking account on-line last night and the money was there!

So...early this morning (5:30, to be exact!) I jumped out of bed and set about dispersing this money to the areas we had agreed upon. I put money aside for repairs that DH's truck needs, padded a few of my budget accounts that always seem to be in the red, paid state tax we owe because DH works in another state, paid off the balance on DH's truck, and still had $3,000 to send to my Emigrant account!

This money is going to be used to do house repairs. I really would like to have heat in the kitchen next winter, the garage roof needs replaced, we need siding on the house and still need to replace a few windows, etc. The list goes on and on.

What the Heck???

March 6th, 2007 at 02:29 pm

This morning has not been a good one by any stretch of the imagination.

As soon as DH left for work this morning I walked back into the living room to find that the pellet stove was shutting down yet again. It's been doing that every couple of days lately. When it does this DH has to pull it out away from the wall, take all the pellets out of it and take it apart to clean the top auger. For some reason it is getting a build-up of something on it that prevents it from turning and feeding the pellets down so that they burn. So we started the day with no heat and the record lows for March of 1 degree with wind chills of -20.

Then I picked up the mail on the way to work and there are 2 notices from a debt collection agency that our school taxes from last fall were never paid by our escrow account! So I called our tax collector and she said that for some reason the bank did not pay anyone's taxes last fall (which they've always done before) and that she sent out notices so that we would know they hadn't been paid. I never got the notice. So now we've been turned over to the collection agency which is going to mess up our credit.

My question is...why didn't the bank let us know they were not paying them and why aren't they paying them??? This is how it's worked for 7 years now. It would have been nice to know that they changed things. The money to pay these taxes is included in our monthly payment. Would be nice if it was used for what it's intended for.

I'm very close to changing banks right now.

Profit Sharing

March 5th, 2007 at 10:58 am

DH gets a profit sharing check tomorrow. We're not sure how much it is going to be, but probably around $1,000. We've decided to stick it in the savings account and use it for home repairs so we can get things done that have really needed done for a long time.

Ameritrade Account

March 2nd, 2007 at 05:38 pm

I have been reading Suze Orman's new book

Text is Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny and Link is
Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny and took her advice and opened an Ameritrade money market account. She has partnered with Ameritrade to try to get women to take control of their finances.

The challenge is to direct deposit at least $50 a month for a year. At the end of that year Ameritrade will give you a $100 bonus! Not bad earnings.

So I checked on-line today and my account is open and active!

All 5 ING Invites Used

January 18th, 2007 at 10:20 am

When I got up today I had 2 emails telling me that my last 2 ING invites had been used so I now have $25 more in my Missisippi trip account than I had at the beginning of the week. Now I just need to send Jeffrey his $25 when I find out how.

When DH gets paid I'll send the matching $25 to my challenge account.

3 On-line Accounts

December 11th, 2006 at 12:58 am

I now am the proud owner of 3 on-line accounts: Amboy (5.13%), Emigrant (5.05%) and ING (4.5%), all of which make MUCH more interest than our local bank (a little over 1%).

I have the most in my Amboy account, which is my EF fund. I use Emigrant for my $20 Challenge money, and I decided to use ING to save for DS#2's graduation expenses.

I have until June of 2008 before he graduates so I've decided to put money aside when I can to save toward that.

I have been trying to think what my financial goals will be for 2007. When I get some concrete ideas I'll post them here.

Opened an ING Account Thanks to Ima!

December 5th, 2006 at 05:40 pm

Thank you so much, Julie! The ING invite arrived today and I opened my account. There was no minimum required so I just matched the free $25. It's a start.

I just love the ING site. Orange is my favorite color so it's a very attractive site to me. LOL!

I let the invite gather no dust. From the time I received it until the account was opened was less than 10 minutes. :-)


November 26th, 2006 at 02:21 pm

I decided to take my $20 Challenge money and open an EmigrantDirect account. I will fund this account with any money that I save on this challenge. I don't know if I'll deposit weekly or monthly. It probably depends on how many deliveries I get done and they quite often depend on the weather and how busy we are at the office.

Now I'll be looking forward to my deliveries since I know they'll be earning me extra money!

'Tis Done!

October 23rd, 2006 at 10:14 pm

The first thing I did when I got home today was to get my Amboy account activated. I think I've even figured out how you transfer money to and from it also. I'll give it a try on Thursday when DH gets paid.

I'm thinking that I'm going to follow Dave Ramsey's advice and get our EF back up to $1,000 before I pay extra on the CCs again. I really do have a much better peace of mind when I know that money is there. I'm finding that I'm not sleeping well at night because I keep waking up and thinking of all that could happen that there wouldn't be money for. Not good, I know, but that's how I am. I like to have that little nest egg available.

Got paid another 10 cents for doing laundry. Added it to the change box.

Yippee and Darn!

October 23rd, 2006 at 05:36 pm

I have been waiting all weekend for the small deposits to show up in my checking account from Amboy so that I could verify them and get my new savings account going. Well, wouldn't you know, I just checked and they're there, but the email and password are in my home email and I can't access it from work! I wish I'd thought to email a copy to my Yahoo account so I could have done it now. Oh well! I guess this evening will be soon enough. I'm just ready to make some "real" interest and not that piddling little 1.24% we've been getting!

Amboy Account

October 20th, 2006 at 05:55 pm

I got an email a little bit ago that my Amboy account has been opened!

I have to verify the small deposits, but I went online and they aren't posted yet. I'm hoping after 2 this afternoon they will be there. I'm anxious to get going on this savings fund.

Starting a Small Weekly Savings

October 20th, 2006 at 12:05 am

Last entry of the day, I promise!

I'm excited about opening the Amboy account so I sat down tonight to determine what budget category I could shave $5 off of a week to contribute to the account, along with whatever overtime money I put in. So I decided since my car is newer, hopefully it won't have as many repairs as my husband's 1989 truck. I cut the car repair account to $15 a week. So at least $5 a week will go to the new Amboy emergency fund. Better than nothing!

I also started saving any change that I have in a box that is on the top of my computer desk. Each day I will put any change I have in my purse and whatever change I "earn" for doing laundry. When it gets to a decent amount, that money will also go into the EF. Now to keep others out of it!!!


Also, just wanted to add that I'm so glad I found this site! I tried a blog before but just couldn't find anything to blog about! But get me started on money and I could probably blog all day!

And I think it's really going to keep me motivated to save and pay down the debt!