I sure hope you find some thing(s) to help with that budget

Along those lines, are there any veggie growers near you (I know you’re in SoCal but there might still be a few), who would trade field labor for veggies? I know a lot of folks up here do that, even off the books entirely. It can be a win/win because the family gets food and the grower gets some help that actually shows up on time, clean and sober, ready to work. I don’t recall what everyone’s employment situation is in your household, and/or if there would be time in the day for that sort of thing. But springtime is the busiest time of year for produce farms, and finding motivated help is always difficult. If you would like help finding someone near you zap me a note off-list and I’ll see what I can find. Even if you don’t think that would work, I hope you find something that will.

New question about insurance fiasco

Actually, on a more serious note, I want to update folks as to the status of this insurance fiasco, because it’s turned into even more of a trainwreck. And now I need some advice.

To bring everyone up to speed, here’s the very abbreviated version. We’ve been trying to replace a very minimal residential insurance policy, with a full-fledged farm business insurance policy. We thought we had a good policy in the works from Nationwide. We had given them our application information back in December, got underwriter approval, nailed down the various details, and appeared to be about done in mid-February.; The agent asked me to call the mortgage company to get instructions from them on how to switch over our existing policy to the new one. I did that, and the agent sent off the information to the mortgage company.

Then the underwriter suddenly got cold feet over some of our products, and threatened to deny coverage. For the last three weeks I’ve been working closely with the insurance agent to straighten out those issues. When push comes to shove, I now doubt the Nationwide policy is going to go through. The underwriter is now questioning farm products he had no problem with in December, which makes me wonder if he actually even read the policy in November. Or perhaps he got word from on high that they don’t want to cover farms anymore. Whatever. I just get the strong feeling they’re looking for a reason to turn us down. So I started to shop for a policy from other companies. I am very close to getting a policy from someone else; she’s due out here any day to do the site inspection. But that other policy is at least a week away from being finalized.

Then on Tuesday, we got a letter from the mortgage company. It basically said thanks for the update on our hazard insurance coverage, the new policy has gone into effect as of 2/21/2013, and the escrow account has been debited the new premium amount. The next insurance payment will be in February, 2014.

I called the agent and said um, we just got a letter that the policy is already in effect? He said no, it’s definitely not in effect, to his knowledge Nationwide hasn’t been paid, and we have to finish our work with the underwriter (who is stalling the application in several ways). I talked to the other agent we’re working with, and she said no way they’ve got the policy in effect if the underwriter is objecting to this-n-that. But those funds have already been released to *somewhere*.

So now I’m not sure what to do. If I call the mortgage company to say hey wait a minute, the policy isn’t in effect yet, then we’re essentially without coverage and will have to pay for something out of pocket until one of the new policies go through. The soonest either of those will occur, is still at least a week away. We were trying to avoid out-of-pocket costs with this, but now I’m wondering if we’re going to have to pay for something to bridge the gap. Can the old policy be re-instated until we straighten this out? Anyone have any ideas or suggestions on what I should or should not do?

Perk Street is a total online bank

Not sure if you have to have a mortar bank—just looked at the front page after seeing in on Harold website.
I have yet to fill out the application…..just been contemplating it since ING switched over and since you earn cash back with Perk Street.

With Wells now

if you have a smart phone, you can deposit checks via your phone (and their app). I love it. It saves me a 40 mile r/t when I have checks to deposit. I know USAA Bank has had this functionality for a long time since so many of their clients are active duty military (and families) and the bank doesn’t have many (any?) branches.

That’s tough, but it depends on why your credit is bad

When my hubby and I had first got married he wasn’t allowed to be on my credit union account because he had been hit by “check systems”. He wrote a bad check once a few years before. We had to shop around and found that Washington Mutual would let us open an account.

I would keep looking around like Eldred suggested. And if in the end you can’t find one, I would keep the bank you have now. Many transaction can be done through the phone, internet, and atm’s. Then when our credit is repaired, then shop for another bank.

So now that we live in the West

we are trying to move our banks too. But we keep hearing that our credit doesn’t qualify us for a “regular” account. For example Wells Fargo gave us an “opportunity account”. Works like a checking account except that I can only spend 500 a day on my debit card. Not withdraw, SPEND. Also my deposits are held for three days, even if I am depositing a check drawn on a Wells Fargo account. Also its costs 15$ a month. WTH!? We have been with Suntrust for years and might just stay with them anyway. Seems strange to have a bank that is 2000 miles away though….

That’s good!

Will take a time through to see how the company uses that plan. Some companies really reward with it and others don’t. My DH’s company bonus program is very much used to reward employees on an annual basis. They stack rank then put employees in a band/percent range on a curve. So it’s very competitive to get a high ranking so the bonus range is higher…

Yes, I plan to take it anyway

Like you said, it’s better than $0. The travel is just for training – I don’t see having to travel much other than that. It’s a salaried position, so I wouldn’t qualify for overtime pay. I’ll also be eligible for “an annual discretionary bonus based on performance and Company profits.”

They are a staffing/consulting company, correct?

What happens when your assignment ends? Are you an employee of Kforce or the actual company that won whatever contract they are trying to staff to? That should also be a consideration, IMO because I would imagine you don’t want to join a company only to be off contract in six months to a year. That may also be why the job offer is less than you were expecting — they were probably the lowest bidder (or your labor category is lower due to lack of four year degree — I’m in defense contracting and I see this all the time).

I agree though that this is a chance to get back in the workforce, continue to gain experience, get health coverage and benefits while continuing to look. It’s always easier to look while employed than not and who knows, you may meet someone who knows someone who has a need for your skillset…

Then again, the six week assignment you just took might also pay off… at least you now have options!

Good luck however you decide.

I have to agree

Better something than nothing. Keep in mind that the salary you used to earn, and/or the salary you were expecting, may have taken a huge hit during the last few years as companies downsize, merge, and/or ship their staffing needs overseas. A lot of the software design and IT folks I used to work with, were laid off in favor of staff doing the same work, for 1/4 the salary, remotely from places like Mexico, Russia and India. Those friends that were able to find replacement employment, ALL took big hits in their salaries. Don’t hold out for a salary that no longer exists.

This is a huge improvement over unemployment, and only slightly less huge improvement over flipping burgers. If you do accept the offer and start working, THEN you can consider how to climb the ladder once you’ve secured that drastically-better-than-unemployment position. If you had five offers on the table, it would make sense to negotiate for which of the five offered the best package. But arguing for a better offer when it’s the only one to come along in over a year? Frankly, I wouldn’t even make a counter offer. I’d say ‘thank you!’ and accept it as-is. Beats the heck out of the alternative.

Is that an “offer” that you are expected to counter-offer?

I would factor in the travel and benefits as others have stated. Will they be matching 401K contributions or other retirement? What about long term disability and life insurance?

I know a lady at church who took a new position and the pay was okay but she’d hoped for more. When she took the position, her supervisor told her they would do a review in 6 months and she was promised a raise at that time. At 3 months in to the job, she got a raise and then another, I think less than 9 months down the road. I am saying all this to say that your starting salary is not where you’ll stay but merely a starting point. I mean, as DR says, you’d have to be a real dufus to spend time at a job and never, ever get a raise.

Best wishes on the job front and I hope all the details get ironed out quickly and smoothly.

Don’t push them too hard

Even at the lower rate you need this job until you find one you really want. Dh had to take a 25% cut in pay to get back to work, and then his first pay raise was $3 per hour more. Which still left him quite a bit below what he was making previously but the benefits are good. However, if ds wasn’t paying the utilities we would not be snowballing now, we’d been in a world of hurt when there isn’t any overtime, but he saw it as a job, above the income we had coming in. So he took it and he’s glad he did. He loves the company (other than the dingy comptroller), they work with him about his hours, let him telecommute in bad weather and all sorts of extra. Plus they hired ds that’s a huge plus too.
What does the benny package look like. Remember they would be paying your way to Germany and training you. That alone should add a few thousand to your “salary” for the first year. And having that training on your resume couldn’t hurt.
Would there be any OT involved is it salaried or hourly? Salaried you don’t want overtime, hourly then… maybe.
How much do you truthfully NEED to live on and make your house payment? Remember you are debt free other than the house.

Certainly you’ll take the position anyway?

55 is better than 00 And how much travel (international) is required? The fringe benefits such as travel, and insurance has to be worth something. While you’re inquiring, make sure you ask what is the employee contribution to health insurance so you can factor that into your request.

Well, I got the offer today

I had hoped it would be around $75-$80K, and dared to even DREAM about $90K. Not even close – $55K. I’m surprised, since it would pretty much be total responsibility for the IT operation in their new location. Now I have to see if they’ll raise that offer any…

We actually are suspecting a ragweed allergy

He started having allergy hayfever last spring. It’s good to hear that someone else might have that connection and that it’s not just a really werid thing for DH.
Our regular doctor has told him to keep a food journal. They are 100% accurate compared to an allergy test that’s only right about 50% of the time.
He doesn’t eat raw bananas or walnuts as well.

LOL! that’s why I’ve been quiet

I solved a family history mystery that I’ve been poking at for years. So excited about it and now have made vital record requests and need to document a bunch of other records I found on Ancestry to tie up the proof.
Congrats on you break through! Hope it comes together for you. I was looking at DNA stuff yesterday on my dad’s line and was contacted by a now proven cousin recently and ordered another test on my dad to see if we can pin point the geographic local of the his Ydna line.
Can totally relate to your excitement and distraction. Been distracted for days over here…

Getting ready for the little guy coming

8 more weeks to go. Working on a sinus infection that the Dr. doesn’t want to give me antibiotics for. I’m allergic to most of them, so I’m agreeing, but I think I’m changing my mind.

Called to register at the hospital for delivering. Mentioned paying cash several times is an option and would like a discount. We’ll see. It would be helpful after the $1500 ER bill we get to pay because we discovered DH is allergic to Watermelon. Yes, watermelon. I’m not kidding. Oh and cantalupe, honeydew, and possibly avacados. Poor guy! He use to love watermelon. Those Epi Pens are also outragious, but DH is worth it.

It will be at the same hospital. We should get frequent flyer miles this year.

So, as I posted earlier I’ve been working on the budget, and baking most of the day

Man that Amish Friendship Bread with chocolate chips smells good, anyway right in the middle of me making dinner I get a phone call from dh’s cousin. She’s all excited, she’s my Stewart/Patterson genealogy research buddy and she’s possibly got a break through on the brick wall the family has been working on with our double line of Stewart/Patterson (brother and sister of one family married a brother and sister of the other—makes for one big family) all total between four of genealogists for over 50 years.
Anyway, a fellow who is tracing his ADOPTIVE heritage decided to go the DNAy route to trace his heritage and it looks like we may now have the line that was previously stopped at the 1850’s all the way back to the early 1600’s!!! Anyway, she contacted me because even with the DNAy we want documentation to tie all these folks together. I’m more of genealogist than she is, and together we are pretty great. So it may get real quiet here for a bit while I go off and play with dead people.

Creating a budget “below the line”

Well this was a sad day. I re-aligned our budget/expenses, paying once a month, in rank order from most essential (rent) to least. In my head (and I’m the nerd in the family), we had 3 months of living expenses in the bank.
Yeah, Nope. it’s closer to 6 weeks, 2 months if I go today and tomorrow and get money orders for rent, which I am going to do so at least we have a roof over our head through the end of Feb. Just BARE MINIMUM living expenses are $3800. If I take out groceries (which I actually can do, we have food storage) that’s $3400. A bare minimum of gas for the car is $400.
Get $650 from Gshloans Inc in 24 hour loans, so it was quick and easy! Just a real shock. It’s surprising how little money goes out in credit card payments, only $112, these are the items which are “below the line.” I already called the Gas company to get on to their discounted rates (less 20%), and have an application for electric discount (also 20%).
Prayers that unemployment is granted, that Medi-cal is granted, and that Foodstamps are granted, (in that order), would be much appreciated.

The cops can’t get to the accidents

then you deal with the insurance co that wants to pay the least amount for the damage–they call it “select service”…basically, you take the vehicle to someone they choose and get it fixed–NO estimates. Sorry, played that game with a slab leak–your dude told me he couldn’t fix the leak, so I would need repipe and he told insurance co he could fix it, so they wouldn’t pay the claim.

She will need a rental for when the car goes in, no way around that because of her working 3 jobs and going to college, but because of one of her jobs, she can use the employee rate to rent the car.

Still wading through this insurance fiasco

Will probably have to cut a few of our products, but at least not all of them. And the insurance company who “stood us up” in terms of approving a policy and then pulling out their final support, nevertheless went through with telling the mortgage company that theirs would be the new policy. So now we’ll have to actually play their little games and see if that policy, which is in effect right this minute, will stay active, or will be pulled as they’re threatening to do. I’m proceeding under the assumption that the latter will occur, so we’re still talking to other agents about other policies. And just to make things exciting, for about 24 hours the mortgage company was also under the impression that we’d gone without insurance for a whole year, and they were squawking about having to show proof of coverage. I squared that up this morning, with 20 minutes on the phone with their customer service department. It just keeps getting better and better. I did something yesterday I haven’t done in a long time – raided the Oreos bag. I’ve just gotten so frustrated with this whole situation. No common sense being applied by anyone, but we have to jump through these hoops or face some steep liability issues. I have zero interest in trying to add a new line item to our budget for some lawsuit payoff. No thanks. So I keep jumping through hoops.

You KNOW how CRAZY I am about FREE toilet paper !!!

Getting FREE toilet paper (and a bottle of shampoo) this week at Vons. They are running their “spend $30 on qualified frozen food, get a $10 Catalina to use on your next shopping trip” promo. YEAH BABY !! So I’m getting my $30 worth of frozen stuff, then buying Safeway 12 count 1000 sheet TP ($8.47) and 1 Suave shampoo (.99)= $5.24 (ok, you caught me, I have to spend .24cents.) But I could get $1+ back if I just bought TP. I think. I’m not sure if they let you get change back on a Catalina.

Anyway. You have to be careful. Today I got 3 Safeway lasagnas (9.99ea) and 1 Safeway waffles (1.99) which should have come to 31.96 (yes, I am working the system). EXCEPT the Safeway lasagnas are on unadvertised sale for $8.99ea. So, the ticker only kicked out a $5 Catalina (from WYB $20 worth.) I’m like NO. The lasagna is shelf stickered for $9.99. Any OTHER day of the week, I would be thrilled to get $3 in unadvertised savings, BUT NOT TODAY when I’m expecting FREE TP !!!

They ended up giving me a $5 giftcard. So I took it and my $5 catalina and went and got free TP and a free bottle of shampoo.

I think next time I’ll stick to DiGiorno pizza ($5ea). And I think I can use more than 1 Catalina at a time, but I’ll have to check (if anyone knows the answer, PLMK. If I used two at a time, I could get two 12packs of TP for free, plus 1 shampoo. I’d have to sacrifice a bottle of shampoo vs. spending .24 cents that way…hmmm. Might not be worth it to combine them.

HAPPY DAY! (Yes, I’m a grocery coupon shopping wacko. Now you have proof!)

Very strange

From the pictures, he left a lot of valuable stuff in the house. Electronics, guns, memorabilia. To me, that doesn’t sound like someone who is *just* facing financial hard times. I would think he’d at least take the stuff he could sell to pay living expenses somewhere else…

It is very sad

It’s too bad he didn’t have an agent or one of his coaches insist he go into a money management program such as Dave’s. This nonsense hopefully wouldn’t have happened, and he would have had a paid off home to begin with. You have to wonder if there aren’t a lot of deeper problems going on with that kid.

I just started using Mint and really like it

I found that’s fairly simple but it gives me a good overview on what is happening in all of my accounts. I can see where eventually it will help keep track of my the money that I’ve set aside for a specific purpose (very helpful since my bank doesn’t let me break down my savings into subcategories like ING does).
I love that it shows me my updated networth – I can see my debt snowball working it’s magic at the same time I can track my 401(K).

Got a new booking tonight

so I am hoping there will be a big spill over next week as well. I also have an article coming out in the local paper in 3 weeks so, my dream is that with the snowball effect of both, that I can start downshifting from my “day job” and rev the organizing business up. I make double the income for ½ the work when I organize – and I love what I do so that makes it the very best part.

Got some TV promo last night for my business – whoot whoot

$1000 seems like a bargain to me considering the chaos it sounded as if they were living in. Keep us posted on how well you do from this segment. I would think you would be doing quite well. Out of curiosity, how long did it take to get that house completely organized? I can see why they were feeling completely overwhelmed and needed a professionals services.