All posts by jimadmin

Since your budget has not wiggle room

have you considered asking the dentist if he/she will barter the difference? You may have a skill or something you can do to “work off” the difference. It might even include things like babysitting for the dentist to have a date night with spouse, personal shopper/running errands–which could be done when you’re doing your own–you charge so much per hour or errand, they pay for the stuff that is purchased.
My recommendation would be to talk to the decision maker … the dentist, not the office personnel who simply process your insurance claim/take your money. Most of the time they are not authorized to make decisions on bartering. When I asked our dentist, after he got done checking my mouth I simply asked, “Do you ever barter your services?” Asking this way, instead of making a statement, “‘I want to barter for my appointment.” made it a conversation instead of a “demand”. Easier to dialog that way. He immediately said yes and we worked out the details for our particular situation.

Now here is what happened last time I went to my family doctor. I make custom coasters. I wanted to gift a set to her with no strings attached. I brought the set with me when I was accompanying dd to the doctor. When the visit was over, I told her I make coasters and wanted to give her a set. (It was decorated with ‘LSU’, a football and a fleur de lis, all in purple and gold with the football being brown. I didn’t ask her to comp the visit but she did. I only realized later what occurred when left and the lady at the counter said ‘no charge today’.

So I need some advice

We found out today that our dentist is no longer contracted with our insurance. They will accept the insurance but we will have to pay for for the difference between what they charge and what the insurance will pay.

I am wondering which is better to do, save the money in our budget to pay for the extra or switch to a new dentist. I really like the dentist and have a lot of issues with dentists in general so I don’t really want to find a new one. But we are such a tight budget and we don’t currently have money set aside for medical and dental payments. We have great insurance so we don’t have to pay for stuff in that area.

I wonder what DR would say? If we set money aside for this, we will have to take it from somewhere else, like from the extra we pay on our mortgage or lower the deduction for retirement. Outside of the mortgage we are debt free.

I know, but i am hoping they will not think of that! lol

But that is my intenstion, is to show them how to live in finacial peace from the begining.

i have starting paying them on commission basis. if i ask them to do something work wise, i pay them when the job is done. i pay them using an envelope system for each of them too. 3 envelopes, tithing, saving, and spending. the first dollars they get in the week goes to the tithing, the second dollar goes into savings, and the rest of the week goes to spending.

this way they will learning that tithing needs to be first. and they will see the results of savings aftera period of time. and then of course they will learn that they will get money to spend by doing thier job.

i hope it works out so they will feel finacailly peacefull that they will not want to get a credit card.

i am praying for that anyways!

We went to our first class last night, very nice

Had a great time. Jeff can only go on occasion and he was able to go last night. Nice thing is that there were 3 young engaged couples who are all getting married later this year. It’s so great they are doing this now and avoiding the mistakes a lot of us make who did not take the class prior to marriage. Wished I had, but I don’t think they had the classes 9 years ago.
Looking forward to the next 12 weeks.

Do you mean the TMMO website where you do the snowball and make your budgets and it has the forums?

Do we get access to that if we attend the class? If so, that’s great. I have been considering signing back up for the TMMO site. If I attend the classes, my husband won’t be able to go because he usually works on Sundays, so at least this way, he can still view our DVDs that I bought and still know what I am learning every week.
My mom said she could babysit so as long as they don’t cancel the classes due to lack of attendees, sounds like I am good to go!

My FPU did child care

and also had an optional bring something potluck, as many attend after work, at dinner time. Since most are held at churches, and the modern trend in churches is to have a child area, rather than having children attend services with parents.

Yesterday was my first night of class

It was very informative. We have a big class. This is the church’s first time coordinating the class. Pretty much everyone wants to get rid of the debt, but a few gave funny answers.

One of my classmates says she is addicted to “QVC”. One husband and wife said they wanted to stop doing stupid things with their money.

Our first homework assignment is to answers some questions about Super Savers, read chapters 1, 2, 3, & 10 and do a quickie budget.

If anyone has attended a class, any comments or suggestions are welcome.

Ok guys

if you are watching national news you know OK is getting hammered with tornadoes. The big one that hit Shawnee, OK a little while go f4-f5 is headed toward me. My internal tornado alarm says we’ll be ago, but I wanted you to know we will probably lose power so if I don’t show up for a day or two that is probably why. Pray for the folks in Shawnee, Edmond, Carney, Luther, and Welty here in OK and Those in Wichita area in KS please.

For those who used VideoBuzz (the portal into YouTube)

which was shut down by Roku (you can read about it on my blog), the guy who developed it has created a side channel which programs directly into your ROKU device.
He is asking for a small donation of $15 which will give you the software, instructions on how to load the side channel, and lifetime upgrades.
I’m buying it just ON PRINCIPLE. Information follows. If you decide to get it and you have the opportunity, please let him know I told you about it. I am really excited about helping someone develop a product we didn’t know we needed till we lost it 😉 No, I don’t get anything back from the guy, other than the satisfaction of knowing I helped out.

Tiara (she’s a tufted Roman—thus the name) and her man, Magellan

Rode the storm out on the deck. There is a large oak tree that spreads it branches over that section of it. Some how the two of them had rolled some of the firewood off the rack around the nest and were hunkered down when the guys went out to try to rig a shelter. Magellan, who has NEVER done this before, gave dh such a pinch on his forearm (huge bruise immediately) and flogged ds protecting his family. The guys finally decided the geese had a plan and backed off. As soon as the storm passed we checked on them and both the birds and their two eggs are fine.
Under the front deck Serenity sheltered her five eggs and despite us having to do our first snake wrangling/rehoming of the season to save one for her on Saturday remained calm throughout. Under the back deck Her road it out as well. You got it, as soon as the storm was over we were out with flashlights checking on them with the Girls who rode the storm out in the sunroom.

Been checking on several friends

One from a homesteading list I’m on just landed in Orlando, FL and was notified immediately as she exited the plane her homestead in Little Axe was hit. They are looking for her mother and dogs, she is hoping they are in a shelter. Her goats, geese, chickens etc are running loose. Several of the New Okies list that are a lot closer to her place than me are headed to Little Axe to round them up. I may end up with her water fowl for awhile if the person she has made arrangements with can’t house them all.

If I go to the basement I will be unplugging all electronics—including wi-fi before I go down

Cell has wi-fi, but the signal is weak down there. It depends on how fast the storms move this way (right now they are moving very slow—unfortunately for those being effected) as to whether or not they’ll be in it if they come on home. They get off at 4:30 pm central time (little over an hour from now). They’ll be coming home from the north, the storm is coming in from the south west.

I’ve already told them to check the radar closely before leaving the security of the brick building they are in I don’t want them on the road in a little Chevy Colorado if these things head for Tulsa. I’ll be fine, heck I’ve rode them out in tents, cars and every thing else. I’ve got a good basement to hunker down in here. Besides they generally split and go around this ridge. I’m not shaking yet, so I’m safe.

We find all this very interesting

We got hit with a curveball from the IRS last week. Since we have a CPA for our business and personal stuff, we immediately enlisted his help in decifering the screwball letter they sent us. It made absolutely no sense and didn’t contain enough information to be able to track down what they are looking for from 2 years ago. Our CPA says in 30+ years of doing this he has never seen anything like this. Wonder why?! given our current administration. dh and I are now operating under a conspiracy theory given we are white Christians who are self-employed republicans, receive no government handouts who are actually making money in our business and we tithe to our protestant church. Oh, and we pay our obligatory taxes on time every quarter! **Thank you very much!** 8-| I’d just as soon opt of out of it all (govenment interventions like social security and such) and do it all on my own. Again, **Thank you very much!** 8-| It all involves an IRA that was transferred to a different institution via a cashiers check made out to the “new” institution, NOT to us. Our brilliant government says it did not go into a new IRA account. However, they did not provide any institution, account numbers, etc., just an amount. Our broker gathered some info and met with dh this afternoon, as I was leaving the store. As I was leaving he said he had some info but had not yet solved the mystery. Dh and I believe more people like us will become targets of “fishing expeditions”. So can you tell I am upset or what! LOL There were a couple of other minor things in the letter but this mystery is defying us all.

That is all for now. Just had to vent a bit. Thanks for listening.

We MAY decide to not pay off the house before funding the ffef—it’s kind of a tossup right now

technically we have 4.5 years to run on both mortgages, so they would go quickly anyway. However, dh is 65 and you never know how long a job will last these days so we are thinking about doing the mortgages before ffef because if we don’t have to make that nearly $3,500 worth of house payments we could survive on retirement if dh lost his job. But then if we do the ffef then we could make the mortgage payments for awhile. I don’t want our home to be in jeopardy We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. If all goes to plan that decision will be made this time next year. Just snowballing all our cc debt SHOULD be gone by May 2013. Of course I plan on doing more than just snowballing. LOL!

Yep months, looks like about 22 months max at this point

Last month it looked like 24 months, so we are narrowing it down. One of the things I did to spur us on was I calculated out how much we’d pay in interest only if we let the snowball chart run its course without any extra paid in and it was nearly $13,000. Talk about kick you in the backside. Of course much of that is house debt. The Best Buy bill, next on my snowball list, after the BOA which only has about $750 left on it (down from $10,000) if we don’t speed it up is going to cost us nearly $500 in interest. NOT acceptable! So we are really hunkering down.

Good morning all

I am hoping to find all have survived the storms of last night in good shape. We did for as much as I can tell so far. We probably have a few limbs down, but nothing major. Even my broody on the desk mama goose survived the small hail we got. So now on to how we did with our path to financial freedom last week.
We ended the pay period way over budget on groceries, but because of a small sale, careful budgeting on other items, a decent royalty check and other small things we actually ended up under budget by $23. Now that I find exciting. LOL! My how attitudes change once you get on the path to run from cheetahs.
Speaking of cheetahs does anyone else find it interesting that the IRS ball team is named, you guessed it “Cheetahs!” ? or would it be CHEATahs?
Just before the storms yesterday dh finally got the geese out of my garden! So once it finishes being a swamp out there I can start planting, finally! Since he had promised that it would happen I used what was left of that Lowe’s gift card I got back in Dec when I reported our seedless grapes being seeded. To purchase some heirloom tomato plants, two types of bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, sweet potatoes, oregano, rosemary, thyme and a couple of other plants I can’t remember right now. Around Wednesday or Thursday I’ll start planting these and the heirloom seeds for cucumbers and such once the threat of this serious storm system is over. No sense in putting the tender plants out when they are predicting hail for next few days.
So meantime in the house I’ve been working on my pantries and cupboards. Blog posts to show up soon hopefully. They are slowly all coming together at once.
As I posted Friday evening ds took us to see the new Star Trek movie, this time I put my movie review on my media review blog (link below).
Saturday I played with the snowball a lot while dh was at a business luncheon. If all my calculations are correct things on the pay off train are looking pretty good. We won’t be debt free for a few more months, but we have knocked one month off the end in the last month, so that is progress.
So there it is a boring homework report.

I worked out years ago

that I’d manage my vet’s website for him while he treated my livestock for me. Since we do so much of our own holistic care anyway, we didn’t usually have much in the way of animal health issues except for the wacky accident or bizarre illness. So I actually think he ended up using my website services more than I used his veterinary diagnostics/treatment services and i get 1000 loan from LendMe Inc. But it worked out really, really well. Particularly if you have a good relationship with your dentist already, you might be surprised at what he’d like to work out to keep you and your family as clients. Remember that dentists are feeling the pinch too, as families skip that part of their overall family health if/when not covered by insurance. Or, like you, are having to shop for cheaper options even with insurance. I’m willing to bet he’d work something out rather than lose a whole family of loyal clients.

On my Facebook wall, something popped up about some ‘eradicate your debt’ program

It sounded fishy to me, so I said that Michael ethod works well without any trickery or schemes.
Hey, it came up on my wall, un-asked, so they’re fair game.
So here’s their response:
“We don’t use any trickery. What we do is very similar to what Michael teaches. We have some slight twists and then we also provide tools (such as our proprietary spending planner software) that make it easier to be disciplined with your spending.”

So here’s MY response:
“Why do you need software to tell you not to spend money you don’t have…?”

I dunno – it seemed like a valid question to ME.
Yeah, I’m about to piss somebody off… 🙂

The one thing we had hung onto as a family “luxury” has been our XM radios

For the last two weeks we have discussed giving that up. It is due on the 19th for the quarter. The discussion has been about how much we truly listen to it any more since we are not on the road full time and the fact they were raising the rates AGAIN. The bill due the 19th is $7 higher than the previous $110 for three radios for three months. So the discussion centered around that extra $7 from the budget. I know, what is $7, but when you think about how much putting that $7 plus the other $110 on another bill quarterly could save it becomes a lot of money very fast.
I’ll admit it. I was the hold out. I go to sleep each night listening to Ground Zero and Coast to Coast. During the day I listen to Michael and Glenn Beck. Yep I have right leanings, so if that is a problem for you sorry, it’s just my nature to be a conservative.
One night and a good part of another day earlier this week my “shows” were not on XM, they replaced them with some guy with a nasally voice my ears couldn’t tolerate. They even pre-empted Michael and that is a MAJOR NO-NO around here. This was not the first time Ground Zero had disappeared in the middle of a show. When I called XM I was told they were having “difficulties” and they were working to rectify the matter. I took it to mean satellite or transmission problems. Then Saturday night on Coast to Coast it was announced that Aug 31 would be the last broadcast date on XM for C2C. That same night it was announced on facebook that Ground Zero had been cancelled as well. Scuttlebutt is that other right wing shows were also being cancelled. I think I now know what the “difficulties” were. Especially since there was a lot of discussion about the current events of the day on the night/day the programming disappeared.
So they were raising my rates and cancelling what I normally listen to. Well that $117 will fit nicely into my gazelle feed bucket.
I spent part of Saturday and Sunday researching for free stations I could get those shows on and setting up radios, ipods, computers etc for listening in various rooms of the house and the garden. Dh retuned the truck radio to local stations to get the shows we want while in the truck with our pre-set channels. Sure we’ll suffer static now and again, but if they won’t provide the shows I’m interested in then they don’t need my business. They are on the schedule to be cancelled today.
On to a brighter subject, my beloved birds. We have new ones. I know, I know we shouldn’t but we rationalized ourselves into it. Always an excuse right? I could blame it on grief over losing Pigwidgeon, but that would be just an excuse. I could blame it on the need for more mousers, snake eaters and a solution for the biting fly problem that occurs as soon as hot weather hits, not to mention all those pesky mosquitoes. But the excuse we settled on is we felt sorry for Casino.
Casino is about 4 years old, he’s a pied Muscovy Drake and he was an only child. Ducky Dude disappeared last month and there have been no duck hens around here for nearly a year. He was one LONESOME drake. The geese shunned him and he was starting to eye our peahen in an unnatural way. It is all ds’ fault. Yeah his shoulders are broad he can shoulder the responsibility (and the feed sacks) of it.
First dh mentioned about two weeks ago he thought we needed more ducks for pest control, and pointed out that ‘scovies were the best for that. Not to mention they are a lot quieter than regular mallard descendant ducks. They are heartier for the most part too. The hens can perch in tree for safety, well Casino could too if he wasn’t such a fat little guy.
Then ds decided Cas needed a girlfriend or two. I objected asking where we would do temporary housing for new adult ‘Scovy hens because you always need to coop them for about 2 weeks or they will try to fly back home. The only available space was where we had scheduled to put Serenity and her goslings, if she ever hatched, which since she was 10 days past due we didn’t think would happen. So I put out a request ofr Muscovy hens, thinking two. Cas is now a very happy boy, or will be once we let the girls loose, we brought home four.
The clincher was ds saying “I’ll pay for the new hens and start paying for the feed every other time we buy, after all half of the birds are mine.” That won me over, I love muscovies (most birds in fact. ) and the main roadblock to getting the mouse and snake eaters had been the feed costs, In one promise (which I know he will keep because he always does) that roadblock disappeared. Photos of the new girls are on the blog post about the big adventure with bringing home four new girls and discovering that while we were out picking up the Muscovey hens Serenity hatched out one gosling with what looks like two more on the way soon. Can we say pen shortage anyone?
So far the other two eggs have not hatched, the fourth one that had been in the nest Friday when #1 hatched ruptured yesterday, apparently it hadn’t been fertile. Serenity is still faithfully guarding the other two eggs and turning them regularly. I just came in from checking on her and the little squirt and both seem fine. I’ll feel a lot safer when we get them in they play pen in the main goose area. Dh had to kill an egg snake yesterday that was making a beeline for the gosling. Ds just happened to see it as it crossed the clearing and they were able to stop it. They tried rehoming it, but the snake wouldn’t co-operate. So he’s now a dead snake.
Generally we leave the non-poisonous snakes be because we live in the woods and we need the pest control they provide. But when they go after my birds or eggs they either get relocated several miles away or as in this case they meet their demise if we can’t catch them.
The next on my flighty week was someone approached me about purchasing my incubator. After I calculated the cost he decided he didn’t want it. So I listed it on a local homesteading list I’m on. Someone I trust completely has put a down payment on the incubator. So that is our last big piece of the bird business sold. While digging out the ‘bator I found we had more bird stuff than I thought, egg trays and such. So I listed those for sale as well.

I understand where you are coming from….

I messed up and did take a vacation after a vacation last week. I dreaded the first one–to a wedding in Indiana that kind of/sort of happened, and I knew I would need time to recover after.

on another note, the plumeria seeds took, so any time you’re in the Jacksonville, FL area, feel free to come by and pick yours up.

Conserving energy

I’ve spent my day conserving energy, my energy. Working on the bird pen remodel all weekend has worn me completely out. I think I need a vacation. Wait a minute, I just had one, so that won’t work. So in between doing loads of laundry today I have been going through my notes and working on the memories of our trip in Nov/Dec to Las Vegas. Have I only posted 5 days of that trip? Hmmmm.