Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Home stretch of the year!

Happy October!!!  The last quarter of the year.....how are y'all doing???

As we go into the last 3 months of the year....here are the tidbits that are rattling around in my head....

1)  Government Shutdown.  Even though G-man is federal government, he is not effected  on this front.....YET.  First off, he said that his office is still open, but Sequestration (automatic spending cuts) is still on the table.  Additionally, he is considered essential personnel...so he continues to work.  However, there is a high chance that furlough is in our future.

2)  Halloween!  The kids have decided NOT to dress up this year and trick or treat.  They would like to hand out candy.  Weather permitting, we will all sit on the porch (or camp chairs at the bottom of the steps) and just enjoy the evening.  Maybe some warm cider.  G-man and I did that before the kids, and while we loved trick or treating with the kids....we are ok to move on from it.  G-man will put our ghost family out in the yard today....and I have a project inside to finish (if my &*@$@ back will cooperate!).  Need to get some candy though.

3)  Thanksgiving.  We invited a guy from G-man's office to join us if he doesn't go home.  He is single, young.  Lives on canned soup.  Having one more person at our table won't matter....I cook enough for an army.  And I will feel good that he isn't eating a HungryMan dinner.

4)  End of year numbers.  I ran a quick analysis (aka, punched some numbers into the calculator) and our end of the year numbers will be around where I predicted back in January.  The good part of that is that I did have some idea where this was going.  The bad part is that I KNOW the CC is to blame for not doing better....or more specifically....the people who use that CC.

5)  Car and Home Insurance.  Our car policy has steadily gone up.  No accidents.  No change in cars (technically, when I got my current car almost 2 years ago, it did change the monthly amount by a $1 because my new car was "newer".)  But the agent said the rates in the state have gone up.  It will impact our home insurance, although we haven't received that information yet.  We switched companies a few years ago because of rising rates, and we may shop around again.  I really don't understand the home insurance.  When we bought the house, it was $434 a year.  Now we are at over $1000, and we have done NOTHING to the house to impact this.

6)  New budgeting way.  I would REALLY like to be able to pay all the bills on a set day of the month.  This requires building a sinking fund.  I have sinking funds for some things, but to move all of the household bills in this direction will take time.  So I need to look at what needs to happen to make this a reality. 

7)  Christmas vacation.  I mentioned that I am taking the week off.  Something I have never done....ever.  We have been putting money aside to cover my loss of pay that week, and we are a little behind.  My original calculation were based on a smaller per week number of hours.   I think we are off by about $100.  Not the end of the world.  At least we will have something.

8)  Christmas.  I feel behind.  I usually have started buying things.  Not yet!!  However, we do have some ideas and I plan on working on those shortly.  I want to make homemade vanilla extract for the work folks, so I will order those supplies.  G-man finished his birthday/holiday list, so I am going to just take care of those at the same time and call it day.  Most of his stuff is not stuff that will go on sale.  I am still trying to figure out stuff for the kids.  We have decided to NOT send a ton of cards this year.  It will probably be about 10, and I am hoping that I have 10 miscellaneous cards left from previous years (pre-photo cards) that I won't even have to buy cards. 

My brain feels lighter.....thanks for listening!


  1. I have been trying to read all the articles about the shutdown but I'm struggling to really make sense of it all. When do you think you will know more about the chance of a furlough? It must be so frustrating to be in limbo and not sure either way.

    Our house insurance kept going up and up till I rang and really bargained and bargained. This is not at all like me usually, but I kept comparing quotes, asking them to cut 'optional' features out etc. It might be worth a try as that is a huge jump you've had. Maybe there's some optional extras they have added in without asking you?

    1. No idea. The number of days of furlough have been bounced around. May be 13, 15, 20....don't know. Also that will mean all sorts of schedule changes.

      Additionally, we will have to see if G-man's paychecks are on time. The actual processing of payroll goes through a different agency. The longer the shutdown goes, the higher chance that his pay will be late.

    2. Seriously...20 days possible furlough? OMG. I hope the paychecks keep on coming as scheduled. Keeping all fingers and toes crossed for you and all those affected.

  2. Wow ... lot's going on right now! I haven't given much thought to Thanksgiving or Christmas yet ... guess I should get going now that it's October.

  3. Good luck with the shutdown situation.
    Halloween --we don't live where we get trick or treaters (farm) but when we lived in a grated community, I was sorely tempted to set up a keg on our front porch! We drive our kids to a nearby neighborhoof to trick or treat now. Hslloween is my preferred holiday...no gift /family obligations. We make it huge here....decorating, growing our pumpkins, pumpkin patch, toasting seeds...you get the idea!

    Christmas --argh! Because we do up Halloween, we face it later than most. I don't allow lists. Kids get to ask Santa for one thing, us another. But, we celebrate Advent in a pretty heady way. It's easier on our budget, and the kids like our traditions. (#3 tends to always gripe about gifts though. A lot is from her peers. A smartphone??? Yeah, no. No tablet either. But, her friends always wind up here playing...go figure.)
    Budget -- crazy idea...we tossed ours out years ago. Simply wrote down EVERYTHING we spent in a notebook. Got so we wouldn't spend to avoid writing it. This was early ' 90' s. It worked for us, and we were in worse straits than you. Getting out of the 'burbs helped. I am SAHM, hubby retired (pilot.) College for the brood set, no debt. But, it worked for US. Maybe not someone else. I also found I spent less when I left my job in the city after #1 birth. (Though paying my NDSL/GSL did seem ironic at that point!)
    I love your blog. You have a reader somewhere in the pnw pulling for you! Thank you for writing. Best of luck in the new month.

  4. As far as the insurance... I really don't think it has as much to do with you as you think. Sure, if you were a high-claim risk, your premiums would be higher. But also, when you bought your house, they are betting you had less valuable stuff than you do now. Additionally, the price of replacing things and repairing has gone up, which reflects on the insurance. (Trust me, I dislike the whole thing as is, but it is what it is).

    And don't worry. There's only 84 days before Christmas. You've got time to shop.

  5. Oh Mysti I love you but Christmas...... Arghhhhhhh! signed Scrooge McDuck