Unexpected expenses at the worst possible time

Thursday morning on my way to work, the strangest thing happened. No, it wasn’t an automobile accident, but I did think of running them over. There was a fight between two summer school kids in the middle of the street, stopping traffic, ending up on the hood of my car. The two kids made a dent in the hood of my car to the tune of $875. I contacted the school and know who the boys are, and who their parents are. One of the boys has stated to the Police Officer stationed at the school that he has a job and will pay for his half. I have to contact both parents on Monday after I get another estimate for the damage.

This brings me to the point of the title. Last month, I had trouble making the rent. (With the new job, this should be alleviated.) I depleted my emergency fund so that I could keep my landlord happy. (As a side note, the check hasn’t been cashed yet.) Anyways, now this is where the unexpected expense happens. I have to have the car fixed, so I’m going to pay my $500 deductible and get that from the boys. I don’t know how well this is going to go over with the parents. I know that the parents do know about the incident, but I want to be fair. If I can get an estimate for under $500, I won’t go through my insurance. (I’ve already checked with my insurance agent, it won’t raise my rates but it would count as an incident.)

Best case scenario is, the damage can be repaired for under $500, and the boys will just pay it. I’m hoping for this option, and I’ll definitely keep you posted.

8 Random things about me

I was tagged by SavingDiva over at Saving for a Home of My Own to share 8 random facts about me. Here goes!

  1. I’m obsessive compulsive about certain things. Not cleanliness, but with my DVD Collection. They have to be alphabetized and when you open the case, the disc has to be so that you may read anything on it without turning it. Yeah, I know….
  2. I have this great purple chair that my aunt bought for me at an antique store.
  3. 31 wasn’t as bad as 30 for me.
  4. I’m the oldest of two children. My sister lives in England.
  5. I apparently have an obsession with outerwear. I have about 9 coats in my closet. Just for me.
  6. Steve Madden shoes are the best ever.
  7. I lived at home until I was 27 years old. No, I didn’t save any money.
  8. I used to bartend to make extra money. I loved to watch drunk people.

I don’t know who to tag, so if you’re reading this (Aaron) you’re tagged!

Dealing with a Devastating Medical Diagnosis

In this post by Madame X, she talks about how to deal financially with a devastating medical diagnosis. I can speak from personal experience in this. Here’s my story.

In August of 2005, I started a new job. It was part time, no benefits, with the potential for full time. At the time, I only had the Family Planning benefit offered through Medicaid. I was feeling great, and just needed to see the gynecologist once a year. But at the end of the month, I noticed a lump in my neck. I figured my lymph nodes were just a bit swollen because of a change in environment. Well, October rolled around, and it was time for my annual girl exam. When asked if there was anything else that concerned me with my health, I mentioned the lymph node in my neck that was still swollen. The nurse practitioner told me that I should go to a doctor other than a gynecologist to have it looked at. I explained that I didn’t have any health insurance and she found me a doctor who worked with the local hospital. Read the rest of this entry »

Thoroughly Disgusted

I just finished watching Maxed Out. I have to say that it disgusted me to see the way that people, including myself, are treated by credit card companies. Even the government is corrupted by them. The movie states that MBNA was George W. Bush’s largest campaign contributor. It also states that MBNA is the second largest bank in the US. To think, that our president, who was bought by a credit card company, signed a bankruptcy bill that made it harder for working class citizens to discharge unpayable debts…. It just disgusts me.

I mean, people are at their wits end. It showed the families of three debtors who thought there was no other way out than suicide. (There is another way out, please call for help if you feel that there is no other option.) This 57 year old woman was facing foreclosure on her home because her husband passed away and she could no longer afford the mortgage payments. Another woman, who cosigned on a loan for her daughter, was labeled as deceased (after her daughter died) and was subject to  being investigated by homeland security as a terrorist! I mean, COME ON PEOPLE!!!!!

We have the power to change this. We have the power to not be bound by these credit card companies. They are making their money off of us, low income people. (Yes, I fall into that category).

Don’t get me wrong, the documentary was great! It was well directed. I just am upset that the credit card industry would exploit consumers this way.

It Pays to Complain

about bad service, that is. SavingDiva has written in her blog about some experiences that were less than 100% up to par. It made me think about an experience I had at Staples back in November.

I recently became a Notary Public here in NYS, and I had to purchase a Notary stamp for my “business”. Well, since I used to work at Staples, I decided to go to the one close to my house. There’s an Office Max about the same distance away, and I could have gone there, but I didn’t.

Anyways, I walk in to the Copy Center to place my order for the stamp. Now, it took the girl about 5 minutes to realize that I was there and when she finally did, she didn’t really know anything about the stamp ordering process. I tried to help her as much as possible, and even took out my Notary License to help with the spelling of my name. When I was spelling it for her, she said something snotty to me about my name, and I of course got really pissed, but since I needed the stamp, I let it go. So, we finish with the ordering and I double checked the order form to make sure my name was spelled correctly, my license number was correct, and the county/state were right. I paid the $20 plus tax for the stamp and left.

Two weeks later, I was back in Staples to pick up the stamp. Again, the girl (different than the ordering girl) ignored me and when she noticed I was there, I told her I needed to pick up a stamp. She said “HUH?” all kindsa rude like. I repeated myself, a bit slower because I know that sometimes when I’m in a hurry, I’m a fast talker. “I NEED TO PICK UP A STAMP.” I said. I showed the girl,  my receipt and she got the stamp. She proceeded to throw it across the counter at me. She never asked if the impression was correct, and it’s important that it is. (If the impression is wrong, anything I notarize isn’t valid.) By this time I’m furious. There was no need for her to throw the stamp at me. I checked the impression against my license and left the store.

I’m not one to complain, and I should have the first time the girl was ignorant towards me. But this time I had two bad experiences with one order which is ridiculous. So, I get in my car and before I get out of the parking lot, I’m on the phone calling the number on the receipt. I asked to talk to the store manager and explained the situation to him. He was very embarrassed and apologetic and promised to put $15 in vouchers away for me. I told him that I was very upset and I didn’t know when the next time I was going to be in the store was, he informed me that it would be held in the safe.

That made me feel a bit better, but it still took about 4-5 months for me to go back into the store. The only reason I did is Wal-Mart was out of my print cartridge and they share a common parking lot.

So, the moral of my story is, I’m going to learn to be more outspoken when it comes to issues like this. It does pay…. 🙂

Day of no spending

So far my day of no spending has gone well. A few weeks ago, I took my vacation fund jar to the coinstar machine and let it count out my miscellaneous change. I opted for a Starbucks gift card because I didn’t want to pay the fee, and I thought that it would be something that I would use. So today I drove the 6 miles round trip to the local Starbucks to imbibe in a Venti regular coffee with cream and sugar. Cost to me, nothing. Cost of satisfaction, priceless.

I love the summer. Summer to me means lots of days with no spending. Since I live in the frozen tundra during the winter, I don’t do alot of outdoor free activities. I mean, I don’t do hardly anything except bundle up in the winter and watch television. When I signed up for the All-in-One package from Time Warner, I was eligible for a free year of Starz. Normally I don’t find any movies on Starz to watch, but since I’ve already watched my movie from Netflix, I opted to find something on Starz today. Cost to me, nothing. Cost of satisfaction, priceless. Read the rest of this entry »

To my 20 faithful readers…

Just a big THANK YOU for your loyal readership. I have been trying to think of ways to thank you properly, but since I have no money, I can’t buy you anything. So I have decided to give you this video…