Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This Blog is My Story-What's Yours

I've been a bit crazed with a couple projects, sorry for the lack of posts. Things should settle down next week, I hope and I pray they do!

Like all blogs, this is my story of my bankruptcy and coming back from it. Not everyone who has gone or is going through a BK has a blog.

I'd like to use this space to share some people's stories should you care to share.  I'm asking my readers to send me a "guest post" on what your story is and what you are doing either pre-BK or post BK.  It can be as long or as short as you would like.

If you are in a sharing mood, please contact me at:

bouncingback22008   at

Have a great week all!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Neighbor's Kid Update

My neighbors kid had her court date this week. She was lucky, she got off with a small fine and 25 hours of community serivce. According to her mother, the kid was actually showing some remorse about the situation. Her mother thinks that the seperation from her friends who were also arrested helped this kids attitude a bit. There was no misery in numbers and she probably got some fair time to think about the situation. The kid has been working with her dad (he is a landscaper) and will select her community service this week. The court has a list of organizations in which to choose from.

My neighbor did say that she was "giving in" to the kid a bit. My neighbor knows she struggles with giving in to her kids and just has felt that she has "denied" them so much this past summer that she was just getting tired of saying no. She did also say that when said child was sulking about the arrest, boyfriend and housing situation that she simply grow up, get a job, move out and not rely on the parents to pay for everthing. I was told that the kid had a look of shock on her face. My neighbor and I both figured that the kid thought her parents would give in and give her money for this "adventure".

Oh well, we are both hoping this was a painful lesson learned and that the kid might not make it again.

What has this got to do with personal finance? Not much at first glance, but this does go on this kids permanent record and could impact future jobs, rental prospects. I don't think she realizes that some companies and landlords are very particular about employees/tenants having clean records. I know my office makes it clear that they run a criminal record search on all employees as part of the application process. You just never know what will make an employer reject your application.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mercury Is In Retrograde-Hence The Computer Issues, BUT Here are the Give-A-Away Winners

Mercury is in retrograde and I've been having all sorts of problems with my old computer. Sigh...

Non the less, I am finally able to post my give a way winners. I will be sending an e-mail to my winners. Thanks to everyone who posted in my comments and contacted me by e-mail My three winners are



and oneeighteenfifteen@____________

Your sample boxes are wrapped and ready to be shipped! Once I get your mailing addy, I will drop in the mail.

Thanks for your patience!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

August Was Expensive! Plus a few Updates

Failure to plan properly cost me dearly.  I had some bills come up that I was not expecting until Sept or October and since I did not plan properly, I had to dip in to my Efund to cover them.  I had a home insurance payment that I was not expecting to be so high, but I neglected to read the fine print on the last bill that stated the company for future billing,  they would bill you either twice a year or once a year. In the past two years, the payments were spread over three invoices and I was not expecting to have to pay sooo much. So be it,  shame on me for not reading the fine print.  The other unexpected bill was my mobile bill. I've been using my phone a lot more these past few months, so much so that I keep getting hit with outrageous overage charges.  I did the adult thing, reviewed my bills for the past 5 months, went to the web site, reviewed other plan options and found a new plan that should cover the minutes I've been using. It's $39 per month instead of $23 per month, but since my last 4 bills have all been over $50, I think this should help me out budget wise, especially since I know I'll be using the phone a lot over the next two months. I had some fun to me time, that while not exceptionally expensive did cost me some $$$. I signed up for a friends and family plan that gives me unlimited mintues to select numbers which will be very helpful since I pretty much only call the same 6 people time and time again.

The good news for me is I will be picking up more weekends at my weekend job. I caught up face to face with my weekend boss and we discussed the work situation.  He has still not heard from my co-worker aobut her inpending surgery, but has heard about it from everyone else.  Pretty much, I'm going to just drop back in to my old schedule as soon as she is off on her medical leave.  My co-worker just has to tell me when she will be unable to work and I slide back into the old routine.  Which is good, I have to replenish my E-Fund and I want to build back up a cushion in my checking account.

I'm continuing on my scan fest.  My initial zest wore off, but every few days I scan a pile of papers, then shread them.  My filing cabinets are getting nice and empty!

Contest Results To Be Posted Tomorrow

Sorry for the delay, but I've been without internet access at home and work has been crazy in a good way! I will have the contest results posted by tomorrow AM. Thanks to everyone who responded!

Hope you all had a great holiday weekend.


Friday, September 4, 2009

More Drama Across The Road

Just to add to my neighbors already overloaded plate.  Child number two gets picked up by the police and arrested this past weekend for having drug paraphernalia in her back pack.  The car she was riding in got pulled over and to make a long story short, all the passengers got frisked and checked out and she got snagged.  So did three of the other occupants.  My neighbor got a call to come down to the local police station at some ungodly hour of the night. She was so angry at her child that she did not want to bail her out. She wanted to leave her there until Sunday or Monday. The police discharged the kid anyway and set a court date for a few weeks from now. Again, this kid had almost no remorse about what had happened and in fact gave her mother lip when they got home about "how she did not care" if she got arrested and it was "bogus" since she only had the paraphernalia on her and no drugs.  And she copped an attitude when her parents said she was grounded, could not use the car and could not have her friends over.  She started on the I'm over 18 BS, you can't ground me and my neighbor said fine, go leave, get your own place. Which we know won't happen since child #2 has no money.  Plus this apartment she was going to move into to be with/near her boyfriend was going to be funded by boyfriends mother. Not anymore.  Boyfriends mother made it very clear that she would help her son with a place to live since he was going to a school that did not provide housing, not to allow son's girlfriend and these other folks to sponge off of her rent payments. Since said boyfreind also got arrested at the same time boyfriends mother is not thinking happy thoughts about his choice of friends at this point in time.  My neighbor has to take the day off work without pay to accompany child #2 to court in a few weeks.  She can't spare that money, but has to do this.  She also can't afford a lawyer, I don't know what the kid will do or what the Public Defender will do.

I did all I could do which was sit on my couch, offer my neighbor glass after glass of wine, listen to the whole story and shake my head. My neighbor left this AM for her vacation.  I gave her $40 and told her spend it foolishly on herself.  I can truly say she needed the $40 more than I do.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My Mortgage Will Be Increasing

Ugh, I opened the mail the other day and had a notice from my bank. Due to the increase in my property taxes, my mortgage payment is increasing. Not by a little, but by $144 a month.  Sigh, it's always something.  My town had a property re-evaluation, my house increased in value and thus my property taxes have gone up.  When I got the notice in the mail from the assessors office, I ran some comp statistics from the MLS and came up with a fairly similar figure. I will say that even though my house is small, it is retaining value.  Being on a lake does help and at least I'm not underwater on the mortgage (the Escape is a different story......).

My escrow balance took a hit for the 2nd yearly payment and my mortgage payment will be increased to build back up the escrow balance and to create a cushion for the 2010 property taxes.  Time for a little budget re-evalution!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

$250 Later~My Escape Is Back~

I have my Escape back. Lube, Oil Change, 21 Point Inspection, etc was only $40, the repair for the little noise I heard was $210 (parts and labor) seems something froze up in the drive chain. The Ford dealership said it was a good thing I got it looked at when I did as it could have led to a bigger problem. I used a Ford dealership in the next town and did not say boo to them other than Hi, I'm new here, I need an oil change and can you check out this little noise along with the oil change. Last year I needed some work on the Escape. I knew it was a PITA repair and would cost around what it did, what I was not happy with was the "suggested" repair and maintenance estimate that topped $1,100 (including the PITA repair) with the local Ford dealership. That bill and the fact one of the service mechanics just made a face and rolled his eyes at me when I said, sorry not now, can't afford it made me dump them like a hot potato. This new to me dealership was very nice and the only other thing they suggested was that I get some other fluids changed the next time I have an oil change. They did not try to push the issue and have it done now like the other dealership did.

I'm happy that this bill was not hundreds of dollars. This I can manage with only a little dip to my E-fund. I usually budget for an oil change every other month and figure every third oil change, some sort of fluid needs replacing. Last time I had the Escape in for an oil change, I got the fuel filter changed as it was overdue, earlier this spring I had the transmission fluid changed. I had the anti freeze done in the late fall. The only downside is the labor is a bit steep (hey, it is a dealership), but my regular mechanic is out of town and his limited staff is already overbooked. I just had a feeling about this noise and am glad I took the Escape in to be checked out now, so hopefully I will be avoiding a huge repair later!

Some Random Thoughts

Things have been busy in my life these past few days. My car is in for an oil change and to have a little bit of a check up. It needs an oil change and I want a little noise checked out. Pray that it's not a $400 repair. I've budgeted for the oil change and a small repair, not for a major repair.

The good news is I was able to get a really great quote on new gutters for the house! One of the contractors I know from my less than part time real estate job gave me the name and number of a guy he uses when he builds homes and does renovations, and I was able to get a great quote! I've scheduled the work for the end of September. I'm really thrilled about this. This gutter person also has good recommendations as well. Still nothing on the real estate front in terms of a decent commission, but I'm plugging away at it in the hopes that I will sell that million dollar house.

I'm still in scan a thon mode, each night I scan a bunch of papers and put them in a box to be shredded. My filing cabinet and file boxes are getting emptier and emptier!

I don't know about where you live, but here in Southern New England it feels like summer is over and we are in fall. It was 50F this AM when I woke up, a bit brisk even for late August!