Archive for the ‘termites’ Category

Prepping for Vacation

August 8, 2007

As Noma mentioned we’re getting ready to board a plane tonight. I’ve learned my lesson and decided to take today as a vacation day to take care of all those miscellaneous things I need to do before a big trip.

In the past I would have worked at least a half day. Not anymore. There’s just too much to do to prepare for the trip. This includes taking the cat to the kennel, cleaning the house (who wants to come home to a dirty house?), finishing packing and reviewing of our finances. I’ll check Quicken, Wells Fargo, etc and make sure we have enough cash for our trip and make a trip to the ATM. Once we’re back East we won’t be near a Wells Fargo and if we withdraw cash we’ll get those pesky bank fees. 

In addition I’ve leveraged today’s vacation day to have some contractors out today.  The extermination company just left — they came to inspect post fumigation and clean up the frass (termite poop — great new scrabble word) and an electrician coming to replace our broken (for 6 months) porch light.

I’ve already stopped the mail, the papers and bought small gifts for my nieces who we will be staying with….Getting closer.

Our friend will be driving us to the airport which will save us money on parking. We’re also fortunate enough to have family who donated their miles to us…so our airfare was free!!! Yipee! So, financially speaking the biggest cost for us will be the cat kennel fees, entertainment and dining charges, the car rental and money we spent on small gifts.

I feel very saavy about the car rental. We’re flying into one airport and out of another. When I looked into one-way car rental costs for it was going to be like $500 for 5 days! I then played around and found that if we rented a car in the first city for the first 4 days and then returned that car and got another one from a second company just to drive down to the second city that I was able to get the car for about $250. Saving $250 is worth a extra trip to the airport.

Yes, indeed. I can almost taste the sweet New England air.

We’re excited!


Help! Termites are Eating Our Emergency Fund

July 18, 2007

The optimist in me says it’s a good thing we had started to build an emergency fund. We recently found out that our house has termites and that we’re going to need to tent it for fumigation. Unfortunately, this is going to cost $2400 not including the cost of having to find a place to stay while our termites get gassed out. I transferred funds from our ING account to cover the cost. Glad I didn’t put this on a credit card.

This now means our emergency fund is at $1700. I know that my car still needs even more work done to it. The mechanic said the struts will cost about $600. For now it’s apparently safe. However, I don’t think many cars ever sounds this clunky and junky. As long as I don’t have to drive my boss anywhere I think I can live with it. My kids certainly don’t care.

 So, the pessimist in me is bummed to see the emergency fund get so low and I wonder if I’ll have to wait until my next bonus to see it get some positive activity.

 I hope those termites appreciate the money I’m spending on them. Damn ingrates.

Solace On a Low Budget

May 31, 2007

Feeling blue? Expecting a visit from the termite inspector? No way to pay except a credit card?

We are expecting such a visit, though I hope we’ll muster up some other way of paying. Though we’ve been making substantial inroads, lately our credit card debt has been increasing. Yes, increasing. Each frugal bone in my body sheds a spartan tear at such a time — to flagrantly mix metaphors.

In any case, the wife is reading Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London, and I can attest it is one of his most entertaining books. It describes a period where he lived as a bum, and how that affected his mind, outlook, health.

At five bucks or library cost you can’t go wrong.