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Little Updates on Me

November 19th, 2014 at 12:20 pm

I am going to try and be better about blogging even if just a little note each day.

There was no spending done Saturday and Sunday as I stayed home and made candles for Christmas. I am ready for some holiday movies to keep my company as I work. Hope they start on the tv soon.

I received a payment on Monday night from a house sitting client $127. She asked about drop in services for several days next week that I hope will come through.

Have Friday night scheduled next week as well for another client. I was already paid for it (she has two nights on credit) when she paid me for a house sit and came home two days early. She didn't want a repayment so she has a two night credit.

I have scheduled weeks of house sitting in March, April, May and July for another client. She wanted to confirm before she bought tickets. Each week scheduled is great for me!

All money goes to 2016 business expenses first (about $1000/year), IRA payments and then to house down payment savings and maybe a little for a vacation in 2015. I never took one in 2014.

I am getting the cold that is going through the office. I was so tired last night I fell asleep during the news, woke up at 730 made dinner and cleaned the kitchen and went back to bed. I am hoping to work from home Thursday and Friday on my major project.

I was also freezing last night when I got home even with the electric lap blanket. I turned on the little oil filled radiator heater to warm the apartment. It was on for two+ hours but on low and just enough to take the chill off. With the blanket I was good.

I was hoping to last until December 1 without the heater. With making candles this weekend I need it to be about 70 degrees in the apartment. It wasn't that warm this past weekend and I kept having problems with the candles so I may move the heater into the kitchen this weekend.

Have you turned on your heaters? Are you making gifts for Christmas this year?

Saving money off my monthly budget

November 17th, 2014 at 02:15 pm

I just shaved about $140 from my monthly bills and $145 from my yearly.

I have not had time to call regarding my cell and cable accounts in months because I have to call during business hours. I've worked so much that I never had time to sit and speak with someone for the length of time I knew it would take (which ended up being 67 minutes because I was on hold for 34).

I called first about my cable bill asking how I could lower the bill without sacrificing any services. She asked a few questions about the tv channels we watch, movies streamed, etc. Her first offer was ok but I asked her the - is that the best you can do question and she was able to take my previous bill of $155 (including taxes) a month to $84 a month (plus about 10 in taxes - estimated right now) saving $61 a month.

Then we had a good conversation about texting and the elderly and she mentioned her mother who is 87 needs to learn but none of them can convince her so I gave her some tips including for emergencies and how my mother uses it to keep in touch with grandkids. She loved that and said let me see what I can do for your phone bill! At this point I was so happy I said sure!

She was able to reconfigure our non-contract account to be $84 from $160 for two phones. She cut it in half and the account gives us unlimited talk and texting, unlimited international texting (handy with lots of friends abroad), a free hot spot access (for both phones for no extra charge), 5 gigs a month (instead of the 2 we were getting) and more!

I asked how this was going to affect me when I purchase a new phone in January or February. She said - it won't affect it at all, if you purchase your phone outright and stay off the contract. I was floored! She said it is a little known secret that you can purchase your phone outright and stay off contract thus saving money. I planned to just purchase a phone anyway and was considering going to another service without a contract but keeping our numbers but my mother's neighbors have used several and said it is not great coverage for the hills in which they live. This will allow me to keep all my services, coverage and save some money.

Then I called my insurance company as it is up for renewal this month and asked what the best they could do for my renter's policy. I had quotes from several other companies and was able to shave $55 off my coverage without changing anything.

I called a new credit card and got a yearly fee returned and as long as I auto pay something every month for a year it will not be added on next year. I just set up my cell and cable bills to auto pay - I pay them every month anyway – and I am earning 4 times points because of the auto pay. Saved $95 and am earning points!

The amount saved for the month is $140 (times 12) is $1680 + $55 for insurance + $95 = $1830 saved for the next year. I immediately went into my 401k and 457 accounts and set up the new contributions to equal $1800 in new contribution amounts for 2015!

New position possible?

May 19th, 2014 at 11:14 am

I am actively looking to leave the job I have loved for 6 years. I just can’t stand it anymore. Things never get resolved, poor management, no support for staff, bickering between managers has staff put in awkward places, managers who don’t do their work as managers means staff is coming and going at any hours they want or “telecommuting” but never are available via phone or email, no accountability and those of us who are here, do our work, are professional get dumped on with more work assigned.

I actually applied for a new job in the same field in Colorado. I am investigating the moving process of getting my personal items from California to Denver, looking for a new place to live, looking at the lifestyle and how the Denver metro are feels. I know I will rent an apartment for the first year. Must have parking and be a two bedroom because of the work from home opportunities since the position can travel up to 75%. After the first year I may rent a house or buy a small condo. It depends on how things are going and how I survive the first winter. Haven’t had a real winter since my time in Vermont for grad school. There was a ton of snow and I hated shoveling it. But much less snow in Denver than Vermont!

In 1998 I moved to Vermont after never having been there for grad school. I loved it. I would have stayed had I found a job in Vermont or Massachusetts. I am up for a new adventure and moving to Colorado sounds exciting and a new job sounds even better.

Does anyone have any experience in Denver? Know the area? Recommendations on where to live or avoid (that is my big question currently)? If I get the job I will drive my car there and they also are providing a car because they position can travel up to 75% time during major events and emergencies. I am excited about the possibility. More money, better benefits, small office, travel, work from home or in an office as I am the only one from the head agency there and assigned a region. Anyway, if anyone has any experience in Colorado, I’d love to know!

Work out goal and Financial thoughts

March 4th, 2014 at 10:08 pm

March 4th: workout 62 minutes 2 miles on treadmill.
Total miles: 4.33
Total time: 130 minutes

And I realized I still had over $120 left over in my transportation jar from last month. I may be able to save the $140 I allocated for March. Will need it for a vacation around July 4th to the coast to spend time with friends from high school and their families. We are all going to rent a house together and spend the week. It will be such a good time!

Goals for March - Fitness, nutrition, travel and money

March 2nd, 2014 at 07:30 pm

Fitness Challenge goals:
20 workouts during the month to equal 30 miles walked.

No eating out starting Ash Wednesday. The only exception is the business trip I am taking beginning Saturday the 22 and ending Thursday the 27th. Although for business trips I usually go to the grocery store and buy yogurt, high fiber bread, PB, jelly, fruit, carrots, sometimes juice boxes. Trying to follow the lent plan but it is also difficult when traveling.

I pack my lunch bag, ice blue frozen things to freeze in the room refrigerator, and zip lock bags. I make mu lunch in the hotel room and take to the meeting or training sites. It saves me money and I can control better the nutrition for breakfast and lunch. For dinner I join my colleagues or friends who live in the area or have yogurt and fruit. It also helps me on my weight loss goals.

On my trip last month my colleague got us access to the concierge room (he travels 160+ nights a year and only stays in one hotel brand when he can and has major points). It provided us breakfast and coffee each morning and appetizers, drinks and snacks each evening. I went for appetizers once and that was my dinner. It was more than enough. He has arranged it again for the next two trips. A hot breakfast of eggs and an English muffin and coffee is a great way to start the day, after going to the gym.

Work out logs:
March 2 Am workout 1.33 miles in 40 minutes, and PM 1 mile in 30 minutes.

Total: 2.33 miles

Work out 1 down

March 2nd, 2014 at 06:16 pm

I joined Ceejays March fitness challenge. Goes along with my no eating out challenge that begins Wednesday for Lent.

I walked on the treadmill for 40 minutes this morning. It equaled 1.33 miles. The plantar fasciitis is bothering me a lot in my left foot but I want to walk another 1.5 miles during the Oscars. Getting ready to get on the treadmill again. I would have
walked outside this morning but it was raining and cold.

Waiting for my March paycheck to hit so I can pay bills. Ugh. Hate it when the state pays on a Friday. It doesn't show up until Monday.

Emergency Preparedness 22 Week Schedule and Planning ideas

January 8th, 2014 at 09:00 pm

Another blog entry today mentioned emergency preping in 52 weeks. That lead me to a brain dump and some ideas for how to prepare in 22 weeks, to be repeated as necessary until enough food, water and supplies for a minimum of 7 days.

Emergency Preparedness Purchase List for Disaster Preparedness Kit

First, be creative with where the purchases are made: thrift stores for storage solutions, dollar/99 cents stores for flashlights, first aid supplies, batteries, canned goods, candles, matches, etc. hardware or supply stores.

Rotate all food and water every 6 months.

*per person in family

Week 1: 1 gallon water, 1 jar peanut/nut butter, hand operated can opener, 1 canned meat*, 1 box permanent marking pen, role of duct tape, basic first aid kit, select storage location, select back pack for grab and go kit (think thrift stores for purchase),

Week 2: 1 gallon water, 1 canned meat*, 2 flashlights with 2 sets extra batteries and 2 sets extra batteries in a different size (dollar store purchases), water proof matches and water proof container.

Week 3: Leatherman or Swiss army knife type tool.

Week 4: 1 gallon water, 1 canned fruit*, 1 canned
vegetable*, 1 canned meat*, 1 package dry milk, 1 package feminine hygiene, aspiring or pain reliever, pencil/pen/notebook.

Week 5: 100 feet rope, 1 gallon water*, 1 each canned fruit/vegetable/meat*, evacuation routes map.

Week 6: Animal planning: 1 gallon of water for each household pet, 1 bag of food size to last 1 week for each household pet, 1 litter pan/container of litter, 1 backpack for pets labeled “PET GO KIT” with extra toys, leashes, water and food dishes, photocopies of vet cards (needed if ever checking into a shelter), licenses, veterinary contact information.

Week 7: 1 gallon water, 1 can fruit/vegetable/meat, 1 package toilet paper, 1 4-pack toothbrushes, toothpaste.

Week 8: first aid supplies: adhesive bandages in multiple sizes, gauze pads, safety pins, adhesive tape, non-latex gloves in multiple sizes, roller bandages, make arm sling from extra material.

Week 9: 1 gallon water, 1 can soup/fruit/vegetables*, sewing kit, disinfectant

Week 10: first aid supplies: scissors, tweezers, thermometer, antibacterial soap, hand sanitizer, disposable wipes, petroleum jelly, 2 tongue blades, extra eyeglasses, contacts, saline solution for contacts.

Week 11: 1 gallon water, 1 can soup, liquid dish soap, house hold bleach, 1 box heavy duty garbage bags, antacids.

Week 12: battery powered radio, wrenches to turn off utilities, waterproof plastic container for important papers.

Week 13: 1 gallon water, 1 large can of juice, “Ziplock” baggies in multiple sizes between snack sizes to 2 gallon, 1 box energy bars/quick energy snacks.

Week 14: paper goods week: toilet paper 1 4-pack per member of the family, paper towels 1 roll per person, paper cups,

Week 15: personal safety: whistle*, tools: crow bar, pliers, screwdrivers, hammer.

Week 16: 1 gallon water, 1 can fruit/vegetable/soup/meat*, 3 boxes “treats” graham crackers, fruit snacks etc.

Week 17: 1 gallon water, 1 large can of juice, 1 box energy bars/quick energy snacks, 1 role duct tape.

Week 18: 1 box dry cereal*, 2 containers each of antidiarrheal medicine, rubbing alcohol, antiseptic.

Week 19: Animal planning: 1 gallon of water for each household pet, 1 bag of food size to last 1 week for each household pet, 1 container of litter, I bag treats for each animal.

Week 20: plastic wrap, aluminum foil, disposable plastic containers with lids, personal hygiene items: feminine supplies,

Week 21: camping or utility knife, work groves, disposable dust masks.

Week 22: develop bucket toilet: http://www.survivalpreparednesstips.com/Survival%20toilet.pdf

Important things to consider:

Baby needs: formula and bottle, water, diapers, clothes, blankets for sleeping and clean space to crawl and play.

Elderly care: 1 month extra medications, spare glasses, hearing aid batteries, additional needs per person.

Kids care: games, books, cards, special treats to keep them busy and occupied.

Consider buying solar battery charger which can charge batteries and phones/computers/ipads etc. Goal Zero makes some fantastic items that I myself have purchased including solar powered lighting and energy sources enough to keep refrigerator running.

Blankets, towels, wash cloths, for each member of family.

Each member of family has back pack with several
changes of clothes season specific, especially socks and underwear, shoes, personal items.

Cash in multiple denominations and coinage, and some in each family member grab and go bags.

Continue with food and water prep until enough for family for minimum 7 days. Repeat weeks as necessary.

Learn how to make candle heater with flower pots: http://www.trueactivist.com/how-to-easily-heat-your-home-using-flower-pots-tea-lights/

Video tape contents of your home room by room for insurance purposes. Save video to disks in safety deposit box and at home, send to out of town contact for safe keeping as well.

Develop an out of town contact to notify in case of emergency who can track all members if communications in the disaster area are compromised.

Make a complete list of contacts in your phone book in case of error. Keep a copy in each back pack. Update twice a year, minimum.

Develop car emergency kit: ides forthcoming.

Review all insurance coverage once a year. Have copies of policy numbers and policy in important papers, know what emergency assistance your insurance company can provide.

Learn emergency plan for your childrens’ school/day care.

Bolt cabinets and book cases to wall studs. Hot water heater, too.

Test smoke detectors twice a year, minimum.

Learn first aid/CPR.

Know evacuate routes for your neighborhood. Identify evacuation point out of neighborhood that everyone knows where to go.

Develop complete lists of family member prescriptions including dosage, prescribing doctor and when the prescription expires and need to be renewed by the prescribing doctor as most are only good for 12 months.

Leave shoes and flashlight next to bed for quick exit. Keep spare pair of comfy walking shoes in trunk of car and at work location.

Know the utility shut off locations and procedures, identify tools needed and nail next to interior garage door clearly labeled or leave wrench attached to cut off valve.

Make photocopies of all important papers and store in water proof container with supplies.

I know I can write much more about this subject. This was just a brain dump. If the weeks don't work for your planning, identify when things are on sale and cross them off as your purchase. Remember planning for 7 days of food and water for your family.

Do I or don't I?

November 9th, 2013 at 09:12 pm

I found a house.

It is 6 years old, corner lot, zero lot line, single story, 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 car garage alley-way house in one of the communities I wanted to live in. I want a zero lot line house because I really don't want to worry about yard work.

There is a small front and side yard (in front of house is 3 feet wide by length of house, about 20 feet, it is a very small yard!) HOA fees are $32 a month (pays community lighting and watering of two parks in area).

PITI payment would be about 23% gross, 30% net. I have a friend and colleague (different area of the department I work in) who wants to move out of the house she has been sharing and wants to downsize to one room. Offered $400 a month and part of utilities which would be amazing. I would take her because she is in her mid 50's, going back to school to complete her BA, and goes away every third weekend to visit her adult kids about an hour away.

I can afford the house without a room mate, her rent would just be more I would use to pay off the house.

I am trying to figure out the Calpers loan process because colleagues have said it saved them money in the end. Of course, it is a weekend, the house just came on the market and this model (single story) in the community sells very quickly.

I just don't know what to do. I have wanted to be in my own home for several years, and here is my preferred house design, two miles from my office!

It would be a conventional loan as the FHA loans now have that PMI that is permanent. Have a percentage to put down, not as much as I wanted but with a room mate I would make up the difference.

Thoughts? Things to consider? Tax ramifications of buying a house? What can I write off in the first year (e.g. 2013 taxes)?

Comments welcome.

(and does anyone know what is going on with the "" things on the web page?? it is driving me nuts for the past couple of weeks.)

Worth every penny?

October 28th, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Saw a funny news report on the today show this morning: there are some things worth every penny and not worth the guilt including a really great mattress, sheets with a high thread count, strong tires and plushy toilet paper.

What are things you buy worth every penny?

Preparedness: Hotel Grab and Go Bag

August 10th, 2013 at 11:24 am

I am an emergency manager/planner and I travel frequently for work and pleasure. I decided with the events that occur everywhere these days that I needed a grab and go bag (G&GB) that would contain everything I would need if I needed to evacuate, and enough to be self-sufficient if I needed, down to checking into another hotel.

The G&GB needed to be more than just my purse as my purse contains more then I need to evacuate safely. It needed to be light weight and small but enough to carry what I needed to start again. It needed to be something I could carry easily and not slow me down from evacuating safely.

Before a trip in 2004 I purchased a light weight cinch sack. It packs flat, weighs nothing, was cheap (under $3 on sale), and could hold everything I thought of for my grab and go bag (G&GB) from a hotel.

When I arrive at the hotel I get two room keys. One stays with me, one goes in a baggie in the G&GB. In that same baggie is a phone list of the numbers of my family in a small 10 page phone book. In an emergency if I don't have my cell phone I may not remember any numbers if I need to contact my family.

In my suit case I travel with a light weight flashlight and a second set of spare glasses, these go in the bag, too.

I always pack a pair of light weight slip on shoes and one pair of socks in my suitcase just for the G&GB. Shoes go on my feet as I am evacuating and socks are already packed in the bag to be put on later.

I pick up a bottle of water when I arrive in the new city and take a couple granola bars from my travel stash, those go in the bag.

My cell phone is fully charged every night. I keep a spare cord for charging my phone in a baggie in the G&GB. I also pack a baggie with a couple of band aids, larger bandages, anti-biotic cream and a couple of pain relievers in their original container.

In winter, the bag has a scarf and a pair of gloves. In summer it has a t-shirt. It always has a pair of underwear. It also always has a large garbage bag that I could use as a rain shelter if needed.

The last thing I put in the bag before I go to bed is my wallet/passport. This would make it possible for me to check into another hotel room.

This bag is packed and placed at the foot of the door. If the fire alarm ever goes off I would grab my phone, slip on the shoes, grab the bag, check the door handle to make sure it is not hot, crouch down as I open to make sure there is no smoke and go to the stairs. I always know how many hotel room doors I am from stairway exits in both directions.

Every morning when I leave for the day I take out my wallet and passport and place the bag in the closet.

I leave the bag and items in my suitcase when I am not traveling so I always remember to pack it.

I think being a little prepared in a strange, unknown city means that I sleep a little better and won’t have to think just react if an emergency happens. It also means that the first responders and emergency services workers have one less person to have to provide emergency support services.

Travel/Hotel Grab and Go Bag Packing list

Light weight, closable, bag or pack that is not hard or to heavy to carry.
Phone/contact list of family members
Pair of socks and shoes
T-shirt, underwear, gloves or scarf depending on season
Spare glasses and contacts
Small first aid baggie
Baggie/cord for phone
Several spare baggies
Flashlight with full batteries
Large garbage bag

Arrival at hotel:
Spare room keys in baggie
Water bottle and granola bars

I put this kit together for less than $20 but it is worth more in peace of mind than ten times that amount.

Copyright Kristina M ©

Please use information for personal emergency preparedness preparation. For professional use please contact me for permission.

Dreaming of a Retriement (Savings) Plan

July 28th, 2013 at 09:31 pm

I have been dreaming of maxing out retirement benefits at my full time job for about 6 months now.

For me that means $3174.60 a month or $38,215.20 a year toward retirement.

How you ask?

Well my union/state contract mandates 11% away each month toward retirement: $678.33 a month.

I can max out my 401K fund for $1458 a month, $17,500 a year.

The state has a second retirement savings vehicle state employees can use, the 457, that I can put away up to $1458 a month. For me the 457 would be $1100 a month to ensure that I had enough monthly to live on or $13,200 a year.

My take home would be $2260.81 a month broken down into the following sending categories:

Rent (estimate depends lease at that time) 790.00
Water/sewer/garbage estimate 65.00
Spending money: 200.00
Electric: 40
Gas for house: 30
Cell bill (2): 160
IRA: 10
Groceries: 290
Household: 10
Gas for car (Prius): 125
Car payment (0%): 326
Internet: 85 (estimate. Getting rid of cable means I’d like to watch a few favorite shows each week so need high speed/lots of download size. Must use current company because I use a microcell tower in my apartment to get cell phone coverage as I do not have a land line. The tower only works on AT&T internet. The use of the cell tower boosts the cell coverage to 5 bars and costs nothing extra to run.)
Netflix: 15
Audible.com: 15
Student Loan: 270. (Interest rate locked in at 1.25%. I am not in any hurry to pay this off because 5 more years of limited payments and the balance is forgiven through the federal loan forgiveness program)
Mom (assistance): 150
Emergency savings: 50

I would need to save a few things ahead of time to prepare for the year of living like this:
Car insurance for a year: 1400
Renters Insurance for a year: 350
Contact/Glasses: 720
Clothing: 1000 (estimate)
Personal HSA Savings: 200
Gym yearly membership: 100
All that totals $3770.00

Plus, I have my emergency fund.

And I earn between $150-700 dollars a month in the house and pet sitting business. Usually I have that money accrue in a savings account for the entire year but if I could use that during any month I needed after I save the business expenses I need for the following year, about $800.

I wonder if I have the strength to live this close to the bone for 12 months.

I know I could adjust my retirement savings at any time to get more money if I needed it.

What do you guys think?

Planning a relaxing vacation

June 23rd, 2013 at 08:14 pm

I would like to take a short road trip this summer to test out my new car and enjoy a get away. I have three weeks off this summer sometime which will be a much needed and desired break.

I want to drive up to Ashland, see a few plays at the Shakespeare festival maybe drive west to the Oregon coast and drive south on Highway 1. I have not been to Ashland since 1990 and I think it would be fun to just explore that area. I remember it being gorgeous and loving the plays.

There are some good hiking trails, the mountains, areas for a nice drive and picnic lunch, fun walking around town.

So now I am comparing hotels and debating staying in the hostel. I have traveled all around the US and Europe using hostels and I feel comfortable in them.

Once I get home I have a couple drop in/house sitting jobs scheduled which will be about $600 and a couple of short weekends planned house sitting which will yield $60-80 a weekend.

I also have a marketing meeting scheduled with the guy I have "hired" to create a website for the pet/house sitting business, logo, business cards. I've made about $1200 in the past couple of months which means $700 for next years business expenses, $100 for the marketing person (he is using the ideas and work he generates for me for his portfolio) and $400 for savings.

I hope to double the income from this side business to $7500 by this time next year and get to $10,000 by the following year.

Swagbucks Points

June 17th, 2013 at 09:56 pm

This past week has been crazy busy at work and I have not had enough time to do the third installment of the car purchase saga and lessons learned that might help other buyers.

But I have been doing the Swag bucks thing for a while now and I wonder, with 5100+ points, is it time to cash them in for something? I need to scan the rewards area and see what is there, but what do you do with your Swag bucks points?

Do you have a favorite reward you choose?

Part 2: Buying a new car...

June 11th, 2013 at 08:53 pm

So when I arrived at the dealership the first time (after beginning negotiations via email) to test drive my two choices, the first question the sales guy asked while standing with four other sales guys was what color did I want? This is asked with the intention of making the car buying an emotional experience for the buyer. It is important for the dealer to make this happen so that the buyer will pay even more for the car they choose and makes it difficult for the buyer to negotiate because they have already expressed a color choice. I answered that it didnt matter for me, I would take whatever deal I could get at the time. No chance of this becoming an emotional decision for me.

The second question he asked was what did I want my monthly payment to be? Too many car buyers answer this question and set themselves up for failure. When answering this question the only answer should be: my payment is decided upon the final price negotiated minus the down payment I have, divided by the number of months I select times the interest rate the bank gives me.

It is an important answer because giving a statement of I want to be under $400 means the sales guy is already calculating how to get you into a vehicle more expensive than you should pay and have you pay for a longer term. Longer term mean more paid in finance charges and all this is money in the bank for the finance company.

I gave my answer and all of the other sales guys who had been silent during this questioning walked away, one of them saying she knows what she is doing, you can have her.

A few weeks later, after more negotiations with the internet sales guy I came in to pick up the car (in my color of choice and with the option I wanted!). As we finalized the deal he asked about my trade in. I asked what they could give me for my car.

Now, on one day when I went to test drive cars I hit upon a nice sales guy in the internet deals office and he said he was leaving, only had a couple more days. We chatted a bit and I asked him then what to do with my car to get the best trade in offer. He said to take it to CarMax and they will match the offer as that was their policy.

When I returned to pick up my new car, the internet sales guy I had been working with had my car appraised and said it is in really bad condition but I can give you $250. I just handed him the CarMax paperwork and he got very upset. He said "I dont think my head guy will go for this." I asked him to bring his head guy over. When he left to talk to him I followed. When they said they couldnt match it I asked "why not? All you have to do is drive it to them and they give you a check AND it is your own policy to match it." The head guy asked how I knew that and I moved his stapler off his desk and showed him the special little sticker and that something about honoring CarMax offers. He agreed to take it. Knowing the policy of your dealership is very important!

The final piece of the deal came when they brought me the paperwork to sign. Now, the sales guy doesnt have to go through the paperwork with you and often they just hand you the things to sign and point where to initial or sign, while the finance guy has to go through the paperwork with you. My sales guy handed me only three things to sign and I asked to see everything. As I was reading through it making sure all the information was correct I found an error in the interest rate. What should have been0 % for three years was listed as 3.99% for three years. I pointed it out and he said, oops, sorry that is the default. I just said, umhmm and asked for the paperwork to be printed. He tried to have me cross it out and initial next to it with a 0% notation and I said nope, please give me a new copy.

My last entry will be the financing/warranty/maintenance discussion and a very interesting experience with the general manager that just happened by happenstance.

Part 1: Buying a New Car

June 10th, 2013 at 11:46 pm

I researched for over a year before I purchased a car. I test drove multiple brands to narrow it down to cars I liked. I keep my cars for years, until they die, so I wanted a car that was safe, reliable and has excellent gas mileage.

I was planning to keep my car for several more years when it started to have problems every couple of months. Spending money so often and the advice of the mechanic that I find something new/newer I buckled down at the beginning of this year to decide what I was going to do.

Yes, I could have purchased used, leased, bought less expensive, etc. but I wanted new, drive my cars forever and have no problem with purchasing new.

I knew what the bonuses were at the two dealers I was considering, what their goals were supposed to be, what the hold backs were for the first quarter of 2013.

I negotiated via the web with seven dealers to see who would give me the best deal. After getting a good quote I called the two largest dealers on the west coast who sell the most of the car I wanted, and asked them for their opinions on the price. Both said they could not beat it, even if they tried.

The deal was easy to make. I had my car appraisal done at CarMax and the dealer matches the offer (don't tell you they don't as it is a guarantee purchase from CarMax for the price they quote regardless of who brings the car in to them).

We finalized the deal, did the initial paperwork and then I sat, for TWO hours while others who came in, test drove and financed and left. That was frustrating.

So I was gathering my stuff up to leave when the GM came by and asked how my experience was. I told him I was leaving, waiting to long, going to buy elsewhere for being jerked around, etc. He asked what he could do to make the sale. I quoted an amount to come off. He said We are already not making money. I said BS (literally said it) and quoted the hold backs, the bonus they were going to make on the sale, (silly sales people blabbing to much when taking a test drive), and the extra holdback possible because they had already made the quota.

He looked at me for a full minute, made an offer under my request, I said no and he gave in.

I am very happy with the price, the interest rate (zero) the terms etc. And I am loving the car.

I approached the purchase as a business decision. It was not one made with emotions but purely a business decision and it was a good one for me.

Part two: Two questions you should never answer,
how to catch the dealership putting the wrong information on the paperwork, how to research a car purchase beyond the official reviews, and when is the best time to purchase.

It's been years...

June 9th, 2013 at 08:56 pm

And so much has happened...

I have continued reading people's blogs and lurking about but I just couldn't get myself the excitement to continue writing my blog. But now I am feeling interested again.

When last I wrote I was waiting to hear if my car was going to be totaled or not. It wasn't and I got a few more years out of it until it reached 12 years and little things started happening that needed repairs...every other month or so. When the mechanic said "I can keep it running but it might be time to look for another newer car and save the money" I took his advice and the money I had saved for a new car and purchased a 2013 Toyota Prius. I love knowing it gets incredible gas mileage but most importantly the peace of mind I get when driving is worth more than anything! I purchased in March, on Easter, got a great deal, and when they kept me waiting for two and a half hours for the finance office I got a better deal when I started to walk out of the dealership. The GM stopped me, asked what was wrong, asked how he could rectify it, and gave me another amount off.

In fairness it was the last day of the month, they were getting the bonuses from HQ for selling Prius' for the first quarter and they got additional money for beating their sales goals so I don't feel bad saying I would only purchase for another $750 off. It was the cheapest sale in a few months but they still made almost two thousand from HQ. I hope to not have to deal with car salesmen for another dozen years!

I am still paying off some credit card debt and also my student loans.

I have an interview schedule for my dream job in September in Washington. I am excited and will start studying once this large project at work ends on June 28. That is one reason why I haven't had the energy or time to post. It has been a two years project and I have "gifted" many hours to my employer in overtime to make sure it is successful. But I am also burned out and exhausted.

I am taking almost three weeks off in July. And I need the break! I may take a road trip (and really test the car out) but it depends upon a couple of clients who may need some house/pet sitting during that same time. Making some extra money while taking a few weeks off work sounds good, too!

The house and pet sitting business is still doing well. I am designing a new website, logo and marketing package with the help of a friend. He has a degree in marketing and after a few years doing something else wants to get back into the field. Having a few projects he can showcase would be helpful in his portfolio, so we negotiated a very fair price for his services and over the next few months I hope it makes the business even more profitable.

It is good to be back and join the group.

Savings activity this weekend: NSD today. All laundry except one load was dried on the drying rack. Four loads dried on the rack in just a few hours yesterday even though it is shaded on my patio. Sacramento's 107 degrees certainly helped me save money!

I started the spring cleaning of the apartment and the living room looks good. I washed the seat slip covers of one of the couches and they dried outside today. There are a few more to day over the next few weekends.

...Darlin I think your car is totaled...

April 12th, 2011 at 07:42 pm

That was what I heard late this morning.

So today started as any other Tuesday. I went to my standing Tuesday project meeting, picked up my mail and headed home for lunch. I planned to eat lunch and then go into the office. A pretty standard Tuesday for me.

SoI am driving on Highway XY east bound toward my office when all of a sudden I see three cars swerve from the left lane and then the next car hits something in the road. It sends it careening into my lane and I drove over it. It was a bike, a special bike for creating energy for a special presentation for earth day at a local college. It had fallen off an SUV which was taking it to the college.

I pulled to the side and ran to check on the driver of the SUV. He was shaken up, and in shock about it and feeling guilty at the damage (four cars) that was sustained. But I told him accidents happen and thats what insurance is for, right? One of the other drivers went off on him, like he did it on purpose? He dropped a $5k bike in the road for fun and giggles?

My car is now sitting at the repair shop. I have a rental (bright red!) and I will hear the final estimate Friday morning. My repair guy said that it will probably be listed as totaled by the insurance if it is over a certain dollar amount. My tires and rims are shredded, the undercarriage is really torn up, there is damage to the bumper, the side of the car on the drivers side, the tow thingy is gone (had to use a flat bed truck to tow it), and there could be more damage that I just cant see or that her does not know about yet. But no leaking that he could see and it starts which is surprising.

Please say a prayer that the car is not totaled. I cannot afford a car payment right now!

I am ok. A little sore as I braced myself with my arms as I hit and ran over the bike. My back is tensing up a bit and I did not go to class but I will tomorrow. I cant move very comfortably but I know I am not injured, just tense muscles. I will soak in the tub later and right now I have a heating pad on the sore spots.

I hope everyone elses day is going better!

A couple small updates...

April 4th, 2011 at 08:02 pm

Saturday was a no spend day.

Sunday I went to Ikea and used part of the returned gift card for two pillows and a mirror. I hope the mirror works because I want a couple more! For 14 dollars, it is an inexpensive way to decorate a dark living room. Having the mirrors reflect some light will be helpful in lightening up this apartment. Who knew they were so inexpensive at Ikea? Unfortunately, my friend who bought a lamp has to return it as it does not work. We have had some crappy luck with Ikea and have decided, other than the mirrors, to not shop there any more. I like a lot of their furniture but the colors never match anything else and it feels like you have to get everything from their lines to make a room work. Does anyone else feel this way? I don't like that as I have some beautiful furniture from family (very old and beautiful) and nothing at Ikea even fits the color scheme. So...two more mirrors, two more pillows, all on the gift card, then I think I am done.

Sunday was also grocery shopping day. I spent $54 and some change when I had $55 to spend. Perfect! And I got everything on my list except a battery for my flash light. It takes a very large one I have yet to find. But I have $10 set aside for it when I find it as that is my emergency preparedness money this month.

Monday also no spend day. Well...I drove to a meeting and had to pay for parking but I get reimbursed for that so to me it is a no spend day. Have to go to meetings for work, can't say no to that! So...Tues-Thursday should be no spend days, too. I usually don't spend money Mon-Thursday because from work I go to the PE classes then home.

Oh, I may need to get gas sometime this week so one of them may be a spend day after all. Darn! But Maybe I can make it to when we are heading out of town Friday morning.

...Little update for the beginning of April...

April 2nd, 2011 at 06:29 pm

I updated my side bar with the debt pay off amounts I did yesterday.

CVS had a great sale on Olay products this week, buy one get one free. I really like one of their products but at $20 a pop I make it last two months. I bought one several weeks ago when I had coupons, CVS money, it was on sale, etc. and paid $12. Yesterday I bought 1 for $20 and got the second free so I am good for about 6 months of so. They also had the granola/finer bars I like B1G1F but they had none of the flavors like so I got a rain check for 8 boxes total. That would see me through several months.

I paid all the bills for the month yesterday while eating lunch. I also got the cash for the week.

A friend of mine is coming to visit Thursday-Monday and to surprise our third friend for her birthday. We wanted to celebrate it while she is in town so we are taking her to SF for the weekend. I made reservations at a hostel to stay Friday and Saturday nights. We will hike a bit Friday and have dinner in Sausalito then go into the city on Saturday and fool around for a while. It will be nice to be together again for a few days. We will return Sunday.

Finally lost a pound this week! I have been the exact same weight for the past three weeks and it was getting irritating. I track and weigh everything I eat and work out pretty hard four days a week but a small plateau was apparently in the works for me.

I am doing nothing today. Am not leaving the house, am spending some time shredding old papers from those boxes my mom brought down. Years worth of bank statements dating back to 1992 were shredded last night and I have other stuff to shred today. Three large garbage bags full! The shredder gets to hot from running and I have to let it cool for 30 minutes or so. So I get to work on that for 15 minutes then move on to cleaning for Vs visit on Thursday.

I am going to Ikea tomorrow to look at under the bed storage options. I am afraid of the apartment getting flooded (always a fear of mine and it has happened once in the 18 months I lived here. It would have been worse if I had not been home.) so I want some plastic bins for under the bed and I have the credit for returning the rusting silverware so that is what it may get used for. I also need a couple of pillows for the guest bed as I have none.

End of March Update

March 28th, 2011 at 07:10 pm

So spending for March has gone pretty well.

I made a major decision this month to pull money out of my emergency fund and pay off most of the credit card debt. I just dont want it hanging over my head any longer and it will be faster to recoup the money into my emergency fund than it would be to pay off the debt. I would still have about $7k in savings and that is a little less than three months emergency money. I am working up to having 1 year in the bank of all expenses then I will begin saving for a down payment again.

I will be paying off the Eldo card, the Chase card, the Amex that has about $500 and about $3500 of the PNC card. All together I am paying off $7876 in debt and will have the rest of it paid off by February 2012 at the latest.

I am so glad to be paying off the debt. It has been weighing on my mind for the past few years and I just decided that I want it gone.

I am still saving for the vacation in November or December. We have finally decided on Singapore and Bali for about 11 days. I am excited for the trip but really excited because I will get to see my friend Mina in Singapore who I have not seen in 6 years. So exciting! I have not traveled for the past few years and I am looking forward to the trip.

Our union vote regarding the proposed contract between the state and our union is out in the mail. We should find out the first week of April if it has passed or not. This contract means 3% more paid by me to my retirement and a personal furlough day each month meaning I am giving up 4.6% each month. They also upped the maximum pay at the top step by 3%. There are a few other provisions of course but that is the bulk of the changes. I am glad that I will get money back into my paycheck with Aprils time period.

I have money left in my grocery spending for March and if I need nothing at the store in the next couple of days I will use part of it for emergency food build up and part for picking up a couple of items at CVS that are on sale.

Emergency Kit Preparations, blog one

March 24th, 2011 at 02:43 pm

This is the first in a series of blog posts as I prepare my tiny apartment and myself for a disaster.

The recent events in Japan have made it clear to me that my reserve food stores are very, very low. I could last a couple of days but not for long if an event prevented me from shopping.

I went to the dollar store this week armed with $15 to see what my money could provide me. I bought:
8 cans of Campbells soup
2 cans of Del Monte crushed pineapple
2 50 foot Reynolds aluminum foil (great for cooking on BBQ if needed.)

I spent a total of $12 plus tax for the foil.

I plan to take $10 per week from the grocery budget to the dollar type store and see what I can find for my emergency food supplies. Yes, I am a name brand snob. These are products I know and use all the time, some of the off label brands are brands of which I have never heard. So I will start trying one a week to see it I like it, I can add it to the emergency kit the next time. I am also trying to make three nutritious meals and a snack a day.

Now I have come up with a creative solution to the storage of these products, I think. If I move the couch in my living room for ward two feet I can place totes there for storage. Two totes on top of each other reach the height of the couch back and I can place four totes total behind the couch. I plan to put a board (stained to look like a table) on top of the totes and place a couple nick knacks there. Well, at least it is an idea for storage, lets see if it will work.

I live in 700 square feet of space with only one closet (in the bedroom) which is currently holding items I am moving from my small storage locker. I am slowly going through the storage stuff and I plan to get rid of the locker by the end of June, at the latest. The locker is 5x5 so really it is just a closet and I have had a deal of $10 a month because my mom had a locker there, too. Of the 13 boxes I have sorted so far I have kept only 4 (repacked) boxes. Most of the stuff I kept are items from my grandmothers estate. If I have not used the stuff in the locker in 5 years, then I know most of it will be donated, recycled or tossed. I believe there are 4 boxes of books that I will take to the book store for credit as soon as they are brought down.

The $2 plus change I did not use for this challenge: the two dollar bills will go to my emergency fund of $1 bills and the change went to my change challenge. I counted the change over the weekend and I have almost $80 in change. In May, I will take the change to the branch of my bank that has the free coin star machine and make a deposit into my emergency fund. I usually save about $330 a year in coins so this is less than normal.

I made a list over the weekend of items I need as part of my emergency kit that I currently do not have so I will begin looking at the dollar type stores and sales to slowly grow my kit.

...little bit of saving, little bit of spending.

March 19th, 2011 at 01:56 pm

I have wanted a popcorn popper and a new toaster for the past year or so. I was given a toaster for Christmas when I moved into the apartment but it stopped staying down when depressed about six months in. I stand at the counter and hold the switch down to toast bread and I am tired of it. The original cost of the toaster (because the giver told me) was $5 from target. I ran there Friday after work hoping I could find the same one or similar for the same cost. I found a similar one for $6.25 and bought that. This morning I discovered that the bread I buy (high fiber bread from orowheat) does not fit. The holes are to small to fit a regular piece of bread so I am taking it back today and buying the next cheapest which I believe was $10.

I also have wanted a popcorn popper for years. I dont like the microwave popcorn with all the additives. And when I have been making it on the stove top with a little oil I keep burning it and am frustrated so I want a popper. I like just plain popcorn with a little butter and salt or other flavoring depending upon a craving. SoI went looking for one and found it for $20. I will try it out today for a snack. I love popcorn as a snack in the weekends, and even when I am at work. So I am very happy to have found the only popper in the store.

I did grocery shopping while I was at target instead of heading to Winco after class Monday night. Winco is about 12 miles from my house so I shop there when I am in the area. I didnt have plans to go to that area until Monday for class so just picked up some stuff at Target instead. I actually found some great deals on things on my list (I always shop with a list and only buy those items) so I stocked up on a couple favorite granola bar type things and a couple other items. I was a little over on the spending money I had for groceries so I put a little on my AMEX card. I transferred money to pay it off today and will make the payment on Tuesday. I save money each month (about $20) for things I need for the apartment (cleaning supplies, sponges, swiffer pads for cleaning the floors, small appliances like my toaster) so there was plenty of money to cover the cost or the purchase in my household account.

The weather here is very windy and very rainy today and will be for the next 10 or so days. There are some concerns about flooding in the area. Tomorrow is supposed to be the worst day wind wise. I need to go to CVS which is just a about a mile from my apartment so I will walk over and pick up a couple things that are on sale. And I have a coupon for 20% off the whole order so I am very happy. It also gets me a little exercise today when I am not feeling like going to the gym or doing anything else today.

No Spend days, emergency planning

March 12th, 2011 at 09:00 pm

In the past I sometimes struggled not to spend money every day: parking, gas, food, whatever.

Since I moved out 18 months ago from the house I shared with two horrible housemates I have changed so much, and have so much less stress in my life. I bring my lunch to work about 95% of the time. If I don't I go home for lunch as I live less than two miles away. No spending there.

I have class at the college for two fitness courses four nights a week so I pack a dinner most days as well to eat before going to work out for 90 minutes. No spending there as there is no time!

Most Fridays I come home from work exhausted from a long work/class week and don't go out with friends much. Sometimes I do, but if I do I meet them for a drink, (usually at a place with free appetizers) and leave when they begin talking about ordering dinner. I just choose not to spend money on food when I have full cabinets, can cook well, eat healthier, lower sodium, higher nutrient food at home.

Saturdays is homework/house cleaning/running errands day. So planned spending is the only spending on that day.

I do my grocery shopping on Sunday. I pay cash for everything that is not a fixed expense (my weekly allowance/gas/groceries) so I always go off a list. I shop at the grocery store, target, the grocery outlet occassionally.

On a whole other topic related to our wallets:

I work in emergency management and used to teach disaster preparedness courses. This earthquake and resulting tsunami has reminded me that my emergency kit is not up to snuff since I moved. Not even close. I don't even have water anymore! This weekend I am going to be shopping for the few emergency supplies that I absolutely need. I sorted out what I do have today when cleaning out the closet and know what I need.

Reader poll:

How many of you have at least 3 days of easily prepared food and water for your families?

How many people know that with careful planning you could build an emergency kit for your families without spending extra money to do so? (another blog post coming.)

Do you know what you need for your family?

Do you know what you would grab if you had 15 minutes to evacuate? A list prepared of the items to take and where they are located that is easy to get to?

Saved $40 a month!!

March 10th, 2011 at 09:49 pm

I have been contemplating cancelling my cable service for several months as most of the shows I watch I can see online.

I called today to cancel and AT&T offered me such a good deal, for the tv service and the internet, that I decided to keep it for a while longer. I did discover that with the new package a couple of channels I watch are not allowed but they are found online, and so are their shows, so it works for me.

The internet service is faster and cheaper by $5 a month. The total cost is now half of what it was prior to me calling. Why did I not do this months ago? I may still cancel over the summer and save the $39 a month, but we will see how this goes for now.


Also, our union has reached a tentative deal with the state. The union board is voting on it tomorrow. If they approve, members vote. If members approve then it is done once the assembly approves it. The union says it would be affectie April 1. That means my paycheck will increase ever so slightly. Every penny helps since they have been taking almost $1000 a paycheck for two years with three furloughs a month.

In July my step increase comes through. I can get rid of one CC by November and the other by this time next year. No more debt!! (Well student loans will be around for a long time.) Good timing as I need to start saving for a newer car/down payment. I hope my car lasts for another 4 years. That would be the best scenario.

I forgot how much I love the dollar store!

March 7th, 2011 at 09:20 pm

I needed/wanted a couple of things for my apartment. One was something to hold all the plastic tupper ware type bowls and lids that have been floating around my apartment since I moved in. I have been watching the dollar aisle at target but not seen anything that would be large enough to warrant spending a dollar. And I go there only once a month, if that, so I was probably missing something.

So Sunday I made my grocery list and decided to stop by the dollar store to see it they had what I was looking for. And they did! I got two collapsible cloth boxes for a dollar and they fit perfectly! I also found the dish soap I like for a dollar (usually around 350 per at taret) so I bought four. Those will last quite a while. I also found cocoa mix, nestle, and a couple other things all for under 10.00! I forgot how great it can be to shop there! Must remember in the future!

Then I went grocecry shopping for just a couple of items I needed for the week, and for the freezer. I am so stoked about the dollar finds!

Wow it has been a while...

March 5th, 2011 at 09:42 pm

It has been over a year since I updated this blog. life got the best of me and I began working a lot, working out to lose some weight (down 55 pounds!), doing some consulting work, and using another website for health stuff that this one got pushed to the back burner. I hope to try and update it once a week as I work toward a goal of saving 2500 for a trip with a friend in November.

And I hope to get some more consulting work this year, too.

All the best to all of you!

Mileage Counts

April 1st, 2010 at 09:08 pm

Previously I had 98 and 56 miles.

Then I was sent on a business trip and had to drive 800 miles total in a week (last week.) but I am happy to say that I did not drive on any Friday or Saturday this month! Good old furlough came in handy. I don't spend money on Fridays unless it is absolutely necessary so....I feel good about that.

Deducting my commute is pointless because my commute is less then 3 miles every day.

Anyway, my mileage counts are 1219 for the month. about 800 more than usual. I want to try it this month but I have a week long trip for business I will be driving to because there is no airport to fly into that is cheaper. San Lis Obispo is beautiful but....hard to travel to. I need to be there for a week each of the next three months. Ugh.

I know my normal mileage was cut by about 40% and I am happy about that!

I also figured out that if we go back to our regular paychecks (and my 5% raise comes through) I could be cc debt free by March 2011. GOAL!

And if i stayed putting that same amont to my student loans I would be debt free in 3 years. BUT I cannot live like this for another three years so I am making my goal to pay off CC debt by March 2011 and student loans with in 6 years. That will still cut 24 years off their approximate payment schedule and cuts the interest by 88%. (my loan interest rate is 2.75% for the entire amount!)

March Car Less update and plants question

March 15th, 2010 at 03:34 pm

Carless challenge for March:

March 1-7 = 98 miles (but no driving on Friday/Saturday!)

March 8-14 = 56 miles (no driving Friday/Saturday/Sunday! Didn’t even leave my house!)

I also hope to begin walking to work now that it is not dark when I leave the office. I can only do it Tues/Thurs as I have class that I leave to go to right after work Mon/Wed until the end of May when I hope to begin walking to work every day. Friday has been my car less day since the state furloughs began 13 months ago. I also spend no money out of pocket that day. (although I use the washing machine (and sometimes the heat and dryer) that day and clean the apartment...)

I have $26 dollars from last weeks gas bill. I only have a ¼ of a tank but I am going to fill it tonight with that $26. I hope to put this weeks $35 in my vacation fund.

I have an interview for my dream job in June. I could have selected Washington DC or Chicago and chose Chicago so that I could also have a bit of a vacation and visit a friend who lives about 90 minutes outside in Michigan. Another friend from this area is going with me and the three of us plan to do very little but hang out together. In Chicago we are going to do the city architectural tour and have a nice dinner together.


I’d like to get some plants for my apartment and patio. Do any of you know what can grow in a north facing apartment with no direct sunlight beside fern? I am betting the chance to have flowering plants will be small as there is no direct sun. It is bright on my patio because the sun reflects from the pool area but no sun directly in the apartment.

End of the first month of 2010!

January 29th, 2010 at 11:07 pm

Well the Bell's Palsy is slowly going away. I can almost close my eye completly and most of my taste buds are back. A few other things have improved as well. The doctor believes it should all be cleared up in the next couple of weeks.

It has been an expensive thing to fight though. I did 6 acupncture treatments and they are not cheap. I did not have enough in my "personal hsa" so it went on my credit card. I have no regrets about doing the treatments as I could feel a difference from the first session (tinglinh where there was no feeling otherwise) but I have upped my savings amounts for the monthly deposits into the personal HSA.

On other news I passed the personal naratives I needed to pass for the dream job! I received word Wednesday morning. So the next step is a day long series of personal interviews/exams. I will begin studying and preparing for this process this weekend. I can schedule this day sometime in Febrary but the exam process won't happen for several months. I am very curiuos how many people passed to the third part of the process but I am just focusing on what I need to do.

In other news I have slowed down the debt payments I was making in order to save extra money into my emergency fund. With the problems California is having with GAS and the budget issues I think having a little more in there is necessary.

There are threats that state employees are going to be paid Federal minimum wage beginning July 1 if there is not a budget. Federal minimum wage equals about $1200 a month and my expenses run about $1700 a month if it is bare bones and about $2000 if not. So...it is just a waiting game now.

At some point after the budget is passed we would get the back pay but we are warned to expect a larger amount taken out for txes than usual because it is paid in one lump sum.

Diagnosis: Bells Palsy

January 15th, 2010 at 05:51 pm

I have been busy with work and house sitting and not had a lot of time to blog. Bt yesterday I eneded up in the Emergency Room.

The problem began yesterday when I could not keep a contact in my right eye wth out it drying up. I thought it was a bad box and opened another one. Finally got one to stay and went to work.

At about 3 pm I realized that contact was not staying wet with rewetting drops and took the contact out. It was then that I realized my eye was not closing all the way when I blinked. Then I noticed my right side of my face was a bit numb and weak and could not move very well kind of like being paralyzed.

One trip to the doctors who then sent me to the emergency room then to another emergency room when the first had a 14 hour wait and 42 patients in the lobby I found out I have Bells Palsy. It is caused by an inflamed set of nerves that connect to the face. It usually happens after a patient is getting over a virus within 2 to 4 weeks. I was sick at Christmas so I fit the time table. It feels a little bit like how a stroke patient would feel. The doctor was hopeful it will not progress to much because I came in less than 12 hours after the symptoms began.

It has caused me to not be able to blink my eye fully and I have to wear a patch over my eye for the next 10 days, have numbing and tingling, can’t really speak very well and I will be re-evaluated soon. If you have ever had Novocain at the dentist then you know a little about how this feels but it is not quite that potent and does not wear off. I am on steroids for about a week and I also had an acupuncture session this am. Some of the tingling is less and the eyes feels a little better but I can’t be sure yet.
It is a little scary to think I could face this for a long time as some times it lasts3-6 months and can be permanent in about 10% of cases.

If anyone has faced this, please drop me a note and let me know if there was anything that really worked for you.

I am hopeful the recovery will happen soon.

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