Thursday, July 31, 2008

It's Thursday! WTF?

It has been a hot and pretty stinky week. I don't mind the heat, it's the humidity that is killing me. That gives me one more reason to move out of this area and to Las Vegas. I wish I could. It would take beau-coup bucks to move, which I am living barely check to check now a days. I have been informed through the grapevine my rent will increase, along with the cost of everyday living here on the north coast of the US. I don't want to start running up credit cards for everyday purchases, that will only get me into trouble.

Well, the tipping point is getting quite near. I have to make some decisions, should I just suck it up for another year? If I move to Vegas, will I just be one more poor transplanted "sucker"? I know my BF won't want me to move, and if I moved to PA, I would take a HUGE pay cut in my profession.

I placed an ad on Craig's List under housing wanted. I received two responses. One wanted to know how much I can afford; I replied and never heard back and the other was selling homes. Nice.

My dear daughter who I love is costing me a small fortune. She has applied for jobs but hasn't even been called for an interview. She has an appointment tomorrow with a disability employment specialist for job training and/or employment. That should help, I hope. Her SSI disability check doesn't cover what she needs every month. I don't know how others who live on their own with the same amount of money exist. After rent and food, there is nothing left over. I am not crying poverty for myself, I am employed full time. My daughter has a redetermination meeting (for Medicaid) with the case worker sometime in August and as I am her rep-payee I'll be attending. I'll have to ask the caseworker if there are any clothing vouchers available for my daughter. It's usually a voucher to a thrift store, not new clothes which my daughter would want. There is a wonderful organization in Lake county that helps people like my daughter with everyday things and I will need to take her there for some assistance. There is no shame in asking for help.

All my utility bills have nearly doubled. I turn down the A/C when I leave for work in the morning and she turns it up when she wakes at 11am, and it is always running.
She said 75 degrees is too hot, but I greatly disagree. There is no "lock" I can use to shut it off. The computer is also running during the day. She leaves the lights on all night, so I have had to remove some of the light bulbs. This is a living nightmare for me and I am at my own tipping point here.

Short of moving into a cave, I feel stuck. My daughter has it too easy, while I am slowly losing my mind.

I wanted to add a little more since I am on my lunch at this time. I spoke with a friend here about my situation. Costs with everything are going up and now may not be the time to move. I managed to call a few apartment complexes to get a general idea of what they are charging. One was close to where I now and the price was lower...but...they charged a flat $80.00 per month for water, sewer, trash collection. That fee made it a bad deal. The cave is starting to look a whole lot better. The office of Ohio Consumers Council are holding public sessions for customers of Dominion East Ohio to speak out about the proposed rate increase for "delivery" charges of gas. It proposes to be a HUGE increase that will break the budgets of all who heat with DEO gas. I know a few co-workers who will speak at the session and I am hoping to speak out as well. If this increase is approved I maybe better off living in a cave! I kept my thermostat below 65 all last winter and really froze and I had huge bills.

I also have been listening to many others opinions as well re: the economy. The housing hasn't hit the bottom yet and the credit cards are probably next. Last night on the national news, a story on car leases, well the big 3 will probably discontinue them, as they are losing money, figuring if you can't afford to but that "luxury" car you should not be able to lease it. Chrysler said no more leases. I lease my car, and have two more years remaining, maybe things will change. I drive a Toyota Corolla, hardly a luxury vehicle!

I have cut back on a lot of purchases. I don't usually buy the daily paper, except when I need newsprint for Cosmo's crate. I usually pick up the free weekly Scene magazine, as it's free and just the right size. I only drink a "fancy" coffee beverage when I have a buy one get one coupon or if it is a treat from someone else. I guess I am spoiled.
I have a stack of coupons from Borders I have to use up before the summer ends. I have stopped buying books, gasp, this was a hard thing to do, however I occasionally make a rare purchase at Half Price books. I take out videos and books from my local library, as does my daughter. Except for my planned vacation at the end of August, I'm only going local the rest of the summer. Community fairs and festivals, that's about it. If I had a good discount to Cedar Point I'd go. I really wanted to stay at a state park in a rented cabin, (20 miles away) but it is too much of a cost right now and I have no supplies. I shop at the lower price food stores. I signed up for all the "perk" programs for pet stuff, ect. I subscribe to a few "cheapskate" email newsletters. I haven't resorted to dumpster diving, yet.

I really think I should cancel my vacation to Las Vegas, but I'd only receive a credit on the airfare, good for one year, and I don't know what will be in the coming year, so we will go. I'll just suck it up. I hope my daughter isn't expecting gourmet food! I have checked a few of "doing Vegas" on the cheap. Just Google "cheap Vegas", there are tons of sites out there. I don't know how safe downtown Vegas is, but I'll soon find out. No, I'm not looking for the 99 cent foot long hot dogs, just some reasonable entertainment and good food, not crappy buffets. Speaking of buffets, all you can inhale is not the way to go. How much can you eat without exploding? I just want good quality food. I love seafood, Asian, and several other "ethnic" cuisines. Mass quantities of "green" and "brown", yuck! Think: Vegas Vacation with Chevy Chase. My daughter becomes bored pretty fast, and I need ideas.

I've made up my mind. I'll stay in the same place for one more year. I'll start a savings account and keep a budget. I'll do a direct deposit from my paycheck so it will be easier to save. I'll have to raise my daughter's rent to cover expenses, this she will hate, but tough! I already take a commuter bus to work, if I buy a monthly pass, I save more, but for the months I am at work the most, i.e. no paid holidays, but that is a crap shoot, what if I become ill, then the savings is erased. Currently weekly pass is $30.00 for 11 rides (get one free), monthly pass is $110.00. There is a lot of competition over gas prices, and they have dropped. My last purchase was $3.61/gal. Currently I have 40 cents off per gal at Giant Eagle. I have maxed out my flexible medical account for this year, so I will have to pay out of my pocket for any medical co-pays and meds.

I have the basic digital cable package from TWC which consists of cable, high speed internet and phone service. The price I pay is a shade over $100.00, ( I have two TV's with DVR service) which includes the taxes, of course. I did the math, checked other carriers and compared prices and this was the best deal. Now, if they decide to change my rates, that's grounds for a price war, as they are in hot competition with the new ATT Uverse, or whatever they call the service. It is not SAT service, which I don't want as the little beasties here vandalize the SAT dishes, I was a victim last year. No, I can't be without TV, internet, and phone. I have a cell phone and have a very good corporate discount, like 23%, and the bill is very reasonable, otherwise I'd have a pay as you go plan. My heating/cooking gas is through an aggregate community program called NOPEC, but I still have to deal with the DEO delivery charges and taxes/fees. I just signed up for the budget billing program. I need to call the Illuminating company to see if they have budget billing as well.

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