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Home > No more grocery shopping til August!

No more grocery shopping til August!

April 30th, 2012 at 04:11 pm

That's because I needed to charge up my Citi Thank You card, so I purchased $200 worth of Trader Joe's gift cards and $300 worth of Shop Rite gift cards, along with my usual groceries.

I calculate that brings my total spending up to about $1300, so I anticipate I may still need MORE gift cards in the next few weeks.

I regret having to do it this way (for the $250 rewards), because next month I'll be faced with one whopper of a credit card bill totalling about $1500. And I'll have to pay it in full.

Oh well, lesson learned. If you're going for the rewards, take it seriously. Don't waste the first month's worth of spending on another credit card, as I did.

There was a full page ad in the local paper by a local law firm looking for people to do a focus group/mock trial, and they'll pay $100. I was interviewed over the phone and then supposedly they'll let you know either way. It's this Friday night. I'd love to do this.

Also unsure whether they'll let me do the poll work again at the 2nd budget vote. No one's gotten back to me.

I had a reason to talk to the temp agency that offers my health insurance through COBRA. June 1 there's going to be a big increase....11.5%, she said, in my premiums. SO NOT looking forward to that. I had calculated a 7% increase, but no, we're higher than the national average.

I'm kind of freaking out a little becus the unemployment benefits that i so carefully calculated would last til mid-June may not last past next week!

When i called in to report my weekly earnings, they said the state unemployment rate fell below the critical 8% threshold, which means federal benefits end or something. It depends on whether you're on the federal EB program or state EUC program, and i have no idea which one i'm on, or which "tier" (1 of 4) i'm on. I have to call in tomorrow, if the system will let me. I may have to wait til week's end. I'm super nervous. Shit may be hitting fan sooner than I planned for.

Just now got word from a recruiter I know about a 4 month temp job for someone going on maternity leave. It's an hour drive, no matter, would love to do it. Full-time, would be good pay, and I could switch to Aquent's health plan when i started the job so that, after the 4 months of work ended, my COBRA (i believe) would start anew. Right now, my COBRA ends June of next year; I'd like to reset the clock for another 33 months so i at least don't have the loss of COBRA as another worry. I know the letter she sent me about the job is a form letter that surely went out to a bunch of people she felt were qualified, so who knows what my chances are. Will call her tomorrow.

Aside from job anxieties, it was a pretty good day today. Besides hitting Trader Joe's and Shop Rite, I returned some DVDs at the library. I finally got around to watching Twilight, just so i can stay abreast of pop culture, and actually, i liked it very much. This prompted me to check out the 2nd and 3rd sequels, Eclipse and whatever the other one is called. I'll be watching the 2nd tonight. Smile

Speaking about movies, it's amazing how you can get a whole lot of star power and have a total flop of a movie. Like "The Walker." It stars Woody Harrelson, Lily Tomlin and Kristin Scott Lewis (did i get that name right?) I mean, all 3 great actors, but this was one SNOOZE of a movie. i didn't even bother watching it all the way through.

Yardwork-wise, I was able to sow some grass seed in 2 medium-sized areas of my lawn, one where pachysandra was making a mess of things and then another area that used to be part of my veggie garden but no longer is since i needed to move the fence further away from a tree that's growing a little too well. If I didn't sow grass (like i need MORE to mow?) it would be weeds, so....

Sowing grass seed is actually hard work. Pulling out weeds, loosening the soil and raking it smooth, putting hay over it so the birds don't get the seed and then watering it....frankly, i'm exhausted.

What I would like to do tomorrow, my last free day before going back to work, is move a small viburnum I planted a few years ago (3?) in the wrong place, where most of the sun is blocked by larger shrubs. It's also in the middle of the lawn and just another thing to have to mow around. I'd like to move it to a spot that opened up in the back yard, against the stone wall. A tree came down in a major storm and it would seem to be a good spot for it.

Here's one of the bluebirds frequently seen in my yard. They're nesting in the box... hope you can see it...shot through the window...

3 Responses to “No more grocery shopping til August!”

  1. Dido Says:

    Here's an explanation of the arcane UC system in general: http://usunemployed.blogspot.com/2010/02/evaluating-euc-tiers-advocating-for.html

    and here is CT's page: http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/messages/euc08-q&a.htm

    Sounds like CT is like PA--they don't tell you where you are in the system--PA's computer would tell me that I had run through my UC when in fact, I had only run through my 26 weeks of state benefits and I got to Tier III, I believe of EUC with 3 weeks left to spare before I started working again this last go-round.

    Take a few deep breaths before you start panicking. And even if the worst is true and your unemployment is nearly over, put it in perspective--while you don't have the resources you WANT to have, you have far more than many people (the average 401K balance of people age 55 & up, a little older than you, is 234K, considerably less than you have (and I doubt that most of those people have 72K sitting outside of their retirement plans as well). Looking back at your year-end figures, I see that unemployment provided actually just under half of your 37K income last year, and that your expenses (not counting the siding) were about 34K, so you had 3K to spare. If your expenses and other income are similar this year, that's 18K in income you still have, plus you've probably received about 6K in unemployment, leaving a 10K shortfall from the 34K expenses, and that's if no other source of income turns up in the next 8 months. Somehow, especially seeing that the economy does seem to be on a slow upswing, I am doubtful of that. So the worst that might happen is that you'd have to draw 10K from your savings. That's far better than the going without health insurance and losing your house to foreclosure that so many others have gone through. I know it's not what you WANT, but sometimes it helps to put things in perspective. (Hope this isn't too preachy--it's just the same kind of lecture that I give myself at the times I've felt panicky).

  2. patientsaver Says:

    Many thanks, Dido. I just now saw your full comments here; the email I got seemed to end with the link you provided.

    A DOL rep told me I have something like 39 weeks of benefits left. I'm a little flabbergasted (and still not believing this to be true). I don't know how I could be so mistaken, considering I lost my job in 2009, but I know the temp job I had in 4th quarter 2010 helped a lot. But even THEN, I thought I was near the end of the line with a benefits "balance" of $2400 in my current state benefits.

    If this is all true, it's VERY good news, because then I can pay off the mortgage without having to withdraw a largish lump sum from savings; I want to do everything I can to keep from depleting savings.

    It also gives me more breathing room to try to find a 3rd p/t job to supplement my freelance and the p/t publishing job. Or of course, find a full-time job, the gold standard.

  3. Dido Says:

    You were off unemployment for a quarter, yes? And that quarter was a year after your original layoff? Then you refiled for unemployment sometime in Q1 2011? Because your second filing was a year after the original filing with time and significant wages earned in between, that would cause the Q1 2011 filing to be treated as a new claim (and not a reopening of your prior claim). Your clock reset at that point, I believe.

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