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Credit card rewards, home improvement projects

August 22nd, 2013 at 10:46 am

Once again I only worked the equivalent of two days this week. I went in yesterday (my 3rd day) and it was a continuation of having absolutely nothing to do. Since one was away on vacation, the other one who sits right across from me now knows he's the only one who would be giving me work to do; I have a feeling if I could somehow stick it out sitting at my computer, pretending to be busy and doing nothing that he would have let me finish out the day that way, but it was more or less unbearable to do that and incredibly boring, so around noon I suggested that unless he anticipated having some work for me that afternoon, that maybe I should leave. He agreed, and so I went.

I'm guessing they maybe feel that since they initially said 3 days a week (earlier had said full-time), that if they tell me to leave early too many times I might look elsewhere for steadier work and so perhaps want to retain me for the time being. I certainly need the money, but I had already spent most of Tuesday trying to "look busy," ie, having a few screens open on my monitor, which anyone could see as they walk past or behind me, and occasionally typing on a word document.

I have of course been looking elsewhere for work. No calls yet.

I finally decided to hire one firm to install the furnace humidifier mid-September. I also found an affordable ($35/hr) freelance carpenter to repair the water damage in back of hall closet. While others quoted me $600+ to re-sheetrock the whole closet, he suggested I could save money by letting him see if he could repair the damage first. Which I'm all for since I hope to sell this place soon and it is the back of a closet. He spent a lot of time here discussing and thinking about different aspects of the work. He's a friend of my friend's husband. He'll start it next Friday. It should save me quite a bit, depending on how long it takes him, and if all goes well, I can use him for a number of other must-do projects around here.

That leaves the humongus tree take-down. I have one more guy coming to price it; I may wind up giving it to another one for $1200. I am nervous as all get-out about getting it done safely as the tree is in between my wires and my neighbor's wires, plus my neighbor has a telephone pole with those wires very close to the tree, so the guy taking it down has to know what he's doing. I had another guy here today who priced it at $2400, which includes taking away all the wood and bringing in topsoil and repairing divots on neighbor's lawn, which I think is probably unnecessary, though I am nervous about a heavy bucket damaging my neighbor's lawn. They’ve already given me permission to have the truck access the tree from their side becus my side is way too overgrown/brushy, but I don't want any complaints or hard feelings from them should the tree guy mess it up.

Nothing else much new. I've really been focused on collecting bids for these 3 different jobs. It's hard to spend @ $2300, which is what I'm looking at, especially when I consider that eats up about 4 months of my "discretionary" monthly income from my p/t job. But it all really needs to be done. (In my "money" days, say around 1995 through 2001, I wouldn't have worried about it at all and certainly wouldn't have spent so much time collecting prices, but that was then and this is now. )

It'll be another $350 or so to fill up my oil tank for fall heating season.

I'm still prepping for my garage sale. Here's a peak at just some of the stuff collecting all around the house.


An old rotary style phone (how retro), record albums from the 60s, a few kewpie dolls, a mirror my neighbor retrieved from the dump and then gave to me and a million other items. I have piles all around the house....

This weekend I hope to scrounge around for some white foam core, to make a bunch of signs to put next week.

Also, since I have so many pressing expenses, and because I remembered that I'll be billed for both my homeowner's and car insurance next month, that it would be great to get some more credit card bonuses by charging the combined $1200 or so bill. So I applied for 2 new bonus credit cards at the same time (to avoid being turned down by one due to recent application for the other) and was approved for both which should net me $200 cash back. I'll charge the car insurance with one card which will earn me that $100 bonus with just that one charge, and charge the homeowners with the other card, which will require just a bit more spending to receive the 2nd $100 reward.

I was very perturbed/disappointed that Amex would not give me the $100 bonus I thought I'd be getting after meeting their charge requirements with the Blue Cash Everyday card, but they said I was ineligible for the bonus becus I already owned another reward card, an old green cash card. I won’t be doing Amex rewards again.

Still, I'm not doing bad with the credit card rewards. YTD, I've received over $900 cash back from cards plus another $75 in gift cards. So, about $1,000 for 2013, compared to just $371 in cash back last year, though I did also get quite a bit in gift cards...at least equal to the cash back amount... in 2012.

3 Responses to “Credit card rewards, home improvement projects”

  1. Miz Pat Says:

    That is an incredible amount of money back on the cards! Good on ya!

  2. snafu Says:

    Work: Is it s-l-o-w season in your industry? Is it like politics when government pirogues, all staff and representatives take holidays in August? Do you think the business is failing? Isn't pay worth being bored? Do you have enough hours to collect benefits? How many hours are needed?

    Tree: Have you checked with all the city/county, utility power/telephone agencies for their responsibility for tree height 'rules?' What does your insurance cover if the tree removal causes damage? What insurance do bidder bring to protect your & neighbors, county/public properties?

    Good luck with your yard sale

  3. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    At the oil and gas company I worked at for 3 years there were many days my last year there where I had to "look" busy. It was extremely frustrating and boring. I hope things pick up for you soon.

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