Cards, Cards everywhere!

You know that sinking feeling… that I’m overwhelmed and I just can’t seem to get a break, grab a breather, find a bit of relief?

Yeah, even I get there at times. I know, I am a pretty eager, perky, and enthused individual, but don’t let that coating fool you, even mobile home women get the blues.

Two weeks ago, I was feeling particularly overwhelmed. Just a kick in the gut sort of reaction but yet, I was a little surprised because I only had like 20 farm to do cards and 11 work cards. And most of those were big projects that I wasn’t ready or prepared to get started on. Some required better weather or more funds! (Ain’t that the truth???) So why was I feeling this way? I laid down to do a little reading, flipped on my bed so I could watch out the window at the foot of my bed, back into the courtyard. And then I thought, hmmm… I forgot to add a card about making a more permanent latch for the courtyard gate. And oh, I wanted to move the naked lady lilles that the sheep were eating, into the courtyard. And I wanted to fill up the little garden beds with more compost before spring. And I needed to get that door fixed to the potter’s shed. And I wanted to get a little red bud tree to plant.

In the span of like 3 minutes I had half a dozen cards in my mind JUST FOR THE COURTYARD!!!

Oh no…. I knew what the problem was. I was carrying way way too many to do items in my head!!! I started to think about that and suddenly, I was coming up with work cards and family stuff I needed to do and so on! Oh my gosh… I got right up and went and got a stack of cards and went back to sit up against a few pillows, and slowly walk through the farm and my life and see what I was missing.

Well, apparently, a lot. I ended up with 125 farm cards… and 45 work/personal cards!!! AGH!!! I felt drained, relieved yet staring at the cards almost filled me with more dread and worry… I have over 170 cards of to dos!!! AGH!!!!!!

So I did what any self respecting overwhelmed person did, I took a nap. And I just went through the things in my mind, in that pre-sleep dozing that I thought were pretty important. I mean, setting up some bricks around the little chicken coop for a flower bed was hardly a priority. When I woke, I sorted them into a couple piles… easy and fast do nows…. MUST DO Oh my gosh I nearly forgots…. nice for better weather…. when money allowed… and that really helped. And then, I just got started.

That was two weeks ago. I am happy to report that we have whittled it down some. 105 farm cards. 30 work cards. 35 cards done in 2 weeks. Trying to get 2 or 3 done a day, and at the very least, one a day. (We don’t count daily chores in there, just too many cards to write out and all that.) It’s feeling a little better now, some days are wonderful, other days, well, that over 100 thing kind of bothers me. I know that many many of the farm cards are dependent on nicer weather and funds. And they are more “wish” cards, that are goals we would like to meet but may take most of the summer and that’s fine. And work cards, nearly all my client needs are fulfilled and they are mostly company projects and “wish” cards as well.

We’re just coming out of a very slow period and money has been really tight. It’s getting a little better and we’re whittling away at some of the large bills that seemed to drop into our new year’s laps! Still have taxes coming up… well to fix (real soon) and our gigormous electric bill. (Thank goodness it was ONLY $267 for February. So much nicer than $690….) We apparently really cramped down on space heaters and such. And I know that for March, it will be MUCH better, and getting back down to normal… under $100.

And the website hosting money and lack of storage unit is helping… I can feel relief from that hard debt reducing work. I went yesterday to the phone store to work on that bill and oh my gosh… what a disaster that was. I’ll attempt to relate the adventure here, but it will be much shortened and missing the part where my head was about to explode….

I went in, sat down with a nice lady and began to tell her my story. That I had 4 lines, long story, but really only needed two. And that we hardly used our phones and were on the largest plan, so hopefully, we could limit that. Remove texting, etc. on a line or two. Oh sure, they can sure take a look.

Oh. No, none of your lines are off contract. The soonest are the daughters’ two lines… in September. Hmmm. Not even mine? I haven’t updated my phone in YEARS! Haha… she laughs, yeah, that is one old phone. Laughs again and calls her manager over and he is amazed, wow, that phone is in such good shape for being SOOOO OLD… You know, 4 years old. So I’m puzzled. Why is that line renewed of it’s contract then…. I didn’t renew it, I would have gotten a new phone, right? Or been offered…. Oh yeah, of course… well, gee, someone did. Back in June. June. Hmm…. June… OH MY yeah, someone ripped my account back in June and bought a phone out in California… the fraud department cleared that after my 127 phone calls. haha.. okay 126. She types, she puzzles at her screen… oh… you’re right. Gee. That’s to bad. Good thing you didn’t have to pay for the phone. She smiles. And waits. I’m like… so… I didn’t renew my contract, the bad bad person in California did, so you can take that off. Oh, no, that’s a corporate thing, I can’t do anything about that. Let’s look at plans…. oh…. you’re an old Alltel customer. Oh. Your plan is already way lower than anything new Verizon has. That is such a good deal you have for four lines, man, I would kill for that, I pay over $200 for three lines and sometimes more because my boyfriend really uses the data sometimes and…

Miss? Miss… I could really care less about your data-abusing boyfriend and your freakish high bill…. you mean, I can’t lower this at all? Only if you disconnect three lines and keep one phone only, hmmm…. with the early cancellation fees, that would be… oh…. $600. Would you like to do that? $600???? Ah, no. I calculate in my head. I have 6 months until I can turn off three lines. And right now, they are costing me $40 a month. That’s $240 bucks to keep and use them, right? Shesh. Well, in the meanwhile, I ask her, can she check one of the phones, because it has a bunch of photos on it that a friend who had the 4th line was using and he’d like back. And I can’t seem to get them off, tried a bunch of things. Oh sure, she can do that, no problem. She’ll transfer them to my phone which can email them to a computer. She leaves. Another gentleman comes over and we start to chat and he overheard that I was rural and had aweful internet service. He was rural too, but he had their new 4G service and it’s awesome and proceeds to lure me in with the siren call of faster internet and up to 10 gig a month in data! Oh my gosh… And it would only cost me $80 extra.

Hmmmm. I do hate our satelitte service with a searing anger only reserved for true evil. I work from home, and it takes me forever to do some stuff for clients… not to mentioned the measured service of only 250 megs a day download allowance… hmmm…. 10 gig? Oh and he’ll make me a deal, the little router thingy is only going to cost me $50… hmmmmm…. I’m thinking, wow, that would be nice. But I am afraid. Every gig over is $10. I am doing the math in my head…. 250 mg a day, 4 days would be a gig, 31 divided by 4, add 27.5, remove the cosign of 4 over the 10th power… faster speeds? like pages that load instantly instead of giving me time to go to the bathroom or let in the dogs? Oh my…. I think okay, yeah, maybe… ah… I’m caving, he’s smiling, oh yeah, a 2 year agreement? Hmmm… I feebly nod, and he starts to get it going but then NO! Oh, you have a back due balance. (First of the month, suddenly it’s late) He can’t process the new thing until the old balance is paid, hey, can I do that AND the device? Oh, no. I can’t not today. Oh. Then he can’t give me the awesome deal.

Chicky walks back with manager. Oh, they’re sorry, they accidently wiped out all 200+ of my contacts on my phone. I die inside. You’re kidding me? All? 4 years of clients, family, friends, repair guys, music contacts… gone? Did you get the pictures? No? Can’t because there is something wrong with the phone…. shesh, I said that in the first place, didn’t you listen to me? Agh!

So I think, God is telling me to get the heck outta this place. They can’t help me with the bill, they just wrecked my social life and made it so it will take me a month to get that all back in there and all, they can’t give me wonderful internet and they are trying to get me signed up with MORE debt and another contract.

I get home and in the calm of our home I figure out that their highest package of 10 gig is the same nearly as 250 mg a day. Thank goodness I didn’t fall for that. Yeah, it would be faster. And probably more reliable, but hey, spring is near and I’ll not be on as much and so that will be fine. I’m fine with it. And in September, I will ditch most of the lines and all will be well. I will keep just ONE line. Very limited and get the girls a pay as you go minutes phone for the house, for that now and then when I’m gone sort of emergency.

Ah…. what is wrong with customer service these days? Is it too much to ask for something that you’re paying through the nose for? I’m so beginning to think the Amish have it so much better. Technology is just so so… frustrating at times!

Well, I’m glad to report our budget shaving is working pretty well. Here is the total so far.

Storage Unit -$30
Website Hosting -$270
Car Insurance -$18
Internet -$20
Phone -$0

Thats a monthly reduction on fixed costs of $338 buckaroonies!

And as soon as I get this one website done (hopefully this weekend) I can turn off the last of the sites and net another $35 in savings a month for a grand total of…. $373!! A month! That is huge. $4,476 a YEAR!!!

And I have to report that since I used Soap.com I have not set foot in a dollar store all week long! I bought pop at a gas station and pet feed at Tractor Supply. No extra junk in this week’s spending. Nothing. No cute spring garden doo-dads, no magazines, nothing extra. I think that will help too, at least another $50 a month or more. It’s all good.

Thanks for all the good ideas and well wishing in the comments and emails! I do read them all and I just love some of the ideas. I love Snapple peach tea… and I looked online for how to make it at home!!! And I just made a batch… it’s pretty good, close and like a fraction of the cost for sure. And no plastic bottles! Yeah!

Can’t wait for the warmer weather… and getting the garden going, getting some of those to do cards down and done! We’ve having thunder storms today! I love it. It’s dark and gloomy but the sound of the rain and the thunder lets me know that we are getting so much closer. I’m working on a few cards today… and of course more this weekend! Heading to Hillsdale tomorrow unless the weather is just totally dreadful. And pretty much just staying inside for the time, getting more work cards done if possible!!!

– making an egg flyer and stickers for Maggie’s egg sales
– backing up photos and stuff off my old computer and adding to my newer computer (jessy and I switched)
– backing up all my work computer stuff
– a newsletter for a client
– email blast for Opry show on the 12th…
– finishing up the Hot Licks site so I can cancel the hosting and save that $35

Hope you have a full plate and lots of stuff planned to keep you busy!!!

Thanks for listening to my ramblings on… haha…. I’ll try and get some more interesting posts up this weekend… got a few good ones planned! Take care…

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About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of BuckeyeBluegrass.com as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.

Comments

Cards, Cards everywhere! — 4 Comments

  1. The people at a cell store are NOT the people who can work any awesomeness for you! They have very little power!

    I would either call the 1800 number and keep asking to speak to a manager (not the first two people on the phone) and then a supervisor and ask them to fix this. Also ask them to send a copy of your supposed current contract and where you signed it. Send a complaint to corporate too! Kick some heiney!!! šŸ˜‰

    Tell them you plan to cancel being a customer and if they don’t play by the rules you are going to report them.

    {{{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

    Seriously consider going with a new company the minute your contract is up! You can get better service and better contracts for sure! Just be aware that EVERY cell company is making the big push over to “smart phones” and are trying to get rid of the old phones.

  2. Ugh. I’m so sorry about that telephone contract thing! I agree with Freya, get out as soon as you can. (As if I have to tell you that! But, you know what I mean.) It seems the less they do, the more they charge you.

    Isn’t it amazing how things add up? I really made an effort to write down this week’s expenditures…just ‘ordinary’ things I buy, but I’m surprised at how much money I spent. It will probably be around $60.00. That might not seem like much, but on a fixed income that’s $240.00 a month!

    I really like your method of making to-do cards. Such a sense of accomplishment when you get them done. Like for instance, I have to make a pan of raspberry bars for a friend, and haven’t made up my mind whether to do them tonight or in the morning.

    Have a good evening, you and the girls, and stay safe.

  3. Here I am, another one tellin’ you to take Freya’s advice (Yayyyyy…Freya!!)

    When hubby and I were deciding on our last move to our “dream” house/location, I wanted an old farmhouse in the country and he wanted to build new. He won, but I got to design the new small house, (in the country). Turned out to be a good decision, not that we knew it at the time. Cancer reared it’s ugly head and I am a widow now. But my bills are very much lower on this house and so I can manage financially. OMG Sheri ! A $690 electric bill?!?!? Since I’ve been alone, my electric bill has been less than $360 total for a whole YEAR. ‘Course my heat, hot water and kitchen range is propane. (Which will be just $635 for the year July 2011 to July 2012–thanks to the warm winter. A $300 savings over last winter.) I am going to send my best requests to Gaia (wink) for you gals to get some sort of *other* heat by next winter!

    I am a Luddite when it comes to cell phones. I have never had one. (My last job was answering phone for a business while trying to also do billing. I came to HATE that phone!!) By the time I finally decide to get a pay as you go cell phone, they probably won’t even have a “regular” one anymore.

    It really is bad to get old……

    • Oh yes, thank you, I will. I can’t wait till September when I can ditch most of the lines, have just one for the family/business and such and then just get a little pay as you go for emergency use here at the house when I might be gone. Which is not often, so it can be a super low cheapie one! haha…

      My electric is out of whack because of the fire in the corn stove. We had to use a bunch of electric heaters as well as the kerosene as our MAIN heat and that just really killed us. Been talking with several good sources and yes, we are going to go with a nice basic propane furnace before next year. Tried the whole alternative thing but it’s just kicking our butts both physically and economically. We’ll still certainly supplement with other sources but not as a main source. Well, I just try to remember that we don’t have a mortgage and we don’t have a gas bill or a sewer bill or a water bill. Just electric. And it is going to come way way way down. Even in August with three air conditioners going our bill was under $150. It’s the dang space heaters. They are just terrible!!! (gg)

      This first winter, I knew it would level the playing field for us. It was thankfully not super hard, but still, it gave us a run for our money! I think next winter, we will be very much more prepared!!!

      Thanks everyone!!!!