Thursday, October 27, 2011

This Country Needs a Suze Smackdown!!!!!!

*****WARNING! This is a rant! It's all my opinion, but I need to vent a little, and since this is my blog, I'm doing it here!!**********

Since I have been out of work since last month, I don't watch the news like I used to. Before DH and I would go to bed, we'd watch the 10 o'clock news, and in the morning, we have the news on while we get up and get ready. That way we were up to speed so when people at work would bring up a topic, we would be informed of what was going on. Now that I'm not working, I'm going to bed later, and our DVR and TV schedule is full, so we don't watch it at night, and I'm asleep while DH gets ready for work. That being said, I wasn't really up to speed with this whole 'Occupy Wall Street' thing. I'm still not 100% sure what the hey is going on, but all I know is a bunch of people across the country are very upset with corporate greed. I guess these people think that this 'corporate greed' is a new thing, but in reality it's been going on for quite awhile, it's just coming to the surface now. Many of these people are upset for jobs lost or what not for corporate greed. So they are outside for weeks now protesting. Do they think they are getting their points across? Probably not. I figure those on wall street, you know, the big wigs with tons of money are sitting there pointing and laughing at all of them. What's sad is that some of these people are so 'for the purpose' they are getting arrested for getting out of line. Many of these people are unemployed I figure since they can sit outside all day and night protesting. And then get arrested...which will probably go on their records. Then good luck getting a job when the 'arrest' question comes on the job applications. Good job.

What I don't understand is this. I will assume once again that many, if not the majority of the people outside protesting are unemployed. I highly doubt that they have jobs that will allow them to go out and protest and still get paid. That being said, I will guess that many are collecting unemployment benefits. Okay, so let me get this straight. they are out protesting, no jobs, no money coming in. How do they support themselves? How do they support their families, pay the bills, etc? I know some good-hearted people donated items to these people, but really people? In NJ to certify for unemployment each week, you need to answer a few questions, one of which 'Were you actively seeking work?" Of course you answer yes, b/c most people are trying to get interviews, networking, etc. FACE TIME. Not email time. Not talking via emails/text via smartphone. Hmmmmm, smart phone huh? How do these people pay those bills with no job? But I bet they all say 'Yes' when asked the 'actively seeking employment' question. My suggestion is to give a few people jobs and go around, asking for PHOTO id for everyone protesting. Can't supply it? You're gone. You can't stay. So, these people go out checking ID's and SSN's, etc. They then go back to the office and pull up these people. If they have been collecting unemployment, it stops then and there, and they will be required to pay back ALL six weeks or so that they collected. If Bloomberg or Ray Kelly or whoever gives out this information people may take them seriously. Stop living off other people's money. So, they go to the people that people will be collecting info from ID's and if you are found to be falsely collecting unemployment, you will be required to pay back the 6 weeks and no more unemployment. Bet a lot of people will not be protesting! I probably wouldn't mind as much, but people are getting hurt, arrested, etc. It just went way to far in my opinion.

I've also come across some news about Student Loans and how the government is stepping in to help. Wait, what???? I was upset about the whole saving the big financial institutions, but if the government didn't, well, this country would be a lot more in trouble then we are now. The whole issue I cannot STAND and I hear it all the time is the mortgage industry. That these big banks loaned out money for people to buy homes that they couldn't afford. Wait. The banks didn't just go knocking on random people's doors saying 'Here's 500k, want it????' NO, people would go online or call the banks or go in and ASK for the money. The bank says 'Ok, here you go' and then the people SIGN on the dotted line for their line. And in ALL that mortgage paperwork is ALL the info. But do people read it? Nope. They took out mortgages they couldn't afford. They either financed 100%(like my DH and I did) or did an ARM, where they pay just the interest, then after 3, 5 7, etc years the numbers will reset. But nobody foreshadowed the housing market crash. Really people? What did you expect, paying $3k a month in interest on a house you can't afford, then when it resets you can't afford the mortgage? Did you do your homework? NO. Were the banks greedy trying to get more interest money from you? Absolutely. But YOU signed saying you will make the payments, etc. Then you cried for the government to help you. And cried and cried until some fairy godmother came to bail you out, helping you refinance to make your payments more affordable.

Want to know what this girl did? When DH and I got engaged, we bought a house. We moved in together a year before our wedding. We went from no payments (both lived with parents) to having a mortgage payment, utilities, house insurance, grocery bills, etc. It was a SHOCK. I cried myself to sleep when we first moved in, trying to figure out how would could afford our lifestyle. Oh, and we were planning a wedding too. I did a LOT of research and started watching Suze Orman. I needed a way to afford all of our stuff. We put no money down on our house as we wanted to have money to buy furniture, etc. We got the cheapest carpets we could (previous owners had a dog and two cats, and my father in law is allergic), got very cheap living room furniture (between 300-400 dollars for a new couch, sofa AND recliner!). We made a dining room table out of a poker table. We put plywood above the table and voila, dining room table. We used our old bedroom furniture in the bedrooms. Watching Suze and researching ways to decrease spending really opened my eyes. This is when I took on couponing...started out slow and now and one of those 'Extreme Couponers' I get asked in the store if I've ever been on the show. No I reply, it's not real...but that's for another blog post. DH and I sat down, and decided after the wedding, we would pay down ALL our debt, and started ASAP we'd set up a budget. We wanted to save for our future as well. It was hard work, but we got through it. 5 years later, I'm not working currently, we have our EF plus some. We fully fund our Roths, no debt other then 8k in student loan debt at 2% and our house. I've followed a budget since then, and I watch Suze Orman every Saturday night. DH and I don't go out. Yet, our friends that claim they are broke, can't save, can't pay bills go out EVERY weekend to bars. Ones where it's $6 for a beer and $9 for a cocktail. They go out Friday and Saturday nights, then Sunday afternoon for football time...yet they can't pay their bills? Disgusting. It really irritates me.

Getting back to student loans, now President Obama is helping out those that took out too large student loans. Really? Here we go again. Nobody told these people to go to an expensive school. Nobody said going to college is a's a LUXURY people! If you can't afford it, then don't go. Save up money and pay CASH (Suze's advice). I have student loans, from my undergrad and grad years. And I've managed to get them from over $50k to $8k in a few years. These are loans you don't mess with as they will not be forgiven in bankruptcy, they will stick with you forever. But yet people are crying it's too much money, they can't pay them back. Well, I say that if you need the government to help you, you have to help them too. You don't want to pay back your student loans? You want them forgiven b/c you can't afford them? Well, then your degree goes back too. You no longer will have a prestigious degree from a prestigious university. Bet then too people will pay back their student loans!

I just think people need to put on their big girl panties and man up and make up for their own mistakes. Stop putting your hand out asking for money or help. You want help, you have to do it on your own. Looking at corporate greed, they aren't looking at for YOUR best interests. The only person to help YOU and YOUR best interests is youself! Step up! we need to hold these people to the fire. It wasn't all the banks fault....they say the banks were greedy, well so were you, applying and taking mortgages that were WAY above your head. How can we teach our kids responsibility when adults just point the blame at everyone else for their own problems?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Having a Baby

This post is more a less a rant/vent about having a baby. I think I'm at the time in my life where it's time to have a baby and start a family. When DH and I first got married 4 years ago, he wanted to have kids right away, but I wanted to wait and enjoy married life with just us two and to get on more stable ground finance wise. We also live in a small 2 bedroom condo and never thought we'd have the room for a kid, or more then 1 kid.

Fast forward to now. We are pretty much stable finance wise, even though I'm not currently working due to my Army base closing last month. It's been 4 years of us enjoying ourselves and at this point, I think it's time to start a family. We're not getting any younger and I think 4 years as husband and wife is more then enough. I know we haven't gone on any real vacations other then AC, but that's what makes him love me. I don't need some expensive vacation to 'get away' AC is perfect...just an hour drive, free rooms, free food, gambling, boardwalk, restaurants, etc. That's why he married me, I'm pretty much a cheap date. Eventually I'd like to get to Disney with him. A lot of people say I needed to go with him first, just us two. But I don't know. Too many kids around, us not having any. I'd feel left out, Disney is a family place. I think I'd enjoy it much more with a little one.

So I've made the decision to come off BCP and I started taking folic acid. I did try the prenatal vitamins, but it made me pee so darn much, so I came off and took the folic acid. But I'm peeing a lot too, and maybe it's the folic acid. No Uti or anything, I got tested. So eventually I will go back on the PNV. So now, I have my mom telling me I don't want to have a baby. I've always been bad with pain in my earlier years. I'd get a papercut or a bloody nose and be like 'Why me? I'm dying!' I guess my mom remembers that and can't even imagine nine months of me being pregnant, let alone labor. But my mother in law says that if it was so bad, the pain that is, that people would have one kid and never have another. But people are having kids left and right. If they can get through it so can I, right?

I'm also a worry wart and worry about every little thing. My friend is now telling me that I need to be ready to have a kid up my ass for 18 years. Am I ready for that. Yes. I have never heard a mother say they'd give up their kids so they can have their freedom back. Since we were married, DH and I can do whatever we want, whenever we worries. But now, I will have a baby to worry about. My friend also says that I will have no alone time. I have no alone time now anyways. I don't like to be alone. That's why I always had a boyfriend. Never had a time where more then 1 week I was alone. I like the company I guess. I think too much when I'm alone.

So I don't know, my head is spinning and now I'm second guessing everything and it's a bad feeling. Moms out moms and old I just way overthinking this????

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Read over your Bills and Fight for Yourself!

Okay, so not the best title, but I couldn't think of something snazzy or anything, but I wanted to get a few points across to everyone. Now that I'm unemployed, I figured I would have the time to keep my home tidy, do dishes, wash floors, etc everyday. But I'm finding I DON'T have the time. Whether it's a friend needing a favor, or my mom needing a ride somewhere since she can't drive for a few months, I have no ME time. And by ME time I don't mean watching TV or reading (although I have a few books to still read that I haven't had time to since I left the working world). But what I have been having to do is call companies or email them to fight for what's due to me...or what I feel is due to me. Here goes:

When DH and I went on vacation after I lost my job, we encountered two huge issues. We had gone into a Starbucks to get a frap after window shopping in high end stores. We walk in and after we did about 7 people followed. We placed our order and moved to the section where you pick up your order. Everyone followed suit and we all stood there in the order in which we placed our orders. People in front of us got their drinks, then we were next. But the person behind us got their first. But that was okay, it was a black coffee. Then everyone else behind us got their orders. Okay, the one guy was making the fraps so he was probably working on ours. Nope. So after the rush, we were left there alone, with no $6 frap. So the two men working started cleaning up. So DH is like 'Excuse me' Now, the guys had to have seen us standing there. We were right in front of them. No 'How can I help you' or anything, we had to call to their attention that we still didn't have our order, which was dated 15 minutes earlier. So we stood there for 15 minutes for a $6 drink. My DH tells him we didn't get our order, shows the receipt and he's like 'Are you sure?' Um, yes, I'm not holding a drink in my hand, so yea I'm sure we didn't get it. So the one makes it and gives it to us. No apology, no 'have a nice day' nothing. So on the way out, I grabbed the feedback form and planned to write a 'nastygram' as I call it when we returned home. I did, and I received a nice email back AND 4 coupons for free drinks, ANY size! That was nice of them.

Also, while on vacation, we were unable to use the indoor pool for two days (the reason we stayed at this particular place) And on another day, we had no TV all morning and all day. Not that I'm a TV watcher, but it was during the week and I like to watch a few shows (the news, Regis, Let's Make a Deal, Price is Right, etc) and I couldn't. So again, when we returned home, I wrote a nastygram and got upgraded to a suite during our next stay. I made our reservations first, then called for the upgrade today, but it's not in the system, so they forwarded me to the person that sent me the email...I'm currently waiting for a return call or email.

So it DOES pay to make your opinion count to companies. They want to make it right and don't want to leave a sour taste in your mouth, which is fine by me!

However, there are companies that make mistakes and you have to fight tooth and nail to get what's due. Since I came home from vacation, I'm finding a lot of errors on bills that I have to call up and fight, wait on hold, etc. First it was with Cablevision, although the woman I spoke to explained it. So what was due was right, it was just the way the bill read made it look like I had a past due balance. No biggie. I then got my Allstate car insurance bill. I could pay a set amount each month, or save $30 and pay it in full. So DH and I discussed it and decided $30 is $30 so I will pay it in full, then replenish the EF each month with what I would have paid to the car insurance. So I call to pay and to take myself off the Value Plan where it comes out of my account every month. My luck I'd pay in full and they would still take out the money each month. The guy I spoke to had a different amount then I had. I said no, that's the amount I pay if I do the monthly installments. On my bill it had that number, plus a number $30 if I pay in full. So he took my payment. The next day, I get a bill from Allstate for the $30. Really??? YOU send ME a bill saying if I pay in full it's this amount. I go to do that and it's wrong? REALLY? So I call back and the guy said they issued me a credit for the $30. WRONG's not a credit...YOU tell ME I owe this amount, it's IN writing! Why do I have to keep calling companies for THEIR mistakes!!!!?????

If any lesson is learned it's look over all your bills and fight for your rights! If you pay for something, you better get it...if not can get some free stuff out of the deal!

Is anyone else experiencing these same issues as of late? How did you handle it?