We’re Hemmorhaging Money and We Just Can’t Stop!

At least it seems that way…

We’re having a bad month.

We’ve had the following unexpected expenses this month:

  • $300 car repair (and another $300-$500 is looming)
  • $50 nebulizer (Son decided to break his while on vacation)
  • $200 speeding ticket (Husband’s – and not on our trip. On the way to work this morning…)
  • $100 dental bill (and a $500 root canal bill is looming, and probably a few hundred more for miscellaneous cavities soon…)
  • $700 vacation (I’m not going to complain about that – it’s great for a 10 day vacation!)

These are in addition to our regular expenses, and monies I’ve set aside for Son’s birthday party later this month and Husband’s birthday dinner on Saturday.

Some months are just like this. That’s why it’s good that I keep a healthy savings account. These unexpected expenses are a fact of life, and no matter how much we plan and manage and save there are times when we just have to pay. A lot.

The good news is that our Economic Stimulus check will cover all of the month’s unexpected expenses. It was going to go directly to savings, but that’s life. I’m also saving $200 per month now that Son isn’t in school, so that will make up for some of the coming extra expenses.

I had hoped to buy a new screen/storm door, but that’s going to have to wait. Let’s just hope my root canal decides to wait, too.

And today is Husband’s birthday. Guess what I got him?

Yup. A radar detector.

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Deal of the Day April 17, 2008

Happy Birthday, David!

Here’s a great deal for people who shop these stores.  Here’s hoping other retails follow Sears‘ lead!

Sears plans to offer a 10% bonus to anyone who converts their fiscal-stimulus checks into a Sears or K-mart gift card.  Customers can present their checks at a cash register at Sears and K-mart to convert it into a gift card at the full value of the check, and to receive a bonus gift card worth 10% of the check. The cards can be redeemed at any Sears, K-mart or Lands’ End retail stores, as well as sears.com and landsend.com.

Details for shoppers who elect to receive the fiscal-stimulus check by direct deposit are still being worked out, but they will likely be able to register online to receive a coupon to bring to stores.

The promotion is scheduled to last between May 14 and July 19. The gift cards have no expiration and no fees.

Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

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Show Nana the Money!

I found something out yesterday that I didn’t know, so I thought there might be others that don’t know, either.

My mother is retired and lives on Social Security. She has no other income, so we don’t file tax returns for her.

When I heard about President Bush’s Economic Stimulus package I was thrilled that we’ll be getting some hard-earned cash back. It never occurred to me that my mother, who hasn’t earned any income in over ten years, would also be able to collect. I’d never actually read the requirements, which are:

Individuals and families must have at least $3,000 of income from any combination of earned income, Social Security retirement or disability benefits, certain Railroad retirement benefits, or disability compensation, disability pension, or survivor benefits paid by the Veterans Affairs. The minimum economic stimulus payment is $300 for individuals and $600 for married couples.

So, Wahoo! Mom can participate. The only catch for her is that she has to file a tax return. And the IRS is making it easier for her and people like her. People who have no legal requirement to file a tax return but must file a return this year in order to receive a 2008 economic stimulus payment can participate in the Free File program and file their taxes online.

There is no charge for using IRS Free File. With just a few answers, people can complete a simple form and use IRS e-file. The IRS also urges all filers to use direct deposit, if they have a checking or savings account, because it is the fastest way to receive an economic stimulus payment. Some people feel funny about that, but really they can have access to your account any time they want, so you may as well get the money sooner, n’est pas?

Once people file a tax return, they don’t need to do anything more. The IRS will do the rest. They will begin issuing payments starting in May.

For my Mom this extra money will be like winning the lottery. I hope she’ll use it to pay for an airline ticket to come visit us, which would be lovely.

So, please go ask your parents or grandparents if they qualify. You may just have found them $300…

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