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Archive for November, 2018

Army Travel Reimbursement Plus

November 28th, 2018 at 01:23 pm

I was pleasantly surprised to find our travel money from the move deposited into our account on Monday! And it appears to be covered in full! It's seems during many moves each different entitlement comes in as different deposits.

The grand total is pretty grand and exceeds the costs we actually incurred, which I honestly never totaled up. Our second checking account is now $6,915.77 richer!

Our primary costs for moving were carpet repair and cleaning at our rental home. Nearly a week in hotel costs, as well as food on the go, and fuel for the our two vehicles. We did fly one way as part of getting one vehicle here (I'm not an interstate driver), so that little trip was an additional cost and not specifically reimbursable by the government.

Nearly half that total is something called a Dislocation Allowance, which for my husband's rank is $3,753. This simply covers all the extras that are variable because everyone has different costs incurred during a move. It is tax free.

It's a relief to have it. I think I'm saving most of it as I was able to cover nearly all the costs incurred out of our current pay. I do know I dipped into the vacation category and that has not been reimbursed. So at a minimum, I will add to that category and save the remainder in the Big Goal.

I completed my first Pinecone survey in a really long time two days ago and was credited for it this morning. I have no idea why I wasn't getting surveys for over a year or more.

Oh, and we had a really nice trip back to see our girls. Our cat did very well, stressful for her, but she survived and is happy to be back in a familiar place. I still miss the girls so much. I'm trying to figure out how we can establish a home base closer to them to see them more often. I'm sure that is at least a year in the works. But living such a long distance away from both of them is hard on all of us. My husband still has at least five years in the military before retirement. My parents are close to the girls, but I'm starting to see how much older they seem as well. My dad is 70 and mother 68. They are very healthy and active, so no major concern, just awareness of the passage of time. It would be nice to be closer to them as well.

Driving to See Our Girls

November 20th, 2018 at 05:27 am

We are heading out today (after work unfortunately) to drive over 1000 miles to see our girls. I cannot wait to see them. It has been a rough few months being empty nesters and moving. I definitely need hugs!

I would rather fly, but the decision to go was very short notice, thus plane tickets were expensive. But the main reason, was our cat. We do not know anyone here yet to watch her, nor do we yet know who to trust to kennel her. She is 14 and has never been boarded. I also do not feel right leaving her for multiple days without being checked on because of her age and health. So while I realize it will be stressful for her (although she did great on our move in the car), it seems to be the best of all the scenarios.

We will get nearly three full days with our girls and they are actually excited we are bringing our cat for the visit. They miss her, too.

Prayers for good weather and safe drivers around us is much appreciated. May you all have a great holiday weekend!

Still Waiting On Reimbursement

November 16th, 2018 at 06:55 am

The process of getting reimbursed for all costs and entitlements after a move seems to always be a chore. My husband has been working for three weeks now, and only today did we get confirmation that the travel claim has been received. Most of delay was here locally. Always confusion and disagreement amongst different parties on how to process! At this point I'm praying it has been done correctly and will not be kicked back to only have to submit again.

Amazingly, I have been able to float all the costs that we are waiting for reimbursement. If we are never reimbursed (won't happen), we will be just fine. Keep moving forward is all we can do.

When the money does come it will be thousands of dollars that I will likely add to our vacation fund for flights for us and the girls to visit each other, as well as some to the Big Goal fund.

Money In, Money Out

November 10th, 2018 at 07:26 am

We received basically our entire rent deposit on our last place back. The deposit was $1,800. On move out we needed to top off the propane tank which was for the fireplace only. We used it some in cool fall days, but otherwise it was just the pilot light on all the time. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite empty enough for the propane company to fill without a hefty charge ($45). The propane company was able to tell me based on the amount used the cost to fill up. The landlord agreed we could pay them that amount (around $137) and not fill up. So in the end they deducted the propane costs from our final deposit, and our check was for approximately $1,663.

My plan was to save this money in our Big Goal fund. In fact it is sitting there right now...except, we have a need for it now.

We took my van in for oil change, transmission fluid flush and rotate tires. Turns out I needed new front brakes and brake fluid flush. AND...the one that hurts, new shocks and struts. Now we actually weren't super surprised about the shocks and struts because we had been hearing noises that made us question their condition (my van has 140K miles), but our last mechanic looked and couldn't find the source of the noise and didn't see a problem with their condition. So...on Monday the van will have all those things complete and we will owe them $2000! Now I have to remind myself that this is maintenance and is cheaper than a car payment. Our goal is to keep both of our 2007 Honda's running until both girls graduate in about 4 years.

So money comes in, but money goes out. Thankful we have cash on hand (and did before the return of our deposit) for making these repairs. It's not what I would prefer to spend the money on...I'd rather save it!

Credit Card Rewards October 2018

November 5th, 2018 at 04:20 pm

We pay off our credit cards in full every month and never pay interest on a revolving balance. We use them for as many transactions as we can. In fact, we are now able to pay our rent with a credit card, most likely will use our Southwest Airlines credit card to accumulate points for flights.

We redeemed rewards from the following cards this past month.

US Bank $8.31
Chase Freedom $14.70
American Express $50.61
Discover $8.37
Total $81.99

Our credit card rewards are almost as good as the amount of interest we earn on our savings.

Interest Earned in October

November 5th, 2018 at 04:12 pm

I like to track the interest we earn on our cash savings. This October our two major accounts earned a total of $109.77. I sure wish it was 10x that amount of passive income, but we will take it and be very grateful. I remember thinking it would never be possible to have even that much interest earned in a month. So again, very grateful for what we have been provided.

Small Savings

November 1st, 2018 at 02:47 pm

I was on our American Express account today making a payment. I check the offers and found $5 off Hulu and 10% off our cellular bill (up to $20). I also added 10% off insurance payments, but not sure ours is due before the offer expires.

It pays to check and see if there are offers for things you spend and use your credit card for anyway!

We also submitted a form to get a discount on our auto insurance. Not sure how much that will save, but anything will help. Insurance is expensive here!